The Air Force announced July 6, 2021, the award of an Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract for its Long Range Standoff weapon to Raytheon Missiles and Defense.
The contract is for about $2 billion and a sole-source acquisition. The work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed in February 2027.
The LRSO is the replacement for the aging AGM-86B Air Launched Cruise Missile. The ALCM was fielded in the early 1980s with a 10-year design life. The aging ALCM will continue to face increasingly significant operational challenges against emerging anti-access/area-denial threats until replaced.
The Air Force determined Raytheon provided the best overall value to the warfighter and taxpayers based on the selection process’ evaluation factors.
The contract is cost-plus-fixed-fee, with performance incentives, for a 66-month period of performance. Upon successful completion of the EMD contract, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center will incorporate EMD data to inform the weapon production negotiations.
The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center is the lead for the Air Force’s LRSO acquisition effort.
“The LRSO program office capitalized on a pioneering reliability and manufacturing approach to establish a very capable and mature design during the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction phase,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony W. Genatempo, AFNWC commander and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems. “The team has continued that approach with its EMD strategy to provide the best overall value to the warfighter and taxpayers, while meeting the nation’s deterrence needs in the future.”
“The LRSO team has strived for nearly three years to ensure the Air Force achieved a stable cruise missile design meeting the nation’s requirement for a credible air-delivered nuclear deterrent for many years to come,” said Elizabeth T. Thorn, LRSO program manager. “Awarding the EMD contract marks our next step in finalizing development, fully maturing our manufacturing techniques, and proving LRSO meets its operational requirements.”
The LRSO program office is part of AFNWC’s Air Delivered Capabilities Directorate at Eglin AFB, Fla. The center is responsible for synchronizing all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of Air Force Materiel Command in direct support of Air Force Global Strike Command.