08:17 GMT +322 August 2019
Listen Live
    LRASM missile

    New Anti-Ship Missiles Strike Moving Targets in Latest Test from US B-1B Bombers

    © Wikipedia / U.S Navy
    Military & Intelligence
    Get short URL
    19324

    A US Air Force B-1B supersonic bomber has apparently successfully test-fired two sensorized missiles developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to provide enhanced surface attack options.

    Lockheed Martin announced May 23 that the two Long-Range Anti-Ship (LRASM) missiles fired by the B-1B Lancers struck their targets successfully. "The missiles navigated through all planned waypoints, transitioned to mid-course guidance and flew toward the moving maritime target using inputs from the onboard sensors," the company said in a news release.

    The air-fired missiles are designed to be relatively autonomous once fired, able to track and strike ships with reduced reliance on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, which sometimes can be hard to come by for the US Navy in areas such as the Pacific Ocean.

    During April testimony before the US Congress, US Pacific Command (PACOM) nominee Admiral Philip Davidson said, "PACOM only has about a quarter of the [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] it needs in the AOR," or area of responsibility.

    Lockheed Martin has a requirement to integrate the 2,200 to 4,500-pound missile onto the US Air Force's B-1B by 2018 and the US Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet by 2019, according to a DARPA fact sheet.

    "With the growth of maritime threats in anti-access/area denial environments, this semi-autonomous, air-launched anti-ship missile promises to reduce dependence on external platforms and network links in order to penetrate sophisticated enemy air-defense systems," the fact sheet notes.

    The basic framework of the missile follows that of the Joint Air-to Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER). The LRASM is a subsonic missile like the JASSM-ER; however, the LRASM has a shorter range because of its extra sensors that help "discriminate between targets," according to DARPA and Breaking Defense. In 2012, the US military cancelled an LRASM-B program that would have competed with the BrahMos missile, developed by India and Russia.

    While the JASSM and Tomahawk missile "are used against fixed, land-based targets," security expert John Pike told Sputnik News Wednesday, "LRASM has [a] terminal homing seeker the others lack."

    "A long time ago there was some interest in an anti-ship variant of Tomahawk," the missile fired by US Navy vessels against Syria's Shayrat air base in April 2017, "but nothing came of it," said Pike, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

    Related:

    Cutting-Edge, Long-Range, Anti-Ship: Pentagon’s New Missile Passes Field Tests
    Lockheed Martin Wins $86Mln to Manufacture Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles
    Russia's Long-Range Bombers, Sub Launch Massive Attack on Daesh in Syria
    Iran Showcases Long-Range Sayyad-3 Missiles at Military Parade in Tehran
    India to Get Long Range Missile Test Facilities in Indian Ocean
    Tags:
    Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSMs), Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), Tomahawk, Lockheed Martin, DARPA, US Navy, John Pike, Philip Davidson, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik