On Wednesday, the US Air Force confirmed that it had “successfully tested” its Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) rocket on Tuesday, off the coast of California. The US has tested two Lockheed Martin hypersonic missiles despite concerns that its geopolitical rivals, Russia and China, have developed better hypersonic weapons.

On July 12, the US States Air Force (USAF) completed the booster test program by flying one last demonstration flight with its Lockheed Martin AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) booster. Janes indicated in a report that the service provider announced on July 13 that it was “ready” to begin “all-up-round testing” later this year.

During the ARRW test, the launcher was lifted into the air beneath the wing of a B-52H before it was released into space. In earlier trials, the weapon did not separate from the aircraft.

“This second, successful test demonstrates ARRW’s ability to reach and withstand operational hypersonic speeds, collect crucial data for use in further flight tests, and validate safe separation from the aircraft,” Lockheed said.

After a test flight of a different kind of hypersonic weapon, the Common Hypersonic Glide Body, conducted on June 29 at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii and failed, these successful tests came as a relief showing the positive result of the missile test launch.

In the upper atmosphere, hypersonic missiles move at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound, equivalent to around 6,200 kilometers per hour. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) reported that it had completed the first test of its Operational Fires hypersonic weapon during a separate hypersonic weapon test. According to a media report, White Sands Missile Range, located in New Mexico, served as the test site.

According to DARPA, this was the first flight test of the ground-based hypersonic boost-glide system. The technology was designed to be launched from a conventional military truck.

The primary objective of the first test flight was to verify that the rocket could be successfully launched from the vehicle. A company representative informed a media agency that more technology testing is scheduled later this year.