The US Navy and the US Air Force (USAF) have awarded a new $172m contract to Lockheed Martin for the second production lot of long-range anti-ship missile (LRASM) systems.

The latest order is the second production award for the air-launched variant of LRASM. It also involves a complete production run of missiles and engineering support.

The contract is also one of the many annual production lots expected to be awarded for the delivery of the tactical missiles to the US navy and air force.

The company is under contract to deliver 23 LRASMs to the USAF and the US Navy.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control LRASM director David Helsel said: “LRASM brings a game-changing capability to both the US Air Force and the Navy.

“This second production lot will provide anti-ship missiles for both the B-1B and F/A-18E/F, bringing sea control back to our warfighters.”

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“This second production lot will provide anti-ship missiles for both the B-1B and F/A-18E/F, bringing sea control back to our warfighters.”

Developed based on the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER), LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile designed to fill the requirements of warfighters in contested environments.

The air-launched variant of LRASM meets the US Navy’s offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement.

In December, the LRASM reached early operational capability (EOC) status milestone on the USAF B-1B Lancer bomber ahead of schedule.

This year’s focus will be on achieving the missile’s EOC on the US Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft.

Using advanced technologies, the LRASM is capable of identifying and taking on specific targets within groups of vessels.

The weapon also can differentiate and perform tactical engagements from extended ranges, thereby allowing the military to conduct missions in open ocean/blue waters.