And the United States and Israel are in the process of re-evaluation and revision of their military capabilities. In the United States this shift is the growing importance of the Pacific theater of operations. In Israel, focuses on countering the new generations of weapons supplied by Iran to various terrorist groups, as well as the growing crisis by Iran.
The first sign of major changes is us Marines, whose numbers are greatly reduced. The remaining units are moving to smart weapons and decrease the support of heavy weapons, including the elimination of all main battle tanks. The Marines will be reduced, mainly due to reduction units that are used to support units of other services.
The reduction also related to the fact that Marines get rid of the so-called obsolete equipment. For example, an artillery gun batteries will be reduced from 21 to five; Hawaiian squadron of light attack helicopters naval infantry 367 “Scarface” will be deactivated; at least one air-wing of the convertiplane V-22 Osprey medium lift squadron will be deactivated. In addition, will be eliminated heavy marine squadron known as “Heavy trucks” (462 squadron), based in Miramar, California. Instead of war on terror U.S. Marines go to marine problems “denial and control” (sea denial and control missions), and will be reformed in three coastal shelf.
According to the plan marine corps, the transition to the coastal shelves, the focus will be given to the use of high-precision missile artillery that can operate both on land and offshore platforms. Marines with great success experienced the launches of high-precision missiles with launchers on Board the ships. During one of the tests in 2017, the year of the truck attached to the deck of the “anchorage” (LPD-23), the transport dock amphibious involved was a mobile artillery rocket system HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System Mobile). HIMARS was tested as a system to attack enemy air defense system, located on a small island. During the test the target was destroyed. The marine test has shown that HIMARS works very well with offshore platforms and requires only small changes in the software. HIMARS has a range of up to 300 km.
According to naval Institute of the United States (US Naval Institute), “senior officials examined how the marine Corps, which has historically focused on ground operations, can support the Navy at sea and to improve the ability of amphibious forces to gain and maintain a “sea control” in the areas of current and potential operations.” Naval Institute the United States also reports that the Marines can use the HIMARS and other systems, including missiles Harpoon against the ground and against the sea objectives. A key advantage is that the Marines could strike medium-range targets without the need of fighter aircraft, which may not always be available or will have other high priority tasks, especially on setting and maintaining air superiority.
An interesting addition to the changes in the marine corps is in progress to reduce the number of stealth fighters F-35B and F-35C to the squadron from 16 to 10, which reflects less need to rely on fighter aircraft, if the Marines can perform their mission with high-precision missile artillery, long-range. Among other things, this means smaller squadrons on Okinawa.
The Marines plan to increase their power precision rocket artillery by 300% and will adopt the next generation precision artillery system being developed for the army. The Marines say they do it to be ready for marine expeditionary war in “actively contested spaces.” This model is especially important if China will try to realize its policy of the first island chain with the use of force.
In Israel, the problem lies in the fact that his enemies also get more advanced weapons, and Israeli forces must adapt to an emerging threat. In an article for the Center for strategic studies begin-Sadat at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan) Yaakov Lappin writes that the new Israeli military plan called the Momentum Plan focuses on the destruction capabilities of the enemy, and not just on retaliation against specific attacks. In the Momentum Plan emphasizes that the new approach of the Israeli army is not to capture territory, and in depriving the enemy of potential impact. Us Marines share this view with their Israeli colleagues.
Of great concern to Israel causes in the not too distant future precision weapons in the hands of various terrorist groups and the immediate concern not only Hezbollah and Hamas, and other groups. Even the Iranians, shooting high-precision missiles from Syria or Lebanon, are creating a growing problem. In the past, Israel was able to withstand enemy missile attacks, because you used a weapon, mostly Katyusha rockets, and larger rockets such as the Fajr-5 and Zelzal, or the Iranian analogue of the Russian Frog missiles were not reliable and accurate. But a new weapon in Iran is calling Israel a more serious, because Iran is now able to more accurately aim their missiles at Israeli airfields, air defense systems, command centers and critical infrastructure.
A recent Iranian attack on oil installations in Saudi Arabia were dealt a precision attack drones and cruise missiles. Leading Israeli experts say that the Iranian system has shown exceptional accuracy and attributed them of the possibility of a new Autonomous guided systems that could fly to their targets without operator governing the flight path. In Israel there is a suspicion that Iranian weapons discovered in Saudi Arabia, can have the equivalent guidance system TERCOM (used in us cruise missiles, long-range), which means that it was not necessary to rely on GPS to run the flight profile or fixing purpose.
Although no one knows the time of distribution of this kind of systems, the Israelis are working to find ways and means for the detection of missiles and their operators before they can be used against them. Hence there followed a series of attacks on Iranian facilities and close to Hezbollah in Syria and attacks on the storage facilities, such as warehouses and bunkers. Israel has always denied that he had committed the attack, but it is well known that Israel has the only air force outside the United States and Russia, which could take any such action. In fact, we can say that for Israel the most favourable moment of an Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia was the discovery of a new generation of weapons sooner rather than later, and before it seems over Israeli cities and military targets.
The Momentum Plan also significantly changes the structure of command at the expense of decentralization, allowing local commanders to make instant decisions and not to go through the Central headquarters for permission to strike back, as is happening at present. Israeli military planners believe that this will considerably reduce the response time to an imminent threat. Local commanders will have the full range of information and situational awareness, based on networks and complex sensors to make decisions when the threat materializes.
Israel also develops the deep strike capabilities to address threats that may materialize from the Iranian side or close to Iran countries such as Yemen or Iraq. One of the reasons the acquisition by Israel of F-35 and likely future upgrading its F-15 fighters is to combat threats of more distant radius of action. Nobody knows how far can go the Iranians, defying Israel. But the growing danger is well known throughout the Israeli army.
Active growing fear of Chinese attacks on American allies and American interests is somewhat reminiscent of the challenge faced by Israel. This is one reason why the Marines are rapidly changing their strength to cope with the threat in the South China sea and the first island chain. It also illustrates a new way in which the Marines and Navy could significantly help the Taiwan crisis, Chinese vessels clearing from the Taiwan Strait and hitting military targets on the Chinese mainland or on the nearby Chinese island.
For this reason, the Marines believed that the transition to the new high-precision missile artillery system. A few years HIMARS will be replaced by more long-range precision guided artillery, the range of which is close to 1000 km (although in the first embodiment, it is about 400 km). Lockheed has already developed long-range precision guided artillery projectile called PrSM (Precision Strike Missile), which it tests, and the Army is holding a contest to see which contractor will build this new system. It will use the same launch tubes and trucks, and HIMARS. PrSM is a weatherproof system that can operate even when GPS is jammed, which makes it especially important as a field weapon.
The competition for the development of PrSM will soon be over (Raytheon, Lockheed possible competitor, just retired, because he was unable to conduct field trials of its version of the PrSM). It is expected that PrSM will go into service in 2023, the year. The U.S. position is changing as they have to solve all the broader, strategic challenges posed by China. Similarly, in Israel, changes, anticipating new challenges from Iran, which also receives technology, weapons and supplies from Russia, China and North Korea.