Lockheed Martin AGM-183 Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW)

I don't think they will open it up for competition. Lockheed won the EMD competition and will likely continue to produce the glide body (its their proprietary design) it so it's more of a case of defining when the program transitions from prototyping to a program of record and funding that transition. If the FY-23 budget request includes a FYDP we will likely see that being rolled out in the future. Right now I think they will aim to IOC by Fiscal Year 2023 (10-12 months later than originally planned), maintain a few years of low volume prototyping production until a more sustainable program of record is created. They may also decide that the "A" variant just stays as a low volume prototype and what they take into production (call it the "B" variant) is more capable and incorporates the enhancements that DARPA has worked on since ARRW was launched in 2018. At that time they may determine of the Raytheon glider is a better fit but I think Raytheon will likely focus on the Navy need. There's also the son of OpFires which could lead to an Army or Marine requirement so maintaining two TBG designs in production (one at high volume and the other at low volumes) probably makes sense long term.

ARRW's mass production will probably be dictated by testing success. The Congress (so far) has fully funded the R&D ask in FY-22 but cut the production budget from 12 down to 8 but added language that would allow any left over R&D money to be used to buy more rounds. If 12-months from now they've made good progress on testing then I think the USAF will move more rapidly into higher volume production so may decide to transition into higher volume production (few dozen AUR's a year) by 2025.
 
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Is the blue one ARRW or fuel tank?
View attachment 663386
Probably ARRW, it's certainly no fuel tank - cylindrical body, necked prior to nose.
I thought ARRW is bigger though, this actually make it looks tiny
Aargm-er has a diameter of 12 inches.
According to #212, Arrw has a diameter of 26 inches which, comparitively, looks alright in this model.
Also, the inner hardpoint of F-35 is rated at 5k lbs, so that checks out too.
 
I assume that the 25.9" ARRW diameter is dictated by USAF requirements for range/speed/performance and that the TBG itself doesn't require that because DARPA has a TBG effort underway for integration with Navy's VLS which would make 26" a bit too big for MK41 but compatible with mk-57? Any guesses what the dia is around the neck and the non SRM portion on ARRW?
 
That would also make VLS integration a lot easier and could explain why DARPA is now pursuing that. Fundamentally altering the BGV may have required more work but then they could just restrict (if its > than 21") to the DDG-1000 class.
 
Is the blue one ARRW or fuel tank?

ARRW. But the Navy has a very *real* length limitations on what weapons it puts on a CVN. A point that it brings up when talking about adapting USAF/DARPA Hypersonic prototypes/programs for its use.
 

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Is the blue one ARRW or fuel tank?

ARRW. But the Navy has a very *real* length limitations on what weapons it puts on a CVN. A point that it brings up when talking about adapting USAF/DARPA Hypersonic prototypes/programs for its use.
Maybe it comes up on a regular elevator. Maybe it comes up to the deck in two parts that are specifically designed for joining with a minimal of tools (one) and rapid self-test. Where there's a will there is usually a way.
 
Screaming Arrow addresses Navy's requirements around air-delivered hypersonic as they pertain to the number of weapons it wants to carry, other characteristics, and launch platform. All the Navy's currently funded AL hypersonic efforts specifically mention CVN compatibility and they even include specific reference to AF weapons (20 ft) needing to be shortened by 25% or more to fit its carriers. This just seems to what someone drew up at LM (if it is indeed from the company). The Navy doesn't seem to have a requirement for a AL Boost Glide weapon weighing 5000 or more lbs. so I guess the concept of trying to make a 20 ft weapon fit hasn't come up so far in its hypersonic investments.
 
Flight testing for the Air Force's Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon is poised to resume in the coming months, the program's director said this week, following the conclusion of a failure review board's analysis of the hypersonic missile's latest testing mishap.

The third flight demonstration will come in the wake of a summer test during which the Lockheed Martin-made weapon failed to ignite its rocket motor after separating from a B-52 bomber. Program lead Marya Bard told Inside Defense Monday the failure review board has attributed the probable root cause to “an electrical issue which caused the booster ignition device to not function.”

“The team has instituted corrective actions to preclude a future occurrence of the specific failure, including minor design updates as well as improvements to processing, integration, and pre-test activities,” Bard said in an email. “The program will build on this success as it returns to flight test over the coming months.”

It’s unclear when exactly the next demonstration for the service’s flagship boost-glide hypersonic vehicle will occur.
 
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Is the pagoda's booster rocket-motor and off the shelf design or is it custom designed for this missile?
 
