The US Marine Corps successfully scored a direct hit against a surface target at sea during the inaugural test of the Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS), from Point Mugu Sea Range in California.
Raytheon Missiles & Defense, which manufactures the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), announced that the Marine Corps used NMESIS to fire an NSM and successfully strike a target.
A long-range, precision strike weapon that destroys targets at distances greater than 100 nautical miles (185 kilometers or 115 miles), the NSM is launched from the back of a modified Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), an unmanned tactical vehicle produced by Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense.
“The people at Oshkosh and these couple of majors thought, ‘We can do this,’ so they took the cab off the back and they put a missile in the back with a fire-control system,” Commandant Gen. David Berger said.
“Now, we can move this around on vessels or put it ashore and hold an adversary’s navy at risk … to ensure that the lines on the sea are kept open. This is the speed at which we have to move,” he added.
New Ideas for Sea Control
The Navy and Marine Corps have been developing new ideas to provide more warfighting options at sea. The NMESIS, which uses the Marines’ High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, is one of at least two ground-based anti-ship systems that the Marines are fielding this year.
Additionally, the US has prioritized ground-based anti-ship missiles to counter Chinese threats in the Pacific.
The Marine’s selection of NSMs was first announced in 2019. In November 2020, the Marines confirmed the successful live-firing of an NSM from a JLTV-based mobile launch platform.