DARPA Expands Anti-Ship LRASM to Surface Launches

RSS

DARPA's Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) program to develop a stealthy next-generation weapon for the US Navy is gaining heft. The agency has added two surface-launched tests and a third air-launched flight test of the missile, which is based on Lockheed Martin's JASSM-ER strike weapon.

Concept: DARPA

Lockheed Martin has just received an additional $54.4 million for surface-launch risk-reduction work, and DARPA says two ballistic-test surface launches are now planned for the end on 2014. The first of three air-launched test flights from a US Air Force B-1B is scheduled for this summer.

LRASM is designed to reduce dependence on ISR platforms, data links and GPS navigation for targeting in the electronic-warfare environment expected in any future war with China. Autonomous guidance should allow the missile to use less-precise cueing data to find its target, and "innovative terminal survivability approaches and precision lethality" to defeat countermeasures and destroy that target, DARPA says.

The BAE Systems-developed multi-sensor guidance package has been undergoing captive-carry flight tests on a Sabreliner testbed since mid-2012. The tests are continuing, simulating increasing complex scenarios, DARPA says. The addition of a third live-fire flight test will further mature the technology for transition to the services, says the agency. 

The addition of a launch capability from surface vessels will require modifications to the missile airframe, design of a booster separation system and development of a hybrid canister for the Navy's vertical launch system, DARPA says. Lockheed had already started the work on company funding. 

Unusually for a DARPA program, LRASM has been structured to deliver a development-ready "advanced prototype" weapon to the Navy and Air Force -- sufficiently mature to move rapidly into an acquisition program to meet what some see as the dire need for a new anti-ship missile to replace the decades-old Harpoon, now woefully outclassed by systems fielded by Russia, China and now India.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Ares?

Aviation Week's defense blog

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.

 

Aug 27, 2015
blog

Aviation Week Lifts Veil On Boeing B-52 Bomber (1952) 20

In 1952, Aviation Week provided the first details on the new Boeing B-52 bomber....More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Bonanza Travel Pays 3

The legendary Beechcraft Bonanza has an impressive production record, so perhaps the marketers back in 1949 were onto something when they coined the phrase "Bonanza travel pays."...More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Venerable Boeing 727 Prototype To Fly Again 29

The most famous 727, the prototype aircraft which would join United as N7001U, was delivered to the airline in October 1964 having served its time as a Boeing test aircraft....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Aviation Week And The Bomb

Aviation News did not predict how nuclear weapons would change the world. But neither did anyone else....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Collins Radar Takes The Ups And Downs Out Of Flying

Turbulence? Rockwell Collins had a solution for those bumpy rides in the early 80s with its WXR-700 Doppler Weather Radar....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×