The US surface fleet’s brand-new anti-ship missile was adopted contained in the barrage of rockets and missiles that end the landing ship tank Racine on July 12 through the Rim in the Pacific exercise, nevertheless it wasn’t shot by the Navy.
The U.S. Army shot the Naval Strike Missile from the back of your truck which consists of Palletized Load System inside a demonstration that is more likely to raise eyebrows in China. The missile, a joint venture involving the Norwegian company Kongsberg and Raytheon, was fired in the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Barking Sands, Hawaii, at the former USS Racine, which has been floating 55 nautical miles north of Kauai, Hawaii.
Joining the U.S. Army was the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, which fired Mitsubishi’s Type 12 surface-to-ship missile.
The Navy inked a legal contract with Raytheon to get started on getting the NSM for its littoral combat ships and likely its future frigate. The Army’s shot successfully detonated on target, in accordance with U.S. Pacific Fleet officials.
The shots dovetails having a concept how the Army and the JGSDF are already developing, known in a few circles as “archipelagic defense,” which in simple terms demands the usage of ground forces to deny Chinese forces free movement with the theater by deploying anti-ship and anti-air missiles throughout the island chains that pepper the Asia-Pacific region.
Deploying ground forces armed with anti-ship and anti-air missiles throughout islands, while leaving those forces ready to accept attack, complicates what many analysts see as China’s goal of exercising de facto military charge of 1.7 million square miles in the East and South China seas.
In a 2015 article in Foreign Affairs, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments analyst Andrew Krepinevich argued that deploying ground forces towards the first island chain (a region that is the term for a line of islands that runs from Japan’s southern tip with the East and South China seas) could change China’s strategy.
“If Washington wants to change Beijing’s calculus, it has to deny China a chance to control the environment and the sea round the first island chain, since PLA People’s Liberation Army would have to dominate both arenas to isolate the archipelago,” he wrote. “The United States should also integrate allied battle networks and strengthen allied capabilities, as both versions will help cancel out the PLA’s efforts to destabilize the region’s military balance. By and large, those goals can be achieved with ground forces, which could not replace existing air and naval forces but complement them.”
The concept has gained traction in certain circles, but the Army may be touch-and-go around the notion as it balances security concerns in Europe, said Jan van Tol, also an analyst with CSBA.
“Archipelagic defense has some merit into it, there was initial excitement if we started referring to mtss is a few years ago, nonetheless it has seen less emphasis recently, especially because the Army is focusing more in Eastern Europe,” he explained.
The former head of most U.S. forces inside Pacific, Adm. Harry Harris, told a celebration audience in Hawaii in 2016 he wanted the Army to take into account methods for having its High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and 155mm Paladin artillery to a target ships from land.
“One thing I can tell you: The question in the role of land forces in ensuring use of, and maneuver in, shared domains is a thing the U.S. and our friends, partners and allies must address,” he said. “Not only as a matter of security, and also reliant on economic prosperity. Our adversaries understand this.
“If we have this right, the Army will eliminate the archer rather than working with all its arrows.”