Measuring aircraft capability for military and political analysis.
LeGrow, Allan Wesley
Sherwin, Ronald G.
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This thesis explores the question of measuring weapons capability for application in arms transfer studies and military analysis. A review of common theories and methods of scaling and a discussion of measurement techniques currently used in arms transfer research, provide background information for the sections on capability measurement. Two conceptual approaches to capability are developed and the problems of measuring capability discussed. A discussion of possible ways to measure capability follows and four scaling techniques presented; factor analysis; paired comparisons; successive intervals; and multi-attribute utility scaling. After clarifying their theoretical bases, strengths, and weaknesses, each method is used to scale aerial combat capability in fighter aircraft. One major conclusion reached is that judgmental scaling techniques are presently more valuable for measuring capability than more computerized procedures such as factor analysis. A second conclusion is that multi-attribute utility scaling affords the best opportunity for ratio comparisons of weapon capability.
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