1978-02-01

Preserving Man's Role in Battlefield Air Support Operations 781015

This paper argues, first, that there is still need for battlefield air support in modern combined arms conflict, and, secondly, that the vital contribution of man's unique intellectual capabilities to that function can be retained while avoiding much of his exposure to battlefield air defense required by current operational procedures. It is proposed to accomplish this goal by melding a remotely-manned, real-time surveillance, acquisition, designation, and fire direction capability with a conventional, manned strike aircraft into a cooperative, complementary system.The remainder of the paper describes the functional components of a possible system, suggests one way these might be integrated into a joint Army-Air Force operational concept, and speculates on some of the benefits to be obtained.

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