Hardware Requirements for Helicopter Air-to-Air Weapons in the 1980s
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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In view of the Soviets advancement in combat helicopters, it is clear that a need exists for a self-defense capability for U.S. helicopters. This thesis examines the current Soviet threat, the current direction in developing and fielding an air-to-air weapon system and the emphasis in helicopter employment and operations in the NATO environment. This thesis recommends the integration of a family of weapons guns, TOW and STINGER on the Attack and Scout Helicopter that would collectively and mutually counter the Soviet threat. The air-to-air weapons in the 1980s must be capable of more than a single role, and both guns and missile must be developed to operate in various modes and interface with air-to-surface weapons requirements. In view of the critical role of the Attack Helicopter Team, a family of weapons which provide mutual support to one another is the only realistic approach to this problem. But one fact remains, the lack of an effective air-to-air system must be corrected immediately, and future systems must evolve from the current development programs underway. That is, of course, if the United States Army wishes to remain the world leader in helicopter operations.
- Air- and Space-Launched Guided Missiles