DARPA Tests Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile

The Navy, Air Force and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) completed a successful test of the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) Feb. 4, marking a significant step in maturing key technologies for the future operational weapon system.

The joint-service team, known as the LRASM Deployment Office (LDO), conducted the test to evaluate LRASM’s low-altitude performance and obstacle avoidance as part of the program’s accelerated development effort.

During the flight from the Sea Test Range in Point Mugu, California, the B-1 Bomber released the LRASM, which navigated a series of pre-planned waypoints to verify aerodynamic performance. In the final portion of the flight the missile detected, tracked and avoided an object that was deliberately placed in the flight pattern to demonstrate its obstacle avoidance algorithms.

The LDO and industry partner Lockheed Martin are developing LRASM as an air-launched offensive anti-surface warfare weapon to counter the growing maritime threats in an Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environment. When operational, LRASM will play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in open ocean/blue waters and the littorals due to its enhanced ability to discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges.

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Image: US Air Force