Lockheed Martin Drops LRASM Out of Littoral Combat Ship/Frigate Missile Competition

May 24, 2017 5:46 PM - Updated: May 25, 2017 9:54 AM
A July 2016 test of the LRASM from a MK-41 launcher on the Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship. Lockheed Martin Photo

Lockheed Martin has elected not to include its Long Range Anti-Ship Missile in the Navy’s competition to field an over-the-horizon missile for the Littoral Combat Ship and frigate, company officials confirmed to USNI News on Wednesday.

“After long and careful consideration, Lockheed Martin has decided to withdraw from the U.S. Navy Over-the-Horizon Weapon System (OTH-WS) competition. As the current OTH-WS request for proposal process refined over time, it became clear that our offering would not be fully valued,” read a statement from the company provided to USNI News.
“If additional changes are made to the RFP, Lockheed Martin would review the new requirements and assess whether our capability would be a good fit to meet the U.S. Navy’s needs, as we would with any RFP.”

LRASM – a modified version of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – was developed as part of an urgent operational need for U.S. Pacific Command for a modern air launched anti-ship cruise missile. In tandem with developing the air-launched version, Lockheed has spent several million internal research and development dollars to prove out surface and submarine launched versions of the weapon.

Lockheed’s exit from the competition was first reported by Defense News earlier on Wednesday. Earlier this month Boeing dropped out of the OTH competition, withdrawing its RGM-84 Harpoon from consideration.

Both companies expressed concern that the Navy was giving little consideration to the networked capability of the weapons, USNI News understands.

Lockheed Martin artist’s conception of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). Lockheed Martin Photo

“Lockheed Martin strongly believes that we have an offering of significant value, which the Navy is already familiar with in the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile Capability Air-Launched program of record,” said Scott Callaway, director of Advanced Sub-sonic Cruise Missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control said in a statement to USNI News. “

We will continue our investment in the maturation of the surface launch LRASM capabilities for future competitions where survivability, long range, and lethality against the most capable adversary ships drive the requirements. On the heels of our recent successful at-sea Vertical Launching System demonstration, our Topside Launcher flight test this summer designed for non-VLS applications, will further demonstrate the flexibility and versatility of LRASM for the surface fleet.”

With Lockheed and Boeing both out of the competition, the only remaining contender for the OTH award is the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile

Both LRASM and Harpoon are being developed into air launched versions at the behest of Naval Air Systems Command.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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