Alternatives Analysis Completed for Future Nuclear Cruise Missile

The Air Force has completed the analysis of alternatives for the Long Range Standoff missile, or LRSO, that is expected to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile by 2030, Air Force Global Strike Command boss Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson told reporters in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. The AOA is now in the Defense Secretary’s office waiting for review, he added. The nuclear-warhead-carrying ALCM was designed in the 1970s and built in the mid-1980s with an anticipated 10-year life expectancy. It is currently on its fifth service life extension program, said Wilson. “At some point, we have to be able to design a new standoff missile that provides the President with options,” he said. “We’re underway to be able to do that.” Wilson said there “absolutely” would be a conventional spin-off of LRSO, much like there was a conventional variant of ALCM. “We see going forward that there will be a Long Range Standoff missile and there will be a conventional variant that will follow [that we can] buy in numbers and reduce the cost,” he said. Although he said he couldn’t elaborate on the alternatives explored, he said officials looked at “different speeds, lots of different options, and we decided on the path we’re going forward with.”