Lockheed Martin has received a $172 million contract from the US Navy and Air Force for a second Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) production run. 

The contract continues the production for the air-launched variant of LRASM, including a full production run of missiles and engineering support. This is the second of several expected annual production lots for the US Navy and US Air Force.

“LRASM brings a game-changing capability to both the US Air Force and the Navy,” said David Helsel, LRASM director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

“This second production lot will provide anti-ship missiles for both the B-1B and F/A-18E/F.”

Describing the missile on their website, the firm say:

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

LRASM will play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in open ocean/blue waters, owing to its enhanced ability to discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges.”

LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile based on the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER).

29 COMMENTS

  1. Will It Fit the F35 and In particular, the UK’s F35B’s ? I’m pretty sure It would be a Fantastic Combination Giving the UK a real Edge.

    • Norway is funding the development of one to fit inside F35, the next batch of F35B’s have also been designed with a larger internal bay so fingers crossed.
      The UK will probably not purchase it though if MBDA are already working on replacements for Harpoon and Stormshadow.

      • OK Thanks BB, It would make sense though as we probably won’t see the MBDA version for quite some time, or so I’m led to believe.

        • Spear 3 will have a range of 120-130km which is due to come on line in the early 2020’s I believe. It’s not in the same weight class as LRASM but the F35B will be able to carry 8 in total so could potentially knock out a warship.
          It would be interesting to know if a Phalanx would intercept all 8 if they where fired in a single salvo.

          • No Phalanx couldn’t. At best it could engage 2 out of 8 in their final run in. If they performed any sort of terminal manoeuvring Phalanx wouldn’t hit any of them as the solution would be lost on each manoeuvre.

            LRASM will be able to be carried on the inner wing pylons. But that capability won’t arrive until 2026+ if at all. In reality the joint UK/French FCASW is supposed to arrive in c2030, so the UK will never see LRASM on aircraft.
            The only solution in the near term for F-35B is externally mounted JSM’s (they will never fit inside, no significant changes to the bays are planned) or launching volleys of SPEAR.

          • You wont just be using Phalanx though.
            Everything would be going up in an ASM attack.
            Missiles, Distraction Chaff, Secuction Chaff, Seduction Decoys, Offboard Active Jammers, Onboard jammers, Close range Guns, .
            Add to that that the ship would be manoeuvring hard and offering up its least attractive radar/visual profile will all help to reduce the chance of getting hit.
            However…
            If the missiles are targeted correctly and fly in from all points of the compass, at differing profiles (pop up, Sea Skimming, High Diver) it greatly complicates the matter and makes the chances of at least one hit far greater.
            A single hit on a vessel is going to be bad but survivable. If the ship remains operationally effective is down to where the missile hits and how the crew react to the damage and getting systems back on line.

      • Norway’s Konesberg Defence Systems is developing an air launched version of their Naval Strike Missile (NSM) known as the Joint Strike Missile (JSM).

        JSM has an improved range over NSM, estimated (depending on flight profile) between 280 km (low-low-low) and 560 km (hi-hi-low).

        It is capable of internal carriage in the F35 A but not the F35B,

        Australia is contributing to its development since the RAAF maintains a stand-off missile maritime strike capability. Currently this is delivered by air launched Harpoon missiles from P3, P8, Hornet and Super Hornet platforms.

        JSM’s internal carriage provides an option for the RAAFs 72 F35As that doesn’t compromise its stealth operations, but JSM can also be carried externally to increase loadout from 2 to 6 missiles.

        ADF signed a $23 million contract with for the integration of a state-of-the-art radio frequency (RF) seeker sensor developed by BAE Systems Australia. It will enable the JSM to locate targets on the basis of their electronic signature.

        Australia also operates the JASSM cruise missile on which the LRASM is based so it is likely to also enter the ADFs inventory both for the RAAF as a replacement for its air launched Harpoons and the RAN as a replacement for ship launched Harpoons.
        While it is too large to fit into any F35 variants internal weapons bays, it can be carried underwing.

