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The Poor Man's Air Force: Implications of the Evolving Cruise Missile Threat.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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For several years, the United States has expended considerable resources on countering the theater ballistic missile threat. During this time, we have relatively ignored a growing land attack cruise missile threat. Land attack cruise missiles have the potential to be even more deadly than ballistic missiles, able to deliver similar payloads over similar distances with much greater accuracy. Advanced cruise missiles can penetrate existing air defenses, giving potential regional adversaries a significant ability to conduct strategic attack and interdiction against our military forces, a poor mans air force. Additionally, cruise missiles, synchronized with employment of ballistic missiles and manned aircraft, can have a synergistic effect. Efforts to prevent cruise missile proliferation have been ineffective, and highly lethal systems will likely be in the arsenals of many Third World nations within the next decade. Our nation needs to pursue theater air defense capability to detect, identify, track, engage, and destroy advanced cruise missiles to be prepared for this evolving threat.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE