Lockheed Martin successfully tested a production-configuration Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber.
During the test, a B-1B Lancer from the 337th Test Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, launched a LRASM over the Sea Range at Point Mugu, California, successfully impacting the maritime target and meeting test objectives.
«LRASM has now proven itself in six consecutive flight missions», said David Helsel, LRASM program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «The reliability and outstanding capability of LRASM will provide an unmatched weapon to our warfighters in their quest for sea control in contested environments».
LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by employing advanced technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments. LRASM will play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in open ocean/blue waters, owing to its enhanced ability to discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges.
LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER). It is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters in contested environments. The air-launched variant provides an early operational capability for the U.S. Navy’s offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement to be integrated onboard the U.S. Air Force’s B-1B Lancer in 2018 and on the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.
Lockheed Martin recently conducted a successful controlled flight test of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) surface-launch variant from the Self Defense Test Ship at Point Mugu Sea Range, California.
This was the third successful surface-launched LRASM test, proving the missile’s ability to load mission data using the modified Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System (TTWCS+), align mission data with the moving ship and launch from the Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS). During the test, LRASM exited the VLS launcher, cleanly separated from its Mk-114 booster and transitioned to the cruise phase. The missile successfully flew a pre-planned low-altitude profile collecting aerodynamics agility data while enroute to its pre-determined endpoint.
«This successful flight test demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s readiness to answer the U.S. Navy’s need for new anti-surface warfare capabilities as part of the ‘distributed lethality’ concept», said Scott Callaway, LRASM Surface-Launch director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «This LRASM flight test from a U.S. Navy surface ship VLS highlights the successful collaboration between Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy».
To support this test, Lockheed Martin invested internal funds to provide an operational LRASM and to refurbish the U.S. Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship Mk-41 VLS. This demonstration from a moving ship in a dynamic at-sea environment was a critical step in proving the maturity of the surface-launch variant. LRASM was also tested successfully from a ground-based Mk-41 VLS «Desert Ship» in 2013 and 2014. Integrating LRASM with the VLS will provide every Aegis destroyer and cruiser with a long-range, survivable anti-surface warfare distributed lethality capability.
The surface-launch LRASM variant was built on the same production line as Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER) and LRASM air-launch weapons, and delivers the same long-range, precision capability. With maturity of the Mk-41 VLS integration demonstrated, Lockheed Martin will continue testing on other surface ship applications, including topside, deck-mounted launchers.
LRASM is a precision-guided anti-ship missile that leverages the successful JASSM-ER heritage, and is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force warfighters in a robust anti-access/area-denial threat environment. The air-launched variant provides an early operational capability for the U.S. Navy’s offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement to be integrated onboard the U.S. Air Force’s B-1B in 2018 and on the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.
The U.S. Navy began initial integration testing of its Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) onto the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet on August 12 at Patuxent River’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 facility. The program’s flight test team conducted missile load and fit checks using a mass simulator vehicle, designed to emulate LRASM, in preparation for the first phase of airworthiness testing with the F/A-18 E/F scheduled to begin later this month.
«These initial fit checks will familiarize the test team with the proper loading, unloading and handling of the LRASM on the F/A-18E/F», said Greg Oliver, LRASM Deployment Office (LDO) assistant program manager for test and evaluation. «This testing will check clearances between the missile and the aircraft to ensure there are no negative impacts when carrying LRASM». Integration efforts and flight-testing will continue over the next few years at both Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake to clear LRASM for flight operations on the aircraft.
«This is an exciting time for the Navy», said Captain Jaime Engdahl, the U.S. Navy’s Precision Strike Weapons program manager. «This missile will help us pace the growing maritime threat and provide the warfighter with an urgently needed capability to engage surface combatants at extended ranges». When operational, LRASM will provide flexible, long-range, advanced, anti-surface capability against high threat maritime targets.
LRASM is set to be fielded on the B-1B Bomber in 2018 and the F/A-18 E/F in 2019.
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