A NAVAIR public affairs officer told Naval News:
The Navy achieved Early Operational Capability (EOC) for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) on the F/A-18 in November 2019. LRASM will play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in the Pacific and in the littorals by providing a long range surface warfare capability.
The AGM-158C LRASM achieved early operational capability with the U.S Air Force B-1B in December 2018, ahead of schedule. A single USAF B-1B Lancer can carry and deploy up to 24 LRASM.
LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by employing advanced technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments. LRASM will play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in open ocean/blue waters, owing to its enhanced ability to discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges.
BAE Systems’ long-range sensor and targeting technology enables LRASM to detect and engage protected ships in all weather conditions, day or night, without relying on external intelligence and navigation data.
The advanced LRASM sensor technology builds on BAE Systems’ expertise in electronic warfare (EW), signal processing, and targeting technologies, and demonstrates the company’s ability to apply its world-class EW technology to small platforms.
Armed with a 1,000 Lbs (454 kg) penetrating blast fragmentation warhead, LRASM is low observable and likely has a range comparable with JASSM ER (around 500 nautical miles).
LRASM is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force Warfighters in contested environments. The air-launched variant provides an early operational capability for the U.S. Navy’s offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement.
LRASM may soon find its way aboard the B-52 bomber of the U.S. Air Force and maybe, someday, aboard the U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon.
On the international front, Naval News learned recently that Lockheed Martin is promoting LRASM in Australia