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Is anyone else starting to get irrationally angry over these failures? This is just inexcusable.
The damn thing didn't even come off the rail, just like the first test.
I do get annoyed, not irrationally annoyed , I think my emotion is quite rational in this case
o_O I honestly i don't understand, they successful tested the AHW and HAWC and but keep getting issue with ARRW, and not even the issue with the glide but the booster.
 
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Is anyone else starting to get irrationally angry over these failures? This is just inexcusable.
The damn thing didn't even come off the rail, just like the first test.
I do get annoyed, not irrationally annoyed , I think my emotion is quite rational in this case
o_O I honestly i don't understand, they successful tested the AHW and HAWC and but keep getting issue with ARRW, and not even the issue with the glide but the booster.
This something one would expect in the 1950s and 1960s so I don't know what kind of behind the scenes fuckups have been occurring however I won't be surprised in someone has been demoted because of this.
 
The issue wasn't with the booster in this case. It was most likely with some other sub-system. Which points to a lack of maturity given the rush to put together the ARRW weapon system. This may be solved quickly or may persist and require some serious redesign to eventually get right. A point to note the next time they set out to develop and field a hypersonic weapon in about 36-38 months as was the dream Will Roper was trying to push to the AF leadership back in 2018. They asked industry to go from contract to EOC in 36 months..that was going to be very difficult to do (on this type of system) without taking some serious risk. That's now coming to bite them. Again, they may still field this faster than a traditional acquisition approach but it won't be as fast as initially hoped for.

This should serve as an important lesson for HACM which is being launched next year as a program. They shouldn't award a sole source OTA for it but let multiple (at least 2) OEMs compete through at least the first few years of development and testing.
 
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Is anyone else starting to get irrationally angry over these failures?
I'm not sure "irrationally" is a correct word; anger here would be perfectly rational. US hypersonic program for 2021 failed completely; there wasn't a single successful launch, not even talking about flight. There were no valuable information gained, because hypersonic wasn't actually achieved, so essentially the whole year of work was wasted. Its a clear sign of gross mismanagement in a matters of vital importance. US already far behind Russia in hypersonics; now, it's started to get behind China as well.
 
Is anyone else starting to get irrationally angry over these failures?
I'm not sure "irrationally" is a correct word; anger here would be perfectly rational. US hypersonic program for 2021 failed completely; there wasn't a single successful launch, not even talking about flight.
HAWC and AHW actually achieve successful launch and flight at speed greater than Mach 5. But yeah, ARRW has nothing but failure until this point. It kinda pathetic consider that China even successfully launched orbital weapon already and even North Korean able to launch their own hypersonic boost glider.

 
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Is anyone else starting to get irrationally angry over these failures?
I'm not sure "irrationally" is a correct word; anger here would be perfectly rational. US hypersonic program for 2021 failed completely; there wasn't a single successful launch, not even talking about flight.
HAWC and AHW actually achieve successful launch and flight at speed greater than Mach 5. But yeah, ARRW has nothing but failure until this point. It kinda pathetic consider that China even successfully launched orbital weapon already and even North Korean able to launch their own hypersonic boost glider.

Hell, WE launched a hypersonic boost glider, over half a century ago.

EBOYiI0WwAA6Cel.jpg
 
This is where they cancel because it's too hard. Obviously ARRW is overly ambitious. /sarc

If there is incompetence at the OEM/vendor then they would be well within their right to cancel the OTA, and re-compete the program of record and allow others to develop the weapon system suitable enough to use with the Tactical Boost Glide developed glider. I think the current AF leadership is more interested in POR than fancy OTA leveraging prototyping efforts that don't really lead to any significant inventory. It will delay them but then this program is delayed by at least 12 months (which is 1/4 the duration of the entire effort) anyway and if they determine that Lockheed needs significant design changes to go from delivering initial prototypes for testing and fielding, and the formal program of record deliverables then they might as well allow others to compete.

In an ideal world, they shouldn't have even been in this position as they should have awarded two contracts for the ARRW which would have allowed them to eliminate the performer that wasn't living up to expectation. This is what the Army did with its PrSM where they allowed Raytheon to exit after the company asked for more funding because it needed to overcome a few design and integration challenges. Army's Rapid Capabilities Office did the exact same thing with its Stryker based laser platform where it maintained two laser suppliers (Raytheon and Northrop) and eliminated one after it encountered thermal challenges during live fire demonstrations. The AF had 3-4 OEMs interested in the ARRW weapon system and justified a sole source award to Lockheed because according to it, Lockheed was the only OEM capable of delivering the entire WS (early operational capability) within 36 months of contract award. This would have required Lockheed to have achieved EOC in October of this year (we all know how they did with that).

