B-1B bomber test fires first production LRASM

A US Air Force B-1B bomber recently test fired the first production-configuration Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM), missile manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced.

The test took place over the Sea Range at Point Mugu, California, and saw the B-1B simultaneously launch two LRASMs against multiple maritime targets.

The first production missile test was a success, according to Lockheed Martin, with the LRASM meeting the primary test objectives, including target impact.

“This continued success with LRASM provides confidence in its upcoming early operational capability milestone, putting a proven, unmatched munition into the US Navy and US Air Force inventories,” said David Helsel, LRASM program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The successful flight demonstrates LRASM’s continued ability to strengthen sea control for our forces.”

LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by employing technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments.

Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin also carried out the first-ever launch of the surface-launch variant from a topside canister. The July 26 test proved the missile’s ability to conduct an angled launch from the newly designed topside canister, replicating a ship-launched environment.

The LRASM surface-launch variant is built on the same production line as JASSM, JASSM-ER and LRASM air-launch weapons.

LRASM is designed to meet the needs of US Navy and Air Force warfighters in contested environments. The air-launched variant provides an early operational capability for the US Navy’s offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement to be integrated onboard the US Air Force’s B-1B in 2018 and on the US Navy’s F/A-18E/F in 2019.