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Land Attack Standard Missile [LASM]

The CNO decided in late 1998 to modify the Standard missile for a surface-to-ground strike role. Studies determined LASM as the most cost-effective way to provide a rapid response, and all weather strike capability in support of military power projection ashore. The LASM mission will provide the required range, lethality, responsiveness and accuracy needed to support Marine Corps Fire Support requirements for Operational Maneuver from the Sea. This version of the Standard Surface-to-air missile is be reconfirmed for use against targets ashore at ranges up to 200 miles. The land-attack Standard missile (LASM), fitted with an advanced warhead and guided by GPS and its own inertial navigation system, will put at risk targets up over 150 nm inland.

The LASM builds on the successful thirty-year evolution of the STANDARD Missile, the US Navy's premier AAW weapon currently deployed on 50 destroyers and cruiser as well as with 13 Navies around the world. The LASM design maximizes use of common components, software and Non-developmental Items (NDI) between STANDARD Missile 2 (SM-2) Blk II/III and SM-3 LEAP (Lightweight Ex-Atmospheric Projectiles) minimizing development and production costs.

On 03 September 1998 the US Navy successfully conducted the third in the series of Land Attack Standard Missile (LASM) Concept Demonstration flights at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The objective of this particular test was to build upon a 24 July 1998 static firing of the Mk125 Warhead conducted at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Virginia in order to validate the warhead fragment pattern under actual missile flight conditions. The Mk125 warhead is currently deployed in STANDARD Missile-2 Block IIIA, IIIB, IV and the future IVA missiles possessing a proven reputation for devastating lethality and rugged reliability. The test used a modified STANDARD Missile-2 Block IIIA, carrying a modified Mk125 warhead which was optimized to the LASM’s terminal trajectory made to enhance effectiveness in the land attack role. The Mk125 modifications primarily involve alterations to the warhead’s explosive initiation system. The STANDARD Missile was launched from the Mk41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) and flew over 50 nautical miles on a pre-programmed flight path to a specific warhead burst point in an arena equipped with witness plates and optical equipment to verify warhead performance under dynamic conditions. This test combined with prior tests in the fall of 1997 and the spring of 1998 met all planned Concept Demonstration program objectives.

There are approximately 1200 rounds in the U.S. Navy's inventory available for LASM retrofit. Flight demonstrations are planned for FY1998 and FY1999 with an Initial Operating Capability (IOC) about 2003.


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