Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, deputy commandant for combat development and integration at the U.S. Marine Corps, said the naval integration between the Navy and the Marines is shaping how program managers decide on procurements, including the acquisition of an unmanned aerial system called the Marine Air-Ground Task Force UAS Expeditionary, USNI News reported Monday.
“We have to do this together. … We’re talking about, while the Navy is working the Future Vertical Lift and that is kind of foremost in their priority group right now, is we start moving toward MUX – what it is, what it’s not, what it has to do – and mostly it’s [electronic warfare],” Smith said. “One of the requirements is, it has to fit on a hangar on a destroyer, so before we make big decisions, we have to confer with the Navy to make sure we don’t go down a dead end where the Navy says, look, two years ago you took this right turn, I can’t go with you anymore, if only you had asked.”
MUX is a large Group 5 UAS meant to help the Marine Corps close a gap in its sea-based aviation capability. The drone would have tiltrotors and helicopters for lift and as well as the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jet for data collection and strike missions.