Lockheed Martin has successfully tested the long-range anti-ship missile (LRASM) ability to be launched from any MK41 vertical launch system (VLS), with only software modifications to existing shipboard equipment.

During the company-funded simulated mission test, LRASM and Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System (TTWCS), MK 41 VLS and Mk-114 booster hardware with modified software provided all electrical interfaces and data transfers required to prepare and launch LRASMs.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control advanced and special programmes vice-president Glenn Kuller said the test assessed the low-risk and low-cost of launching LRASM by a cross-company team effort.

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"This programme success helps pave the way for rapid fielding of a surface launch capability, meeting our warfighters’ critical needs," Kuller said.

"This programme success helps pave the way for rapid fielding of a surface launch capability, meeting our warfighters’ critical needs."

Designed to meet the offensive anti-surface weapon needs of the US Navy and Air Force warfighters, the LRASM autonomous, precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile has been developed by Lockheed and is based on joint air-to-surface standoff missile-extended range (JASSM-ER).

LRASM is scheduled to undergo two DARPA-funded surface-launch demonstrations from the Desert Ship at White Sands Missile Range, transitioning to controlled flight and target area impact, in 2014.

Featuring multi-modal sensor, weapon data link and an enhanced digital anti-jam global positioning system to detect and destroy enemy threats, the LRASM missile is armed with penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead and can cruise autonomously, day or night, in all weather conditions.

Two versions of the LRASM, including surface-launched and air-launched variants, are being designed by Lockheed in co-operation with the DARPA and the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) to strike sea-based targets at significant standoff ranges.

Defence Technology