Saturday, April 04, 2020

31st MEU conducts maritime strike full mission by Lance Cpl. Colton Garrett

An AH-1Z Viper helicopter with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), fires an AIM-9M sidewinder missile at a maritime target during a live fire exercise. During the exercise, the attack helicopters took off from San Antonio-class dock landing ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) in order to protect the amphibious task force from a simulated maritime threat. The America Expeditionary Strike Group, 31st MEU team, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Colton K. Garrett)

So the Marine Corps IS using the AIM-9M Sidewinder in the maritime attack role!  Nicely Done!  I also see that they're carrying extra fuel tanks.  So by the pics I guess we're seeing the Viper sharpening its teeth to go after small ships in addition to boats?  One thing I'm not getting.  Why not go with a bigger, dedicated anti-ship missile?  I know its obsolete now (at least I think it is) but the Sea Skua or even the more modern Sea Venom would seem to be what the doctor ordered.

UNLESS the sidewinder has longer range.  I don't know enough about its capabilities in this role to say one way or the other.  Definitely need to learn more.

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