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Lockheed demonstrates new anti-ship missile's surface ship launch capability

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The LRASM. A Lockheed Martin photo

ORLANDO (BNS): Lockheed Martin has  successfully conducted the first-ever launch of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) surface-launch variant from a topside canister on July 26.

The flight test, carried out at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, proved the missile's ability to conduct an angled launch from the newly designed topside canister, replicating a ship-launched environment, Lockheed announced a day later.

During the test, the LRASM, its Mk-114 booster and booster adapter ejected cleanly from the topside launcher using the same launch control and launch sequencer software currently employed by the Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS).

"This successful flight test demonstrates Lockheed Martin's readiness to answer the US Navy's call for lethal, longer range anti-surface warfare capabilities as part of the 'Distributed Lethality' concept," said Scott Callaway, Subsonic Cruise Missile director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

"This test also validates the flexibility and versatility of LRASM, as it proved it can be successfully fired from VLS and non-VLS surface platforms."

Integrating LRASM onto surface ships enables distributed operations beyond enemy threat ranges.

Along with the already proven VLS launch capability of LRASM, the topside canister with an angled launcher allows the LRASM surface-launch variant to be employed aboard various platforms in the Navy's surface fleet, providing the potential for a powerful new anti-ship role under the US Navy's "Distributed Lethality" concept of operations, Lockheed said.

The LRASM is a precision-guided anti-ship missile leveraging on the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) heritage, and is designed to meet the needs of US Navy and Air Force warfighters in a robust anti-access/area-denial threat environment.

The LRASM surface-launch variant is built on the same production line as JASSM, JASSM-ER and LRASM air-launch weapons, delivering the same long-range, precision capability while benefiting from manufacturing efficiencies.

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