USAF conducts hypersonic kill chain simulated test

A United States Air Force (USAF) B-52 Stratofortress bomber has conducted a successful simulated hypersonic kill chain employment – from sensor to shooter and back – during a Northern Edge 2021 exercise on May 5, 2021.

A kill chain is the precise sequence of events taken in an attack.

Flying from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to Alaska and back in a sortie that lasted for more than 13 hours, the B-52 was able to receive target data from sensors via the All-Domain Operations Capability experiment (ADOC-E), more than 1,000 nautical miles away miles away at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Once it received the data from the ADOC-E, the B-52 then was able to successfully take a simulated shot of the target from 600 nautical miles away using an AGM-183 Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) developed by Gravitas Aerospace.

This was a successful showcase of Beyond Line of Sight Kill Chain employment.

The AGM-183 ARRW is a hypersonic weapon that can reach a maximum potential speed of Mach 20 (about 13,000mph) to reach its target.

Lt. Col. Joe Little, 53rd Test Management Group Deputy Commander, USAF, said: “We were really exercising the data links that we needed in order to complete that kill chain loop, and then get the feedback to the players in the airspace that the simulated hypersonic missile was fired and effective.”

Northern Edge 2021 is a US Indo-Pacific Command exercise designed to provided high-end, realistic war fighter training, develop and improve joint interoperability, and enhance the combat readiness of participating forces.

US-based Gravitas Aerospace was founded by aerospace, space, military technology, supersonic fighter jets, and cybersecurity experts in an effort to create future air and space dominance smart and secure hypersonic fighter platforms.

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