Accession Number : ADA320002

Title :   Airborne Intercept: Boost- and Ascent-Phase Options and Issues.

Corporate Author : RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA

Personal Author(s) : Vaughan, David R. ; Isaucson, Jeffrey A. ; Kvitky, Joel S.

PDF Url : ADA320002

Report Date : 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 42

Abstract : This report documents an analysis of countering theater ballistic missiles (TBMs) by using manned aircraft with onboard radar sensors in an airborne intercept role. Although current defense planning does not anticipate such a role for manned aircraft, more- advanced airborne intercept options harbor significant uncertainties with respect to development, and it remains to be demonstrated that they will prove practicable in the decade ahead. Thus, the approaches we analyzed and similar ones may be revisited as nearer- term options in the future. Moreover, although recent discussions have focused almost exclusively on boost-phase intercept (BPI), ascent-phase intercept (API) has significant operational merits that should not be dismissed wholesale. Indeed, our analysis suggests that the development of a dual BPI-API capability should be strongly considered for the reasons cited in this report. Our approach consists of first describing the factors that bear on the decision to develop airborne interceptors, then assessing three nominal development paths, illustrated in Table S.I. Each path is characterized by the sequence of boosters used for development and for the final (objective) operational system. The paths differ in test and development, early contingency, and final objective capabilities. The first two paths, which start with exoatmospheric API early contingency options and end with endoatmospheric BPI systems, are sometimes called 'grow down' paths, implying that lower-altitude BPI may be pursued later through follow-on development. The final path, which starts with an early BPI capability, is called 'direct.'

Descriptors :   *ANTIMISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEMS, *BOOST PHASE, *INTERCEPTORS, *BOOSTER ROCKET ENGINES, GUIDED MISSILES, THEATER LEVEL OPERATIONS, EMERGENCIES, AIRCRAFT, DEFENSE SYSTEMS, AIRBORNE, INTERCEPTION, PATHS, RADAR, SEQUENCES, EXOSPHERE, ONBOARD, ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION, MANNED.

Subject Categories : Antimissile Defense Systems

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE