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12:40 AM, August 19, 2017
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USAF B-1B lancer aircraft

The US Navy and Lockheed Martin conducted the first free flight launch of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from a B-1B Lancer Aug. 16 over Point Mugu Sea Range in California.

This event marked the first end-to-end functionality test of LRASM, and proved the weapon's ability to identify and prosecute a moving target at sea, US Navy said in a statement Friday.

During the test, aircrew aboard the B-1B from Edwards Air Force Base launched the missile over Point Mugu Sea Range. The missile navigated through all planned waypoints, transitioned to mid-course guidance and flew toward the moving maritime target using inputs from the onboard multimodal sensor. It then descended to low altitude for final approach to target area, positively identified and impacted the target from among a group of ships.

Early operational capability for the LRASM is slated for 2018 on the US Air Force B-1 Lancer and 2019 on the US Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

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