US Navy launches Lockheed Martin's LRASM from F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
The US Navy has successfully test-launched Lockheed Martin's long-range anti-ship missile (LRASM) from the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.
The LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile, which is based on the successful joint air-to-surface standoff missile, extended range (JASSM-ER).
A jettison flight test of the first LRASM from the twin-engine, multirole fighter aircraft was conducted in order to validate the aerodynamic separation models of the missile.
The completion of the test event allows the anti-ship missile to enter captive carry integration testing, which is slated to take place in the middle of the year at the Navy Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, California, US.
Lockheed Martin LRASM programme director Mike Fleming said: “The first-time event of releasing LRASM from the F/A-18E/F is a major milestone towards meeting early operational capability in 2019.
“The programme is executing the integration and test contract, maturing subsystems and proving flight worthiness.”
The Lockheed Martin LRASM has been designed and developed to address the requirements of the US Navy and Air Force warfighters in anti-access or area-denial threat environments.
The missiles will help in detecting and destroying specific targets within groups of vessels once operational, via the use of latest technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links, and global positioning system (GPS) navigation.
LRASM will also ensure military access to operating in open ocean / blue waters, owing to its increased ability to discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges.