Security, North America
Another big step for the LRASM.
America’s future anti-ship missile has completed another successful test.
The successful test of the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) were announced on May 23 by Lockheed Martin, the missile’s producer. “In the event over the Sea Range at Point Mugu, California,” Lockheed said in a press release, “a U.S. Air Force B-1B from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, released the pair of LRASMs. The missiles navigated through all planned waypoints, transitioned to mid-course guidance and flew toward the moving maritime target using inputs from the onboard sensors. The missiles then positively identified the intended target and impacted successfully.”
This was the second time that Lockheed used two LRASM missiles against a single, moving ship. “The success of this second dual-LRASM test event speaks volumes,” David Helsel, the LRASM program director at Lockheed said in the press release. It was the seventh consecutive successful test of the LRASM, the most recent one being in March of this year. The LRASM was first tested against a moving target back in 2013.
LRASM is a DARPA and U.S. Navy-funded program meant to provide the U.S. Navy and Air Force with an offensive anti-surface weapon (OASuW) to counter the growing threats from highly-capable adversaries like Russia and China. The program was begun under DARPA in 2009 and leverages existing technology from the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) program. Its development was fast tracked under the Pentagon’s Better Buying Power 3.0 program, with the expectation that it would serve as a stopgap solution to compensate for the Navy’s aging Harpoon anti-ship missiles.