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Australia shows interest in LRASM anti-ship missile

written by Gerard Frawley | August 17, 2016

mfc-lrasm-pr2-h

Australia is one of a small number of nations that have shown interest in the AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) being developed for the US Navy and US Air Force, Lockheed Martin has revealed.

The LRASM is a development of the JASSM-ER, the extended range variant of the AGM-158 JASSM stand-off missile in service on the RAAF’s F/A-18A ‘classic’ Hornets. It is being developed by Lockheed Martin under a cooperative program for the US Air Force and Navy that will see the stealthy missile fielded on the B-1B bomber in 2018 and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from 2019.

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“We are encouraging the Navy to respond to international interest in this system. Australia is one country that has expressed some interest, the UK has expressed some interest, Canada has expressed some interest,” Frank St John, vice president tactical missiles/combat manoeuvre systems at Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business unit, told Australian media on Tuesday.

“I expect that within some period of time the US Navy will have an export policy on [LRASM] and [we] can start talking seriously about how we integrate it on other platforms.”

The LRASM is about 85 per cent common with the JASSM-ER, mainly differing in featuring a multi-mode radio frequency sensor that gives the weapon a semi-autonomous targeting capability.

“The same kind of targets that caused the United States Navy to develop the LRASM are the same kinds of threats that … Australia is dealing with, and so people come by our booth at trade shows and say ‘could you build some of those for us?’ and we say ‘as soon as you go talk to the Navy and get their permission I can talk to you about this’, and I know that they’ve started having some conversations with the Navy.”

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A requirement for new anti-ship missiles for the RAAF’s fighter fleet of F/A-18F Super Hornets and the forthcoming F-35A Joint Strike Fighter is mentioned in the new Defence White Paper’s accompanying Integrated Investment Program (IIP) document.

“A series of new weapons will be acquired for the strike and air combat capability including air-to-surface and air-to-air munitions, with specific consideration of high-speed and long-range strike and anti-ship weapons,” the IIP notes.

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

39 Comments

  • paul

    says:

    Always good to have an array to choose from.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    we are also an island nation

  • B. Harrison

    says:

    The dogs of war are starting to howl. The reality is that the hawkish Clinton will be the next U.S president as Trump is so appalling his chances are anything from nil to Buckleys. The neocons will have “their girl” in power and it is clear that a U.S administration under her stewardship will not tolerate China’s attempts to be the dominant force in the Western Pacific, particularly in the South China Sea. How Australia is going to avoid being dragged into a shooting war between China and the U.S is anyone’s guess and I shudder to think of the consequences. So we better start preparing and having the necessary hardware to be able to react to what is coming or our defence forces will be the lemmings of the Southern Pacific.

    • So how did that prediction of yours work out?

  • Shane

    says:

    Shouldn’t we buy the remaining surplus Bones? We need to replace the long range strike capability we lost with the retirement of the Pigs. Maybe upgrade the Bones to the R standard, then we get double the capability.. It could be said that the Bones won’t be survivable due to their lack of stealth, however, a long range bomb truck/missileer will always be useful. The reduced range of the R may also reduce the threat to China that they may perceive….putting inflight refuelling aside.

  • Fabian

    says:

    Yep certainly. It’s good to have a wide variety of missiles

  • Jason

    says:

    Buy B-1s??? OMG, the comments just keep getting better…

  • Samual

    says:

    I wonder if they will also be used with the Poseidon.

  • Adrian P

    says:

    Sounds as if the United States of America are keen to refurbish an old aircraft carrier.

    USS Australia.

    Remember the Domino Theory, if Vietnam fell the rest of Asia would follow.

    Didn’t happen, a lot of good people suffered and some of them didn’t come back.

  • Ben

    says:

    The idea of Aussie Bones seems fun and all but really B-1’s. Won’t you better served getting the B-21 if that capability was required? That said there is no way any goverment is going fork out 500 million plus per plane. Things would really have to be hitting the fan for that kinda of investment.

  • Shane

    says:

    When the pigs were retired, a vast amount of expertise and knowledge were lost, you cannot obtain that capability overnight, it will take years…if we had of replaced the pigs with a similar aircraft, we could have retained that base.. We didn’t. The B21 will not be able to be just purchased (assuming they can be bought) and then be FOC. That’s why we need to start now. Our region is changing rapidly…as is the case with modern war, you fight it with the weopons you have, not the ones you’re designing or buying.. Hence, prepare for war, pray for peace. Also, we are buying $50 billion worth of submarines….would they not be more effective with a supporting bomber force? And just think about this, we are one US president away from being all by ourselves…as Sweden was at the start of WWII.

  • paul

    says:

    Ben,Ben,Ben.No B-21s for Australia or anyone.

  • Ben

    says:

    Sorry for the confusion but I was in no way pushing the B-21, that’ll never happen. What I was trying to say is if and I repeat if the RAAF was to reintroduce that long range strike capacity wouldn’t we be better served acquiring a new design opposed to a jet designed over 40 years ago. Regardless the point is moot as the jet will never be released for export.

  • paul

    says:

    Ben,our long range strike capability will be at best served by standoff weapons and 5th gen fighters.

  • Shane

    says:

    Long range and F35 are rarely used in the same sentence in a positive way…like the Initial Mig 29, it’s got just enough fuel to defend its own airfield. Further, the LRASM will have to be carried externally on fighter sized aircraft and …in that configuration the F35 will the become a slow, non stealthy and not-manoeuvrable target. The Posiedons could probably be a launch platform., maybe drones, or maybe something else that is long ranged, carries a large payload and supersonic…

  • Harry

    says:

    Paul, yes for the most part and maybe a little no… it depends what you mean about long range strike. I guess for the most part it could. But I would rather see a similar replacement for the F-111s, in say an F-15 to do long-range strike and low-level strike, and/or accompany JSFs on strike missions by providing air-superiority overwatch (or behind watch for aerial engagements)

    Jason was chatting in another thread that standoff weapons with JSF and AWACs etc make a great capability. And they do. It is an increasingly necessary element of a ridiculously small force that has to rely on whatever technological edge it can to overcome the weight of numbers certain adversaries can rely on for their armed forces. However, I have an issue when all these systems start to rely on each other and a network that isn’t invulnerable to EW and/or cyber corruption during conflict. Such a system is not invulnerable and once its corrupted or broken, the parts that make it up can potentially become highly vulnerable.

