TechU.S. Air Force tests AGM-183 Hypersonic Missile, challenging Russia's capabilities

U.S. Air Force tests AGM‑183 Hypersonic Missile, challenging Russia's capabilities

ARRW missile on a bomber
ARRW missile on a bomber
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons
10:54 AM EST, March 5, 2024

Since its inception in 2018 by US authorities, the ARRW program faced abandonment following an unsuccessful test on March 12, 2023. Surprisingly, in less than a year, an image of the AGM-183 ARRW attached beneath a B-52H bomber's wing surfaced online.

This revelation implies that contrary to the claims of the ARRW project's discontinuation, which aimed to produce a cutting-edge hypersonic missile, the USA is actively pursuing modern weapon tests, subtly undermining Putin's confidence. Putin's forces possess the Ch-47M2 Kinzhal missile, capable of achieving speeds close to Mach 10. The American counterpart is purportedly twice as swift.

The AGM-183 ARRW is presently undergoing operational testing. The Air Force has executed three out of four scheduled test flights. A final decision on its mass production remains pending – a US Air Force spokesperson revealed in an interview with The War Zone, as reported by Ukrainian Front.

U.S. Hypersonic Weapon

It's instrumental to recall that the AGM-183 ARRW represents a breakthrough in American hypersonic air-to-ground cruise missile technology, dating back to 2018 with Lockheed Martin's contract to develop a novel weaponry class for the United States Air Force. Despite rapid progress, US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendal announced an unsuccessful final test in March 2023, prompting the halt of the ARRW's development.

Nevertheless, evidence soon emerged suggesting a revival of the AGM-183 project, showcased by the weapon's photographs on an American bomber ready for such armament. While the AGM-183 remains under testing, its exact capabilities are yet to be disclosed.

Available information highlights that the AGM-183 effortlessly achieves speeds of 8 Mach. There are indications, however, that the American missile can sustain speeds up to 20 Mach at high altitudes, almost 20 times the speed of sound. The AGM-183 ARRW missile comprises two modules: a rocket engine that propels the device to Mach 5 and into orbit and a gliding warhead that enables it to reach speeds of up to 20 Mach.

Designed to be deployed from B-52 Stratofortress bombers or B-1B Lancers, the missile spans nearly 23 feet in length and weighs about 3 tons after suitable upgrades.

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