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

SUMMARY

During the 43-day Gulf War, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) flew nearly 70,000 sorties, attacked over 28,000 targets, shot down 36 Iraqi aircraft, disrupted Iraqi command and control and transportation systems, and directly attacked the Iraqi army in Kuwait, destroying many of its vehicles and damaging its morale before the ground offensive began. All of this damage was achieved at the cost of just 14 aircraft, which were lost to ground-based air defenses; none were lost in air-to-air combat. The USAF plans to build on its success in Operation Desert Storm by deploying increasing numbers of stealthy aircraft and precision-guided munitions (PGMs), supported by a much more capable battle-management system, to fight the next war.

However, the USAF is not the only organization to have drawn lessons from Operation Desert Storm. Potential adversaries are likely to expend considerable time, energy, and resources on ensuring that the USAF does not make such a large contribution to victory at so low a cost in a future conflict. The research reported here confronts this possibility and examines ways of dealing with it.


PURPOSE AND APPROACH

Other RAND research has explored how potential adversaries could use asymmetric strategies, special operations forces, terrorists, information attacks, and weapons of mass destruction to degrade or

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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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