US Air Force Drops Lockheed Martin Built Hypersonic Missile ‘Arrow’ After Failed Test

By: | April 7th, 2023

Image by Lockheedmartin

The U.S. Air Force has announced that it won’t pursue a hypersonic weapons program under development by Lockheed Martin Corp.

The announcement came after a failed test of Lockheed Martin’s AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Reaction Weapon (ARRW) or “Arrow” earlier in March.

The hypersonic weapon system achieved a peak velocity of five times the speed of sound in December. But it was unable to communicate in-flight performance data which ruined the hypersonic missile prototype’s second test flight.

The U.S. Air Force will no longer buy the weapon, but they will complete the testing

Despite not being selected, Lockheed Martin plans to develop the hypersonic technology on an accelerated timeline to meet this critical national security need. The test flights can help the USAF gain the vital information that can be used for future hypersonic programs.

The US is falling behind China in the development of hypersonic weapons

The United States has traditionally led the world in military technology but has faced several setbacks in its hypersonic development programs. Due to this, the gap between the United States and China in hypersonic technology is widening.

Serious implications for national security!

Hypersonic weapons have the potential to shift the balance of power in conflicts. The discontinuation of this program is a blow to U.S. efforts to catch up to China and Russia, which have hypersonic weapons available for use.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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