The main priority for modernizing the Marine Corps is to meet the requirement for an anti-ship missile capability on the ground.
The operational requirement for this ship destruction capability is a relatively new development arising from the efforts of Commander’s Planning Guidance and Corps’ Force Design 2030.
“As the Marine Corps ‘first anti-ship ground missile, the Navy / Marine Corps Expeditionary Vessel Interdiction System is a force modernization priority at the heart of the Marine Corps’ contribution to the anti-surface warfare campaign of the Naval Expeditionary Force, “said Lt. Col. John Fraser, chief of the fire branch in the Marine Corps Directorate of Combat Development, Combat Development and Integration .
When integrated into sensor and communication networks supporting a chain of naval or maritime destruction and synchronized with the employment of other missile systems, the Marine Corps medium-range missile battery will serve as a component. of the Naval Expeditionary Force Reinforcement in support of the Naval Sea Control effort, Fraser said.
MCSC plays a critical role in equipping Marines with the modernized next-generation capabilities needed to respond to and defeat an evolving threat. In two years, the MCSC Long Range Fires Program Office acquired NMESIS, an anti-ship missile capability meeting GBASM requirements.
Medium-range missile batteries as part of Coastal Maritime Regiments conducting advanced expeditionary base operations will use NMESIS, Fraser said.
“While the GBASM requirement may encompass multiple solutions and hardware systems as part of the GBASM requirement, NMESIS is the first system for the Marine Corps to provide this anti-ship missile capability on the ground,” Joe said. McPherson, program manager for long range fires at MCSC.
While the Department of Defense has ships and planes with anti-ship missile capabilities, McPherson said NMESIS uniquely complements these efforts.
âEverything our opponents have devised over the past 20-30 years is meant to counter [the DODâs] ships and aircraft, âsaid McPherson. “The Marine Corps providing a solution on the ground complicates [the adversaryâs] ability to counter our anti-ship capabilities since ground launchers, as we have found in previous wars, are hard to come by. This is what NMESIS brings to combat: a launcher that survives inside the enemy’s weapons engagement zone.
In a nutshell, NEMSIS is the ground launcher that gives us the ability to fire the Navy’s latest anti-ship missile, the Naval Strike Missile, or NSM. – Joe McPherson, Program Manager for Long Range Fires at MCSC.
A key component of the system’s survivability is its remotely operated transport vehicle, known as the Remote Controlled Land Unit for Expeditionary Fires.
âBy opting for a remote controlled vehicle, we increase the survivability of the crews because they are not collocated with the launcher, which tends to be what is targeted,â said McPherson.
Marines can control ROGUE-Fires with a game-like remote or command multiple launchers to autonomously follow a leading vehicle. The ROGUE-Fires vehicle, built on a joint platform of light tactical vehicles, provides the corps with a robust expeditionary system capable of operating anywhere.
Maneuverability and mobility are essential elements of NMESIS, and the ability of Marines to operate ROGUE-Fires in autonomous and remotely operated modes provides the operational commander with strategic options in his battlespace. The ability to move crews and vehicles away from each other is a critical step in increasing Marines’ survivability.
McPherson made sure to point out that the NMESIS is not considered a stand-alone launcher; The Marines are required to interact directly with the fire control system in order to fire the missile.
âThe live fire control system that fires the missile is completely separate from the autonomous driving and range set,â McPherson said. “There’s always a Marine doing the mission plan and actually firing the missile.”
The program office selected the Navy NSM after extensive market research and options analysis within the industry and DOD. McPherson noted that missile development is an expensive and potentially risky endeavor. The program office used a proven missile solution to eliminate this additional cost and mitigate the risk.
“[The program office has] made excellent progress in adopting the Navy missile, âsaid McPherson. âWe were able to focus on developing the launcher itself. We have built several prototypes, successfully conducted several fire tests, performed our first mobility tests, and we are on the right track to move on to the next phase of the program.
The Marine Corps successfully demonstrated NMESIS during Full Scale Exercise 21 in August. The system launched an NSM that followed a non-linear flight path covering more than 100 nautical miles before successfully hitting two targets.
“We made him fly a [non-linear] route to simulate what the Marines would experience in a real situation, where they might have to navigate around friendly and neutral ships or any other obstacle between the ground firing position and the target, âsaid McPherson. âThe ability for us to provide waypoints and plan a complex route improves the survivability and usefulness of the system before impact. “
Although the launch of NMESIS at LSE 21 was not an official test associated with the acquisition of the system by MCSC, it has enabled MCSC and CD&I to gain valuable feedback from users in the marine community who will be using the system. in the future.
“We hope to get this into the hands of more Marines so that we can get that operational feedback, and so that they can get more reps and experience on the system,” Lt. Col. Ryan said. Collins, Head of Rocket and Artillery Capability Integration, Marine Corps Capability Development Branch, Combat Development and Integration. âBecause this is a new operational concept, we think it’s very important for them to get involved from the start of the process.
In October, the program office plans to send NMESIS assets to the Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif., So they have additional opportunities to familiarize themselves with the system.
âThey will be practicing with the system continuously for the next two years, so that we can collect user feedback and develop all the techniques and technical procedures for this new operational concept,â Collins said. âIt will also give us the opportunity to link all [command and control] and the higher-level capacities that will be needed to fully implement the system. Ultimately, the Marines are slowly putting the system in their hands and figuring it out. “
The program office plans to deploy their initial set of launchers to a Maritime Coastal Regiment by the end of 2023, achieving a milestone for the force design.
Marine Corps Systems Command