Increasing Future Fighter Weapon System Performance by Integrating Basing, Support, and Air Vehicle Requirements

by Morton B. Berman, C. L. Batten

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Argues that the Air Force should consider alternative basing and support characteristics before completing concept formulation for the Advanced Tactical Fighter. In so doing, the Air Force could integrate these characteristics using a methodology described in this Note. This methodology aims at identifying the best match between specific air vehicle characteristics and such basing and support improvements as dispersed and/or rearward basing, short-take-off-and-landing and rough-field-landing capabilities, increased combat range capabilities, improved equipment reliability, and decreased reliance on support equipment and personnel. The proposed methodology involves two stages: (1) identification of necessary individual improvements paid for with the least money and the least decrease in overall aircraft performance, and (2) integration of all improvements to ensure the greatest overall weapon system improvements. This integrated approach implies a new definition of "weapon system performance," one that involves not merely air vehicle characteristics (like velocity and acceleration) but also basing and support characteristics.

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