134 Jan. 31 / Administration of William J.

Clinton, 1996
States of America the two hundred and twen-
tieth.
William J. Clinton
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register,
8:45 a.m., February 1, 1996]
NOTE: This proclamation was released by the Of-
fice of the Press Secretary on January 31, and it
was published in the Federal Register on February
2.
Letter to Congressional Leaders on
Presidential Determination 95–45
January 30, 1996
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
Consistent with section 6001(a) of the Re-
source Conservation and Recovery Act
(RCRA) (the ‘‘Act’’), as amended, 42 U.S.C.
6961(a), notification is hereby given that on
September 29, 1995, I issued Presidential
Determination 95–45 (copy attached) and
thereby exercised the authority to grant cer-
tain exemptions under section 6001(a) of the
Act.
Presidential Determination No. 95–45 ex-
empted the United States Air Force’s operat-
ing location near Groom Lake, Nevada, from
any Federal, State, interstate, or local hazard-
ous or solid waste laws that might require
the disclosure of classified information con-
cerning that operating location to unauthor-
ized persons. I nformation concerning activi-
ties at the operating location near Groom
Lake has been properly determined to be
classified and its disclosure would be harmful
to national security. Continued protection of
this information is, therefore, in the para-
mount interest of the United States.
The Determination was not intended to
imply that in the absence of a Presidential
exemption RCRA or any other provision of
law permits or requires the disclosure of clas-
sified information to unauthorized persons,
but rather to eliminate any potential uncer-
tainty arising from a decision in pending liti-
gation, Kasza v. Browner (D. Nev. CV–S–
94–795–PMP). The Determination also was
not intended to limit the applicability or en-
forcement of any requirement of law applica-
ble to the Air Force’s operating location near
Groom Lake except those provisions, if any,
that would require the disclosure of classified
information.
Sincerely,
William J. Clinton
NOTE: I dentical letters were sent to Newt Ging-
rich, Speaker of the House of Representatives,
and Albert Gore, Jr., President of the Senate. This
letter was released by the Office of the Press Sec-
retary on January 31.
Executive Order 12987—
Amendment to Executive Order
12964
January 31, 1996
By the authority vested in me as President
by the Constitution and the laws of the Unit-
ed States of America, including the Federal
Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5
U.S.C. App.), and to facilitate the work of
the Commission on United States-Pacific
Trade and I nvestment Policy, it is hereby or-
dered that Executive Order No. 12964 of
June 21, 1995, is amended (i) in section 1(a)
by inserting in the second sentence ‘‘up to
20’’ in place of ‘‘15’’, and (ii) in section 2(a)
by inserting in the first sentence ‘‘about De-
cember 31, 1996,’’ in place of ‘‘before Feb-
ruary 1, 1996,’’.
William J. Clinton
The White House,
January 31, 1996.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register,
8:45 a.m., February 1, 1996]
NOTE: This Executive order was published in the
Federal Register on February 2.
Remarks at the National Prayer
Breakfast
February 1, 1996
Thank you very much. Senator Bennett,
Vice President and Mrs. Gore, Mr. Speaker,
Senator Nunn, and Members of Congress
who are here, and members of the Supreme
Court, Joint Chiefs, other public officials, to
our guests from around the world and my
fellow Americans: Let me begin by saying
that most of what I would like to have said
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70
Unclassified
SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF TH;S PAGE
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distribution is unlimited.
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ea. NAMF OF PERFORMING ORGANIZATION 1 6b. OFFICE SYMBOL 7a. NAME OF MONITORING ORGANIZATION
US Army War College
(If applicable)
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Root Hall, Building 122
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PROGRAM PROJECT ITASK IWORK UNIT
ELEMENT NO. NO NO. FACCESSION NO.
I__ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _III
11. TITLE (Include Security Classification)
Stealth Employment in the Tactical Air Force (TAF) - A Primer on Its Doctrine;
and Operational Use
12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S)
Arthur P. Weyermuiler
13a. TYPE OF REPOR1T 113b. TIME COVERED 114. DATE OF REPORT (Year, Month, Day) 115. PAGE COUNT
Study Project FROM TO 1992 Feb 21 131
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John E. Freilino 717 245-4200
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In 1976 the Air Force embarked upon a classified project
to develop stealth technology and assess its feasibility. The
F-117A stealth fighter program was subsequently approved and
developed in secrecy until November 1988 when the existence of
the stealth fighter was publicly acknowledged. A consequence
of being a highly classified program involving a revolutionary
technology was that relatively few people were aware of its
existence, particularly those in the joint planning arena. As
Desert Shield unfolded the mission of the F-117A became more
apparent to joint planners, and much of its capabilities became
unclassified when its performance was made public during Desert
Storm. However, there still exists questions as to stealth's
capabilities and how to integrate stealth technology into
operational plans. This paper was written to provide an
unclassified source of background information for the joint
planner on stealth technology, specifically the F-117A. It
provides a history of stealth development, a discussion of the
roles and missions of the F-1i1A and its performance during
Desert Storm, an assessment of how stealth technology fits into
Air Force aerospace doctrine, and a look at the next generation
of stealth a~rcraft -- the F-22 advanced tactical fighter and
the B-2 stealth bomber. It will serve as a reference for the
joint planner to use when integrating stealth technology into
operational plans for future conflicts.
USAWC MILITARY STUDIES PROGRAM PAPER
The views expressed in this paper are those of the
author and do not necessarily reflect the views of
the Department of Defense or any cf its agencies.
This docw-ent may noc be released for open publication
until it has been cleared by the appropriate militarv
service or government agency.
STEALTH EMPLOYMENT IN THE TACTICAL AIR FORCE (TAF)
- A PRIMER ON ITS DOCTRINE AND OPERATIONAL USE
AN INDIVIDUAL STUDY PROJECT
by
Colonel Arthur P. Weyermuller
United States Air Force
Colonel John E. Freilino
Project Advisor
DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A: Approved for public
release; distribution Is unlimited.
U.S. Army War College
Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania 17013
ABSTRACT
AUTHOR: Arthur P. Weyermuller, Colonel, USAF
TITLE: Stealth Employment in the Tactical Air Force (TAF)
- A Primer on its Doctrine and Operational Use
FORMAT: Individual Study Project
DATE: 21 February 1992 PAGES: 29 CLASSIFICATION: Unclassified
In 1976 the Air Force embarked upon a classified project to
develop stealth technology and assess its feasibility. The F-117A
stealth fighter program was subsequently approved and developed in
secrecy until November 1988 when the existence of the stealth
fighter was publicly acknowledged. A consequence of being a highly
classified program involving a revolutionary technology was that
relatively few people were aware of its existence, particularly
those in the joint planning arena. As Desert Shield unfolded the
mission of the F-117A became more apparent to joint planners, and
much of its capabilities became unclassified when its performance
was made public during Desert Storm. However, there still exists
questions as to steatth's capabilities and how to integrate stealth
technology into operational plans. This paper was written to
provide an unclassified source of background information for the
joint planner on stealth technology, specifically the F-117A. It
provides a history of stealth development, a discussion of the roles
and missions of the F-117A and its performance during Desert Storm,
an assessment of how stealth technology fits into Air Force
aerospace doctrine, and a look at Lhe next generation of stealth
aircraft -- the F-22 advanced tactical fighter and the B-2 stealth
bomber. It will serve as a reference for the joint planner to ase
when integrating stealth technology into operational plans for
future conflicts.
Aooosglon FOr
O Gl:AkI AI.
DTIC TA, '
Aw•ailiit'Y Coiis'
A il ýLnd/%)r . .
INTRODUCTION
Just as the longbow and gunpowder revolutionized warfare in
their time, the past century has witnessed many equally
significant technological breakthroughs that have changed the
nature and lthality ol armed conflict. The advent of aviation,
development of radar, and the subsequent use of stealth
technology to render radar detection ineffective have changed
the nature of warfare, which was clearly illustrated by the
unqualified success the F-117A stealth fighter enjoyed during
Operation Desert Storm.
Prior to the disclosure in November 1988 that the stealth
fighter existed, very little was publicly discussed or known
about the capability of stealth technology. Since thpn the
conflict in the Persian Gulf has made it a household woid.
However, even after the war, its mission is not fully understood
and little has been done to formally define its doctrine and
operational capabilities for the joint planner to use when
developing contingency plans.
The purpose of this papesb is to help the joint planner
understand the value of stealth at the operational and tactical
levels of conflict. It will accomplish this by providing a
brief history of the development of the stealth fighter program
and a look at stealth's capabilities in the form of missions and
roles as seen through the Desert Storm experience. The paper
will then relate stealth to aerospace doctrine and what the
future of stealth portends for the F-22 Advanced Tactical
Fighter (ATF) and the B-2 stealth bomber. And finally, it will
discuss how stealth fits into Air Force Doctrine along with
future implications i'i the changing world order. Hopefully,
this approach will give the joint planner a more realistic and
timely appreciation of stealth capabilities for operational
contingency planning -- a facet that was not readily available
prior to the F-117A's public disclosure, its first use during
Operation Just Cause in Panama, and during the buildup for the
Persian Gulf War.
BACKGROUND
Stealth Development
The use of the concept of stealth to hide aircraft did not
start with the F-ll7A stealth fighter development program.
Experiments with stealth capabilities occurred as far back as
the early part of the 1900s when Germany tested an aircraft with
a transparent wing, designed to make it difficult to spot by
observers on the ground.l Later, in World War I1, the snorkel
was developed by Germany to allow its diesel powered U-boats to
operate submerged when recharging their batteries. This enabled
them to avoid detection by long range maritime patrol aircraft.
When the Allies developed air-borne radars to detect the
snorkels. the Germans countered by putting a rubber coating over
the snorkels which degraded the radar's effectiveness.
2
Thus,
an early forerunner of radar absorbent material (RAM) was used
on submarines which today depend to a large degree on stealth
for their survival.
2
The nati!ral reaction to the advent of radar was to develop
a technology that would render it ineffective. It tf-came
inevitable that stealth technology would be pursued. And, just
as sonar and nuclear propulsion have made stealth a way of life
for submarines, stealth technology has enabled aircraft to be
built with low observability and has restored the element of
surprise to aerial operations.
3
Efforts at making an airplane stealthy revolve around
reducing its signature, either by reductions in radar cross
section (RCS), infrared, electronic emissions, visual, or
acoustic signatures. Radar signature control has focused on the
shaping of the vehicle, transparency, and developing radar
absorbing materials. The unique shapes of the F-117A stealth
fighter, F-22 ATF, and B-2 stealth bomber were designed to
control the direction of reflected radar energy, and the
function of their RAM coating is to minimize the reflected
energy.4
Low observables, as a serious design discipline, began in
the late 1970s.
5
The mission need for a stealth fighter emerged
after the 19/3 Arab Israeli We.r. The war illustrated the
lethality of new surface to air missiles (SAMs), operating in
new frequency bands with increased capabilities, in an
Integrated Air Defense System (IADS).6 This was the impetus for
the HAVE BLUE technology demonstration program which took place
between November 1975 and 7uly 1979. HAVE BLUE was a jointly
sponsored program by the Defense Advanced Research Project
Agency (DARPA) and the United States Air Force to demonstrate
the feasibility of low observables (LO) or stealth technology.
Its obje:tives were to validate LO concepts, demonstrate that
the concept was flyable, and to validate very low observable
(VLO) modeling and ground test results.
7
The first of two aircraft was designed and flew by December
1977, and the program's success convinced senior Department of
Defense officials that stealth was viable.8 Although both
demonstration aircraft were lost during flight testing, neither
aircraft accident was related to the VLO design. The flight
test program met all its objectives and satisfied the risk
assessment for the SENIOR TREND program -- the classified name
for the development, procurement, and operational fielding of
the F-117A.9
F-117A Program
As the follow-on to the HAVE BLUE program, SENIOR TREND
became a highly concurrent flight test and development program.
Its objectives were to develop an aircraft with VLO as its
primary design goal, field the system as rapidly as possible,
and conduct the entire program in total secrecy.10 The early
positive assessment of the HAVE BLUE program resulted in the
production decision for the F-117A being made almost two years
prior to its first flight which occurred in June 1981. In
addition, an early decision to increase the total buy from 25 to
59 aircraft was also made prior to the first flight.I1 The
first F-117A production aircraft was delivered to the Air Force
4
in September 1982 and the unit declared its Initial Operational
Capability (I1C) with a small number of aircraft only thirteen
months later. Deliveries continued until July 1990 as the wing
grew to two operational and one training squadron.1
2
The result of this highly successful program was the first
operational aircraft conceived and built to exploit low
observable stealth technology. The F-117A was designed to
penetrate dense threat environments and attack high-value
targets with pinpoint accuracy. Its overall performance during
Operation Desert Storm validated the program's many successes
and milestones.
CAPABILITIES
Mission/Roles
Actual combat employment of the F-117A includes close-in
strikes in support of Operation Just Cause and attacks against
key strategic targets during Desert Storm. Its Mission
Employment Tactics Wanual, MCM 3-1, Volume XVIII, Tactical
Employment of the F-I17A, states that it is well suited to
conduct offensive counter air (OCA) and suppression of enemy air
defense (SEAD) missions.
1 3
It can accomplish these missions by
using a variety of conventional munitions, such as unguided
Mk-82 and MK-84 bombs, and laser guided bombs such as the
GBU-10, -12 and -27 precision guided munitions (PGMs). In
addition, it can employ cluster munitions and tactical nuclear
weapons.14
5
In reality, however, stealth employment should not be
limitd to a narrow definition of OCA and SEAD. The tactical
situation often dictates innovative employment concepts as seen
during Desert Storm when A-10s were used to destroy Scud
missiles nd F-Ills bombed tanks during the battlefield
preparation phase of the war. The F-117A was also used in a
more flexible manner than originally envisioned when it was
given a last minute mission to destroy medium range bombers
being loaded with chemical munitions at Al Taqaddum airfield.15
The key to the stealth fighter's success comes from its
ability to penetrate further into a heavily defended radar
network and survive while employing precision munitions. The
combination of reduced radar cross section, detailed mission
planning, and creative tactics enable it to deliver PGMs against
high value, point targets.
1 6
This means the war fighter and
planner can change the strategic landscape to suit his needs and
gain the tactical advantage. The use of stealth aircraft
directly impacts employment concepts and the deterrence equation
while decreasing the force structure and logistics support
required to accomplish an operational objective.
A corrmmon misconception is that stealth aircraft require
support aircraft such as F-15s flying combat air patrol to sweep
the skies of enemy fighters, and F-4G Wild Weasel and EF-1i1
defense suppression aircraft to reduce the electronic threat.
While these types of aircraft can certainly be used to enhance
survivability when the situation requires it, one of the major
6
advantages of stealth is that it can be a force multiplier
because it requires less airborne support. Although stealth
costs morc- than conventional systems, it puts fewer people at
risk in combat. Two separate strike operations during the first
day of Desert Storm illustrate this point. A strike package of
8 non-stealth attack aircraft and 30 escort aircraft was sent
against one target. At the same time, 21 F-117As were attacking
37 targets without dedicated protection or electronic combat
support.l? The value of stealth technology was best summed up
by Lt Gen Charles A. Horner, the commander of U.S. and coalition
air forces during Desert Storm, when he wrote:
"Stealth technology is worth every penny.
Operating night after night against
targets protected by 3,000 antiaircraft
guns and 60 surface-to-air missile sites
without a single loss or even taking a hit
is positive proof of the protection this
technology offers. In addition, the
stealth aircraft does not need eytensive
electronic combat support. This frees
these assets to support other missions."1s
Another common misconception is that stealth aircraft are
totally invisible. Although not invisible, stealth's low
observability allows it to penetrate an integratpd air defense
system (IADS) by reducing the effectiveness of the three basic
air defense functions -- surveillance, fire control, and target
destruction.1
9
Its reduced radar return weakens the defensive
system's ability to consistently detect, track, and engage
stealth aircraft, thereby enhancing their survivability. This
was also validated during Desert Storm when the F-117A was the
7
only fighter to strike targets in Baghdad, which was protected
by a defensive array of surface-to-air missiles sites (SAMs) and
antiaircraft artillery guns (AAA) more dense than the most
heavily defended Eastern European target at the height of the
Cold War.Z0
Deterrent Value
Stealth's deterrent value stems from two key factors --
surprise and its ability to deliver precision guided munitions
with unprecedented accuracy. It can take the war directly to an
adversary's centers of gravity from day one. Its implications
for detercence were clearly explained by Lt Gen Charles G. Boyd,
Commander of the Air University:
"The capability to put any feature of the
enemy at risk -- which includes the ability
to threaten every asset an enemy possesses
with unprecedented probability of target
engagement and low risk of interference,
loss, or capture -- provides not just
tactical but strategic leverage."zI
This threat of direct application of force is a critical
part of the U.S. Air Force's Global Reach-Global Power -- the
ability to provide a force presence or put ordnance on a target
anywhere in the world in a matter of hours.22 As the size of
the military is reduced in the 1990s and fewer fighter wings are
based overseas, stealth as represented by the F-117A provides
the force planner more options as both a deterrent and
warfightirg capability because of its deployabiJity and smaller
logistics requirements.
8
DESERT STORM PERFORMANCE
Empioyment
A single stealth fighter was one of the first aircraft to
commence attacking Iraq during Desert Storm. Prior to H-Hour at
0300 on 17 January 1991, an F-117A destroyed a hardened air
defense operations control center in Southern Iraq, paving the
way for the strategic, operational, and tactical surprise that
allowed coalition air forces to conduct unrelenting air strikes
for the next 43 days.
2 3
The tactical surprise stealth provided
enabled the coalition to achieve air superiority early in the
war by destroying corrnnand and control capabilities, the Iraqi
IADS system, aircraft shelters, and valuable strategic targets
in Baghdad and throughout Iraq.
2
4 And, the F-117A was able to
accomplish this by penetrating enemy defenses without the large
force packages required to protect non-stealthy aircraft.
During the early days of the war, the F-11
7
A was primarily
used against Iraqi command and control, and radar detection
systems. By day three the Iraqi conmnand and control capability
was in disarray, and emphasis eventually shifted to destroying
hardened aircraft shelters.25 Throughout the war it was the
only manned aircraft to attack targets in Baghdad. By the time
the ceasefire went into effect, the stealth fighter had been
successfully targeted against the following major target sets:
- Command and Control installations
- Key communication buildings
9
- Headquarters tor the internal security
and intelligence organizations
Research, development, production, and
storage facilities for nuclear and
chemical weapons
Hardened aircraft shelters
- Key resupply lines -- bridges, railroads,
and highways
- A variety of other targets such as
pumping stations and distribution networks
designed to feed oil into anti-personnel
fire trenchesZ
6
The F-117A was one of several aircraft types to attack
strategic targets during the war. What they accomplished
through a systematic bombing campaign was the elimination of
Iraq's offensive warfighting capability and the destruction of
its war-supporting infrastructure. This was best summed up in
An Interim Report to Congress on "Conduct of the Persian Gulf
Conflict":
"The strategic bombing campaign had the
effect of virtually isolating and
irmmobilizing the Iraqi army in the field.
The F-117 stealth fighter was a major
factor in this effort."2
7
Results
The combination of tactical surprise offered by stealth
technology and the exceptional accuracy of the precision guided
munitions employed by the F-117A resulted in impressive
statistics. The stealth fighter was able to accomplish more
destruction in a shorter period of time with greater accuracy
than ever imagined in the history of aerial warfare. Its
I0
ability to identify and attack targets before surface threats
became active allowed a handful of aircraft To inflict heavy
damage on the enemy.
The 42 stealth fighters deployed to the war flew almost
1300 combat sorties, yet they only represented approximately
2.5% of the allied fighter and attack aircraft in theater.Z8
During the first 24 hours of the war alone, they struck over 31%
of the strategic target list.Z9 And, by the end of the war,
they had attacked over 40% of the strategic targets while only
flying approximately ?% of the total attack sorties of the
war.
3 0
This was made possible by their ability to safely
penetrate the IADS system and by having weapons delivery
accuracy that virtually assured target destruction on the first
pass. Stealth technology allowed a larger portion of the target
list to be attacked with fewer aircraft thus reducing overall
munition, manpower and support requirements.
STEALTH'S IMPLICATION FOR DOCTRINE
Relationship to Current Air Force Doctrine
Before analyzing how stealth technology fits into Air Force
doctrine, it is useful to start with the basic definition of
aerospace doctrine found in Air Force Manual 1-1, Basic
Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air Force. Basic Air
Force doctrine can be broken into four elements:
"Aerospace doctrine is, simply defined, what
we hold true about aerospace power and the
best way to do the job in the Air Force.
I1
It is based on experience, our own and the
experience of others. Doctrine is what we
have learned about aerospace power and its
applicatior, since the dawn of powered flight.
... doctrine is a guide for the exercise of
professional judgment rather than a set of
rules to be followed blindly.
Doctrine should be alive -- growing, evolving
and maturing.
If we allow our thinking about aerospace
power to stagnate, our doctrine will become
dogma."31
These statements illustrate the fluid nature of aerospace power
and the requirement for leaders to 0 flexible and constantly
reassess how air power should be structured and employed.
Whenever a new weapon system, munition, or technology comes
along, it must be evaluated against this backdrop to insure its
successful integration into force str:ciure atid warfighting
plans.
Early pioneers of air power made predictions and promises
about its capabilities based on the limited experiences of World
War I. Many of these predictions did not -nme true. However,
these air power advocates did not allow th,,:i; vision to be
clouded by not having the technology to f,'dfil! their
predictions.
3 2
In the short 80 year histor- c.f aerial warfare,
it took time for experience and technology to deve,':p to the
point reached in the Persian Gulf War. Therc, air power was
able to rapidly achieve air superiority and play a. .lominant role
in bringing the war to a rapid end on our terms. .Pr power
finally accomplished what the early visionarits said it could.
12
To illustrate by comparison, in World War II it could take 9000
bombs to destroy an aircraft shelter; in Vietnam it could take
300; and in Desert Storm, one laser guided bomb (LCB) from an
F-117A was all that was required to destroy the most hardened
shelter.33
There are many reasons for the success of the coalition air
forces. Stealth technology, being one of them, raises the
question of just how it fits into doctrine -- is it another tool
to be employed or does it add a new chapter to doctrine? This
can be answered by a review of the roles and missions of the Air
Force and how stealth relates to the principles of war.
Relationship to Air Force Roles and Missions
The roles and missions of the Air Force fall into four
categories: (1) aerospace control, (2) force application, (3)
force enhancement, and (4) force support.
3
4 When you assess
what stealth technology is capable of contributing to each of
these areas it becomes apparent that it does not warrant a
change in basic aerospace doctrine. Rather, it offers added
capability for the air campaign planner to employ, either
dircctly or indirectly in each role and ir, most missions.
Aerospace Control: Aerospace control is normalJy the first
priority of aerospace forces and basically entails controlling
the combat environment through control of the air.
3 5
Stealth
technology and the F-II7A support this role in the offensive
counterair mission, where strategic attack is used to destroy
enemy aerospace forces and ground-based defenses. Achieving air
13
superiority was a major objective of the Desert Storm air
campaign, and the stealth fighter was instrumental in that many
of the targets it struck were defined as OCA targets. Stealth
provided another option to the air component commander, not a
new mission.
Force Application: The role of force application involves
those missions that apply combat power, and are considered to be
strategic attack, interdiction and close air support.
3 6
The
success of the stealth fighter and its use against strategic:
targets have already been discussed. Many of the missions flown
were air interdiction missions dpsigned to delay, disrupt,
divert, or destroy the enemy's military potential and prevent it
from engaging friendly forces.3
7
In essence, this is the
ultimate form of close air support, as it prevent• the enemy
from bringing overwhelming forces to bear by destroying them
early.
Force Enhancement: Stealth's contribution to force
enhancement, the ability to multiply combat effc-,tiveness, conies
from the reduction in effort required in several missions such
as airlift and air refueLng.
38
Since the F-1H7A was able to
conduct many missions with a smaller number of aircraft and
fewer mu'itions, it reduced the requirement for theater airlift
support. In addition, the smaller number of steat'.h aircraft
required fewer air refueling sorties. This made more air
refueling sorties available to support larger strike packages
14
consisting of non-stealthy fighters and their dedicated
electronic warfare support aircraft,
Force Support: The success of any campaign is dependent on
timely and sufficient logistical support to sustain forces. It
contiols the size, and effectiveness of a military operation.3
9
Again, stealth supports this role through the reduction in
aircraft, personnel, supplies, equipment, and airlift support
required to sustain combat operations.
As AFM 1-I states, aerospace forces are not limited to any
particular role or mission.4
0
Desert Storm showed this to be
true as various fighters and bombers performed missions not
normally associated with them, i.e. A-10s hunting Scuds, B-52s
attacking tdctical battlefield targets, and fighter aircraft
going after strategic command and control targets. Although the
stereotype roles and missions are blurring, what this points out
is the requirement for aerospace doctrine to be flexible and
ever maturing as new technologies are developed. The advent of
the F-117A and stealth technology has heralded a new dimension
in warfighting. However, it brings to the battlefield another
capability that supports current doctrinal thinking, not a
requirement to redefine doctrine. If anything, the performance
and application of stealth in Desert Storm helps validate
current aerospace doctrine.
