The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 200 AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs) and related equipment to Australia under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Feb. 7.
The Government of Australia has requested to buy up to 200 AGM-158C, Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs); and up to 11 ATM-158C LRASM Telemetry Variant (Inert). Also included are DATM-158C LRASM, Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM-158C LRASM), containers, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor representatives technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The total estimated cost is $990 million.
Australia intends to use the missiles on its RAAF F/A-18 fighter aircraft and will provide enhanced capabilities in defense of critical sea-lanes. The proposed sale of the missiles and support will increase the Australian Navy’s maritime partnership potential and align its capabilities with existing regional baselines. This is Australia’s first purchase of the missiles.
The prime contractor of the possible sale will be Lockheed Martin, Orlando, Florida.
AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile developed by Lockheed Martin based on the company’s successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (AGM-158B JASSM-ER).
The stealthy missile is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters in contested environments. The missile has an estimated range of 300 nmi (560 km; 350 mi) and is capable of being fired from an aircraft or a Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) onboard a ship.
The air-launched variant of LRASM achieved Early Operational Capability (EOC) on the U.S. Air Force’s B-1B Lancer strategic bomber in December 2018. This provides an early operational capability meeting the offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement. The LRASM missile achieved EOC on Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in November 2019.