“Even U.S. Pacific forces contribute to NATO’s security by deterring conflict and ensuring free flow of trade,” said Katherine Blakely, a research fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “Even if other NATO member nations weren’t involved in a conflict, the economy of NATO states would take a huge hit if there was a major conflict in the Asia-Pacific [region].”
“You’re really concentrating your fires in the fleet the Navy wants to have, and we’re arguing for a much more distributed surface fleet by taking advantage of some of the technologies you can get on some of these smaller combatants,” Bryan Clark, lead author of a Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis (CSBA), fleet architecture study told USNI News in February. The CSBA study called for a guided-missile frigate that would include a MK-41 vertical launch system, anti-surface missiles and a significant air search radar. In its study, MITRE called for scrapping the LCS concept and starting with a clean sheet design for a next-generation frigate.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is wrapping up a two-day visit to the U.S. Later today, he’ll hold a joint press conference with President Trump in Washington. The U.S. is the main contributor to the military alliance. Trump, like many presidents before him, has repeatedly called on the other 27 NATO members to spend more on defense. Are his calls being heeded?
“Cruise missiles such as Tomahawks and JASSMs [Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile] would probably be used to surprise S-400s and S-300V4s,” airpower analyst Mark Guzinger—a former B-52 bomber pilot and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments—told The National Interest. “There may be little need to use manned aircraft against these threats, especially when other options exist to suppress them. I also suggest that an initial wave of standoff strikes would be launched by U.S. bombers operating from CONUS bases.”
Airpower analysts too agreed that the Russian air defenses would be a serious problem during the early stages of any air campaign.
These energy levels are relatively low still, but Mark Gunzinger, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told the AFP that within a few years there'll be prototypes of more than 150 kilowatts. Within six to eight years, the US could be using laser systems of more than 300 kilowatts.