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Pentagon Tests Next-Gen Anti-Ship Missile From Air Force B-1B Bomber

Lockheed Martin successfully fired production-configuration Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles from a U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber. (U.S. Navy photo)

The Pentagon’s next generation anti-ship missile was successfully fired at and hit multiple targets during a recent test over the Sea Range at Point Mugu, Calif.

During the test, which was conducted last week, a U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber simultaneously launched two production-configuration Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) against multiple maritime targets, marking an important step toward meeting early capability milestones, according to a statement released by Lockheed Martin, LRASM’s manufacturer.

“The successful flight demonstrates LRASM’s continued ability to strengthen sea control for our forces,” said a statement released by David Helsel, LRASM program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile, and is based on Lockheed’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER). LRSAM began as a DARPA program at the 2009 request of U.S. Pacific Command to rapidly field a modern air-launched, anti-ship weapon.

LRASM is designed for use by both the U.S. Navy and Air Force. LRASMs are expected to be used by the Air Force B1-B bombers starting next year, and the Navy’s F/A-18E/F warplanes in 2019, according to a statement released by Lockheed Martin.

In July, Lockheed officials told USNI News a deck mounted launcher for the LRASM is also being developed for use by the Navy’s surface warfare community. Demonstrations could occur in 2018.