Some Comparisons among the Prim-Read Firing Doctrine and Two Others Designed To Hedge against Leakage Attacks

by Kenneth Saunders

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The ABM interceptor firing doctrines compared are the well-known Prim-Read and two others, designated MEKR and MEDUA; the latter two are specifically designed to hedge against leakage attacks, i.e., attacks that could cause sufficient damage to a target to satisfy an attacker's goals without his having to first exhaust the defender's interceptor stockpile. The model in all cases consists of an ABM system defending a single target under attack by ballistic missiles. The attacking missiles arrive sequentially and with such timing that the defense never engages two or more interceptors simultaneously. Previous comparisons among firing doctrines (including RM-5735) consider only cases in which a single penetrating weapon is required for target destruction. The emphasis in this report is on targets that cannot be destroyed by a single penetrating weapon. The major conclusion is that generally speaking, i.e., across a wide range of parameters, none of the three firing doctrines provides a significantly greater hedge against a leakage attack than the others.

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