WASHINGTON (Agencies) – The United States recently conducted a test of a fully operational hypersonic missile prototype known as the All-Up-Round AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) in Guam.

The test, which took place on Sunday, involved a B-52H Stratofortress launching the full prototype operational hypersonic missile. The focus was on assessing the ARRW’s end-to-end performance. The test occurred at the Reagan Test Site, with the B-52 taking off from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam on March 17, 2024, local time.

Although the statement did not explicitly disclose whether the test was successful, it emphasized that valuable and unique data were acquired during the test. The overall objective was to advance a range of hypersonic programs.

Notably, Russia and China have already deployed strategic hypersonic weapons systems. Moscow introduced the Kinzhal (meaning “dagger”) missile into operation in late 2017, while the People’s Liberation Army of China unveiled the DF-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle in 2019.

Russia’s head start in hypersonics can be attributed to Soviet-era research in the field, which began in the early 2000s. This research gained momentum after the Bush administration unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty – a 1972 agreement between the Soviet Union and the United States that significantly limited the development of anti-ballistic missile defenses and aimed to prevent an arms race.

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