Accession Number:

ADA234427

Title:

Combat Airlift: Can It Survive the Modern-Day Battlefield?

Descriptive Note:

Research rept.

Corporate Author:

AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1990-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

39.0

Abstract:

Strategic force projection and tactical force employment performed by Military Airlift Command MAC aircraft remain vital portions of our national military strategy. Survivability of airlift aircraft as they sustain ground forces therefore becomes a critical component of U.S. military capability. Future Army victory could depend upon support received from the air, and airlift must be survivable to perform the mission. Combat airlift aircraft will encounter significant hostile threats in future war scenarios. Even if MAC aircraft could avoid all enemy threats, a problem arises even in overflying friendly air defense forces--avoiding fratricide. Using the central European battlefield as its focus, this paper suggests that it is unlikely that enough MAC aircraft could penetrate the airspace over central Europe without loss to enemy or friendly fire to effectively resupply the Army. The paper proposes solutions to this problem including defensive avionics suites, improved aircrew knowledge of procedural and electronic methods of identification of friend or foe when over friendly forces, and tacticsmethods to reduce the threat potential. Additionally, the paper reviews existing Air Force doctrine and suggests that updated doctrinal guidance is essential to clarify under what conditions and how combat airlift aircraft are to operate.

Subject Categories:

  • Transport Aircraft
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE