WASHINGTON - The US Air Force has taken delivery of a first batch of Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM), a key step in the weapon winning Early Operational Capability (EOC) certification, the defecse contractor Lockheed Martin announced in a press release on Tuesday.

“After successfully completing the required integration, flight testing and modeling and simulation, warfighters accepted the first of many tactical production units, meeting key criteria for the EOC declaration milestone,” the release said. The term EOC is widely used in military or government procurement, indicating that a product has been developed to a minimal level needed for deployment.

LRASM is designed to identify and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by employing advanced technologies that reduce dependence on external reconnaissance such data from GPS satellites.

TRUMP ORDERS PENTAGON TO CREATE A SPECIAL COMMAND FOR MILITARY SPACE OPS

Earlier on Tuesday, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the US has created a new kind of armed forces - space troops intended to ensure American military leadership in space. US President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered the establishment of “Space Command,” which would become a new branch within the Pentagon and would receive absolute control over military space operations. “Pursuant to my authority as the Commander in Chief and under section 161 of title 10, United States Code, and in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I direct the establishment, consistent with United States law, of United States Space Command as a functional unified combatant command,” Trump said in a memo to Defense Secretary Defense Jim Mattis.

Trump also directed the US defense chief to recommend officers for his nomination and Senate confirmation as Commander and Deputy Commander of the new Space Command.

The creation of the new command is seen as a step towards developing a US military division, “Space Force,” separate from the Unified Combatant Command.