Consider a scenario: Two warships approach each other, initially from outside the range of their antiship weapons. Which will fire and strike first: The ship that first detects the other? The ship with the longest-range weapon? Or the ship with the shorter range but faster weapon? Perhaps the better question is, Who will take the first shot from maximum effective range with valid targeting and a time to launch and speed of flight inside the adversary’s?
The situation is multivariable and dynamic. And it is something every commanding officer (CO) who sails into the western Pacific considers before bringing, for example, a ship defended by the RGM-84 Harpoon (maximum range: 80 nautical miles) inside the 125-nautical-mile range of a Chinese YJ-83J shooter.