They'll need them now, in case of confrontation with the PLAN.US dont need Tu-22 type bombers to attack CSGs, because they so far are the only ones using them.
USAF B-52s armed with harpoons/naval mines & B-1Bs (the direct Tu-22M counterpart) have a 2ndary maritime strike mission.
Thirty B-52Gs were further modified to carry up to 12 AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles each,..
New US Navy's maritime strategy in early 1980s called for aggressive use of carriers and surface action groups against the Soviet navy. To help protect the carrier battle groups, some B-52G were modified to fire Harpoon anti-ship missiles. These bombers were based at Guam and Maine from later 1970s in order to support both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. In case of war B-52s would coordinate with tanker support and surveillance by AWACS and Navy AWACS planes. B-52Gs could strike Soviet navy targets on the flanks of the US carrier battle groups, leaving them free to concentrate on offensive strikes against Soviet surface combatants. Mines laid down by B-52s could establish mine fields in significant enemy choke points (mainly Kurile islands and GIUK). These minefields would force the Soviet fleet to disperse, making individual ships more vulnerable to Harpoon attacks.
From the 1980s B-52Hs were modified to use Harpoons in addition to a wide range of cruise missiles, laser- and satellite-guided bombs and unguided munitions. B-52 bomber crews honed sea-skimming flight profiles that should allow them to penetrate stiff enemy defenses and attack Soviet ships.
Recent expansion and modernization of China's navy has caused B-52s to dust off abilities for finding and attacking ships. Quite recently B-52 fleet has been certified to use Quickstrike family of naval mines using JDAM-ER guided wing kits. This weapon will give the ability to lay down minefields over wide areas, in a single pass, with extreme accuracy, and all while standing-off at over 40 miles away. Besides this, with a view to enhance B-52 maritime patrol and strike performance, an AN/ASQ-236 Dragon's Eye underwing pod, has also been certified for use by B-52H bombers. Dragon's Eye contains an advanced electronically-scanned array radar that will allow B-52s to quickly scan vast Pacific Ocean areas, so finding and sinking enemy ships will be easier for them. This radar will complement Litening infrared targeting pod already used by B-52s for inspecting ships.
The LRASM was not originally planned to be deployed on the B-1, being intended solely as a technology demonstrator, but in February 2014 the Pentagon authorized the LRASM to be integrated onto air platforms, including the Air Force B-1, as an operational weapon to address the needs of the Navy and Air Force to have a modern anti-ship missile. In August 2015, the Navy officially designated the air-launched LRASM as "AGM-158C". The LRASM achieved Early Operational Capability on the B-1B in December 2018.
The VMF & other navies that get on the US bad side may also face them in the future.
Last edited by Tsavo Lion on Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:16 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add a quote)