Weapon-target pairing revising an air tasking order in real-time
Carlyle, W. Matthew
Wood, R. Kevin
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Well-publicized lost opportunities for U.S. and coalition air forces to strike enemy leadership targets in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate the importance of Time Sensitive Targeting. How do we "pair" the weapon and weapons delivery platform with their target? The available platforms (aircraft, manned or unmanned) may be on the ground in an alert status, loitering airborne, or on their way to attack other targets. The problem is compounded by the facts that we actually wish to (a) create multiple strike packages simultaneously, (b) recompose existing strike packages that are disrupted by the new plans, (c) minimize such disruptions, (d) satisfy minimum kill probabilities, and (e) avoid the attrition of tasked assets. This thesis develops an automated, optimizing, heuristic decision aid, "RAPT-OR", that rapidly revises a current Air Taking Order (ATO) to meet the requirements above. Using a set-packing model, RAPT-OR, an ATO near optimally, on a desktop PC, in less than two seconds, for a typical scenario with 40 aircraft, four new targets and hundreds of potential strike packages. RAPT-OR allows decision makers the ability of adjusting risk acceptance in the formulation of possible courses of action by manipulating friendly attrition importance in formulating a solution.
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