Defense Suppression: Building Some Operational Concepts
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIRPOWER STUDIES
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What operational principles and concepts should be used to defeat a highly capable ground based, strategic air defense system This study examines the theories of Carl von Clausewitz, Basil H. Liddell Hart, Giulio Douhet, and Col John A. Warden 3, and reviews United States, British, and Israeli Air Force doctrines for concepts and principles to overcome defensive strength. A historical analysis of Linebacker 2, the Yom Kippur War, the 1982 Bekaa Valley Operation, and Operation Desert Storm shows the value of maneuver, surprise, and mass in sustaining offensive airpower. Four operational concepts are presented 1 the indirect approach maneuver, 2 the stealth approach surprise, 3 the mass simultaneous attack mass, and 4 a balanced concept mass and surprise. A 28 day war game examines their operational effectiveness. The war game demonstrated the high survivability of stealth aircraft at the expense of approximately 50 percent fewer targets destroyed. The mass concept illustrated the significant damage possible when a large scale simultaneous attack saturates an air defense system. The balanced approach proved most robust, approaching the productivity of the mass concept number of targets destroyed and the efficiency of the stealth concept cost of target destroyed. This study suggests the USAF should pursue stealth, stand off weapons, real time intelligence, drones, Wild Weasels, and electronic warfare technologies while balancing them with a large inventory of relatively inexpensive multirole aircraft.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Military Aircraft Operations