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 He can be reached at
  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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???

  • 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.

    • 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?

  • 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 :)

  • 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.

  • 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”.

    • 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.