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.

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  • 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.

    • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • @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 :)

    • 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.

      • @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 + ).
        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.

    • 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?

  • 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.

    • 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.