The Pentagon wants a buttload of guided rockets to slap Russia and China from hundreds of miles away
The Pentagon’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 contains a reversal of that old chestnut from Top Gun: When it’s too far for guns, then switch to missiles.
The Pentagon is looking to procure 10,193 surface-to-surface rockets for the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, a 26% increase over the 8,101 procured in fiscal year 2019 and 47% increase over the 6,936 requested in fiscal year 2018.
The purchase, primarily focused on bolstering Army arsenals for the stated purpose of “neutraliz[ing] or suppress[ing] enemy field artillery and air defense systems and complements cannon artillery fires,” would cost the DoD around $1.4 billion.
This pivot, which follows the Army’s stockpiling of artillery shells under last year’s budget request, is framed by the Pentagon as a critical part of its continued reorientation towards ground-based precision fires in response to increasing ‘Great Power competition’ with Russia and China following the relative ‘defeat’ of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Indeed, the Army’s top modernization priority is focused on “improv[ing] the range and lethality of cannon artillery, and increas[ing] missile capabilities to ensure overmatch at each echelon,” according to a Pentagon release accompanying the FY2020 budget request.
U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 65th Field Artillery Brigade, fire their High Mobility Artillery Rocket System during a joint live-fire exercise with the Kuwait Land Forces, Jan. 8, 2019, near Camp Buehring, Kuwait
(U.S. Agent/Sgt. Bill Boecker)
It’s worth noting that the GMLRS, normally fired from the M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System, is also employable from the …read more
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