Asymmetric Dialogue

LRASM completes second dual-missile flight test

A second dual LRASM test was performed on 22 September on the Point Mugu range. Source: Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin’s AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) has successfully completed a second ‘dual-LRASM’ flight test event ahead of achieving Early Operational Capability (EOC) on US Air Force (USAF) B-1B Lancer bomber later this year.
The test, performed on 22 May on the Point Mugu sea test range off California, saw a B-1B from Dyess Air Force Base release the two production representative LRASM missiles. According to Lockheed Martin, these “navigated through all planned waypoints, transitioned to mid-course guidance and flew toward the moving maritime target using inputs from onboard sensors. The missiles then positively identified the intended target and impacted successfully.”
The joint service LRASM Deployment Office (LDO) and Lockheed Martin are developing LRASM as an air-launched, precision-guided offensive anti-surface warfare weapon to counter the emerging maritime anti-access/area denial threats. LRASM is scheduled to achieve EOC on USAF B-1B bombers from FY 2018, with EOC on the US Navy’s (USN’s) F/A-18E/F Super Hornet following in FY 2019.
The LRASM missile itself is a derivative of the AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) air-launched cruise missile. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control – Strike Weapons was selected in June 2009 to demonstrate its air-launched concept, which marries the basic JASSM-ER air vehicle with a new sensor package specific to the anti-surface warfare mission. Lockheed Martin was in 2014 contracted for follow-on development and accelerated acquisition of LRASM.
Armed with a 1,000 lb penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead, LRASM employs a weapon data link (an L-band unit supplied by ViaSat), an enhanced digital anti-jam GPS, and a multi-mode sensor/seeker to detect and destroy specific targets within a group of ships. The sensor/seeker package combining a passive radio frequency long range sensor (developed by BAE Systems) for wide area target acquisition and an imaging infrared seeker for terminal targeting.