Lockheed Martin successfully launched a Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from a Navy MK 41 vertical-launch system in September, the company revealed Wednesday. The shot takes the weapon—derived from the Air Force’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, or JASSM—another step closer to meeting Navy/DARPA requirements for a long-range air- or ship-launched stealth missile capable of surviving in “denied” battlespace. “We feel like a big box has been checked off” on the way to operational service, company tactical missiles Vice President Frank St. John said at a press briefing in Crystal City, Va. Two more vertical shots have yet to be made; both will fly from a “Desert Ship” at the White Sands, N.M., missile proving grounds later this year. The LRASM has already been air-launched twice from an Air Force B-1B bomber. Along with the B-1B, the B-52, P-8, F/A-18, and F-35 are to be able to launch the weapon. St. John said if the Navy decides to buy the missile in projected quantities, “we think $300 million savings could accrue to the Air Force based on quantity and rate,” because the weapons are about 85 percent “parts-common,” St. John said. Operational capability for the B-1B could come as early as 2018, he said. The company is expanding its Troy, Ala., plant to accommodate potential LRASM sales and foreign sales of the JASSM and JASSM-Extended Range.
Feb. 26, 2024
Two weeks after the Air Force announced it will expand Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and rename it Airman Development Command, the service says it is in the process of working out what that transition will look like.