U.S. Marine Corps

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Fire Support

Last Revised: May 8, 2014, 1:34 pm
  • Fire Support Maneuver Training

Ground Indirect Fires

A study of major combat operations analysis from FY14-24 examined the in-service organic fire support of the MAGTF to determine the adequacy, integration, and modernization requirements for ground, aviation, and naval surface fires. We also conducted a supplemental study using OIF data to examine MAGTF fires across the full spectrum of warfare. These studies validated our development of complementary systems of ground indirect fires.

The MAGTF requires three indirect fire (IDF) capabilities: a medium-caliber cannon artillery capability; an extended range ground-based rocket capability; and a capability that provides greater lethality than traditional 81 mm mortars with greater tactical mobility than in-service artillery systems. These capabilities provide the MAGTF with balanced, expeditionary, ground-based IDFs that are responsive, redundant, complementary, and capable of providing the range and lethality to effectively engage the targets our Corps faces across the full ROMOs. The MAGTF’s ground IDFs are founded on the M777A2 L155 Howitzer, which combines design innovation, improved navigation and positioning systems, and digital fire control. These elements provide significant improvements in mobility, durability, lethality, and survivability when compared to the legacy M198 155 mm Howitzer.

The HIMARS fills a critical range and volume of fires gap our Corps faces and provides the MAGTF with an all weather, long-range precision fires capability. The third “leg” of our IDFs “Triad” is the Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS), which is a towed, rifled 120 mm mortar, and is the principal IDF support system for any MAGTF helicopter/tilt-rotor-borne force executing ship-to-objective maneuvers. An EFSS can be transported aboard MV-22B and CH-53E/K aircrafts when paired with an Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV). MAGTF units equipped with EFSS experience immediately responsive and organic IDFs with range and lethality capabilities far exceeding those of organic infantry battalion mortars. Several innovative systems related to fire support significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the MAGTF including: the AFATDS, the family of Tactical Acquisition Systems, and the THS.

Finally, the development completion of precision guided munitions, such as the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), and the in-progress development of the Precision Extended Range Munition (PERM) continue to improve the MAGTF’s lethality while minimizing collateral damage.

  • About Concepts and Programs

    The vision of the Concepts and Programs project is to provide political and military leaders with timely, accurate, and relevant information. The Concepts and Programs project is the premier strategic communications vessel the Marine Corps relies on to inform Congress, the Office of Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Think Tanks about the Corps’ vision.