The US Navy is expected to conduct test firings of a Lockheed Martin Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from a Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet later this year.
The test firing will follow captive carry testing currently underway, and will lead to service entry of the missile in September 2019.
LRASM is a long range maritime strike variant of the AGM-158C Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) which has already been integrated with the USAF’s B-1B Lancer bomber and F-16C fighter. LRASM has a 1,000-pound warhead, and uses infrared sensors and GPS navigation to provide the ability to detect, identify and attack moving maritime targets.
“Right now, we’re doing captive-carry testing, and we’ll have the first live shot off the F-18 later this year,” Alan Jackson, Lockheed’s vice president of strike systems told Military.com at the 2018 Navy League Sea Air Space exposition in Washington DC. “This is the anti-surface warfare the Navy was looking for. Flight testing is going well. We’re six for six on the B-1 program.”
The JASSM-ER is itself a longer-range version of the JASSM which is in service with the USAF, Finland, and on Australia’s F/A-18A/B classic Hornet. The three missiles share an essentially common low-observable airframe but have different engines, warheads and sensors.