Cover: Analysis of Air-Based Mechanization and Vertical Envelopment Concepts and Technologies

Analysis of Air-Based Mechanization and Vertical Envelopment Concepts and Technologies

Published 2002

by Jon Grossman, John Matsumura, Randall Steeb, John Gordon IV, Thomas J. Herbert, William Sollfrey


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 6.5 MB

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


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback99 pages $30.00

The Army After Next (AAN) concept of rapidly deployable mechanized battle forces in a tactical environment requires the forces to be readily transported by vertical, or near-vertical, lift aircraft. In the nonlinear AAN battlefield, this may require the forces to be deployed near the enemy's second echelon. The authors examined the performance of the notional AAN advanced airframes to survive this initial air maneuver/insertion under a variety of conditions. These included level of situational awareness and intelligence provided to pilots, level of SEAD (suppression of enemy air defenses), flight tactics and ingress routes used by the pilots, and signature characteristics of the airframes (both RF, IR, and optical). The authors used high-resolution constructive simulations to explore and assess the airframes' survivability against an integrated air defense system operating in mixed terrain. The air defense system was one the Russians are capable of deploying today. The results of the analysis indicate that no one approach can guarantee aircraft survivability. Combinations of aggressive SEAD, use of stealth technology, and enhanced situational awareness can, under certain conditions, result in good survivability rates for the aircraft. The large size and slow flight speeds of the aircraft,however, make them susceptible to optically guided munitions. These weapons are difficult to both find and counter. New technologies, tactics, and techniques will be needed to deal with this threat if the AAN air insertion concept is to succeed.

Research conducted by

This study conducted within RAND's Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND 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

RAND 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.