Story by Kelly Flynn, Marine Corps Systems Command
LSE 21 was a live, virtual and constructive scenario-driven, globally-integrated exercise with activities spanning 17 time zones. LSE 21 applied and assessed developmental warfighting concepts that will define how the future Navy and Marine Corps compete, respond to crises, fight and win in conflict.
The Marine Corps’ NMESIS will provide the Marine Littoral Regiment with ground based anti-ship capability to facilitate sea denial and control while persisting within the enemy’s weapons engagement-zone, and LSE 21 provided a venue for the program team to validate some of those concepts.
“This scenario is representative of the real-world challenges and missions the Navy and Marine Corps will be facing together in the future. This exercise also provided an opportunity for us to work alongside our service partners to refine Force Design 2030 modernization concepts.”
Brig. Gen. A.J. Pasagian, commander of Marine Corps Systems Command.
SINKEX, the exercise scenario involving NMESIS, provided a testing environment for new and developing technologies to connect, locate, identify, target and destroy adversary threats in all domains, culminating in the live-fire demonstration of the naval strike missile against a sea-based target. During the exercise, forward-deployed forces on expeditionary advanced bases detected and, after joint command and control collaboration with other U.S. forces, responded to a ship-based adversary. Simultaneous impacts from multiple, dispersed weapons systems and platforms across different U.S. services—including NMESIS—engaged the threat.
NMESIS integrates established, proven sub-systems, such as the Joint Lightweight Tactical Vehicle Chassis, the Naval Strike Missile and the Fire Control System used by the Navy for NSM.
“From an acquisition perspective, NMESIS started a little over two years ago. We’ve been able to rapidly move [on developing and fielding this system] because we’re leveraging existing NSM and JLTV subsystems.”
Joe McPherson, long range fires program manager at MCSC
Because NMESIS is not yet a fielded capability, engineers from MCSC managed the fire control piece of the system during the exercise. Marines, however, were able to practice maneuvering the system and validating the system’s interoperability with their Naval and Air Force partners.
“This week was very successful,” said McPherson. “In addition to the two live fire shots that hit the target, we also successfully deployed the system aboard the Marine Corps’ primary transport systems, the C130 and LCAC.”
Though not associated with its program development, the NMESIS transportability and mobility demonstration serves an important role in developing tactics, techniques and procedures related to this critical capability, said McPherson.
MCSC is developing and fielding new anti-surface warfare weapons capabilities, including NMESIS, on pace to support Force Design 2030 objectives. These new capabilities contribute to the Fleet’s ability to achieve sea control, sea denial and defense against adversary amphibious force missions.
“This exercise gave us an opportunity to not only measure, but also validate the concepts for [the Marine Corps’] anti-ship capability, which is one of the most important avenues of the Commandant’s Force Design 2030. I think the successful launches of the missile will help us clarify the path forward as we move to fulfill the Commandant’s 2030 vision, and giving the Marine Corps a transformative anti-ship capability.”
Lieutenant Col. Ryan Collins, combat integration office for artillery and fires at Marine Corps Combat Development Directorate, Combat Development and Integration.
Exercises such as LSE 21 increase maritime interoperability and the ability to project American power at home and around the world.
NMESIS combines the NSM anti-ship missile with a Remotely Operated Ground Unit for Expeditionary (ROGUE) Fires vehicle, produced by Oshkosh Defense
NSM is a multi-mission cruise missile designed to destroy heavily defended maritime and land targets; it is the U.S. Navy’s over-the-horizon weapon system for littoral combat ships and future frigate
As we reported previously, the USMC selection of Naval Strike Missiles from Raytheon was first announced in May 2019. The image released today confirms that the USMC uses an unmanned variant of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) known as “ROGUE Fires”, as the NSM launch platform. The same vehicles is used for rockets:
The NMESIS was test fired for the first time during a “November 2020 live fire event “ which we first mentioned back in February 2021.