Tag Archives: Navy-Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System

Farewell, Ingraham, you deserved better (but NMESIS works)

Smoke billows from the decommissioned guided-missile frigate ex-USS Ingraham during a sinking exercise in the Pacific, Aug. 15. (U.S. Navy/MC1 David Mora Jr.)

Same, (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Danny Kelley)

VADM Steve Koehler, C3F, on a SINKEX in the Pacific as part of Large Scale Exercise (LSE) 2021, where U.S. joint forces — the USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, Submarine Forces Pacific, I Marine Expeditionary Force, 3rd Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, 3rd Marine Division, and U.S. Army Multi-Domain Task Force– conducted coordinated “multi-domain, multi-axis, long-range maritime strikes” on the decommissioned frigate ex-USS Ingraham (FFG-61):
“Lethal combat power was effectively applied to a variety of maritime threats over the last two weeks in a simulated environment as part of the U.S. Navy’s Large-Scale Exercise and expertly demonstrated Sunday with live ordnance. The precise and coordinated strikes from the Navy and our joint teammates resulted in the rapid destruction and sinking of the target ship and exemplify our ability to decisively apply force in the maritime battlespace.”
Ingraham was the final Perry (FFG-7)-class guided missile frigate commissioned in 1989 and was decommissioned in 2015 after 26 years of hard service and could surely have been transferred for FMS as have many of her younger sisters. Notably, 34 of her sisters are still on active duty with overseas allies.
The ship was named for Captian Duncan Nathaniel Ingraham, who entered the Navy during the War of 1812 at the age of 10 (!)  and earned a Gold Medal from Congress for gunboat diplomacy in the 1850s while on a Med cruise. Ending his career dual-hatted as Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrographer of the Navy in 1860 to cast his lot with the Confederacy, he commanded the Charleston (SC) naval station while wearing a grey uniform in the Civil War.
FFG-61 is the fourth Navy ship with the namesake. It is the second of its name to be used in a sinking exercise; ex-USS Ingraham (DD 694), which was decommissioned in 1971 and sold to the Greek Navy, was sunk in 2001.
Importantly, the Marines got to confirm their brand new Navy-Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS) anti-ship missile truck in the sinking, firing a Norwegian Naval Strike Missile from a position onshore some 100 miles away.

A Naval Strike Missile is launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands during the sinking exercise. (U.S. Marine Corps/MC2 Lance Cpl. Dillon Buck)

A Navy-Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System launcher deploys into position aboard Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, Hawaii, Aug. 16, 2021. The NMESIS and its Naval Strike Missiles participated in a live-fire exercise, here, part of Large Scale Exercise 2021. During the training, a Marine Corps fires expeditionary advanced base sensed, located, identified, and struck a target ship at sea, which required more than 100 nautical miles of missile flight. The fires EAB Marines developed a targeting solution for a joint force of seapower and airpower which struck the ship as the Marines displaced to a new firing position. The Marine Corps EABO concept is a core component of the Force Design 2030 modernization effort. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Maj. Nick Mannweiler, released)

First pic of the Marines’ new Ship Killing Trucks

Raytheon just released a Navy-credited image of the Navy-Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System, or NMESIS, at work at Point Magu Mugu. The vehicle, which looks to be Oshkosh’s unmanned variant of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) known as “ROGUE Fires,” is loaded with a containerized module that includes a Norwegian Kongsberg-developed Naval Strike Missile, which is dramatically taking flight.

U.S. Navy photo via Raytheon

The planned successor to the 1970s-developed Harpoon as the Navy’s dedicated OTH anti-ship weapon, NSM has a greater range as well as a laundry list of attack profile updates. JLTV, meanwhile, is amphibious, helicopter, and fixed-wing transportable.

With the assumption that at least two, if not four, of the 900-pound NSMs could be carried on each of the ROGUE Fires trucks, a battery of six vehicles could carry up to 24 missiles linked to a central CCV truck with a platoon-sized crew (or smaller). That’s a small footprint for two dozen AShMs. Like atoll-sized or even oil platform-sized small.

Worst case scenario on a “shoot and scoot” after the missiles are expended from such pieces of tiny real estate: blow the vehicles with WP grenades and evac the battery crew by fastest means possible, e.g. MV-22, or provide them with rubber raiders to fall back just offshore for a submarine recovery– something the Marines have been revisiting lately. 

Of course, the scale is the key to something like this. If you only have a couple of these batteries the whole concept is academic. However, if you could sow, say, 50 batteries around a battlespace on every strip of sandy beach, hidden in every mangrove thicket, and hiding under netting on every coral reef, that is a serious distruptor. Like a “don’t bother going to battle” type of disruptor, which is the point of peace through superior firepower, right?

The current buy is set to field 14 new Marine expeditionary precision strike units with 252 launchers.

However, these units could also be of use afloat. 

The Marines are already theorizing using their NMESIS batteries while underway on amphibious support ships if needed. The same concept could quickly arm ships taken from trade, such as old RO/ROs and tankers, giving the 1990’s Arsenal Ship theory an ersatz rebirth, at least for anti-ship purposes.

From USNI News:

“Going back to uncoiling the lethality of the MAGTF, I see containerized weapon systems that the Marine Corps is using: when we jump onboard a ship, that becomes available to the ship’s captain. So maybe we don’t need to install launchers and NSM; maybe the Marine Corps [expeditionary advance base operations] forces serve as the main battery when we’re moving out,” Maj. Gen. Tracy King, who until recently served as the expeditionary warfare director on the chief of naval operations’ staff (OPNAV N95), said.

“To me, that just makes sense. We give the latitude and the flexibility to that ship’s captain to use those assets when he needs to. There’s been some naysayers to that, mostly in my tribe, because if you use all my missile before I get there, I don’t have my missiles. But I’m a little bit dismissive of that complaint because the ship’s got to get there first. So I think you’re going to see us employing containerized weapon systems that we can use wherever we want to use them.”