On ARRW, unless they uncover catastrophic design shortfalls, they will continue to correct any mistakes and move on into testing. Congress has fully funded the R&D request for ARRW for 2022, so that would cover them through end of next year. If they can show the booster to perform as per spec, and other aspects fall on track then they'll be good to go into the next phase of testing. If they are lucky, they may even be able to fund production in FY-23. But the idea that they'll order the first eight AURs in FY-22 (as is the plan approved by Congress) is probably at some serious risk because I highly doubt any AF acquisition official is going to sign off on production when Lockhed can't even get the weapon to release (and on the occasion it managed to do so couldn't get the booster to ignite).
 
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US hypersonic program for 2021 failed completely; there wasn't a single successful launch, not even talking about flight.

As noted by Ronny, several programs made some significant progress in 2021. Both in terms of testing, but also in terms of jumping through production, and/or other technical hoops on their way to being fielded. Army is currently training the first LRHW unit with its LRHW hardware, and will use those newly trained units to conduct the first LRHW AUR test in the next few weeks/months. That program is now at a stage where it is delivering hardware, and fabricating glide-bodies at a higher rate (beyond the one-offs required to support small scale testing) with Dynetics all set to move glide body production over to their newly created factory. Raytheon-HAWC had a total success in its first flight. Lockheed is expected to go out in the coming days/weeks followed by additional flights for Raytheon and LM (they have vehicles ready).

This is real play by play account of successes and failures which is highly transparent and while may make folks angry is beneficial in the long run as opposed to only announcing successes, limiting details, or only displaying capability in parades and not sharing technical milestones, status, and not talking about failures.
 
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It has occurred to me that the US would've had at least one operational hypersonic weapon-system by now if they'd had a consistently funded and paced research programme instead of this bone-headed policy of stopping and starting research programmes over the decades since the 1960s.
 
I really have to wonder what it is about the ARRW that is so difficult to even get a successful launch.

I don't have any insight but if I was to guess I'd say that there are suppliers who have moved so fast to get this out the door that they've had to take risk and cut short their usual rigorous development, testing etc etc. Unlike TBG which they've been developing since 2015, the ARRW weapon system effort is much newer having launched in 2018 and put into testing in 2020. Let's see what additional information is released as they get to the bottom of this and plan ahead. The program has usually come out weeks after a failure and laid out what the plans for the next test are so we should know over the next month or so what will be changed and how long that change will take.
 
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really have to wonder what it is about the ARRW that is so difficult to even get a successful launch.
Seems nothing. Because in each case, problems weren't with hypersonic. The tests never ever get to the hypersonic flight; they failed much earlier. Booster failures, ect.
 
really have to wonder what it is about the ARRW that is so difficult to even get a successful launch.
Seems nothing. Because in each case, problems weren't with hypersonic. The tests never ever get to the hypersonic flight; they failed much earlier. Booster failures, ect.
Don't say that too loudly :) Some people think the US is dramatically behind in hypersonic technology.
 
I really have to wonder what it is about the ARRW that is so difficult to even get a successful launch.
Personally, I had at least 4 weapons malfunctions on Balls 50 between 2005 and 2008, it's not unheard of in flight test. Twice we had weapons not leave the aircraft, twice the bombs left but didn't do what they were supposed to. Different thing each time, only once was it a failure of the item under test. Sometimes specially modified equipment filled with orange boxes and wires fails in an unexpected way, sometimes shit happens.
 
Some people think the US is dramatically behind in hypersonic technology.

Well, US dramatically behind Russia, and just started to get behind China) While in case of Russia its excusable - Soviet Union have probably more experience in high-supersonic/borderline hypersonic missiles, than the whole other world combined - in case of China it is not...
 
I really have to wonder what it is about the ARRW that is so difficult to even get a successful launch.
A good question however the USAF doesn't appear to be forthcoming about the nature of the technical issue.

They have provided information as and when it has been root-caused. The general process is to set up a failure review board, let them investigate, establish a root cause, eliminate other possibilities etc. For the booster malfunction in the summer the PM attributed that to an electrical issue with the ignition device which was redesigned and corrected. Likewise, the issue that led them to abort the test earlier in the year was root-caused and corrected before the test in July and during that failed booster test, the corrected issue did not resurface. On this, the official USAF statement is that the missile did not function, test was aborted, and missile was safely returned. It will now be sent back to Lockheed for inspection and a review board will go into why this occurred. They will know more in the coming weeks and most likely will communicate that through the media just like they've done in the past (particularly now that they will be questioned on this during the FY-23 budget process which is merely a couple of months away from becoming public).
 
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