“Marines Vision for Next-generation MAGTF Much Larger than Single Platform”
Mairnes need to do more than just leverage new technology and procure advanced systems. To evolve the MAGTF, Marine aviation envisions using new and current systems in innovative ways; advancing the idea that every platform is a sensor, shooter, and sharer; and creating a MAGTF that is effective and resilient.
What does all of this mean to the Marine on the ground? Our tactical skills to find, fix, target, track, engage, and assess against any potential adversary is exponentially improved over our current ability.
Manned-unmanned teaming means we can provide 24-hour coverage anywhere in the world and preserve assets. New systems facilitate the Marine Corps’ tactical entry into a contested environment and allow for us to better support the MAGTF and Marines on the ground once we have established air superiority—or, more likely, air supremacy—in a given theater of operations.
We will be able to shoot missiles and drop bombs from farther away, but more importantly, we will be able to provide increased situational awareness to aviation and ground commanders on a chaotic battlefield in order to help lessen the effects of the fog of war and ultimately provide a common operating picture across the force.
As we look ahead, the Marine Corps imagines what the future battlespace will look like—and we design and build weapons systems that will enable Marines to be prepared for the continuum of conflict. The lines between low-intensity engagements requiring realtime precision strike capabilities and complex engagements requiring counters to high-threat, strategic, near-peer adversary systems can blur quickly.
The next-generation MAGTF will be ready.
All of this—new aircraft, better supply management, far better communications and linkages with the ground force, and, most of all, better-trained people—comes together in war.
In aviation terms, fighter aircraft are grouped into generations, defined by their performance characteristics, aircraft systems, and capabilities.
The term next generation began as an HQMC Aviation term of art and expanded to other Marine aviation circles as the Marine Corps began the development and procurement of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
With its stealth technology, fusion engine, targeting systems, and expanded weapons capabilities, the F-35 strike fighter squarely fits the definition of a next-generation strike fighter.
However, with all the advertisement and excitement about this new capability, some came to believe that the next-generation ACE and the F-35 were synonymous and that the F-35 was the sole initiative in the Marine aviation portfolio, modernizing to keep pace with the challenges of the future operating environment.
A combined arms element such as today’s MEU afloat is completely revolutionized by F-35B aircraft aboard. The F-35B can fill the basic role of providing fixed-wing strike and ISR support to the MAGTF commander and, in the moment, turn and penetrate a high-threat integrated air defense system—a concept completely impossible prior to the advent of the F-35B aboard a MEU.
The F-35s deployed aboard a MEU can perform all of our current missions to support the Battalion Landing Team, while simultaneously providing a high-end deterrent to any potential near-peer threat that may emerge.
Marines will be partnered with the Navy aboard the CVN with a squadron of USMC F-35Cs and the Navy’s mix of F-35C, F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets, and EA-18 Growlers, enhancing the current high-end deterrent with an additional and exponential factor.
This capability will be invaluable in terms of the impact it could have on world actors and their willingness to challenge American interests. Our TACAIR fleet—a mix of legacy and brand-new aircraft—works hand in glove with our helicopter and tiltrotor assets to bring the fight wherever the Nation calls.