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 C
FAST, LONG-RANGE-ATTACK AIRCRAFT

In Chapter Five, we recommended a long-term stand-off option involving fast, long-range aircraft. In this appendix, we present an operational concept for long-range-attack operations to stimulate thought about, and a more thorough investigation of, such options available to the United States Air Force (USAF) in the early part of the next century.


WHY FAST ATTACK AIRCRAFT?

All other things being equal, if it is less expensive to develop and deploy sophisticated weapons than it is to develop sophisticated delivery platforms, then the USAF should adopt a combination of sophisticated, long-range weapons and relatively unsophisticated delivery platforms. An example of this approach to the long-range-attack problem might be thousands of advanced cruise missiles launched from Boeing 747 arsenal planes from outside the range of enemy defenses. However, if developing and deploying sophisticated launch platforms with less-sophisticated (and less-expensive) weapons is less costly than building thousands of advanced cruise missiles, then the best solution might be something like a Mach 2 penetrating bomber armed with accurate freefall weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM).

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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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