Lockheed Martin has officially withdrawn its Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from the competition to field an over-the-horizon (OTH) cruise missile for US Navy’s littoral combat ships (LCS) and frigates.
Early this month, Boeing also announced its decision to withdraw from the competition citing continuous change in requirements.
Both Boeing and Lockheed Martin felt that the Navy was particularly in favour with Naval Strike Missile, a weapon developed by the Norwegian firm Kongsberg, who has partnered with Raytheon to offer the system.
“After long and careful consideration, Lockheed Martin has decided to withdraw from the U.S. Navy Over-the-Horizon Weapon System (OTH-WS) competition,” Scott Callaway, director of advanced subsonic cruise missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control unit, told Defense News on Wednesday.
“As the current OTH-WS request for proposal (RFP) process refined over time, it became clear that our offering would not be fully valued. Lockheed Martin remains a committed industry partner and looks forward to future opportunities to deliver superior combat power to the surface Navy,” Callaway added.
Another potential OTH-WS competitor, Saab, also recently dropped out of contention.
Raytheon/Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM), in operation today, has a superior strike capability against land and sea targets with a range in excess of 200 kilometers. It is the main weapon for Norway's new frigates and corvettes, Poland's land-based coastal defense, and an NSM was successfully test-fired from the U.S. S. Coronado littoral combat ship in September 2014.