Marines Want A Truck-Mounted Rocket Launcher That Fits In An Osprey

Gear
Marines with Battery B, 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, fire an Expeditionary Fire Support System 120mm Mortar during a live-fire demonstration at Camp Pendleton, Calif., on Nov. 17, 2016. Officials are seeking an uber-compact rocket launcher that can be loaded onto an MV-22 Osprey.
Photo via DoD

Editor’s Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.


The Marine Corps is on the hunt for an uber-compact rocket launcher system capable of raining down suppressive fire on the enemy, then flying away in a V-22 Osprey or CH-53K King Stallion.

As the Corps prepares for a future fight in which units operate with greater independence and at greater distances apart, portability and power are at a premium.

At the National Defense Industrial Association’s Expeditionary Warfare Conference, Marine Maj. Gen. David Coffman, director of expeditionary warfare for the Navy, said the service was after a system that could deliver both precision and suppressive effects.

“If we can get a self-contained vehicle that can fire rockets, a box of rockets on a truck that fits in the back of a tiltrotor or a ’53-K, that’s what we’re after,” he said.

Related: Marines Can Now Bombard Enemies With Guided Artillery Rockets From The Sea »

Speaking to Military.com, Coffman expanded on his vision for such a system, saying he had in mind something potentially smaller than a Humvee.

“I don’t know what’s in the art of the possible, physics-wise, to get a vehicle that can withstand the recoil of rockets firing, and be a stable enough platform, and still be light enough to be lifted in a helicopter, and all that,” he said. “So I don’t know what industry can do, whether that’s possible or not … [but] that’s what we need.”

The Marine Corps currently deploys the Expeditionary Fire Support System, a 120mm mortar system designed to fit in a trailer pulled by a small all-terrain vehicle that fits inside an Osprey.

Next year, the system is due to receive a precision GPS-guided round that will extend its range from 8 kilometers to 16, or roughly 10 miles.

But Coffman said precision rounds are also being developed for the man-portable 81mm mortar system, minimizing the advantage of the EFSS.

“It kind of overcomes the need for the 120,” he said.

U.S. Marines with Battery R, 5th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division launch a rocket from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) off the USS Anchorage (LPD-23) during Exercise Dawn Blitz, Oct. 22, 2017.Photo via DoD

Ideally, Coffman said, the system he has in mind will have a range competitive with the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, which is mounted on a 5-ton truck and has a range of 70 kilometers, or about 43 miles.

So far, all these requirements represent a wish list, but Coffman said he has had some promising conversations with industry professionals

“Let’s see what industry comes up with,” he said.

The Marine Corps, at the behest of Commandant Gen. Robert Neller, is working elsewhere to beef up its artillery capabilities and get more out of its existing systems.

In a first for the service, Marines on Monday fired a HIMARS rocket from the back of the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage, proving the service’s ability to take out a land-based target from the sea at maximum effective range.

This article originally appeared on Military.com

More from Military.com

WATCH NEXT:

A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.

It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.

Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.

Read More Show Less

No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.

Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.

"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.

Read More Show Less
A projectile is fired during North Korea's missile tests in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2019. (KCNA via Reuters)

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.

The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.

Read More Show Less

Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.

In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.

"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.

Read More Show Less
Erik Prince arrives for the New York Young Republican Club Gala at The Yale Club of New York City in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., November 7, 2019. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.

Read More Show Less