Relationship to Army AirLand Battle Doctrine
Another area where the United States Air Force's stealth
capabilities are important is its relationship to the four basic
15
Army tenets for achieving success on the battlefield: (1)
initiative. (2) agility., (3) depth, and (4) synchronization.4!
Their counterparts in aerospace doctrine are speed, range,
flexibility, precision, and lethality. These tenets support
each other and together they form the basis for success in
AirLand Operations.
4 2
Initiative: Stealth capability is ideally suited to
support the tenet of initiative. Army Field Manual 100-5,
Qperations, states that initiative means never allowing the
enemy to recover from the initial shock of the attack through
concentration, speed, violence in execution, and exploitation.
4 3
The air campaign accomplished this in Desert Storm where the
F-117A was a key participant in forcing the enemy to lose its
cohesiveness by cutting off Iraq's command and control
capability and destroying critical strategic targets. It
allowed the coalition to seize the initiative through basic
principles of war such as surprise, mass, and economy of force
against the enemy's centers of gravity.
ARility: Stealth technology also supports agility -- the
ability of friendly forces to act and react faster than the
enemy while seizing the initiative.44 The ability of stealth to
be employed against a changing target base to keep pressure on
enemy vulnerabilities has been previously mentioned. Initially,
air attacks were directed against key communications and command
and control installations. Later, they were expanded to include
hardened aircraft shelters and resupply lines such as bridges.
16
Air power, especially as enhanced by stealth can respond rapidly
and with flexibility as requirements change. This trait is
required by both larnd and aerospace forces to successfully
prosecute the war.
Depth: FM 100-5 defines depth as the extension of
operations in space, time, and resources.4
5
Stealth capability
directly supported this tenet through devastating attacks
against Iraq's command and control facilities. Stealth fighters
significantly extended the battlefield in depth by conducting
deep interdiction strikes against key strategic targets which
prevented the Iraqis from mounting a coherent defense and
counterattack.
Synchronization: The tenet of synchronization is the
method by which activities are arranged in space, time, and
purpose to provide maximum combat power at an enemy's vulnerablh'
points.
4 6
Stealth technology's support of synchronization with
the ground campaign is more indirect in nature. It disrupted
the synchronization of the Iraqi Army more than it contributed
to synchronization with coalition ground forces. By initially
attacking command and control targets and subsequently
destroying bridges during the latter part of the air campaign,
the stealth fighter was able to reduce the ability of the Iraqi
army to deploy its resources where they could have made their
greatest contribution to fighting the coalition ground forces.
In summary, while stealth technology and the F-117A have
demonstrated a tremendous warfighting capability, they are not
17
an impetus for changing doctrine. Rather, stealth offers the
commander-in-chief (CINC) another highly effective tool to use
in conducting military operations. Its relationship to doctrine
is one of a maturing capability which meets the test of being
flexible and lethal.
FUTURE OP STEALTH
The importance of stealth was summed up by General John M.
Loh, the Commander of Tactical Air Command, in his statement to
Congress shortly after Desert Storm. He testified that stealth
provides four major advantages in air operations: (1) it
restores the critically important element of surprise; (2) it
provides freedom of action and allows the pilot to concentrate
on targets rather than threat avoidance; (3) it allows force
structure to be used more efficiently by attacking more targets
with fewer fighter and support aircraft; and (4) it provides a
high degree of confidence in achieving desired mission results
due to the increased survivability of stealth aircraft.4
7
The success of stealth in Desert Storm has virtually
dictated that future weapon systems will be procured with
stealth technology as a fundamental baseline requirement. The
U.S. Air Force envisions a future force structure containing a
mixture of stealth and non-stealth aircraft. High leverage
weapon systems such as the F-117A, F-22, and B-2 will be the
stealth force while E stems such as the F-15, F-16, B-1, and
B-52 will be tasked against less heavily defended areas.b8
IS
F-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter
The F-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) is progranlmed to
become operational after the year 2000. By then the current
front line air superiority fighter, the F-15, will be 25 years
old. Upgrades to the F-15 will not be capable of giving it the
combination of speed, stealth, and reliability required to
defeat the next generation of fighters and air defenses.
4 9
As
its replacement, the F-22 will be the fourth generation of
stealth technology designed around a combination of stealth, the
ability to cruise supersonically without afterburner
(supercruise), advanced avionics, and a tremendous increase in
maneuverability over current fighters.50
Translated into capability, this means the pilot will have
the ability to achieve first look and first kill over an
adversary, have increased survivability and lethality, and be
able to operate over a larger radius of action than current and
projected threat fighters.
5 1
Stealth gives him a first strike
capability against the most difficult targets, the psychological
advantage of sudden undetected attacks, and the advantages that
come from increased survivability. This reduces the enemy's
reaction time and ability to respond during all phases of the
defensive engagement cycle.
5 2
In essence, the ATF will ensure
the U.S. has the ability to control the air and provide air
superiority for another generation of fighters.
19
B-2 Stealth Bomber
The B-52 has been used for decades in a wide variety of
roles. The most recent was its use in attacks against
battlefield targets during Desert Storm. However, it is an old
weapon system, and B-52s equipped to carry air launched cruise
missiles (ALCM) will be retired at an accelerated rate due to
the age of the B-52's engines and airframe.
5
3 As a replacement
for the B-52, the B-2 stealth bomber is a long range aircraft
designed to provide both nuclear and conventional deterrence as
our force structure shrinks and the number of overseas bases
decreases, putting more reliance on continental U.S. (CONUS)
basing.54
The U.S. Air Force emphasized the need for procuring the
B-2 in a recent assessment of the Gulf War. Arguments for the
B-2 included the inherent survivability of stealth assets, the
extraordinary precision of modern weapons, its long range, and
the large payload the stealth bomber would be able to carry.
55
Although not widely known, the original B-2 mission statement
included nuclear and conventional capability for peacetime and
crisis situation resolution, with a baseline capability to
deliver conventional munitions.3
6
Currently, the stealth bomber
is projected to carr- ten times the payload of the F-117A at
five times the unrefueled range of the F-117A.57 This provides
a conventional warfighting capability which combines the
F-117A's survivability with the range and payload of the B-52.58
The importance of the conventional role for the stealth bomber
20
was underscored by General Lee Butler, the Commander-in-Chief of
Strategic Air Command, in his statement to Congress in April
1991:
".[the] role of the bomber in future warfare
can not be overstated. Its unparalleled
responsiveness, payload, and flexibility,
coupled with a capability to range the globe
from the United States without enroute or host
nation support, make the bomber a unique and
irreplaceable instrument of national power."59
The B-2 will provide a balance between changing future
requirements for nuclear deterrence and the need to respond
globally to regional crises with a conventional capability that
incorporates the advantages offered by a low observable
platform.
CONCLUSIONS
The maturing of stealth technology, as evidenced Ln the
lethal performance of the F-117A during Desert Storm, has
allowed a long standing desire of air campaign planners to come
true -- the ability to effectively penetrate dense radar defense
networks and successfully employ aerospace forces in a heavily
defended SAM and AAA environment. The stealth fighter was able
to repeatedly accomplish precision strikes against heavily
defended targets. This was a critical factor in the successful
prosecution of the Persian Gulf War. The fact that the F-117A
accomplished so much while remaining unscathed stems from air
campaign planners understanding its capabilities and making the
21
right decisions to employ it in the manner for which it was
des igned.
Stealth's relationship tc aerospace doctrine is one of a
force multiplier. It requires less support in the form of
logistics, strike package sizes, arid inflight refueling than
more traditional non-Gtealthy aircraft. But, it does not
rewrite doctrine. Stealth provides another capability to the
war planner. It is a proven deterrent whose presence in a
region indicates a serious intent to support national strategy.
As a combat capability, stealth helps achieve air superiority
and supports land forces through attacks on the enemy's key
strategic targets and his centers of gravity.
Stealth is a characteristic that cannot be ignored on
future weapon systems. The F-22 ATF and B-2 stealth bomber are
designed to make optimum use of the lessons learned from the
F-117A program. Just as every generation of a weapon system
incorporates improvements in technology, these systems represent
great improvements for the next generation of stealth
capability. Understanding how stealth was emp!oyed in Desert
Storm is the first step in planning for its use in the next
conflict. Employing the next generation of stealth aircraft in
consonance with aerospace doctrine, which will continue to grow
and mature, will guarantee success for the air and land
campaigns. Hopefully this paper will provide joint planners
with insights into how to effectively employ stealth aircraft
when developing contingency plans for the next conflict.
22
ENDNOTES
I Jim Cunningham, "Cracks in the Black Dike, Secrecy, the
Media and the F-117A", AIRPOWER JOURNAL, V, no. 3 (Fall 1991):
17.
2 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "B-2 Survivability
Against Air Defense Systems", Photocopied, (March 1990): 1-2.
3 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "Air Force Stealth
Technology Review Briefings", Photocopied, (10-14 June 1991):
Slide 74161.
4 U.S. Department of the Air Force "Low Observable
Technolcgy - Utilization and Development Scripted Briefing",
Photocopied, (3 October 1991): 22.
5 Ibid., 28.
6 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "F-117A Program
Acquisition Briefing", Office of Sccretary of the Air Force for
Acquisition, Photocopied, (3 April 1991): 5.
7 Ibid., 6.
8 U.S. Department of Defense, Defense 91, (November/
December 1991): 22.
9 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "F-117A Program
Acquisition Briefing", 6.
10 Ibid., 8.
It Ibid., 8 & 11.
12 Ibid., 3.
13 U.S. Department of the Air Force, Mission Employment
Tactics. Tactical Employment F-117A (U), MCM 3-1 Volume XVIII,
(1 January 1991): 5-1.
14 Ibid., 1-1.
15 "Aerospace World," AIR FORCE MAGAZINE, 74, no. 9 (August
1991): 23.
16 U.S. Department of the Air Force, Mission Employment
Tactics, Tactical Employment F-117A (U), MC., 3-1 Volume KKIII,
1-K.
23
17 Donald B. Rice, Secretary of the Air Force, "Airpower in
the New Security Environment", Speech presented at the
Washington Strategy Seminar, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., (7
May 1991): 6.
18 Charles A. Horner, Lt Cen, USAF, "The Air Campaign",
Military Review, LXXI, no. 9 (September 1991): 26.
19 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "B-2 Survivability
Against Air Defense Systems", 5-6.
20 U.S. Department of the Air Force, Reaching Globally,
Reaching Powerfully: The United States Air Force in the Gulf
War, A Report, (September 1991): 5.
21 Charles G. Boyd, Lt Gen, USAF, and Charles M.
Westenhoff, Lt Col, USAF, "Air Power Thinking: "Request
Unrestricted Climb"", AIRPOWER JOURNAL, V, no. 3 (Fall 1991):
12.
22 U.S. Department of the Air Force, The Air Force and
U.S. National Security: Global Reach - Global Power, White
Paper, (June 1990): 8.
23 U.S. Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian
Gulf Conflict, An Interim Report to Congress, (July 1991): 4-2.
24 U.S. Department of the Air Force, Air Force
Performance in Desert Storm, White Paper, (April 1991): 3.
25 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "Technology in
Airpower", Current Messages for Air Force Speakers, Secretary of
the Air Force Office of Public Affairs, [June 19911: 6.
26 U.S. Department of the Air Force, Operation DESERT
SHIELD/Operation DESERT STORM (August 1990 - March 1991), Fact
Sheet, 37th Tactical Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office, Tonopah
Test Range, Nevada, (April 1991): 1; and U.S. Department of
Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf Conflict, 4-3.
27 U.S. Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf
Conf'ict, 6-1.
28 Ibid., 6-2.
29 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "Technology in
Airpower", 6.
30 U.S. Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian
Gulf Conflict, 6-2.
24
31 U.S. Department of the Air Force, Air Force Manual
1-1. Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air Force,
Volume I, (November 1991): vii.
32 Charles G. Boyd, Lt Gen, USAF, and Charles M.
Westenhoff, Lt Col, USAF, "Air Power Thinking: "Request
Unrestricted Climb"", 6.
33 Donald B. Rice, 2-3 & 6.
34 U.S. Department of the Air Force. Air Force Manual
1-1, Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air Force,
Volume 11 (Draft),( September 1991): 103.
35 U.S. Department of the Air Force, Air Force Manual
1-1, Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air Force,
Volume I, 10.
36 Ibid., 6.
37 U.S. Department of the Air Force. Tactical Air
Command Manual 2-1. Tactical Air Operations (Draft), (October
1991): 6-12.
a8 U.S. Department of the Air Force, Air Force Manual
1-1, Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air Force,
Volume 1, 7.
39 Ibid., 7 & 15.
410 Ibid., 7.
41 U.S. Department of the Army, FM 100-5 Operations,
(May 1986): 15.
42 U.S. Department of the Air Force. Tactical Air
Corr.rand Manual 2-1. Tactical Air Operations (Draft),i, 2-6 & 2-7.
43 U.S. Department of the Army, FM 100-5 Operations, 15.
44 Ibid., 16.
45 Ibid., 16.
46 Ibid., 17.
47 U.S. Congress, Senate, Armed Services Committee,
Operational Use of Stealth Technology During Operation Desert
Shield and Operation Desert Storm, 104th Cong., 1st Sess.,(4
June 1991): 7.
25
48 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "Stealth: A
Breakthrough Warfare Technology Briefing", Office of Secretary
of the Air Force for Acquisition, Photocopied, [1991].
49 lohn M. Loh, Gen, USAF, Conriander of Tactical Ni.
Command, Speech presented at the F-22 Engineering and
Manufacturing Development Kick-off Meeting, Arlie, Virgir.ta, HQ
TAC/SAG, Langley AFB Virginia, (8 August 1991): il-12.
50 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "ATF Decision", Po.icv
Letter, Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affair'',
(June 1991): 2.
51 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "ATF - Next Ge-zer•tion
Air Superiority Briefing", Office of Secretary of the Air Force
for Acquisition, Tactical Programs, Photocopied, [1991].
52 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "Stealth: A
Breakthrough Warfare Technology Briefing".
53 U.S. Congress, Senate, Armed Services Committee,
Strategic Air Command Assigned Forces and Programs, l(4th Cong.,
1st Sess., (23 April 1991): 10.
54 Ibid., 8.
55 U.S. Department of the Air Force, Reaching Globally,
Reaching Powerfully: The United States Air Force in the Gulf
War, 56-57.
56 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "Myths About B-2
Mission", Policy Letter, Secretary of the Air Force Office of
Public Affairs, (June 1991): 1
57 Dona.d B. Rice, Secretary of the i.ir Force, "Airpower in
the New Security Environment", 7.
58 U.S. Department of the Air Force, "Air Force Stealth
Technology Review Briefings", slide #741611.
59 U.S. Congress, Senate, Armed Services Committee,
Strategic Air Command Assigned Forces and Programs, 7.
26
BIBLIOGRAPHY
"Aerospace World." AIR FORCE MAGAZINE, 74, no. 8 (August
1991): 23.
Boyd, Charles G., Lt Gen, USAF, and Charles M. Westenhoff,
Lt Col, USAF. "Air Power Thinking: "Request
Unrestricted Climb"". AIRPOWER JOURNAL, V, no. 3
(Fall 1991): 4-15.
Cunningiiam, Jim. "Cracks in the Black Dike, Secrecy, the
Media and the F-117A". AIRPOWER JOURNAL, V, no, 3
(Fall 1991): 16-34.
Homer, Charles A. Lt Gen, USAF. "The Air Campaign".
Military Review, LXXI, no. 9 (September 1991): 16-27.
Remarks by John M. Loh, Gen, USAF. Presented to F-22
Engineering and Manufacturing Development Kick-off
Meeting, Arlie, Virginia, 8 August 1991. HQ TAC/SAG,
Langley AFB, Virginia.
Remarks by Honorable Donald B. Rice SECAF. "Airpower in the
New Security Environment". Presented to the Washington
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7 May 1991. Office of Secreta-y of the Air Force,
Pentagon.
U.S. Congress. Senate. Armed Services Committee.
Operational Use of Stealth Technology During
Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
102nd Cong., 1st Sess., 4 June 1991.
U.S. Congress. Senate. Armed Services Committee.
Strategic Air Command Assigned Forces and Programs.
102nd Cong., 1st Sess., 23 April 1991.
U.S. Department of the Air Force. Air Force Manual 1-1.
Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air
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U.S. Department of the Air Force. :r Force Manual 1-1.
Basic Aerospace Doctrine of t, - United States Air
Force. Volume 11 (Draft), September 1991.
U.S. Department of the Air Force. Air Force Performance in
Desert Storm, White Paper. April 1991.
27
U.S. Department of the Air Force. "Air Force Stealth
Technology Review Briefings". June 10-14, 1991.
Phot•, )pied.
U.S. Department of the Air Force. The Air Force and U.S.
National Security: Global Reach - Global Power, White
Paper. June 1990.
U.S. Department of the Air Force. "AIF Decision". Policy
Letter, Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public
Affairs, June 1991.
U.S. Department of the Air Force. "ATF - Next Generation
Air Superiority Briefing". Office of Secretary of the
Air Force for Acquisition, Tactical Programs, [1991).
Photocopied.
US. Department of the Air Force. "b-2 Survivability
Against Air Defense Systems". March 1990. Photocopied.
U.S. Department of the Air Force. "F-117A Program
Acquisition Briefing". Office of Secretary of the Air
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U.S. Department of the Air Force. "Low Observable
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Briefing". October 3, 1991. Photocopied.
U.S. Department of the Air Force. "Myths About B-2 Mission"
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SHIELD/Operation DESERT STORM (August 1990 - March
1991), Fact Sheet. 37th Tactical Fighter Wing Public
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!99!.
U.S. Department of the Air Force. Reaching Globally.
Reaching Powerfully: The United States Air Force
in the Gulf War, A Report. September 1991.
U.S. Department of the Air Force. "Stealth: A Breakthrough
Warfare Technology Briefing". Office of Secretary of
the Air Force for Acquisition, [1991]. Photocopied.
U.S. Department of the Air Force. Mission Employment
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Volume XVIII, I January 1991.
28
U.S. Department of the Air Force. tactical Air Command
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1991.
U.S. Departme-nt of the Air Fo'ce. "Technology in Airpower".
Current Messages for Air Force Speakers, Secretary of
the Air Force Office of Public Affairs, [June 1991].
U.S. Department of the Army. FM 100-5 Operations. May 1986.
U.S. Department of Defense. Conduct of the Persian Gulf
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U.S. Department of Defense. Defense 91. November/December
1991
29
United States General Accounting Office
GAO
Report to the Ranking Minority Member,
Committee on Commerce, House of
Representatives
J une 1997
OPERATION DESERT
STORM
Evaluation of the Air
Campaign
GAO/NSIAD-97-134
GAO
United States
General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548
National Security and
International Affairs Division
B-276599
J une 12, 1997
The Honorable J ohn D. Dingell
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Commerce
House of Representatives
Dear Mr. Dingell:
This report is the unclassified version of a classified report that we issued
in J uly 1996 on the Operation Desert Storm air campaign.
1
At your request,
the Department of Defense (DOD) reevaluated the security classification of
the original report, and as a result, about 85 percent of the material
originally determined to be classified has subsequently been determined to
be unclassified and is presented in this report. The data and findings in
this report address (1) the use and performance of aircraft, munitions, and
missiles employed during the air campaign; (2) the validity of DOD and
manufacturer claims about weapon systems’ performance, particularly
those systems utilizing advanced technology; (3) the relationship between
cost and performance of weapon systems; and (4) the extent that Desert
Storm air campaign objectives were met.
The long-standing DOD and manufacturer claims about weapon
performance can now be contrasted with some of our findings. For
example, (1) the F-117 bomb hit rate ranged between 41 and
60 percent—which is considered to be highly effective, but is still less than
the 80-percent hit rate reported after the war by DOD, the Air Force, and
the primary contractor (see pp. 125-132); (2) DOD’s initially reported
98-percent success rate for Tomahawk land attack missile launches did
not accurately reflect the system’s effectiveness (see pp. 139-143); (3) the
claim by DOD and contractors of a one-target, one-bomb capability for
laser-guided munitions was not demonstrated in the air campaign where,
on average, 11 tons of guided and 44 tons of unguided munitions were
delivered on each successfully destroyed target (with averages ranging
from 0.8 to 43.9 tons of guided and 6.7 to 152.6 tons of unguided munitions
delivered across the 12 target categories—see p. 117); and, (4) the
all-weather and adverse-weather sensors designed to identify targets and
guide weapons were either less capable than DOD reported or incapable
when employed at increasing altitudes or in the presence of clouds,
smoke, dust, or high humidity (see pp. 78-82).
1
In J uly 1996, we also issued a report entitled Operation Desert Storm: Evaluation of the Air War
(GAO/PEMD-96-10), that set forth our unclassified summary, conclusions, and recommendations.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 1
B-276599
The report also now includes analyses of associations between weapon
systems and target outcomes (see pp. 112-118); selected manufacturers’
claims about product performance in Desert Storm (see pp. 143-146); the
air campaign’s effectiveness in achieving strategic objectives (see pp.
148-159); and the costs and performance of aircraft and munitions used
during the campaign (see pp. 162-193). Although some initial claims of
accuracy and effectiveness of these weapon systems were exaggerated,
their performance led, in part, to perhaps the most successful war fought
by the United States in the 20th century. And though some claims for some
advanced systems could not be verified, their performance in combat may
well have been unprecedented.
While this report reveals findings that were not previously publicly
available, our analyses of the air campaign’s success against nuclear,
biological, and chemical (NBC) targets predates recent revelations
regarding suspected locations and confirmed releases of chemical warfare
material during and immediately after the campaign. In our report, we
indicate that available bomb damage assessments during the war
concluded that 16 of 21 sites categorized by Gulf War planners as NBC
facilities had been successfully destroyed. However, information compiled
by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) since the end of
Desert Storm reveals that the number of suspected NBC targets identified
by U.S. planners, both prior to and during the campaign, did not fully
encompass all the possible NBC targets in Iraq.
2
Thus, the number of NBC
targets discussed in the report is less than the actual suspected because
(1) target categorizations were based on the predominate activity at the
facility that may not have been NBC-related (i.e., a major air base or
conventional weapons storage depot may have contained a single
chemical or biological weapons storage bunker); (2) target categorizations
were inconsistent across agencies; and (3) the intelligence community did
not identify all NBC-related facilities.
UNSCOM has conducted investigations at a large number of facilities in Iraq,
including a majority of the facilities suspected by U.S. authorities as being
2
In the CIA Report on Intelligence Related to Gulf War Illnesses, dated 2 August 1996, the number of
sites suspected to have been connected to Iraq’s chemical warfare program alone, totaled 34 (p. 6).
UNSCOM has conducted chemical weapons-related inspections at over 60 locations and investigations
continue.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 2
B-276599
NBC-related.
3
With three exceptions, Khamisiyah, Muhammadiyat, and Al
Muthanna, UNSCOM found no evidence that chemical or biological weapons
were present during the campaign; and only at Muhammadiyat and Al
Muthana did UNSCOM find evidence that would lead them to conclude that
chemical or biological weapons were released as a result of coalition
bombing. Post-war intelligence compiled by the Central Intelligence
Agency indicates some releases of chemicals at Muhammadiyat and Al
Muthanna; however, both are in remote areas west of Baghdad, and each
is over 400 kilometers north of the Saudi Arabian border and the nearest
coalition base. Regarding the few suspected chemical weapon sites that
have not yet been inspected by UNSCOM, we have been able to determine
that each was attacked by coalition aircraft during Desert Storm and that
one site is located within the Kuwait Theater of Operations in closer
proximity to the border, where coalition ground forces were located.
4
However, we have yet to learn why these facilities have not been
investigated. We are seeking additional information on these sites.
As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents
earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 15 days from its
issue date. At that time, we will send copies to the Chairmen and Ranking
Minority Members of the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations
and their respective Subcommittees on National Security and Defense;
Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs; House Committee on
Government Reform and Oversight; and Senate and House Committees on
the Budget. We will also make copies available to others upon request.
3
UNSCOM and the International Atomic Energy Agency have had responsibility to investigate Iraq’s
NBC weapons programs since the cease-fire and the number of suspected chemical weapons-related
facilities investigated by UNSCOM far exceeds the number of sites originally suspected (or attacked)
by the United States. For example, Khamisiyah, which was first inspected by UNSCOM in
October 1991, was not identified as an NBC air campaign target during the war and, thus, is not among
the 21 NBC sites evaluated in our report.
4
The Kuwait Theater of Operations is generally defined as Kuwait and Iraq below 31 degrees north
latitude.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 3
B-276599
This report was prepared under the direction of Kwai-Cheung Chan,
Director, Special Studies and Evaluation, who may be reached on
(202) 512-3092 if you or your staff have any questions. Other major
contributors are listed in appendix XIII.
Sincerely yours,
Henry L. Hinton, J r.
