US Army demonstrates Longbow missile’s littoral attack capability

14 January 2014 (Last Updated January 14th, 2014 18:30)

The US Army has successfully demonstrated the AGM-114L Longbow missile's ability to counter littoral threats, during testing near Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida, US.

Longbow missile

The US Army has successfully demonstrated the AGM-114L Longbow missile's ability to counter littoral threats, during testing near Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida, US.

Carried out with assistance from the US Navy and Lockheed Martin, the demonstration involved firing of multiple army Longbow missiles from a launch fixture provided by the navy aboard a 65ft surface craft.

The missiles successfully engaged multiple incoming high-speed boat targets at a range of 6km during demonstrations that proved that Longbow can counter fast-attack craft in realistic situations, making the weapon an effective candidate for potential use in operational shipboard launches.

The demonstrations represented the first vertical launches of the Longbow missile and its first lock-on after launch against maritime targets.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Advanced Programs director, Hady Mourad, said the firings demonstrated the capability of the existing Longbow missile in a new littoral threat environment, and also verified its vertical-launch capability.

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

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

Developed and built for the US Army by Longbow Limited Liability Company, a joint venture between Lockheed and Northrop Grumman, the AGM-114L Longbow is a fire-and-forget missile that can be launched from defilade, to augment soldiers' battlefield survivability.

The fire-and-forget Longbow missile uses millimetre-wave guidance to lock onto targets before or after launch, and provides capability even in adverse weather and battlefield obscurants, such as smoke and fog that mask position of the target or prevent the designating laser from producing a detectable reflection.

Extensively used by the US Army during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq, respectively, the missile has also been ordered by the UK Army.


Image: the Longbow missile successfully engaged multiple incoming high-speed boat targets at a range of 6km during a testing near Eglin AFB, US. Photo: copyright of Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Defence Technology