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Air Force to Investigate Hypersonic ARRW Booster Vehicle Issues After Attempted Flight Test; Brig. Gen. Heath Collins Quoted

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Hypersonic ARRW
Hypersonic ARRW Booster Vehicle

The U.S. Air Force will investigate system defects following an incomplete launch sequence of a hypersonic booster weapon over the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of Oxnard, California.

The Air Force said Tuesday that the test, which took place on Monday, saw launch issues with the Boeing B-52H Stratofortress subsonic bomber that carried the booster vehicle as part of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon initiative.

Testers and engineers from the Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force and 419th Flight Test Squadron will return the ARRW booster vehicle to test following assessments. B-52H returned with the booster vehicle safely retained onboard the aircraft during the exercise.

“While not launching was disappointing, the recent test provided invaluable information to learn from and continue ahead. This is why we test,” said Brig. Gen. Heath Collins, program executive officer for weapons and director of the Armament Directorate at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.

The flight test, intended to be the eighth assessment for the ARRW program, focused on evaluating the weapon’s aircraft release, performance and separation capacity.