The U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) has announced the plan to integrate the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) on unmanned JLTV ROGUE Fires vehicle to enhance its anti-ship capability in support of sea control and sea denial missions.
The development of a Ground-Based Anti-Ship Missile (GBASM) capability is the Marine Corps’ highest ground modernization priority, according to James F. Geurts, the Assistant Secretary Of The Navy For Research, Development, And Acquisition; and General Eric M. Smith, USMC, Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command and Deputy Commandant For Combat Development And Integration.
The GBASM project will provide long term and short term solutions for an Anti-Ship Missile (ASM, AShM) capability in support of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) and the National Defense Strategy (NDS) approach to build a more lethal Joint Force. The project will procure a USMC system while leveraging other Service-developed missiles to provide a ground-based Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD), anti-ship capability.
The Marine Corps’ GBASM solution is the Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS), consisting of an unmanned JLTV-based mobile launch platform, called the ROGUE Fires, and Naval Strike Missiles (NSM).
The first live-fire test of NMESIS took place in December 2019 and a second live-fire demonstration with a guided NSM is planned for June 2020.
Naval Strike Missiles (NSM)
The Naval Strike Missile is a long-range, precision strike weapon that can find and destroy enemy ships at distances up to 100 nautical miles away. It is developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA).
It was announced in April 2018 that Naval Strike Missile, offered by Raytheon and Kongsberg Gruppen, was selected by the U.S. Navy to meet the Over-the-Horizon Weapon System (OTH-WS) requirement for its littoral combat ships (LCS) and future guided-missile frigates [FFG(X)]. The NSM missile was first successfully demonstrated from the Navy’s Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS-4) on 24 September 2014.
In 2019, the U.S. Marine Corps integrated a land-based Naval Strike Missile into its force structure, sharing costs and interoperability with the Navy. The NSM missile will provide the Marine Corps with a missile capable of sea-skimming, high-g maneuverability, and the ability to engage targets from the side, rather than top-down. This maximizes lethality and missile survivability.
JLTV ROGUE Fires
The Remotely Operated Ground Unit Expeditionary-Fires (ROGUE Fires, ROGUE-F) is an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) system based on an Oshkosh Defense’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) chassis. The vehicle is capable of mounting a wide range of missile systems.
U.S. Marine Corps’ Ground-Based Long-Range Precision Fires (LRPF) Portfolio
In addition to GBASM, the Marine Corps’ ground-based long-range precision fires (LRPF) portfolio also consists of other weapon systems/ capabilities that “complicate the adversary’s decision-making processes and ability to defend themselves”.
Ground-Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM)
In FY 2019, the DoD’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) initiated the development of a Ground-Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) capability that will provide an increased range to complement NMESIS. The first flight test of a conventionally configured GLCM was conducted on Aug. 18, 2018.
The Marine Corps announced that it will work with SCO to continue the design and development of a mobile launch platform in order to prototype and field a Marine Corps ground-based, long-range, land attack cruise missile (LACM) capability for employment by its rocket artillery units. This capability will add additional firing capacity to the Integrated Naval Force in support of both maritime and land operations in any theater.
Prototype launchers will undergo firing and endurance testing through FY 2022, with the aim of fielding a battery of launchers to an operational unit in FY 2023.
The Marine Corps is also expanding the operational capacity of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS); a battalion will stand up within the 2d Marine Division during FY 2021 and 2022 which will bring HIMARS capacity to two Active battalions and one Reserve battalion.
HIMARS provides the capability to employ the lethal Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Family of Munitions (MFOM), which was developed and is also employed by U.S. Army HIMARS and MLRS equipped units.
The MFOM includes GPS-guided precision munitions and will include the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) now in development. The PrSM will enable rocket artillery units to accurately engage land and maritime, stationary and mobile, targets at ranges significantly greater than currently fielded munitions.