Australian and other US-Asian allies have been reluctant to accept the US-based land-based medium-range missiles, there are still many variables before the final site selection result is settled. At the same time, although the withdrawal of the “Guidelines on the Guide” sounds like a matter between the United States and Russia, if the United States finally decides to unrestrictedly deploy a land-based guide in Asia, the most affected and threatened will be China.
The US-Russian “Guidelines on the Guide” restricts land-based missiles with a maximum range of 550 to 5,500 kilometers and their launch protection devices. Although it is customary to say that it is a medium-range missile, in fact, whether it is in accordance with the US-Russian standard or the Chinese standard, the missiles involved in the “Guide to the Central Treaty” have covered the range of long-range missiles.
However, limited to the economics of use, the United States has not developed and large-scale deployment of conventional missiles with a range of more than 3,000 kilometers. From the practical use of the US “Tomahawk” cruise missiles in the past, usually more than 100 will be used at a time. If it is a long-range missile, then the economic cost is relatively high. In most cases, it is better to use a missile with a slightly shorter range after the aircraft, submarine or surface ship is relatively close to the target. From a realistic perspective, the quickest solution in the United States is to get the latest version of the Tomahawk cruise missile “onshore.” This only needs to be equipped with a mobile ground storage, vertical and launch vehicle on the surface launch model. In the 1980s, the Tomahawk cruise missile had an onshore version. Of course, in theory, the floating system such as the ship Mk41 can be moved to the shore to launch the “Tomahawk”, but this fixed launch device has poor wartime viability and is not conducive to maneuvering. It is unlikely to be only for launching cruise missiles. Go ashore.
The US Air Force also has a range of cruise missiles with the potential to develop land-based missiles. These missiles may have better stealth performance, but they require relatively large changes, such as the addition of solid boosters to launch from ground-based launchers. . This requires further testing. In addition, although some models are more advanced, such as AGM-158, but the range is near, the disadvantage of changing to the land-based version is more prominent. Some larger-range models are optimized for bomber bomb bays, and ground launches have no advantage. In general, “air to land” will be more troublesome.
The above-mentioned missiles are all slow-moving cruise missiles, and the US military is also developing high-speed missiles. From a long-term perspective, the United States will not reproduce ballistic missiles like the “Pan Hing II”, but will directly develop hypersonic missiles. A realistic option is to develop a gliding-type hypersonic missile. The US Army, Navy and Air Force are working together to promote the “Universal Gliding Aircraft” based on the results of the Army’s “Advanced Hypersonic Weapons” (AHW) project. In the future, the US Army is likely to equip land-based medium-range missiles based on this universal glider.
Experts believe that although the “Guidance Treaty” contains long-range missiles, the US can be equipped with a large number of economically affordable conventional missiles with a range of about 2,000 kilometers and should not exceed 3,000 kilometers, which is roughly a medium-range missile. Missiles with too long a range are also more expensive and are not suitable for large-scale use as a conventional strike. And if a long-range conventional missile is developed to combat high-value targets, the number of equipment may be limited, and the cost of development is not small.