The significant investments into missiles — particularly long-range fires capabilities — and air and missile defense systems underscore the Army’s vision for “future Pacific operations and what sort of capabilities they can provide there,” said Andrew Metrick, a fellow in the Center for a New American Security’s defense program.
“When we say long-range, we're talking about stuff that can reach out from the first island chain,” capabilities such as the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon that would give the service “more meaningful operational reach” in the Indo-Pacific, he said in an interview.
“There's a lot of interesting things going on in non-traditional [areas],” he continued. “They've always been Army areas, but they're not sort of the infantry, helo, armor sort of core three when you think about Army procurement priorities. They’re more in things that … if I were a Joint Force Commander in INDOPACOM, I’d get pretty excited. I’d get excited about Army air and missile defense; I’d get excited about Army fires. It’s not going to win the war for me, but it’s another arrow in my proverbial quiver.”
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