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Intelligence And Counterintelligence News Review

US Air Force seeks USD500 million for hypersonics research


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<p class=”text-body text-muted small”>A computer rendering of the HACM. (Raytheon)</p>
<p>The US Air Force (USAF) requested USD500 million for hypersonic weapons research and development in fiscal year (FY) 2024, the same amount as the previous year.</p>
<p>Roughly USD150 million would be used to further develop the Lockheed Martin<strong></strong>AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), a boost-glide system that in December 2022 saw its first successful launch following three failed tests. The USAF plans to conduct four additional ‘all-up round’ test shots of the completed missile during FY 2024.</p>
<p>The ARRW was initially scheduled to enter service in 2023,<strong></strong>but the USAF said that has been delayed. “The ARRW production decision remains event-driven and will occur after operational utility is demonstrated through successful [test flights] and a system production readiness review,” the service told <em>Janes</em>. “Additionally, the [USAF] will need to look at our weapons mix and see if [the] ARRW falls within the requirements.”</p>
<p>Approximately USD350 million will go to the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM), an operationally focused development of the experimental scramjet-powered US-Australia Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE). A joint Raytheon/Northrop Grumman team was downselected in September 2022 to build the HACM.</p>
<p>Like the ARRW, “the HACM production decision remains event-driven and will occur following a production readiness review”, the USAF told <em>Janes</em>. The service plans to field the first HACMs in 2027.</p>