Airbase Vulnerabiltity to Conventional Cruise-Missile and Ballistic-Missile Attacks: Technology, Scenarios, and U.S. Air Force Responses

Airbase Vulnerabiltity to Conventional Cruise-Missile and Ballistic-Missile Attacks: Technology, Scenarios, and U.S. Air Force Responses

Airbase Vulnerabiltity to Conventional Cruise-Missile and Ballistic-Missile Attacks: Technology, Scenarios, and U.S. Air Force Responses

Airbase Vulnerabiltity to Conventional Cruise-Missile and Ballistic-Missile Attacks: Technology, Scenarios, and U.S. Air Force Responses

Synopsis

As part of a two-year effort to develop an expansive construct of air and space power in the early twenty-first century that capitalizes on forthcoming air and space technologies and concepts of operation and is effective against adversaries with diverse economies, cultures, political institutions, and military capabilities, the research team investigated the possibility that future adversaries might be able to mount effective missile attacks on U.S. Air Force (USAF) main operating bases in critical regions. This report does not assess the relative vulnerabilites of various force elements and facilities; instead, it aids the USAF in addressing a potential vulnerability of its in-theater bases: highly accurate attacks against USAF aircraft on parking ramps at such bases made possible by the proliferation of Global Positioning System (GPS) guidance and submunition warhead technologies.

Excerpt

In fiscal year 1997, under the sponsorship of the Air Force Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations and the Air Force Director of Strategic Planning, RAND's Project air force Strategy and Doctrine Program began a two-year effort to explore the role of air and space power in future conflicts. the primary objective of the study was to explore the prospects for developing a construct for air and space power that capitalizes on forthcoming air and space technologies and associated concepts of operation (CONOPS); that is effective against adversaries with diverse economies, cultures, political institutions, and military capabilities; and that offers an expansive concept of air and space power across the entire spectrum of conflict.

Under this broader study, the research team investigated the possibility that future adversaries might be able to mount effective missile attacks on U.S. Air Force (USAF) main operating bases in critical regions. Both emerging technologies and the proliferation of existing capabilities will give adversaries pursuing anti-access strategies a variety of new options against U.S. airbases, ports, troop concentrations, and ships at sea.

This report is not intended to assess the relative vulnerabilities of these various force elements and facilities. Rather, its purpose is to help the usaf address a potential vulnerability of its in-theater bases. the proliferation of Global Positioning System (GPS) guidance and sub munition warhead technologies could make highly accurate attacks possible against usaf aircraft on parking ramps at these bases. If such attacks are feasible, the current usaf operational con . . .

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