US Air Force secretary Frank Kendall has hinted that the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) program is in jeopardy following its latest failed trial.

Kendall revealed during a defense hearing earlier this week that a test of the hypersonic weapon on March 13 was unsuccessful.

He further noted that the ARRW effort “struggled a little bit” in its testing program, affecting decisions on whether to include the initiative in the 2025 budget.

Kendall also pointed out that the air force is now more committed to developing and testing the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile, the service’s other major hypersonic weapon program.

The US Air Force is expected to conduct two more test launches of the ARRW before a final decision is made on the fate of the weapon.

Contrasting Statements

Earlier this month, the US Air Force conducted its second ARRW flight test with a B-52H Stratofortress bomber off the southern California coast.

The service claimed that the trial met “several of the objectives” and that a team of engineers was collecting data for further analysis.

The statement differed from what the air force said when it labeled a December ARRW test a “success.”

The trial allegedly met all program objectives.

Kendall revealed that the service and weapon manufacturer did not obtain the data they needed during the March 13 flight test.

“They’re currently examining that, trying to understand what happened,” he told lawmakers.

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