The Air Force's Munitions Requirements Process

(The Nonnuclear Consumables Annual Analysis)

by Gordon Crawford

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The Air Force's Nonnuclear Consumables Annual Analysis (NCAA) details the annual computation of the war readiness material munitions requirements. This Note examines the process and its outputs and inputs. It investigates the potential for bias in some inputs, which may skew the mix of weapons derived by the requirements computation, and it includes several suggestions for potential improvements. Some of the improvements pertain to the treatment of uncertainty about the number of targets that can be killed with a given number of weapons. The most important potential improvement deals with the consideration of a weapon's efficiency — the ability to kill a target in a minimum number of sorties. Because the early days of a war are target rich and sortie limited, additional targets may be eliminated in one of two ways: (1) buy and maintain additional aircraft and trained flight crews and either base them in theater or keep them ready to deploy quickly; or (2) use more efficient munitions. The suggested improvement to the NCAA is intended to achieve more effective sorties early in a war by bringing more balance to these two methods.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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