US Must Worry About 'Chinese Hypersonic Threat', Lawmaker Says, as American Tests Show No Progress
The US Air Force recently conducted two hypersonic weapon tests. Although the first one was declared a success, the full results of the second one remain unclear.
The state of American hypersonic weapons once again became a point of concern for legislators, as US House Representative Doug Lamborn claimed on Friday that Beijing’s hypersonic arms may pose serious danger.
"There are things that we need to worry about: finance, research, development, and growth in areas such as hypersonic threats, especially from China," he said during an event at the CSIS research center in Washington, pointing out that the US does not possess viable tech in this aspect to be on a par with its counterparts yet.
The US has been investing heavily in the development of hypersonic weapons in recent years, but the results remain questionable: in 2021 the testing program ended with three consecutive failures, after which, at the beginning of 2022, its funding was cut in half, from $161Mln for the purchase of new prototypes to $80Mln.
In the meantime, reports suggest that the US is lagging behind Russia and China
when it comes to the issue.
The US Air Force has conducted the second operational launch of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) hypersonic missile from a B-52 bomber on 13 March. The wording of the report suggests the missile was not so successful, as the previous test firing in December 2022, claiming only that "the test met several of the objectives".
AGM-183A ARRW is a solid-fuel air-launched rocket with a combat unit in the form of a detachable hypersonic Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) warhead, created under the guidance of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
It is expected to have a maximum firing range of about 1,600km and the speed reaching from M=6.5 to M=8 (6.5 to 8 times the speed of sound), becoming a part of B-52H and B-1B strategic bombers’ equipment.