US Marines will adopt ground-based Tomahawk cruise missiles According to American media, in a letter sent to the US Senate Armed Forces Committee on March 5, 2020, General David Berger, commandant (commander) of the US Marine Corps, indicated that the US Marine Corps plans to deploy coastal mobile missile systems equipped with Tomahawk ground-based cruise missiles basing - initially formally as "anti-ship missiles".
In a letter to General Berger, the Marine Corps is requesting the acquisition of 48 Raytheon Corporation Tomomawk rockets for use in coastal anti-ship missile systems in fiscal year 2021. In a draft U.S. defense budget for fiscal year 2021 published on February 10, it is planned to allocate $ 125 million for the purchase of 48 Tomahawk missiles for the Marine Corps, while the objectives of this purchase were not disclosed (for the US Navy, $ 277.7 million is simultaneously requested for the purchase of 155 Tomahawk ship missiles , another $ 200.3 million is requested for R&D through the Tomahawk missile system).
“Part of the research that the Navy and the Marine Corps conducted over the past six months is the conclusion that we think we will need to act in the future as an integrated naval force, which means that the Marine Corps is taking on a role that we have not had in the past 20 years - we promote dominance at sea [sea control] and the prevention of enemy actions at sea [sea denial], ”said Berger.
“The Tomahawk missile is one of the tools that will allow us to do this ... This may be the answer, this may be the first step to a long-term response in five, six, seven years, but we need long-range high-precision weapons for a small part or group of small units that can hold the enemy’s naval forces at risk from a ship or from the shore. ”
The U.S. Navy and Raytheon are developing a new anti-ship modification of the Tomahawk missile, called the Maritime Strike Tomahawk (Tomahawk Block Va, designation RGM-109E / UGM-109E), which must be capable of hitting ground targets as well new new multi-channel guidance system. The specific parameters and types of channels of the new homing head for the MST are not disclosed, but presumably, it will combine active and passive radar and thermal imaging homing channels in combination with a powerful data processor and a new inertial guidance unit, as well as two-way data transmission equipment capable of command guidance of the rocket in flight, including from external platforms. The MST's official maximum firing range is 900 nautical miles (1,670 km), although Raytheon described it as a “1,000 mile missile.”
In August 2017, the U.S. Navy issued Raytheon a two-year contract of $ 119 million to develop an MST rocket. Prior to being reported, since 2012, Raytheon has spent up to $ 55 million in equity on R&D on MST. Raytheon was supposed to deliver the first 32 Tomahawk Block IV cash missile upgrade kits to the Maritime Strike Tomahawk variant in FY 2020; 50 sets — in FY 2021, and 80 sets — in FY 2022, with a total estimated value of $ 457.9 million. The achievement of the initial operational readiness (IOC) status of the MST was planned for the third quarter of 2022 FY, however, according to the latest data shifted to 2023 fi year.
It was planned that for the U.S. Navy, the Tomahawk Block Va MST missiles will be converted from Tomahawk Block IV missiles with the start of full-scale deliveries of missile upgrade kits for the Block Va variant in the year 2023. However, now for the planned coastal complexes of the US Marine Corps, we are talking about a new production of MST missiles. Presumably, the US Marines will begin to receive MST missiles also from the year 2023.
The United States also plans to adopt the Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS), a short-range coastal mobile anti-ship missile system, equipped with Norwegian Kongsberg NSM anti-ship missiles.
Comment by bmpd. Obviously, plans to equip the US Marine Corps with Tomahawk ground-based mobile missile systems, although initially declared as “anti-ship” purposes, are a “politically correct” disguised step towards deploying the significant potential of ground-based medium-range cruise missiles