Perceived Gap Within the United States Marine Corps’ Integrated Air Defense System (IADS) Capability is a Naval Postgraduate School thesis by Cody W. McGee and Adam J. Cox.

This study reveals a notable capability deficiency in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Integrated Air Defense System (IADS), particularly in medium-altitude and medium-range air defense systems. The research highlights the USMC’s dependence on a single, short-range, low-altitude air defense system using the FIM-92 Stinger missile. It addresses the challenges of advanced air power capabilities of peer adversaries like the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Russia, which jeopardize U.S. air dominance in contested areas. Despite doctrinal updates such as the Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) concept and the introduction of the Marine Air Defense Integrated System (MADIS) to counter small UAS and low-flying threats, the USMC lacks organic capabilities against medium-altitude and medium-range air threats. Utilizing multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) to assist in the analysis of alternatives (AoA), this thesis emphasizes the potential benefits of acquiring an air defense system capable of using either the Tamir interceptor or the AIM-9X missile to strengthen the USMC IADS.

Publication Date– March 2024

Perceived Gap Within the United States Marine Corps’ Integrated Air Defense System (IADS) Capability contains the following major sections:

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Capabilities-Based Assessment
  • Analysis of Alternatives Through a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis
  • Summary, Conclusion, and Recommendations

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Post Image- U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ryan Carroll (right) and PFC Turrance Perdue (left), gunners with 3d Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, Marine Air Control Group 38, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, sight in on a simulated FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missile while conducting air defense exercises during Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course (WTI) 1-18 at Site 50, Wellton, Ariz., Oct. 5, 2017. WTI is a seven-week training event hosted by the MAWTS-1 cadre, which emphasizes operational integration of the six functions of Marine Corps Aviation in support of a Marine Air Ground Task Force. MAWTS-1 provides standardized advanced tactical training and certification of unit instructor qualifications to support Marine Aviation Training and Readiness and assists in developing and employing aviation weapons and tactics. (Image Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Allison Lotz)