Let Us Compete

Le Bourget, France Indications coming out of the Office of the Secretary of Defense are that Lockheed Martin’s Long-Range Anti-Surface Missile is the heir apparent to be the US military’s next-generation air-launched anti-ship missile, said Harry Schulte, Raytheon’s vice president of air warfare systems. Trouble is, there’s been no open competition to fill this need and Raytheon believes its Joint Stand Off Weapon Extended Range concept is a low-risk, more affordable option, he said during a media briefing here on June 19. “Give us a chance to compete on this,” said Schulte. Raytheon officials think JSOW-ER “would be perhaps a third or a fourth of the cost” of LRASM, he said. “If LRASM beats us, then LRASM beats us, but you ought to have to beat us,” he said. To date, maturation of JSOW-ER—a powered version of the baseline JSOW already in service with the Navy—has occurred on Raytheon’s own dime. Schulte made a similar case against LRASM becoming the Navy’s future ship-launched anti-ship missile without a competition, arguing that a modified variant of Raytheon’s Tomahawk cruise missile “could be quicker and cheaper and less risk” to field. (See also JASSM Variant Pushes Through Testing)