Saturday, July 29, 2017

The U.S. Navy Will Soon Be Fielding The LRASM Heavy Missile

Breaking Defense: Navy Warships Get New Heavy Missile: 2,500-Lb LRASM

It's a big day for the 2,500-pound Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile, LRASM. This morning, contractor Lockheed Martin announced an $86.5 million contract to build the first 23 production missiles – as opposed to test weapons – for use by Navy Super Hornet fighters and Air Force B-1B bombers. Lockheed also announce this afternoon that it had, for the first time, successfully test-fired a modified LRASM from the kind of launchers used on Navy ships.

Ship-borne launchers dramatically expand the ways the US military can use the missile. LRASM has come a long way from its origins in the air-to-ground JASSM program (Joint Air To Surface Standoff Missile). While aircraft can carry missiles further and faster than warships, they can’t carry nearly as many, which means what ships lack in agility they make up for in striking and staying power. At the very maximum, with nothing held back for defense (which would be tactical insanity), an entire carrier air wing of 44 fighters could only carry 88 LRASMs, while a single Arleigh Burke destroyer could carry 96.

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WNU Editor: More evidence that missiles are going to be playing an even more important role in the future. And while much of the media focus has been on what other countries are doing, it is what the U.S. is doing that should catch everyone`s attention.

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