Defense

October 9, 2013

B-1 conducts first live-fire test of anti-ship missile

DARPA and the Office of Naval Research are collaborating on the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) program, which successfully launched its first prototype on Aug. 27. DARPA designed the free-flight transition test (FFTT) demonstration to verify the prototype’s flight characteristics and assess subsystem and sensor performance. Designed to launch from both ships and planes such as the B-1 bomber, the test vehicle detected, engaged and hit an unmanned 260-foot Mobile Ship Target (MST) with an inert warhead.

A B-1B Lancer successfully struck a waterborne target with a live warhead for the first time Aug. 27.

The 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron, the 53rd Wing’s B-1 test and evaluation squadron, completed their first of three scheduled live-fire tests of a Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, or LRASM, on-board a B-1.

The mission sought to evaluate the separation of the missile from the aircraft and monitor the weapon’s flight path to its intended target. Assessment tracked and documented the missile’s in-flight data with an F/A-18 Hornet.

Designed and developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval Research, the LRASM is based off the Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range, or JASSM-ER, and was constructed as part of an effort to overcome challenges faced by current anti-ship missiles penetrating sophisticated enemy air defense systems.

Armed with a 1,000-pound penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead, LRASM employs a multi-mode sensor, weapon data link and an enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System to detect and destroy specific targets within a group of ships.

According to 337th TES officials, the anti-ship missile is intended for rapid transition to the Air Force and Navy. Because the LRASM is based on the JASSM-ER airframe, it can be transitioned to the B-1, allowing DARPA to add the new technology and create a usable anti-ship missile.

The test squadron’s current LRASM project officer, Capt. Alicia Datzman commented that they are currently working in parallel with the weapon that may be operational within a few short years.

One unique technological feature specific to the LRASM that DARPA wishes to exploit and integrate into the new JASSM-ER variant, is the missile’s ability to receive target or coordinate updates while in-flight.

DARPA and the Office of Naval Research are collaborating on the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) program, which successfully launched its first prototype on Aug. 27. DARPA designed the free-flight transition test (FFTT) demonstration to verify the prototype’s flight characteristics and assess subsystem and sensor performance. Designed to launch from both ships and planes such as the B-1 bomber, the test vehicle detected, engaged and hit an unmanned 260-foot Mobile Ship Target (MST) with an inert warhead. A black circle indicates where the missile hit and punched straight through the target.

“Unlike the JASSMs fire and forget mentality, this new technology gives you the chance to fire and change your mind,” said Maj. Shane Garner, 337th TES. “Because of the standoff feature these weapons possess, they tend to be airborne for some time, and for us to be able to change their coordinates in-flight provides us with a large-range of flexibility.”

At this time, the B-1 is the only aircraft currently testing the anti-ship missile.

Should the LRASM technology be fielded installed in the JASSM-ER missile, the B-1 presents itself as the most likely platform to carry the weapon, as it is currently capable of carrying 24 of the long-range missiles the highest capacity in the Air Force.

“We can not only carry more of this weapon than any other platform, but our versatile speeds that have proven useful in the past decade in Afghanistan will also prove useful in the vast maritime environment,” Datzman said. “With our loitering and refueling capability we can hang out for a while waiting on a specific target set or sprint to where we need to deliver these weapons.”

The overarching concept behind the B-1′s rise in the maritime environment can be attributed to the Department of Defense’s Air-Sea Battle concept, in which long-range bombers serve as a key tenet.

The new concept should guide the four branches of the armed forces as they work together to maintain continued U.S. advantage against the global proliferation of advanced military technologies and anti-access/area denial capabilities.

The 337th TES is scheduled to complete the remainder of their live-fire tests by the end of 2013.  The 337th TES is a geographically separated unit of the 53rd Wing, headquartered at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OíShea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 

 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Siuta B. Ika

AOC integral to Red Flag 14-3 operations

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Siuta B. Ika Members of the Air and Space Operations Center work during Red Flag 14-3 operations July 22, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Armed with personnel from intelligence and communicati...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>