With the US increasingly focused on confronting China in the Pacific, Beijing’s Navy continues to be hyped up in Washington. The US military is spending more on ship-killer missiles, and the head of US Indio-Pacific Command says the Marines need more money to target Chinese ships.
According to Defense News, last month, the US Navy and Air Force signed a contract for dozens of new Lockheed Martin-made Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM). The contract is for 137 LRASMs and is worth approximately $414 million.
Other branches of the military are seeking anti-ship missiles. Adm. Phil Davidson, the head of US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), scolded Congress for not approving a request made by the Marines for $125 million in 2021 to buy nearly 50 Tomahawk missiles that can be launched from land.
“I would say continuing to cut that in the hope for some future capability is not meeting the time-needs that we have to address Chinese threats … in theater right now,” he told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.
Davidson has his hand out to Congress for an additional $27 billion in funding for INDOPACOM. Among Davidson’s wishlist is a new missile system placed along the First Island Chain, which stretches from islands south of Japan, through Taiwan, the Philippines, and down to Malaysia.
China is already surrounded by US military bases as it is, and Washington has grown increasingly more confrontational in the region by sending warships through sensitive areas like the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.