    There is also the problem of targeting (and this is a problem for mainly air and maritime engagements). Long rang strike is necessary (But this is simpler when its attacking stationary targets). But you also have to know what you’re hitting. Thats why despite employing long range missiles an aircraft can’t just shoot at any blimp it sees on its radar screen, even during war time. EW and cyber if employed well, could severely limit our ability to target at long range.

    I wouldn’t advocate for the B-1, B-21 or extremely unaffordable aircraft such as these. But I would advocate for, as shane describes, a bomb-truck or misselier, for several reasons. Consider certain scenarios and ask yourself what truly is the best tool for the job when you have many demanding jobs and a limited supply? This is a stealth verse payload conundrum the RAAF will have to deal with in the air, maritime, and land domains.

    I still think the JSF is necessary – that is if it does what its supposed to do – but I think additional assets that are specifically designed to be long range low level bomb-trucks, air-superiority aces or misselier platforms, just exactly like the USAF is designing for to round-out its tiny F-22 fleet and the “it was never meant to operate without air-superiority fighters” F-35s (a paraphrase from USAF F-35 program official describing that the F-35 is primarily a multi-role fighter and not designed for air-superiority combat, say against a numerical superior adversary in wartime, unlike the F-22).

  • John N

    says:

    Shane,

    I don’t get your point, LRASM having to be carried externally on an F-35A? So what? The problem with that is?

    I think the whole point you are missing is the ‘extended range’ capabilities of the new maritime and land strike weapons that will potentially arm the RAAF’s future F-35A’s and current F/A-18F’s and what that really means, regardless of ‘internal’ or ‘external’ carriage.

    As I mentioned recently (in another post), various contenders for future land and maritime strike include: JASSM (approx. 400km range, in service with the ‘Classic’ Hornet fleet), JASSM-ER (approx. 1,000km), LRASM (approx. 930km) and JSM (approx. 290km).

    Here’s a ‘what if’ example to ponder:

    An F-111C (1973 configuration), has to take off from Brisbane and fly to Melbourne and drop some dumb bombs on the pitch at the MCG and return to Brisbane. Brisbane to Melbourne, by air is approx. 1,370km one way (2,740km return).

    An F-35A (in the mid 2020’s with Block 4 and beyond software upgrades), also has to take off from Brisbane and is tasked with the same mission, hit the pitch at the MCG, but this time there is a difference.

    The aircraft heads toward Sydney (750km approx.) from Brisbane by air, just as it get to the bottom end of Sydney it releases a JASSM-ER (1,000km range approx.) and then turns around and heads back to Brisbane. The distance from Sydney to Melbourne is approx. 715km by air, you can guess what the result would be.

    It would be reasonable to imagine that the F-35A that released the JASSM-ER over Sydney to strike the MCG would probably be on final approach to land back to Brisbane just as the JASSM-ER is making a big hole in the ground in the middle of the MCG pitch!!

    Yes I know my example might look ‘simplistic’, but this is where things are headed, you don’t necessarily need aircraft with very long range to strike distant targets, eg, putting the crew and aircraft at a higher risk of being shot down.

    In the future (and the future is just about here now!), is that aircraft of shorter range (and not even taking into account support by KC-30A’s for example) you can employ extended range weapons to achieve the same result, but with far less risk to the crew and aircraft too.

    External carriage? who cares! Not when the weapons being carried are able to be deployed from a safe distance to whatever might have been faced if the aircraft had been forced to fly well into a hot environment.

    Anyway, just my opinion of course!

    Cheers,

    John N

  • paul

    says:

    Harry i have to agree with you on the 15.The facility Alice Springs is a great asset and enabler for the Alliance.No one has mentioned this as a force multiplier.Remember we r only up against Sukhois.Not to mention 3rd gen fighters.The RAAF will be very soon fielding a total system.Even China doesn’t have a system as good as ours.Even the Russians believe Western tech is more advanced.Sorry Carlo.

  • Harry

    says:

    Sorry Jason I actually meant John. Sorry John too. I take your points John and agree with you but also pose the question about the ‘identification’ in an EW & Cyber environment. This great new concept of a networked system has a problem. While such force multipliers assist in targeting at long range. Half of targeting is identification. And identification isn’t as simple as detection from long-range. USAF planes, even in wartime and even now/today, can’t just shoot at whatever they like. They actually have to get close sometimes for identification. Identification can also be obscured through EW, including jamming and spoofing, and cyber, something that will be particularly dangerous in the future. Thats why air-superiority fighters are absolutely still necessary, even for Australia, and one reason why long range fighter bombers are still relevant in the maritime domain.

  • paul

    says:

    John,i fully agree with you on this.To all you F-111 people who think you have to fly over the target,to achieve the same result,as a 35 employing standoffs at a safe distance.

  • Dave Thomas

    says:

    Harry, I agree with your notation regarding the “identification ” in an EW situation, but isn’t that why we have the “Wedgetail” aircraft, possibly the worlds superior EW platform; combine this with the F/A18 EF’s and future F-35’s and we are able to do stand off JASSM-ER launching in most situations.

  • Harry

    says:

    Dave, yeah the F-18 Growlers, G-550s, E-7 Wedgetails will all be awesome for us. But if you look around at defence and strategy news you will eventually come across a whole bunch of articles which discuss that Russian EW systems, tech and operational procedures are being far in advance of the US and their allies capabilities, especially on land and maritime domains. And even with Wedgetails, identification isn’t so easy. The US had E-3s over Iraq during the 91 gulf war and Iraq war and often would have to close to within visual distance to properly identify targets. Now, how are you going to distinguish between a soviet Su-30 design flown over the South China Sea? Is is Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malaysian or a Chinese J-15? A Wedgetail doesn’t give you automatic identification. Russian planes in the Baltics have been turning off there transponders and EU fighters have had to actually intercept them to find out who they are and what they are doing. Now try doing that with the 100,000s of different ships there are in the world. An E-7 can detect them of course, but it can’t necessarily identify them, especially not in the a EW environment!

  • paul

    says:

    Harry,sounds like Russian propaganda to me.The Us spend billions more on R&D than anybody else.The US have every radar from Russia and everywhere else sitting in the Nevada desert.

  • Shane

    says:

    Of course I didn’t mean that a bomber has to fly over a target to destroy it….I’m talking about a long strike capability. A Bone can carry 24 LRASM’s….how many JSFs and tankers would it take to complete the same mission as one Bone? Given the way the situation is developing in the south chine sea, the question to be asked is where do you want the front line to be? I would prefer that front line to be at least several hundred nautical miles north of Indonesia as opposed to tens of miles north of Darwin (hyperbole, I know, just trying make the point). And if the Bones are not a relevant platform, why is the USAF rotating them through Darwin? It seems bleeding obvious….and if Trump becomes POTUS….nb I only say Bones as there is nothing else with the same capability in development, and I don’t think anybody would counter me and say lets get some Tu22m3s!

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    what if there was an eots/das systems upgrade for the wedgetail as well as colour photography/video for nationality id?

  • TimC69

    says:

    Shane

    I agree with your proposal , 10 Bones as a deterrent that would make even the PRC thinks twice. One rule of war is to prosecute the fight in the enemies “backyard” as opposed to ours. I’d hate to see the “wave pool” in Darwin destroyed…..so many memories!

  • paul

    says:

    10 bones.Yes please.

  • Jason

    says:

    Wow…getting B-1Bs is only slightly more ridiculous than getting Tu-22Ms.

    By the way, I wonder how many folks know how close Australia came to getting B-1s about 12 years ago???

  • Raymond

    says:

    Jason, B-1’s? Please say more.

  • Shane

    says:

    Only slightly more ridiculous? Slightly? Seriously? Twelve years ago the Bones would have been unnecessary and a provocation….they would have caused an otherwise avoidable militarisation of the region. That was then, this is now…Australia did not commence militarisation in the region….China did and they are arming at a frightening rate.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    why didn’t the u.s just totally redesign the pig with stealth and electronic capabilities.

  • Raymond

    says:

    Hayden, it wouldn’t then have been anything like a Pig. Whatever it ended up being would have been something entirely different.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    but it would be a good long range strike aircraft able to last another 20-40 years

  • Raymond

    says:

    That’s exactly what air-to-air refuelling and stand-off munitions together with platforms such as the F-22, the F-35 and the B-21 are for…

    If you think the US has lost this capability you are mistaken. It’s just not in the form of an F-111. There was overlap in capability as well as obsolescence and the role of the F-111 is and will be satisfied by other platforms in service. I loved the F-111 too, however time moves on.

  • paul

    says:

    Hayden,u have been reading to much of APA.

  • Shane

    says:

    Hayden, they did…it’s called the B 1B Lancer lol

  • Harry

    says:

    Paul these are US website I am referencing, no propaganda there! They talk about it extensively on defenseone and breakingdefense. Sure the US spends a lot, but they have barely touched EW in maritime and land areas. The current growlers tech is decades old. The next-gen jammer is coming out soon though. But that will be for the F-15….

  • Jason

    says:

    Harry – Growler tech decades old? No it’s not. The ALQ-99 pods have been progressively updated, and the ALQ-218 is state-of-the-art.

    And Next Gen Jammer for the F-15? No again, it’s for Growler and perhaps F-35.

    Otherwise, great post! :\

  • paul

    says:

    Harry,that’s what they say to get more ahead of the game.Sorry US propaganda.

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Australia shows interest in LRASM anti-ship missile

written by Gerard Frawley | August 17, 2016

mfc-lrasm-pr2-h

Australia is one of a small number of nations that have shown interest in the AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) being developed for the US Navy and US Air Force, Lockheed Martin has revealed.

The LRASM is a development of the JASSM-ER, the extended range variant of the AGM-158 JASSM stand-off missile in service on the RAAF’s F/A-18A ‘classic’ Hornets. It is being developed by Lockheed Martin under a cooperative program for the US Air Force and Navy that will see the stealthy missile fielded on the B-1B bomber in 2018 and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from 2019.

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“We are encouraging the Navy to respond to international interest in this system. Australia is one country that has expressed some interest, the UK has expressed some interest, Canada has expressed some interest,” Frank St John, vice president tactical missiles/combat manoeuvre systems at Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business unit, told Australian media on Tuesday.

“I expect that within some period of time the US Navy will have an export policy on [LRASM] and [we] can start talking seriously about how we integrate it on other platforms.”

The LRASM is about 85 per cent common with the JASSM-ER, mainly differing in featuring a multi-mode radio frequency sensor that gives the weapon a semi-autonomous targeting capability.

“The same kind of targets that caused the United States Navy to develop the LRASM are the same kinds of threats that … Australia is dealing with, and so people come by our booth at trade shows and say ‘could you build some of those for us?’ and we say ‘as soon as you go talk to the Navy and get their permission I can talk to you about this’, and I know that they’ve started having some conversations with the Navy.”

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A requirement for new anti-ship missiles for the RAAF’s fighter fleet of F/A-18F Super Hornets and the forthcoming F-35A Joint Strike Fighter is mentioned in the new Defence White Paper’s accompanying Integrated Investment Program (IIP) document.

“A series of new weapons will be acquired for the strike and air combat capability including air-to-surface and air-to-air munitions, with specific consideration of high-speed and long-range strike and anti-ship weapons,” the IIP notes.

