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The Tank-Attack Helicopter in the European Mid-Intensity Conflict Environment: An Operational Effectiveness Analysis of Competitiveness/ Compatibility
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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The problem undertaken in this thesis is to determine whether or not the main battle tank or attack helicopter are competitive or compatible antiarmor weapons systems in a European mid-intensity conflict environment. The genesis of the problem resides in the quantitative imbalance of main battle tanks that exists between the forces of NATO and the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. This imbalance was assessed initially by comparing the Lanchesterian square law with direct empirical plots of historical win-loss results. It was determined that combat success can be independent of force ratios provided the numerically inferior force possesses a qualitative advantage. From this juncture, qualitative advantage was measured by use of an operational effectiveness analysis model. In operationalizing this model, the systems design and combat performance of the M60A1 main battle tank and TOW Cobra attack helicopter were tested to determine if either was the superior antiarmor weapons system. The overall conclusion drawn from the operational effectiveness analysis is that the main battle tank and attack helicopter are not competitive antiarmor systems in that neither affords a marked advantage over the other. Instead, they are highly compatible antiarmor systems that are best employed using offensive principles where their mobility, firepower, and survivability can be optimized.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE