Will Boeing's LRAAM missile surpass Russia's new long-range R-37M missile?
Against the background of the fact that Russia has adopted the R-37M air-to-air missile with a range of up to 400 km, the Pentagon has long been concerned about this.
It is also worth noting that the Chinese Air Force is armed with a similar PL-15 missile with a range of up to 250 km. While the American 5th generation fighters still use the AIM-120D AMRAAM missile with a maximum range of up to 180 km.
Of course, this state of affairs cannot suit the US Air Force command. It was reported that as a result of growing concerns about the superiority of Russian and Chinese fighters, Boeing has unveiled a mock-up of a new long-range aircraft missile.
According to Boeing's spokesman Zach Wood, it became known that while this missile will not be better than the Russian R-37M, it will still help bridge the performance gap, although the range of this missile is still classified.
However, it is worth noting that the new American Boeing long-range air-to-air missile is based on the LRAAM air-to-ship anti-ship missile.
As reported by the Military Watch, unlike the aircraft missiles in service with the US Air Force, the new missile from Boeing, like the anti-ship version, has a two-stage scheme, which is very unusual for aircraft missiles.
That is, the first booster part of the rocket at some point disappears, and the rest of the missile continues to move.
Many military analysts have already expressed their opinion on this matter and do not consider it a salvation for the US Air Force. Structurally, such a missile will turn out to be too large and heavy, which means it is not suitable for fighters with low visibility, such as the F-35 and F-22. Although in Boeing it is positioned as a missile for 6th generation fighters.
Experts are also sure that this missile will not be suitable for new modifications of the F-15EX generation 4 ++.
Experts note that with such a missile, in addition to the loss of stealth, which, in principle, was emphasized in the development of a modification of this machine, as a result of which the price tag became higher than that of the F-35A, the aircraft will significantly lose in characteristics such as thrust-to-weight ratio and maneuverability. Actually for what the US Air Force bought the F-15EX.
However, the developer is confident that in addition to hitting enemy fighters, such long-range missiles can also be ideal options as new platforms for hitting early warning aircraft and flying command posts.
The developer also states that a new rocket based on LRAAM is still at the conceptual development stage, but in the future this rocket platform will allow the use of future advanced technologies, as well as increase the range of destruction by increasing the first acceleration stage.
Boeing clarified that the LRAAM-based project will not compete with existing air-to-air missile programs such as the AIM-260, indicating that the missile will provide additional capabilities to the Air Force.