TypeStandoff air-launched cruise missile
Service history
Used byUnited States Armed Forces
Production history
ManufacturerRTX Corporation
Unit cost$13.33m[1]

2,500+ km (predicted)

The AGM-181 Long Range Stand Off Weapon (LRSO) is a nuclear-armed air-launched cruise missile under development by Raytheon Technologies that will replace the AGM-86 ALCM.


As of August 24, 2017, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin received separate $900 million contracts from the Department of Defense and US Air Force and are developing their own versions.[2][3][4] Contracts were intended to end in 2022, when the Department of Defense will select one design to continue further developments.[5]

To replace the ALCM, the USAF planned to award a contract for the development of the new Long-Range Stand-Off weapon in 2015.[6] Unlike the AGM-86, the LRSO will be carried on multiple aircraft. The LRSO program is to develop a weapon that can penetrate and survive integrated air defense systems and prosecute strategic targets. The weapons are required to reach initial operational capability (IOC) before the retirement of their respective ALCM versions, around 2030.[7]

The technology development contracts were to be submitted before the end of 2012.[8] In March 2014 a further three-year delay in the project was announced by the Department of Defense, delaying a contract award until fiscal year 2018.[9] The House Armed Services Committee moved to reject this delay.[10] The delay was caused by financial pressures and an uncertain acquisition plan, and allowed by the long remaining service life left for the AGM-86 and lack of urgent necessity compared to other defense needs.[11] The designations YAGM-180A and YAGM-181A have been allocated to the LRSO prototypes from Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies respectively.[12] The FY2020 defense authorization bill passed by Congress repealed the requirement for a conventional warhead version of the LRSO, leaving only the nuclear armed variant. The Air Force will use the JASSM-ER and the longer-ranged JASSM-XR to fulfill the conventional standoff missile role.[13]

In April 2020, the Air Force announced plans to continue the Long-Range Standoff Weapon’s development with Raytheon Company as a sole-source contractor.[14]

On 1 July 2021, the USAF awarded Raytheon a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the engineering and manufacturing development stage of the LRSO program, with options that could take the contract to about US$2 billion. DefenseNews reported that the USAF could buy more than 1,000 AGM-181 missiles, which are projected to have a range in excess of 1,500 miles (2,400 km). [15]


The AGM-181 will be integrated with the B-52H and B-21 bomber.[16] The missile's nuclear warhead will be the W80 mod 4 warhead.[17][18][19]


See also


  1. ^ "Report to Congressional Committees, Weapons Systems Annual Assessment" (PDF). Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  2. ^ "Everything You Need to Know About the USAF's New Nuclear Cruise Missile Program". 24 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Lockheed, Raytheon nab contracts for nuclear cruise missile". 23 August 2017.
  4. ^ Stone, Mike (23 August 2017). "U.S. Air Force picks Raytheon, Lockheed for next-gen cruise missile". Reuters.
  5. ^ "Lockheed, Raytheon receive contracts for nuclear cruise missile". UPI. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  6. ^ "Air Force plans two-year delay in developing new Cruise Missile", Archived at: Archived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ USAF's LRSO missile may reach IOC around 2030 -, 7 January 2014
  8. ^ Majumdar2012-12-07T20:49:00+00:00, Dave. "USAF to develop new cruise missile". Flight Global. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013.
  9. ^ Hemmerdinger, Jon. "USAF delays LRSO again, this time by three years". Flight Global. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014.
  10. ^ Guarino, Douglas P. (29 April 2014). "GOP Defense Bill Pushes Back Against Proposed Nuclear-Modernization Delays". Nuclear Threat Initiative. Archived from the original on 30 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  11. ^ Long-Range Standoff Missile Development Pushed Back By Three Years Archived 4 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine -, 5 March 2014
  12. ^ "Lockheed May Still Play a Role in Upgrading Raytheon LRSO, Once it's Operational". April 21, 2020.
  13. ^ Congress Repeals Requirement for Conventional Long-Range Standoff Weapon. Forecast International. 5 February 2020.
  14. ^ Bryant, Leah (April 17, 2020). "Air Force selects single contractor for long-range standoff nuclear weapon". Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  15. ^ Raytheon wins $2B contract for new nuclear cruise missile, Valerie Insinna,, 2021-07-06
  16. ^ "Janes | Latest defence and security news".
  17. ^ "The US could be getting 2 new nuclear capabilities. Here are the details". 2 February 2018.
  18. ^ "W80-1 Warhead Selected For New Nuclear Cruise Missile". Oct 10, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  19. ^ "Some B-21 Bomber Facilities at Ellsworth to be Ready for 2024". Air Force Magazine. 21 April 2022.