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

39 Comments

  • paul

    says:

    Always good to have an array to choose from.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    we are also an island nation

  • B. Harrison

    says:

    The dogs of war are starting to howl. The reality is that the hawkish Clinton will be the next U.S president as Trump is so appalling his chances are anything from nil to Buckleys. The neocons will have “their girl” in power and it is clear that a U.S administration under her stewardship will not tolerate China’s attempts to be the dominant force in the Western Pacific, particularly in the South China Sea. How Australia is going to avoid being dragged into a shooting war between China and the U.S is anyone’s guess and I shudder to think of the consequences. So we better start preparing and having the necessary hardware to be able to react to what is coming or our defence forces will be the lemmings of the Southern Pacific.

    • So how did that prediction of yours work out?

  • Shane

    says:

    Shouldn’t we buy the remaining surplus Bones? We need to replace the long range strike capability we lost with the retirement of the Pigs. Maybe upgrade the Bones to the R standard, then we get double the capability.. It could be said that the Bones won’t be survivable due to their lack of stealth, however, a long range bomb truck/missileer will always be useful. The reduced range of the R may also reduce the threat to China that they may perceive….putting inflight refuelling aside.

  • Fabian

    says:

    Yep certainly. It’s good to have a wide variety of missiles

  • Jason

    says:

    Buy B-1s??? OMG, the comments just keep getting better…

  • Samual

    says:

    I wonder if they will also be used with the Poseidon.

  • Adrian P

    says:

    Sounds as if the United States of America are keen to refurbish an old aircraft carrier.

    USS Australia.

    Remember the Domino Theory, if Vietnam fell the rest of Asia would follow.

    Didn’t happen, a lot of good people suffered and some of them didn’t come back.

  • Ben

    says:

    The idea of Aussie Bones seems fun and all but really B-1’s. Won’t you better served getting the B-21 if that capability was required? That said there is no way any goverment is going fork out 500 million plus per plane. Things would really have to be hitting the fan for that kinda of investment.

  • Shane

    says:

    When the pigs were retired, a vast amount of expertise and knowledge were lost, you cannot obtain that capability overnight, it will take years…if we had of replaced the pigs with a similar aircraft, we could have retained that base.. We didn’t. The B21 will not be able to be just purchased (assuming they can be bought) and then be FOC. That’s why we need to start now. Our region is changing rapidly…as is the case with modern war, you fight it with the weopons you have, not the ones you’re designing or buying.. Hence, prepare for war, pray for peace. Also, we are buying $50 billion worth of submarines….would they not be more effective with a supporting bomber force? And just think about this, we are one US president away from being all by ourselves…as Sweden was at the start of WWII.

  • paul

    says:

    Ben,Ben,Ben.No B-21s for Australia or anyone.

  • Ben

    says:

    Sorry for the confusion but I was in no way pushing the B-21, that’ll never happen. What I was trying to say is if and I repeat if the RAAF was to reintroduce that long range strike capacity wouldn’t we be better served acquiring a new design opposed to a jet designed over 40 years ago. Regardless the point is moot as the jet will never be released for export.

  • paul

    says:

    Ben,our long range strike capability will be at best served by standoff weapons and 5th gen fighters.

  • Shane

    says:

    Long range and F35 are rarely used in the same sentence in a positive way…like the Initial Mig 29, it’s got just enough fuel to defend its own airfield. Further, the LRASM will have to be carried externally on fighter sized aircraft and …in that configuration the F35 will the become a slow, non stealthy and not-manoeuvrable target. The Posiedons could probably be a launch platform., maybe drones, or maybe something else that is long ranged, carries a large payload and supersonic…

  • Harry

    says:

    Paul, yes for the most part and maybe a little no… it depends what you mean about long range strike. I guess for the most part it could. But I would rather see a similar replacement for the F-111s, in say an F-15 to do long-range strike and low-level strike, and/or accompany JSFs on strike missions by providing air-superiority overwatch (or behind watch for aerial engagements)

    Jason was chatting in another thread that standoff weapons with JSF and AWACs etc make a great capability. And they do. It is an increasingly necessary element of a ridiculously small force that has to rely on whatever technological edge it can to overcome the weight of numbers certain adversaries can rely on for their armed forces. However, I have an issue when all these systems start to rely on each other and a network that isn’t invulnerable to EW and/or cyber corruption during conflict. Such a system is not invulnerable and once its corrupted or broken, the parts that make it up can potentially become highly vulnerable.

    There is also the problem of targeting (and this is a problem for mainly air and maritime engagements). Long rang strike is necessary (But this is simpler when its attacking stationary targets). But you also have to know what you’re hitting. Thats why despite employing long range missiles an aircraft can’t just shoot at any blimp it sees on its radar screen, even during war time. EW and cyber if employed well, could severely limit our ability to target at long range.

    I wouldn’t advocate for the B-1, B-21 or extremely unaffordable aircraft such as these. But I would advocate for, as shane describes, a bomb-truck or misselier, for several reasons. Consider certain scenarios and ask yourself what truly is the best tool for the job when you have many demanding jobs and a limited supply? This is a stealth verse payload conundrum the RAAF will have to deal with in the air, maritime, and land domains.

    I still think the JSF is necessary – that is if it does what its supposed to do – but I think additional assets that are specifically designed to be long range low level bomb-trucks, air-superiority aces or misselier platforms, just exactly like the USAF is designing for to round-out its tiny F-22 fleet and the “it was never meant to operate without air-superiority fighters” F-35s (a paraphrase from USAF F-35 program official describing that the F-35 is primarily a multi-role fighter and not designed for air-superiority combat, say against a numerical superior adversary in wartime, unlike the F-22).

  • John N

    says:

    Shane,

    I don’t get your point, LRASM having to be carried externally on an F-35A? So what? The problem with that is?

    I think the whole point you are missing is the ‘extended range’ capabilities of the new maritime and land strike weapons that will potentially arm the RAAF’s future F-35A’s and current F/A-18F’s and what that really means, regardless of ‘internal’ or ‘external’ carriage.

