The Great Game
I invite you to review this article by Commander Salamander on the USNI blog. It discusses Chinese expansion on the Indian Border. The Good Commander also references the works of Peter Hopkirk. I own them all in hard copy. They are not books for your Kindle reader in my opinion. They provide a sound historical basis for The Great Game and its elements, which are being played out again – by the Chinese Communist Party and its minions – in 2020.
The US Navy has been working on an anti-aircraft/missile defense laser system since the turn of the millennium. There are a lot of problems with lasers fired close to the earth where the air is thick with water vapor. You need significant energy to power them if you want the results that you’re looking for. (more on background here)
(US Naval Institute News) Portland, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, was tapped in 2018 to be the first ship to test the Solid State Laser – Technology Maturation (SSL-TM) Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) MK 2 MOD 0 at sea. This second iteration of SSL-TM, which is ultimately expected to become a 150-kilowatt laser weapon, draws from lessons learned from Office of Naval Research (ONR) demonstrations and testing that date back to 2011. The original 30-kilowatt Laser Weapon System (LaWS) was used by interim afloat forward staging base USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations from 2014 to 2017 to gather data and lessons learned on how the system performed in an operational setting.
The Coming War with China
There have been several references to the US Marine Corps changing posture to fight in the Western Pacific against Communist China. That includes the development of the new Light Amphibious War Ship. You can read the Navy’s report to Congress on this vessel here.
The Marine Corps Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) concept was developed because of potential conflict scenarios with China in the Western Pacific. (from the report) “Under the concept, the Marine Corps envisions, among other things, having reinforced-platoon-sized Marine Corps units maneuver around the theater, moving from island to island, to fire anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) and perform other missions so as to contribute, alongside Navy and other U.S. military forces, to U.S operations to counter and deny sea control to Chinese forces. The LAW ships would be instrumental to these operations, with LAWs embarking, transporting, landing, and subsequently reembarking these small Marine Corps units.” (video here)