Lockheed Martin has received a $172 million contract from the US Air Force (USAF) and Navy (USN) for the second production lot of the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), the company announced on 15 January.

The contract continues 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 that will deliver next-generation anti-ship missiles to both the USN and USAF.

LRASM brings a game-changing capability to both the US Air Force and the Navy,” commented Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s LRASM Director, David Helsel. “This second production lot will provide anti-ship missiles for both the B-1B and F/A-18E/F, bringing sea control back to our warfighters.”

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 (ISR) 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 successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile - Extended Range (JASSM-ER). It is designed to meet the needs of US combat forces in contested environments. The air-launched variant provides an early operational capability for the USN‘s offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement. With the recent EOC declaration by the USAF for the B-1B, the focus is now on the USN‘s F/A-18E/F SUPER HORNET in 2019.

LRASM is already in service with the USAF and the second production lot will be focused more on USN requirements, according to Lockheed Martin. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

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