The United States Army may soon to deploy mobile artillery units to the West Philippine Sea as defensive units.

Soldiers with Charlie Battery, 1-377 FA fire an M198, 155mm howitzer during a recent combined live-fire exercise. Source: peenty.com
Soldiers with Charlie Battery, 1-377 FA fire an M198, 155mm howitzer during a recent combined live-fire exercise. Source: peenty.com

As tensions escalate in the West Philippine Sea, US president Barack Obama said that his administration will continue to challenge China’s territorial claim in the region.

“We think China is resorting to the old style of might makes right, as opposed to working through international law and international norms to establish claims and to resolve disputes,” Obama said in an interview with Channel News Asia.

The United States and its allies have accused China of militarizing the South China Sea by deploying missiles and radars on its artificial islands in the Spratlys and Paracel Islands. China said that they have all the right to do so because it is their own territory.

The mobile artillery that will be deployed is the kind traditionally used in land-based offensives, according to a senior US Army official.

“We could use existing Howitzers and that type of munition to knock out incoming threats when people try to hit us from the air at long ranges using rockets and cruise missiles,” the official said.

“A Howitzer can go where it has to go. It is a way of changing an offensive weapon and using it in a dual capacity,” the anonymous military official said. “This opens the door to opportunities and options we have not had before with mobile defensive platforms and offensive capabilities.”

But the placement of the guns would require the approval of its regional allies.

The US has conducted joint military exercises with its regional allies as a show of force against China while conducting “freedom of navigation” exercises near Beijing’s man-made islands.

If approved, it will add up to Washington’s aggression against Beijing in the South China Sea.

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