January 16, 2023

The Marines Have a New Ship-Killing Weapons System to Counter China

Source: Task and Purpose

Journalist: Jeff Schogol

The 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment was activated in March 2021 and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced on Wednesday that the 12th Artillery Regiment on Okinawa will be reorganized into the 12th Marine Littoral Regiment by 2025. The Marine Corps also plans to transfer the 4th Marine Regiment from Okinawa to Guam, where it is scheduled to be reorganized into the 4th Marine Littoral Regiment in 2027, the Washington Post reported.

If the United States needed to protect Japan from China’s navy, Marines from littoral regiments could deploy to remote islands in the Pacific, from where they could use NMESIS to attack Chinese ships, said Stacie Pettyjohn, director of the defense program at the Center for a New American Studies think tank in Washington, D.C.

Since the Naval Strike Missiles have a limited range, NMESIS would only be effective against Chinese ships that were close to Japan, Pettyjohn told Task & Purpose. If China invaded Taiwan, Marines armed with NMESIS would have to be physically on the island to sink any of the Chinese invasion ships.

Read the full story and more from Task and Purpose.


  • Stacie Pettyjohn

    Senior Fellow and Director, Defense Program

    Stacie Pettyjohn is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Defense Program at CNAS. Her areas of expertise include defense strategy, posture, force planning, the defense budget, ...