Home » Air » Lockheed Tests New Anti-Ship Missile

Lockheed Tests New Anti-Ship Missile

by Kris Osborn on September 24, 2013

LRASMLockheed Martin tested a next-generation, precision-guided Long Range Anti-Ship Missile on Sept. 17 from a Mk 41 vertical launch tube at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., company officials said.

The weapon, called the LRASM, is a collaborative effort between Lockheed, the Office of Naval Research and the Defense Advanced Project Research Agency, or DARPA.

The goal of the program is to engineer an autonomous, surface and air-launched weapon able to strike ships, submarines and other moving targets with precision, said Mike Fleming, LRASM air launch program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

The recent test was also the first time the LRASM was fired with what’s called a BTV or “boosted test vehicle,” a Mk-114 rocket motor, Lockheed officials said.

“The BTV, which includes the proven Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket Mk-114 rocket motor, ignited successfully, penetrated and exited through the canister cover and performed a guided flight profile similar to a tactical configuration,” a Lockheed statement said.

The LRASM, which is is 168-inches long and 2,500 pounds, is currently configured to fire from an Air Force B-1B bomber and is slated for future integration on F-18s and ships’ vertical launch systems, Fleming said.

“The test also validates the Mk-114 rocket motor’s capability to launch LRASM and the missile’s ability to cleanly exit the canister without damaging the missile coatings or composite structure,” Scott Callaway, LRASM surface launch program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said in a written statement

LRASM employs a multi-mode sensor, weapon data link and an enhanced digital anti-jam global positioning system to detect and destroy specific targets within a group of ships, Lockheed officials said.

LRASM is engineered with all-weather capability and a multi-modal seeker designed to discern targets, Fleming said.

“We’ve added the capability to strike moving targets whose position is quite uncertain. Onboard sensors can figure out which boat to strike,” Fleming added.

LRASM is armed with a proven 1,000-pound penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead, Lockheed officials said.

The warhead is similar to the existing Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range, or JASSM– ER.

LRASM also recently completed a successful first flight test over the Sea Range at Point Mugu, Calif., Lockheed officials announced.

“A U.S. Air Force B-1B from the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, released the LRASM. The missile navigated through all planned waypoints, transitioned to autonomous guidance and flew toward the maritime target using inputs from the on board multi-modal sensor. The missile then descended to low altitude for final approach to the target area, positively identified and impacted the target,” a Lockheed written statement said.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Big-Dean September 24, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Outstanding! And vertically launched :-)

Now maybe the Navy and get some ASuW capabilities back out in the fleet (which has sorely been missing), especially on Burke Flight II and IIA destroyers (which don't carry Harpoons)

This will hopefully give the Zumwalt class some ASuW capability too.


radiogaga September 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm

What's so outstanding about vertical launch?


@Beomoose September 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm

It's rather impressive in the relatively short amount of time LRASM has been in the works and given that JASSM was developed as an air-launched missile with no provisions for being launched from a VLS cell.


Rest Pal September 25, 2013 at 2:40 am

the relatively short amount of time in R&D looks suspicious. I think the US most probably stole Russia's or China's long range anti-ship missile technology through espionage (computer hacking included).


Andrew September 25, 2013 at 11:31 am

Thank god if they did, means we're not paying for it.

Oh yeah, and its' something worth actually stealing.

oblatt1 September 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Not really its just a repackaged version of the poorly performing jssm.
The Russians and Chinese don't make this sort of rubbish

Jacob September 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Vertical launch lets you shoot lots of missiles very quickly, which is needed if you're facing a big wave of incoming cruise missiles. Just look it up on Wikipedia.


kudostulsa September 24, 2013 at 5:27 pm

“The test also validates the Mk-114 rocket motor’s capability to launch LRASM and the missile’s ability to cleanly exit the canister without damaging the missile coatings or composite structure,”

I imagine that the missile's coating might be of extreme importance.


carday5 October 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm

It's a stealth coating to help it evade defenses. Shove your sarcasm pal…
Don't post unless you know what you're talking about.


Clint Notestine September 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm

every time I read JASSM I think jazz hands and JASSM– ER is even funnier.


andy September 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm

what will happen if the enemy use a 1000 R.P.M machine gun to shoot down ?


radiogaga September 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm

it disintegrates or explodes mid-air.


