Raytheon’s Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) will be a possible competitor in the Navy’s search for a next generation anti-ship missile to replace the 1980s era weapons in the service.
Set to start in Fiscal Year 2017, the contest for the Navy’s Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) Increment II seeks to replace the Navy’s decades-old inventory of Boeing RGM-84 Harpoons with more technologically sophisticated weapons.
OASuW Increment I, an ongoing program between DARPA and the Navy, is being developed using the Lockheed Martin Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) to meet an urgent operational need from US Pacific Command.
LRASM is now set to be an air launched weapon, while the next OASuW increment will likely be fired from a Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) resident on the service’s guided missile destroyers and cruisers.
Lockheed has begun early internal testing of LRASM in a vertical launch configuration from a Mk 41.
“OASUW isn’t necessarily LRASM increment two, we want a competition to get the best munition we can,” said N9 Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Warfare Systems, during a talk on the future of naval capabilities hosted by Center for Strategic and International Studies and the US Naval Institute.
“Harnessing new technologies, putting some in a Tomahawk and then looking with what we’ve done with LRASM increment one to have that competition between OASuW [I] and the Tomahawk.” Aucoin added.