- The Washington Times - Friday, March 6, 2020

The U.S. Marine Corps is on the hunt for a ground-based missile system that can track moving ships — particularly vessels in the South China Sea — to mitigate threats in the region.

Military officials tasked with keeping watch over the Pacific say it’s time to prioritize the Ground-Based Anti-Ship Missile (GBASM) if political leaders are serious about safeguarding Indo-Pacific Command.

Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, commander of Marine Corps Combat Development Command and deputy commandant for Combat Development and Integration, addressed the issue Thursday during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air and land forces subcommittee.

“What we are seeking now is a system with an active warhead, an active seeker, that can go after a [moving] ship,” he said Thursday, Military.com reported. “We are capable of firing Army [Tactical Missile Systems] off of our High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, but what we are not capable of is going after a ship that is moving. … That is what matters in a contested environment …”

The Navy’s Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is scheduled to be tested for the GBASM in June, the defense website added.

NSM was also mounted and tested on a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle in December.

“We will be in a position to take advantage of that and actually move forward with a capability to move forward with what the joint force wants and must have to compete with a peer competitor,” Lt. Gen. Eric Smith told the website.

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