Accession Number:

ADA464558

Title:

Attack Operations for Missile Defense

Descriptive Note:

Occasional paper no. 28

Corporate Author:

AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL CENTER FOR STRATEGY AND TECHNOLOGY

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2002-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

88.0

Abstract:

The principal goal of this study is to promote attack operations as a critical first layer of missile defense. This is particularly true when planning to defeat anti-access and all missile threats. To accomplish this goal, this study examines and compares several joint missile defense programs and proposes options for the United States Air Force to advance near-term missile defense and anti-access capabilities. Attack operations are essentially offensive actions that seek to destroy or disrupt enemy missile systems and support structures. Aircraft, Special Forces units, information operations, or uninhabited aerial vehicles UAVs can perform attack operations today. Though a joint capability, attack operations is one mission with which the Air Force has considerable experience, particularly in the realm of time-sensitive-targeting. Thus, while missile defense is truly a joint function, there are effective aerospace power options that dramatically increase joint missile defense capabilities. The 1991 Persian Gulf War radically increased the importance of theater ballistic missiles in U.S. national security policy. Once regarded by many military leaders as a tactical nuisance, especially when armed with conventional high explosives, theater ballistic missiles suddenly became weapons of terror that could cause significant political and diplomatic problems. Although Iraq did not use weapons of mass destruction WMD in the 1991 war, when Iraq fired conventionally equipped Scud missiles against Israel, it created a political crisis for the coalition. Moreover, a single conventionally armed Scud produced the greatest number of U.S. fatalities of any single event during Operation Desert Storm when it struck a barracks in Dhahran.

Subject Categories:

  • Antimissile Defense Systems

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE