Accession Number:

ADA504011

Title:

High Altitude Helicopter Tactics on the Modern Battlefield

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2006-02-07

Pagination or Media Count:

12.0

Abstract:

The modern battlefield of the Global War on Terrorism has brought new challenges to the conduct of military operations. Like many other aspects of military operations, assault helicopter operations are not immune to those challenges. The guerrilla-style insurgency has become extremely focused on hit-and-run tactics and is continually adapting to U.S. forces changes in tactics. It is not enough for helicopters to vary routes, but also altitudes flown along those routes, to keep the insurgents guessing. During the daylight hours, low-altitude helicopter flights remain a feasible tactic however, due to the lower threat environment, minimal enemy night vision capabilities, and lack of man-made obstacles on the night battlefield, high-altitude tactics should be employed for after-dark missions. Helicopters on the modern battlefield typically fly at lower altitudes. While this tactic is a viable option on the current battlefield in Iraq during the day, at night helicopters should fly at higher altitudes to make flight patterns less predictable. Higher altitudes should be used to avoid detection by enemy fighters. Operating predominantly at night at higher altitudes will decrease the ability of an adversary with limited night vision capabilities to acquire and engage our slow flying aircraft. Flying at higher altitudes also will allow pilots to avoid man-made objects, allowing the aircrew to focus on the human threat and not the man-made threat.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Aircraft Operations
  • Helicopters
  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE