Accession Number:

ADA350132

Title:

The Implications of Video Datalink on the AC-130

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis, 5 Aug 97-5 Jun 98

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1998-06-05

Pagination or Media Count:

95.0

Abstract:

This study considers the implications of video datalink VDL on the AC-130. Gunships use infrared and low-light television sensors, and synthetic aperture radar to search for and to identify target for close air support and interdiction missions. The addition of VDL offers gunship crews the ability to employ real-time information to the cockpitoffboard targeting RTICOT technology to improve situational awareness, survivability, and operational flexibility. Also, VDL offers the joint force air component commander JFACC inflight tasking capability, increased reconnaissance capability, operational flexibility and situation awareness. Ultimately, VDL allows command and control elements to exercise direct control of gunship operations. These capabilities are beneficial when they provide information to the crew or to the JFACC. However, VDL used to provide direct control of gunship operations may violate the Air Force doctrinal tenet of centralized control and decentralized execution. Lessons learned from recent contingencies, leadership doctrine, academic works on leadership and management theory all suggest that direct control of tactical mission can cause decreased survivability, ineffective span of control, task saturation, tactical inflexibility, mistrust between commanders and subordinates, decreased morale, and subordinates that lack initiative. The study provides recommendations to mitigate potential problems associated with the use of VDL on gunships.

Subject Categories:

  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft
  • Target Direction, Range and Position Finding
  • Non-Radio Communications

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE