ARRW misses mark in second test

By Jason Sherman / March 27, 2023 at 9:36 AM

The Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon apparently suffered a significant setback during the second of four planned flight tests which the Air Force notably declined to call a "success" as it did the first ARRW launch.

Late Friday, the Air Force disclosed -- nearly two weeks after the fact -- a highly anticipated ARRW flight test took place when a B-52 released an All-Up-Round AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon off the Southern California coast on March 13.

“This test was the second launch of a full prototype operational hypersonic missile and focused on the ARRW’s end-to-end performance,” according to an Air Force statement. “The test met several of the objectives and the ARRW team engineers and testers are collecting data for further analysis.”

The Defense Department has a long history of describing test events that are scored failures as also achieving multiple objectives.

The 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, executed the ARRW test flight.

Air Force leaders have effectively put the ARRW program on probation -- declining to plan for procurement funding in the fiscal year 2024 budget request and requesting nothing for the program in research and development beyond the FY-24 proposal for $150 million.