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

Chapter Three
ILLUSTRATIVE SCENARIO AND IMPLICATIONS

“To have command of the air means to be in a position to prevent the enemy from flying while retaining the ability to fly oneself.”

Giulio Douhet, Command of the Air, 1921

The scenario described in this chapter assumes that the USAF reacts to a future crisis in accordance with its current concept for conducting theater air operations or with similar concepts that rely heavily on short-range fighters that require bases within striking range of the missiles we have described. It is not intended to predict when, where, or with whom the USAF is likely to next find itself in combat. Rather, its purpose is to show that even adversaries with relatively moderate means could afford to build and employ a force of effective ballistic and cruise missiles equipped with the technology described in Chapter Two, to delay, disrupt, limit, or defeat USAF combat and airlift operations in a future conflict.


A NEW WAR IN THE GULF

Our scenario is set late in the next decade, circa 2007, when, upon the death of Saddam Hussein, civil war erupts in Iraq. One of Saddam's loyal relatives gains the upper hand and begins to brutally suppress an uprising by the Shi'ite population of southern Iraq. Iran warns that it will not sit idle while its Shi'ite brethren are slaughtered.

Iranian armored units mass on the Iraqi border. The war of words escalates as the United States warns all parties that it will act to restore order in the region if the situation does not improve. Iran warns

-19-

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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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