Optimum aircraft weapons selection and sequential firing strategy for targets of opportunity
Donis, John Nicholas
Burns, Thomas Morris, Jr.
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A pilot engaged in a strike mission against targets of opportunity is continually confronted with the decision as to how many and which of his available weapons should be expended against a variety of targets which are encountered. Associated with this decision problem is the problem of determining an optimal load for such a mission subject to the constraints of available payload and number of weapons stations on the aircraft. Certain assumptions are made concerning the distribution of targets within the target area which lead to a dynamic programming formulation of the decision problem. This yields a system of ordinary differential equations which are solvable recursively. In addition to the dynamic programming model, a sub-optimum determination of a 'best load' is discussed. Although not as complete or precise as the dynamic programming method, this formulation is more readily adaptable to squadron level decision making.
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