U.S. defense contractor Raytheon Technologies stated Monday that its wholly-owned unit Raytheon Missiles & Defense, was chosen by the U.S. Air Force to develop next-generation air-launched nuclear cruise missile.
Based on a statement issued on 20 April by Raytheon, the U.S. Air Force aims to continue with Raytheon Missiles & Defense on the development of the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO), a strategic weapon that will replace the service’s legacy Air-Launched Cruise Missile.
The Air Force previously awarded two deals for the LRSO Technology Maturation and Risk (TMRR) part, one to Raytheon and another to Lockheed Martin back in August 2017.
After an evaluation of contractor programmatic and technical approach during the TMRR’s preliminary design opinions, the AirForce decided to concentrate on Raytheon’s design.
Communication is underway with the prime companies, and an orderly closeout process has commenced at the affected Lockheed Martin and supplier offices.
The LRSO program office is now developing plans to pivot to a sole-source environment. It is also exploring alternatives to redirect funding to crucial areas and potentially transfer some activities into the TMRR part currently scheduled for the Engineering and Manufacturing Improvement phase, along with flight tests.
Morris reiterated the off-ramping of a contractor in the TMRR part is in line with the LRSO acquisition technique and different than Boeing’s decision in 2019 to not bid on the EMD contract for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent, another crucial Air Force nuclear weapon modernization venture.