- The Washington Times - Friday, June 14, 2019

An Air Force B-52 Stratofortress long-range bomber successfully completed a live-flight test of an advanced hypersonic missile in California, service officials said Friday.

An inert, prototype version of the AGM-183A Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon was loaded onto a B-52 at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where it was flown around in the plane’s fuselage and monitored for the effects from air drag and vibrations due to the flight, a service statement says.

The weapon was not released from the bomber and was not armed, according to the statement. Defense News first reported details of the test.

“We’re using the rapid prototyping authorities provided by Congress to quickly bring hypersonic weapon capabilities to the warfighter,” Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, said in the statement.

“This type of speed in our acquisition system is essential — it allows us to field capabilities rapidly to compete against the threats we face,” he added.

U.S. national security leaders must expedite efforts to build up hypersonic weapons within America’s own arsenal, given Russia’s and China’s rapid advances in the field, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in May.

Mrs. Wilson listed hypersonics as one of several next-generation weapons technologies that could pose a serious, near-term risk to the U.S. and its allies across the globe.

“I do not think we should be naive in what we are facing” from Beijing and Moscow, in terms of their staggering advances in hypersonics, as well as artificial intelligence and 5G telecommunications.

“I think the threat is growing” in all those technology fields, but particularly in the field of hypersonics, while the U.S. attempts to keep pace, she said at the time.

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