Assistant Comptroller General
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 4
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 5
Contents
Letter
1
Original Letter
14
Appendix I
Scope and
Methodology
44
Scope 44
Methodology 45
Strengths and Limitations 58
Appendix II
The Use of Aircraft
and Munitions in the
Air Campaign
60
Operating Conditions: Time, Environment, and Enemy Capability 60
Air-to-Ground Weapon Systems: Planned Versus Actual Use 64
Combat Operations Support 82
Aircraft Survivability 92
Summary 107
Appendix III
Aircraft and Munition
Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
110
Effectiveness Data Availability 111
Associations Between Weapon Systems and Outcomes 112
Target Accuracy and Effectiveness as a Function of Aircraft and
Munition Type
118
LGB Accuracy 122
F-117 Effectiveness Claims 125
TLAM Effectiveness Claims 139
Weapon System Manufacturers’ Claims 143
Air Campaign Effectiveness Against Mobile Targets 146
Air Campaign Effectiveness in Achieving Strategic Objectives 148
Summary 159
Appendix IV
Cost and Performance
of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert
Storm
162
Cost and Performance of Aircraft 162
Cost and Effectiveness of Munitions 177
Summary 192
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 6
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Appendix V
Operation Desert
Storm Objectives
194
Desert Storm Campaign Objectives 194
Discussion 200
Summary 203
Appendix VI
Basic Structure of the
Iraqi Integrated Air
Defense System
205
Evidence on IADS Capabilities 205
Appendix VII
Pre-Desert Storm
Missions and Actual
Use
207
Appendix VIII
Weight of Effort and
Type of Effort
Analysis
210
WOE Platform Comparisons 210
TOE Platform Comparisons 217
Appendix IX
Target Sensor
Technologies
221
Radar 221
Electro-optical 221
Infrared 221
Other Sensor Systems 221
Appendix X
Combat Support
Platforms
223
Reconnaissance Platforms 223
Surveillance Platforms 223
Electronic Combat Platforms 223
ABCCC 224
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Appendix XI
The Experience of
F-16s and F-117s at
the Baghdad Nuclear
Research Facility
225
Appendix XII
Comments From the
Department of
Defense
227
Appendix XIII
Major Contributors to
This Report
233
Glossary
234
Tables
Table 1: Manufacturers’ Statements About Product Performance
Compared to Our Findings
26
Table I.1: Twelve Strategic Target Categories in the Desert Storm
Air Campaign
45
Table I.2: Organizations We Contacted and Their Locations 47
Table I.3: AIF Target Categories and Target Types 49
Table I.4: Definition of Composite Variables for WOE and TOE
Measures
52
Table I.5: Examples of Phase III BDA and Our FS or NFS
Assessments
57
Table II.1: Air-to-Ground Combat Mission Categories Attributed
to Selected Aircraft Before Desert Storm Versus Those Actually
Performed
65
Table II.2: Number and Percent of Coalition “Shooter” Aircraft 75
Table II.3: Coverage of Strategic Target Categories, by Aircraft
Type
77
Table II.4: BE-Numbered Targets Assigned Exclusively to One
Type of Aircraft
78
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Table II.5: Official Public Descriptions of the Prewar and Desert
Storm Capabilities of Air-to-Ground Aircraft Sensors
79
Table II.6: Percent of Total Known Refueling Events for Selected
Air-to-Ground Platforms
84
Table II.7: Type of Coalition Aircraft Lost or Damaged and
Attributed Cause
94
Table II.8: Desert Storm Aircraft Casualty Rates 100
Table II.9: Aircraft Casualties in Day and Night 101
Table II.10: Number and Location of Iraqi SAM Batteries 102
Table III.1: Number of Targets Assessed as Fully Successful and
Not Fully Successful by Platform
113
Table III.2: Number of FS and NFS Targets by Platform and
Target Type
114
Table III.3: Average Guided and Unguided Tonnage Per BE by
Outcome by Category
117
Table III.4: F-117 and F-111F Strike Results on 49 Common
Targets
119
Table III.5: F-117 and F-111F Strike Results on 22 Common
Targets With GBU-10 and GBU-12 LGBs
120
Table III.6: Outcomes for Targets Attacked With Only MK-84
Unguided Bombs
121
Table III.7: Outcomes for Targets Attacked With Only MK-84s
Delivered by F-16s and F/A-18s
121
Table III.8: List of DMPIs and Identifying Information 123
Table III.9: Reported F-117 Hits Lacking Corroborating Support
or in Conflict With Other Available Data
128
Table III.10: Examples of Remarks Indicating Nonsupporting
Video
129
Table III.11: Examples of Remarks in Conflict With Reported Hits 130
Table III.12: Failures That Prevented Bombs From Being Dropped
on F-117 Primary Strikes
132
Table III.13: 37th TFW Data on Bombs Dropped by F-117s During
the First 24 Hours
134
Table III.14: F-117 Hit Rate on Strategic Integrated Air Defense
Targets on the First Night
136
Table III.15: TLAM Performance in Desert Storm 142
Table III.16: Manufacturers’ Statements About Product
Performance Compared to GAO Findings
144
Table III.17: Targets Categorized as Fully Successfully Destroyed
and Not Fully Successfully Destroyed
149
Table III.18: Desert Storm Achievement of Key Objectives 150
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Table IV.1: Cost and Performance of Major U.S. and U.K. Desert
Storm Air-to-Ground Aircraft and TLAM
166
Table IV.2: Desert Shield and Desert Storm Air-Related Ordnance
Expenditures by U.S. Forces
178
Table IV.3: Relative Strengths and Limitations of Guided and
Unguided Munitions in Desert Storm
179
Table IV.4: Unit Cost and Expenditure of Selected Guided and
Unguided Munitions in Desert Storm
181
Table IV.5: Number and Cost of Munitions Expended by Target
Category and Success Rating
183
Table IV.6: Munition Costs Associated With Successfully and Not
Fully Successfully Destroyed Targets
186
Table IV.7: Number and Cost of Munitions Used in Naval Air
Attacks on 13 Bridges in Desert Storm
189
Table IV.8: Munitions Costs to Attack 24 Bridges in Desert Storm 190
Table V.1: Desert Storm Theater Objectives and Phases 197
Table V.2: Operational Strategic Summary of the Air Campaign 199
Table V.3: Target Growth, by Category, From the Initial Instant
Thunder Plan to J anuary 15, 1991
201
Table V.4: Number and Percent of Inventory of U.S.
Air-to-Ground Aircraft Deployed to Desert Storm
203
Table XI.1: Number of Days, Total Aircraft, and Total Bombs
Employed Against the Baghdad Nuclear Research Center During
Desert Storm
225
Figures
Figure II.1: BE-Numbered Targets Assigned to Aircraft 68
Figure II.2: Percent of Day and Night Strikes for Selected Aircraft 71
Figure II.3: Strike Support Missions by Week 87
Figure II.4: “ The Value of Stealth” 89
Figure II.5: Combat Aircraft Casualties From Radar SAMS 97
Figure II.6: Daytime Combat Aircraft Casualties From All Threats 98
Figure II.7: Radar-Guided SAM Locations in the Baghdad Area 103
Figure II.8: AAA Deployment in Iraq 105
Figure III.1: Paveway III LGBs Delivered Against Selected Point
Targets
124
Figure VI.1: The Iraqi Air Defense Network 205
Figure VIII.1: Target Category Strikes, by Platform 211
Figure VIII.2: Target Category Strikes, by Platform, Excluding
KBX Targets
212
Figure VIII.3: Bombs Delivered, by Platform 213
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Figure VIII.4: Bombs Delivered, by Platform, Excluding KBX
Targets
214
Figure VIII.5: Bomb Tonnage Delivered, by Platform 215
Figure VIII.6: Bomb Tonnage Delivered, by Platform, Excluding
KBX Targets
216
Figure VIII.7: PGM Tonnage Delivered, by Platform 218
Figure VIII.8: Unguided Tonnage Delivered, by Platform 219
Figure VIII.9: Unguided Tonnage Delivered, by Platform,
Excluding KBX Targets
220
Abbreviations
AAA antiaircraft artillery
ABCCC airborne battlefield command, control, and
communications
AC aircraft
ACTD Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration
ADOC air defense operation center
AI air interdiction
AIF automated intelligence file
ALCM air-launched cruise missile
AOB air order of battle
APC armored personnel carrier
ATO air tasking order
ATODAY air tasking order day
AWACS airborne warning and control system
BDA battle damage assessment
BE basic encyclopedia
BUR Bottom-Up Review
C
2
command and control
C
3
, CCC command, control, and communications
CALCM conventional air-launched cruise missile
CAP combat air patrol
CAS close air support
CBU cluster bomb unit
CENTAF Air Force Component, Central Command
CENTCOM Central Command
CEP circular error probable
CIA Central Intelligence Agency
CINC commander in chief
CNA Center for Naval Analyses
COG center of gravity
CSAR combat search and rescue
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Contents
CW continuous wave
D-day first day of Operation Desert Storm (17 J anuary 1991)
DAISUM daily intelligence summary
DAWMS Deep Attack/Weapons Mix Study
DCA defensive counterair
DIA Defense Intelligence Agency
DLIR downward-looking infrared
DMA Defense Mapping Agency
DMPI desired mean point of impact
DOD Department of Defense
DS Desert Storm
DSCS Defense Satellite Communication System
DSMAC Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator
ELE electrical facilities
EO electro-optical
EW electronic warfare
FLIR forward-looking infrared
FOV field of view
FS fully successful
FSTC Foreign Science and Technology Center
G-day first day of the ground campaign (24 February 1991)
GBU guided-bomb unit
GOB ground order of battle
GPS global positioning system
GVC government centers
GWAPS Gulf War Air Power Survey
HARM high-speed anti-radiation missile
IADS integrated air defense system
IDA Institute for Defense Analyses
IFF identification of friend or foe
IOC intercept operations center
IR infrared
J CS J oint Chiefs of Staff
J EWC J oint Electronic Warfare Center
J MEM J oint Munitions Effectiveness Manual
J MO joint maritime operations
J STARS J oint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System
KBX kill box
KTO Kuwait theater of operations
LANTIRN low-altitude navigation and targeting infrared for night
LGB laser-guided bomb
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LOC lines of communication
MAP Master Attack Plan
MIB military industrial base
MTL Master Target List
NAV naval
NBC nuclear, biological, and chemical
NFS not fully successful
NMAC near midair collision
OCA offensive counterair
OIL oil refining, storage, and distribution
OPORD operation order
PD probability of destruction
PGM precision-guided munition
P(k) probability of kill
POL petroleum, oil, and lubricants
PWD programmed warhead detonation
RCS radar cross-section
RG Republican Guard
RGFC Republican Guard Forces Command
RP reporting post
SAD strategic air defense
SAM surface-to-air missile
SCAP surface combat air patrol
SCU Scud missile
SEAD suppression of enemy air defenses
SOC sector operations center
SOF special operations forces
SPEAR Strike Projection Evaluation and Anti-Air Research
SSPH single-shot probability of hit
TALD tactical air-launched decoy
TERCOM Terrain Contour Matching
TFW tactical fighter wing
TLAM Tomahawk land attack missile
TOE type of effort
TOT time on target
TRAM target recognition and attack multisensor
USAF U.S. Air Force
WOE weight of effort
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GAO
United States
General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548
Program Evaluation and
Methodology Division
B-260509
J uly 2, 1996
The Honorable David Pryor
Committee on Governmental Affairs
United States Senate
The Honorable J ohn D. Dingell
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Commerce
House of Representatives
This report responds to your request that we comprehensively evaluate the
use and effectiveness of the various aircraft, munitions, and other weapon
systems used in the victorious air campaign in Operation Desert Storm in
order to aid the Congress in future procurement decisions.
Over 5 years ago, the United States and its coalition allies successfully
forced Iraq out of Kuwait. The performance of aircraft and their munitions,
cruise missiles, and other air campaign systems in Desert Storm continues
to be relevant today as the basis for significant procurement and force
sizing decisions. For example, the Department of Defense (DOD) Report on
the Bottom-Up Review (BUR) explicitly cited the effectiveness of advanced
weapons used in Desert Storm—including laser-guided bombs (LGB) and
stealth aircraft—as shaping the BUR recommendations on weapons
procurement.
1
Background
Operation Desert Storm was primarily a sustained 43-day air campaign by
the United States and its allies against Iraq between J anuary 17, 1991, and
February 28, 1991. It was the first large employment of U.S. air power
since the Vietnam war, and by some measures (particularly the low
number of U.S. casualties and the short duration of the campaign), it was
perhaps the most successful war fought by the United States in the 20th
century. The main ground campaign occupied only the final 100 hours of
the war.
The air campaign involved nearly every type of fixed-wing aircraft in the
U.S. inventory, flying about 40,000 air-to-ground and 50,000 support
sorties.
2
Approximately 1,600 U.S. combat aircraft were deployed by the
end of the war. By historical standards, the intensity of the air campaign
1
Department of Defense, Report on the Bottom-Up Review (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 1993), p. 18.
2
Support sorties comprised missions such as refueling, electronic jamming, and combat air patrol.
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was substantial. The U.S. bomb tonnage dropped per day was equivalent
to 85 percent of the average daily bomb tonnage dropped by the United
States on Germany and J apan during the course of World War II.
Operation Desert Storm provided a valuable opportunity to assess the
performance of U.S. combat aircraft and munitions systems under actual
combat conditions. Unlike operational tests or small-scale hostilities, the
air campaign involved a very large number of conventional systems from
all four services used in tandem, which permits potentially meaningful
cross-system comparisons. The combat data in this report can be seen as
an extension of the performance data generated by DOD’s operational test
and evaluation programs that we have previously reviewed.
3
Objectives, Scope,
Methodology
To respond to your questions about the effectiveness of the air campaign;
the performance of individual weapon systems; the accuracy of contractor
claims, particularly in regard to stealth technology and the F-117; and the
relationship between the cost of weapon systems and their performance
and contributions to the success of the air campaign, we established the
following report objectives.
1. Determine the use, performance, and effectiveness of individual weapon
systems in pursuit of Desert Storm’s objectives and, in particular, the
extent to which the data from the conflict support the claims that DOD and
weapon contractors have made about weapon system performance.
2. Describe the relationship between cost and performance for the weapon
systems employed.
3. Identify the degree to which the goals of Desert Storm were achieved by
air power.
4. Identify the key factors aiding or inhibiting the effectiveness of air
power.
5. Identify the contributions and limitations of advanced technologies to
the accomplishments of the air campaign.
3
See Weapons Acquisition: Low-Rate Initial Production Used to Buy Weapon Systems Prematurely
(GAO/NSIAD-95-18, Nov. 21, 1994); Weapons Acquisition: A Rare Opportunity for Lasting Change
(GAO/NSIAD-93-15, Dec. 1992); Weapons Testing: Quality of DOD Operational Testing and Reporting
(GAO/PEMD-88-32BR, J uly 26, 1988); Live Fire Testing: Evaluating DOD’s Programs
(GAO/PEMD-87-17, Aug. 17, 1987); and How Well Do the Military Services Perform J ointly in Combat?
DOD’s J oint Test and Evaluation Program Provides Few Credible Answers (GAO/PEMD-84-3, Feb. 22,
1984).
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6. Determine whether the unique conditions of Desert Storm limit the
lessons learned.
We compared the performance of nine fixed-wing air-to-ground aircraft
and assessed several major guided and unguided bombs and missiles used
in the war, including Tomahawk land attack (cruise) missiles (TLAM),
laser-guided bombs (LGB), Maverick missiles, and unitary unguided bombs.
4
The primary focus of our analysis was on the use of these weapon
systems in missions against targets that war planners had identified as
strategic.
5
Historically, studies of air power have articulated differing points of view
on the relative merits of focusing air attacks on targets deemed to be
strategic (such as government leadership, military industry, and electrical
generation) and focusing them on tactical targets (such as frontline armor
and artillery). These contending points of view have been debated in many
official and unofficial sources.
6
In this study, we did not directly address
this debate because data and other limitations (discussed below) did not
permit a rigorous analysis of whether attacks against strategic targets
contributed more to the success of Desert Storm than attacks against
tactical targets.
A primary goal of our work was to cross-validate the best available data on
aircraft and weapon system performance, both qualitative and
quantitative, to test for consistency, accuracy, and reliability. We collected
and analyzed data from a broad range of sources, including the major DOD
databases that document the strike histories of the war and cumulative
damage to targets; numerous after-action and lessons-learned reports from
military units that participated in the war; intelligence reports; analyses
performed by DOD contractors; historical accounts of the war from the
media and other published literature; and interviews with participants,
4
The aircraft included the A-6E, A-10, B-52, F-16, F-15E, F/A-18, F-111F, and F-117 from the U.S. air
forces, as well as the British GR-1. The AV-8B, A-7, and B-1B were not included. Both the AV-8B and
the A-7 were excluded because of their relatively few strikes against strategic targets. The B-1B did not
participate in the campaign because munitions limitations, engine problems, inadequate crew training,
and electronic warfare deficiencies severely hampered its conventional capabilities.
5
Campaign planners categorized all strategic targets into 1 of 12 target sets: command, control, and
communication (C
3
); electrical (ELE); government centers or leadership (GVC); lines of
communication (LOC); military industrial base (MIB); naval (NAV); nuclear, biological, and chemical
(NBC); offensive counterair (OCA); oil refining, storage, and distribution (OIL); Republican Guard
(RG) or ground order of battle (GOB); surface-to-air missile (SAM); and Scud missile (SCU).
6
Examples include Edward C. Mann, III, Thunder and Lightning (Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.: Air
University Press, Apr. 1995); J ohn A. Warden, III, The Air Campaign (Washington, D.C.:
Pergamon-Brassey’s, 1989); and Richard T. Reynolds, Heart of the Storm: The Genesis of the Air
Campaign Against Iraq (Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.: Air University Press, Apr. 1995).
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 16
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including more than 100 Desert Storm pilots and key individuals in the
planning and execution of the war.
7
And after we collected and analyzed
the air campaign information, we interviewed DOD, J oint Chiefs of Staff
(J CS), and service representatives and reviewed plans for the acquisition
and use of weapon systems in future campaigns to observe how the
lessons learned from Desert Storm have been applied.
To compare the nature and magnitude of the power that Operation Desert
Storm employed against strategic targets to the nature of outcomes, we
analyzed two databases—the “Missions” database generated by the Air
Force’s Gulf War Air Power Survey (GWAPS) research group to assess
inputs and the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) phase III battle damage
assessment (BDA) reports to assess outcomes. While this methodology has
limitations, no other study of Desert Storm has produced the
target-specific, input-outcome data that can be derived by merging these
databases.
The data we analyzed in this report constitute the best information
collected during the war.
8
We focused our analyses on data available to
commanders during the war—information they used to execute the air
campaign. These data also provided the basis for many of the postwar DOD
and manufacturer assessments of aircraft and weapon system
performance during Desert Storm.
9
Data Limitations
The best available data did not permit us to either (1) make a
comprehensive system-by-system quantitative comparison of aircraft and
weapon effectiveness or (2) validate some of the key performance claims
for certain weapon systems from the war. However, we were able to
compare aircraft and munition performance in Desert Storm using a
combination of quantitative and qualitative data. There are major
7
We interviewed pilots representing each type of aircraft evaluated, with the exception of British
Tornados. The British government denied our requests to interview British pilots who had flown in
Desert Storm.
8
We also sought data and analyses collected and conducted after the war. We used these data to check
the reliability and validity of information collected earlier.
9
Constraints in the reliability and completeness of some important portions of the data imposed
limitations on our analysis of the air campaign. For example, relating specific types of aircraft or
munitions to target outcomes was problematic because BDA reports provided a comprehensive
compilation of damage on strategic targets at given times during the campaign—not necessarily after
each strike against the targets. Therefore, we balanced data limitations, to the extent possible, through
qualitative analyses of systems, based on the diverse sources cited above. For example, we compared
claims made for system performance and contributions to what was supportable given all the available
data, both quantitative and qualitative. (See app. I for additional information on the study methodology
and the strengths and limitations of the data.)
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limitations in the available data pertaining to the effects of aircraft and
munitions on targets. At the same time, DOD successfully collected a large
amount of data across a wide range of issues, including weapon use,
aircraft survivability, sortie rates, and support needs. With the caveats
stated above, these data permitted us to analyze aircraft and weapon
system performance, performance claims, and the effectiveness of air
power.
10
Results in Brief
Air power clearly achieved many of Desert Storm’s objectives but fell
short of fully achieving others.
11
The available quantitative and qualitative
data indicate that air power damage to several major target sets was more
limited than DOD’s title V report to the Congress stated.
12
These data show
clear success against the oil and electrical target categories but less
success against Iraqi air defense; command, control, and communications,
and lines of communication. Success against nuclear-related, mobile Scud,
and RG targets was the least measurable.
The lessons that can be learned from Desert Storm are limited because of
the unique conditions, the strike tactics employed by the coalition, the
limited Iraqi response, and limited data on weapon system effectiveness.
The terrain and climate were generally conducive to air strikes, and the
coalition had nearly 6 months to deploy, train, and prepare. The strong
likelihood of campaign success enabled U.S. commanders to favor strike
tactics that maximized aircraft and pilot survivability rather than weapon
system effectiveness. In addition, the Iraqis employed few, if any,
electronic countermeasures and presented almost no air-to-air opposition.
As a result, Desert Storm did not consistently or rigorously test all the
performance parameters of aircraft and weapon systems used in the air
10
See appendix I for an expanded discussion of our methodology. Appendixes II through XI present the
analyses in support of our findings. A description of aircraft and munition use is presented in
appendix II. Appendix III discusses aircraft and munition performance and effectiveness. Cost and
performance of aircraft and munitions are analyzed in appendix IV. The development of air campaign
objectives and the Iraqi air defense system are described in appendixes V and VI, respectively.
Appendix VII compares the design mission of aircraft with their actual use, while the weight and types
of effort expended are summarized in appendix VIII. Supplementary information on target sensor
technologies and combat support platforms are presented in appendixes IX and X. Finally, an
examination of the employment of the F-16 and F-117 against the Baghdad Nuclear Research Facility is
presented in appendix XI.
11
The initial objectives of the strategic air campaign were to (1) disrupt the Iraqi leadership and
command and control; (2) achieve air supremacy; (3) cut supply lines; (4) destroy Iraq’s nuclear,
biological, and chemical capability; and (5) destroy the Republican Guard. Destroying Scud missiles
and mobile launchers became a priority early in the air campaign.
12
Department of Defense, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, Final Report to Congress Pursuant to
Title V of the Persian Gulf Conflict Supplemental Authorization and Personnel Benefits Act of 1991
(P.L. 102-25), April 1992.
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campaign. Moreover, as we noted above, data are not available to fully
assess the relative or absolute effectiveness of aircraft and weapon
systems in the war. This combination of factors limits the lessons of the
war that can be reasonably applied to future contingencies.
Many of DOD’s and manufacturers’ postwar claims about weapon system
performance—particularly the F-117, TLAM, and laser-guided bombs—were
overstated, misleading, inconsistent with the best available data, or
unverifiable.
Aircraft and pilot losses were historically low, partly owing to the use of
medium- to high-altitude munition delivery tactics that nonetheless both
reduced the accuracy of guided and unguided munitions and hindered
target identification and acquisition, because of clouds, dust, smoke, and
high humidity. Air power was inhibited by the limited ability of aircraft
sensors to identify and acquire targets, the failure to gather intelligence on
critical targets, and the inability to collect and disseminate BDA in a timely
manner. Similarly, the contributions of guided weaponry incorporating
advanced technologies and their delivery platforms were limited because
the cooperative operating conditions they require were not consistently
encountered.
DOD did not prominently emphasize a variety of systems as factors in the
success of the air campaign. The important contributions of stealth and
laser-guided bombs were emphasized as was the need for more and better
BDA; less attention was paid to the significant contributions of
less-sophisticated systems and the performance of critical tasks such as
the identification and acquisition of targets. For example, more than is
generally understood, the air campaign was aided by relatively older and
less technologically advanced weapon systems and combat support
aircraft, such as unguided bombs, the B-52, the A-10, refueling tankers, and
electronic jammer aircraft. There was no apparent link between the cost of
aircraft and munitions, whether high or low, and their performance in
Desert Storm.
After our analysis of the air campaign, we performed a review of the
actions taken by DOD to address the lessons learned from our findings.
While we found that several lessons were being addressed by DOD, we also
found that others have not been. The lessons that have not been fully or
appropriately addressed are the subject of three recommendations at the
conclusion of this letter.
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Principal Findings
Use, Performance, and
Effectiveness of Aircraft
and Weapon Systems
Aircraft and Weapon Systems
Used as Designed
In general, the actual use of aircraft and weapon systems in the conflict
was consistent with their stated prewar capabilities. (App. II compares in
detail the combat mission categories attributed to each aircraft before
Desert Storm and those actually performed during the campaign.) Most
targets were attacked by several types of aircraft or weapon systems.
However, from strike data and pilot interviews, we did find that certain
aircraft were somewhat preferred in certain target categories. The F-117
was the preferred platform against fixed, often high-value C
3
, leadership,
and NBC targets; against naval targets, the A-6E and F/A-18 were preferred;
and against fixed Scud missile targets, the F-15E. (The distribution of
strikes by each type of aircraft across each of the strategic target
categories is discussed in app. II.)
Support aircraft, including refueling tankers, airborne
intelligence-gathering aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft, and strike support
aircraft like the F-4G, F-15C, EF-111, and EA-6B flew more than 50,000
sorties and were instrumental in the successful execution of the air
campaign. Each type of strike aircraft, conventional and stealthy, received
support—such as jamming and refueling—although not necessarily on
each mission. (See app. II for a discussion of the support provided to both
conventional and stealth aircraft.)
