US Navy’s long-range land missile completes guided flight trials
The US Navy's 155mm long-range land attack projectiles (LRLAP) has successfully completed a series of guided flight trials with BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US.
During the three flight tests, conducted as part of the ongoing qualification test programme, the global positioning system (GPS) guided projectile with a pre-conditioned tactical rocket motor validated its ability to achieve accurate target hits.
The rocket-assisted, gun-launched system also demonstrated its range, accuracy, and objectives in various conditions such as hot, ambient, and cold temperatures, in addition to achieving all relevant requirements, during the tests.
BAE Systems precision-guided munitions director Tom Pfenning said that the completion of guided flight trials marked a step forward in the 155mm LRLAP programme for the navy.
"BAE Systems continues to progress on track to fully qualify the 155-mm LRLAP in support of the deployment of the Advanced Gun System aboard the DDG 1000, " Pfenning said.
Designed to strike against a variety of targets in multiple mission areas, the 155mm LRLAP will serve as an affordable, ship-launched alternative to currently used missiles for expeditionary forces.
Capable of supporting land-attack operations onboard the US Navy's DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyers, LRLAP rocket-assisted guided projectile can be launched using a unique propelling charge.
Each of the DDG 1000's two advanced gun systems (AGS) can fire more than ten LRLAP rounds in a minute to support land-attack operations.
Suitable for operations where collateral damage is a problem, the system features a GPS-based guidance system and a unitary warhead with an adjustable height-of-burst or point-detonation fuse.
Expected to achieve initial operational capability in 2016, the 155-mm LRLAP live-fire testing is scheduled to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2013.
Image: A depiction of BAE Systems-built 155mm long-range land attack projectile. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.