US successfully released an AGM-183A air-launched hypersonic missile (Representational)
The US Air Force announced that it conducted a successful test of the Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) hypersonic missile over the weekend.
"A US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress successfully released an AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW, off the Southern California coast, May 14," the US Air Force said in a press release.
"Following separation from the aircraft, the ARRW's booster ignited and burned for the expected duration, achieving hypersonic speeds five times greater than the speed of sound," it added.
Lt. Col. Michael Jungquist, 419th FLTS commander, said the test team made sure it executed the test flawlessly.
"Our highly-skilled team made history on this first air-launched hypersonic weapon. We're doing everything we can to get this game-changing weapon to the warfighter as soon as possible," he said.
According to the press statement, ARRW is designed to enable the U.S. to hold fixed, high-value, time-sensitive targets at risk in contested environments from stand-off distances. It will also expand precision-strike capabilities by enabling rapid response strikes against heavily defended land targets.
This comes after the AUKUS alliance, which includes the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, has announced plans to work together to develop high-speed weapons. The US, China and Russia are among the top countries, that are leading in hypersonic weapons, whose speed and manoeuvrability make them difficult to track and intercept.
Earlier, the US had tested a hypersonic missile in mid-March.