    As I mentioned recently (in another post), various contenders for future land and maritime strike include: JASSM (approx. 400km range, in service with the ‘Classic’ Hornet fleet), JASSM-ER (approx. 1,000km), LRASM (approx. 930km) and JSM (approx. 290km).

    Here’s a ‘what if’ example to ponder:

    An F-111C (1973 configuration), has to take off from Brisbane and fly to Melbourne and drop some dumb bombs on the pitch at the MCG and return to Brisbane. Brisbane to Melbourne, by air is approx. 1,370km one way (2,740km return).

    An F-35A (in the mid 2020’s with Block 4 and beyond software upgrades), also has to take off from Brisbane and is tasked with the same mission, hit the pitch at the MCG, but this time there is a difference.

    The aircraft heads toward Sydney (750km approx.) from Brisbane by air, just as it get to the bottom end of Sydney it releases a JASSM-ER (1,000km range approx.) and then turns around and heads back to Brisbane. The distance from Sydney to Melbourne is approx. 715km by air, you can guess what the result would be.

    It would be reasonable to imagine that the F-35A that released the JASSM-ER over Sydney to strike the MCG would probably be on final approach to land back to Brisbane just as the JASSM-ER is making a big hole in the ground in the middle of the MCG pitch!!

    Yes I know my example might look ‘simplistic’, but this is where things are headed, you don’t necessarily need aircraft with very long range to strike distant targets, eg, putting the crew and aircraft at a higher risk of being shot down.

    In the future (and the future is just about here now!), is that aircraft of shorter range (and not even taking into account support by KC-30A’s for example) you can employ extended range weapons to achieve the same result, but with far less risk to the crew and aircraft too.

    External carriage? who cares! Not when the weapons being carried are able to be deployed from a safe distance to whatever might have been faced if the aircraft had been forced to fly well into a hot environment.

    Anyway, just my opinion of course!

    Cheers,

    John N

  • paul

    says:

    Harry i have to agree with you on the 15.The facility Alice Springs is a great asset and enabler for the Alliance.No one has mentioned this as a force multiplier.Remember we r only up against Sukhois.Not to mention 3rd gen fighters.The RAAF will be very soon fielding a total system.Even China doesn’t have a system as good as ours.Even the Russians believe Western tech is more advanced.Sorry Carlo.

  • Harry

    says:

    Sorry Jason I actually meant John. Sorry John too. I take your points John and agree with you but also pose the question about the ‘identification’ in an EW & Cyber environment. This great new concept of a networked system has a problem. While such force multipliers assist in targeting at long range. Half of targeting is identification. And identification isn’t as simple as detection from long-range. USAF planes, even in wartime and even now/today, can’t just shoot at whatever they like. They actually have to get close sometimes for identification. Identification can also be obscured through EW, including jamming and spoofing, and cyber, something that will be particularly dangerous in the future. Thats why air-superiority fighters are absolutely still necessary, even for Australia, and one reason why long range fighter bombers are still relevant in the maritime domain.

  • paul

    says:

    John,i fully agree with you on this.To all you F-111 people who think you have to fly over the target,to achieve the same result,as a 35 employing standoffs at a safe distance.

  • Dave Thomas

    says:

    Harry, I agree with your notation regarding the “identification ” in an EW situation, but isn’t that why we have the “Wedgetail” aircraft, possibly the worlds superior EW platform; combine this with the F/A18 EF’s and future F-35’s and we are able to do stand off JASSM-ER launching in most situations.

  • Harry

    says:

    Dave, yeah the F-18 Growlers, G-550s, E-7 Wedgetails will all be awesome for us. But if you look around at defence and strategy news you will eventually come across a whole bunch of articles which discuss that Russian EW systems, tech and operational procedures are being far in advance of the US and their allies capabilities, especially on land and maritime domains. And even with Wedgetails, identification isn’t so easy. The US had E-3s over Iraq during the 91 gulf war and Iraq war and often would have to close to within visual distance to properly identify targets. Now, how are you going to distinguish between a soviet Su-30 design flown over the South China Sea? Is is Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malaysian or a Chinese J-15? A Wedgetail doesn’t give you automatic identification. Russian planes in the Baltics have been turning off there transponders and EU fighters have had to actually intercept them to find out who they are and what they are doing. Now try doing that with the 100,000s of different ships there are in the world. An E-7 can detect them of course, but it can’t necessarily identify them, especially not in the a EW environment!

  • paul

    says:

    Harry,sounds like Russian propaganda to me.The Us spend billions more on R&D than anybody else.The US have every radar from Russia and everywhere else sitting in the Nevada desert.

  • Shane

    says:

    Of course I didn’t mean that a bomber has to fly over a target to destroy it….I’m talking about a long strike capability. A Bone can carry 24 LRASM’s….how many JSFs and tankers would it take to complete the same mission as one Bone? Given the way the situation is developing in the south chine sea, the question to be asked is where do you want the front line to be? I would prefer that front line to be at least several hundred nautical miles north of Indonesia as opposed to tens of miles north of Darwin (hyperbole, I know, just trying make the point). And if the Bones are not a relevant platform, why is the USAF rotating them through Darwin? It seems bleeding obvious….and if Trump becomes POTUS….nb I only say Bones as there is nothing else with the same capability in development, and I don’t think anybody would counter me and say lets get some Tu22m3s!

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    what if there was an eots/das systems upgrade for the wedgetail as well as colour photography/video for nationality id?

  • TimC69

    says:

    Shane

    I agree with your proposal , 10 Bones as a deterrent that would make even the PRC thinks twice. One rule of war is to prosecute the fight in the enemies “backyard” as opposed to ours. I’d hate to see the “wave pool” in Darwin destroyed…..so many memories!

  • paul

    says:

    10 bones.Yes please.

  • Jason

    says:

    Wow…getting B-1Bs is only slightly more ridiculous than getting Tu-22Ms.

