Lockheed Martin completed tests with the MK 41 Vertical Launch System that demonstrated that its Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile design works with the launcher, according to company officials. “These test results verified that the LRASM vehicle can break through the VLS cover without damage at realistic flight speeds,” said Scott Callaway, the company’s LRASM surface launch program manager, in a June 3 release. Four consecutive tests with a simulated LRASM showed that the “push through” did not result in damage to the composite structure or missile coatings, states the release. These tests were part of the risk-reduction activities that the company is undertaking to mature the anti-ship missile design, which it is developing under DARPA and Navy sponsorship. LRASM is based on the company’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range. The company is offering both surface-launched and air-launched variants to the Navy and Air Force. Planned for later this year is the launch of a LRASM boosted test vehicle from an MK 41VLS, followed by two government-funded controlled test vehicle flights in 2014. (See also Anti-Ship JASSM Test.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.