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U.S. Air Force Admits It Practiced Strikes On Russian Sea And Littoral Targets In B1-B Lancer Flights

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U.S. Air Force Admits It Practiced Strikes On Russian Sea And Littoral Targets In B1-B Lancer Flights

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On June 1st, the US Air Force confirmed that its two B-1B Lancers bombers were training their Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) near Russia’s borders on May 29th.

Earlier on the same day, the chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy issued a statement saying that the US was carrying out a training mission that was clearly anti-Russian and aimed to test capability to carry out strikes on Russian targets.

This was confirmed when the US Air Force released its statement saying that the B-1B Lancer bombers were training their LRASM capabilities.

The LRASM is a next generation weapon designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of surface warships in electronic warfare environments.

“LRASM plays a critical role in ensuring U.S. naval access to operate in both open-ocean and littoral environments due to its enhanced ability to discriminate between targets from long range,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Albrecht, 603rd Air Operations Center, Bomber Task Force planner. “With the increase of maritime threats and their improvement of anti-access/area denial environmental weapons, this stealthy anti-ship cruise missile provides reduced risk to strike assets by penetrating and defeating sophisticated enemy air-defense systems.”

Albrecht also highlighted the fact that through training scenarios during Bomber Task Force Missions, B-1 aircrews are able to train to new emerging threats.

Training for those threats is adequately preparing them to be ready to answer National Defense Strategy objectives.

It is no secret that presumed and largely hypothetical “Russian aggression” is the threat in question.

 “The rise of near-peer competitors and increased tensions between NATO and our adversaries has brought anti-ship capability back to the forefront of the anti-surface warfare mission for bomber crews,” said Albrecht.

Of course, in addition to provide training to pilots with this new system, it also acts as a deterrent to any adversaries.

According to Albrecht, this training adds deterrent value not only to the US, but also the other NATO states and partners.

In his view, in the future adversaries will not only have to worry about missile threats from surface ships, but land-based bombers as well.

These capabilities should weigh heavily on any potential adversaries mind and they should account for them in their decision calculus.

Bombers equipped with LRASM should give adversaries pause and deter aggressive actions by would-be adversaries who seek to do harm to the U.S. and its allies and partners.

This all comes alongside sharply increased NATO activity along Russia’s borders, as Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy outlined.

He said that  in April of this year, a flight of B-1B strategic bomber aircraft was carried out along the Kamchatka peninsula, and in May five such flights were recorded: on May 6-over the territory of Estonia and the Baltic sea, on May 11 – over the territory of Lithuania and the Baltic sea, on May 20 — over the territories of Sweden and Norway, on May 22 — another flight near the Kamchatka peninsula, on May 29 — over the territory of Ukraine and the Black sea.

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