    By the way, I wonder how many folks know how close Australia came to getting B-1s about 12 years ago???

  • Raymond

    says:

    Jason, B-1’s? Please say more.

  • Shane

    says:

    Only slightly more ridiculous? Slightly? Seriously? Twelve years ago the Bones would have been unnecessary and a provocation….they would have caused an otherwise avoidable militarisation of the region. That was then, this is now…Australia did not commence militarisation in the region….China did and they are arming at a frightening rate.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    why didn’t the u.s just totally redesign the pig with stealth and electronic capabilities.

  • Raymond

    says:

    Hayden, it wouldn’t then have been anything like a Pig. Whatever it ended up being would have been something entirely different.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    but it would be a good long range strike aircraft able to last another 20-40 years

  • Raymond

    says:

    That’s exactly what air-to-air refuelling and stand-off munitions together with platforms such as the F-22, the F-35 and the B-21 are for…

    If you think the US has lost this capability you are mistaken. It’s just not in the form of an F-111. There was overlap in capability as well as obsolescence and the role of the F-111 is and will be satisfied by other platforms in service. I loved the F-111 too, however time moves on.

  • paul

    says:

    Hayden,u have been reading to much of APA.

  • Shane

    says:

    Hayden, they did…it’s called the B 1B Lancer lol

  • Harry

    says:

    Paul these are US website I am referencing, no propaganda there! They talk about it extensively on defenseone and breakingdefense. Sure the US spends a lot, but they have barely touched EW in maritime and land areas. The current growlers tech is decades old. The next-gen jammer is coming out soon though. But that will be for the F-15….

  • Jason

    says:

    Harry – Growler tech decades old? No it’s not. The ALQ-99 pods have been progressively updated, and the ALQ-218 is state-of-the-art.

    And Next Gen Jammer for the F-15? No again, it’s for Growler and perhaps F-35.

    Otherwise, great post! :\

  • paul

    says:

    Harry,that’s what they say to get more ahead of the game.Sorry US propaganda.

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Australia shows interest in LRASM anti-ship missile

written by Gerard Frawley | August 17, 2016

mfc-lrasm-pr2-h

Australia is one of a small number of nations that have shown interest in the AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) being developed for the US Navy and US Air Force, Lockheed Martin has revealed.

The LRASM is a development of the JASSM-ER, the extended range variant of the AGM-158 JASSM stand-off missile in service on the RAAF’s F/A-18A ‘classic’ Hornets. It is being developed by Lockheed Martin under a cooperative program for the US Air Force and Navy that will see the stealthy missile fielded on the B-1B bomber in 2018 and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from 2019.

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“We are encouraging the Navy to respond to international interest in this system. Australia is one country that has expressed some interest, the UK has expressed some interest, Canada has expressed some interest,” Frank St John, vice president tactical missiles/combat manoeuvre systems at Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business unit, told Australian media on Tuesday.

“I expect that within some period of time the US Navy will have an export policy on [LRASM] and [we] can start talking seriously about how we integrate it on other platforms.”

The LRASM is about 85 per cent common with the JASSM-ER, mainly differing in featuring a multi-mode radio frequency sensor that gives the weapon a semi-autonomous targeting capability.

“The same kind of targets that caused the United States Navy to develop the LRASM are the same kinds of threats that … Australia is dealing with, and so people come by our booth at trade shows and say ‘could you build some of those for us?’ and we say ‘as soon as you go talk to the Navy and get their permission I can talk to you about this’, and I know that they’ve started having some conversations with the Navy.”

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A requirement for new anti-ship missiles for the RAAF’s fighter fleet of F/A-18F Super Hornets and the forthcoming F-35A Joint Strike Fighter is mentioned in the new Defence White Paper’s accompanying Integrated Investment Program (IIP) document.

“A series of new weapons will be acquired for the strike and air combat capability including air-to-surface and air-to-air munitions, with specific consideration of high-speed and long-range strike and anti-ship weapons,” the IIP notes.

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39 Comments

  • paul

    says:

    Always good to have an array to choose from.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    we are also an island nation

  • B. Harrison

    says:

    The dogs of war are starting to howl. The reality is that the hawkish Clinton will be the next U.S president as Trump is so appalling his chances are anything from nil to Buckleys. The neocons will have “their girl” in power and it is clear that a U.S administration under her stewardship will not tolerate China’s attempts to be the dominant force in the Western Pacific, particularly in the South China Sea. How Australia is going to avoid being dragged into a shooting war between China and the U.S is anyone’s guess and I shudder to think of the consequences. So we better start preparing and having the necessary hardware to be able to react to what is coming or our defence forces will be the lemmings of the Southern Pacific.

    • So how did that prediction of yours work out?

  • Shane

    says:

    Shouldn’t we buy the remaining surplus Bones? We need to replace the long range strike capability we lost with the retirement of the Pigs. Maybe upgrade the Bones to the R standard, then we get double the capability.. It could be said that the Bones won’t be survivable due to their lack of stealth, however, a long range bomb truck/missileer will always be useful. The reduced range of the R may also reduce the threat to China that they may perceive….putting inflight refuelling aside.

  • Fabian

    says:

    Yep certainly. It’s good to have a wide variety of missiles

  • Jason

    says:

    Buy B-1s??? OMG, the comments just keep getting better…

  • Samual

    says:

    I wonder if they will also be used with the Poseidon.

  • Adrian P

    says:

    Sounds as if the United States of America are keen to refurbish an old aircraft carrier.

    USS Australia.

    Remember the Domino Theory, if Vietnam fell the rest of Asia would follow.

    Didn’t happen, a lot of good people suffered and some of them didn’t come back.

  • Ben

    says:

    The idea of Aussie Bones seems fun and all but really B-1’s. Won’t you better served getting the B-21 if that capability was required? That said there is no way any goverment is going fork out 500 million plus per plane. Things would really have to be hitting the fan for that kinda of investment.

