The U.S. Navy just ordered $71 million worth of additional testing for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile program.
The $71 million modification contract award to Lockheed Martin will pay for air- and surface-launched flight tests and other risk reduction activities, according to a Lockheed Martin press release.
Under this contract, an additional air-launched LRASM flight test will be conducted from a B-1B bomber in 2013. There are already two air-launched flight tests scheduled for this year as part of the Phase 2 LRASM contract awarded in 2010.
LRASM is in development with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval Research. It’s an autonomous, precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful JASSM-ER, and is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters, Lockheed officials maintain.
Armed with a proven penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead, LRASM cruises autonomously, day or night, in all-weather conditions, the release states. The missile employs a multi-modal sensor, weapon data link, and an enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System to detect and destroy specific targets within a group of ships.
“This contract modification furthers the development of LRASM as we are committed to provide the Navy with an offensive anti-surface weapon alternative that is compatible with multiple platforms,” said Mike Fleming, LRASM air-launched program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
The contract also includes two surface-launched LRASM flight tests scheduled for 2014. Risk reduction efforts, such as electromagnetic compatibility testing of the missile and follow-on captive carry sensor suite missions, are also included under the contract.