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Thread: Why the precision strike missile is a must have for the Army

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    Why the precision strike missile is a must have for the Army

    Why the precision strike missile is a must have for the Army

    Two decades of fighting low-intensity conflict caused the Army to neglect certain branches, to include artillery. The Army is playing catch up in order to maintain its dominance over our near-peer rivals- Russia and China. Currently the US and NATO forces are seriously outmatched by Russian artillery, rocket, and missile systems.

    A little over two years ago, then Chief of Staff of the Army General Mark Milley surprised most of the defense community by announcing a new modernization strategy focused on six priority areas: Long-Range Precision Fires (LRPF); the Next Generation Combat Vehicle; Future Vertical Lift; Networks, Air and Missile Defense; and soldier lethality. To ensure these priorities would receive adequate attention and support, the Army leadership decided to radically restructure its acquisition organization, creating a series of Cross-Functional Teams (CFTs) to support these priorities and standing up a new four-star command, Army Futures.
    According to multiple sources, LRPF is the Army’s number one modernization priority. The reasons for this are simple: today, the U.S. and its closest allies are outnumbered and out-ranged by Russian and Chinese long-range surface-to-surface strike capabilities. A recent RAND Corporation study warned that the U.S. and NATO are seriously outmatched by the Russian Army's artillery, rockets, and missile systems in terms of both range and the total volume of fires that can be generated. China, too, has a large and growing arsenal of air, land, and sea-based missiles of increasing range and lethality. This massive investment in long-range precision fires, when coupled with their extensive air and missile defenses, provides both countries with a potent Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) capability.




    If the U.S. is to deter conflict with both of these great power competitors and defeat any attempted aggression by either, it absolutely must modernize its long-range fires capabilities so as to achieve not merely parity, but what military planners call overmatch, which is another word for superiority. According to General Robert Brown, U.S. Army commander Pacific and the senior mentor to the LRPF CFT, the primary objective of the LRPF Cross-Functional Team is to develop “cannons that can go as far as rockets today and rockets that can go as far as today’s missiles and missiles that can go out to at least 499 kilometers and maybe beyond, depending on the [Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces] Treaty.”
    The LRPF CFT has conceptually broken its various programs into three groups reflecting the ranges at which engagements would take place. In terms of the so-called close battle, involving ranges up to 100 kilometers, the goal is to increase the range, lethality, and maneuverability of existing towed and self-propelled artillery. Industry has already demonstrated the ability to double the range of the M109A7 Paladin self-propelled artillery out to 60 kilometers. The ultimate goal is to deliver high-volume cannon fires out to at least 100 kilometers.

    At the other end of the spectrum, involving long-range fires to engage strategic targets, the Army is working on futuristic concepts such as the Strategic Fires Missile (SFM), with a potential range of up to 2250 kilometers, and the Strategic Long Range Cannon, which could fire a shell out to 1,000 kilometers.


    The sweet spot, so to speak, in the modernization of Army long-range fires lies in the area between the close battle and strategic targeting. This is the so-called deep battle that will occur at ranges of between approximately 100 and 700 km. This happens to be the range band where U.S. competitors, particularly Russia, have had the greatest advantage. U.S. weapons capable of reaching these ranges will find a wealth of targets critical to an adversary’s A2/AD capabilities and to their ability to command forces, provide logistics support, conduct offensive air operations, concentrate ground formations and conduct naval operations. In addition to providing greater lethality, systems capable of operating to the farther reaches of the deep battle can conduct strikes from outside the range of many enemy weapons.
    Read the rest of the article at the link.
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    When I was in the Army, I always objected to the term "low intensity conflict".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahuyaman View Post
    When I was in the Army, I always objected to the term "low intensity conflict".
    Yes, the term is meaningless at the tactical level.

    It is useful at the strategic and grand strategy levels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1469 View Post
    Yes, the term is meaningless at the tactical level.

    It is useful at the strategic and grand strategy levels.
    I get why it’s used, but soldiers don’t like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahuyaman View Post
    I get why it’s used, but soldiers don’t like it.
    Understood.

    It is part of the spectrum of conflict.

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