Vertical launch system loadout planner
Wiederholt, Michael L.
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Operational planners strive to find ways to load missiles on Vertical Launch System (VLS) ships to meet mission requirements in their Area of Responsibility (AOR). Requirements are variable: there are missions requiring specific types of missiles; each ship may have distinct capability or capacity to meet every mission; each ship may have a set number of missiles in inventory; and each mission will have a different priority. As a result, the missile-to-ship assignment is labor intensive. Operational planners manually specify the missile loadout, providing recommendations with no assurance that some other plan might not be much better in practice. This thesis provides operational planners with a programming tool, the VLS Loadout planner (VLP), to advise the optimal loadout for VLS ships deploying to be ready to execute demanding and high-threat missions. This research employs the VLP model to demonstrate the optimal missile loadout and mission coverage of two fictitious war plans, with 52 missions, on a two-deployment cycle, using 21 VLS-capable ships, and employing a variety of seven types of missiles. The thesis concludes that VLP provides operational planners a recommended loadout for every ship deploying to 7th Fleet (Western Pacific) AOR.
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