PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 16 May 2016. Smart munitions designers at Lockheed Martin Corp. will fine-tune their design for the U.S. Navy's next-generation LRASM anti-ship missile with a $321.8 million integration and test phase contract announced Friday.Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., are asking the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control segment in Orlando, Fla., to complete integration and test of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM).
LRASM is a joint project of the U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., the Navy, and U.S. Air Force to design an advanced anti-ship missile that can be launched from the Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet jet fighter bomber, as well as from the Air Force B-1 Lancer long-range bomber.Pentagon leaders say they hope to start buying production models of the LRASM as early as next year. Eventually versions of the mission also should be ready for launch by the Vertical Launch System (VLS) aboard Navy surface warships. Submarine-launched versions are under consideration.