Aircraft Survivability Enhanced
by Tactics
The aircraft casualty rate (that is, aircraft DOD identified as lost to Iraqi
action or damaged in combat) for the aircraft we reviewed was 1.7 aircraft
per 1,000 strikes. This rate was very low compared to planners’
expectations and historic experience. The combination in the first week of
the war of a ban on low-level deliveries for most aircraft and a successful
effort to suppress enemy air defenses (SEAD) that greatly degraded radar
surface-to-air (SAM) missiles and the Iraqi integrated air defense system
(IADS) resulted in a reduction in the average number of aircraft casualties
per day from 6.2 during the first 5 days to about 1.5 for the remaining
38 days of the campaign. If the aircraft combat casualty rate for the first
5 days had continued throughout the war, a total of about 267 coalition
aircraft would have been casualties. Avoiding low altitudes, 48 aircraft
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were actually damaged in combat during the entire war, and an additional
38 were combat losses.
The attrition rate (including both loss and damage) of all combat aircraft
was especially low when they flew at medium and high altitudes and at
night. For example, only one-third of the Air Force casualties occurred
above 12,000 feet, and only one-quarter of the coalition aircraft casualties
occurred at night. The attrition rate at low altitudes was notably higher
because of the continuing presence of antiaircraft artillery (AAA) and
portable infrared (IR) SAMs—systems that are also generally less effective
at night. Nonetheless, AAA and IR SAMs, perceived before the campaign to be
lesser threats than radar-guided SAMs, were responsible for four times
more casualties than radar SAMs. (See app. II for additional information
and analysis on aircraft losses and damage.)
One of the stated advantages of stealth technology is that it enhances
survivability, and in Desert Storm, the stealthy F-117 was the only aircraft
type to incur neither losses nor damage. However, these aircraft recorded
fewer sorties than any other air-to-ground platform and flew exclusively at
night and at medium altitudes—an operating environment in which the
fewest casualties occurred among all types of aircraft.
13
Moreover, given
the overall casualty rate of 1.7 per 1,000 strikes, the most probable number
of losses for any aircraft, stealthy or conventional, flying the same number
of missions as the F-117 would have been zero. (See app. II for more
information on the tactics and support used by F-117s to minimize their
exposure to air defense threats.)
Guided and Unguided
Munitions Revealed Strengths
and Weaknesses
While higher altitude deliveries clearly reduced aircraft casualties, they
also caused target location and identification problems for guided
munitions and exposed unguided bombs to uncontrollable factors such as
wind. Medium- and high-altitude tactics also increased the exposure of
aircraft to clouds, haze, smoke, and high humidity, thereby impeding IR
and electro-optical (EO) sensors and laser designators for LGBs. These
higher altitude tactics also reduced target sensor resolution and the ability
of pilots to discern the precise nature of some of the targets they were
attacking. While pilots and planners reported that unguided bombs were
substantially less accurate and target discrimination problems were
sometimes severe, these unguided bombs were employed with radar
against area targets in poor weather.
13
For example, nonstealthy aircraft, such as the F-111F and F-16, also suffered no losses when
operating at night, and the A-10s experienced neither damage nor losses at night. Each of these three
aircraft types flew at least as many night strikes as the F-117.
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Our interviews with pilots also revealed a mix of concerns about
survivability with guided and unguided munitions. Pilots pointed out that
in some circumstances, guided munitions permitted the aircraft to “stand
off” at relatively long distances from targets and their defenses, which was
not possible with unguided munitions, while retaining accuracy.
[DELETED] (See apps. II and IV for more pilot views on the use of guided
and unguided munitions.)
Guided bombs were the weapon of choice against small, point targets,
such as reinforced bunkers, hardened aircraft shelters, and armored
vehicles. However, from high altitude, unguided bombs were the weapon
of choice against area targets, such as ammunition storage facilities and
ground troop emplacements. In addition, pilots, especially of the F-16,
remarked to us that they believed their high-altitude unguided bomb
deliveries were ineffective against point targets such as tanks.
Over the course of the campaign, the overall ratio of guided-to-unguided
munitions delivered (1 to 19) did not significantly change from week to
week. This and other data—such as interviews with campaign planners
and pilots—indicate that there was no discovery of a systematic failure of
either type of munition or any broad effort to change from one type of
munition to another. (Patterns of munition use are discussed in app. II.)
Aircraft and Munition
Effectiveness Measures
Developed
Despite data limitations in some instances, sufficient data were generated
to permit a limited analysis of the relative effectiveness of aircraft and
munitions. We developed a surrogate effectiveness measure by calculating
the ratio of fully successful (FS) to not fully successful (NFS) target
outcomes for the set of strategic targets attacked by each type of weapon
system.
14
By comparing these ratios, we found that effectiveness varied by
type of aircraft and by type of target category attacked. For example, the
F-111F participated in a higher ratio of FS versus NFS (3.2:1) than any other
aircraft type. The F-117 and the F-16 performed next best and at about the
same ratio (1.4:1 and 1.5:1, respectively), and the F-15E and the A-6E both
participated in about the same number of successfully attacked targets as
14
Using intelligence gathered during the war from multiple sources, DIA conducted BDA on 357 of the
862 strategic targets in the GWAPS Missions database. We categorized the outcomes for these 357
strategic targets as being either fully successful or not fully successful. We classified a target outcome
as FS if the last BDA report on that target stated that the target objective had been met and a restrike
was not necessary. We classified all other target outcomes as NFS. DIA produced BDA during the war
at the request of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). Thus, although the representativeness of the
targets assessed by DIA is unknowable, these 357 do represent the set of targets of greatest interest to
the commanders in the theater. (See app. I for a more detailed discussion of our BDA classification
methodology.)
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not fully successfully attacked (1.0:1 and 1.1:1 respectively).
15
Only the
B-52 and the F/A-18 participated in more NFS target outcomes than FS (with
ratios of 0.7:1 and 0.8:1, respectively). Data were not available for the A-10.
The effectiveness of aircraft and munitions in aggregate varied among the
strategic target sets.
16
While the attainment of strategic objectives is
determined by more than the achievement of individual target objectives,
the compilation of individual target objectives achieved was one tool used
by commanders during the war to direct the campaign. Among strategic
targets for which BDA were available, the percent of targets where
objectives were successfully met ranged from a high of 76 percent among
(known) nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) targets to a low of
25 percent among fixed Scud-related strategic targets.
17
No consistent pattern indicated that the key to success in target outcomes
was the use of either guided or unguided munitions. On average, targets
where objectives were successfully achieved received more guided and
fewer unguided munitions than targets where objectives were not
determined to have been fully achieved. In comparing the use of guided
munitions to unguided munitions, on average, approximately 11 tons of
guided munitions were delivered against FS targets and over 9 tons were
released against NFS targets. Fewer unguided munitions were used against
FS targets (44 tons) than NFS (54 tons). However, neither pattern held
across all target categories. In four target categories, NFS targets received
more tons of guided munitions than successful ones, and in six categories,
successful targets received more unguided munitions than the NFS ones.
(Our complete analysis of air campaign inputs [that is, numbers and types
of aircraft and munitions] and target outcomes [that is, successfully or not
fully successfully met target objectives] is presented in app. III.)
Some DOD and Contractor
Claims Overstated
As requested, we analyzed numerous Desert Storm performance claims
and found from the available data that DOD, individual military services,
and manufacturers apparently overstated the Desert Storm performance of
certain aircraft and weapon systems that used advanced technologies. We
15
Although the F-111F participated in the highest ratio of FS to NFS target outcomes, the F-117
participated in the highest number of successful outcomes. The F-117 participated in 122 FS outcomes
(as well as 87 NFS); the next 2 aircraft with the highest participation in successful outcomes were the
F-16, with 67 (and 45 NFS), and the F-111F, with 41 (and 13 NFS).
16
The number of targets in each strategic target set where the target objectives had been successfully
met was used as a measure of the effectiveness of aircraft and munitions in the aggregate. Whether a
target objective had been met was determined from the final DIA phase III BDA report written on a
target during the campaign.
17
Less than 15 percent of the nuclear-related facilities were identified before the end of the air
campaign.
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found justification in several instances for the congressional concern that
some contractor claims may have been overstated. For example, some key
claims concerning the F-117, the TLAM, and LGBs, among other advanced
systems, were either misleading, inconsistent with available data, or
unverifiable because of the absence of data.
F-117s. DOD’s title V report stated that 80 percent of the bombs dropped by
F-117s hit their target—an accuracy rate characterized by its primary
contractor, Lockheed, as “unprecedented.” However, in Desert Storm,
(1) approximately one-third of the reported F-117 hits either lacked
corroborating support or were in conflict with other available data; (2) the
probability of bomb release for a scheduled F-117 mission was only
75 percent; and (3) for these reasons and because of uncertainty in the
data, the probability of a target’s being hit from a planned F-117 strike in
Desert Storm ranged between 41 and 60 percent.
18
Similarly, (1) F-117s
were not the only aircraft tasked to targets in and around Baghdad where
the defenses were characterized as especially intense, (2) F-117s were
neither as effective on the first night of the war as claimed nor solely
responsible for the collapse of the Iraqi IADS in the initial hours of the
campaign, (3) F-117s did not achieve surprise every night of the campaign,
and (4) F-117s occasionally benefited from jammer support aircraft.
(Analyses of F-117 bomb hit data are presented in app. III; the ability of
F-117 stealth fighters to achieve tactical surprise is discussed in app. II.)
TLAMs. While TLAMs possess an important characteristic distinct from any
aircraft in that they risk no pilot in attacking a target, they can be
compared to aircraft on measures such as accuracy and survivability.
Their accuracy was less than has been implied. The DOD title V report
stated that the “launching system success rate was 98 percent.” However,
this claim is misleading because it implies accuracy that was not realized
in Desert Storm. Data compiled by the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA)
and DIA in a joint study revealed that only [DELETED] percent of the TLAMs
arrived over their intended target area, and only [DELETED] percent
actually hit or damaged the intended aimpoint.
19
From [DELETED] TLAMs
were apparently lost to defenses or to system navigation flaws. Thus, the
18
A planned strike is the tasking of one or more bombs against a specific aimpoint or target on a
scheduled F-117 mission as recorded in the official 37th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) Desert Storm
database.
19
This analysis addresses TLAM C and D-I models only; data on the D-II model were excluded because
of classification issues.
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TLAMs experienced an en route loss rate as high as [DELETED] percent.
20
(See app. III for a more detailed analysis of TLAM performance.)
LGBs. The manufacturer of the most advanced LGB guidance system
(Paveway III) claimed that it has a “one target, one bomb” capability. DOD
officials adopted the phraseology to demonstrate the value of advanced
technology in Desert Storm. We sampled Paveway III LGB targets and
found that the “one target, one bomb” claim could not be validated, as no
fewer than two LGBs were dropped on each target. Six or more were
dropped on 20 percent of the targets, eight or more were dropped on
15 percent of the targets, and the overall average dropped was four LGBs
per target. And larger numbers of Paveway III and other LGB types were
dropped on other targets. Moreover, as noted earlier, an average of
approximately 11 tons of guided munitions—most of them LGBs—were
used against targets that DIA’s phase III BDA messages showed were
successfully attacked. This notwithstanding, the number of LGBs required
for point targets was clearly less than the number of unguided munitions
needed in this and previous wars, especially from medium and high
altitudes. (See app. III for our analysis of the “one target, one bomb”
claim.)
Table 1 shows some of the discrepancies between the claims and
characterizations of manufacturers to the Congress and the public about
the actual and expected performance of weapon systems in combat and
what the data from Desert Storm support. (App. III contains additional
examples of discrepancies between manufacturers’ claims and our
assessment of weapon system performance in Desert Storm.)
20
Beyond TLAM’s [DELETED]-percent miss rate against intended targets, it demonstrated additional
problems. The relatively flat, featureless, desert terrain in the theater made it difficult for the Defense
Mapping Agency (DMA) to produce usable Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) ingress routes, and
TLAM demonstrated limitations in range, mission planning, lethality, and effectiveness against hard
targets and targets capable of mobility. Since the war, the Navy has developed a Block III variant of the
TLAM. Its improvements include the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) in TLAM’s guidance
system. With GPS, TLAM route planning is not constrained by terrain features, and mission planning
time is reduced. However, some experts have expressed the concern that GPS guidance may be
vulnerable to jamming. Thus, until system testing and possible modifications demonstrate TLAM
Block III resistance to electronic countermeasures, it is possible that the solution to the TERCOM
limitations—GPS—may lead to a new potential vulnerability—jamming. Moreover, the Block III
variant continues to use the optical Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator (DSMAC), which has
various limitations. [DELETED]
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Table 1: Manufacturers’ Statements About Product Performance Compared to Our Findings
Manufacturer Their statement Our finding
G eneral Dynamics “No matter what the [ F-16] mission,
air-to-air, air-to-ground. No matter what the
weather, day or night.”
The F-16’s delivery of guided munitions, such as M averick,
was impaired and sometimes made impossible by clouds,
haze, humidity, smoke, and dust. O nly less accurate unguided
munitions could be employed in adverse weather using radar.
G rumman “A-6s . . . [ were] detecting, identifying,
tracking, and destroying targets in any
weather, day or night.”
The A-6E FLI R’s ability to detect and identify targets was
limited by clouds, haze, humidity, smoke, and dust; the laser
designator’s ability to track targets was similarly limited.
a
O nly
less accurate unguided munitions could be employed in
adverse weather using radar.
Lockheed “During the first night, 30 F-117s struck 37
high-value targets, inflicting damage that
collapsed Saddam Hussein’s air defense
system and all but eliminated I raq’s ability
to wage coordinated war.”
O n the first night, 21 of the 37 targets to which F-117s were
tasked were reported hit; of these, the F-117s missed
40 percent of their air defense targets. BDA on 11 of the F-117
strategic air defense targets confirmed only 2 complete kills.
Numerous aircraft, other than the F-117, were involved in
suppressing the I raqi I ADS, which did not show a marked
falloff in aircraft kills until day five.
M artin M arietta Aircraft with LANTI RN can “locate and
attack targets at night and under other
conditions of poor visibility using low-level,
high speed tactics.”
b
The LANTI RN can be employed below clouds and weather;
however, its ability to find and designate targets through
clouds, haze, smoke, dust, and humidity ranged from limited
to no capability at all.
M cDonnell Douglas TLAM s “can be launched . . . in any
weather.”
The TLAM ’s weather limitation occurs not so much at the
launch point but in the target area where the optical
[ DELETED] .
Northrop The ALQ -135 “proved itself by jamming
enemy threat radars”; and was able “to
function in virtually any hostile
environment.”
[ DELETED]
Texas I nstruments “TI Paveway I I I : one target, one bomb.” O f a selected sample of 20 targets attacked by F-117s and
F-111Fs with G BU-24s and G BU-27s, no single aimpoint was
struck by only 1 LG B— the average was 4, the maximum 10.
a
Forward-looking infrared ( FLI R) .
b
Low-altitude navigation and targeting infrared for night ( LANTI RN) .
Data Inadequate for
Comprehensive Aircraft and
Weapon System Comparisons
or Validation of Some Claims
The data compiled on campaign inputs (that is, use of weapon systems)
and outcomes (that is, battle damage assessments) did not permit a
comprehensive effectiveness comparison of aircraft and weapon systems.
The most detailed Desert Storm strike history summary is less than
complete, does not provide outcome information consistently, and does
not provide strike effectiveness information. For example, because data
on a large number of A-10 strike events were unclear or contradictory, we
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found it impossible to reliably analyze and include A-10 strike data.
21
In
addition, the most comprehensive BDA database is less than complete, is
constrained by technological limitations associated with imagery
intelligence, and in most cases did not benefit from ground verifications or
damage updates after the war. Because multiple aircraft of different types
delivered multiple bombs of different types, often on the same aimpoint,
and because damage was often not assessed until after multiple strikes, it
is not possible to determine for most targets what effects, if any, can be
attributed to a particular aircraft or particular munition. Moreover, DIA
conducted BDA on only 357 of the 862 strategic targets in our analysis for
which strike data were available. Therefore, many questions on the
effectiveness of aircraft and missile strikes could not be answered nor
could some effectiveness claims. (For additional information on data
limitations, see apps. I and III.)
Relationship Between Cost
and Performance
Data limitations did not permit a systematic comparison of weapon system
cost and performance; where data were available, our analysis results
either were ambiguous or revealed no consistent trends.
Performance of High-Cost
Compared to Low-Cost Aircraft
The cost of aircraft was not consistently associated with performance for
several measures such as effectiveness, adverse weather capability, sortie
rate, payload, and survivability. Survivability was consistently high for all
types of aircraft and therefore indistinguishable for high- and low-cost
aircraft.
22
The high-cost F-117 stealth fighter and the low-cost A-10 both
experienced 100-percent survivability when operating at night. Although
the data on some measures were ambiguous (such as survivability and
effectiveness), differences in performance or capabilities between high-
and low-cost aircraft were evident for some measures.
Depending on the measure one uses, aircraft types with different costs can
be characterized as more, less, or equally capable. For example, in Desert
Storm, average sortie rates and payloads for different aircraft showed an
inverse relationship between cost and performance. Moreover, during the
campaign, high- and low-cost aircraft were often employed against the
same targets. Nearly 51 percent of the strategic targets attacked by the
21
This was significant for two reasons. First, the data that are available on the A-10 imply that it may
have performed even more than the large number of sorties currently attributed to it. Second, because
the A-10 was a major participant in the air war and because it performed at relatively high levels on
measures such as sortie rate and payload, it would have been useful to be able to compare its success
rate, particularly as a low-cost aircraft, against targets to the other aircraft under review.
22
Survivability depends on numerous factors, including assistance from support aircraft, quantity and
quality of air defenses, size of strike package, altitude, and tactics. In Desert Storm, neither cost nor
stealth technology was found to be a determinant of survivability.
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stealthy F-117s were also attacked by less costly, conventional
aircraft—such as the F-16, F-15E, and F/A-18. The incompleteness of A-10
strike data prevents our identifying the extent, if any, to which A-10 and
F-117 target taskings overlapped. However, according to GWAPS, both
aircraft performed over 40 strikes in the C
3
, offensive counter (OCA), SAM,
and Scud missile (SCU) strategic target categories. In regard to other
aircraft, the available strike data reveal that the F-117 and the F-16 were
tasked to 78 common targets, the F-117 and the F/A-18C/D to 62, and the
F-117 and the F-15E to 49.
Advocates of the F-117 can argue, based on its performance in Desert
Storm, that it alone combined the advantages of stealth and LGBs,
penetrated the most concentrated enemy defenses at will, permitted
confidence in achieving desired bombing results, and had perfect
survivability. Advocates of the A-10 can, for example, argue that it, unlike
the F-117, operated both day and night; attacked both fixed and mobile
targets employing both guided and unguided bombs; and like the F-117,
suffered no casualties when operating at night and at medium altitude.
Similarly, other aircraft also performed missions the F-117 was unable to
and were used successfully—and without losses—against similar types of
strategic targets. Each aircraft of the various types has both strengths and
limitations; each aircraft can do things the other cannot. Therefore,
despite a sharp contrast in program unit costs, we find it inappropriate,
given their use, performance, and effectiveness demonstrated in Desert
Storm, to rate one more generally “capable” than the other.
We also found no consistent relationship between the program unit cost of
aircraft and their relative effectiveness against strategic targets, as
measured by the ratio of FS to NFS target outcomes for the set of strategic
targets that each type of aircraft attacked. The high-cost F-111F
participated in proportionately more successful target outcomes than any
other aircraft type, but the low-cost F-16 participated in a higher
proportion of successful target outcomes than either the F-117 or the
F-15E, both much higher cost aircraft. However, the F-117 and the F-111F,
two high-cost, LGB-capable aircraft, ranked first and third in participation
against successful targets.
23
(The complete analysis of the performance of
low- and high-cost aircraft is presented in app. IV.)
23
Participation by each type of air-to-ground aircraft against targets assessed as FS targets was as
follows: F-117 =122; F-16 =67, F-111F =41, A-6E =37, F/A-18 =36, F-15E =28, B-52 =25, and
GR-1 =21. No data were available for the A-10. TLAM participated against 18 targets assessed as FS.
Participation against FS targets by type of aircraft is a function of two factors—the breadth of targets
tasked to each type of aircraft (see app. III) and their FS:NFS ratio as presented previously.
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Guided Munitions Compared to
Unguided Munitions
In Desert Storm, 92 percent of the munitions expended were unguided. On
the assumption that this tonnage contributed to the successful outcome of
the entire campaign—at a minimum by permitting nearly continuous
attacks against both ground force and strategic targets for 38 days—it is
evident that the same campaign accomplishments would have been
difficult or impossible with aircraft dropping comparatively small numbers
of precision-guided munitions (PGM).
Although only 8 percent of the munitions used against planned targets
were guided, they represented approximately 84 percent of the total cost
of munitions. The difference in cost between various types of guided and
unguided munitions was quite substantial: the unguided unitary bombs
used in the air campaign cost, on average, $649 each, while the average LGB
cost more than $30,000 each—a ratio of 1:47.
24
IR Maverick missiles cost
about $102,000 each—a cost ratio to the unguided bombs of 1:157.
Although cost ratios between guided and unguided weapon systems used
in Desert Storm can be readily calculated, data on the relative accuracy or
effectiveness of the systems in Desert Storm are limited and often
ambiguous. For example, guided and unguided munitions were often used
against the same targets. Therefore, given shortfalls in BDA, a precise
probability of kill for munitions could not be determined in most
instances. However, CNA found a small number of bridges where
conditions and data enabled an assessment of effectiveness. These bridges
had been attacked with either guided or unguided bombs, and BDA had
been performed in time to distinguish which type of munitions were
successful. While the sample is small and cannot be generalized, these
data show that (1) substantially more unguided bombs than either LGBs or
Walleyes were required to successfully destroy a bridge and (2) the cost of
the guided munitions used was substantially higher.
25
(See app. IV.)
Cost appears to have been a factor in the selection of munitions by Desert
Storm campaign commanders. For example, some pilots we interviewed
were instructed to use LGBs and Mavericks only against high-value targets
such as tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery (rather than trucks
24
All munitions costs are presented in 1991 dollars.
25
Depending on the platforms involved, the delivery of unguided munitions would (in some cases but
not all) require more aircraft sorties than would the delivery of guided munitions. This would increase
the cost of the unguided delivery, and it would expose a larger number of aircraft to defenses.
However, guided munition delivery requires more straight and predictable flight time and greater pilot
workload, thus making guided munition aircraft vulnerable to defenses. In short, the cost and
survivability trade-offs between guided and unguided munitions are not simple, and the cost
difference, if any, can be assessed only on the basis of specific delivery circumstances.
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or other GOB targets). If they could not hit these targets, they were not able
to use these munitions. They could, however, drop unguided bombs on
other targets before returning to base. Similarly, the employment of TLAMs
was terminated after February 1. GWAPS reported that Gen. H. Norman
Schwarzkopf, commander in chief of U.S. Central Command, approved no
additional TLAM strikes because either (1) television coverage of daylight
strikes in downtown Baghdad proved unacceptable in Washington or
(2) their use was deemed too expensive given the TLAM’s relatively small
warhead and high cost. Thus, this high-cost munition was not used during
the latter two-thirds of the war.
Increasing the proportion of the U.S. weapons inventory comprised of
high-cost munitions has potential implications for the future effectiveness
and employment of air power. First, for a given level of resources, much
higher costs limit the number of weapons that can be procured. With
fewer weapons, the priority attached to the survival and successful
employment of each high-cost bomb is likely to be high, as demonstrated
in Desert Storm. Second, Desert Storm revealed that a focus on increasing
aircraft and pilot survivability may have reduced mission effectiveness,
thereby increasing the number of munitions required to destroy or damage
a target. Third, Desert Storm showed that commanders were less willing to
permit the widespread use of very expensive munitions; the value of the
target had to be sufficient to justify the cost of a guided weapon.
Thus, an increasing dependence on high-cost weaponry can lead to three
types of concerns: limitations in the availability and use of high-cost
systems, the need to increase the munition expenditure rate per target to
compensate for lessened effectiveness when emphasizing survivability,
and a diminished ability to attack large numbers of targets (such as lower
priority GOB).
26
(See app. IV for further discussion of the performance of
high- and low-cost munitions in Desert Storm.)
Achievement of Campaign
Objectives by Air Power
Air power was clearly instrumental to the success of Desert Storm, yet air
power achieved only some of its objectives, and clearly fell short of fully
achieving others. Even under generally favorable conditions, the effects of
air power were limited. Some air war planners hoped that the air war
alone would cause the Iraqis to leave Kuwait (not least by actively
targeting the regime’s political and military elite), but after 38 days of
26
These implications need to be considered within a wider array of issues not discussed here, such as
delivery platform cost and survivability as well as munition capabilities and effectiveness.
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nearly continuous bombardment, a ground campaign was still deemed
necessary.
There were some dramatic successes in the air campaign. It caused the
collapse of the national electric grid and damaged up to 80 percent of
Iraq’s oil-refining capacity. At the end of the campaign, only about
40 percent of the Iraqi air force survived.
While air supremacy was achieved within the first week of the campaign,
delivery at low altitudes remained perilous throughout the war because of
the ever-present AAA and IR SAMs. Iraq’s C
3
and LOC capabilities were
partially degraded; although more than half of these targets were
successfully destroyed, Saddam Hussein was able to direct and supply
many Iraqi forces through the end of the air campaign and even
immediately after the war.
