US fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighters will receive AGM-158C-3 LRASM-ER anti-ship missiles with a range of more than 920 kilometres

By: Maksim Panasovskyi | 16.11.2023, 00:22
US fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighters will receive AGM-158C-3 LRASM-ER anti-ship missiles with a range of more than 920 kilometres

The US Navy wants its F-35A Lightning II to be able to destroy enemy ships with LRASM (Long Range Anti-Ship Missile) missiles. The ability to engage maritime targets would be a major milestone for the fifth-generation fighters.

Here's What We Know

We have already written that the military wants to arm the F-35 Lightning II with JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile) air-to-air missiles. LRASM is also a subsonic, low-observable missile that has advanced technology for precise targeting and guidance.

Although the US Navy has decided not to take the JASSM-ER, in the case of the LRASM, it is the extended range version that the military service wants to use. We are talking about the AGM-158C-3 LRASM-ER. The Lockheed Martin missile is capable of engaging targets at a range of more than 920 kilometres.

LRASM is more important for the F-35 Lightning II, as the fifth-generation fighter has not received an anti-ship missile at the moment. This is because the integration of the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile (NSM), which is called the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) in the aircraft configuration, has not yet been finalised.

The LRASM anti-ship missile is a development of the JASSM. It has similar overall dimensions. This means that the F-35 Lightning II will be able to carry two missiles under the wings, i.e. at the expense of stealth capabilities.

Source: sam.gov