Air-Launched Weapons

AFA Winter 2020: USAF picked ARRW hypersonic weapon for size, producibility

01 March 2020

Key Points

  • The US Air Force chose to proceed with the ARRW hypersonic effort instead of HCSW for size and industrial base reasons
  • The service was pleased with the HCSW’s progress, but it was simply deprioritised in the budget

The US Air Force (USAF) chose to move forward with the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) and not the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW) due to the ARRW’s smaller size and because the service wanted to accelerate finding a second supplier, according to the USAF’s top acquisition official.

Will Roper, USAF assistant secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics (AT&L), told reporters on 28 February at the Air Force Association’s (AFA’s) Air Warfare Symposium that both hypersonic weapons were on the path to successful flight testing and production, but that budget priorities simply forced the service to pick one over the other.

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