US P-8A patrol aircraft will receive LRASM with a new weapon link

WASHINGTON – The US Navy’s P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft will be armed with Lockheed Martin’s long-range anti-ship missiles [LRASM], BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing the Defense Post and a contract with Naval Air Systems Command.

It is known that the integration of LRASM will take place in earlier versions of the P-8A Poseidon naval patrol aircraft. Boeing will need to provide at least two years of engineering and instrumental maintenance. This period also includes the time for testing the airworthiness of long-range anti-ship missiles.

Lockheed’s anti-ship missile is a precision-guided missile that aims to hit and destroy high-priority targets among swarms of ships. So far, the US Navy’s P-8A Poseidon has used a Harpoon, meaning LRASM will have to replace these obsolete missiles.

However, it is not clear exactly which version the patrol planes will receive. BulgarianMilitary.com reminded you that in the middle of the year an agreement was signed between Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems, with which BAE Systems committed to helping Lockheed build the next generation of LRASM. This “upgrade” includes long-range sensors and brand-new targeting technology. The new targeting technology must be designed in such a way that during military operations and after the anti-ship missile is fired, the enemy is detected and destroyed in conditions of electronic jamming by the enemy.

However, these anti-ship missiles that will arm US patrol planes will have a radio frequency sensor, as well as a completely new weapon connection. The new weapon link will help LRASM more easily penetrate more sophisticated enemy air defense systems.

So far there is no information about the value of the contract, but it is assumed that it will become a fact in the next two or three months. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds you that the latest contract between Boeing and Lockheed Martin was worth nearly $ 74 million, which includes the development of software to integrate missiles into the P-8A Poseidon.

BulgarianMilitary.com also reminded you that the US Navy is looking for a way to avoid “dependence” on Lockheed and Boeing in similar deals between the two companies, looking for other military companies to commit at some point to take on aeromechanical and software integration, to mount the Poseidon missile system.

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