Posted: November 6, 2017 3:44 PM

Marine Corps Requests Info on Anti-Ship Coastal-Defense Missiles

By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps has issued a Request for Information (RFI) on existing coastal-defense anti-ship missiles from the defense industry in order to address a shortcoming in “meeting the demands of a future operating environment.”

The request, posted on the FedBizOps website, notes that “The Marine Corps is currently not organized, trained, and equipped to meet the demands of a future operating environment characterized by complex terrain, technology proliferation, information warfare, the need to shield and exploit signatures, and an increasingly non-permissive maritime domain.”

The request also notes that “The 21st century Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) operates and fights at sea, from the sea, and ashore as an integrated part of the Naval force and the larger Combined/Joint force.”

The Marine Operating Concept outlines a role for the MAGTF in sea control, stating that “Marine forces can also support sea control through anti-surface warfare missions and counter-fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft missions...”

The RFI said that “the Marine Corps is interested in readily available shore-based, coastal-defense capabilities designed to provide precision kinetic fires against ships at ranges of 80 miles or greater.”

The Marine Corps is interested in systems that would be “employable by highly deployable and mobile forces” and “able to be integrated with U.S. and partner nation weapons, command and control systems and surveillance systems.”

The Corps envisions that such a system would include a launch system, a command and control center, and “a surveillance and over-the-horizon target acquisition capability.”

The United States has made little investment in coastal-defense artillery or missiles in decades, most recently in coastal defense artillery during World War II and in some anti-aircraft missiles during the Cold War.

Nations such as China, North Korea and Iran have made significant investment in coastal-defense cruise missiles. One such missile launched by Hezbollah forces severely damaged an Israeli Navy corvette in July 2006 and have been fired from Yemen in October 2016 against U.S. Navy ships in the Bab-el-Mandeb strait.

The RFI listed Nov. 30 as its deadline for submissions from industry.

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