Northrop Grumman tests A2/AD missile design for USAF SiAW requirement

by Robin Hughes

The Northrop Grumman A2/AD missile mission computer and sensors integrated into a company Bombardier CRJ-700 test aircraft. (Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman has conducted the first in a series of company-funded flight tests of an anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) missile system intended to address the US Air Force's (USAF's) requirement for an enhanced Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW) to equip the F-35A Lightning II multirole stealth fighter.

The test, conducted in the Baltimore-Washington area in mid-December 2021 “utilised a company-owned [Bombardier] CRJ-700 jet aircraft as a testbed to demonstrate the capability of the SiAW missile sensors and mission computer”, a company spokesperson told Janes .

An earlier test, conducted in mid-2020, provided for an initial ‘static hardware test' of the new missile system, the spokesperson confirmed. Northrop Grumman will continue to flight test the system with more stressing scenarios in preparation for a missile launch later this year.

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USAF delays ARRW production decision, eyes revamped test plan

by Ashley Roque

An artist's rendering of the AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon. The US Air Force has decided to delay making a production decision after a trio of failed booster flight tests in 2021. (Lockheed Martin )

US Air Force (USAF) leaders are postponing making an AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) production decision following three failed booster flight tests with the hypersonic weapon prototype in 2021, the service told Janes .

“The ARRW procurement plan has not changed from the fiscal year (FY) 2022 president's budget request. However, the production contract award has been delayed as the team resolves the current launch abort,” a USAF spokesperson wrote in a 19 January statement. “The production decision remains event-driven and will occur after operational utility is demonstrated with a successful all-up-round test flight and a successful production readiness review.”

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UK supplies anti-tank weapons to Ukraine

by Tim Ripley

British Army personnel from 3rd UK Division live-firing the NLAW. An unspecified number of these anti-tank weapons have been delivered to Ukraine. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

A batch of Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapons (NLAWs) has been delivered to Ukraine by the United Kingdom in its first transfer of lethal defence equipment to the country.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the delivery in a statement to Parliament on 17 January. He said a UK team would be despatched to Ukraine to train its armed forces in operating the new weapons. No details of the number of weapons involved was given by Wallace and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) declined to provide Janes with further details.

A senior MoD source confirmed to Janes on 18 January that deliveries were under way, with the UK Royal Air Force's Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft carrying the weapons to Kyiv on 17 and 18 January across three flights. A training team of between 10 and 20 British Army soldiers accompanied the missiles, which the source identified as NLAWs.

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Houthis claim long-range cruise missile attack on UAE

by Jeremy Binnie

The Quds ground-launched cruise missile was unveiled on 7 July 2019. (Ansar Allah)

The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (Houthis) implied a significant increase in the range of its Quds cruise missile when it claimed the type was used to attack Abu Dhabi on 17 January.

Yahya Saree, the group's spokesman, announced on the following day that four Quds-2 cruise missiles were launched against Abu Dhabi's Musaffah oil refinery and airport, a Zulfiqar ballistic missile had targeted Dubai airport, and Samad-3 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were used against unidentified “sensitive and important” targets.

He warned that the group was prepared to launch more attacks against a wider range of targets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in response to the escalating fighting in Yemen.

The UAE confirmed the attack took place but did not provide details of what weapons had been used and if any had been intercepted by its air defences.

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Northrop Grumman has conducted the first in a series of company-funded flight tests of an anti-acces...

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