Rapid Force Projection Technologies

A Quick-Look Analysis of Advanced Light Indirect Fire Systems

by Randall Steeb, John Matsumura, Terrell G. Covington, Thomas J. Herbert, Scot Eisenhard, Laura M. Williams


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 4.5 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback79 pages $25.00 $20.00 20% Web Discount

In recent years, light, rapid-reaction forces have become a staple of U.S. military strategy and planning. Instead of defending predetermined regions with large, prepositioned forces, current U.S. plans call for quick and decisive deployments of lightly armed forces into locations of potential or actual hostilities. Equipping these forces with new or expected-to-be-developed hunter/killer capabilities — a combination of standoff weapons, sophisticated reconnaissance and targeting systems, and efficient counterbattery weapons — would greatly increase their lethality and survivability. Such an arsenal would be more effective than these forces' current firepower, which relies heavily on direct-fire, line-of-sight technologies, and would allow light forces to carry out the wider range of missions that military strategists have envisioned for them. These conclusions are supported by recent RAND research on the Rapid-Force Projection Initiative (RFPI), one of the Pentagon's new advanced-concept technology demonstrations. Using computer simulations, RAND analysts examined, compared, and contrasted new technologies and systems that would allow light forces to better withstand and overcome attacks from larger, more heavily armed forces in varying terrain. This annotated briefing presents results from a "quick look" analysis that was requested by the RFPI sponsoring office. The intention of the analysis is to provide decisionmakers with an assessment of the effectiveness of differing advanced indirect fire weapon alternatives to the light airborne forces. This briefing is a companion document to DB-168-A/OSD, Rapid Force Projection: Exploring New Technology Concepts for Light Airborne Forces, R. Steeb, J. Matsumura, et al., 1996.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Documented briefing series. RAND documented briefings are based on research presented to a client, sponsor, or targeted audience in briefing format. Additional information is provided in the documented briefing in the form of the written narration accompanying the briefing charts. All RAND documented briefings undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity. However, they are not expected to be comprehensive and may present preliminary findings. Major research findings are published in the monograph series; supporting or preliminary research is published in the technical report series.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.