A Simulation Study of the Force Mix Problem in Close Air Support Operations
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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A computer program was designed and constructed which simulated the operation of a single combat aircraft squadron in a close air support situation. The simulation model was specifically designed to highlight differences in effectiveness, vulnerability, availability, and cost between two aircraft with two different degrees of avionics sophistication. A weather model included in the simulation was based upon an analysis of long-term climatological records compiled from hourly weather observations at Bitburg Air Base, Germany. A hypothetical example was used to demonstrate the utility of the simulation model. Specifically, two different types of aircraft were postulated and used in the close air support squadron. Results of this example showed that the increased costs of advanced avionic equipment can be justified on an attrition cost per target killed basis. Furthermore, the use of a mixed aircraft squadron was shown to result in higher target kill rates under certain conditions. Weather conditions were shown to have a significant effect on squadron performance with attrition costs rising during bad weather conditions.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics