Long Range Land Attack Projectile

LRLAP VideoDD(X), a multimission surface combatant tailored for land attack and littoral dominance, will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, and operate as an integral part of joint and combined expeditionary forces. DD(X)'s main battery of two 155mm [6.1 inch] Advanced Gun Systems and fully automated magazine of up to 920 Long Range Land Attack Projectiles will provide ground forces with lethal and responsive all-weather firepower. In addition, the DD(X) program will provide a baseline for spiral development of technology and engineering to support a range of future surface ships, including the next-generation air-defense cruiser CG(X), the CVN 21 aircraft carrier and amphibious ships.

BAE Systems/Armament Systems Division is responsible for the development of the Advanced Gun System (AGS) and its Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP). AGS and LRLAP are key Engineering Development Models (EDMs) of the DD(X) program. The AGS is the US Navy's first large caliber electric drive gun. The development of electric drive leverages work done for the Army's Future Combat System (FCS) program and prior Crusader program. Electric drive removes hydraulic components, greatly reduces part count, reduces cost and increases reliability. Incorporation of the water cooled barrel allows AGS to fire at 10 rounds per minute continuously for the depth of the magazine while minimizing barrel wear. The innovative vertical load design significantly reduces part count and system weight while increasing reliability. The automated magazine design employs redundant shuttles to move pallets of LRLAP rounds to the gun system. All magazine components are housed in a modular structure supplied fully tested to the shipyard for a drop-in installation.

LRLAP is an advanced 155-mm munition being developed for the AGS. Features of the LRLAP include:

  • Global Positioning System (GPS) guided navigation and control
  • Maximum range of 83 nautical miles
  • Rocket assisted, range extension glide
  • Forward canard-actuated flight control
  • Unitary warhead with lethality equivalent to a USMC's M795
  • Six LRLAP multiple rounds simultaneous impact per gun

LRLAP uses a GPS-aided Inertial Navigation System (INS) and proven forward canard system to attain very precise accuracy. This precision and flight control will give DD(X) the capability to conduct surgical strikes, mass fires, scale response to targets, and sustain suppression.

The AGS EDM program covered a 37-month period, from August 2002 through September 2005. The AGS EDM was an initial prototype and was 1 of 10 EDMs being designed, built, and tested concurrently in this phase (Phase 3) of the DD(X) program. These EDMs were specifically designed to reduce risk and mature DD(X) technologies.

The test projectile consisted of a full-length projectile airframe with base/tail assembly, a live rocket motor with a pressure-activated initiator, a telemetry unit housed in the warhead section, and a full guidance, navigation and control subsystem. The test events are conducted by United Defense and Lockheed Martin under subcontract with Bath Iron Works and the DD(X) design agent Northrop Grumman Ships Systems.

In April 2003 Lockheed Martin was selected to provide the Long-Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) for the Advanced Gun System (AGS) on board U. S. Navy DD(X) next-generation destroyers. The contract award marks Lockheed Martin's return to the guided projectile market. From 1982 through 1989, Lockheed Martin produced nearly 28,000 155mm Copperhead rounds for the U.S. Army. Lockheed Martin also developed a 5-inch guided projectile for the U.S. Navy, Deadeye, producing 200 rounds that passed technical and operational evaluations before the program succumbed to funding cuts. Lockheed Martin remained the only company that had developed and fielded a cannon-launched guided weapon that has been placed in the US arsenal.

The approximately $40 million Engineering Development Model (EDM) contract, awarded by United Defense L.P. (UDLP), calls for Lockheed Martin to develop a tactical baseline design for a guided projectile on the gun weapon system that will form the main battery of the U.S. Navy's DD(X) destroyer. The EDM contract ran through September 2005 and included 15 rounds to conduct flight tests and support the AGS Critical Design Review. This award decision resulted from a competition between Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. During the demonstration phase, Lockheed Martin participated on the team led by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), which was primarily responsible for the guidance and control hardware and software integration.

The DD(X) National Team and the Navy conducted the third consecutive successful guided-flight test of the 155mm Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) 16 June 2005. Preliminary results indicated the munition successfully conducted preplanned maneuvers along a 60 nautical mile flight path during the 280-second flight. Guided Flight Test #4 (GF-04) was the fourth of seven guided-flight tests planned as part of the LRLAP engineering development model (EDM) program. GF-04 followed the successful projectile performance demonstrated in two other successful flights in January and February 2005. This most recent test, like the others, was conducted at the San Nicolas Island test facility located at Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, Pt. Mugu, CA. After launch, the LRLAP projectile successfully acquired Global Positioning System input and executed guided flight through a series of preplanned maneuvers. The GF-04 flight plan was developed to provide expanded aerodynamic performance data across many anticipated flight regimes. Detailed test data recorded during the flight will be analyzed as part of the development program.

The LRLAP has also been developed with affordability as a goal. LRLAP has integrated several components and subsystems from existing and future production programs. The Deeply Integrated Guidance Navigation Unit being developed under the U.S. Army's Common Guidance program. The Canard Control Unit leverages control electronics from the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System and the U.S. Army Tactical Missile System. The warhead uses a similar design, several common components, and fabrication processes employed on warheads for Excalibur and 5-Inch Extended Range Guided Munition projectiles.

On July 18, 2005 Lockheed Martin received a five-year contract valued at $120 million from BAE Systems for further development and test of the Long-Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) for the Advanced Gun System (AGS) on the U.S. Navy's next-generation destroyer, the DD(X). The cost-plus-award-fee contract calls for completion of a LRLAP to provide precise, rapid-response, high-volume, long-range fire support for U.S. Marines ashore. The new contract calls for additional development and tests in 2006-2008 and support to AGS qualification testing in 2009-2010. More than 100 projectiles will be delivered and tested under this contract. Full-rate production is expected to begin in 2011.

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