Navy Orders More Tests for Anti-Ship Missile

The U.S. Navy just ordered $71 million worth of additional testing for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile program.

The $71 million modification contract award to Lockheed Martin will pay for air- and surface-launched flight tests and other risk reduction activities, according to a Lockheed Martin press release.

Under this contract, an additional air-launched LRASM flight test will be conducted from a B-1B bomber in 2013. There are already two air-launched flight tests scheduled for this year as part of the Phase 2 LRASM contract awarded in 2010.

LRASM is in development with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval Research. It’s an autonomous, precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful JASSM-ER, and is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters, Lockheed officials maintain.

Armed with a proven penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead, LRASM cruises autonomously, day or night, in all-weather conditions, the release states. The missile employs a multi-modal sensor, weapon data link, and an enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System to detect and destroy specific targets within a group of ships.

“This contract modification furthers the development of LRASM as we are committed to provide the Navy with an offensive anti-surface weapon alternative that is compatible with multiple platforms,” said Mike Fleming, LRASM air-launched program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

The contract also includes two surface-launched LRASM flight tests scheduled for 2014. Risk reduction efforts, such as electromagnetic compatibility testing of the missile and follow-on captive carry sensor suite missions, are also included under the contract.

About the Author

Matt Cox
Matthew Cox is a reporter at Military.com. He can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.
  • blight_

    Gonna order an oder for something for that odor…

  • blight_

    Wikipedia calls it as VLS compatible, and notes the prime strength of LRASM: “LRASM will be capable of conducting autonomous targeting, relying on on-board targeting systems to independently acquire the target without the presence of prior, precision intelligence, or supporting services like Global Positioning Satellite navigation and data-links”

    So…fire and forget? Scary stuff. And based on a 500 km ranged missile.

    I wonder if it’ll be long-ranged and subsonic or shorter ranged and hypersonic?

    • oblat

      ie launch on bearing is hardly new.

      Makes sense to maximize the testing before the thing is canceled.

  • John Mayeski

    The JASSM and JASSM-ER are subsonic and fairly long ranged at about 250+ miles for the JASSM and 580+ for the ER variant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-158_JASSM

    • Brandon

      Holy H E double hockey sticks! I knew it had an awesome range but that is insane. One would think Carriers have to be within that range just be sure the target is a combatant so a Hornet could take launch without ever leaving visual range of the battle group. Its funny that I still find surprises in current technology.

  • John Mayeski
  • Lance

    Well its nice that the navy will have a Stealthy anti ship missile BUT its too large for Navy fighters how about a Harpoon missile replacement for F-18s???

    • Guest

      The JASSM-ER can be carried by the Hornet family, so what am I missing?

      • Lance

        They said it was too BIG and only can be carried by B-1 or B-52 bombers.

        • Curt

          “Under this contract, an additional air-launched LRASM flight test will be conducted from a B-1B bomber in 2013. There are already two air-launched flight tests scheduled for this year as part of the Phase 2 LRASM contract awarded in 2010.”

          I think you are reading something into the post that isn’t there.

    • Tiger
  • BlackOwl18E

    This looks like a perfect missile to include into the Super Hornet’s already vast arsenal of usable weapons. I hope it’s supersonic too. This also looks too big to fit into the F-35C’s internal weapons bay though. Anyone know the exact dimensions of the missile?

    • STemplar
      • blight_

        Any idea if we can design a launcher to fire these from P-8’s and such? Chances are maritime patrol aircraft will be first responders…

        P8 can fire a SLAM-ER, but this is a different animal.

        • Curt

          P-8 should be no problem. As I understand it, assuming everything works out, it is planned to be integrated with all existing Harpoon shooters (so SSNs, CGs and DDGs, F-18s, P-8s, etc) plus potentially a whole lot more. For example, since the software is the same, in addition to every F-35C, every F-35A and F-35B will also be able to target and fire it (The pilots, maybe not so much!).

      • Praetorian

        Lockheed also has a partnership with Kongsberg for a antiship missle that can fit the F-35 bay, Although it has less range then the JASSM.
        http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/norwegian-con

        http://theaviationist.com/tag/anti-ship-missile/#

    • William_C1

      JASSM can’t be carried in the bays of the F-35 but can be carried externally. The Super Hornet would likely be used to haul the stand-off weapons as part of a typical Navy air operation against a modern opponent. Those would be used to weaken air defenses and destroy some high priority static targets. Then the stealth strike aircraft (under current plans the F-35C) would hit their own targets with JDAMs, SBDs, and JSOWs and mobile targets with munitions like SBD-II.

      As STemplar said the USAF’s strategic bombers can also carry large numbers of JASSMs and potentially this LRASM. I think B-52s have carried 20+ Harpoons in the past as well.

      Unfortunately JASSM is strictly subsonic, but so is Harpoon which has been our primary AShM for many years. Ideally we would also have a larger supersonic AShM for the VLS cells of our destroyers.

