Accession Number : ADA307419

Title :   U.S. Space Systems: A Critical Strength And Vulnerability.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI

Personal Author(s) : Matthews, Earl D.

PDF Url : ADA307419

Report Date : 12 FEB 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 21

Abstract : Desert Storm was the first war in which space systems were integrated into the operational and tactical order of battle on the ground and were largely responsible for the successful outcome. Since that time, the U.S. military has placed considerable emphasis on further integration of space into all operational areas. This growing commitment to space systems and the support they provide in the planning, preparation, and execution of major operations and campaigns could seriously threaten the effectiveness of the U.S. military if an adversary were to degrade or deny access to those systems. The increasing level of dependence on space systems creates both a critical strength and vulnerability. Space should not be viewed as the panacea of future wars because there are existing and emerging threats that could eliminate the support they provide. The United States was fortunate that conditions in the Persian Gulf were ideal for space systems and had the residual capability to optimally position its assets. The Defense Support Program, for example, also exposed a shortfall in space systems capability against the modem theater ballistic missile which exploits a short bum time. This paper will analyze the past, present, and future dependence on space systems and identify existing and future threats to space systems. It will also focus on space system support during recent operations and on plans for the acquisition of new space supported weaponry. The time is now for operational commanders to seriously look at what platforms (aerial and ground) are entirely dependent on space and what alternative systems are available. Of critical importance is the lack of a rapid space force reconstitution capability, the need for protection of critical space assets, and an offensive capability in space to neutralize enemy space systems.

Descriptors :   *SPACE TECHNOLOGY, *SPACE SYSTEMS, *VULNERABILITY, *OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS, *STRENGTH(GENERAL), *DEFENSE PLANNING, GUIDED MISSILES, MILITARY OPERATIONS, GROUND LEVEL, ELECTRONIC WARFARE, LOGISTICS SUPPORT, THEATER LEVEL OPERATIONS, ENVIRONMENTS, ACQUISITION, PERSIAN GULF, AIRBORNE, INTEGRATION, GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM, MILITARY CAPABILITIES, THREAT EVALUATION, ENEMY, BALLISTIC MISSILE INTERCEPT SYSTEMS, MILITARY COMMANDERS, MILITARY TACTICS, SPACE WEAPONS, SPACE COMMUNICATIONS, ORDER OF BATTLE, SPACE DEFENSE.

Subject Categories : Space Warfare

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE