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AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM)

The Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) is a defined near-term solution for the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) air-launch capability gap that will provide flexible, long-range, advanced, anti-surface capability against high-threat maritime targets. The weapon reduces dependency on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, network links, and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments. Semi-autonomous guidance algorithms will allow it to use less-precise target cueing data to pinpoint specific targets in the contested domain.

The LRASM Deployment Office is developing the Lockheed Martin-built LRASM as the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) Increment 1 solution. When operational, LRASM will provide the first increment of a next-generation offensive anti-surface weapon to the warfighter, and will play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in open ocean and the littorals due to its enhanced ability to discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges.

With the growth of maritime threats in anti-access/area denial (A2AD) environments, this semi-autonomous, air-launched anti-ship missile promises to reduce dependence on external platforms and network links in order to penetrate sophisticated enemy air-defense systems. LRASM leverages the proven performance of the JASSM airframe while incorporating several unique capabilities. Once operational, LRASM is anticipated to play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in both open-ocean and littoral environments due to its enhanced ability to discriminate between targets and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges.

The LRASM is an air-launched cruise missile developed for the Air Force and Navy and based on the JASSM-ER. Like that missile, it includes low-observable features, but it has a different seeker (designed to find ships) and, like the JASSM-ER, could have a range of up to 925 km (575 miles).5 The LRASM is intended to search for naval targets autonomously and is also capable of receiving targeting information from external sources, including other LRASMs. To make the missile capable of being launched from a ship, the Navy has begun developing a variant of the LRASM with a booster motor attached to accelerate the missile to an appropriate speed and altitude to engage the turbofan engine of the primary missile.

The Navy is currently purchasing a limited quantity of air-launched LRASMs as an interim solution to meet its goal of acquiring a new antiship cruise missile. Under this option, the Army would purchase the Navy’s variant of the missile for ground forces. The [Navy] is planned for an early operational capability (EOC) for LRASM on the B-1B aircraft in 2018 and an EOC on the F/A-18 E/F aircraft in 2019. DARPA plans to complete its R&D work under the LRASM Demonstration Program and transition the program from DARPA to the [Navy] in FY 2016. In order to complete its R&D work under the LRASM Demonstration program and effect a timely transition of the program to the [Navy] in FY 2016, DARPA must immediately initiate the LRASM follow-on R&D effort.

Originally developed in the 1970s, the Harpoon missile provides the Navy and the Air Force with a common missile for air, ship, and submarine launches. Although state of the art when originally deployed, the last modification to the Harpoon design occurred in 1982 with the Block 1C. Since the cold war, many states have developed superior anti-ship weapons. The result has been a lessening of the comparative advantage in power projection than the U.S. had enjoyed historically.

The Harpoon is an outmoded missile with an insufficient range and inadequate survivability for today’s open-ocean and littoral battle spaces. The United States is considering new technology to bridge the gap between its Navy and those of its competitors. The Navy’s deficiency in the ability to address these opponents could create a significant threat to American security. At a minimum, lack of an effective ASCM restricts high-end multi-mission ships’ employment to environments where the US enjoys air superiority, as the U.S. possesses no weapon system that holds an adversary’s surface combatants at risk.

The United States requires a deployable surface-to-surface missile to engage the enemy in a littoral combat scenario. Merely modifying or improving the Harpoon is not a viable option, even in the short term. The Harpoon missile does not have the range or survivability to defeat emerging surface threats. Additionally, the US Navy has reduced the number of Harpoon missiles deployed each year; the Navy’s ability to effectively implement Harpoon in battle is diminished as compared to the 1980s fleet.

To address this surface missile deficiency the U.S. Navy gave authorization to begin increment two of the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) program, which is a continuation of the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency’s (DARPA) Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). LRASM is not a long-term solution. The missile is merely a stopgap for the Navy until it can develop a more comprehensive solution in the form of OASuW Increment Two—which will be used by aircraft, surface warships, and possibly submarines.

The joint DARPA - Navy Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) program is investing in advanced technologies to provide a leap ahead in U.S. surface warfare capability. The LRASM program aims to reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, network links, and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments. Autonomous guidance algorithms should allow the LRASM to use less-precise target cueing data to pinpoint specific targets in the contested domain. The program also focuses on innovative terminal survivability approaches and precision lethality in the face of advanced counter measures.

