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Longbow air-ground missile tested as naval weapon

Jan. 15, 2014 at 12:25 PM   |   Comments

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin reports that the U.S. Army and Navy are looking at the possibility of adapting the Longbow air-ground missile for naval use.

The Longbow, produced by Lockheed and Northrop Grumman, is a fire-and-forget weapon that uses millimeter-wave guidance to lock onto targets before or after launch. They are used on Army helicopters.

In recent demonstration firings in Florida, the services – with assistance from Lockheed – fired Longbows from a small surface craft at multiple high-speed target boats, which were successfully engaged from a range of 3.7 miles.

"This was the second demonstration firing conducted by the Army with Lockheed Martin assistance," said Hady Mourad, director of Advanced Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "These firings showed the capability of the existing Longbow missile in a new littoral threat environment, and also verified the vertical-launch capability of the missile.

"Earlier this year, we demonstrated the use of Longbow from an Apache helicopter against a representative littoral target."

Lockheed said the testing was conducted near Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and proved that the Longbow missile can counter fast-attack craft in realistic situations, "representing an efficient path forward for shipboard launches with a weapon already in government inventory."

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