The U.S. Air Force tested a prototype version of a hypersonic weapon aboard the B-52 Stratofortress aircraft on Wednesday at the Edwards Air Force Base. The aircraft held a sensor-only iteration of the AGM-183A Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon to collect external impact, vibration and handling data for the weapon and the B-52 unit, the Air Force said Thursday.
“This type of speed in our acquisition system is essential – it allows us to field capabilities rapidly to compete against the threats we face,” said Will Roper, assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics at the Air Force and 2019 Wash100 Award recipient.
The service branch plans to proceed with future flight tests to assess and expand the ARRW's capacities. In addition, the weapon is slated to achieve initial operational capability status in fiscal year 2022. Lockheed Martin landed an Air Force contract in 2018 to review, evaluate and provide support efforts for the deployed ARRW prototypes.