  • Shane

    says:

    When the pigs were retired, a vast amount of expertise and knowledge were lost, you cannot obtain that capability overnight, it will take years…if we had of replaced the pigs with a similar aircraft, we could have retained that base.. We didn’t. The B21 will not be able to be just purchased (assuming they can be bought) and then be FOC. That’s why we need to start now. Our region is changing rapidly…as is the case with modern war, you fight it with the weopons you have, not the ones you’re designing or buying.. Hence, prepare for war, pray for peace. Also, we are buying $50 billion worth of submarines….would they not be more effective with a supporting bomber force? And just think about this, we are one US president away from being all by ourselves…as Sweden was at the start of WWII.

  • paul

    says:

    Ben,Ben,Ben.No B-21s for Australia or anyone.

  • Ben

    says:

    Sorry for the confusion but I was in no way pushing the B-21, that’ll never happen. What I was trying to say is if and I repeat if the RAAF was to reintroduce that long range strike capacity wouldn’t we be better served acquiring a new design opposed to a jet designed over 40 years ago. Regardless the point is moot as the jet will never be released for export.

  • paul

    says:

    Ben,our long range strike capability will be at best served by standoff weapons and 5th gen fighters.

  • Shane

    says:

    Long range and F35 are rarely used in the same sentence in a positive way…like the Initial Mig 29, it’s got just enough fuel to defend its own airfield. Further, the LRASM will have to be carried externally on fighter sized aircraft and …in that configuration the F35 will the become a slow, non stealthy and not-manoeuvrable target. The Posiedons could probably be a launch platform., maybe drones, or maybe something else that is long ranged, carries a large payload and supersonic…

  • Harry

    says:

    Paul, yes for the most part and maybe a little no… it depends what you mean about long range strike. I guess for the most part it could. But I would rather see a similar replacement for the F-111s, in say an F-15 to do long-range strike and low-level strike, and/or accompany JSFs on strike missions by providing air-superiority overwatch (or behind watch for aerial engagements)

    Jason was chatting in another thread that standoff weapons with JSF and AWACs etc make a great capability. And they do. It is an increasingly necessary element of a ridiculously small force that has to rely on whatever technological edge it can to overcome the weight of numbers certain adversaries can rely on for their armed forces. However, I have an issue when all these systems start to rely on each other and a network that isn’t invulnerable to EW and/or cyber corruption during conflict. Such a system is not invulnerable and once its corrupted or broken, the parts that make it up can potentially become highly vulnerable.

    There is also the problem of targeting (and this is a problem for mainly air and maritime engagements). Long rang strike is necessary (But this is simpler when its attacking stationary targets). But you also have to know what you’re hitting. Thats why despite employing long range missiles an aircraft can’t just shoot at any blimp it sees on its radar screen, even during war time. EW and cyber if employed well, could severely limit our ability to target at long range.

    I wouldn’t advocate for the B-1, B-21 or extremely unaffordable aircraft such as these. But I would advocate for, as shane describes, a bomb-truck or misselier, for several reasons. Consider certain scenarios and ask yourself what truly is the best tool for the job when you have many demanding jobs and a limited supply? This is a stealth verse payload conundrum the RAAF will have to deal with in the air, maritime, and land domains.

    I still think the JSF is necessary – that is if it does what its supposed to do – but I think additional assets that are specifically designed to be long range low level bomb-trucks, air-superiority aces or misselier platforms, just exactly like the USAF is designing for to round-out its tiny F-22 fleet and the “it was never meant to operate without air-superiority fighters” F-35s (a paraphrase from USAF F-35 program official describing that the F-35 is primarily a multi-role fighter and not designed for air-superiority combat, say against a numerical superior adversary in wartime, unlike the F-22).

  • John N

    says:

    Shane,

    I don’t get your point, LRASM having to be carried externally on an F-35A? So what? The problem with that is?

    I think the whole point you are missing is the ‘extended range’ capabilities of the new maritime and land strike weapons that will potentially arm the RAAF’s future F-35A’s and current F/A-18F’s and what that really means, regardless of ‘internal’ or ‘external’ carriage.

    As I mentioned recently (in another post), various contenders for future land and maritime strike include: JASSM (approx. 400km range, in service with the ‘Classic’ Hornet fleet), JASSM-ER (approx. 1,000km), LRASM (approx. 930km) and JSM (approx. 290km).

    Here’s a ‘what if’ example to ponder:

    An F-111C (1973 configuration), has to take off from Brisbane and fly to Melbourne and drop some dumb bombs on the pitch at the MCG and return to Brisbane. Brisbane to Melbourne, by air is approx. 1,370km one way (2,740km return).

    An F-35A (in the mid 2020’s with Block 4 and beyond software upgrades), also has to take off from Brisbane and is tasked with the same mission, hit the pitch at the MCG, but this time there is a difference.

    The aircraft heads toward Sydney (750km approx.) from Brisbane by air, just as it get to the bottom end of Sydney it releases a JASSM-ER (1,000km range approx.) and then turns around and heads back to Brisbane. The distance from Sydney to Melbourne is approx. 715km by air, you can guess what the result would be.

    It would be reasonable to imagine that the F-35A that released the JASSM-ER over Sydney to strike the MCG would probably be on final approach to land back to Brisbane just as the JASSM-ER is making a big hole in the ground in the middle of the MCG pitch!!

    Yes I know my example might look ‘simplistic’, but this is where things are headed, you don’t necessarily need aircraft with very long range to strike distant targets, eg, putting the crew and aircraft at a higher risk of being shot down.

    In the future (and the future is just about here now!), is that aircraft of shorter range (and not even taking into account support by KC-30A’s for example) you can employ extended range weapons to achieve the same result, but with far less risk to the crew and aircraft too.

    External carriage? who cares! Not when the weapons being carried are able to be deployed from a safe distance to whatever might have been faced if the aircraft had been forced to fly well into a hot environment.

    Anyway, just my opinion of course!

