Earlier this week Lockheed Martin received a new, $71 million contract to continue work on its Long Range Anti-Ship Missile.

The contract awarded from the Pentagon’s research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, will allow more testing and risk assessment for the LRASM.

DARPA Awards Lockheed Martin $71 Million Contract for Long Range Anti Ship Missile

(Image: Lockheed Martin)

The LRASM program was initiated by DARPA and the Naval Research Office to “reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, network links, and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments.”

According to Lockheed, the system uses an “autonomous, precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful JASSM-ER [Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range].” Here’s more about the missile from Lockheed’s press release:

Armed with a proven penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead, LRASM cruises autonomously, day or night, in all weather conditions. The missile employs a multi-modal sensor, weapon data link, and an enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System to detect and destroy specific targets within a group of ships.

DARPA Awards Lockheed Martin $71 Million Contract for Long Range Anti Ship Missile

(Image: Lockheed Martin)

The new contract will have Lockheed conducting an air-launched LRASM flight test in 2013 and two surface-launched flight tests in 2014. As part of the contract awarded in 2010, two other air-launched flight tests will take place this year, according to Lockheed.

“Our company investment in shipboard integration, combined with the new surface-launch flight tests, will provide an integrated OASuW solution compatible with surface ships,” Scott Callaway, LRASM surface-launched program manager at Lockheed Martin missiles and fire control, said in a statement.

Related:

(H/T: Business Insider)