Why is the military acquiring a long-range precision missile when the Navy can launch a Tomahawk land attack missile from the ocean at land targets up to nine hundred miles and the Air Force bombers can fire air cruise missiles against fortified ground targets at great distances?
Recently, army chiefs had to answer questions about the cost of new weapon systems. Its senior members explained that it was crucial for the military to have weapon systems that could supplement or take over missions for similar weapon systems used by other services.
“When I look at the battlefield, whether it’s potentially Indo-PACOM or Europe, there will be more than enough targets for the entire joint force to shoot at. We all need to consider how we can bring long range precision fire capabilities. It’s not something that should be left to one department, ”Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth told reporters, according to an Army transcript.
Wormuth cited the complexities and intertwined multi-domain challenges associated with today’s global threat environment. She noted that commanders need several options when participating in joint operations. Perhaps a Navy submarine or ship might not be able to shoot or hit an extremely crucial enemy target such as interior air defenses. Maybe forward air defenses can’t prevent planes from flying within attack range? What if sea and air assets are unable to hit a target that advancing armored forces must see destroyed at safer safe distances? Or maybe, as Wormuth suggested, there are just so many emerging targets that not having long-range ground attack options could greatly jeopardize a mission. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville noted that the military wants to present multiple “dilemmas” for an enemy.
“When you think we’re offering options, it’s really about offering options to the commander of the fighters. And so, if you think about it, he has aerial capabilities. He has sea capabilities, ”McConville said, according to the Army transcript. “He has earth abilities. There are also cyber capabilities – and all of these present multiple dilemmas for our competitors, and this does not allow them to focus on one option when it comes to a future situation. ”
There is also the added benefit of networking weapon systems, new types of data sharing technologies are increasingly able to connect weapon sensors and targeting systems to each other. across otherwise disparate or inaccessible nodes in an area of operations.
Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National interest. Osborn previously served in the Pentagon as a highly trained expert in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Osborn also worked as an on-air presenter and military specialist on national television networks. He has appeared as a visiting military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.