Optimizing Minefield Planning and Clearance
Swallow, Robert Chandler
Washburn, Alan R.
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With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the role of the United States Navy is changing from that of a blue water navy to one which must meet the challenges of coastal warfare. The mining of the amphibious carrier USS Tripoli (LPH-10) and the Aegis guided missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG-59), during the Persian Gulf War, shows the impact of mine warfare in these littoral regions. Congress, recognizing these trends, has funded a modern mine countermeasures (MCM) fleet of ships and helicopters to deploy with the proposed Naval Expeditionary Force, increased mine warfare research and development, and restructured the Mine Warfare Command. Currently, the Navy has no specific method to measure the efficiency of these mine warfare assets, thus future procurement and present tactics most often result in plans which are feasible but not necessarily optimal. This thesis develops two optimization models to improve the efficiency of present and future mine warfare assets. The first model is a tactical decision aid. Taking the known mine threat for various routes requiring clearance, the model determines the tasking for the available MCM assets to clear the minefields in the fewest number of days. The second model simulates many potential mine threats and determines the expected minefield clearance times for a given mix of MCM assets. By varying the MCM asset mix, the relative worth of each asset can be determined. The models can be used for offensive mining by inputting the enemy's MCM capability's and varying the types of mines laid.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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