JED - April 2016 - 28

M is s ion Pr of ile:

Non-Kinetic Thinking Cr
for Air and Missile Defe

By John Knowles

The Journal of Electronic Defense | April 2016


For those who remember the 1991 Gulf
War, one of the most worrying threats of
that conflict was the so-called Scuds, the
Soviet-designed theater ballistic missiles
that Iraqi forces launched at cities in
Saudi Arabia and Israel. Caught by news
cameras exploding in the nighttime skies
over Tel Aviv and Riyadh, the coalition's
battle against the Scuds made the US Army's Patriot Air Defense System a household name and helped to cement the high
priority assigned to the ballistic missile
defense mission in future DOD budgets.
In the decades since the Gulf War,
the ballistic missile defense mission has
grown and evolved, but mainly within
the same basic concept - a kinetic "iron
on iron" solution in which radars detect and track incoming ballistic missiles and guide interceptor missiles
to destroy them. Today, however, the
DOD's air and missile defense mission
is beginning to change across several
vectors. The threat environment has
become much more complex and some
of the threats themselves are incorporating sophisticated countermeasures
technologies, whether it is multiple decoys deployed from a ballistic missile
or the low-observable design of enemy
strike aircraft. At the other end of the
threat spectrum, "quantity has a quality all its own," as adversaries can take
advantage of commercial electronics to
deploy salvoes of relatively cheap precision-guided airborne threats - from
consumer UAVs to artillery and rockets.
These threat trends have forced the DOD
to take a fresh look at how it conceptualizes, organizes and equips for the air
and missile defense mission.

The term, Integrated Air and Missile
Defense, is not new. But, it is fair to say
that until recently it was a somewhat
hollow term across much of the DOD, in-

cluding the US Army. Speaking earlier
this year at an AUSA Army Air and Missile Defense event in Washington, DC, MG
John Rossi, Commander of the US Army
Fires Center of Excellence, told the audience, " we made Patriot better and we
focused on it, in essence the air defense
community migrated to what became a
point defense branch - a point defense,
missile defense branch. We took the 'A' out
of Air and Missile Defense in many ways,
and the 'A' went away, because we didn't
really think we needed to focus on it. And,
we focused on missile defense. 'Guard this
airbase,' 'protect this port' - those kinds
of things. So, when we too the 'A' out, we
did it in a couple of ways. We took it out in
how we trained. We took it out in how we
improved our weapons systems, we took
it out of our structure. We took all shortrange air defense out of the architecture
with a focus on missile defense. It was
what we needed at the time."
Today, however, the dynamic changes in the threat environment mean
there is a compelling need to recognize
the growing importance of air defense
and harmonize it with missile defense
under the Integrated Air and Missile
Defense concept. As general Rossi explained, the threat set includes much
more than theater ballistic missiles. Helicopters, stealthy cruise missiles, artillery rounds and small UAVs are leading
the Army to put the "A" back into Integrated Air and Missile Defense. The US
Marine Corps faces a similar threat mix,
while the Air Force and Navy are more
focused on ballistic missiles, anti-ship
cruise missiles and stealthy strike aircraft and medium-altitude UAVs. While
many of these threats are based on wellknown technologies (the DOD pioneered
many of them, and the remainder, such
as mini-drones, come from the commercial sector), their widespread proliferation means the US must adapt to new
realities in the battlespace.

Perhaps the most important concept
that is working its way into the Air and
Missile Defense mission is the understanding that these threats must be addressed with a "holistic" approach. This
means thinking about resources, targeting, and effects in a new way. With regard to organizational resources, the Air
and Missile Defense mission will require
more collaboration between organizations, as opposed to relying on one community of specialists. As General Rossi
explained in the case of the Army, its
future air and missile defense mission
must utilize not only the Air Defense
Artillery, but also the Army's other
branches, such as Field Artillery, Aviation and Cyber.
From a targeting aspect, this holistic
approach will focus on the entire scope
of the threat kill-chain, from pre-launch
attacks to end-game countermeasures.
In the case of ballistic missile defense,
for example, the Army and Navy are
beginning to address pre-launch or socalled "left-of-launch" strike options.
In November 2014, shortly after top Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)
officials began to articulate the need
for a Third Offset Strategy, the Chief
of Naval Operations and the Army Chief
of Staff sent a joint memo to the Secretary of Defense with the subject line,
"Adjusting the Ballistic Missile Defense
Strategy." The two service chiefs wrote,
"The recent Army-Navy Warfighter Talks
highlighted the growing challenges associated with ballistic missile threats
that are increasingly capable, continue
to outpace our active defense systems,
and exceed our Service's capacity to
meet Combatant Commanders' demand."
Further on, they said, "Our present acquisition-based strategy is unsustainable in the current fiscal environment
and favors forward deployment of assets


JED - April 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - April 2016

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
World Report
DARPA Profile: Advanced Materials
Mission Profile: Non-Kinetic Thinking Creates New Possibilities for Air and Missile Defense
Threat Monitor
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - April 2016 - cover1
JED - April 2016 - cover2
JED - April 2016 - 3
JED - April 2016 - 4
JED - April 2016 - 5
JED - April 2016 - The View From Here
JED - April 2016 - 7
JED - April 2016 - Conferences Calendar
JED - April 2016 - 9
JED - April 2016 - Courses Calendar
JED - April 2016 - 11
JED - April 2016 - From the President
JED - April 2016 - 13
JED - April 2016 - 14
JED - April 2016 - The Monitor
JED - April 2016 - 16
JED - April 2016 - 17
JED - April 2016 - 18
JED - April 2016 - 19
JED - April 2016 - 20
JED - April 2016 - 21
JED - April 2016 - 22
JED - April 2016 - World Report
JED - April 2016 - DARPA Profile: Advanced Materials
JED - April 2016 - 25
JED - April 2016 - 26
JED - April 2016 - 27
JED - April 2016 - Mission Profile: Non-Kinetic Thinking Creates New Possibilities for Air and Missile Defense
JED - April 2016 - 29
JED - April 2016 - 30
JED - April 2016 - 31
JED - April 2016 - 32
JED - April 2016 - 33
JED - April 2016 - 34
JED - April 2016 - Threat Monitor
JED - April 2016 - 36
JED - April 2016 - EW 101
JED - April 2016 - 38
JED - April 2016 - AOC News
JED - April 2016 - 40
JED - April 2016 - Index of Advertisers
JED - April 2016 - JED Quick Look
JED - April 2016 - cover3
JED - April 2016 - cover4