Lack of intelligence about most Iraqi nuclear-related facilities meant that
only less than 15 percent were targeted. The concerted campaign to
destroy mobile Scud launchers did not achieve any confirmed kills.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysis showed that more than
70 percent of the tanks in three Republican Guard divisions located in the
Kuwait theater of operations (KTO) remained intact at the start of the
ground campaign and that large numbers were able to escape across the
Euphrates River before the cease-fire. (Our assessment of the degree to
which the objectives were achieved is in app. III; the development of the
Desert Storm objectives is described in app. V.)
Factors Affecting the
Effectiveness of Air Power
Success Attributable to Weight
and Type of Effort Expended
The mix of available aircraft types enabled the United States and the
coalition to successfully attack or put pressure on a variety of targets and
target types; at various times of the day and night; in urban, marine, and
desert environments; with various guided and unguided munitions. Even
including the platform and munition preferences discussed above, no
target category was exclusively struck by a single type of aircraft, and no
type of aircraft or munition was exclusively used against a single type of
target or target category.
Older, less costly, and less technologically advanced aircraft and weapon
systems made substantial contributions to the air campaign as did the
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newer, more technologically advanced systems.
27
No particular weapon
system—whether of low or high technology, new or old, single or
multirole, high or low cost (or in between on any of these
criteria)—clearly proved more effective than another or demonstrated a
disproportionate contribution to the objectives of the campaign. For
example, while the F-117 carried more tonnage per day than the F-111F,
the latter reported a higher rate of success hitting the same targets using
the same munitions; the F-16 had only a slightly higher success rate than
the F/A-18 when using the unguided MK-84 against similar types of targets.
The B-52 and F-16 dropped the largest known bomb tonnages, the F-16 and
A-10 had the highest sortie rates, and the B-52 and A-10 were cited by Iraqi
prisoners of war as the most feared of the coalition aircraft. (The weight of
effort (WOE) and type of effort (TOE) that proved successful in the air
campaign are in apps. II and VIII; specific weapon system comparisons are
in apps. III and IV.)
Intelligence Needs Not Fully
Met
Intelligence shortfalls led to an inefficient use of guided and unguided
munitions in some cases and a reduced level of success against some
target categories. The lack of sufficient or timely intelligence to conduct
BDA led to the additional costs and risks stemming from possibly
unnecessary restrikes. For example, BDA was performed on only
41 percent of the strategic targets in our analysis. Restrikes were ordered
to increase the probability that target objectives would be achieved. This
may partly account for the high tonnage of munitions expended on
strategic targets—averaging more than 11 and 44 tons of guided and
unguided munitions, respectively, for successful outcomes and more than
9 and 53 tons of guided and unguided munitions, respectively, for less than
fully successful outcomes.
Insufficient intelligence on the existence and location of targets also
inhibited the coalition’s ability to perform necessary strikes and achieve
campaign goals. The lack of target intelligence meant that [DELETED]
major Iraqi nuclear-related installations were neither identified nor
targeted, and no mobile Scud launchers were definitively known to have
been located and destroyed. (See apps. I and III.)
Limitations in Target Sensors
Inhibited Effectiveness
The capabilities of target location and acquisition sensors were critical to
the effectiveness and efficiency of the air campaign. IR sensors allowed
night operations, and although pilots praised many sensor systems, they
also pointed out numerous shortcomings. IR, EO, and laser systems were all
27
The Desert Storm air campaign may have been the last large-scale employment for several of the
older types of aircraft. For example, the A-6E fleet is scheduled to be retired by 1998; the F-4G and
F-111 fleets by fiscal year 1997; and all but two wings of the A-10 fleet by the end of fiscal year 1996.
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seriously degraded by weather conditions such as clouds, rain, fog, and
even haze and humidity. They were also impeded by dust and smoke. At
high altitudes and even at low altitudes in the presence of high humidity or
other impediments, pilots were unable to discriminate targets effectively.
They reported being unable to discern whether a presumed target was a
tank or a truck and whether it had already been hit by a previous attack.
Radar systems were less affected by weather, but the poor resolution of
some radars made it impossible to identify targets except by recognizing
nearby large-scale landmarks or by navigating to where the target was
presumed to be. Radar systems specifically designed for target
discrimination and identification suffered reduced resolution at the higher
altitudes (and greater standoff distances) where they were operating.
Pilots told us that the F-15E’s high-resolution radar, while designed to
detect an object as small as [DELETED] at a distance of [DELETED],
could actually discriminate only between a tank and a car at a range of
about [DELETED]. (Target identification and weapon system sensor
issues are discussed in app. II.)
Campaign Planning Failed to
Anticipate the BDA Limitations
The kinds of constraints encountered in Desert Storm do not appear to
have been adequately anticipated in planning the air campaign. The air
campaign planners were overoptimistic concerning the number of days
that each phase of the campaign would require and the level of damage
each objective would require. Moreover, many of the early missions were
canceled because of adverse weather, and after the initial strikes were
conducted, the BDA was neither as timely nor as complete as planners had
apparently assumed it would be.
Contributions and Limitations
of Advanced Technologies
Desert Storm demonstrated that many newer systems incorporating
advanced technologies require specific operating conditions for their
effective use. However, these conditions were not consistently
encountered in Desert Storm and cannot be assumed in future
contingencies. Therefore, the level of success attained by various costly
and technologically advanced systems in Desert Storm may not be
replicated where conditions inhibit operations even more.
Although much of what has been written about Desert Storm has
emphasized advanced technologies, many of these were subject to
significant operating constraints and a lack of flexibility that limited their
contributions and effectiveness. [DELETED] While the TLAM risks no pilot,
it achieved a hit rate that CNA and DIA estimated at [DELETED] percent,
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and it is costly. [DELETED] (Limitations on weapon system performance
are discussed in app. II.)
These limitations need to be recognized and anticipated when planning air
strikes or estimating the likely effectiveness of air power—particularly for
a short conflict, when there may not be opportunities to restrike missed or
partially damaged targets. Even in Desert Storm—with months of planning
and a vast array of in-theater resources available from the very
start—uncertainties and unknowns were typical rather than the exception.
Desert Storm’s Uniqueness
Limits Lessons Learned
The relevance of the air campaign in Desert Storm to likely future
contingencies depends at least partially on how closely its operating
conditions can be judged to be representative of future conditions. In this
respect, Desert Storm’s lessons are limited in some regard because the
environmental and military operating conditions for aircraft and weapon
system performance are unlikely to be repeated outside southwest Asia
and because future potential adversaries—not least, Iraq itself—are likely
to have learned a good deal about how to reduce the effectiveness of
guided weapons, such as LGBs.
28
At the same time, performance in Desert
Storm can be highly instructive about the performance and outcomes that
can be expected with existing technologies under conditions like those
encountered over Iraq.
Combat Conditions Over Iraq
and Kuwait
The terrain and climate in Iraq and Kuwait were generally conducive to the
employment of air power. The terrain was relatively flat and featureless as
well as devoid of vegetation that would obscure targets. Although the
weather was the worst in that region in 14 years, weather conditions even
less conducive to an air campaign would be expected in many other
locations of historic or topical interest such as Eastern Europe, the
Balkans, or North Korea.
29
(See app. II.)
Six-Month Period to Deploy,
Train, and Prepare Forces
The success of the air campaign is also attributable, in part, to the
6 months of planning, deployment, training, and intelligence-gathering
preceding Desert Storm. During this interval, President Bush assembled a
coalition of nations that augmented U.S. resources and isolated Iraq. War
preparations were also aided by preexisting facilities in the region and the
28
It is appropriate to note that “aggression by a remilitarized Iraq against Kuwait and Saudi Arabia” was
one of two scenarios envisioned in planning strategy, force structure, and modernization programs in
DOD’s BUR report.
29
For example, the average percentage of time that the cloud ceiling over Baghdad is less than or equal
to 3,000 feet is, historically, only 9 percent; comparable percentages over Beirut, Lebanon; Osan Air
Base, Korea; and St. Petersburg, Russia; are 17, 33, and 64, respectively.
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lack of Iraqi interventions to slow or deter the buildup of forces. (See
app. II.)
Some Enemy Capabilities
Overstated or Poorly Employed
Contrary to widespread prewar and postwar claims, the Iraqi IADS was not
“robust” or “state of the art.” Rather, its computers were limited in their
capacity to monitor incoming threats; the system was vulnerable to
disruption by attacks on a relatively few key nodes; and its design was
[DELETED]. IADS had been designed to counter limited threats from the
east (Iran) and west (Israel), not an attack from a coalition that included
nearly 1,600 U.S. combat aircraft primarily from the south, hundreds of
cruise missiles, and the most advanced technologies in the world.
On various dimensions, the Iraqi armed forces were not well disposed to
effectively counter the coalition’s armed response to the Iraqi seizure of
Kuwait. After U.S. and coalition aircraft dominated early air-to-air
encounters, the Iraqi air force essentially chose to avoid combat by fleeing
to Iran and hiding its aircraft or putting them in the midst of civilian areas
off-limits to attack by coalition aircraft. Except for the failed Iraqi action
directed at the town of Khafji, the Iraqis did not take any ground offensive
initiative throughout the air campaign, and the coalition was able to
repeatedly attack targets, including those missed or insufficiently damaged
on a first strike. As a result, when the ground war began, Iraqi ground
forces had been subjected to 38 days of nearly continuous bombardment.
Evidence from intelligence analyses and prisoner-of-war interviews also
indicated that many Iraqi frontline troops had low morale and were prone
to heavy desertions even before the air bombardment started.
During the war, the Iraqis were unable to effectively resist coalition air
attacks from medium and high altitudes. While the Iraqis maintained a
potent AAA and IR SAM threat to aircraft below 10,000 feet, the lack of an
active Iraqi fighter threat (especially after the first week); the coalition’s
suppression of most radar-guided SAM defenses in the early days of the
war; and the Iraqi use of many of the remaining radar SAMs in an
ineffective, nonradar mode created a relative sanctuary for coalition
aircraft at medium and high altitudes. Moreover, Iraq employed few
potential countermeasures (such as jamming) against coalition strikes.
(See app. II.)
Likelihood of Victory Allowed
Emphasis on Survivability
Given the overwhelming nature of the coalition’s quantitative and
qualitative superiority, the conflict was highly asymmetric. U.S. and
coalition commanders controlled strike assets that were numerically and
technologically superior to the capabilities of the enemy. They expressed
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little doubt of a victory. One result of this was a command emphasis on
aircraft and pilot survivability. The philosophy was “No Iraqi target was
worth an allied pilot or aircraft.”
30
Other operating decisions were also taken to increase survivability. For
example, after two F-16 losses on day three in the Baghdad area, the Air
Force ceased tasking large package daylight strikes of F-16s against
metropolitan Baghdad targets. Similarly, after A-10 attacks on the
Republican Guard, during which two aircraft were hit while operating at
lower altitudes, the A-10s were ordered to cease such attacks. Instead,
much higher altitude attacks by F-16s and B-52s, with unguided bombs,
were used. (See apps. II and III.)
Some Aircraft and Weapon
System Performance
Dimensions Not Tested
A number of lessons cannot be drawn directly from Desert Storm because
systems were not stressed in ways that could be considered likely and
operationally realistic for future conflict. For example: (1) with little or no
Iraqi electronic countermeasures against U.S. munitions, airborne
intelligence assets, or target identification and acquisition sensors, no data
were obtained on how these systems would perform in the presence of
such countermeasures; (2) with almost no Iraqi air-to-air opposition for
most of the war, many U.S. aircraft were also not exposed to these threats;
and (3) many U.S. weapons were not delivered within the low-altitude
parameters for which they were designed, both platforms and munitions
(thus, we do not know how they would perform if delivered lower).
However, precisely because of the advantages enjoyed by the coalition,
the problems that were encountered should be especially noted. These
include the substantial amounts of unguided and guided munitions that
were used to achieve successful target outcomes and the severe effect that
the weather had on target identification and designation sensors—some of
which had earlier been described to the Congress as capable in “all
weather,” “adverse weather,” or “poor weather.” (See apps. II-IV.) These
problems should be considered as warning signs about the effectiveness of
various systems and technologies under more stressful circumstances in
the future.
Conclusions
Operation Desert Storm was a highly successful and decisive military
operation. The air campaign, which incurred minimal casualties while
30
GWAPS, Highlights (briefing slides), p. 30.
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effecting the collapse of the Iraqis’ ability to resist, helped liberate Kuwait
and elicit Iraqi compliance with U.N. resolutions.
Our analysis of the air campaign against strategic targets revealed several
air power issues that should be planned for in the next campaign. First, the
effectiveness of air power in Desert Storm was inhibited by the aircraft
sensors’ inherent limitations in identifying and acquiring targets and by
DOD’s failure to gather intelligence on the existence or location of certain
critical targets and its inability to collect and disseminate timely BDA. Pilots
noted that IR, EO, and laser systems were all seriously degraded by clouds,
rain, fog, smoke, and even high humidity, and the pilots reported being
unable to discern whether a presumed target was a tank or a truck and
whether it had already been destroyed. The failure of intelligence to
identify certain targets precluded any opportunity for the coalition to fully
accomplish some of its objectives. And the reduced accuracies from
medium and high altitudes and absence of timely BDA led to higher costs,
reduced effectiveness, and increased risks from making unnecessary
restrikes.
Second, U.S. commanders were able to favor medium- to high-altitude
strike tactics that maximized aircraft and pilot survivability, rather than
weapon system effectiveness. This was because of early and complete air
superiority, a limited enemy response, and terrain and climate conditions
generally conducive to air strikes. Low-altitude munitions deliveries had
been emphasized in prewar training, but they were abandoned early. The
subsequent deliveries from medium and high altitudes resulted in the use
of sensors and weapon systems at distances from targets that were not
optimal for their identification, acquisition, or accuracy. Medium- and
high-altitude tactics also increased the exposure of aircraft sensors to
man-made and natural impediments to visibility.
Third, the success of the sustained air campaign resulted from the
availability of a mix of strike and support assets. Its substantial weight of
effort was made possible, in significant part, by the variety and number of
air-to-ground aircraft types from high-payload bombers, such as the B-52,
to PGM-capable platforms, such as the stealthy F-117, to high-sortie-rate
attack aircraft, such as the A-10. A range of target types, threat conditions,
and tactical and strategic objectives was best confronted with a mix of
weapon systems and strike and support assets with a range of capabilities.
Fourth, despite often sharp contrasts in the unit cost of aircraft platforms,
it is inappropriate, given aircraft use, performance, and effectiveness
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demonstrated in Desert Storm, to characterize higher cost aircraft as
generally more capable than lower cost aircraft. In some cases, the higher
cost systems had the greater operating limitations; in some other cases,
the lower cost aircraft had the same general limitations but performed at
least as well; and in still other cases, the data did not permit a
differentiation. (See app. IV.)
Fifth, the air campaign data did not validate the purported efficiency or
effectiveness of guided munitions, without qualification. “One-target,
one-bomb” efficiency was not achieved. On average, more than 11 tons of
guided and 44 tons of unguided munitions were delivered on targets
assessed as successfully destroyed; still more tonnage of both was
delivered against targets where objectives were not fully met. Large
tonnages of munitions were used against targets not only because of
inaccuracy from high altitudes but also because BDA data were lacking.
Although the relative contribution of guided munitions in achieving target
success is unknowable, they did account for the bulk of munitions costs.
Only 8 percent of the delivered munitions tonnage was guided, but at a
price that represented 84 percent of the total munitions cost. During
Desert Storm, the ratio of guided-to-unguided munitions delivered did not
vary, indicating that the relative preferences among these types of
munitions did not change over the course of the campaign. More generally,
Desert Storm demonstrated that many systems incorporating complex or
advanced technologies require specific operating conditions to operate
effectively. These conditions, however, were not consistently encountered
in Desert Storm and cannot be assumed in future contingencies.
Four issues arise from these findings. First, DOD’s future ability to conduct
an efficient, effective, and comprehensive air campaign will depend partly
on its ability to enhance sensor capabilities, particularly at medium
altitudes and in adverse weather, in order to identify valid targets and
collect, analyze, and disseminate timely BDA. Second, a key parameter in
future weapon systems design, operational testing and evaluation, training,
and doctrine will be pilot and aircraft survivability. Third, the scheduled
retirement of strike and attack aircraft such as the A-6E, F-111F, and most
A-10s will make Desert Storm’s variety and number of aircraft unavailable
by the year 2000. Fourth, the cost of guided munitions, their intelligence
requirements, and the limitations on their effectiveness demonstrated in
Desert Storm need to be considered by DOD and the services as they
determine the optimal future mix of guided and unguided munitions.
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DOD and associated agencies have undertaken initiatives since the war to
address many, but not all, of the limitations of the air campaign that we
identified in our analysis, although we have not analyzed each of these
initiatives in this report. First, DOD officials told us that to address the
Desert Storm BDA analysis and dissemination shortcomings, they have
• created an organization to work out issues, consolidate national reporting,
and provide leadership;
• developed DOD-wide doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures;
• established more rigorous and realistic BDA training and realistic exercises;
and
• developed and deployed better means to disseminate BDA.
DOD officials acknowledge that additional problems remain with improving
BDA timeliness and accuracy, developing nonlethal BDA functional damage
indicators (particularly for new weapons that produce nontraditional
effects), and cultivating intelligence sources to identify and validate
strategic targets. Moreover, because timely and accurate BDA is crucial for
the efficient employment of high-cost guided munitions (that is, for
avoiding unnecessary restrikes), it is important that acquisition plans for
guided munitions take fully into account actual BDA collection and
dissemination capabilities before making a final determination of the
quantity of such munitions to be acquired.
Second, DOD officials told us that the most sophisticated targeting sensors
used in Desert Storm (which were available only in limited quantities)
have now been deployed on many more fighter aircraft, thereby giving
them a capability to deliver guided munitions. However, the same
limitations exhibited by these advanced sensor and targeting systems in
Desert Storm—limited fields of view, insufficient resolution for target
discrimination at medium altitudes, vulnerabilities to adverse weather,
limited traverse movement—remain today.
Third, DOD officials told us that survivability is now being emphasized in
pilot training, service and joint doctrine, and weapon system development.
Pilot training was modified immediately after the air campaign to meet
challenges such as medium-altitude deliveries in a high AAA and IR SAM
threat environment. Service and joint doctrine now reflects lessons
learned in Desert Storm’s asymmetrical conflict. Several fighter aircraft
employment manuals specifically incorporate the tactics that emphasized
survivability in the campaign. DOD and service procurement plans include
new munitions with GPS guidance systems, justified in part by their
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abilities to minimize the medium-altitude shortcomings and adverse
weather limitations of Desert Storm while maximizing pilot and aircraft
survivability.
Fourth, DOD officials told us that although Desert Storm’s successful
aircraft mix will not be available for the next contingency, DOD and the
services have made plans to maintain an inventory of aircraft that they
believe will be more flexible and effective in the future. Flexibility will be
anticipated partly from the modernization of existing multirole fighters to
enable them to deliver guided munitions (the aircraft systems being retired
are single-role platforms), and their effectiveness is expected to increase
as new and more accurate guided munitions are put in the field. However,
we believe that strike aircraft modernization and munition procurement
plans that include increasing numbers and varieties of guided munitions
and the numbers of platforms capable of delivering them require
additional justification.
31
Recommendations
Desert Storm established a paradigm for asymmetrical post-Cold War
conflicts. The coalition possessed quantitative and qualitative superiority
in aircraft, munitions, intelligence, personnel, support, and doctrine. It
dictated when the conflict should start, where operations should be
conducted, when the conflict should end, and how terms of the peace
should read. This paradigm—conflict where the relative technological
advantages for the U.S. forces are high and the acceptable level of risk or
attrition for the U.S. forces is low—underlies the service modernization
plans for strike aircraft and munitions. Actions on the following
recommendations will help ensure that high-cost munitions can be
employed more efficiently at lower risk to pilots and aircraft and that the
future mix of guided and unguided munitions is appropriate and
cost-effective given the threats, exigencies, and objectives of potential
contingencies.
1. In light of the shortcomings of the sensors in Desert Storm, we
recommend that the Secretary of Defense analyze and identify DOD’s need
31
In Desert Storm, 229 U.S. aircraft were capable of delivering laser-guided munitions; in 1996, the
expanded installation of LANTIRN on F-15Es and block 40 F-16s will increase this capability within the
Air Force to approximately 500 platforms. The services have bought or are investing over $58 billion to
acquire 33 different types of guided munitions totaling over 300,000 units. (See Weapons Acquisition:
Precision Guided Munitions in Inventory, Production, and Development (GAO/NSIAD-95-95, J une 23,
1995.) Air Force plans reveal that nearly 62 percent of all interdiction target types in a major regional
conflict in Iraq could be tasked to either guided or unguided munitions today (1995) but that will fall to
approximately 40 percent in 2002. Concurrently, the percentage of targets to be tasked to only guided
munitions will increase from 19 percent in 1995 to nearly 43 percent in 2002.
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to enhance the capabilities of existing and planned sensors to effectively
locate, discriminate, and acquire targets in varying weather conditions and
at different altitudes. Furthermore, the Secretary should ensure that any
new sensors or enhancements of existing ones are tested under fully
realistic operational conditions that are at least as stressful as the
conditions that impeded capabilities in Desert Storm.
2. In light of the shortcomings in BDA exhibited during Desert Storm and
BDA’s importance to strike planning, the BDA problems that DOD officials
acknowledge continue today despite DOD postwar initiatives need to be
addressed. These problems include timeliness, accuracy, capacity,
assessment of functional damage, and cultivation of intelligence sources to
identify and validate strategic targets. We recommend that the Secretary of
Defense expand DOD’s current efforts to include such activities so that BDA
problems can be fully resolved.
3. In light of the quantities and mix of guided and unguided munitions that
proved successful in Desert Storm, the services’ increasing reliance on
guided munitions to conduct asymmetrical warfare may not be
appropriate. The Secretary should reconsider DOD’s proposed mix of
guided and unguided munitions. A reevaluation is warranted based on
Desert Storm experiences that demonstrated limitations to the
effectiveness of guided munitions, survivability concerns of aircraft
delivering these munitions, and circumstances where less complex, less
constrained unguided munitions proved equally or more effective.
Agency Comments
The Department of Defense partially concurred with each of our three
recommendations. In its response to a draft of this report, DOD did not
dispute our conclusions; rather, it reported that several initiatives were
underway that will rectify the shortcomings and limitations demonstrated
in Desert Storm. Specifically, it cited (1) the acquisition of improved and
new PGMs, (2) two studies in process—a Deep Attack/Weapons Mix Study
(DAWMS) and a Precision Strike Architecture study, and (3) several
proposed fiscal year 1997 Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations
(ACTD) as programs capable of correcting Desert Storm shortcomings. In
addition, DOD emphasized the importance of providing funds to retain the
operational test and evaluation function to ensure the rigorous testing of
our weapons and weapon systems. (See app. XII for the full text of DOD’s
comments.)
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We agree that the actions DOD cited address the shortcomings in sensors,
guided munitions, and battle damage assessment we report in our
conclusions. However, the degree to which these initiatives are effective
can be determined only after rigorous operational test and evaluation of
both new and existing munitions and after the recommendations resulting
from the Deep Attack/Weapons Mix and Precision Strike Architecture
studies have been implemented and evaluated. Moreover, we concur with
the continuing need for operational test and evaluation and underscore the
role of this function in rectifying the shortcomings cited in this report.
DOD also supplied us with a list of recommended technical corrections.
Where appropriate, we have addressed these comments in our report.
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please do
not hesitate to call me at (202) 512-6153 or Kwai-Cheung Chan, Director of
Program Evaluation in Physical Systems Areas, at (202) 512-3092. Other
major contributors to this report are listed in appendix XIII.
J oseph F. Delfico
Acting Assistant Comptroller General
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
The data we analyze in this report are the best information collected
during the war. They were compiled for and used by the commanders who
managed the air campaign. These data also provided the basis for postwar
Department of Defense (DOD) and manufacturer assessments of aircraft
and weapon system performance during Desert Storm. We balanced the
limitations of the data, to the extent possible, against qualitative analyses
of the system. For example, we compared claims made for system
performance and contributions to what was supportable given all the
available data, both quantitative and qualitative. In the subsequent
appendixes, we use these data to describe and assess the use of aircraft
and weapon systems in the performance of air-to-ground missions. And to
the extent that the data permit, we assess the claims for and relative
effectiveness of individual systems. Finally, we use these data to discuss
the overall effectiveness of the air campaign in meeting its objectives.
Scope
In this report, we assess the effectiveness of various U.S. and allied air
campaign aircraft and weapon systems in destroying ground targets,
primarily those that fall into the category of “strategic” targets. In
Operation Desert Storm, some targets were clearly strategic, such as Iraqi
air force headquarters in Baghdad, while others, essentially the Iraqi
ground forces in the Kuwaiti theater of operations, could be considered
both strategic and tactical. For our purposes, we concentrated on the
effects achieved by the air campaign before the start of the ground
offensive, including successes against ground forces in Kuwait. Unlike
most previous large-scale conflicts, the air campaign accounted for more
than 90 percent of the entire conflict’s duration. Therefore, what we have
excluded from our analysis is the role of air power in supporting ground
forces during the ground offensive (“close air support”), as well as such
nonstrategic missions as search and rescue.
