Senior Army and Pentagon strategists are now planing for the installation of mobile artillery units in areas of the South China Sea to function as air-defense weapons, if necessary, to knock incoming rockets and cruise missiles out of the sky.
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said the potential use of existing weapons in new ways is entirely consistent with an existing Pentagon office which was, for the first time, recently announced publicly, Kris Osborn wrote in Scout Warrior, a military news website.
Carter is also the one who made the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) which stood up to look at integrating innovating technologies with existing weapons platforms since 2012.
“We could use existing Howitzers and that type of munition (155m shells) to knock out incoming threats when people try to hit us from the air at long ranges using rockets and cruise missiles,” a senior Army official said as quoted by the report.
“Mobile air defenses such as an Army M777 or Paladin Howitzer weapon could use precision rounds and advancing fire-control technology to destroy threatening air assets such as enemy aircraft, drones or incoming artillery fire,” the report noted.
Meanwhile, Pentagon officials said they are stepping up its coordination with allies in the region for the planned weaponry installation said Cmdr. Bill Urban, Pentagon spokesman, told Scout Warrior.
However, officials are clear to emphasize that no decisions have been made along these lines, yet it is one of the things being considered.