The 2010 theater air defense (TAD) vision outlined in this briefing is rooted in operational issues. Operations are likely to be joint, with U.S. forces operating under the command of a joint force commander. Basic TAD tasks will not change dramatically. Mutually supporting tasks of attack on fixed targets, attack on short-dwell-time mobile targets, active defense against manned aircraft and air-breathing and ballistic missiles, and passive defense will be retained. However, the relative importance of the tasks may change, as well as the way forces perform key functions to accomplish these tasks. The emphasis is on real-time operations and command and control, rather than on planning, and centers on offensive operations (pre-launch and post-launch attacks) and on defensive operations (intercept of ballistic and air-breathing threats). Fusion and allocation will become critical, as will combat identification and dissemination. The authors visualize a centralized joint fusion center for offensive operations, a real-time fused air picture accessible to all force elements, and truly integrated joint air and missile defense operations.
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