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Video: Lockheed Martin Building LRASM Top Side Launcher Prototype for LCS OTH Requirement

SNA 2017 Show News - Lockheed Martin LRASM
Video: Lockheed Martin Building LRASM Top Side Launcher Prototype for LCS OTH Requirement
At the Surface Navy Association's (SNA) National Symposium recently held near Washington DC, Lockheed Martin was showcasing its Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) in three configurations: Air launched (as part of OASUW Increment 1 for B-1B and F/A-18), VLS launched (from Mk41) as well as top side launchers fitted on a LCS Frigate based on the Freedom-class LCS.
Kongsberg NSM SNA2017 Lockheed Martin LCS Frigate scale model at SNA 2017 featured LRASM top side launchers
A draft request for proposal (RFP) for the LCS Frigate over the horizon (OTH) weapon requirement was issued in December 2016, with the final RFP expected by the end of January 2017. The contenders to answer the LCS OTH requirement are Kongsberg (teamed with Raytheon) with the NSM, Lockheed Martin with the LRASM and Boeing with the Harpoon ER. Each company was showcasing their anti-ship missile solution at SNA this year.

“The next opportunity for LRASM is an emmerging opporunity called the frigate over the horizon weapon RFP [...] for that platform we need a top-side launcher [...] we have a concept for that launcher, it is a modular system where you can have 2 missiles on a launcher or a four-pack [...] we are building our first top-side launcher prototype and are planning for a flight test in the summer of this year" said Scott Callaway, Surface-Launched LRASM program manager at Lockheed Martin.
Video interview on LRASM at SNA 2017
The distributed lethality concept (one of the themes of the symposium) was introduced by Vice Admiral Thomas Rowden, the Commander of the U.S. Navy's surface forces. It can be summarized by fitting more weapons on more vessels in order to "deceive the enemy, target the enemy, and destroy the enemy".

The Lockheed Martin LCS Frigate model on display at SNA 2017 featured 8x LRASM missiles in two launchers located between the Mk44 30mm guns and funnels (note the two MK 53 Nulka decoy launchers placed right next to the LRASM launchers too). The frigate model still features the 2x 30 cells for Longbow Hellfire missiles from the LCS Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM).

The LRASM is a long-range subsonic cruise missile designed for better range and survivability than current anti-ship weaponry. This missile development program is a joint effort of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Naval Air Systems Command and the United States Air Force. The air launched variant, designated AGM-158C, first phase of inflight tests was completed in early 2016. Lockheed Martin demonstrated LRASM’s Surface Launch Capabilities in July 2016, from the U.S. Navy Self Defense Test Ship (SDTS).

To learn more: Link to LRASM Long Range Anti-Ship Missile technical datasheet