We evaluated the aircraft and munitions that were deemed to have had a
major role in the execution of the Desert Storm air campaign by virtue of
their satisfying at least one (in most cases, two) of the following criteria:
the system (1) played a major role against strategic targets (broadly
defined); (2) was the focus of congressional interest; (3) may be
considered by DOD for future major procurement; (4) appeared likely to
play a role in future conflict; or (5) even if not slated currently for major
procurement, either was used by allied forces in a manner or role different
from its U.S. use or used new technologies likely to be employed again in
the future. These criteria led us to assess the A-6E, A-10, B-52, F-111F,
F-117A, F-15E, F-16, F/A-18, and British Tornado (GR-1). We examined
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
both guided and unguided munitions, including laser-guided bombs,
Maverick missiles, Navy cruise missiles, and unguided “dumb” bombs. (We
did not examine Air Force cruise missiles because so few were used.)
We focused our analysis on strategic targets in part because they received
the best-documented bomb damage assessments (BDA), although there was
very substantial variation from target to target and among target types in
the quantity and quality of BDAs. Twelve categories of strategic targets in
Desert Storm are listed in table I.1. With the exception of mobile Scud
launchers and ground forces, each type of target was a fixed item at a
known location on which battle damage assessments were possible.
Table I.1: Twelve Strategic Target
Categories in the Desert Storm Air
Campaign
Abbreviation Target category
C
3
Command, control, and communication facilities
ELE Electrical facilities
G O B G round order of battle ( I raqi ground forces in the K uwait theater of
operations, including the Republican G uard)
a
G VC G overnment centers
LO C Lines of communication
M I B M ilitary industrial base facilities
NAV Naval facilities
NBC Nuclear, biological, and chemical facilities
O CA O ffensive counterair installations
O I L O il refining, storage, and distribution facilities
SAM Surface-to-air missile installations
SCU Scud missile facilities
a
I n our database, G O B targets are in the kill box target set.
Methodology
Data Needs and Sources To examine how the different types of aircraft and munitions performed
and were used to achieve the air campaign objectives, we required data on
the aircraft missions flown and missiles launched against each type of
target. To assess the effectiveness of the aircraft and munitions, we
needed data on the outcome of each aircraft and missile tasked (what was
dropped or launched and where it landed) as well as the physical and
functional impact of the munitions on the targets. We had to review DOD
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
and manufacturers’ Desert Storm claims for selected weapon systems and
seek out data to validate their assertions.
To assess the relative costs of the systems employed, we needed various
cost measures of the systems and sufficient data on their effectiveness to
be able to relate cost and performance. To examine operating conditions
of the air campaign, we required data on the characteristics of the Iraqi
threat, political and military operating conditions in the theater, and the
environmental conditions in which combat occurred.
To determine the degree to which air campaign objectives were met with
air power, we required, first, data that described the campaign objectives
and the plans to achieve those objectives and, second, data that addressed
the outcome of air campaign efforts in pursuit of air campaign objectives.
We obtained descriptive data on objectives and plans from a series of
interviews and a review of the literature. We interviewed 108 Desert Storm
veteran pilots, representing each type of aircraft evaluated, with the
exception of British Tornados.
1
We also interviewed key Desert Storm
planners and analysts from a wide spectrum of organizations, both within
and outside DOD. (See table I.2.)
We also conducted an extensive literature search and reviewed hundreds
of official and unofficial documents describing the planning for, conduct
of, and performance by the various aircraft and munitions used in the
campaign, and we searched for documents on Desert Storm operating
conditions.
To examine the nature and magnitude of Desert Storm inputs employed
against strategic target categories, as well as outcomes, we needed two
types of databases. We needed the “Missions” database generated by the
Gulf War Air Power Survey (GWAPS) to assess inputs. And we needed the
Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) phase III battle damage assessment
reports to assess Desert Storm outcomes.
1
We did not select pilots randomly, given constraints on their availability, travel, and time. The only
requirement was that a pilot had flown the relevant type of aircraft in a Desert Storm combat mission.
In most cases, the pilots had flown numerous missions. The purpose of interviewing pilots was to
receive as direct input as possible from the aircraft and munition user rather than views filtered
through official reports. In Operation Desert Storm: Limits on the Role and Performance of B-52
Bombers in Conventional Conflicts (GAO/NSIAD-93-138, May 12, 1993), we assessed the B-52 role in
detail. Where they were relevant, we incorporated the data and findings from that report into our
comparisons. The British government denied our requests to interview British pilots who had flown in
Desert Storm. However, we were able to obtain some official assessments of the British role in the air
campaign, and we questioned U.S. pilots about their interactions with British pilots.
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
Table I.2: Organizations We Contacted and Their Locations
Organization Location
Air Combat Command Langley Air Force Base, Va.
Center for Air Force History Washington, D.C.
Center for Naval Analyses Alexandria, Va.
Central I ntelligence Agency Langley, Va.
Defense I ntelligence Agency Washington, D.C.
Department of Air Force, Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Embassy of the United K ingdom Washington, D.C.
Foreign Science and Technology Center Charlottesville, Va.
G rumman Corporation Bethpage, N.Y.
G ulf War Air Power Survey ( research site) Arlington, Va.
I nstitute for Defense Analyses Alexandria, Va.
Lockheed Advanced Development Corporation Burbank, Calif.
M cDonnell Douglas Corporation St. Louis, M o.
Naval A-6E Unit O ceana Naval Air Station, Va.
Naval F/A-18 Unit Cecil Naval Air Station , Fla.
Navy O perational I ntelligence Center, Strike Projection
Evaluation and Anti-Air Research ( SPEAR) Department
Suitland, M d.
O ffice of the Chief of Naval O perations Washington, D.C.
O ffice of the Secretary of Defense Washington, D.C.
Rand Corporation Santa M onica, Calif.
Securities and Exchange Commission Washington, D.C.
Survivability/Vulnerability I nformation Analysis Center Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, O hio
Texas I nstruments Dallas, Tex.
U.N. I nformation Center Washington, D.C.
U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Headquarters Norfolk, Va.
U.S. Central Air Forces, Headquarters Shaw Air Force Base, N.C.
U.S. Central Command, Headquarters M acDill Air Force Base, Fla.
U.S. Space Command Cheyenne M ountain Air Force Base, Colo.
4th Tactical Fighter Wing Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
48th Tactical Fighter Wing RAF Lakenheath, U.K .
49th Fighter Wing Holloman Air Force Base, N.M ex.
57th Test G roup Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
363rd Fighter Wing Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.
926th Fighter Wing ( reserve) New O rleans Naval Air Station, La.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 47
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
Missions Database The Missions database represents a strike history of air-to-ground
platforms and ordnance in the Persian Gulf War. GWAPS researchers
compiled a very large computerized database on aerial operations in the
Gulf War from existing records. It documents aircraft strikes on ground
targets, number and type of ordnance, date, and time on target (TOT)
information, target names and identifiers, desired mean point of impact
(DMPI), and additional mission-related information. It contains strike
history information across the duration of the air campaign for most of the
air-to-ground platforms that participated. There are data on 862 numbered
targets that together comprise more than 1 million pieces of strike
information.
The Missions database also contains strike records across the duration of
the air campaign for most of the air-to-ground platforms that participated
in the Gulf War. This database includes platforms from the U.S. military
services and some non-U.S. coalition partners. The Missions database was
intended to provide information not on aircraft sortie counts but, rather,
on aircraft strike counts and associated target attack information. Further,
it was not intended to provide information on platform or munition
effectiveness.
The selection criteria that guided our use of the database records required
us to select targets that were designated by a unique basic encyclopedia
(BE) number and an associated target priority code (target category
designation) and that were records of identifiable U.S. aircraft strikes or
strikes conducted by the British Tornado, GR-1 (interdiction variant).
2
We
did not include records that did not meet these criteria.
3
Also, we did not
include A-10 records because the majority of A-10 strike events as
represented in the database are unclear.
4
Finally, we did not include strike
events that were designated as ground aborted missions or headquarters
cancellations. Unless indicated otherwise, the data we reviewed on
strategic target categories, the nine platforms, and their munitions
originate from this data set.
2
Designating targets by a BE number is a method of identifying and categorizing target installations for
target study and planning.
3
In several instances in which records met all selection criteria except for a missing target category
designation, we used all available target-identifying information and assigned the target to a target
category based on automated intelligence file (AIF) target category designations.
4
At least one-third of the A-10 strike data could not be accurately determined from the original records,
and GWAPS researchers were not able to reconcile the inconsistencies.
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
Targets were assigned to target categories based on the AIF functional
target category designations. (See table I.3.)
The AIF target category designations indicate broad categories of strategic
targets (for example, offensive counterair) as well as provide more
specific examples of individual target types within the broad target
categories (for example, hardened aircraft shelters). The AIF strategic
target category referred to as ground order of battle (GOB) was expanded
to include all “kill box” targets that had an assigned BE number, and it is
subsequently identified in our database as the KBX category.
5
Table I.3: AIF Target Categories and
Target Types Target category Target type
G overnment control ( G VC) G overnment control centers
G overnment bodies, general
G overnment ministries and administrative bodies,
nonmilitary, general
G overnment detention facilities, general
Unidentified control facility
Trade, commerce, and government, general
Civil defense facilities ( in military use)
Electricity ( ELE) Electric power generating, transmission, and control
facilities
Command, control, and
communications ( C
3
)
O ffensive air command control headquarters and
schools
Air defense headquarters
Telecommunications
Electronic warfare
Space systems
M issile headquarters, surface-to-surface
National, combined and joint commands
Naval headquarters and staff activities
Surface-to-air missiles ( SAM ) M issile support facilities, defensive, general
SAM missile sites/complexes
Tactical SAM sites/installations
SAM support facilities
( continued)
5
Kill boxes were areas where the Republican Guard (RG) and other Iraqi troops were dug in.
According to GWAPS, the vast majority of kill box strikes were directed against GOB targets.
However, GWAPS did not include the universe of BE-numbered kill boxes in the GOB target category.
Therefore, we expanded the GOB target category to include all BE-numbered kill boxes and
subsequently identified it as the KBX category. GWAPS indicates that approximately 8 percent of kill
box strikes were conducted against targets other than GOB targets. Examination of the database
indicates that these other target types include SAM sites, artillery pieces, and some bridges.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 49
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
Target category Target type
O ffensive counterair ( O CA) Airfields ( air bases, reserve fields, helicopter bases)
Noncommunications electronic installations ( radar
installations, radars collocated with SAM sites, ATC/Nav
aids, meteorological radars)
Air logistics, general ( air depots)
Air ammo depots ( maintenance and repair bases, aircraft
and component production and assembly)
Nuclear, biological, and
chemical ( NBC)
Atomic energy feed and moderator materials
production
Chemical and biological production and storage
Atomic energy-associated facilities production and
storage
Basic and applied nuclear research and development,
general
M ilitary industrial base ( M I B) Basic processing and equipment production
End products ( chiefly civilian)
Technical research, development and testing, nonnuclear
Covered storage facilities, general
M aterial ( chiefly military)
I ndustrial production centers
Defense logistics agencies
Scuds ( SCU) G uided missile and space system production and
assembly
Fixed missile facility, general
Fixed, surface-to-surface missile sites
O ffensive missile support facilities
M edium-range surface-to-surface launch control facilities
Fixed positions for mobile missile launchers
Tactical missile troops field position
Naval ( NAV) M ineable areas
M aritime port facilities
Cruise missile support facilities, defensive
Shipborne missile support facilities
Cruise surface-to-surface missile launch positions
Naval bases, installations, and supply depots
Petroleum, oil, and lubricants
( PO L)
PO L and related products, pipelines, and storage facilities
Lines of communication
( LO C)
Highway and railway transportation
I nland water transportation
( continued)
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
Target category Target type
G round order of battle
( G O B)
a
M ilitary troop installations
G round force material and storage depots
Fortifications and defense systems
a
I n our database, G O B targets are in the kill box target set.
While the Missions database contains an abundance of Desert Storm strike
history information, it has its limits. Different reporting procedures
adopted during Desert Storm and the use of different terminology and
language, within and among services, have resulted in more or less
detailed data for particular platforms. These limitations in the final form of
the database transfer to all users of the database. For example, in some
instances, database records documenting Air Force aircraft strikes may be
more complete with fewer missing observations than the same data for
other service platforms because services may have adopted different
methods of tracking and identifying outcomes during the war. As stated
previously, GWAPS indicates that A-10 data are difficult to summarize and
interpret because of the way the data were initially recorded. Where
relevant and necessary for this research, we consulted with the
appropriate GWAPS staff regarding limitations and usage of the Missions
database.
Studies using the database for different purposes should not be expected
to generate identical data. For example, the number of strikes conducted
by a particular platform against strategic targets may not be equivalent
across studies because of the degree of specificity in the question being
posed. One study may be concerned with strategic targets regardless of
any other delimiting factors, while another may be concerned with strike
counts against strategic targets, discounting those strikes where some
mechanical failure of the aircraft was reported to have occurred over the
target area. Therefore, differences among studies that rely on the use of
the Missions database, in some form or another, should be interpreted
considering differences in research questions, methodologies, and
protocols.
We also used the Missions database to create the variables to measure air
campaign inputs. These variables are used to measure either the weight of
effort (WOE) or the type of effort (TOE) expended and are defined in
table I.4.
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Scope and Methodology
Table I.4: Definition of Composite
Variables for WOE and TOE Measures Measure Variable
WO E Q uantity of BE numbers to which platforms were tasked
Q uantity of strikes that platforms conducted
Q uantity of bombs that platforms delivered
Q uantity of bomb tonnage that platforms delivered
TO E Q uantity of bombs that were guided bombs
Q uantity of bombs that were unguided bombs
Q uantity of bomb tonnage that was guided
Q uantity of bomb tonnage that was unguided
O ther Q uantity of day and night strikes
The only variable in the list above that was directly accessible from the
Missions database was the number of BEs to which aircraft were tasked.
All other variables were derived by us from the raw data provided in the
Missions database.
WOE Variables Quantity of BE Numbers. BE numbers are a method of categorizing and
identifying various types of target installations for target study and general
planning. The number of BEs are only considered an approximation of the
actual number of targets or desired mean points of impact (DMPI) that
aircraft were assigned to and may have struck. The quantity of BE numbers
can only be considered an approximation because a single BE number can
encapsulate more than a single DMPI. For example, an entire airfield may
be assigned a single BE number, yet there may exist multiple DMPIs on that
airfield (hardened aircraft shelters) that could potentially inflate the actual
number of targets.
6
Quantity of Strikes. We used the GWAPS method of assessing strike counts
based on Missions data. We excluded only those strike efforts that were
most likely not to have expended some actual weight of effort against
targets. For example, we included strike events from the database that
were signified as weather-aborted or canceled, without reference to why
or whether or not the cancellation occurred over the target or on the
ground before takeoff. Aircraft that arrived at the target area, and then the
strike events were canceled because of weather, still represented a part of
the weight of effort that was expended on a target. This is because
6
The lack of consistently detailed DMPI indicators in the database does not permit a reliable estimate
of the actual number of targets represented by individual BE-numbered targets within all target
categories. Because the database contains at least two fields to capture information on DMPIs, there
could be at least two DMPIs per BE number. This would effectively double the number of targets.
Therefore, at most, the 862 BE-numbered targets in our database may be the lower bound of the actual
number of targets.
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
numerous resources are required simply to get the aircraft safely to the
target (for example, tankers, planning time and resources, airborne
warning and control system (AWACS) resources, and possibly escort and
SEAD aircraft). As concluded by GWAPS researchers, their database has
inconsistent abbreviations and meanings attached to the codes for
canceled missions.
7
This lack of consistency and clarity suggests that
using mission cancellation codes as a filter for strike summary information
is not reliable, and therefore, we did not use them.
Quantity of Bombs. The quantity of bombs was determined from those
database fields that provided some information on the number of bombs
that an aircraft delivered and the number of aircraft that delivered it. If the
database fields listing the quantity of bombs were empty, bomb quantities
for those strike events were not determined.
8
The quantity of bombs
measure does not include clearly designated air-to-air ordnance, aircraft
gun ordnance, decoys, or psyop delivery canisters.
Quantity of Bomb Tonnage. The quantity of bomb tonnage was determined
by entering a new variable into the database representing the weight of
air-to-ground bombs (in pounds), summing these weights, and then
dividing the sum by 2,000 to determine the overall amount of bomb
tonnage. The quantity of bomb tonnage could only be calculated for those
entries in the database where a verifiable type and quantity of bomb
actually appeared.
9
TOE Variables Quantity of Guided and Unguided Bombs. The quantity of guided and
unguided bombs was calculated in the same manner as the quantity of
bombs described previously; however, ordnance was categorized
according to whether it was precision-guided or unguided.
The ability to determine guided and unguided bomb categorizations was
dependent on the way that ordnance was designated in the database. If the
type of bomb was clearly indicated in the Missions database, then the
category to which it belonged—guided or unguided—could be determined.
In many cases, if bomb types were unclear or missing (thus not permitting
7
Gulf War Air Power Survey, vol. V, pt. I: Statistical Compendium and Chronology (Secret), pp. 425-26.
8
Approximately 2 percent of the database records used in the analysis, and which provide designation
of the primary type of aircraft ordnance, were blank.
9
The quantity of bomb tonnage is obviously a function of information on the quantity of bombs. Thus,
the baseline percentage of database records where information on bomb tonnage could not be
calculated is 2 percent—as noted in the previous footnote.
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
clear categorizations), those bombs would not have been categorized.
10
However, in those instances in which a bomb type was unclear but
additional information permitted a categorization, bomb categorizations
were done. For example, it was not unusual to see an entry like ‘27X’ in the
database field that was supposed to contain the primary type of aircraft
ordnance. In many cases, examination of the type of aircraft that was
associated with the ordnance would indicate what type of ordnance it was.
Using the example above, aircraft ordnance entries like ‘27X’ had other
data indicating that the delivery platform was an F-117; thus, the bomb
was assumed to be a GBU-27 and a guided categorization would have been
provided.
Quantity of Guided and Unguided Bomb Tonnage. The method and
restrictions for calculating guided and unguided bomb tonnage are the
same as those described previously under the WOE Variables section.
Other Descriptive Variables The time at which strikes occurred was determined from the time on
target variable provided in the Missions database. TOTs, designated in Zulu
time, were translated to an air tasking order (ATO) time to determine
whether strike events were occurring during daylight or night hours. A key
provided by GWAPS indicated the ATO hours associated with daylight and
night hours.
11
DIA Phase III BDA Reports The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) generated battle damage
assessments during Operation Desert Storm in support of U.S. Central
Command (CENTCOM). The DIA’s phase III reports detailed the extent of
physical and functional damage on strategic targets based on multiple
intelligence sources.
12
DIA prepared phase III BDA reports only for targets
identified by CENTCOM. These targets were of special interest to CENTCOM
and lent themselves to data collection from national sources. The phase III
analyses reported the degree to which campaign objectives were met at a
10
Estimates are approximately the same as noted previously—about 2 percent of the database records
used in the analysis.
11
GWAPS, vol. V, pt. I (Secret), p 558.
12
Intelligence sources included imagery from national sources, human intelligence, signal intelligence
or electronic intelligence, and tactical reconnaissance.
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
BE-numbered target at a specific point in time.
13
These reports did not
necessarily assess the impact of any one mission or strike package; rather,
they assessed the effect of the cumulative efforts of the air campaign on
the function and capability of a specific target. After assessing all sources
of intelligence to determine the functional damage achieved at a target, DIA
made a summary recommendation of whether a restrike was needed.
Phase III reports were written for 432 fixed strategic targets. The number
of strategic targets assessed by DIA is only somewhat over half the number
of strategic targets CENTCOM identified by the end of the war (772) and half
the number of the BE-numbered targets identified in GWAPS’ Missions
database (862). In addition, these targets were not necessarily
representative of the entire strategic target set.
14
However, they do
represent the targets of greatest interest to CENTCOM planners. CENTCOM’s
level of interest is reflected in the repeated assessments requested for and
conducted on some key targets; several of the targets were assessed over
10 times.
The phase III reports do not provide strike-by-strike functional BDA for
each strategic target, but they represent the best cumulative all-source BDA
available to planners during the course of the war.
15
Though a few
agencies produced postwar BDA analyses on narrowly defined target sets,
no other agency or organization prepared BDA reports comparable to DIA’s,
which drew upon multiple sources and assessed hundreds of diverse
targets throughout the theater.
16
13
DIA also produced phase I and II reports during the war. Phase I reports identified whether a target
was hit or missed on a specific mission. These reports contained the initial indications from the
imagery and were transmitted orally to the theater. Phase II reports were more detailed than phase I
reports, describing the extent of physical damage as well as functional impact based on imagery.
Phase III reports also provided functional BDA to the theater but required more time because they
were based on a fusion of all available intelligence sources rather than imagery alone.
14
Our data sources did not provide us with some detailed target information such as number and
characteristics of DMPIs, threat environment, campaign objectives, or Iraqi adaptations or
countermeasures that would enable us to compare targets assessed by DIA and those that were not.
15
Gulf War planners who were frustrated with the timeliness, coverage, and occasionally the
conclusions of BDA based primarily on imagery increasingly relied on aircraft video to assess strike
success. One blackhole planner stated that strike BDA was assessed in theater based on F-117, F-15E,
and F-111F video (taken during the delivery of laser-guided bombs) and restrikes were postponed until
phase III reports confirmed or refuted the cockpit video. Thus, during the campaign, for some targets,
BDA and restrike determinations were supplemented by—but not wholly replaced by—cockpit video.
16
See Central Intelligence Agency, Operation Desert Storm: A Snapshot of the Battlefield (Sept. 1993);
Defense Intelligence Agency, Vulnerability of Hardened Aircraft Bunkers and Shelters to Precision
Guided Munitions (Apr. 1994); Foreign Science and Technology Center, Desert Storm Armored Vehicle
Survey/BDA (Charlottesville, Va.: J oint Intelligence Survey Team, J an. 1992).
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
Our Determinations of Target
Success
We used phase III reports on fixed strategic targets to determine the
extent to which the functional capabilities of the target had been
eliminated.
17
Using the final BDA report prepared during the campaign on
each target, we assessed whether the campaign against that target had
been fully successful or not fully successful. We based our judgments on
the phase III report’s (1) physical damage summary, (2) cumulative
summary of intelligence data on functional damage, and (3) restrike
recommendation, if provided.
We rated the campaign against a target as fully successful (FS) if the
phase III report stated following:
• The target was destroyed or so damaged as to be unusable or
nonfunctional, and the diminished condition of the target was because of
the physical damage of air strikes or indirectly attributable to the air
campaign, such as the threat of strikes.
• The restrike recommendation was “no.”
18
We rated the campaign against the target as not fully successful (NFS) if the
phase III report stated the following:
• The target was not destroyed or so damaged as to be unusable or
nonfunctional.
• The facility had been struck and suffered only partial (or no) damage or
degradation and remained on the target list.
• Insufficient data were available to confirm that the objective had been
met, and the target therefore remained on the list.
19
• The restrike recommendation was “yes.”
20
Table I.5 illustrates examples of the phase III BDA information reported by
DIA and our FS or NFS determinations.
17
DIA generated 986 phase III reports covering 432 separate targets. We used the final phase III report
when more than one report was produced on a target.
18
Additional strikes on a target were recommended by DIA to CENTCOM when the results of their
BDA indicated that military activity or capability remained at the target site. Restrikes may or may not
have occurred for a number of reasons (for example, changing or conflicting priorities in-theater,
constraints imposed by the weather, or limited dissemination of BDA results).
19
It was standard procedure during the air campaign to retain targets on the daily air tasking order and
the Master Target List (MTL) and retask aircraft to the target if BDA was absent or inconclusive.
20
By categorizing a target as NFS, we are not implying that the strikes (or other actions of the air
campaign) did not have an adverse impact on the enemy at that location. In many instances, strikes
resulted in the partial destruction of the targets and may have affected the tactics and level of enemy
activity. An NFS rating implies only that the complete destruction of the target or the elimination of its
function had not been achieved (or could not be confirmed) and additional strikes were necessary.
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
Table I.5: Examples of Phase III BDA and Our FS or NFS Assessments
Target category Target type BDA summary Our assessment
C
3
Air defense radar 50 percent degraded; nonoperational; restrike: no FS
Air defense radar Radar and command capability remain; restrike: yes NFS
ELE Power plant Turbines not operating; restrike: no FS
Power plant I nstallation 70 percent operational; switchyard must be
destroyed
NFS
LO C Highway bridge Direct hit, bridge nonoperational; traffic rerouted FS
Highway bridge Bridge still operable; no damage NFS
NBC M unitions storage All bunkers out of operation; restrike: no FS
Chemical warfare
production and storage
Laboratory intact; restrike: yes NFS
O CA Airfield Limited operations possible; restrike: no— unless flight
operations resume
FS
Airfield 50 percent hardened aircraft shelters intact; airfield
operational; restrike: yes
NFS
Data Limitations Although DIA’s phase III reports were by far the most comprehensive
compilation of BDA for strategic, fixed targets produced during or after the
campaign, there were several limitations to these data. These include
• Not all strategic targets were assessed. DIA issued phase III reports on
432 BE-numbered strategic targets, which was a total lower than either the
final number of strategic targets identified by CENTCOM during the war or
the number of BE-numbered targets in the Missions database, and which
was a set of targets that were not necessarily representative of the
universe of strategic targets.
