The US Navy completed a milestone test flight for the B-1B Lancer on December 8 over Point Mugu Sea Test Range in California. During the flight, the crew simultaneously launched two missiles against multiple moving maritime targets for the first time, bringing the US Navy closer to the final version of the Lockheed Martine developed Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM).
"This continued success with LRASM provides confidence in its upcoming early operational capability milestone, putting a proven, unmatched munition into the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force inventories," said David Helsel, LRASM program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. The early operational capability milestones are slated for 2018 for the B-1B Lancer and 2019 for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by using technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments. It will open access for the US Navy and Air Force to operate in open waters thanks to the ability to discriminate from extended ranges.