In March 2008, the DOD issued an urgent operation needs statement to fill a capability gap in anti-surface warfare capabilities. In response to this statement, DARPA and the Office of Naval Research jointly began a technology demonstration program known as the LRASM program. The program was initiated with the publication of a broad agency announcement (BAA), DARPA-BAA-08-41, on June 6, 2008, seeking competitive proposals for a research and development effort to “[r]apidly develop and demonstrate a ship launched standoff anti-ship strike weapon.” Agency Report (AR), Tab 6, BAA, at 5. The BAA advised that the extension of the system to future delivery vehicles and launch platform flexibility were of interest, and that “[a]though the intended demonstration under this effort is a ship launched anti-ship missile, solutions which could be adapted to other launch platforms, such as aircraft and submarines . . . are considered advantageous.” Id. at 27. The BAA was for a research and development effort only, and did not require a contractor to develop and deliver a production version of an anti-ship strike weapon.

Nine offerors submitted proposals in response to the 2008 BAA, including Lockheed and protester Raytheon. Following the evaluation of all proposals, Lockheed’s proposal was selected for funding. On June 29, 2009, DARPA awarded a contract to Lockheed for the LRASM demonstration program.

The LRASM program began in 2009 to ensure that the United States leads technology advancement for best-in-world operational Anti-Surface Warfare capability into the future. The program initially focused on technology for two variants, the LRASM-A and LRASM-B. LRASM-A leverages the state-of-the-art Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) airframe and incorporates additional sensors and systems to achieve a stealthy and survivable subsonic cruise missile. Designs for LRASM-B focused on operating at the other end of the spectrum for precision strike weapons—high-altitude and supersonic speed over stealthy penetration.

Working in close collaboration with the Navy to provide warfighters a capability that can make a difference at sea in the near term, DARPA decided in January 2012 to focus solely on technology development for LRASM-A, ceasing development of LRASM-B. By consolidating investments to focus solely on advancing LRASM-A technologies, DARPA aims to reduce risk and expedite delivery of cutting-edge capability to the fleet.

DARPA began captive carry flight tests of LRASM sensors aboard a research aircraft in May 2012. The first captive carry test aboard a modified Sabreliner business jet successfully demonstrated all elements of the integrated sensor suite, including sensing and fuzing targets and validation of the geolocation algorithm. The sensor suite performed as planned, paving the way for additional captive carry tests in increasingly complex simulated scenarios through the remainder of 2012 and beginning of 2013.

DARPA originally scheduled two air-launched flight demonstrations for early 2013. In March 2013, DARPA increased the scope of the program to include a third flight to further mature key technologies in preparation for transition opportunities. Captive carry events will continue over the next several months, with the first live-fire exercise slated for Summer 2013.

Additionally, DARPA began an effort to integrate the LRASM for launch from a surface vessel. In support of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, DARPA is addressing the long-lead developmental tasks including modifications to the missile airframe, design of the booster separation system and development of a new hybrid canister to accommodate the LRASM. DARPA also plans to address surface-launched risk reduction (SLRR) issues.

Based on the preliminary design review, DARPA continued the LRASM development into the second phase--detailed design, fabrication, integration, and flight testing. See AR, Tab 11, LRASM Timeline, at 1. At the outset of phase 2 DARPA determined, due to funding constraints, that limiting development to the air-launched variant of the LRASM would be in the best interests of the government. AR, Tab 3, J&A, at 2. In August 2013 and November 2013, Lockheed completed two successful flight tests demonstrating the capabilities of the prototype air-launched LRASM variant. See AR, Tab 11, LRASM Timeline, at 1.

On December 20, 2013, DARPA posted the sole-source notice challenged here, DARPA-SN-14-14, publicizing its intent to award a sole-source follow-on contract to Lockheed, for continued maturation of the LRASM subsystems and system design. The follow-on effort was to include “further sensor and avionics hardware development based on previous results achieved under the current contract,” and the “fabrication of missile hardware to enable additional missile flight tests.” AR, Tab 17, Sole-Source Notice, at 1. The follow-on effort was to be completed within 24 months of contract award. The notice advised that DARPA intended to issue the sole-source contract under the authority of 10 U.S.C. § 2304(c)(a) and FAR § 6.302-1, on the basis of “Only One Responsible Source and No Other Supplies or Services Will Satisfy Agency Requirements.”[1] AR, Tab 17, Sole-Source Notice, at 1.

The sole-source notice further advised that it was not a request for competitive proposals and that no solicitation existed, but that “[i]nterested parties may identify their interest and capability to meet the requirements of this follow-on effort by submitting a white paper and past performance data no later than 4:00PM EST, February 5, 2014.” Id. The notice also cautioned that “[i]nformation received will be considered by the Government solely for the purpose of determining whether to conduct a competitive procurement,” and that a determination not to compete the proposed effort was solely within the discretion of the government. Id.

