Friday, March 12, 2021

The US Army is looking to use long-range fires to set up our own anti–access, area denial capability

 via AirForceMag

An organization to employ long-range fires is already taking shape, and McConville said two such task forces will be deployed in the Indo-Pacific and one in Europe.

He said hypersonic missiles could destroy enemy air defenses and pave the way for Air Force and Navy aircraft to penetrate enemy air defenses.

“If someone says, ‘Hey, this is something new for the Army,’” it is not, he said, claiming that AH-64 Apache helicopters in the Gulf War 30 years ago “took out those two air defense systems that opened up a gap and allowed the Air Force to go on and … do the incredible things they could” in Iraq. He did not mention Air Force cruise missiles and stealthy F-117s penetrating Iraqi air defenses in the opening hours of that conflict, or conducting SEAD strikes throughout the six weeks of the air campaign.

“We wouldn’t do [that] today, but we might do it differently,” McConville said. But the Army taking on the SEAD mission “is one of those concepts we’re going to need for the future, … and we’re going to do it from maybe a strategic range, [to] put more challenges on potential competitors.”

The Army is also looking to use long-range fires to “set up our own anti–access, area denial capability … [to] put pressure on those developing a sea-based capability.”

Asked why land-based deep strike could be better than air-based, he said, “The value of land-based is it’s 24/7. So, it’s always there. It’s tough to sink some of the islands [in the Pacific Ocean], if you have the ability” to operate from such a location, given mobility capability.

Army deep strike is “an option that may, in the future, enable both air and maritime maneuver, which is something different than we’ve done in the past, although you could argue we did that in Desert Storm.”

McConville said the Army is building a “multi-domain task force,” the first of which is being experimented with in the Indo-Pacific theater now.


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