The U.S. online media “Breaking Defense” reported that the U.S. Navy plans to add the AGM-158C LRASM (Long Range Anti-Ship Missile) to the P-8A “Poseidon” anti-submarine patrol aircraft, if indeed the integration is successful, it will If the integration is successful, it will become the third LRASM long-range anti-ship missile launch platform in addition to the F/A-18 Super Hornet and the B-1B strategic bomber, which will effectively intimidate the huge Chinese Communist Navy fleet.
The report points out that the U.S. Navy will sign a contract with Boeing next year to integrate LRASM long-range anti-ship missiles into the P-8A aircraft, upgrading its combat and attack capabilities; until then, the P-8A and its predecessor, the P-3 Orion patrol aircraft can be equipped with AGM-84 “Harpoon “anti-ship missile. As the U.S. government has stopped purchasing P-8As in fiscal year 2021, the U.S. military currently has 128 of them, and the report did not mention whether they are fully retrofitted.
Chinese official media Global Times claimed that the P-8A is currently the mainstay of the U.S. military’s “close reconnaissance” of the mainland, and in November the U.S. sent 94 reconnaissance sorties to the Chinese coast, nearly 80% of which were P-8A models.
According to public records, the LRASM long-range anti-ship missile was originally developed to maintain an advantage in the face of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, which continues to strengthen its force, and to solve the problem of low survivability and lack of range of the harpoon missile. Theoretically, LRASM does not need to be updated by external import, but can use the passive detection hardware inside the missile with high performance artificial intelligence to identify the target ship, and can automatically evade the anti-ship missile of active defense system. After launch, the missile will fly to the target at medium altitude until it enters attack mode, when it lowers altitude for sea-skimming flight. Since there is no active radar seeker, the target can be targeted without emitting any electromagnetic wave signal, which significantly reduces the warning range of electronic detection system. It is the world’s first anti-ship missile that can independently classify threats and select targets. The literature claims the air-launched LRASM has an operational range of up to 930 kilometers.
In August 2015, the U.S. Navy designated the air-launched LRASM as “AGM-158C.” The B-1B became operationally capable of LRASM in December 2018, and the F/A-18E/F will be confirmed as operational with LRASM in December 2019. Integration into P-8A engineering development is scheduled to be completed in 2026.