First introduced in 2400 by the Terran Hegemony, Long Range Missiles are designed to engage the enemy at great distances at the expense of damage dealt. Adapted towards the profusion of electronic jamming on the battlefield and the effectiveness of current armor designs, these self-guided missiles are unique for using a special armor-piercing explosive warhead. The development of a metal composite/high explosive mixture allowed for the warhead to be made entirely of high-explosive material; this same feature was later used to construct the missile's frame as well. The result were warheads which had the same destructive capability as older warheads that were four times as long, allowing for more missiles to be carried and fired. LRMs are capable of indirect fire and disperse over a smaller area than Short Range Missiles while causing less damage. Inner Sphere LRM launchers achieve their superior range by firing at a ballistic launch angle, making them less accurate at close range. Clan LRM launchers do not suffer from this effect, in addition to being smaller and more compact, thanks to their technological advantage. LRMs are highly upgradable, able to fire a variety of warheads and benefit from devices such as Artemis IV FCS.
Long Range Missile technology has been expanded upon since it was first introduced, especially in the years since the Clan Invasion spurred weapons designers on both sides. These include Extended, Enhanced, and Streak LRMs, as well as scaled-down battle armor versions.
- TechManual, p.229
- Era Report: 2750, p. 99-100