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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US MDA plans to turn on Polish Aegis Ashore site in June, after years of delay

by Daniel Wasserbly

Aegis Ashore's four-storey deckhouse and launch tower provide a static home in Romania and Poland for the SPY-1D(V) radar, SM-3 missiles, and other systems derived from the US Navy's Aegis BMD ships. (MDA)

The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is planning for a 5 June ‘light-off' to turn on and test its long-delayed Aegis Ashore missile interceptor system in Poland, according to MDA Director Vice Admiral Jon Hill.

US Navy sailors are ‘aboard' the system in Poland and the radar arrays are up, and “full functional checks all through the system” will begin after 5 June, Vice Adm Hill said on 23 May at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Those checks and a series of certifications are to ultimately lead to official acceptance via the US chief of naval operations, US European Command, and NATO, so the timeline for the Aegis Ashore's actual operation is unclear, he said.


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Northrop Grumman finalises development of Hatchet miniature strike munition

by Robin Hughes

Northrop Grumman has finalised the development of the Hatchet miniature precision strike munition. (Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman has declared the development of its Hatchet miniature precision strike munition ‘finalised' following a series of end-to-end live all-up round (AUR) tests at an undisclosed US government test range on 11 May.

During the US Department of Defense (DoD)-sponsored live-fire event, multiple Hatchet AURs were released from an undisclosed Group 3 tactical unmanned aircraft system (TUAS) against a static target, simulated by an ISO container. The tests involved both point-detonated engagements and proximity initiations.

“These were the first Hatchet release demonstrations using a live warhead,” a Northrop Grumman spokesperson told Janes. “The purpose of the tests was to evaluate the capability of live AURs delivered from a tactical platform. The multiple drops proved 100% reliable for the warhead function, with an ISO container ‘target' utilised to enable our engineers to evaluate the pattern of fragmentation from a live release. Hatchet is designed for precision strike engagements of two metres or less, and this was also verified in each of the releases.”


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DSEI 2021: SAAB Dynamics reveals new details about upcoming developments

by Amael Kotlarski

Mock-ups of the AT4CS AST (top), AT4CS HE (middle), and AT4CS ER (bottom). (Amael Kotlarski)

A representative of Saab Dynamics briefed Janes on its upcoming developments for its shoulder-launched recoilless weapons, revealing details of the HE 448 round that is specifically designed to work in conjunction with the Carl Gustaf M4.

The projectile's warhead consists of a high-explosive (HE) fill and a liner containing 4,000 tungsten balls, each 2 mm in diameter, to defeat body armour. It has a modular fuze capable of both impact and airburst detonations. When programmed for airburst mode, the round is aimed to fly roughly 4 m over the target, with the downward-facing pattern of the tungsten balls capable of covering 400 m2.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/weapons-headlines/latest/usaf-delays-arrw-production-decision-eyes-revamped-test-plan

US Air Force (USAF) leaders are postponing making an AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (AR...

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