The US needs a defense system on Guam with the 360-degree capability to defend against China’s capability to fly aircraft and sail ships around the Mariana Islands with the ability to fire missiles from any direction against US targets, Indo-Pacific Command head Adm. Philip Davidson said.
“[In recent missions] what the Chinese were showing was circumnavigations of Guam and the Marianas by ships and bombers offering a 360-degree threat by cruise missiles,” Davidson told an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) podcast on Thursday. “Air and missile defense of Guam is my number one priority.”
Speaking from Indo-Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii, Davidson said he wanted a system like Aegis to conduct persistent 360 degrees of integrated air and missile defense from the so-called Second Island Chain nations and territories.
“We are not going to let Guam go without a fight. It is critically important. We are going to have to be able to fight for it. Missile defense is critical. …The THAAD [Terminal High Altitude Area Defense] system there now is designed for a rogue shot from North Korea. A new system would help deter China,” he said.
China’s armed forces were already deploying increasing numbers of bombers and warships with the capability to circumnavigate US islands and bases across the Pacific and strike at them with missiles from all directions, Davidson added.