The US Marines Bold Risky Plan to Defeat China

The US Marines Bold Risky Plan to Defeat China

You might be surprised to learn the US Marines believe their M1A1 main battle tanks would only hold them back. They’ve officially decided to ditch their tanks, dissolving all 7 of their long storied tank companies as part of their bold but risky new Force Design 2030 plan. This controversial decision will call for the corps to get rid of most of their gun based artillery and a whole host of other vehicles and aircraft in exchange for new capabilities. On face value this might sound crazy but if you dig deeper it’s crazy like a fox. What are the pros and cons of this new plan?

Written by: Chris Cappy & Diego Aceituno
Edited by: Savvy Studios

In theory the Force Design 2030 transformation would allow a small company of about 100 Marines to be positioned on islands in order to pose an outsized threat to nearby enemy naval forces. The plan seeks to force the enemy to divert their troops and resources to counter this small element of US Marines. For an attacking military like China they would want to create an economy of effort. What that means is they would aim to avoid dispersing their forces and resources across a wide area. In military theory there is a concept called “massing forces” to bring overwhelming force to bear on a specific target and that’s what China would seek to do.

But Force Design 2030 aims to make the PLA spread out and unfocused. The Marines want to become experts at sea denial. Instead of being a multitool jack of all trades they want to be the go to Anti-access/area denial forces in the south china sea. Every marine would still be a rifleman as we all know, but under this new plan they would also be a kind of island survivalist. US Leadership believes having a credible fast reaction amphibious force is a top priority. According to this new school of thought, main battle tanks just don’t fit into this picture at least not like how you might expect.

The Marines had about 451 tanks in their inventory which were the old M1A1 variant that lacked a lot of the more modern survivability capabilities that tanks require against a near peer today. They would have been pretty much forced into an expensive and time consuming upgrade process. To get a picture of just how expensive this process would be, when the Army upgraded 174 M1A1s to the M1A2 SEPv3 it cost them $714 million dollars, and another upgrade program for 786 tanks cost a whopping $2.6 billion dollars. Projecting those numbers out, it would have cost the Corps between $1.5 and $1.85 billion dollars to upgrade their entire inventory just to the M1A2 SEPv3 standard, while future versions would be even more expensive. That’s just some average infantryman back of the napkin math though. So lets see what the Marines will get in return.
Credit to : Task & Purpose

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