Optimizing the air-to-ground kill chain for time-sensitive targets
Bloye, Bradley A.
Carlyle, W. Matthew
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When groups of platforms, sensors, and weapons are able to communicate with each other in real-time, they form a network. Modern warfare increasingly involves network-centric operations, the military strategy that seeks to translate informational advantages gained through the cooperation of all platforms in the network into increased overall mission effectiveness. For this thesis, the Time-to-Kill is our metric to quantify mission effectiveness because a given time-sensitive target is vulnerable to attack only for a very short time. This thesis develops an optimizing heuristic kill chain assessment tool, "KCAT," that (a) rapidly identifies capability gaps and (b) generates guaranteed feasible schedules that minimize the time-to-kill for a given air-to-ground strike scenario. KCAT allows warfare analysts, budget programmers, and mission planners to quantitatively examine the value of network-centric warfare in time-sensitive targeting scenarios. In addition to optimizing existing platform and weapon network effectiveness, KCAT allows experimentation with future concepts and capabilities that are important for informing procurement and training decisions.
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