Over the last few years there has been a quiet revolution in ground launched long range rockets that has the potential to challenge existing thinking on Close Air Support, Attack Helicopters, Carrier Strike and Naval Gunfire Support/Land Attack.
To be clear, long range precision rockets are not a replacement for any of these but they do reduce the need.
We should not be thinking about firing GMLRS illumination rounds and a precision rocket cannot provide combat ISTAR like a fast jet but they can provide effective support for ground forces in contact with the enemy and long range interdiction at a greatly reduced cost and in response to enemy countermeasures like air defence systems.
They are rather unglamorous and lacking in expensive contracts though, which means they are not prioritised. The blinkered ‘not invented here’ theme is also strong, it is often assumed that Israeli, Brazilian, Russian and Turkish systems are unsuitable or incapable when nothing could be further from the truth.
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