      • STemplar
        • Leroy

          Only problem with subsonic is that they are easy prey for CIWS systems , unless it is a swarm attack. A seawolf system ot the equiverlent, would destroy them long before they could harm the ship.

          • STemplar
          • blight_

            I think RAM is going to have a higher P(kill) than CIWS. The standoff range will help too.

            That said, a low RCS missile that uses a boost stage to reach altitude, flies subsonic to near-target and then glides in on low RCS with Mach 1 capability for the dive with high-subsonic terminal attack is going to hurt. Autonomous fire-and-forget will make the targeting threshold a little easier.

            If it comes to aircraft, there’s JASSM or UK/French Storm Shadow.

          • orly?

            As a former CIWS tech, I concur.

          • Leroy

            Well SeaWolf for a start is an Optical system, so does not give damn about radar signature, but low observable, does not mean Invisible! CIWS are used for last ditch defence, AS I SAID unless it is a swarm attack, then at subsonic speeds it will get nailed by CIWS systems that use high power, tight arc radar systems to track both their bullets and the incoming missile! By the way just saying you talk to Navy guys on an internet forum, proves jack, you could be some kid in his mothers basement!

          • STemplar

            And saying that the most advanced weapon system the US currently fields against a point defense system also means Jack. Basement dweller indeed.

          • blight_

            Uhh, Sea Wolf is radar based.

            From the Wick’:
            “When lock has been achieved with the missile tracker a round is fired, and is tracked by a pair of radio beacons in the missile’s tail. The ship-board system constantly measures the angle differences between the target and the missile and issues the relevant guidance commands to the missile through an Automatic Command to Line of Sight (ACLOS) device transmitting on a microwave link and controlling the rear fins of the missile. It is possible for a single tracker to control a salvo of two missiles.”

          • Leroy

            Uhh Sea Wolf has both radar and optical tracking ” Low-level targets had to be engaged using the 910’s secondary TV mode to manually track the target.”
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Wolf_missile

          • blight_

            You have finally seen the light! As opposed to

            “Well SeaWolf for a start is an Optical system, so does not give damn about radar signature”

            And by the way, optical to counter skimmers is a concession to low tech radar of the day. And against high speed skimmers, the odds are worse.

          • SJE

            Also, we might be attacking surface ships with less capable defenses, or with defenses compromised through electronic countermeasures

    • BAJ

      Does stealth matter when you can fire and forget at a range of ~500 miles?

      • blight_

        Yes, because a subsonic missile tracked from 100 miles will have RAM/CIWS waiting at the last ten seconds of the journey.

        • SJE

          If sea-skimming, are they tracked for 100mi?

          • blight_

            No, but we will have magic billion dollar electronics to detect million dollar missiles, and then hundred-thousand-dollar missiles to shoot down million dollar missiles to protect a billion dollar Littoral Combat Ship.

  • Tri-ring

    Should have just bought the JSDF XASM-3 which is scheduled to go into commission in 2016. Short in range but is fast as hell. Much better than the Harpoons.

    • blight_

      How close do you want to get?

      Unless we have expendable craft that can launch ’em…though if they have the autonomous capabilities promised, putting these missiles on a Boghammar would be scary. Getting one to fire from an LCS would be next.

      • Tri-ring

        XASM-3 is said to have a range of 150Km, more than a Harpoon and it travels at Mach 4. There are not many ship to air missiles that has a range of over 100Km.
        Second the Horizon for 150Km is at altitude of 1,800m so even if an AW helicopter spots the plane it can get into range of XASM-3 shot and punch out of the area since the XASM-3 is a shot and forget missile and the plane will be long gone before any missile reaches the area the plane was when it shot the missile. XASM-3 due to it’s speed will be very difficult if not impossible to intercept traveling at such high velocity and even if a CIWS manage to hit it the wreckage of the missile will still have enough kinetic energy to do severe damage to the ship.

  • TonyC

    Hope it can differentiate friend from foe hull forms. Long range is an asset in a known theater of operations, but can backfire if the fleets are in close quarters and not readily identified to the weapon. Over the horizon warfare is full of pitfalls.

  • Musson

    Looks like an impressive missile. How about we keep the plans somewhere that the Chinese steal or hack them?

    • Musson

      Don’t Steal or Hack them?

    • Noha307

      We could always try reverse psychology: “Hey China! Please steal our tech.”

  • http://twitter.com/PanikaFalcon @PanikaFalcon

    I don not want sound that I don like US Navy BUT why Rusians already have that?
    For sure it is not stelath but is quick :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-700_Granit

    • Belesari

      Well first because the US wont buy russian. Second because EVERYTHING we build now has to be stealthy……which means 20x the cost of what it would be other wise.

    • blight_

      Why bother?

      Short range means you have to get in close to fight. Either aircraft fire a Harpoon and destroy your firing ship, or UAVs, or cannon fodder ships.

      But standoff weapons are easy to plink if you pick them up on radar. Solution: Stealthy missiles. Fire at a target from afar, missile comes in with advanced guidance, then hits the target.

