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Leveraging a Strategic Intelligence Mobile Missile Enterprise for Theater Missile Defense Warfighters

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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Mobile ballistic and cruise missiles are the highest priority time sensitive threats in a Joint Task Force JTF Commanders area of operations because they threaten civilian population centers, and military and industrial targets. When an adversary employs missiles with nuclear, biological, or chemical warheads, they can quickly disrupt friendly force offensive operations. Potential foreign adversaries have systems with the capability to target US and allied critical assets outside of the potential battlefield, and the threat promises to grow with time. United States US military forces have experienced considerable difficulty detecting, fixing, and targeting mobile missiles because they are difficult to locate and are not required to emit any collectable signals prior to launch operations. Regional adversaries can hide mobile missiles before launch, then quickly emplace, fire and displace before the US can react. The US Intelligence Community IC assesses that regional adversaries may use denial and deception practices, that further hamper the JTFs ability to detect, fix and target time sensitive, mobile missiles. There were 18 Short-Range Ballistic Missile SRBM attacks against coalition forces during the 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF Offensive that were either intercepted and destroyed by Patriot systems or allowed to land harmlessly in the Persian Gulf or open desert. On the other hand, despite the overall success of Theater Missile Defense TMD Warfighters in OIF, Iraqi SRBMs and their reduced engagement timelines heavily stressed the coalitions sense, warn and detect architecture and forced rapid decisions in a compressed engagement cycle. In addition, OIF marks the first time that US TMD Warfighters have faced cruise missiles in combat. Chinese-built, Iraqi employed Seersucker cruise missiles penetrated friendly airspace and reached their intended targets.

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Technical Report




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Approved For Public Release;

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