Interview: Lockheed Martin LRASM next generation anti-ship missile

Focus - Lockheed Martin LRASM update at AUSA 2013
Interview: Lockheed Martin LRASM next generation anti-ship missile
AUSA (which was held from 21 to 23 October 2013 in Washington D.C, click here to see the coverage by Army Recognition) is a land warfare focused exhibition, but when we learned that a Lockheed Martin representative involved in the LRASM program was attending the event, we couldn't pass the opportunity to meet with the person and get an update on the future U.S. Navy and Air Force anti-ship missile.
Our interview with Frank St. John, Vice President, Tactical Missiles, Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin, on the LRASM anti-ship missile during AUSA 2013
LRASM (Long Range Anti-Ship Missile) is an autonomous, precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile leveraging the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) heritage, and is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters.

LRASM is in development with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research. Lockheed Martin’s offering has both surface-launched and air-launched variants to prosecute sea-based targets at significant standoff ranges.
Lockheed Martin has received a $71 million Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) modification contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to conduct air- and surface-launched flight tests and other risk reduction activities.
Lockheed Martin LRASM - Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (Artist Impression: Lockheed Martin)

The U.S. Air Force already conducted several tests with the LRASM onboard B-1 bombers. Ultimately a B-1B could carry up to 24 LRASM as it is currently capable of carrying 24 JASSM-ER. This would make the B-1B the most potent ASUW platform in the U.S. Air Force. As far as the U.S. Navy is concerned, the Super Hornet will be the main airborne platform to deploy the next generation anti-ship missile. We were told during AUSA that F-35 Lightning II could certainly deploy the missile, but would not be able to carry it internally because of the size of the LRASM.

Tests have begun to launch the LRASM from Mk41 Vertical Launch System cells. This type of VLS is widely used across the U.S. Navy fleet of destroyers and cruisers.

LRASM comes with a revolutionary sensor made by BAE Systems. The sensor is designed for situations where access to the airspace is made difficult for Allied Forces by the enemy. The sensor uses advanced electronic technologies to detect targets within a complex signal environment, and then calculates precise target locations for the missile control unit.

LRASM live launch testing from VLS is scheduled for mid-year 2014. LRASM air-launched testing will continue next year with flights from the B-1B. F/A-18 Super Hornet integration and testing will be part of a future contract.