US Navy’s LRASM makes first B-1B bomber launch

Photo: Lockheed Martin

The U.S. Navy’s new Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) passed its first tactical configuration test launching from a U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber on August 16.

Conducted by missile-producer Lockheed Martin and the US Navy, the test took place over the Sea Range at Point Mugu, California.

This event marked the first end-to-end functionality test of LRASM, and proved the weapon’s ability to identify and prosecute a moving target at sea, the navy said.

The missile navigated through all planned waypoints, transitioned to mid-course guidance and flew toward the moving maritime target using inputs from the onboard multimodal sensor.

The missile then descended to low altitude for final approach to target area, positively identified and impacted the target.

“This was the first flight of a production representative, tactical configuration LRASM,” said Mike Fleming, LRASM director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The successful flight continues to prove LRASMs ability to find and prosecute targets at sea.”

LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by employing advanced technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments.

LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER). It is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters in contested environments.

The air-launched variant provides an early operational capability for the U.S. Navy’s offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement to be integrated onboard the U.S. Air Force’s B-1B in 2018 and on the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.

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