US Navy’s LRASM completes store separation testing

4 June 2015 (Last Updated June 4th, 2015 18:30)

The long range anti-ship missile (LRASM) for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet has completed store separation testing in the 16F transonic wind tunnel (16T) at the Arnold engineering development complex (AEDC) in Tennessee.

The long range anti-ship missile (LRASM) for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet has completed store separation testing in the 16F transonic wind tunnel (16T) at the Arnold engineering development complex (AEDC) in Tennessee.

The long-range subsonic cruise missile provides enhanced range and survivability, compared to existing anti-ship weaponry.

AEDC propulsion wind tunnel facility test manager Dr Richard Roberts said: "The release of this missile is a coordinated effort taking into account the aircraft flow field, wing and tail deployments, as well as deployment timing.

"The goal is to determine the appropriate aircraft load out, wing and tail deployment timing, and flight conditions in order to obtain a safe and controllable release or jettison."

The 16T Captive Trajectory Support system was used to collect aerodynamic loads on the missile.

"The release of this missile is a coordinated effort taking into account the aircraft flow field, wing and tail deployments, as well as deployment timing."

Roberts added: "We combined these loads with ejector properties, missile mass properties, other initial conditions, and aerodynamic corrections in order to simulate the actual trajectory of the missile."

The LRASM programme is a joint effort between the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Naval Air Systems Command, and the United States Air Force.

AEDC conducted the tests in partnership with NAVAIR, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.

This precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile is equipped with a multi-mode sensor, weapon data link, and an enhanced digital global positioning system to detect and destroy specific targets within a group of ships.

Armed with a 1,000lb penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead, the missile can cruise autonomously, day or night, in all weather conditions.

In February, the missile completed its third air-launched flight test at Point Mugu in California, US.