Lockheed Martin announced on 19 March that a production-version of its Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, or LRASM, had another successful test firing after it hit a stack of shipping containers aboard a boat on the Pacific Ocean.
The guided missile launched from a US Air Force B-1B Lancer and hit its floating dummy target within the sea range off Naval Air Station Point Mugu in California on an undisclosed date. The launch was the sixth successful test of the LRASM, Lockheed Martin said in a statement.
LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile based on the already deployed Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile - Extended Range, or JASSM-ER. It is designed to be used by the US Navy and Air Force in battle against the surface ships of advanced foes, such as China or Russia.
Image courtesy Lockheed Martin
The missile uses a variety of sensors, encrypted communications and a digital anti-jam Global Positioning System to find and hit specific targets within a group of ships at sea, according to Lockheed Martin’s website. Moreover, LRASM is built to also use semi-autonomous guidance algorithms to pinpoint specific targets on its own. This would reduce its dependence on communication channels and information sources, such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, network links, and GPS navigation, which could be disrupted by electronic warfare from adversaries.
Lockheed Martin said the air-launched variant of the missile will have early operational capability for the US Navy's offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement, and will be loaded on the US Air Force's B-1B Lancer in 2018 and on the US Navy's Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in 2019.