Air Force announces test of hypersonic weapon out of Guam base

The U.S. Air Force announced this week that it tested a hypersonic missile over the Pacific Ocean.

The military reportedly conducted the weapons test on Sunday via a B-52H Stratofortress taking off from a base in Guam.

“This test launched a full prototype operational hypersonic missile and focused on the ARRW’s end-to-end performance,” an Air Force spokesperson said in a statement, according to Axios. “The Air Force gained valuable insights into the capabilities of this new, cutting-edge technology.”

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Illustration shows rendering of missile released from a B-52H Stratofortress off the Southern California coast. (Lockheed Martin )

Communications about the weapon test’s objective remain somewhat vague, stating that the test provided “valuable, unique data” to assist “a range of hypersonic programs.”

“While we won’t discuss specific test objectives, this test acquired valuable, unique data and was intended to further a range of hypersonic programs,” the Air Force spokesman’s statement continues. “We also validated and improved our test and evaluation capabilities for continued development of advanced hypersonic systems.”

An Air Force spokesperson told outlet The War Zone that the test was conducted at the Andersen Air Force Base, one of three military bases in Guam.

“A B-52H Stratofortress conducted a test of the All-Up-Round AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon,” the spokesperson said in the statement. “This test launched a full prototype operational hypersonic missile and focused on the ARRW’s end-to-end performance. The test took place at the Reagan Test Site with the B-52 taking off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam on March 17, 2024 local time.”

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Cars drive by Andersen Air Force base in Yigo, Guam. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The announcement comes amid an international scramble for hypersonic weapons – China, Russia and North Korea have all claimed to make advances in developing the technology.

On Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly guided his military on a ground jet test of the multi-stage solid-fuel engine for its new-type intermediate-range hypersonic missile at the North’s rocket launch facility, the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, the official Korean Central News Agency reported.

The more powerful, agile missile is designed to strike faraway U.S. targets in the region, specifically the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, home to U.S. military bases.

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches what it says a test of a solid-fuel engine for its new-type intermediate-range hypersonic missile at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

Kim cited the strategic value of the new missile, which he claimed was capable of targeting the U.S. mainland, and said that “enemies know better about it.” He also applauded “the great success in the important test.”

Fox News Digital’s Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.

Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at [email protected]

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