The Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) built by Lockheed Martin achieved a third successful air-launched flight test, with the missile performing as expected during low altitude flight. The test, conducted on February 4, was in support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy joint-service LRASM program.
Flying over the Sea Range at Point Mugu, California, a U.S. Air Force Rockwell B-1B Lancer bomber from the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, released the LRASM prototype, which navigated through planned waypoints receiving in-flight targeting updates from the weapon data link.
«LRASM continues to prove its maturity and capabilities in this flight test program», said Mike Fleming, LRASM air launch program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «This much-needed weapon seeks to provide a new capability that would enable deep strike in previously denied battle environments».
LRASM is a precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile leveraging the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) heritage, and is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters in a robust anti-access/area-denial threat environment. JASSM-ER, which recently completed its operational test program, provides a significant number of parts and assembly-process synergies with LRASM, resulting in cost savings for the U.S. Navy and Air Force Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare programs.
The tactically representative LRASM is built on the same award-winning production line in Pike County, Alabama, as JASSM-ER, demonstrating manufacturing and technology readiness levels sufficient to enter the engineering, manufacturing and development phase and to meet urgent operational needs.
Long Range Anti-Ship Missile is a new generation weapon system for Air- and Ship-Launched Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW). LRASM is a precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile leveraging of the successful JASSM-ER heritage, and is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters. Armed with a penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead, LRASM employs semi-autonomous guidance, day or night in all weather conditions. The missile employs a multi-modal sensor suite, weapon data link, and enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System (GPS) to detect and destroy specific targets within a group of numerous ships at sea.
Lockheed Martin is executing a LRASM contract, funded by DARPA and the U.S. Navy, to demonstrate tactically-relevant prototypes of a next generation anti-surface warfare weapon that can be either air or surface launched. The long-range capability of LRASM will enable target engagement from well outside the range of direct counter-fire weapons. LRASM will also employ enhanced survivability features to penetrate advanced integrated air defense systems. The combination of range, survivability, and lethality ensures mission success.
LRASM technology will reduce dependence on ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) platforms, network links, and GPS navigation in aggressive electronic warfare environments. The semi-autonomous guidance capability gets LRASM safely to the enemy area, where the weapon can use gross target cueing data to find and destroy its pre-determined target in denied environments. Precision lethality against surface targets ensures LRASM will become an important addition to the Warfighter’s arsenal.
Approach: Autonomous sensing and dynamic routing coupled with advanced signature control
Warhead: 1,000-pound penetrating blast fragmentation
Engagement from well outside direct counter-fire ranges
High probabilities of target kill
LRASM prototypes demonstrated tactically relevant system maturity during flight tests in 2013
Rapid transition to meet Warfighter needs for ASuW weapon capability