Increase Fleet Lethality by Arming the Amphibs

USNI Blog – As of this writing, the Navy consists of 287 deployable battle-force ships, of which some 31 are part of the amphibious force. These ships—“amphibs” in Navy parlance—are optimized for the transport and delivery of land power from the sea (otherwise known as the U.S. Marine Corps). Amphibs are large and capable and are among the most heavily tasked ships in the Navy because of their versatility and value to regional combatant commanders. What they aren’t is lethal, at least as warships go, and this limitation is no longer acceptable as the Navy limbers up for great power competition. In addition, given the reemergence of budget uncertainty and the near-certainty that the Navy will not achieve the 355-ship level described in its 2016 Force Structure Assessment, it must make more lethally efficient use of the floating real estate it operates, including platforms such as amphibs which traditionally have fielded only self-defense weapons.