Naval Warfare

US Marine Corps Requested to Buy NSM and Tomahawk Anti-ship Missiles

US Marines will Field JLTV ROGUE Fires Vehicle with Naval Strike Missile
US Marines will Field JLTV ROGUE Fires Vehicle with Naval Strike Missile

The U.S. Marine Corps added two different types of anti-ship missiles for $153.8 million to the top of their $2.95 billion Unfunded Priorities List to Congress. Number one on the list is 35 anti-ship Naval Strike Missiles for $57.8 million, followed by 48 Tactical Tomahawk long-range anti-ship and strike missiles for $96 million. Part of the move will be to give Marines their own ability to take on enemy ships. As the Marine Corps reorganizes to prepare for a potential conflict with China, the service is considering three new Marine Littoral Regiments (MLR).

The U.S. Marine Corps asked for 29 of the Norwegian-designed NSMs in the initial budget request and the additional unfunded ask would bring the total to 64 to outfit the service’s first operational, Navy-Marine Corps Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS) equipped with a medium-range missile (MMSL) battery by Fiscal Year 2024. NMESIS could create a no-go zone for enemy ships until friendly forces return. Alternately, NMESIS could defend beachheads from enemy naval attack. This quantity would provide two combat loads for Marine Corps MMSL batteries.

Naval Strike Missile Missile Launch Vehicle (NSM MLV)
Naval Strike Missile Missile Launch Vehicle (NSM MLV)

NMESIS consists of two NSMs and a launcher/weapon control system integrated onto a ground-based, remotely operated carrier (called ROGUE-Fires). It will provide a ground-based anti-access/area denial, anti-ship capability. This program includes design, development, test and production of the NSM launcher, ROGUE-Fires carrier, Weapons Control System (WCS), and Command and Control (C2) connections to enable the transport and firing of NSMs. NMESIS makes extensive use of proven sub-systems, such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) chassis.

The U.S. Marine Corps also want to complement their emerging ground-based anti-ship missile capability with the longer-range Tomahawk cruise missile. The U.S. Navy and Raytheon are developing a new anti-ship modification of the Tomahawk missile, called the Maritime Strike Tomahawk (Tomahawk Block Va, designation RGM-109E / UGM-109E), which should be capable of, in addition to hitting ground targets, also hit naval targets by equipping new new multi-channel guidance system. The MST’s official maximum firing range is 900 nautical miles (1670 km)”

Tomahawk Block Va MST
Tomahawk Block Va (RGM-109E /UGM-109E) Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST)

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