A Salvo Model of Warships in Missile Combat Used to Evaluate Their Staying Power
Hughes, Wayne P. Jr.
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A methodology is introduced with which to compare the military worth of warship capabilities. It is based on a simple salvo model for exploratory analysis of modern combat characteristics. The “fractional exchange ratio” is suggested as a robust way to compare equal‐cost configurations of naval forces, because we cannot know in advance how and where the warships will fight. To aid in exposition, definitions of all terms are included in Appendix A. The methodology is illustrated with important conclusions from parametric analysis, among which are 1 Unstable circumstances arise as the combat power of the forces grows relative to their survivability. (Stable means the persistence of victory by the side with the greater combat potential.) 2 Weak staying power is likely to be the root cause when instability is observed. 3 Staying power is the ship design element least affected by the particulars of a battle, including poor tactics. 4 Numerical superiority is the force attribute that is consistently most advantageous. For example, if A's unit striking power, staying power, and defensive power are all twice that of B, nevertheless B will achieve parity of outcome if it has twice as many units as A.
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