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Navy Plans Anti-Ship Missile Tests Via B-1B Bomber, F-18 Fighter Jets

The U.S. Navy looks to test-launch a new long-range anti-ship missile via a U.S. Air Force bomber by 2017 in response to threats such as the North Korean nuclear crisis and military provocations from China, National Defense Magazine reported Thursday.

Sandra Erwin writes current military plans aim to launch the 2,200-pound LRASM from a B-1B bomber by 2018 and via a Navy F/A-18 E/F fighter by 2019.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency noted that the development of a system that can meet U.S. Pacific Command‘s requirements for a missile with semi-autonomous navigation, artificial intelligence and identification, friend or foe capacity could be ready by 2018.

Jamie Engdahl, Naval Air Systems Command’s program manager for precision strike weapons, said the LRASM will utilize the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles Extended Range airframe to comply with the current timeline for development.

Engdahl added the LRASM and JASSM have 85 percent common materials which helped the integration of sensors and technology into the airframe without any modifications on aerodynamics and engine structures.

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