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.