Cost effectiveness analysis of wingship combatants
Harden, Monroe B.
Newberry, Conrad F.
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An analysis of the tactical and cost effectiveness of wing-in-ground- effect aircraft (wingships) used naval surface combatants was conducted. Wingships were compared to current surface combatant warships, carrier based aircraft, and long range bomber aircraft in their projected ability to conduct cruise missile, interdiction bombardment ashore, air defense, and mine warfare missions. Wingships were found to be most effective when a rapid strategic deployment is necessary, such as a response to a regional crisis. Wingships are capable of accomplishing all four missions studied, but are environmentally limited by high sea states and periods of excessive sea loiter. Several technical risk areas are discussed, including lessons learned from Russian wingship experience. The costs of maintaining a fleet of wingships at CONUS bases was compared to the costs of maintaining surface combatant and carrier groups at sea. Projected acquisition and operating costs are higher for wingships than for the other methods, but their tactical and strategic speed advantages offer a unique combat capability