• No effort was made after the campaign to update or verify the vast
majority of the reports. The accuracy of some analyses without ground
verification is very difficult to determine.
• Imagery limitations can hinder analysis. Imagery collection may at times
have preceded strikes because combat missions were delayed or
postponed. Imagery may not have been taken from the optimal side of a
target or at an inappropriate angle for assessment purposes.
• According to DIA, the reliability of assessments grew over the course of the
war with the increased experience of the analysts. Thus, the assessments
later in the conflict may be more reliable than those made earlier because
analysts learned more about the capabilities of the aircraft and munitions
through the course of the war.
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
Other Data We obtained aircraft and munitions cost data from Air Force and Navy
documents and costs as identified in DOD’s periodic Selected Acquisition
Reports to the Congress.
Analyses To analyze the use of aircraft and munitions in achieving air campaign
objectives, we used the Missions database to determine weight-of-effort
and type-of-effort measures at two levels. First, we calculated WOE and TOE
at the broad level of the target category for each of the 12 strategic target
categories shown in table I.1. Second, we calculated WOE and TOE for each
aircraft and TLAM across the 12 categories.
We used phase III reports on 432 fixed strategic targets to determine the
extent to which the functional capabilities of the target had been
eliminated. To correlate outcomes on targets with the input to them, we
matched phase III data with data in the Missions database. For 357
strategic targets (where both BDA and WOE/TOE data existed), we sought to
assess the relationship between the WOE and TOE data representing
campaign inputs with phase III BDA representing campaign outcomes at the
target level.
21
We conducted our work between J uly 1992 and December 1995 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Strengths and
Limitations
This analysis of campaign, aircraft, and munitions use and effectiveness
benefited from our use of the most comprehensive strike and BDA data
produced from the Persian Gulf War; a previously untried methodology to
match inputs and outputs on targets; additional qualitative and
quantitative data obtained from Desert Storm veterans and after-action
reports to corroborate information in the primary databases; and the
results of other Desert Storm analyses, such as the Gulf War Air Power
Survey.
This study is the first to match available Desert Storm strike and BDA data
by target and to attempt to assess the effectiveness of the multiple weapon
systems across target categories. Despite the data limitations discussed
below, our methodology provided systematic information on how weapon
systems were employed, what level and types of weapons were required to
21
This methodology was discussed with DIA analysts who were familiar with both the Missions
database and the phase III reports. They identified no reason why this methodology would not result in
valid comparisons of inputs and outcomes. In addition, they believed that the use of WOE and TOE
variables would alleviate data problems previously encountered by analysts conducting strike BDAs.
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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
achieve success, and what was the relative cost-effectiveness of multiple
platforms. The reliability and validity of these findings are strengthened by
our use of interviews, after-action reports, and other Desert Storm
analyses to better understand platform performance variables and place
the results of our effectiveness analyses in the appropriate context.
Our analyses of campaign inputs (from the Missions database) and
outcomes (from the phase III reports) against ground targets have
limitations of both scope and reliability imposed by constraints in the
primary Desert Storm databases. Systematically correlating munition
inputs against targets to outcomes was made highly problematic by the
fact that the phase III BDA reports did not provide a comprehensive
compilation of BDA for all strategic targets and could not differentiate the
effects of one system from another on the same target.
22
We sought to work around data limitations through a qualitative analysis
of systems, based on diverse sources. Claims made for system
performance were assessed in light of the most rigorous evaluation that
could be made with the available data. We have explicitly noted data
insufficiencies and uncertainties. Overall, data gaps and inconsistencies
made an across-the-board cost-effectiveness evaluation difficult. However,
there were sufficient data either to assess all the major claims made by
DOD for the performance of the major systems studied or to indicate where
the data are lacking to support certain claims.
22
Such assessments, system by system, were not the goal of these reports. Since targets were generally
assessed only episodically and, in most cases, after being hit by numerous diverse aircraft and
munitions over a period of time, it was impossible to know which munition from which aircraft had
caused what amount of damage.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 59
Appendix II
The Use of Aircraft and Munitions in the Air
Campaign
In this appendix, we respond to the requesters’ questions about the use,
performance, and contributions of individual weapon systems used in
Desert Storm, particularly in regard to stealth technology and the F-117.
We organize our discussion by four sets of subquestions, as follows.
• Operating environment: What predominant operating conditions prevailed
during the air campaign? Specifically, we examine the time available to the
coalition to plan the air campaign and deploy forces to the region; the
desert environment, the weather, and environmental factors that affected
air operations; and the quality of the Iraqi threat, including Iraqi air
defense capabilities and countermeasures to coalition bombing efforts.
• Weapon system capability and actual use: Based on original design or
previous performance, what were the expected capabilities of the U.S.
air-to-ground aircraft and their munitions before the war? Did
performance during Desert Storm differ from expectations and, if so, in
what way? We assess patterns of aircraft and munition use during the war,
such as the kind of targets to which aircraft were tasked; night versus day
employment; the relative use of guided and unguided munitions; and the
particular performance capabilities of the F-117. We also evaluate official
statements made before and after the war about the capabilities of aircraft
and their respective target sensors in locating and identifying targets in
various weather and when operating at night.
• Combat operations support requirements: What was required to support
the air-to-ground aircraft in the form of refueling tankers, sensors, and
suppression of Iraqi defenses? We also address three controversies related
to support for the F-117: Did the F-117s receive radar jamming or other
types of support? What is the evidence that they were detectable by radar?
Did they achieve tactical surprise?
• Survivability: Were the survival rates of the various air-to-ground aircraft
similar, and what factors affected aircraft survivability? In particular, was
the F-117 survival rate unique among these aircraft? And were the
defenses faced by the F-117s uniquely severe or comparable to those
encountered by other aircraft?
Operating Conditions:
Time, Environment,
and Enemy Capability
In this section, we review the operating conditions in Desert Storm with
the object of distilling the lessons that can be learned for the future.
A 6-Month Planning and
Deployment Period
Following the Iraqi seizure of Kuwait, U.S. forces had nearly 6 months to
plan the air campaign and to deploy massive forces, many to existing
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Campaign
bases and facilities in Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf states,
supplied in part from prepositioned stores as the buildup proceeded.
1
The
Iraqis chose not to interfere in any regard with this massive buildup,
leaving their own troops in static positions as the coalition deployed
increasingly large air, ground, and sea forces. The coalition had the luxury
of time to deploy all the forces it needed, along with their supplies, while
the enemy did little to obstruct the process. In considering future
contingencies, and using Desert Storm as a baseline experience, it is
important to remember that the United States was permitted an
uncurtailed buildup of forces and military supplies to existing
infrastructures on foreign, yet friendly, soil that directly bordered the
hostilities.
The 6-month period also permitted identifying and studying important
strategic targets in Iraq. Planners were able to extensively review and
revise plans for the critical strikes that took place in the opening days of
the air campaign. During this period, many of the units that saw some of
the most activity in Desert Storm were able to practice flying in the desert
environment, honing their skills under conditions for which some had not
previously trained, given the expectation that large-scale combat would
most likely take place in a European scenario. There were opportunities to
accumulate intelligence on the nature of Iraqi defenses in part by
intentionally tripping Iraqi radars and observing Iraqi reactions. In effect,
the U.S. military services were able to plan their initial actions thoroughly
and in great detail, including the complex interactions among dozens of
U.S. and allied military units, and to build up large frontline forces and
reserves without enemy interference.
The Desert Environment
and Air Power
The vast, flat, open terrain of the KTO and Iraq was considerably more
favorable the effective employment of air power than most other
geographies around the globe. While camouflage, gullies, and revetments
offered some possibilities for Iraqi concealment, almost all analyses of the
conflict conclude that, overall, it was easier to find targets in the desert
than in jungle or mountainous terrain. Moreover, until the ground
campaign started after 40 days of air bombardment, many Iraqi ground
forces remained entrenched in fixed positions, permitting repeated strikes
against both personnel and equipment.
1
See Operation Desert Storm: Transportation and Distribution of Equipment and Supplies in Southwest
Asia (GAO/NSIAD-92-20, Dec. 26, 1991).
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Cloud cover and storms made for the worst weather in that region for at
least 14 years, but conditions were no worse than what would probably be
the best ones likely in other conflicts. At the same time, because many air
strikes were carried out at night, and some under adverse weather
conditions, the sensors used by aircraft and munitions to locate, identify,
and track targets were used under a wide variety of environmental
conditions.
Iraqi Air Defense
Capabilities
On paper, Iraq’s air defense system appeared to be formidable to many
observers before the air campaign. Iraq had purchased what was widely
described as a state-of-the-art integrated air defense system (IADS) from
France, which linked 17 intercept operations centers (IOC) to four sector
operations centers (SOC). The IOCs were linked to air bases with
interceptor aircraft, as well as to dozens of surface-to-air missile and
antiaircraft artillery sites. With multiple and redundant communication
modes, the system could, in theory, rapidly detect attacking aircraft and
direct antiaircraft defenses against them. (The IADS is described in app. VI.)
However, the Iraqi IADS had been designed to counter limited threats from
either Israel, to its west, or Iran, to its east, not from the south and north,
nor from a massive coalition force to which the United States alone
contributed more than 1,000 combat aircraft. As the Navy’s Strike
Projection Evaluation and Anti-Air Research (SPEAR) department reported
before the war:
“the command elements of the Iraqi air defense organization (the . . . interceptor force, the
IADF [Iraqi Air Defense Force], as well as Army air defense) are unlikely to function well
under the stress of a concerted air campaign.”
2
Similarly, on almost every performance dimension, the Iraqi IADS was
remarkably vulnerable to massive and rapid degradation. Evidence from
the Air Force, DIA, GWAPS, SPEAR, and other expert sources shows that the
principal deficiencies of the Iraqi IADS were that (1) it could track only a
limited number of threats, and it had very limited capabilities against
aircraft with a small radar cross-section, such as the F-117; (2) its design
was easy to disrupt, and the key IADS nodes were easy to target,
[DELETED]; and (3) many of its SAMs were old or limited in capability, and
the Iraqi air force played almost no role in the conflict, although it had
been intended to be a major component of air defenses.
2
Naval Intelligence Command, Navy Operational Intelligence Center, SPEAR Department, Iraqi Threat
to U.S. Forces (Secret), December 1990, p. 3-14.
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In addition, the political context of the war permitted the development of a
strong, cohesive, coalition force while Iraq had few allies, none of which
were particularly strong or in a position to materially aid Iraq.
Iraqi Countermeasures Our review of unit after-action reports, lessons-learned reports, and
interviews with pilots suggests that Iraqi countermeasures to degrade or
impede the effectiveness of coalition air attacks or communications were
inconsistent and did not appear to have represented as much as could
have been achieved.
[DELETED]
Finally, toward the end of the war, the Iraqis ignited hundreds of Kuwaiti
oil wells, creating vast plumes of black oil-based smoke, which seriously
degraded visual observation and air reconnaissance as well as the
infrared (IR) and electro-optical (EO) weapon sensors and the laser
designators on aircraft. The purpose of this action appears to have been
more to punish Kuwait than to impede bombing efforts, although it
ultimately did this.
It is difficult to assess the overall success of the Iraqi countermeasures
employed against aircraft sensors since it is not readily known how many
decoy targets were attacked or how many actual targets were not attacked
because they were effectively camouflaged or hidden among their
surroundings. At the same time, given the absence of attempted Iraqi
jamming of satellite communications, little if any jamming against
coalition aircraft radars, and the apparent absence of any discovery during
or after the war that countermeasures were used on a massive or even
broad scale, it would appear, on balance, that the use of countermeasures
in Desert Storm was inconsistent, at best, and did not seriously stress or
impede U.S. aircraft sensors, bombing efforts, or communications.
In sum, to answer our first subquestion, we found that a number of unique
political, logistic, intelligence, and threat conditions characterized the
environment in which Desert Storm took place. These conditions appear
to have, at minimum, facilitated the overall planning and execution of the
air campaign and, therefore, must be considered in assessments of Desert
Storm outcomes and in generalizing the lessons learned from this
campaign.
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Air-to-Ground Weapon
Systems: Planned
Versus Actual Use
The second major evaluation subquestion concerns the prewar capabilities
of air-to-ground aircraft, munitions, and sensors; their stated prewar
missions; and their actual use in Desert Storm.
3
In this section, we discuss
(1) comparing prewar aircraft mission capabilities to actual mission use in
Desert Storm, (2) examining specific performance issues for the F-117, and
(3) comparing prewar target location and acquisition capabilities to
capabilities observed in Desert Storm.
Pre-Desert Storm Aircraft
Missions Versus Desert
Storm Use
We compared official Air Force and Navy descriptions of the types of
combat missions for which their respective air-to-ground aircraft were
designed and produced to whether each aircraft actually performed such
missions in Desert Storm.
4
(See table II.1.)
3
A comparison of design and actual Desert Storm missions for aircraft under review has the potential
to reveal findings about the attributes and limitations of the aircraft, the adequacy of pilot and crew
training, and the nature of the conflict. For example, deviations found between design and actual
missions might reveal (1) an inability of an aircraft to perform an expected mission, (2) an
unanticipated mission, or (3) a unique tactical environment.
4
We excluded two types of missions that are highly specialized—search and rescue and support of
special operations forces.
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Table II.1: Air-to-Ground Combat Mission Categories Attributed to Selected Aircraft Before Desert Storm Versus Those
Actually Performed
a
AI
b
CAS
c
SEAD
d
OCA
e
DCA
f
SCAP and JMO
g
Aircraft C DS C DS C DS C DS C DS C DS
F-117 X X N N X X X X N N X
h
N
F-111F X X N N X X X X N N X
i
N
F-15E X X N N X X X X X N X N
A-6E X X X X X X X X N N
j
X X
F-16 X X X X X X X X X N X X
F/A-18 X X X X X X X X X X X X
A-10 X
k
X X X X X N X X N X
l
N
B-52 X X X N X X X X N N X N
G R-1( U.K .) X X X N X X X X X N X N
a
An “X” in column C ( capability) indicates that the platform was credited with the mission
capability before Desert Storm ( DS) ; an “N” indicates that it was not credited with the capability.
An “X” in column DS indicates that records show that the platform conducted missions or strikes
of this type in Desert Storm; an “N” indicates that available records do not show this.
b
Air interdiction (AI): These are missions to destroy, neutralize, or delay enemy ground or naval
forces before they can operate against friendly forces. AI targets include transportation systems
and vehicles, military personnel and supplies, communication facilities, tactical missiles, and
infrastructure.
c
Close air support (CAS): These missions support ground operations by destroying enemy
capability in close proximity to friendly ground forces.
d
Suppression of enemy air defenses: These missions strive to increase the survival or
effectiveness of friendly aircraft operations by destroying or neutralizing enemy air defenses.
e
Offensive counterair: These missions seek out and neutralize or destroy enemy aerospace
assets, such as airfields, aircraft in shelters, and radar sites.
f
Defensive counterair: These are defensive air-to-air missions flown against airborne enemy
aircraft.
g
Surface combat air patrol and joint maritime operations: Surface combat air patrol are sorties
of naval aircraft to protect surface ships from attack. Joint maritime operations include the use of
Air Force aircraft to assist in the achievement of military objectives in the naval environment.
h
The F-117’s JM O capability to attack naval targets at sea is described as “minimal.” I t does,
however, have the capability to attack ships and other naval targets in port.
i
Note h applies to the F-111F also.
j
The A-6E is not credited with capability in this mission category. O nly four DCA sorties were flown
in Desert Storm; for that reason, the cell has an “N.”
k
The A-10’s AI capability was described as limited in M CM 3-1 vol. I I I .
l
The A-10’s JM O capability was described as limited.
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Sources: USAF TAC M CM 3-1 vols. I I I , V, VI , XI I I , XVI I , XI X ( Secret) , NAVAI R Tactical M anuals for
the F-18 and A-6 ( Confidential) , official descriptions of the G R-1 from the M inistry of Defense of
the United K ingdom, and G WAPS, vol. V, pt. I ( Secret) , pp. 336-404.
We note in the table where the Air Force or Navy declared a mission
capability to be limited. If an aircraft performed a very small number of
missions, such as fewer than five, we did not credit the aircraft with
exhibiting that capability in Desert Storm. A very small sample of missions
does not permit the reliable determination that the aircraft, successfully or
unsuccessfully, demonstrated the capability.
Table II.1 shows that in the four mission categories that emphasize
air-to-ground attack—AI, CAS, SEAD, and OCA—all the aircraft under review
were used to a meaningful extent during Desert Storm to perform missions
consonant with their stated capabilities. In only one case—that of A-10s
carrying out OCA missions—was an aircraft used for a mission for which it
had not been envisioned.
5
The DCA mission category was one of two in which aircraft were not used
for a mission for which they had an acknowledged pre-Desert Storm
capability. Except for F/A-18s, none of the aircraft under review credited
with a defensive air-to-air capability actually had an opportunity to use it
in Desert Storm. Overall, nearly all of the Iraqi aircraft that were shot
down were attacked by F-15Cs.
The relative paucity of air-to-air combat missions reflects the fact that, for
the most part, comparatively few Iraqi aircraft attempted to attack either
coalition aircraft or ground targets, despite the fact that Iraq had about 860
combat aircraft and attack helicopters combined. Overall, the Iraqi air
force essentially chose not to challenge the coalition. Over 100 Iraqi
combat aircraft were flown to Iran during the war.
In sum, the data on intended versus actual Desert Storm mission use
indicate no substantial discrepancies between the anticipated capabilities
of aircraft and the missions for which they were actually employed in
Desert Storm. Where stated capabilities were not used, it was apparent
that there was little need for them. (See app. VII.)
Patterns of Aircraft and
Munitions Use
Our second evaluation subquestion further concerns whether the Desert
Storm data revealed particular patterns of aircraft and munitions usage, on
5
Although Navy aircraft performed SCAP and J MO missions, Air Force aircraft with this capability
performed no significant number. This may have reflected a combination of sufficient Navy assets to
deal with these targets and traditional service rivalries.
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the weight of effort and type of effort measures, across the 12 strategic
target categories. (See app. I for a summary of the WOE and TOE analysis.)
Patterns in Aircraft Target
Assignments
Many strategic targets were assigned basic encyclopedia numbers in the
target planning and study process. Target assignment data that include the
number and type of aircraft and munitions were available from the
Missions database for 862 targets with BE numbers, including kill box
targets assigned individual BE numbers.
6
Figure II.1 shows BE-numbered
strategic targets in each of 12 categories that were tasked to different
types of aircraft.
7
The data in figure II.1 can be analyzed in terms of the
pattern (or lack thereof) in aircraft target assignments to BE-numbered
targets across the target categories, thus suggesting which aircraft, if any,
planners tended to prefer.
In less than half the strategic target categories—that is, GVC, NAV, NBC, SCU,
and C
3
—did one or two types of aircraft strongly predominate. First, in the
GVC category, F-117s were assigned to 27 (87 percent), F-16s to 8
(26 percent), and F-111Fs to 1 (3 percent) of the BE-numbered targets.
Given that GVC targets were generally high-value, in heavily defended
areas, and sometimes either deeply buried bunkers or heavily reinforced
structures, the F-117’s role here appears consistent with its intended
mission and the capabilities of the specially designed warhead-penetrating
I-2000 series LGBs with which it was equipped.
6
KBX targets were mostly related to ground troops, for example, tanks, artillery, and trucks located in
large geographic areas. (See app. I for a discussion of kill box targets.)
7
This and similar analyses of the Missions database do not include the A-10. If the data on the over
8,000 A-10 sorties had been usable, it obviously would have comprised a major part of these analyses.
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Figure II.1: BE-Numbered Targets Assigned to Aircraft
a
CCC ELE GVC KBX LOC MIB NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCU
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
Target category
Number of targets
GR1
FA18
F16
F15E
F117
F111F
B52
A6E
a
The total BE-numbered targets depicted is greater than 862 because some BEs were assigned
to more than 1 type of aircraft.
A preference pattern can also be found in F-117 assignments to NBC targets
(25 of 29, or 86 percent) and C
3
targets (151 of 229, or 66 percent). In none
of these was any other aircraft assigned to even half the percentage
accounted for by the F-117s. However, considerable redundancy among
aircraft target assignments is apparent: while the F-117s were assigned to
86 percent of the NBC BEs, the seven other aircraft, in sum, were assigned
to over 90 percent of these BEs.
Second, a strategic target category assignment preference was evident in
the NAV category, where two types of Navy aircraft, A-6Es and F/A-18s,
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were respectively assigned to 83 and 79 percent of the 24 naval-related
targets with BEs.
8
Third, a pattern of preference can be found in the SCU category, where
F-15Es were assigned to just over 68 percent of the 51 BE-numbered
targets. In contrast, the next highest participant against these targets was
the F-117, assigned to about 30 percent.
Finally, in half of the strategic target categories—ELE, KBX, LOC, MIB, OIL,
OCA—no aircraft among those under review was alone assigned to more
than 60 percent of the targets or was otherwise clearly predominant in
terms of assigned BEs.
9
For example, in the OCA category, all eight aircraft
were assigned to between 27 and 48 percent of the BE-numbered targets,
indicating very substantial overlap among assigned aircraft and targets.
The data show similar overlap in the five other categories (ELE, KBX, LOC,
MIB, and OIL).
In sum, the F-15E, F-117, A-6E, and F/A-18 were preferred platforms
against particular sets of strategic targets. However, the general patterns
suggest that preferences, as revealed by patterns in target assignments,
were the exception and that among the aircraft reviewed, most were
assigned to multiple strategic targets across multiple target categories.
Patterns of Munitions Use Contrary to the general public’s impression about the use of guided
munitions in Desert Storm, our analysis shows that approximately
95 percent of the total bombs delivered against strategic targets were
unguided; 5 percent were guided. Unguided bombs accounted for over
90 percent of both total bombs and bomb tonnage. Approximately
92 percent of the total tonnage was unguided, compared to 8 percent
guided. These percentages characterized not only the overall effort but
also the proportion of guided and unguided tonnage delivered in each
week of the air campaign.
Interviews with pilots and Desert Storm planners and a review of relevant
DOD reports, such as tactical manuals on aircraft and munitions, identified
reasons for this pattern. Among these were (1) poor weather and
8
Clearly, 83 and 79 percent do not add to 100 percent. When the combined percentages of individual
aircraft target assignments do not add to 100, it means that at least two or more aircraft were assigned
to some of the same BE-numbered targets.
9
The F-16 was assigned to 51 percent of the BE-numbered KBX targets. However, a large number of the
targets in this category had no BEs assigned to them and are therefore not included in this analysis.
Thus, the 51 percent for the F-16s may not most accurately characterize the percentage of KBX-related
targets that were assigned to F-16s.
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conflict-induced environmental conditions such as smoke from bombing,
which degraded or blocked the targeting sensors required for the delivery
of guided ordnance; (2) the comparatively high cost of guided bombs and
resulting smaller inventories (pilots were frequently told to conserve
guided bomb deliveries); and related to inventory, (3) the fact that many
strategic targets were large and therefore generally appropriate for the use
of unguided ordnance.
The F-111F and the F-117 accounted for the majority of the guided bomb
tonnage delivered against strategic targets compared to the other
platforms reviewed. Together, the 42 F-117s and 64 F-111Fs in theater
delivered at least 7.3 million pounds of guided bombs against Desert Storm
strategic targets over the course of the 43-day air campaign. Overall, more
guided bomb tonnage was delivered against OCA targets than against the
other types of strategic targets, and the F-111F accounted for the bulk of
this delivery. OCA targets included hardened aircraft shelters and bunkers,
which were considered important and were targeted consistently, not least
because they housed much of Iraq’s air force. The achievement and
retention of air supremacy was critical to the successful, safe continuation
of the air campaign; thus, OCA targets were important.
In at least one case—that of the Navy’s night-capable A-6E—it appears
that capability to deliver LGBs was used only sparingly, despite the fact that
the 115 A-6Es deployed constituted almost 51 percent of all U.S.
LGB-capable aircraft on the first day of Desert Storm. A-6Es delivered
fewer than 600 LGBs, or approximately 1.1 million pounds of bombs; these
constituted about 7 percent of all the LGBs used in the war.
Summing across all target categories, the data show that, excluding the
A-10, F-16s and B-52s accounted for the preponderance (70 percent) of all
unguided bomb tonnage delivered. B-52s delivered at least 25,000 tons
(37 percent of total tonnage), and F-16s delivered at least 21,000 tons of
unguided ordnance against strategic targets (31 percent).
10
Night Strikes Most strikes against strategic targets, including nearly all from U.S.
LGB-capable aircraft, were conducted at night. Five of the eight
air-to-ground aircraft under review carried out at least two thirds of their
strikes against strategic targets at night: F-117 (100 percent), F-111F
10
The tonnage delivered by A-10s is unknown but may have been substantial given its sizable payload
and more than 8,000 sorties during the air campaign.
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(99.6 percent), F-15E (94.2 percent), A-6E (72 percent), and B-52
(67 percent). Figure II.2 compares the percentage of day and night strikes.
