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Tomahawk cruise missile shortly after firing. Courtesy of Royal Navy/Paul Punter/OGLv3.0

Deployment Options for the Future Royal Navy’s Long-Range Land-Attack Fires

Ben Wan Beng Ho
RUSI Journal, 29 June 2020
Defence Spending, Equipment and Acquisitions, Defence Policy, UK, Maritime Forces, UK Defence, Europe
A new long-range land-attack capability could be valuable for the Royal Navy.

Land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs) will be a pivotal component of the Royal Navy’s likely expeditionary posture in the future strategic environment. Currently, the service has only one mode of delivery for LACMs – its attack submarine fleet. And even when the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers fully come onboard, they lack a true standoff capability. At the moment, the navy’s surface force does not possess an LACM capability, and there is debate over whether LACMs should arm the new Type 26 frigate. Ben Wan Beng Ho assesses these three platforms for LACM deployment and shows that there are inherent shortcomings in the carrier aircraft and submarine options, notably in the combat power they can project.

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