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The Long Range Stand Off Weapon (LRSO) is an air-launched nuclear-tipped cruise missile under development that will replace AGM-86 ALCM. As of August 24, 2017, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin received separate $900 million contracts from the Department of Defense and US Air Force and are developing their own versions.[1][2][3] Contracts will end in 2022, when the Department of Defense will select one design to continue further developments.[4]

To replace the ALCM, the USAF planned to award a contract for the development of the new Long-Range Stand-Off weapon in 2015.[5] Unlike the AGM-86, the LRSO will be carried on multiple aircraft, including the B-52, and the Northrop Grumman B-21.[6] The LRSO program is to develop a weapon that can penetrate and survive integrated air defense systems and prosecute strategic targets. The weapon are required to reach initial operational capability (IOC) before the retirement of their respective ALCM versions, around 2030.[7]

The technology development contracts were to be submitted before the end of 2012.[8] In March 2014 a further three-year delay in the project was announced by the Department of Defense, delaying a contract award until fiscal year 2018.[9] The House Armed Services Committee moved to reject this delay.[10] The delay was caused by financial pressures and an uncertain acquisition plan, and allowed by the long remaining service life left for the AGM-86 and lack of urgent necessity compared to other defense needs.[11] The designations YAGM-180A and YAGM-181A have been allocated to prototypes for the Long Range Stand-Off Weapon program.[12] The missile's nuclear warhead will be the W80 mod 4 warhead.[13]

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ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/13790/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-usafs-new-nuclear-cruise-missile-program
  2. https://www.defensenews.com/air/2017/08/23/lockheed-raytheon-nab-contracts-for-nuclear-cruise-missile/
  3. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lockheed-pentagon-lrso/u-s-air-force-picks-raytheon-lockheed-for-next-gen-cruise-missile-idUSKCN1B32OB
  4. "Lockheed, Raytheon receive contracts for nuclear cruise missile" (in en). UPI. http://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2017/08/24/Lockheed-Raytheon-receive-contracts-for-nuclear-cruise-missile/8081503577897/?nll=1. 
  5. "Air Force plans two-year delay in developing new Cruise Missile", Archived at: Archived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. Kristensen, Hans (22 April 2013). "B-2 Stealth Bomber To Carry New Nuclear Cruise Missile". Federation of American Scientists. Archived from the original on 22 April 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140422075113/http://blogs.fas.org/security/2013/04/b-2bomber/. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  7. USAF's LRSO missile may reach IOC around 2030 - Flightglobal.com, 7 January 2014
  8. "USAF to develop new cruise missile." Archived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. USAF delays LRSO again, this time by three years - 3/13/2014 - Flight Global Archived 15 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Guarino, Douglas P. (29 April 2014). "GOP Defense Bill Pushes Back Against Proposed Nuclear-Modernization Delays". Nuclear Threat Initiative. Archived from the original on 30 April 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140430001503/http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/gop-defense-bill-pushes-back-against/. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  11. Long-Range Standoff Missile Development Pushed Back By Three Years Archived 4 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. - Insidedefense.com, 5 March 2014
  12. http://www.designation-systems.net/usmilav/412015-L(addendum).html
  13. https://www.defensenews.com/space/2018/02/02/the-us-could-be-getting-2-new-nuclear-capabilities-here-are-the-details/

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