    Cheers,

    John N

  • paul

    says:

    Harry i have to agree with you on the 15.The facility Alice Springs is a great asset and enabler for the Alliance.No one has mentioned this as a force multiplier.Remember we r only up against Sukhois.Not to mention 3rd gen fighters.The RAAF will be very soon fielding a total system.Even China doesn’t have a system as good as ours.Even the Russians believe Western tech is more advanced.Sorry Carlo.

  • Harry

    says:

    Sorry Jason I actually meant John. Sorry John too. I take your points John and agree with you but also pose the question about the ‘identification’ in an EW & Cyber environment. This great new concept of a networked system has a problem. While such force multipliers assist in targeting at long range. Half of targeting is identification. And identification isn’t as simple as detection from long-range. USAF planes, even in wartime and even now/today, can’t just shoot at whatever they like. They actually have to get close sometimes for identification. Identification can also be obscured through EW, including jamming and spoofing, and cyber, something that will be particularly dangerous in the future. Thats why air-superiority fighters are absolutely still necessary, even for Australia, and one reason why long range fighter bombers are still relevant in the maritime domain.

  • paul

    says:

    John,i fully agree with you on this.To all you F-111 people who think you have to fly over the target,to achieve the same result,as a 35 employing standoffs at a safe distance.

  • Dave Thomas

    says:

    Harry, I agree with your notation regarding the “identification ” in an EW situation, but isn’t that why we have the “Wedgetail” aircraft, possibly the worlds superior EW platform; combine this with the F/A18 EF’s and future F-35’s and we are able to do stand off JASSM-ER launching in most situations.

  • Harry

    says:

    Dave, yeah the F-18 Growlers, G-550s, E-7 Wedgetails will all be awesome for us. But if you look around at defence and strategy news you will eventually come across a whole bunch of articles which discuss that Russian EW systems, tech and operational procedures are being far in advance of the US and their allies capabilities, especially on land and maritime domains. And even with Wedgetails, identification isn’t so easy. The US had E-3s over Iraq during the 91 gulf war and Iraq war and often would have to close to within visual distance to properly identify targets. Now, how are you going to distinguish between a soviet Su-30 design flown over the South China Sea? Is is Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malaysian or a Chinese J-15? A Wedgetail doesn’t give you automatic identification. Russian planes in the Baltics have been turning off there transponders and EU fighters have had to actually intercept them to find out who they are and what they are doing. Now try doing that with the 100,000s of different ships there are in the world. An E-7 can detect them of course, but it can’t necessarily identify them, especially not in the a EW environment!

  • paul

    says:

    Harry,sounds like Russian propaganda to me.The Us spend billions more on R&D than anybody else.The US have every radar from Russia and everywhere else sitting in the Nevada desert.

  • Shane

    says:

    Of course I didn’t mean that a bomber has to fly over a target to destroy it….I’m talking about a long strike capability. A Bone can carry 24 LRASM’s….how many JSFs and tankers would it take to complete the same mission as one Bone? Given the way the situation is developing in the south chine sea, the question to be asked is where do you want the front line to be? I would prefer that front line to be at least several hundred nautical miles north of Indonesia as opposed to tens of miles north of Darwin (hyperbole, I know, just trying make the point). And if the Bones are not a relevant platform, why is the USAF rotating them through Darwin? It seems bleeding obvious….and if Trump becomes POTUS….nb I only say Bones as there is nothing else with the same capability in development, and I don’t think anybody would counter me and say lets get some Tu22m3s!

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    what if there was an eots/das systems upgrade for the wedgetail as well as colour photography/video for nationality id?

  • TimC69

    says:

    Shane

    I agree with your proposal , 10 Bones as a deterrent that would make even the PRC thinks twice. One rule of war is to prosecute the fight in the enemies “backyard” as opposed to ours. I’d hate to see the “wave pool” in Darwin destroyed…..so many memories!

  • paul

    says:

    10 bones.Yes please.

  • Jason

    says:

    Wow…getting B-1Bs is only slightly more ridiculous than getting Tu-22Ms.

    By the way, I wonder how many folks know how close Australia came to getting B-1s about 12 years ago???

  • Raymond

    says:

    Jason, B-1’s? Please say more.

  • Shane

    says:

    Only slightly more ridiculous? Slightly? Seriously? Twelve years ago the Bones would have been unnecessary and a provocation….they would have caused an otherwise avoidable militarisation of the region. That was then, this is now…Australia did not commence militarisation in the region….China did and they are arming at a frightening rate.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    why didn’t the u.s just totally redesign the pig with stealth and electronic capabilities.

  • Raymond

    says:

    Hayden, it wouldn’t then have been anything like a Pig. Whatever it ended up being would have been something entirely different.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    but it would be a good long range strike aircraft able to last another 20-40 years

  • Raymond

    says:

    That’s exactly what air-to-air refuelling and stand-off munitions together with platforms such as the F-22, the F-35 and the B-21 are for…

    If you think the US has lost this capability you are mistaken. It’s just not in the form of an F-111. There was overlap in capability as well as obsolescence and the role of the F-111 is and will be satisfied by other platforms in service. I loved the F-111 too, however time moves on.

  • paul

    says:

    Hayden,u have been reading to much of APA.

  • Shane

    says:

    Hayden, they did…it’s called the B 1B Lancer lol

  • Harry

    says:

    Paul these are US website I am referencing, no propaganda there! They talk about it extensively on defenseone and breakingdefense. Sure the US spends a lot, but they have barely touched EW in maritime and land areas. The current growlers tech is decades old. The next-gen jammer is coming out soon though. But that will be for the F-15….

  • Jason

    says:

    Harry – Growler tech decades old? No it’s not. The ALQ-99 pods have been progressively updated, and the ALQ-218 is state-of-the-art.

    And Next Gen Jammer for the F-15? No again, it’s for Growler and perhaps F-35.

    Otherwise, great post! :\

  • paul

    says:

    Harry,that’s what they say to get more ahead of the game.Sorry US propaganda.

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