Martin Longbow Missiles Demonstrate Littoral Attack Capability
The U.S. Army and Navy, with assistance from Lockheed Martin, recently
conducted Longbow missile demonstration firings to showcase the missile’s
ability to counter littoral threats, making the weapon an effective
candidate for potential use in operational shipboard launches.
Artist impression: Longbow missile launched from a Freedom class littoral
Picture: Lockheed Martin
During the demonstrations,
multiple U.S. Army Longbow missiles were fired from a launch fixture
provided by the U.S. Navy aboard a 65-foot surface craft. The launches
represented a variety of progressively more complex scenarios, with
the missiles successfully engaging multiple incoming high-speed boat
targets at a range of six kilometers.
This demonstration proved
that the Longbow missile can counter fast-attack craft in realistic
situations, representing an efficient path forward for shipboard launches
with a weapon already in government inventory.
“This was the second
demonstration firing conducted by the Army with Lockheed Martin assistance,”
said Hady Mourad, director of Advanced Programs at Lockheed Martin
Missiles and Fire Control. “These firings showed the capability
of the existing Longbow missile in a new littoral threat environment,
and also verified the vertical-launch capability of the missile. Earlier
this year, we demonstrated the use of Longbow from an Apache helicopter
against a representative littoral target.”
The fire-and-forget Longbow
missile uses millimeter-wave guidance to lock onto targets before
or after launch. The demonstrations were the first vertical launches
of the Longbow missile and the first lock-on after launch of a Longbow
missile against maritime targets.
The tests were conducted
near Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile
Research Development and Engineering Center and the U.S. Naval Surface
Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division.