Captain Obvious September 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm

They won't see it coming and you'll see why.


Bernard September 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm

I wonder how hard it would be to put that on a sub. Regardless, I would expect radar evasion to be a critical requirement. It’s no use if the enemy can see it coming.


@Beomoose September 24, 2013 at 8:34 pm

If it fits in a VLS cell it could fit in a TLAM-style capsule for submarine launch, it's mostly just a matter of time and money.


FormerDirtDart September 25, 2013 at 1:17 am

Lockheed is exploring submarine launch concepts, but priority is the development of the air and surface launched versions (second to last paragraph) http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/201


USS ENTERPRISE September 24, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Hmm. So is Lockheed good or bad now?


LPF September 25, 2013 at 3:57 am

OK Just reading this article again "and air-launched weapon able to strike ships, submarines and other moving targets with precision"

Call me stupid but how exactly si it going to take out a sub?? Have we gone back in time, where subs spend most of their time on the surface?


blight_ September 25, 2013 at 9:50 am

Good point. Unless they are thinking of submarines at port…which like any portside ship not underway is a pretty easy target?


Jacob September 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Can a missile's terminal guidance tell the difference between a ship and a pier?


@Beomoose September 26, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Harpoon started as a missile to attacked surfaced subs, a damaged but not dead sub may blow to the surface, and diesels still surface on occasion.


Rest Pal September 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm

You can't take US weapon suppliers' words at face value. Like politicians, they lie all the time, legally with the help of lawyers.


Musson September 25, 2013 at 8:59 am

Today Germany. Tomorrow the World!

(Sorry, I couldn't help it. The picture reminded me of a V-2 launch.)


blight_ September 25, 2013 at 9:49 am

The aviationist reported on LRASM a few days ago…the B-1B launch component at least.


guest September 25, 2013 at 10:19 am

the coating is important to give it a low observable characteristic


oblatt1 September 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm

LRASM is typical of the next generation of under-performing weapon systems designed to deliver less bang for the buck. Short range, poor terminal survivability and based on the bug ridden JASSM, it cant even fit in the F-35. In other words its perfect for a future of Chinese battlefield dominance.


DB-1 September 25, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Its looks like the Stealth-SRAM that was developed as the main weapon to be used by the B-2 Bomber, the idea being a steaith plane carrying stealth missle's. now they seem to want to convert it to a convential role in stead of a pure nuclear delivery vehicle.


Frag1 September 26, 2013 at 12:55 am

So what's the big deal here. In the 90's there was the TASM (Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missile) which was cast aside. It, too, had a 1000lb warhead and the missile's weight is about the same, there was waypoint navigation and it could strike a moving target, oh, and gee, it's been proven to be VLS capable as well (using the TLAM model). But now, we're off re-inventing the wheel to develop a system with similar capabilities, excuse me, but does the phrase "system re-use" mean anything to whoever awarded this contract? This smacks of waste, fraud, and abuse. Did the taxpayer get anything better or more capable than the TASM of old? Not based on the article.
Now what is going to be the targeting/mission planning system and what new software package(s) will be integrated into it?
Also, Mr Fleming needs to learn what is a boat and what is a ship.


@Beomoose September 26, 2013 at 6:39 pm

TASM can't be air-launched. Re-engineering the missile to take the stresses of being hung from and launched by an aircraft would exceed the cost of LRASM and would essentially delete the commonality with standard TLAMs. In addition, JASSMLRASm is more stealthy than TLAM/TASM.

Finally, TASM had extreme problems with long-range targeting. A ship could move 30 miles in any direction between TASM launch and terminal engagement, and the seeker had trouble discriminating targets on its own. LRASM has a much superior guidance computer, its seeker is generations better, and it has a data-link which will keep its targeting fresh and accurate all the way to the target.


Steelrain13 September 28, 2013 at 9:01 am

Well said.


Rest Pal September 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm

that's probably what it is. At least I think that's what they are good at. – taking taxpayer money like taking candies from a baby.


guest October 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I thought President Obama detests espionage, or is it wrong only when other countries are doing it?


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