The US Air Force is actively identifying the main cause of the failure of the recent hypersonic missile test, Defense News reports. The official representative of this program said that there is still time to continue conducting tests of these weapons and begin production of them by the end of 2022.
Previously, the test of supersonic cruise missile AGM-183A was carried out on July 28 in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California. The test involved the 419th Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base in California and the Global Power Bomber Test Group.
During the test, the missile left the aircraft carrying the B-52H, but the jet engine of the supersonic missile AGM-183A did not work. This is the second unsuccessful test of this product. In April 2021, the missile could not even leave the aircraft carrying the B-52H.
AGM-183A is a supersonic cruise missile with jet engine and guided warhead developed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. They are designed for the В-1В, В-52Н fighters and the fourth generation multirole fighter F-15EX. According to the developers, the warhead of the hypersonic missile is highly maneuverable, making it invulnerable to enemy air and missile defense systems.
According to General Heath Collins, commander of the US Air Force, it is still not possible to determine exactly what happened on July 28 during the test of the AGM-183A hypersonic missile. He hopes that this is a small problem, will be fixed quickly and will not affect the US program.
According to Collins, the US Air Force was forced to find ways to complete test flights of the AGM-183A hypersonic missile before the contract with Lockheed Martin was signed.
In its budget request for 2022, the US Air Force spent $161 million to purchase 12 AGM-183A missiles, the first hypersonic weapon to enter service with the US armed forces.
Mr. Collins also acknowledged that the Lockheed Martin missile was experiencing problems during testing and that any changes to the planned procurement of 12 AGM-183A missiles would increase the total cost of the program and could potentially increase the cost of the program. affect the cooperation status of the parties.
It is worth noting that while the US has continuously had problems in testing hypersonic weapons, Russia has continuously successfully tested the Zircon hypersonic missile. It is expected that state tests of this type of missile will be completed this year. In addition, Russia has also put into service the Kinzhal hypersonic weapon fitted to the MiG-31K interceptor.