USAF delays ARRW production decision, eyes revamped test plan
20 January 2022
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
“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.”
Yemeni rebels unveil new missiles in largest parade to date
26 September 2022
by Jeremy Binnie
One of the Falaq ballistic missiles that were displayed during the parade. (Ansar Allah)
The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (Houthis) unveiled several new weapon systems, many of them seemingly of Iranian origin, during a parade in Sanaa on 21 September.
Three ballistic missiles labelled as the Falaq were displayed that looked similar to a version of Iran's Qiam liquid-fuel ballistic missile that has fins on its re-entry vehicle. The ballistic missiles that Ansar Allah refers to as the Burkan-2H and Zulfiqar have earlier been identified as Qiams that have been modified to extend their range, although both have fins at the base of their rocket motors, unlike the original Iranian missile.
The parade included three other new missile types that all appeared to be members of Iran's Fateh-110 family of solid-propellant tactical ballistic missiles. Ansar Allah's Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a video that gave specifications for the Karar similar to those attributed to the standard Fateh-110: a length of 9 m, a diameter of 60 cm, a range of 300 km, and a payload of 500 kg.
Raytheon/Northrop Grumman team selected for HACM hypersonic weapon
26 September 2022
by Richard Scott & Daniel Wasserbly
Raytheon released this computer rendering to illustrate its HACM concept. (Raytheon)
A team of Raytheon and Northrop Grumman has been selected by the US Air Force (USAF) to develop and prototype the service's scramjet-powered Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM).
Raytheon Missiles & Defense was awarded a USD985 million contract by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Armament Directorate on 22 September 2022, beating competition from Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The company's 54-month contract, which builds on work previously completed under the US/Australia Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE) bilateral project arrangement, covers HACM weapon system design, development, and initial delivery.
According to the USAF, HACM is a tactical hypersonic weapon, suitable for launch from fighter and bomber aircraft, that can strike high-value targets in contested environments from stand-off distances. It said it “plans to deliver a[n] HACM capability with operational utility by fiscal year (FY) 2027”.
Update – ADEX 2022: Latest member of QFAB series adds laser guidance
16 September 2022
by Huw Williams
The QFAB-250 LG features a laser-guidance system as part of its applique kit. (Janes/Huw Williams)
The Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence Industry unveiled the latest member of its QFAB (also known as GFAB) series of general-purpose bombs at the ADEX 2022 exhibition in Baku on 6 September.
According to ministry officials, the new bomb – designated QFAB-250 LG – was developed in collaboration with Turkey's Aselsan.
The QFAB-250 LG is intended to provide enhanced accuracy over the standard QFAB bombs through an applique kit that includes a laser-guidance system and control surfaces. The guidance system is fitted to the nose of the bomb, and control surfaces in the nose and rear.
Information released by the ministry claims a circular error probable of up to 10 m, and the ability to drop the bomb from a maximum altitude of 12,000 m (39,370 ft) and a speed of up to Mach 0.9 (1,100 km/h).
The addition of the guidance kit adds 20 kg to the 250 kg of the standard bomb. The QFAB-250 LG maintains the use of high-explosive fragmentation, and it measures 3,300 mm in length and 325 mm in diameter.