New Stealthy Anti-Ship Missiles

LRASM missile

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The United States Navy has recently declared that the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) is ready for operational use to some degree. The Navy has announced early operational capability (EOC) for the missile as carried by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The LRASM is designed to infiltrate and sneak around enemy defenses in order to shoot down key naval targets. Pairing LRASMs with Super Hornets allow aircraft carriers powerful anti-ship capabilities, making it possible to neutralize enemy vessels from hundreds of miles away.

Usni.org reports that the Navy has approved the missile for limited missions with the Super Hornet. The Super Hornet will likely carry two LRASMs in its operations.

The missile is the first new anti-ship missile the United States Navy has had in decades, according to Popularmechanics.com, and is expected to fix a major shortage in the US Navy – the ability to sink ships.

Developed by Lockheed Martin, The LRASM takes the platform of the United States Air Force’s Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM). LRASM utilises JASSM’s turbojet powered cruise missile platform and converts it to an anti-ship missile armed with a 1,000 pound explosive warhead. 

Compared to other air-surface missiles, that rely on speed to overcome enemy anti-missile capabilities, the LRASM relies on stealth to overcome countermeasures. The missile scans for enemy air defense radars and plans a route through the least defended airspaces. It is capable of autonomous navigation and attack and in contrast to super fast yet short endurance anti ship missiles, the LRASM is powered by a turbojet engine which gives the missile long endurance for the price of speed.

The missile is capable of beyond line of sight operations (BLOS) since it is capable of linking with satellites. The missile is also capable of operating in GPS and communications denied environments.