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Supporting Combat Power Projection Away from Fixed Infrastructure

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[Technical Report, Research Report]

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Faced with the challenge of deterring and defeating aggression by the sorts of highly capable adversaries highlighted in the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the U.S. Air Force USAF is exploring alternative weapon systems and concepts of employment that will allow it to generate combat power without being harnessed to air bases and runways that the adversary likely will view as high-value targets. Termed low-cost attritable aircraft technology LCAAT,3 this unmanned class of system can carry munitions and is intended to operate in remote and austere locations and be launched using a variety of means that do not include long takeoff runs. Operating with runway independence presents a unique set of challenges not only for aerospace engineers and technologists but also for the logisticians responsible for supporting and sustaining these types of expeditionary operations. In exploring alternatives for different support functions, we used a capability-concept of operations structure. We started with current capabilities in the USAF inventory and current concepts of operations. We then looked at other, nonmainstream USAF capabilities, as well as current capabilities that exist in other military services and commercially, and explored their use in new concepts of operation that are not common in the USAF. Finally, we considered new capabilities that could be achieved through engineering design modifications to the LCAAT and employed those using new concepts of operation.


Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]