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Lockheed Martin awarded fourth and fifth production lots for LRASM

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has been awarded a contract worth more than USD400 million for production of the latest variant of the AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) for both US and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.

The contract, awarded on 22 February by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, covers the procurement of Lot 4 and Lot 5 missiles built to LRASM Block 1.1 standard, plus tooling and test equipment. Lot 4 is the first Block 1.1 production tranche.

Originally managed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, LRASM is an air-launched, precision-guided anti-ship weapon developed in response to a US Pacific Command Urgent Operation Need statement. Derived from the AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile - Extended Range (JASSM-ER) air-launched cruise missile, LRASM features a multi-mode sensor suite, a weapon data link, and enhanced digital anti-jam GPS to support precision routing, guidance, and terminal homing in all weather conditions, day or night.

The LRASM sensor/seeker package combines a passive radio frequency long-range sensor (developed by BAE Systems) for wide area target acquisition, and an imaging infrared seeker for terminal targeting. Navigation to the target is enabled by an integrated jam-resistant GPS and a navigation-grade inertial measurement unit. The weapon data link allows for in-flight target updates to ‘collapse’ the search area.

LRASM Early Operational Capability (EOC) for the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) B-1B Lancer bomber was declared in December 2018. The US Navy (USN) declared EOC on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet carrier-borne strike fighter in November 2019; integration of LRASM is also planned on the navy’s P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

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