A combination of boost-phase intercept (BPI) and ascent-phase intercept (API) of theater ballistic missiles has significant operational merits. Although current defense plans do not anticipate using manned aircraft with onboard sensors in this role, the uncertainties associated with other API/BPI concepts suggest that this approach may be revisited. The authors describe the factors bearing on airborne interceptor development and examine three nominal paths to achieving it. Operational considerations deserving some attention in considering these paths are also discussed, including several potential synergies between API/BPI and ground-attack operations.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation 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.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
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.