Analysis: US finally moves to create NMESIS

Analysis: US finally moves to create NMESIS

The Naval Maritime Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS) has finally entered Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) after being neglected since it was first fielded three years ago.

At the end of April 2024, the U.S. Department of Defense signed a contract with RTX business Raytheon to deliver its first system at a value of nearly $50 million. According to the contract details, these LRIP units are expected to be completed by August 2027.

NMESIS is a mobile, land-based anti-ship weapons system deployed by small teams within littoral environments intended to support United States Marine Corps (USMC) land-to-sea attacks.

It features naval strike missiles (NSM) supplied by Raytheon and Kongsberg. The missile can perform maneuvers and fly close to the ocean surface to avoid enemy radar. It carries a 226.79 kilogram (kg) class warhead and a programmable fuse.

The NSM is mounted on top of the chassis of an unmanned version of Oshkosh’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, known as the Remotely Operated Ground Unit for Expeditionary Fires.

NMESIS is not considered an autonomous launcher because its fire control system is not controlled by self-driving systems and autonomous technology. Operated by Marines responsible for mission planning and missile launches.

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USMC and Raytheon first successfully tested NMESIS off the coast of California in April 2021. NSM was launched from the system against surface targets at sea.

It was subsequently successfully demonstrated at the Sink-at-Sea live-fire training exercise (SINKEX) held in Hawaii four months later. SINKEX is part of the triennial U.S. Navy Large-Scale Exercise 2021, which aims to test naval and U.S. Marine Corps operational concepts.

That same year, the U.S. Marine Corps also successfully transported the system on a C-130 transport aircraft and landing craft air cushion watercraft.

“While this is unrelated to program development, NMESIS transportability and maneuverability demonstrated the ability to develop tactics, techniques, and procedures related to this critical capability,” USMC acknowledged in a statement at the time. I did.

NMESIS was fired by Marines in the Pacific Rim on July 22, 2022. Credit: DVIDS.

In July 2022, NMESIS deployed again for a sinking demonstration during the biennial International Rim of the Pacific Maritime Warfare Exercise.

U.S. Marines from Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division once again fired an NSM from NMESIS at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California, June 28, 2023.

Two months later, the Marine Corps also successfully deployed the system on the C-17 Globemaster III.

Officials said NMESIS supports the Force Design 2030 program by allowing small numbers of Marines to operate in forward environments with minimal detectability.

U.S. Marine Corps maintenance technician, Long Range Fire New Equipment Training Team program manager, sponsors NMESIS on a C-17 Globemaster III, September 25, 2023, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Credit: DVIDS.

What does this system offer?

NMESIS – which integrates several proven systems – exemplifies the flexible procurement policies that many governments have recently adopted across defence.

Defense acquisition agencies are looking to build on existing platforms through integration. This allows the military to quickly get what it needs in a security environment that demands timely supplies.

Additionally, the U.S. Marine Corps is developing and fielding new surface warfare weapons capabilities, including NMESIS, at a pace that supports Force Design 2030 objectives.

These new capabilities contribute to the fleet’s ability to achieve sea control, sea denial, and protection against hostile amphibious force missions.

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