The Loss of USMC Man Portable Air Defense Capability
MARINE CORPS UNIV QUANTICO VA SCHOOL OF ADVANCED WARFIGHTING (SAW)
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The loss of Stinger missile capability in the USMC will leave a gap in the future concept known as Sea Shield. Without a sound Sea Shield the operational concepts of Operational Maneuver from the Sea OMFTS and Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare EMW will be unsupportable. The future vision of the USMC and Navy are embodied in the transformational concepts of Seabasing, Sea Shield, Sea Strike, Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare EMW, Operational Maneuver from the Sea OMFTS, and Ship to Objective Maneuver STOM. In the quest to transform many have advocated the removal of Short Range Air Defense SHORAD systems from the Marine Corps. The future Marine Corps operating concepts will be protected by the Navys future concept of Sea Shield see Fig 1. Sea Shield will protect the Sea Base and STOM forces ashore through a network of sensors and weapons platforms see Fig 3. As STOM forces maneuver 110nm inland to seize objectives, Sea Shield will experience blind spots due to radar horizon, terrain shadowing, electronic warfare, and interference see Fig 2. In these cases Sea Shield will not adequately defend against asymmetric, low, slow flying threats. Calculations in Fig 2 show a 5,500 foot sensor gap from Sea Based assets. Airborne sensors only provide detection and surveillance cueing and not target quality data for guiding missiles to airborne threats. The last radar piece of Sea Shield is organic STOM force sensors. Radar horizon and terrain shadowing will also degrade these sensors because they are not designed to move with the maneuver forces. Consequently, maneuver forces will require an organic air defense capability for local protection from immediate, pop up, low-level air threats. This organic air defense capability is the Stinger missile system. However, it will be removed from service by 2009 due to shelf life and obsolescence. This capability is a current and future requirement.
- Defense Systems