Mar 20, 2018
and now Live LRASM Test from F/A-18 Super Hornet Expected This Year
"Right now, we're doing captive-carry testing, and we'll have the first live shot off the F-18 later this year," said Alan Jackson, Lockheed's vice president of strike systems.
The AGM-158C LRASM will then become operational in September 2019, he said. Jackson spoke with Military.com during the annual Sea-Air-Space exposition here.
The precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile is expected to be fielded first on the
"This is the anti-surface warfare the
Two more flights are expected this summer before the missile is operationally fielded on the non-nuclear bomber in September, Jackson said.
"We have a greater-than-200 nautical mile standoff range," Jackson said. "So either one of those platforms is out of harm's way when it releases the weapon."
LRASM can also be deck-launched from a vertical launch system on a Navy destroyer, he said.
In comparison to the Tomahawk cruise missile, LRASM has a better survivability rate because it has low-observable technologies making it harder to detect. "Tomahawk is a fine weapon, but it's an older design," Jackson said.
LRASM was an easy fit for the B-1 because it can already launch the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range, known as JASSM-ER.
The missile has all the capabilities that JASSM-ER has: the same lethal 1,000-pound warhead, pinpoint accuracy with an infrared sensor, and both
"LRASM also has a datalink on board that gives it more flexibility," Jackson said, allowing it to communicate with its launch platform.
"We're in Block 1 production for LRASM now," he said, adding there’s an Air Force contract requirement of 23 missiles thus far. "We certainly can build at a rate faster than 23, and I see those rates increasing as we go into lot 2, 3 and 4."