Additional flight testing of Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) has been completed by the US Air Force at the Sea Range in Mugu, CA. The missile, aboard the Air Force’s B-1 B from the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron, navigated through all of its planned waypoints, transitioned to autonomous guidance, and flew toward its intended target using inputs from an on-board multi-mode sensor. It then descended to low altitude for final approach to the target, positively identifying and then impacting it.
These tests follow a round of verifying tests that took place earlier this year. At that point, the primary objectives were to collect telemetry for post-flight analysis, verify control-room telemetry displays, and simulate all test activities that would occur during the flight tests.
The LRASM autonomous, precision-guided missile was designed to meet the needs of the US Navy and Air Force specifically in anti-access and high-threat-level environments. The program leverages the heritage of the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER). The LRASM missile utilizes a multi-mode sensor, weapon data link, 1000-lb. penetrator, and blast-fragmentation warhead. In addition, a digital anti-jam Global Positioning System (GPS) will detect specific targets.
The LRASM program has been focused on demonstrating air- and surface-launch capabilities to tackle sea-based threats at considerable ranges. It was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research. After a competition in 2009, Lockheed Martin’s LRASM was chosen to demonstrate air- and surface-launched capability to defeat emerging sea-based threats at significant standoff ranges.