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This is a discussion on land warfare within the Space & Defense Technology forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by Waylander I am not sold on the plan described in the article of establishing static land bases ...


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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #16
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I am not sold on the plan described in the article of establishing static land bases inside the area where the enemy can reach out and touch you.

The idea of creating a bubble of air support to attack emerging threats to the amphibious assault force is not new and may work. Replace the fancy UAV swarm with LHD based rotary air and LHD/CVN based fast air and it is what they are doing these days anyway. As mentioned in the article, getting the ISR bubble to work is the challenge.

But the idea that an enemy won't hit these fixed forward bases due to camouflage, fortifications and protection systems is not based on real world capabilities IMHO.

The Donbass conflict has shown that artillery is still king on the battlefield. Such a base won't be safe from a battery of Smerchs firing bomblets from some 70 klicks away and never will. And these artillery strikes are extremely hard to prevent and hard to counter.

And to think that a company of Marines, their vehicles, some artillery and AD assets and a rotary/VTOL service point is not worth a couple of battery shots of an enemy rocket or tube artillery unit is delusional.

The commentary of the army general in the article is quite right. Everything standing still for too long is dead meat on todays battlefields.
The take I had on it was that it wasn't necessarily to create bases that will turtle in the middle of a hostile environment. Rather the static bases would put friendly forces in very enabling positions that will allow them to reach out and touch the enemy instead. The key is to get them there in the first place (with the help of ISR assets), then make them survivable enough to accomplish the neutralization of enemy assets before they themselves get taken down (which is accomplished by making them small and numerous). The fight as a whole would be a race to see who could deal the necessary amount of damage the quickest.

The plan seems to be rather unsustainable in of itself, but it doesn't need to be. It's a very aggressive, offense-minded, high-risk plan that only needs to last for however long the marines need to open up the way for more forces to penetrate the AD/A2 wall.

IIRC it's like trying to push open a door someone else is trying to hold closed. ISR assets push and open up the door just a crack, then the marines jam their fingers into the crack and wiggle it just open enough for someone to slide in the doorstop. Once the doorstop is in, you've penetrated the A2/AD and its just a matter of pushing.

Probably not 100% accurate, but that's the vibe I got. I think there's definitely merit in the concept.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #17
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That's why I wrote "inside the area where the enemy can reach out and touch you".

A base which contains HIMARS to hit enemy positions is at minimum in range of Smerch, Tornado and co. rocket artillery (I always forget the Chinese versions...) and if unlucky also in tube artillery range. If it contains a service point for F-35s it may even warrant an Iskander or two (or another SRBM).

The point is it goes counter the whole idea of shoot and scoot which was deemed essential since the cold war. The need for dispersion and maneuver warfare goes into the same direction.

The time from target aquisition to shooter has gotten shorter and modern MLRS got even more widespread not only with the Russians and Chinese. So what has changed that sitting still in range of enemy artillery assets while actively participating in the fighting and thus radiating ones own position has become a good idea?

No one can sell me on the corps being able to keep the location secret while using HIMARS and other active shooters out of it. When using a battery of MLRS with bomblets one doesn't need the exact position down to a meter...

I hope this is not partly born out of recent conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan where fire bases were quite successfull. Ask the Ukrainians how they fared when not constantly on the move...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #18
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I hope this is not partly born out of recent conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan where fire bases were quite successfull. Ask the Ukrainians how they fared when not constantly on the move...
and now much more difficult as the russians have used UAS as supporting spotters

once they add designators to those UAS then you have another layer of difficulty in getting away on time

and as you say, the area of effect for using dispersed shells/bomblets just adds another layer of hurt
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
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The Marines are working out the bugs on UHAC. It's designed to carry 3 X MBTs at more than 20 knots over etended distances and traverse obstacles that would stymie a LCAC. What's not to like?

Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) at RIMPAC | Defense Media Network
YouTube video of the UHAC trials. It's quiet, real quiet for a tracked vehicle.
US Marines testing Ultra Heavy Lift Amphibious Connector UHAC at RIMPAC 2014
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #20
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I'm wondering how UHAC would fare vs IEDs. Applicable lessons learned from MRAP may be adopted.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #21
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I suspect that in the lead post for this thread that what I was calling "little dog" is actually a variant of "Butch" in the attached video

Meet Butch, the latest in robotic surveillance
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #22
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It'll be interesting to see how Butch materializes. Big Dog got dropped because it was too noisy, of all things.

Interesting to see that Butch seems to take a different angle than Big Dog though. A smaller, more mobile platform with less payload than Big Dog. I suppose it makes it more versatile.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #23
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and now much more difficult as the russians have used UAS as supporting spotters

once they add designators to those UAS then you have another layer of difficulty in getting away on time

and as you say, the area of effect for using dispersed shells/bomblets just adds another layer of hurt
Russia is not alone here. Even non-state actors are using UAVs and MLRS. And the further we go, the easier this sort of thing will be.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #24
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Russia is not alone here. Even non-state actors are using UAVs and MLRS. And the further we go, the easier this sort of thing will be.

ISIS have been using UAS as either weapons carriers, as kamikaze tools and as spotters for more than 2 years. Its really only just got attention in the public arena recently

I suspect that prev protected military reports on the attacks have now filtered out
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