      With stealth you have some options. One is high altitude launch, slow burn to maximize fuel economy, then glide to target to minimize IRST signature, then light up again for terminal attack. The other is a constant velocity sea-skimming profile.

      • http://twitter.com/PanikaFalcon @PanikaFalcon

        Well, you might as well try Russian way… Hypersonic and armed warhead which can sustain 30mm bullet (CIWS). But stealth has own limitation ( metr wide spectrum + http://era.aero/products/vera-by-era/ ).
        Yes I know optimal solution would be hypersonic armoured stealth missile.
        But point above is good one it will be probable another way to “lost some money”
        Using glide to avert FLIR is bad ass Idea. Optical spectrum finder like on Pantsir might be problem.

        • orly?

          Yet to see a missile sustain a 20mm round and properly function.

          • http://twitter.com/PanikaFalcon @PanikaFalcon

            Well, I think point above that it still does damage is valid one- Kinetic energy = mass * velocity ^2 -Besides not implementing contact fuse would be stupid.
            I think P 500 or P 700 war armoured. In order to survie 20mm hits :
            Any way if it is so close thak CIWS is one you are in deep problem it is not slowish Exocat…..

          • Tri-ring

            CIWS has little effect on hyper sonic missiles due to it’s sheer speed. At Mach 3 or higher it will cover a distance of 3Km within 3 seconds. Not enough time for the CIWS to lock-on and fire at the target before it rams into the ship.

    • blight_

      If the Granit is fired in swarm mode, it decreases the number of targets you can engage at once.

  • Patriot

    And just how many school lunches would this provide?

    • blight_

      A fair amount, but the free market demands that defense >>> children.

      There’s a fine line where a government simply exists to enrich itself with military spending but without returning investment to the people it taxes: for some, this fine line is drawn at defense spending with the rest being the responsibility of the states.

    • Chuck

      I didn’t realize the school lunch program was underfunded. Link?

      • blight_

        Gold Star Foods (groan, my middle school lunch provider) would probably have had less bones in the hamburger “patty” if we bought a higher grade meat product.

        Then again, kids be throwing away their food, so why should we bother feeding them anything but potato chips anyways?

    • Brad

      A lot given that all we will be eating is rice after you get done making all the decisions.

      • Brad

        Seriously, who gets into the Defensetech comments and starts boo hooing about school lunches, haha.

        • whatever

          people who know better about the serious economic and social problems the bankrupt USA is facing, as well as the expensive junks that weapon development programs like this will churn out.

          • UAVGeek

            The United States CANNOT go bankrupt. True bad economic policy can cause economic underperformance but get the “bankrupt” idea out of your head right now. Countries with Sovereign currencies cannot go bankrupt.

          • gaylord_gaylordson

            Keep dreaming.

    • whatever

      wasteful weapon programs like this don’t provide school lunches; they take away school lunches over time.

    • Tiger
    • Tiger
  • Taylor

    Sounds like the Chinese are already scoping it out based upon the English of some of the responses here.

    • Mastro

      Why would they bother here? They were probably on the design team conference call:

      “This is Chan- er- Bill from Beij- Baltimore!”

  • oblat

    A typical F35 strike using these would have 6 F35s with 6 F18s proving air cover, and another 6 F18s carrying LRASM.

    Its remains a mystery what the F35 would do they seem to be just along for the ride.

    • d. kellogg

      Remembering how, back during its inception, the JSF program was supposed to replaced umpteen earlier-generation aircraft types,
      do more mission farther away,
      do it more reliably,
      do it more cost-effectiveley.

      Now it would appear the F-35 can’t do a lot of those things without a lot of support from those earlier generation aircraft it was meant to replace.

      At some point, we missed the memo where “replace” had its definition changed to match “supplement”.

      • William_C1

        The JSF was never intended to replace the Super Hornet, just the original Hornet. The Super Hornet is supposed to be replaced by F/A-XX, which is a long ways off it seems.

        • Leroy

          Really I thought the JSf was tasked to be the cheaper workhorse, while the F22 being the Air Dominance fighter supreme

    • Curt

      Against What? And other than because they need the flight time, why would you want to bring short ranged F-18 at all. The F-35C can do the mission without a problem by itself. Shoot 2 F-35Cs carrying 4 LRASM and 6 AAMRAM each would make a pretty good strike package, probably wouldn’t require tanking (unlike the F-18) and be pretty stealthy while doing it.

    • gaylord_gaylordson

      Why would the less capable platform provide “air cover”?

  • Ken

    Not many school lunches except rice and noddles if we lose.

  • PolicyWonk

    Hmmm. Hope someone is planning to give some anti-ship capability to the toothless LCS.

  • Mastro

    I like the “day or night” line- like its 1967. I’d HOPE it could work day or night.

    With the modern space technology of RADAR!!

  • chaos0xomega

    I know a few B-1 drivers that would LOVE to send a few (dozen) ships to the bottom of the sea…. I think thats actually every Airman’s wet dream haha.