The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin conducted the first free flight launch of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from a B-1B Lancer Aug. 16 over Point Mugu Sea Range in California.

This event marked the first end-to-end functionality test of LRASM, and proved the weapon’s ability to identify and prosecute a moving target at sea.

During the test, aircrew aboard the B-1B from Edwards Air Force Base launched the missile over Point Mugu Sea Range. The missile navigated through all planned waypoints, transitioned to mid-course guidance and flew toward the moving maritime target using inputs from the onboard multimodal sensor. It then descended to low altitude for final approach to target area, positively identified and impacted the target from among a group of ships.

“This test represents a major accomplishment for the LRASM program and the dedicated team of government and industry professionals committed to accelerated acquisition,” said Capt. Todd Huber, LRASM director. “Today marks a significant step towards providing the operational community with a leap in critical surface warfare capability by next year.”

Source: U.S. Navy

Why it’s on our radar: The Navy has been working on developing longer-range cruise missiles for its fighters to carry due to the increased range of enemy missiles designed to keep U.S. Navy battle groups out of range of the main theater of operations. [See our complete assessment in this week’s Executive Intelligence Summary by subscribing today — click here]