Optimizing selection of Tomahawk Cruise Missiles
Kuykendall, Scott D.
Rosenthal, Richard E.
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The Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile (TLAM), launched from surface ships and submarines, has become the weapon of choice for the United States in many situations. In an ERA of high-precision, fast-delivery weapons, the method currently used for assigning TLAM engagements is out of step with the development of the weapons themselves. Missile assignment today is manual, with the potential consequences of inefficient missile-to-mission matching and unnecessary delay. This thesis develops a new optimizing approach to missile-to- mission matching, using integer programming. In a matter of seconds for a single ship or a matter of minutes for a battle group, the optimization model determines which missile to select for each tasking order and provides back-up assignments if requested. The objective of the model is to ensure the correct weapon is applied against each target while maximizing the potential of the firing unit(s) to perform future taskings. The new missile-to-mission matching model is better than current methods and performs robustly in extensive sensitivity analyses. The optimization model is currently being considered for shipboard implementation by the Naval Surface Warfare Center. At the very least, the model can be used to independently assess the performance of any new missile-to-mission matching decision support considered by the Navy.
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