        Having both missiles would give the RAAF interesting maritime strike options for either the longer range and larger warhead stand-off LRASM and the shorter range smaller warhead but internally carried JSM.

  2. No, LRASM will not fit inside an F-35B bay.

    No, the Norwegian NSM will not fit inside an F-35B bay.

    No, the F-35B is not getting a larger bay.

    No, the anti-ship missile under development by MBDA will not fit an F-35B bay.

    • To clarify the F35B weapons bay is being modified as part of block 4 to accommodate Spear 3 and other US weapons. Weather that is modifying doors or shaving off inches internally it will increase capacity from 0 Spear 3 to 4 Spear 3 in each bay.

      • BB, I just thought that If It could be fitted to the Hornet, then surely It could be Fitted to the F35 as It was a logical Step. Didn’t mention the Bomb Bay though, didn’t think It was an Option as Ron5 Strongly confirmed.

      • The size of the bay is not being modified. Block 4 is for integration of SPEAR to the F-35’s systems. That does not mean a significant change to the bays….

    • With the antiquated harpoon we have not had the ability to sink any major powers warships for a very long time and I don’t think lrasm will be much of an improvement. Russian and Chinese anti air systems will make light work of a salvo of the kind we could fire off right now or for the foreseeable future

  3. Wee has much Requeermant fore biggy bangy blasty rodds too sunken dem rusky botes wiv there erecting misscliles amed at Ukrane rear arias. Vey scend Muscle flingin botes too Chimania an fret of us of Invasive Probeing an Yoo Blexit fooks is war ring amanks yoorselfs an wee is surfering many penetrasions in rear.

      • Wee has Spill Choker ov Rusky Maik an itt Crop lak aull Rusky Crop an Ey is Hippy too bee on dis plate an oral mating wiv you awl . wee hast hevvy penatrasions from reer ov Cuntry an wee licks to joyn Natow too stoop thems

        • Ivan, great handle name. Your chatter reminds me of Begbe from trainspotting. Wee don need noo LRASM for yer stinkin ship, wee jus need ta glass ‘im!

  4. Thank you Nigel. That does answer and Confirm my own particular Questions. Being 10 years behind current Chinese and Russian Systems Is indeed worrying. Can we Catch up ?

  5. We don’t really need these to be fitted internally on a f35b, since they are stand off and it’s highly unlikely the jet will need to go through radar protected areas prior to firing. Just needs to fit on either the f35b or typhoon external hard points.

    • My thought entirely the stealth element is really designed for land interdiction where you have to pass much closer to radars than a ship at sea could simulate, or from other fast moving aircraft. Always useful but hardly an essential requirement in this particular seaborne environment. External mounts are perfectly adequate and certainly better than compromising the missile itself to make it fit if it’s a choice to be made.

    • Perhaps worth adding that the aircraft doing the launching doesn’t have to be the one doing the targeting and control/guidance of the missile. So the launching aircraft for LRASM could be over 200 nmi (370km) from the target while a “clean” fully stealth F35B could be much closer doing the targeting/control, while still being undetected by the target. Since LRASM has a sea skimming capability it can stay below radar detection until about 30 km from the target, unless the target has AEW. This tactic is similar to how Typhoon would act as a bomb truck for F35B.

  6. With japan now taking on F35B and possibly Australia and Singapore is it time to look at a new ASM missile specifically designed around the F35B.

    The USMC may also be interested in connection with the navy’s distributed lethality program and the USMC forward basing ideas.

    It would not be that difficult a project. Could even be a simple body change of the JSM.

  7. Does anyone have any update on the state of the Perseus development. This missile seems to be the perfect requirement for the RN and RAF. Last I heard was that future funding has been approved and it is looking like a 2030 deployment to the fleet.

    • Not much seems to be happening at the moment, still in the early design phase I think. I highly doubt that we’ll see Perseus deployed in 2030, these programmes are always delayed, especially if they involve new technology.

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