Quantity and Rusticity again become key elements of future air strategies

Un report from the RAND Corporation, commissioned by the US Air Force, identifies two key elements of the effectiveness of strategies to achieve and maintain air superiority in the coming years, namely the number of aircraft available, and the return to some form of hardiness of these devices.

The report examines the relevance of the strategy of dispersion of forces, widely used during the Cold War, in the context of a conflict of high intensity against a technologically advanced opponent. Indeed, in the conflicts in which the US Air Forces participated these 30 last years, the air bases were considered a sanctuary inviolable, allowing to deploy a large number of aircraft at relatively small distances from the fighting. This approach allowed fast rotations, and reduced transits, increasing the effectiveness of the air weapon.

However, this strategy can not be used in the context of high intensity modern conflict, the opponent has the means to hit this or these bases, and therefore to strike a blow to air assets committed. The use of the dispersion of forces, by a small number on a large number of aerodromes, will therefore be essential to be able to withstand these strikes by ballistic missiles or cruise missiles, hypersonic or not. In addition, these bases will have to be away from the engagement zones, so limit the possibilities of detection and typing by the opponent.

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