Optimizing Ground Based Air Defense in support of homeland defense the cruise missile threat
Soria, Javier C.
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Since the attacks of September 11th, 2001 involving commercial aircraft used as missiles to attack critical assets located within the United States, the U.S has worked diligently to enhance its military air defense posture. Air defense of critical U.S. assets and National Special Security Events (NSSE) have been enhanced by adding static and proposed deployable Ground Based Air Defense (GBAD) systems designed to provide a [beta]last line[gamma] of defense from air attacks over U.S. soil. Currently this last line of defense is incorporated with the air and maritime military air defense forces providing a [beta]defense in depth[gamma] over critical assets, but does not support the air and maritime air defense over broader ranges of U.S. soil where critical assets do not exist. As the U.S. continues to enhance its air defense posture around critical assets and high priority events against terrorist attacks from the air, it is reasonable to assume that the terrorists may adjust their strategy for air attacks. The terrorists may deem it more beneficial to attack targets which lack a last line defense. It is therefore critical to examine new means and methods to provide GBAD in areas which may be determined to be less lucrative targets. In addition to the proposed alternate terrorist strategy, it is also reasonable to assume that increased security measures in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will deter the terrorists from attempting another hijacking event; thus forcing them to seek other means of attack. Cruise missiles (CM) are a cheap and effective means of causing limited destruction. Cruise missiles can be programmed to maneuver and operate at various altitudes and are small enough to be transported with little to no visibility. A cruise missile in the wrong hands could find its way to within miles of the U.S. borders and coastlines. If launched; a cruise missile could engage random targets throughout the U.S., such as malls or schools, and cause a major upset to our national security. Therefore, a defense system should be established which incorporates GBAD that is capable of engaging the CM threat with little to no notice, over the entire U.S. border and coastal regions.
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