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US Air Force Set to Test Hypersonic Missile for First Time…Maybe

Any day now…we think.

Whether or not we ever really feel like it, we are often teetering on the precipice of the total annihilation of the planet, thanks in no small part to the massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons that Russia and the United States have aimed at each other, and their understanding that if one goes airborne, they all go airborne.

Now the only question is whose missiles will get there first, and the consensus has been that Russia has had the upper hand in that department for some time, having tested a number of hypersonic missiles that could outpace any defense system on the planet.

The US, not to be outdone, is about to take a rather large step in the direction of overtaking Mother Russia…but it’s not coming easy.

The U.S. Air Force has again pushed back the date for the first flight of its AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW. The launch was supposed to finally occur this week, after being delayed due to unspecified issues last year, but is now expected to take place sometime within the next month or so.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Armament Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida announced on March 5, 2021, that the first ARRW flight, dubbed Booster Test Flight 1 (BTF-1), should occur “in the next 30 days.” On Feb. 26, during a presentation as part of the Air Force Association’s 2021 Virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium, Air Force Brigadier General Heath Collins, the service’s Program Executive Officer for Weapons, had declared BTF-1 would happen by the end of this week. Before that, this test was supposed to take place before the end of December 2020.

The government was predictably vague when providing a reason for the delay, stating that there were “technical findings” behind the decision.


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