The US Air Force has been working with Lockheed Martin to develop the AGM-183 ARRW(Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon), a hypersonic air-to-ground missile. This weapon is designed to enable the US to hold fixed, high-value, time-sensitive targets at risk in contested environments. 

The ARRW is designed to provide an alternative to nuclear weapons, allowing the US Air Force to hold fixed, high-value targets at risk in contested environments. It consists of a solid rocket motor booster, a protective glider shroud, and a glider vehicle.

If successful, the ARRW could be used for long-range strikes against time-sensitive targets in heavily defended areas. This would give the US Air Force greater flexibility in responding to threats and allow them to act quickly in times of crisis.

 The development of the ARRW is part of a larger effort by the US Air Force to invest in hypersonic technology and weapons systems. This includes other programs, such as DARPA’s Tactical Boost Glide system, designed to rapidly deploy conventional warheads at hypersonic speeds. Potentially, with these advancements, the US Air Force will be better equipped to protect its domestic and foreign interests.

The Air Force conducted its first operational prototype missile test and planned on transitioning the program from a Rapid Prototyping to a Rapid Fielding program after successfully deploying the ARRW residual.

However, the most recent test of the ARRW hypersonic missile was unsuccessful, according to US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall. This failure has jeopardized the program and caused the Air Force to shift their focus toward another type of hypersonic weapon. Despite this setback, Secretary Kendall expressed that they are more committed to developing this technology than ever.

On Wednesday, the acquisition chief of the US Air Force revealed to legislators that once the prototyping phase of the hypersonic AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon is finished, and added that they would not be procuring the weapon due to difficulties encountered during testing.