The U.S. Air Force awarded Raytheon Missiles and Defense a $2 billion contract for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the Long Range Standoff (LRSO) Weapon System whih can be nuclear tipped.
During the EMD phase, manufacturing processes will continue to mature and the manufacturing environment will be demonstrated and transitioned to a pilot line readiness state. The objective at the end of EMD is to demonstrate full production readiness.
The LRSO is a nuclear-armed, air-launched cruise missile projected to have a range of 1,500 miles by the end of this decade. It will develop the current AGM-86 Air-Launched Cruise Missile and is expected to be carried on multiple aircraft, including the B52 and B-21 bombers.
The Defense Department has said the LRSO program seeks to develop a weapon that can penetrate and survive integrated air defense systems and prosecute strategic targets that will reach initial operational capability before the retirement of the ALCM cruise missiles around 2030.
The LRSO air-launched cruise missile, designed to be equipped with a nuclear warhead, will have a range of about 2,500 km. It is planned that it will be adopted by the US Air Force until 2030 and will replace the previous system - ALCM. These missiles will be equipped with B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers, as well as B-21 Raider strategic bombers.