Route Planning Issues for Low Observable Aircraft and Cruise Missiles

Implications for the Intelligence Community

by Myron Hura, Gary W. McLeod

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Low observable (LO) aircraft and cruise missiles give U.S. military forces the technical capability to attack ground targets with less risk of engaging enemy defenses. But full use requires an intelligence infrastructure that can support their special capabilities. This monograph suggests the need for dialogue among the intelligence and mission planning communities, the aircraft developers, and the aircraft operators addressing issues in nine areas: 1) threat data requirements to support LO platform development, testing and employment; 2) types of threat data currently available and additional types needed; 3) constraints on data security and access; 4) validation of threat models used in penetration analysis; 5) interface of unit-level intelligence support workstations with mission-planning systems; 6) route-planning that considers mobile threats, airborne interceptors, and anti- aircraft artillery; 7) operational alternatives to enhance LO penetration capabilities; 8) automated procedures for route planning; 9) route-planning capabilities onboard LO aircraft.

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