Aug. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corps successfully fired its new anti-ship missile system, hitting a target off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii, this week during Large Scale Exercise 2021, the Marines said Tuesday.
The Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System is a ground-based system developed to provide the Marine Littoral Regiment with capability to combat enemy ships at sea.
"This week was very successful," Joe McPherson, long range fires program manger at Marine Corps Systems Command said in a statement. "In addition to the two live fire shots that hit the target, we also successfully deployed the system aboard the Marine Corps' primary transport systems, the C130 and LCAC."
NMESIS, developed with the chassis of the Joint Lightweight Tactical Vehicle and the fire control system of the Naval Strike Missile, successfully hit a decommissioned ship during the SINKEX exercise scenario, which tested multiple weapons systems and platforms of different U.S. services.
Leveraging existing subsystems allowed the military to rapidly develop NMESIS in a little over two years.
MCSC managed the fire control during the exercise while Marines practiced maneuvering the system.
"This exercise gave us an opportunity to not only measure, but also validate the concepts for [the Marine Corps'] anti-ship capability, which is one of the most important avenues of the commandant's Force Design 2030," said Lt. Col. Ryan Collins, combat integration officer for artillery and fires at the Marine Corps Combat Development Directorate, Combat Development and Integration.
"I think the successful launches of the missile will help us clarify the path forward as we move to fulfill the commandant's 2030 vision, giving the Marine Corps a transformative anti-ship capability."
The Marines plan to buy the first production units of the NMESIS this year for operational test and evaluation in 2022 and release to the field by the end of 2023, Breaking Defense reported.
Large Scale Exercise 2021 is global exercise with activities in 17 time zones to demonstrate readiness with high-end training at sea and ashore. The exercise assessed developmental warfighting concepts of the Navy and Marine Corps.