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Pentagon budget 2023: USMC sees NMESIS as ‘marquee' system for new approach

A NMESIS launcher is deployed into position at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Hawaii, in August 2021. (US Marine Corps)

The US Marine Corps (USMC) Navy Marine Corps Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS) marries the USMC desire to achieve sea denial with its plan to establish a stand-in force within the enemy's weapons engagement zone, according to Major General Benjamin Watson, USMC commanding general, Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory/Futures Directorate and vice chief, Office of Naval Research.

“It's our marquee system going forward,” Maj Gen Watson told Janes , adding that the system underscores how marines “adapt … and reconcile the operating concept of being small, light, and nimble with the ability to engage at range”.

NMESIS integrates established, proven subsystems, such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle chassis, the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), and the fire-control system used by the navy for NSM.

The USMC has included USD345 million in the proposed USMC fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget for NMESIS, according to budget documents released on 28 March, about 65% more than the USD208 million enacted in the FY 2022 budget.

The reason for the added investment was the effective potential for NMESIS in the littorals, said Maj Gen Watson. “When you get down to relevant key terrain, it goes from big to small pretty quick, when you start looking to key straits and sea lanes. If you're the right spots, don't need something to shoot 2,000 miles to 3,000 miles.”

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