Utility Leverage of Airmobile Terminal Ballistic Missile Defenses with Ground-Based Interceptors

A Game Theoretic Analysis

by Selmer Martin Johnson

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The utility of split defenses is examined in terms of two criteria: the deterrence game and the damage-limiting game. Split defenses are defined as those where radar units are mobile but the interceptors (flocks of 10 or 20 interceptor missiles) are ground based and not mobile. The concept of split defenses considered as a two-variable allocation problem for the defense opens up a new set of cases not previously analyzed in RM-5480 and RM-5474: By fixing the number of interceptor flocks as a given parameter and then letting the number of radars be allocated by the defense resource available, it is in effect the kind of situation that could arise in a strategic arms limitation control agreement. Split defenses are found to be more effective than fixed defenses but fully airmobile systems are shown to be more effective than either split or fixed defenses for both criteria in the analysis.

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