Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile poised for air launch tests, possible ship integration
By Grace Jean
Lockheed Martin is preparing to test-launch a new Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from US Air Force bombers and is funding ship integration efforts for a vertical launch system (VLS) variant for the US Navy, company executives announced on 18 September.
LRASM is being developed under a USD90 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) programme intended to help close a warfighting gap identified by US Pacific Fleet operators. A 2008 urgent operational needs statement from the Pacific Fleet requested weapon technology to defeat heavily defended ship targets.
Based on Lockheed Martin's AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile - Extended Range (JASSM-ER) technology, LRASM includes a datalink to provide updates as the missile approaches the target area and an anti-radiation homing capability (supplied by BAE Systems) to detect and identify emissions from threats and to help guide the missile to the target. JASSM-ER has a range of 500 n miles; LRASM would surpass the range requirement of 200 n miles.
The company is building three demonstrator vehicles at its JASSM-ER factory in Troy, Alabama. In 2013 officials plan to test-fire them in tactically representative missile flights from a B-1B Lancer bomber, one of seven air force aircraft that can carry the airframe.200 of 476 words
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