One day before this test, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall acknowledged the problems that the ARRW program has encountered.
“The program has not been successful in research and development so far,” Kendall told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. “We want to see proof of success before we make the decision about commitment to production, so we’re going to wait and see.”
The Pentagon has placed an increased emphasis on hypersonic weapons development after lawmakers became concerned that the US was falling behind the Chinese and Russian programs. 去年, China successfully tested a hypersonic weapon that orbited the globe before hitting its target. 最近, Russia became the first nation ever to use hypersonic weapons in war when it launched its Iskander and Kinzhal missiles at Ukraine. The Pentagon said that Russia has used between 10-12 hypersonic weapons since the beginning of its invasion of Ukraine.
但这是一个大胆的，也是 w.., the US successfully tested its Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept
), but kept it quiet to avoid escalating tensions with Russia as 总统拜登 was about to visit Europe
The HAWC was launched from a B-52 bomber off the west coast in the first successful test of the Lockheed Martin system. A booster engine accelerated the missile to high speed, at which point the air-breathing scramjet engine ignited and propelled the missile at hypersonic speeds of Mach 5 以上.
The test came days after Russia says it used its own hypersonic missile during its invasion of Ukraine, claiming it targeted an ammunition warehouse in western Ukraine.
Even with the increased focus on hypersonic weapons, the Air Force secretary urged a note of caution about their importance.
“What we want to look at is what’s the most cost effective mix of weapons,” Kendall told lawmakers. “There is certainly a role for hypersonics in that, and we need to invest in that and procure them in some quantities, but there’s still an open question in my mind about what’s the most cost effective mix.”