Routing a high value unit for optimized missile defense in coastal waters
Baker, John M.
Wood, R. Kevin
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This thesis addresses the problem of routing a navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG), or other groups of ships, through a maritime chokepoint that presents one or more shore-based missile threats. The goal is to identify a path that minimizes risk to the CSG's HVU (High Value Unit, i.e., the CSG's aircraft carrier). The HVU's escort ships are assigned optimal positions relative to the HVU during the transit to maximize the overall probability of avoiding and/or defeating attacks. The problem is formulated and solved as a maximum-reliability path problem in a network: The operating environment is discretized into a grid of nodes that represents potential waypoints, escort formations, and travel directions; arcs define allowable transitions between nodes. An arc parameter represents the probability of successfully transiting between two adjacent nodes, computed as a function of formation, direction of travel, threat, and line-of-sight visibility between any threats and the CSG. A test scenario, with a node spacing of 2.5 nautical miles, approximates the Strait of Hormuz. The model solves in a fraction of a second on a personal computer. Results show that the CSG typically places escorts ahead of the HVU, and always between the HVU and the closest threat.
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