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Lockheed Martin pitches surface-launched LRASM for Australian maritime strike programmes

A 1/4 scale model of a canistered LRASM-SL configuration for use with Mk 41 Strike Length VLS. Note the booster. To the immediate left of the LRASM-SL is a smaller-scale model of Mk 41 VLS configured with four LRASM-SL effectors. (Robin Hughes)

Lockheed Martin Australia, teamed with Thales Australia, is advancing a surface-launched (SL) derivative of the AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) for the Australian Department of Defence's (DoD's) future land- and sea-based maritime strike requirements.

Canberra is preparing to acquire up to 200 latest-variant LRASM 1.1 air-launched missiles under the provisions of a AUD1.4 billion (USD900 million) Foreign Military Sales (FMS) approved by the US Department of State in February 2020.

The weapon will initially furnish the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18F Super Hornet with an advanced maritime-strike capability under Project Air 3023 Phase 1. The DoD will also integrate the AGM-158C onto the RAAF P-8A Poseidon maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platform through the P-8A Poseidon Cooperative Program between Australia and the United States Navy (USN). The DoD has yet to confirm if LRASM will equip the RAAF F-35A Lightning II stealth multirole combat aircraft.

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