The LRASM program was on track to deliver an advanced prototype weapon to the Navy and Air Force with capability for challenging future operational environments, while being sufficiently mature to transition rapidly to an acquisition program to address near-term operational challenges. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (LMMFC) Strike Weapons, Orlando, Fla., is the performer for the demonstration of the LRASM weapon, and BAE Systems, Information and Electronic Systems Integration, Nashua, NH, is the performer for the design and delivery of onboard sensor systems.

On May 13, 2016 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $321,847,403 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for research and development in support of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) integration and test phase. The integration and test phase completes all remaining hardware and software detailed design; systemically retiring any open risks; building and testing missile test articles to verify compliance with capability requirements; and preparing for production and/or deployment.

This phase also completes full system integration; incorporates an affordable and executable LRASM manufacturing process into the existing Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range production process; examines and defines the logistics footprint; designs for producibility; ensures affordability; protects critical program information by implementing appropriate techniques such as anti-tamper and cybersecurity; and demonstrates system integration, interoperability, safety and utility.

Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida (60 percent); Troy, Alabama (30 percent); and Ocala, Florida (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in August, 2019. Fiscal 2016 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $42,000,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-16-C-0035).

On 26 July 2017 Lockheed Martin successfully conducted the first-ever launch of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) surface-launch variant from a topside canister. The flight test, at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, proved the missile's ability to conduct an angled launch from the newly designed topside canister, replicating a ship-launched environment. During the test, the LRASM, its Mk-114 booster and booster adapter ejected cleanly from the topside launcher using the same launch control and launch sequencer software currently employed by the Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS).

"This successful flight test demonstrates Lockheed Martin's readiness to answer the U.S. Navy's call for lethal, longer range anti-surface warfare capabilities as part of the 'Distributed Lethality' concept," said Scott Callaway, Subsonic Cruise Missile director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "This test also validates the flexibility and versatility of LRASM, as it proved it can be successfully fired from VLS and non-VLS surface platforms."

The 419th Flight Test Squadron helped the U.S. Navy successfully test launch a new missile over the Point Mugu Sea Range 17 August 2017. The test was the first free flight launch of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile from an Edwards AFB B-1B Lancer. When operational, LRASM will provide the first increment of a next-generation offensive anti-surface weapon to the warfighter. The event in August marked the first end-to-end functionality test of LRASM and proved the weapon's ability to identify and prosecute a moving target at sea, according to the Navy. The LRASM is part of a rapid acquisition program began by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that was later transferred to the Navy in February 2014. The missile leverages the proven performance of the current Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile airframe while incorporating several unique capabilities. The design of the LRASM was based on a pre-existing weapon that had been tested on a B-1B, which is why they chose that platform. Because it’s a more advanced version of a previous weapon that is already certified, the program can reduce some of the testing required. The LRASM surface-launch variant is built on the same production line as JASSM, JASSM-ER and LRASM air-launch weapons, delivering the same long-range, precision capability while benefiting from manufacturing efficiencies.

Integrating LRASM onto surface ships enables distributed operations beyond enemy threat ranges. Along with the already proven VLS launch capability of LRASM, this topside canister with an angled launcher allows the LRASM surface-launch variant to be employed aboard various platforms in the Navy's surface fleet, providing the potential for a powerful new anti-ship role under the U.S. Navy's "Distributed Lethality" concept of operations.

On 20 December 2018 Lockheed Martin received a potential $99.2M contract to purchase tools and equipment needed to maximize the production rate of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles and Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles for the U.S. Air Force. Work will take place in Orlando, Fla., through Feb. 28, 2022. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center awarded the sole-source contract and the increased missile production would occur as a new facility enters the construction phase. LRASM is a precision-guided anti-ship missile that leverages the successful JASSM-ER heritage, and is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters in a robust contested environment. The air-launched variant provides an early operational capability for the Navy's offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement to be integrated onto the U.S. Air Force's B-1B in 2018 and on the U.S. Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.

On 18 December 2018 Lockheed Martin delivered the first Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) to U.S. Air Force operational units, achieving Early Operational Capability (EOC) status ahead of schedule. After successfully completing the required integration, flight testing and modeling and simulation, warfighters accepted the first of many tactical production units, meeting key criteria for the EOC declaration milestone.

Length 14 foot (4,267 millimeter)
Max Range 200 mile (174 nautical mile)
Warhead 1,000 pound (454 kilogram)
Weight 2,100 pound (953 kilogram)
CEP Circular Error Probable

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Page last modified: 24-06-2021 18:04:50 ZULU