Lockheed Martin is proposing its AGM-184C Long Range Anti Ship Missile Surface Launched (LRASM-SL) mounted on a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to meet the Australian Army’s requirements through Project Land 4100 Phase 2. According to Lockheed Martin, the solution offers a high degree of commonality with existing ADF systems, across all three services.
LRASM has been ordered by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for its F/A-18F aircraft (Project AIR 3023) and is being considered by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as part of Project SEA 1300.
The Australian Army is also looking to procure an initial tranche of HIMARS vehicles through Project LAND 8113. Naval News understands that, should Lockheed’s solution be selected, the procurement of vehicles would be handled separately to LAND 8113 and its follow-on programs.
Dominic DeScisciolo, Senior Manager, Navy Strategy & Surface Programs at Lockheed Martin, told Naval News that if LRASM-SL is selected by the Army it will have a high degree of commonality with those being offered to the Navy.
“I think the attractive features of the surface launch and ground launched missiles are that they’re identical missile stacks. In other words, the missiles [with the Mk114 Boosters] are interchangeable between the Army and Navy.”
Uniquely, unlike other HIMARS modules, the LRASM module passes through the launch mount and extends significantly out both the front and back of the launcher.
Consequently, before a LRASM module is loaded into the launcher, a toolbox fitted forward of the launcher must be removed in a procedure that typically takes 10-30 minutes.
Despite this, LRASM-equipped HIMARS vehicles retain the ability to rapidly insert via air, and Lockheed Martin told Naval News that they have already conducted a fit check aboard a U.S Marine Corp (USMC) KC-130J tanker transport.
Kongsberg and Thales Australia are also competing in Project Land 4100 Phase 2 with their StrikeMaster concept.