Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 3.3 MB

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


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback192 pages $20.00

In response to air power's growing ability to detect and defeat large ground forces in the open, enemy forces are becoming increasingly elusive, operating in smaller formations and using civilian motor traffic, built-up areas, and woods to hide their forces and activities. To help the United States Air Force (USAF) better understand and prepare for a world in which such targets predominate, this book seeks to identify concepts and technologies that could improve the USAF's capability to detect, classify, recognize, and defeat elusive targets, whether dispersed ground forces or mobile ballistic missiles. Emphasized is an integrated system of technologies, focused analysis, and streamlined control procedures that will enable the detect-classify-recognize-defeat cycle to occur in minutes rather than hours or days. Although new technologies (e.g., improved sensors, small unmanned aerial vehicles, hypersonic weapons, automatic target recognition software) are necessary, they alone cannot solve this problem. Rather, it is the combination of pre-battle analysis, new technologies, and streamlined control that offers the potential to dramatically improve U.S. capabilities against elusive targets. This book presents engagement concepts that bring together finders (assets required to identify and track enemy forces, as well as civilians who might be put at risk); controllers (who direct the actions of finders and strike aircraft, select worthwhile targets, and make decisions to engage); and strike assets (ground-to-ground or air-to-ground weapons used to attack the targets). Each concept for detecting and defeating elusive maneuver forces and mobile missiles focuses on attacking enemy vehicles rather than personnel to capitalize on unique signatures that can be detected by clusters of, for example, acoustic, seismic, and imaging sensors, or an integrated system of synthetic aperture, inverse synthetic aperture, and ground moving-target indicator radars. This book should be of interest to airmen serving in plans, operational, analytic, and R&D organizations, as well as the broader defense community.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Project AIR FORCE.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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.