Shortly after receiving the first production contract for its Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), Lockheed Martin conducted the first-ever launch of the surface-launch variant from a topside canister.
The flight test, taking place at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, on July 26, proved the missile’s ability to conduct an angled launch from the newly designed topside canister, replicating a ship-launched environment.
During the test, the LRASM, its Mk-114 booster and booster adapter ejected cleanly from the topside launcher using the same launch control and launch sequencer software currently employed by the Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS).
“This successful flight test demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s readiness to answer the U.S. Navy’s call for lethal, longer range anti-surface warfare capabilities as part of the ‘Distributed Lethality’ concept,” said Scott Callaway, Subsonic Cruise Missile director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “This test also validates the flexibility and versatility of LRASM, as it proved it can be successfully fired from VLS and non-VLS surface platforms.”
Integrating LRASM onto surface ships enables distributed operations beyond enemy threat ranges. Along with the already proven VLS launch capability of LRASM, this topside canister with an angled launcher allows the LRASM surface-launch variant to be employed aboard various platforms in the Navy’s surface fleet.
The LRASM surface-launch variant is built on the same production line as JASSM, JASSM-ER and LRASM air-launch weapons, delivering the same long-range, precision capability while benefiting from manufacturing efficiencies.