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

Appendix B
SORTIE-RATE MODEL

This appendix describes the method used to calculate aircraft sortie rates. Based on earlier unpublished work by former RAND colleague Lawrence Hollett,1 the method was chosen to facilitate a simple and fast spreadsheet analysis of USAF aircraft sortie rates under a variety of assumptions about range to target, aircraft speed, and basing options. This analysis is based on historical F-15 and F-16 maintenance data and statistical analysis conducted by the Boeing Corporation on the relationship between maintenance time, sorties, and sortie duration for Boeing 737 airliners.

The use of airliner data to explore the relationship between maintenance requirements, sorties, and sortie duration may seem strange. However, using these data helps us understand and represent the influence on sortie rates of two very distinct classes of aircraft system failures: those that are a function of cycling—turning a component on and off—and those that are a function of aggregate time in use. Avionics components, for example, tend to produce cycle-related failures, whereas hydraulic pumps fail in relation to the hours of use that they have accumulated.

The model presented here relies on a recent study of F-15 and F-16 maintenance data2 to help predict the relationship between sortie duration (or distance to target) and maximum sortie rates for USAF

____________________
1
J. Lawrence Hollett, “USAF Responses to Weapons of Mass Destruction Use: Standoff Tactical Airpower Projection Option,” unpublished RAND research.
2
Craig Sherbroke, Using Sorties vs. Flying Hours to Predict Aircraft Spares Demand, McLean, Va.: Logistics Management Institute, April 1997.

-81-

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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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