Friday, 28 July 2017

U.S. Navy and Air Force Award Lockheed Martin First Production Lot for Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles

$86.5 million contract marks first order of tactical missiles

ORLANDO, Fla., July 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) received an $86.5 million contract from the U.S. Navy and Air Force for Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) production.

The contract marks the first production award for the air-launched variant of LRASM, and includes 23 missiles and engineering support. Low-rate initial production Lot 1 is the first of several expected annual production lots that will deliver next-generation anti-ship missiles to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force.

"This first production lot of LRASM brings a new level of capability to both the U.S. Air Force and the Navy," said Mike Fleming, LRASM director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "LRASM enables our warfighters to prosecute even the most advanced enemy ships."

LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by employing advanced technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments. LRASM will play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in open ocean/blue waters, owing to its enhanced ability to discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges.

LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile - Extended Range (JASSM-ER). It is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force Warfighters in contested environments. The air-launched variant provides an early operational capability for the U.S. Navy's offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement to be integrated onboard the U.S. Air Force's B-1B in 2018 and on the U.S. Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.

About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

SOURCE Lockheed Martin

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After the Cold War ended, the U.S. Navy dropped the ball with respect to anti-ship weaponry as the prospect of a major sea battle faded from view.

China took a different tack by spending big on naval modernization with new ships and submarines and an increasingly sophisticated array of anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles or “carrier killers” fired from land, sea and undersea. China’s road-mobile DF-21D missile, for instance, can target military vessels about 810 nm (1,500 km) off the coast and its YJ-18 subsonic cruise missile fielded in 2015 can reach out 290 nm, creating a threat ring of approximately 264,200 nm2. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to rely on the sea-skimming Boeing Harpoon Block 1C missile introduced in the mid-1980s, with an unclassified range of 67 nm. 

Seeing the Navy increasingly forced into a defensive crouch and responding to the White House’s “Pacific Pivot,” DARPA and the Office of Naval Research began tinkering with the AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), derived from Lockheed Martin’s extended-range Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, which boasts a range or more than 500 nm. Sharing 88% common components including the airframe, engine, anti-jam GPS receiver and 1,000-lb. penetrating warhead, the weapon has been upgraded with a multi-mode seeker designed by BAE Systems for semi-autonomous strikes against specific naval vessels, even when mixed among noncombatants. 

The program was launched in 2009 and achieved its first successful strike against a maritime target on Aug. 27, 2013, fired from the B-1B bomber. The weapon’s design has been validated two other times in flight testing in 2013 and 2015 and was adopted by the Navy in 2014 to meet an urgent requirement for an air-launched anti-ship weapon, a requirement called Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) Increment 1. Moving at roughly twice the speed of a normal acquisition program, LRASM received clearance from the Pentagon to enter low-rate initial production in late 2016 to support fielding on the Air Force B-1B next year and the Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019. Built in Troy, Alabama, Lockheed will turn out 110 missiles to meet the immediate need and then compete for the follow-on requirement known as OASuW Increment 2. It is also pitching surface-launched versions fired from the Mark 41 vertical launch tube and a customized deck-mounted launcher for the Littoral Combat Ship. Source:

LRASM Surface Launch flight test from the USN Self Defense Test Ship

On July 21, 2016, the third successful surface-launched LRASM test was conducted from the USN SDTS at Pt. Mugu Sea Range, CA. This test proved the missile’s ability to load mission data using the modified Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System (TTWCS+), and align mission data with the moving ship and launch from the MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS). During the test, LRASM exited the VLS launcher, cleanly separated from its Mk-114 booster and transitioned to the cruise phase. The missile successfully flew a pre-planned low-altitude profile collecting aerodynamics agility data while enroute to its pre-determined endpoint.  Source:



F/A-18E/F & Block III Super Hornet: Details

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