Update: US Air Force seeks information on maritime strike weapon

by Pat Host

The US Air Force (USAF) is conducting market research into kinetic weapons capable of engaging and defeating maritime surface vessels, according to a 24 July request for information (RFI) posted on the federal contracting website beta.sam.gov.

No further details were available with the public version of the RFI, which had a version classified secret by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) armament systems development division. USAF spokesperson Ilka Cole said on 10 August that while the specific capabilities sought are classified, the service seeks information on any kinetic weapon capable of engaging and defeating maritime surface vessels.

The US Air Force, in a recent RFI, is looking for a maritime strike weapon that could be an alternative to making a longer-range version of the LRASM, according to an expert. (Getty Images)

The US Air Force, in a recent RFI, is looking for a maritime strike weapon that could be an alternative to making a longer-range version of the LRASM, according to an expert. (Getty Images)

An expert believes that this RFI is the USAF’s effort to capture weapons compatible with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) that are not the Lockheed Martin AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) nor the Raytheon-Kongsberg Defense Systems Joint Strike Missile (JSM) air-launched anti-ship weapon being developed for the F-35. Bryan Clark, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington, DC, told Janes on 31 July that the LRASM will probably not be compatible with the F-35 as the stakeholders have not been able to integrate it on to the aircraft for internal carriage due to the weapon’s large size.

Lockheed Martin spokesman Brett Ashworth said on 12 August that the company is investing in F-35 integration efforts for LRASM and the AGM-158B Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER). He said there is operator interest in both weapons and the company is working to ensure outstanding weapon stand-off and effects.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/update-us-air-force-seeks-information-on-maritime-strike-weapon

The US Air Force (USAF) is conducting market research into kinetic weapons capable of engaging and d...

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