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

By John Stillion; David T. Orletsky | Go to book overview

PREFACE

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figure vii
  • Tables ix
  • Summary xi
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Abbreviations and Acronyms xxi
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - Emerging Threat Technologies 5
  • Chapter Three - Illustrative Scenario and Implications 19
  • Chapter Four - Defensive Responses to an Enemy-Missile Threat 29
  • Chapter Five - Stand-Off Options 49
  • Chapter Six - Conclusions 59
  • Appendix A - Damage Calculation for Parked Aircraft 61
  • Appendix B - Sortie-Rate Model 81
  • Appendix C - Fast, Long-Range-Attack Aircraft 85
  • Bibliography 95
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