Intelligence And Counterintelligence News Review

US Air Force likely to end AGM-183A ARRW programme after completing R&D phase

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<p class=”text-body text-muted small”>An artist’s rendering of a B-52 carrying Lockheed Martin’s AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon. (Lockheed Martin)</p>
<p>The US Air Force (USAF) will likely end its efforts to operationalise the Lockheed Martin AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) following a 13 March test failure. Although the test failure marks the first of the all-up round, three component flight test failures in 2021 led to speculation about the programme’s future.</p>
<p>The USAF said on 24 March that the test launch “met several objectives,” but provided no further information. The absence of elaboration is notable and likely denotes that the missile was lost prematurely. Since the test was meant to demonstrate ARRW’s “end-to-end performance”, according to the USAF, not reaching its target would be considered a test failure.</p>
<p>“The one [recent test] we just had was not a success,” USAF Secretary Frank Kendall told a subcommittee of the US House Armed Services Committee on 29 March. “We did not get the data that we needed from that test. So, [test personnel are] currently examining that to try to understand what happened. We have two more test articles that we can use. And we’ll probably have to make a decision on the fate of ARRW after we complete the analysis and hopefully do those two tests.”</p>
<p>Andrew Hunter, the USAF’s assistant secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics, told the subcommittee on tactical air and land forces that although the service requested USD150 million in research and development (R&D) funds for ARRW in the fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget, the USAF does not intend to continue the programme following the end of its current prototype phase.</p>