Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Marine Corps Builds New Amphibious Combat Vehicle for "Deep Strike" Attacks

via National Interest.
Coffman and other senior service strategists have been refining a new strategic approach to amphibious attack aimed at leveraging 5th-Generation air support, launching more dispersed, disaggregated yet “networked” assaults and using smaller unmanned vessels to perform reconnaissance, countermine and attack missions. A more dispersed amphibious attack force not only reduces vulnerability to enemy fire but can also use advanced C4ISR and networking to better identify key points of attack across a wider area.

The emerging ACVs will launch from big-deck amphibs, called LHAs, and Amphibious Transport Docks, called LPDs. With one of the upcoming LHA America-class amphibs bringing back the well-deck, the Corps plans to emphasize ship-to-shore water-launched combat vehicles. At the same time, Navy leaders emphasize that the first two America-class amphibs, LHA 6&7, are built with an aviation emphasis to, among other things, capitalize upon the F-35B and other key air-launched elements of amphibious attack. These aviation-centric big-deck amphibs are intended to pave the way toward the upcoming LHA 8 - which brings back a well-deck.

The entire strategic and conceptual shift is also informed by an increased “sea-basing” focus. Smaller multi-mission vessels, according to this emerging strategy, will be fortified by larger amphibs operating as sovereign entities at safer distances. Coffman said these ships would operate as “seaports, hospitals, logistics warehouses and sea-bases for maneuver forces.”
Additional land attack firepower and survivability seem aligned with the Corps newer, more "dispersed" amphibious assault strategy; if amphibious incursions occur in narrow, more spread-apart scenarios, landing forces will potentially need to engage in more land-fighting without large numbers of forces nearby. They will likely rely more upon air support, long-range fires and "networked" intelligence from other ISR nodes, command and control ships or elements of the force - to find and exploit landing areas most advantageous the the attacking force.
Story here. 

Hmm.  I don't know if this is just more of the same or if the concept is being refined.  I do know that the bit about "larger vessels operating as sovereign entities at safer distances" is a welcome change...well that along with the idea that some sort of smaller multi-mission ships will be operating closer in (I can't help but wonder what ship they have in mind...could LCS' act in this role...could we see specific amphibious support modules in the future?).

I need to chew on this a bit.

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