Feasibility of developing a surrogate missile system for the purpose of combat systems testing, evaluation, and watchstander proficiency
Elzner, Benjamin Asher
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Aegis readiness is an increasing concern as ships age, Navy budgets shrink, and potential adversaries make strides toward combat power parity in diverse regions around the world. Keys to combat effectiveness are materiel readiness and crew proficiency. Live fire missile exercises are a proven way to gauge the former while contributing to the latter, but the use of combat missiles for this purpose is both expensive and depletes the inventory on hand should conflict break out. This study explores the feasibility, required functionality, and costs involved in bringing a reusable missile system to the fleet from a systems engineering perspective. This system would notionally allow a greater number of live fire exercises while simultaneously reducing the cost required to do so. By recognizing a fleet need, bringing in stakeholders who stand to benefit from such a concept, and applying analysis to a high-level systems structure, recommendations and topics for further study were generated. These aim to further advance the concept of a recoverable test missile for use in proficiency firing events.
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