America's primary anti-ship missile, the Harpoon, has been in service now for close to 40 years and the Navy has been very reluctant to evolve when it comes to its anti-ship capabilities. Times are changing, with China's Navy on the rise and Russia flexing its muscle, the Cold War staple just won't do. Enter Lockheed's ninja-like Long Range Anti-Ship Missile to save the day.
The Harpoon was once the 'gold standard' of anti-ship cruise missiles, but its subsonic flight profile, limited range, less than stealthy design, and relatively simple targeting and navigation methodology have left it as almost an afterthought in the Navy's quiver. Sure, it is still able to strike ships at sea, but its ability to safely do so against an advanced foe with anti-access capabilities and advanced defenses is highly questionable. Lockheed's LRASM program began in 2009 in hopes of righting this wrong and was originally part of a two-pronged anti-ship missile procurement concept.