Lockheed Martin is seeking US Navy funding to demonstrate in-development "smart" weapons for use on warships.

The Vertical Launch Autonomous Attack System (VLAAS) would be used to defend against fast patrol boats and for time-critical short and medium-range precision-strike land attack missions.

The Mk-41 vertical launcher would be modified to fire a tactical munitions dispenser with four Low-Cost Autonomous Attack System (LOCAAS) loitering munitions. The existing vertical launch ASROC rocket motor and guidance system would boost the weapon into a 15,000-20,000ft (4,570-6,100m) ballistic flight profile, extending the LOCAAS' range and endurance.

Lockheed Martin wants the USN to earmark $10 million for two VLAAS flight tests at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

The company is also pitching the Precision Over-the-Horizon Land Attack Rocket (POLAR) to the USN, and seeks $10 million for a flight demonstration.

POLAR - a naval version of the US Army's in-development Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) - would be used in place of guns or missiles.

The weapon utilises GMLRS components, including the guidance and control section, warhead/payload section and tail fin assembly, but the rocket motor length would be extended 30% to meet the USN's range. Four POLAR rockets would be packed in a vertical launch system canister, and this would also serve as the rocket launcher. Initial GMLRS fielding is expected in 2004.

Source: Flight International