Eliminating denial-of-access systems, whether Russian or Chinese, has become the obsession of Pentagon planners, as these systems can potentially threaten the optimal use of American firepower, which relies on above all on its air forces and its navy. To achieve this, both the US Air Force and the US Navy have undertaken to drastically increase the performance of long-range air-to-surface or air-to-surface weapons used by their respective aircraft. Therefore Lockheed-Martin saw the controls for its AGM-158 cruise missile designated by the acronym JASSM-ER, for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile -Extended Range, soar to exceed the 2000 units delivered today, mainly to the US Air Force and the US Navy.
The cruise missile, with a range of 370 km for version A and almost 1000 km for the AGM-158B or -Extended Range version, can be used by almost all of the combat aircraft of the two air forces the USAF F15, F16, F35, B1, B2 and B52; like the F / A 18 E / F Super Hornet, the F35C and potentially US Navy P8 Poseidon. A third version, AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile or LRASM, entered service in 2018, again for aircraft from both armies. Like most missiles of this type, like the European SCALP-EG / Storm Shadow, the missile is subsonic and uses inertial navigation readjusted by GPS for transit flight and an infrared seeker for the final strike. With a load of 450 kg, the missile can take hard targets, such as bunkers, but also hierarchical targets, thanks to the artificial intelligence embedded in the infrared seeker.
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