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US military upgrades their maritime arsenal in response to Chinese naval expansion effort


As first reported by Breaking Defense, The US Military is in the process of developing multiple ground-to-sea based missile technology defense systems, in a growing effort to combat the rise of both Russian and Chinese naval powers. These varied systems will focus on the needs of each of the separate branches, while seeking to cover and overlap the many functions of each.

Recently the US Navy has begun to incorporate a stronger anti-ship defense by adding more ship killer missile systems to the ship and submarine fleet. The efforts of the US Army and Marine Corp to add ground-based defenses are designed to bolster the capabilities of the pacific naval fleet.

Currently, the US Navy and Marines are working on a system dubbed NEMSIS or the Navy-Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System. According to Breaking Defense, As a part of NEMSIS three missiles systems are being looked at by the Marines,

  •  Lockheed Martin’s new Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), with stealthy features to penetrate enemy missile defenses, a 1,000-pound warhead, and a range disclosed only as “over 200 miles”;
  •  Raytheon’s Naval Strike Missile (NSM) already chosen as an upgrade for Navy Littoral Combat Ships, with a 264-lb warhead and a 115-mile range;
  •  and Boeing’s venerable Harpoon, whose variants have a 500-lb warhead and ranges between 70 and 150 miles.

In conjunction with the missile system, the Marine Corp is also looking at three different wheeled vehicles as a mobile launch platform that is able to rapidly respond to its designed needs.

Scott Craig of Lockheed-Martin said, “The Marine Corps has been looking for a shore-based capability to meet PACOM demands. TheArmy is looking at this too but probably on a different timeline — the Marine Corps wants to get after thispretty quickly.”

The US Army began development of their own system under the Obama Administration. MGM-140 ATacMS or Army Tactical Missile System is currently being upgraded by the PrSM system, but few details have been released. PrSM or Precision Strike Missile is set to begin tests this year and is believed to possibly have an anti-ship variant.

The idea behind these various systems is to create a strategic area denial in conjunction with Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines along what is called the First Island Chain to prevent further movement by the Chinese.

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