Figure II.2: Percent of Day and Night
Strikes for Selected Aircraft
A6E B52
F111F F117
F15E
5.8%
94.2%
0.4% 99.6%
100.0%
27.5%
72.5%
66.9%
33.1%
Day
Night
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The use of the F-117 and F-111F nearly exclusively at night reflects
pre-Desert Storm expectations regarding mission capability. Although the
F-111F can operate during the day, it has a designated emphasis on night
operations. The F-117 can technically also operate during the day. But it
was designed for night employment: it is not stealthy in day or low-light
conditions, being readily visible to the human eye. Some of the design and
performance characteristics that make the F-117 low-observable to radar
[DELETED] compared to other aircraft.
The F-15E conducted 94.2 percent of its strikes at night, reflecting a
preference for this operational context since its stated mission capability
includes either day or night operations. B-52s and A-6Es also showed a
preference for night operations, with more than two thirds of their strikes
against strategic targets conducted at night. Finally, the British Tornado
was about evenly split on its percentage of day and night strikes. Overall,
the data indicate that among the air-to-ground platforms reviewed, more
than half conducted two thirds or more of their operations at night.
The apparent preference for nighttime operations seems most likely
related to maximizing aircraft survivability. As discussed later in this
appendix, in Desert Storm, optically guided Iraqi IR SAMs and AAA were
responsible for the largest number of aircraft casualties (losses and
damage). Therefore, nighttime operations appear to have enhanced
aircraft survivability. Further, in the desert environment, the effectiveness
of night attacks was improved for aircraft with infrared targeting systems
because operations at night provide optimal heat contrast for some targets
as the sand cools faster than many objects in it.
F-117 Performance The F-117 has received highly favorable press for its achievements in the
Gulf War. The Air Force has officially stated that the F-117 contributed
much more to the Desert Storm strategic air campaign than would have
been expected given its limited numbers. In its September 1991 white
paper on Desert Storm, the Air Force stated that although the F-117s made
up only 2.5 percent of the aircraft in theater on the first night of the war,
they hit over 31 percent of the strategic targets, and this pattern was
exhibited both on the first night of the campaign, when Iraqi air defenses
were the strongest, and throughout the remainder of the war.
11
11
As recently as the February 1995 Annual Report to the President and the Congress, the report of the
Secretary of the Air Force stated that “the F-117 destroyed 40 percent of all strategic targets while
flying only 2 percent of all strategic sorties during Desert Storm.” (See p. 300) While the portion of the
coalition air forces represented by the F-117 is addressed in this section, the accuracy and
effectiveness of the F-117 are addressed in appendix III.
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Similarly, Lockheed, the primary contractor for the F-117, reported that
over the course of the war, F-117s represented only 2 percent of total
tactical assets yet accounted for 40 percent of all strategic targets
attacked. The contribution of the F-117s was also highlighted in DOD’s title
V report as the only aircraft to strike targets in all 12 strategic categories.
Clearly, the question of the relative contribution of the F-117, in
combination with claims about its accuracy (see app. III) and stealth
characteristics, has important implications for future force structure and
procurement decisions. In particular, we sought to determine if the F-117
had been appropriately compared to aircraft with similar missions and
whether the data supported the claims made for F-117 performance.
The Appropriateness of
Aircraft Comparisons
The 2.5 percent DOD cited as representing the percentage of F-117s in the
“shooter” force is derived from data that include many types of aircraft
that cannot bomb ground targets—the only mission of the F-117. Shooters
are defined as aircraft that can deliver any kind of munitions from bullets
to bombs. Table II.2 lists Desert Storm combat aircraft classified as
“shooters.”
Not all shooter aircraft, however, can perform the same missions. Shooter
aircraft include those that have solely air-to-air capabilities as well as
those that have air-to-ground capability. Since air-to-air shooters cannot
hit ground targets but were included in the shooter totals, the claim about
the percentage of the total shooter force that F-117s represented in Desert
Storm is not accurate.
12
Although they may have attacked 31 percent of the
strategic targets, they did not comprise only 2.5 percent of the relevant
shooters in the theater—that is, those that could deliver munitions against
ground targets.
We sought to determine what percentage of the relevant aircraft they did
comprise. On the first day of Desert Storm, 229 aircraft were capable of
both designating targets with lasers and autonomously delivering LGBs.
13
12
The shooters total used to calculate the 2.5 percent figure included not only air-to-air aircraft but also
over 500 non-U.S. aircraft that never entered Iraq during Desert Storm. Neither French nor coalition
Arab aircraft attacked targets in Iraq, although some were used against Iraqi forces in Kuwait. Thus,
these coalition aircraft did not represent aircraft that performed the same type of mission as the F-117
(that is, attacking ground targets in Iraq).
13
Four types of LGB-capable aircraft and their respective percentages in theater were 36 F-117 (15.7),
115 A-6E (50.2), 66 F-111F (28.8), and 12 F-15E (5.2). Although the interdiction variant of the Panavia
Tornado, which the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Italy had in theater, did deliver LGBs in a few
instances, these aircraft could not or did not autonomously operate with LGBs. Therefore, they are not
included here. Similarly, only the 12 F-15Es that could autonomously deliver LGBs are included.
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The 36 F-117s in theater at the start of the campaign were 15.7 percent of
these 229 aircraft. Thus, of all the aircraft that had the potential to deliver
some kind of LGB, the stealth force represented not 2.5 percent of the
assets but 15.7 percent. Moreover, because the I-2000 series LGBs were
only in the Air Force’s inventory, the F-117s actually constituted
32 percent of all coalition aircraft that could deliver such bombs.
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Table II.2: Number and Percent of
Coalition “Shooter” Aircraft Aircraft type Number Percent
F-117 42 2.2
A-6E 115 6.2
A-7E 24 1.3
A-10 132 7.0
AC-130 8 0.4
AV-8B 62 3.3
B-52 66 3.5
EA-6B 39 2.1
F-4G 60 3.2
F-111E 18 1.0
F-111F 66 3.5
F-14 100 5.3
F-15C 124 6.6
F-15E 48 2.6
F-16 247 13.2
F/A-18 169 9.0
A-4 ( K uwait) 19 1.0
CF-18 ( Canada) 24 1.3
F-15 ( Saudi Arabia) 81 4.3
F-16C/D ( Bahrain) 12 0.6
F-5 ( Bahrain) 12 0.6
F-5E/F ( Saudi Arabia) 84 4.5
Hawks ( Saudi Arabia) 30 1.6
Jaguar ( France) 24 1.3
Jaguar ( United K ingdom) 12 0.6
M irage ( United Arab Emirates) 64 3.4
M irage 2000 ( France) 12 0.6
M irage F-1 ( France) 12 0.6
M irage F-1 ( Q atar) 12 0.6
M irage F-1 ( K uwait) 15 0.8
Strikemaster ( Saudi Arabia) 32 1.7
Tornado F3 ( United K ingdom) 53 2.8
Tornado ADV ( I taly) 9 0.5
Tornado ADV ( Saudi Arabia) 48 2.6
Total 1,875 100.0
Source: DO D title V report, 1991.
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Campaign
Comparisons of Target
Assignments
Contrary to DOD claims, the F-117 represented approximately 16 percent of
the Desert Storm LGB assets on day one and 32 percent of LGB-capable
aircraft that could deliver the penetrating I-2000 series LGBs, particularly
useful against hardened, reinforced, and buried hardened targets. Given
this, it is not altogether surprising that the F-117 seems to have been a
preferred platform against GVC and NBC targets. The F-117 attacked
approximately 78 percent of the targets receiving LGBs on day one and
attacked about one-third of all the first-day targets, but it attacked less
than 10 percent of all the strategic targets that had been identified at the
start of the air campaign.
During the first day of Desert Storm, F-117s performed 61 strikes, which
accounted for 57 percent of all first day LGB strikes against strategic
targets.
14
Three of the four LGB-capable carriers actually delivered
LGBs—the A-6Es, the F-111Fs, and the F-117s; F-15Es delivered unguided
munitions exclusively. However, the F-117s and F-111Fs accounted for all
but about 7 percent of the strikes with LGBs. Fifty-nine BE-numbered
targets received 108 strikes with LGBs. F-117 strikes represented 57 percent
of these strikes (which were against 46 of the 59 targets, or 78 percent);
F-111F strikes were 36 percent of the total.
Comparison of Target
Assignments Throughout
the War
One of the prominent claims the Air Force made for the F-117 in
comparing it to other bombers was that it, alone, attacked targets in all
12 strategic target categories. We found this claim to be accurate;
however, we also found that in three of the target categories—naval, oil,
and electricity—the F-117s attacked only one, two, and three BE-numbered
targets, respectively. Further, we found that F-16s, F/A-18s, and A-6Es
each attacked targets in 11 of the 12 strategic target categories; F-15Es
attacked targets in 10 categories; and B-52s and F-111Fs attacked targets
in 9 categories. As table II.3 shows, each of the other U.S. air-to-ground
aircraft in Desert Storm attacked targets in no less than three-fourths of
the target categories.
14
The first “day” was actually the first 29 hours in the Missions database, from 1800 Zulu on J anuary 16,
1991, to 2300 Zulu on J anuary 17, 1991.
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Campaign
Table II.3: Coverage of Strategic Target Categories, by Aircraft Type
Target category Categories
Aircraft C
3
ELE GVC KBX LOC MIB NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCU Total Percent
F-15E X X
a
X X X
a
X X X X X 10 83
F-117 X X X X X X X X X X X X 12 100
F-16 X X X X X X
a
X X X X X 11 92
F-111F X
a
X X X X
a
X X
a
X X 9 75
F/A-18 X X
a
X X X X X X X X X 11 92
A-6E X X
a
X X X X X X X X X 11 92
B-52 X X
a
X X X
a
X X X
a
X 9 75
G R-1 X
a a
X X X
a a
X X
a
X 7 58
a
No targets in this category were attacked, by aircraft type.
Although the F-117s attacked at least one target in each of the
12 categories, their taskings were concentrated on a narrow range of
target types within target categories. These types of targets were typically
fixed, small, and greatly reinforced, being deeply buried or protected by
concrete. F-117s conducted relatively few strikes in categories where the
targets were area or mobile (for example, MIB or KBX targets).
Characteristic F-117 targets had known locations and did not require
searching.
The relative contribution of the F-117 can also be assessed by examining
the number of targets assigned exclusively to it. Table II.4 shows that the
F-117 was assigned exclusive responsibility for more targets than any
other aircraft among the 862 BE-numbered targets for which there are data.
These targets were primarily in C
3
, GVC, NBC, and SAM—categories that
include known, fixed, often hardened targets.
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Table II.4: BE-Numbered Targets Assigned Exclusively to One Type of Aircraft
Target category Exclusive targets
Aircraft C
3
ELE GVC LOC MIB NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCUUnknown Total Percent
a
A-6 8 3 0 2 4 4 0 2 1 3 0 0 27 14.6
B-52 3 4 0 0 8 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 19 11.7
FA-18 4 3 0 1 0 4 0 1 2 2 1 2 20 10.1
F-111F 0 0 0 6 0 0 1 6 0 1 1 1 16 13.6
F-117 94 3 13 7 7 0 8 4 2 27 3 7 175 46.3
F-15E 12 0 0 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 21 1 42 22.6
F-16 25 4 2 6 3 0 1 2 4 8 1 1 57 16.9
G R-1 1 0 0 7 1 0 0 1 7 0 0 12 29 46.0
TLAM 1 9 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 31.6
a
Percent of all target assignments that were exclusive.
Prewar Target Acquisition
Capabilities Versus Desert
Storm Capabilities
Here we address how the claimed prewar aircraft target acquisition
capabilities compared to those experienced in Desert Storm. The
capabilities of aircraft to locate targets and then deliver munitions
accurately against them is intimately connected to sensors that aid the
pilots in carrying out these tasks.
A series of steps must be performed to successfully attack a ground target
from the air, especially when precision munitions are being used. For fixed
targets that have been previously identified and located, the delivery
aircraft must navigate to the geographic coordinates of the target and then
pick it out from other possibilities, such as neighboring buildings or other
objects. For mobile targets, the aircraft may have to search a broad area to
find and identify the right candidates for attack. For either type of target,
the pilot may need to determine that the target is a valid one—for
example, the extent of previous damage, if any; for vehicles, what kind;
whether the object is a decoy; and so forth.
Target Sensor Systems
Deployed in Desert Storm
Various sensor systems were used in Desert Storm to search for, detect,
and identify valid targets and to overcome impediments to normal human
vision, such as distance, light level (night versus day), weather, clouds,
fog, smoke, and dust. These sensor systems can be grouped into three
technology categories: infrared, radar, and electro-optical. (See app. IX.)
Each of these different sensor technologies has been described to the
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Campaign
Congress and to the public as enhancing capability in poor visibility
conditions, such as in the day; at night; and in “poor,” “adverse,” or “all”
weather conditions. Table II.5 shows the prewar official descriptions of
the capabilities of the sensors as well as their Desert Storm demonstrated
capability.
15
Table II.5: Official Public Descriptions of the Prewar and Desert Storm Capabilities of Air-to-Ground Aircraft Sensors
Aircraft Target search and detection sensor
Prewar description of
target-sensing capability
Our findings on Desert Storm actual
capability
F-117 I nfrared ( FLI R and DLI R)
a
Night only;
b
weather is “a constraint
not imposed by technology limitations”
c
Clear weather only; flew exclusively at
night
F-15E I nfrared ( LANTI RN)
radar
Day and night; “adverse weather” All weather only with unguided
bombs; clear weather only for guided
munitions; flew almost only at night
F-111F I nfrared ( Pave Tack)
radar
Day and night; “poor weather” All weather only with unguided
bombs; clear weather only for guided
munitions; flew almost only at night
A-6E I nfrared ( TRAM )
d
radar
Day and night; “all weather” All weather only with unguided
bombs; clear weather only for guided
munitions; flew day and night
F-16 I nfrared, electro-optical ( LANTI RN)
and I R and EO ( M averick) ,
e
and radar
Day and night; “under the weather”
( LANTI RN) ; “adverse weather”
( M averick)
Clear weather only ( M averick) ; all
weather only with unguided bombs;
flew day and night
F/A-18
f
I nfrared ( FLI R) radar; electro-optical
( Walleye)
Day and night and adverse weather
capability not prominently stated
All weather only with unguided
bombs; clear weather only for Walleye
and FLI R pod; flew day and night
A-10 I nfrared and electro-optical ( M averick) Day and night capable; “adverse
weather” ( M averick)
Clear weather only for guided
( M averick) and unguided munitions;
flew day and night
B-52 Radar Day and night and weather capability
not prominently stated
All weather only with unguided
bombs; flew day and night
a
Forward- and downward-looking infrared.
b
Based on a postwar Air Force description; unofficial prewar descriptions available to us did not
make clear the night-only limitation.
c
Prewar unclassified descriptions were unclear about the F-117’s weather capability, so this is a
postwar statement.
d
Target recognition and attack multisensor.
e
Some F-16s were equipped with LANTI RN navigation pods but no targeting pods.
f
See Naval Aviation: The Navy I s Taking Actions to I mprove the Combat Capabilities of I ts Tactical
Aircraft ( G AO /NSI AD-93-204, July 7, 1993) .
15
Equipment and capabilities beyond those specifically described and directly related to target sensing
functions are not addressed. For example, separate navigation and air-to-air combat equipment and
capabilities are not assessed.
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Effect of Operating
Conditions on Target
Sensor Performance
Although desert environments are widely believed to exhibit relatively
nonhazy, dry weather providing uninhibited visibility, there was actually
great variation on this dimension in Desert Storm. Moreover, winter
weather in the gulf region during Desert Storm was the worst in 14 years.
Records show that there was at least 25-percent cloud cover on 31 of the
war’s 43 days, more than 50-percent cloud cover on 21 days, and more
than 75 percent on 9 days. Also, there were occasionally violent winds and
heavy rains. As a result, the adverse-weather capabilities of the
target-sensing systems were frequently tested in the air campaign. While
the frequency and severity of cloud cover and poor weather were not
comparable to more adverse weather conditions normal for other
climates, they were not nearly as benign as had been expected.
IR, EO, and laser sensor systems demonstrated [DELETED] degradation
from adverse weather, such as clouds, rain, fog, and even haze and
humidity, [DELETED]. Sensors were also impeded by conflict-induced
conditions, such as dust and smoke from bombing. In effect, these systems
were simply [DELETED] systems as characterized by DOD. In contrast,
air-to-ground radar systems were not impeded by the weather in Desert
Storm. This permitted their use for delivery of unguided munitions,
although usually with low target resolution.
Similarly, night weapon delivery capabilities were tested, since as noted
previously, a large percentage of aircraft strikes were conducted at night,
including essentially all F-117 and F-111F strikes and most F-15E strikes.
Of the more than 28,000 U.S. combat strikes and British Tornado strikes,
about 13,000 (46 percent) were flown at night.
At the same time, a number of conditions during the air campaign aided
the effectiveness of target-sensing systems. The flat, open, terrain in the
KTO, without significant foliage or sharp ground contours, exposed targets
to sensors and made all but the smallest targets hard to conceal
completely.
16
The desert climate provided a strong heat contrast for
targets on the desert floor, especially at night. The flat, monochrome
nature of much of the terrain presented a good optical contrast during
much of the day for EO systems, by making objects or their
shadows—when camouflaged—salient. The Iraqi practice of deploying
tanks in predictable patterns facilitated their identification. Similarly,
because many Iraqi frontline ground units remained in fixed positions for
nearly 6 weeks of the air campaign—essentially until the coalition ground
16
For example, there is evidence that the Iraqis took advantage of areas where there was greater
terrain variation to hide mobile Scud launchers under bridges.
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Campaign
offensive began—they were easy to find and not difficult to distinguish
from friendly forces.
[DELETED]
Performance of Infrared
Sensors
Pilots generally reported that certain target sensors and bombing systems
gave them an effective capability to operate at night that they otherwise
would not have had. These assessments were particularly relevant to the IR
sensing systems, such as LANTIRN, IR Maverick, TRAM, Pave Tack, and
FLIR/DLIR.
[DELETED] F-15E pilots stated that they were “exponentially more
effective” with LANTIRN than without. The A-10 was able to operate at night
in significant numbers [DELETED].
IR sensors proved important for effective night attack; however, pilots of
virtually every aircraft type also told us about a variety of limitations.
Effects of High-Altitude Releases on IR Sensor Resolution. During the air
campaign, the majority of bombs were released from aircraft flying above
12,000 to 15,000 feet because Brig. Gen. J ohn M. Glosson ordered that
restriction enforced after aircraft losses early in the air campaign during
low-altitude munition deliveries.
17
Higher altitudes provided a relative
sanctuary from most air defenses but resulted in a major compromise in
terms of bomb accuracy and, ultimately, effectiveness.
18
For example,
some F/A-18 pilots reported that bombing from high altitude sometimes
meant a total slant range to the target of 7 miles. At this range, even large
targets, like aircraft hangars, were “tiny” and hard to recognize.
[DELETED]
Several methods were used to help overcome poor target image
resolution. [DELETED]
Other Hindrances to IR Sensors. Pilots reported that a variety of
environmental conditions, some natural and some conflict-induced,
impeded the capabilities of their IR sensor systems. [DELETED]
17
Brig. Gen. Glosson was Deputy Commander, J oint Task Force Middle East, and Director of Campaign
Plans for the air campaign.
18
In general, the higher an aircraft flew, the less vulnerable it was to AAA, IR SAMs, and small arms
fire.
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Field of View and Other
Design Problems
Field of View Issue [DELETED]
Electro-Optical Systems EO sensors depended on both light and optical contrast for target
searching and identification. This obviated their use at night and in any
significantly adverse weather or visual conditions where the line of sight
to a target was obscured. The requirement for visual contrast between the
target and its immediate surroundings imposed an additional problem: for
Walleye delivery, F/A-18 pilots reported that a target was sometimes
indistinguishable from its own shadow. This made it difficult to reliably
designate the actual target, rather than its shadow, for a true weapon hit.
They also said that the low-light conditions at dawn and dusk often
provided insufficient light for the required degree of optical contrast.
F/A-18 pilots told us that a “haze penetrator” version of Walleye used
low-light optics to see through daytime haze and at dawn and dusk,
permitting use in some of the conditions in which other optical systems
were limited. That notwithstanding, EO systems proved at least as
vulnerable to degradation as other sensors and lacked full-time night
capability.
Radar Systems [DELETED]
Despite the target discrimination limitations of most radar systems, they
had the advantage of not being impeded by adverse weather. However,
even with this advantage, only comparatively inaccurate unguided bombs
could be delivered in poor weather since all the guided munitions used in
Desert Storm basically required clear weather to enable their various IR,
EO, and laser sensors and designator systems to deliver munitions.
Combat Operations
Support
A realistic evaluation of the performance of combat aircraft in Desert
Storm involves acknowledgment of the nature and magnitude of their
support. Here we address our third evaluation subquestion: What was
required in Desert Storm to support various air-to-ground aircraft?
Targeting activity and the success of strike aircraft are inextricably linked
to the performance and availability of external support assets. In many
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Campaign
instances, aircraft relied on a number of support assets to conduct
missions: for example, refueling tankers; airborne control platforms like
AWACS; airborne platforms that permit battlefield command and control
capability like J STARS (J oint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System);
platforms that provide fighter escort for strike aircraft (such as F-15Cs);
airborne platforms that conduct electronic warfare (such as F-4Gs,
EA-6Bs, and EF-111s); and airborne reconnaissance platforms that collect
intelligence and information used for BDA and those that detect and
monitor threats.
Approximately 1,011 U.S. fixed-wing combat aircraft were deployed to
Desert Storm, compared to 577 support aircraft, or a ratio of 1.75 to 1.
19
While combat aircraft outnumbered support aircraft in Desert Storm, the
latter flew more sorties—a fact that is important to consider for future
military contingencies. Nearly 50,000 sorties were conducted in support of
approximately 40,000 combat air-to-ground sorties, for a ratio of about
1.25 to 1. Support aircraft were relied upon for air-to-ground and air-to-air
missions in Desert Storm, both of which were conducted around the clock.
To support the efforts of combat aircraft, the smaller number of
combat-support platforms would have had to fly more sorties.
Desert Storm as a
Tanker-Dependent War
In-Flight Aircraft Refueling One of the combat-support platforms that was perhaps most critical to the
execution of the air campaign was the aerial refueling tanker. Most Desert
Storm combat missions required refueling because of around-the-clock
operations and the great distances from many coalition aircraft bases and
U.S. aircraft carriers in the Red Sea to targets in Iraq.
20
Virtually every type
of strike and direct combat support aircraft required air refueling. At least
339 U.S. in-flight refueling tankers off-loaded more than 800 million
pounds of fuel. For Air Force tankers alone, there were approximately
60,184 recorded refueling events. On average, over the 43-day air
campaign, there were 1,399 refueling events per day, or approximately 58
per hour.
19
See GWAPS, vol. V, pt. I (Secret), pp. 31-32. Fixed-wing Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps aircraft as
of February 1, 1991, are the only aircraft included in the 1,011 total. Aircraft identified as “Special
Operations” are not included. Combat aircraft include fighters, long-range bombers, attack aircraft,
and gunships. Combat-support aircraft include tankers, airlift, reconnaissance, surveillance, and
electronic combat aircraft.
20
DOD’s title V report (Secret), p. 115.
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Table II.6 shows the percentages of total known refueling events
accounted for by some of the U.S. platforms reviewed here (data on the
F-117 were “not releasable”).
21
Among all the known, recorded, Desert
Storm refueling events from U.S. Air Force tankers, the F-16 and F-15
account for the highest percentages among the selected platforms.
22
Table II.6: Percent of Total Known
Refueling Events for Selected
Air-to-Ground Platforms
Platform Percent
a
F-16 23.0
F-15 20.0
F/A-18 9.5
A-10 6.0
F-111 4.3
B-52 3.5
A-6 3.4
F-117
b
a
Percentages of the total known number of Desert Storm refueling events from U.S. Air Force
tankers only.
b
Data were not available.
To put the percentage of aircraft refueling events in context, we examined
the extent to which the number of known refueling events was related to
the number of strikes that platforms conducted. We found that the
statistical correlation between the number of refueling events and the
number of strikes was large, indicating that among all aircraft considered,
there was a positive relationship.
23
In effect, as the number of strikes
conducted by all the included aircraft increased, generally, so did the
number of refuelings required by those aircraft. This is clearly illustrated
by the F-16s, which accounted for both the largest percentage of known
aircraft refueling events and the largest number of strikes among the
platforms reviewed.
21
Although the number of F-117 refueling events was not available, we developed an approximation
measure in order to estimate a lower bound of their number. Based on the reported number of F-117
Desert Storm sorties (1,299) and the minimum number of reported refueling events per sortie (2), we
estimate the lower bound of F-117 refueling events to be 2,598, or 4.1 percent of a total of 62,782 from
U.S. Air Force tankers only.
22
Not only U.S. Air Force platforms received fuel from U.S. Air Force tankers. Air Force tankers
provided fuel for some non-Air Force aircraft, including some Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.
Therefore, the percentages reported in table II.6 are percentages based on total number of refueling
events for Air Force aircraft only.
23
Pearson correlation coefficient, r =0.69. Strikes conducted against strategic targets as reported in
our WOE/TOE analysis, which does not include F-117 data.
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In-Flight Refueling
Complications
In-flight refueling is a normal, routine part of air operations and not one
for which aircrew or tanker crew were unprepared. However, a number of
factors in the Desert Storm environment caused this routine process to
become highly complex and sometimes quite dangerous for tankers as
well as other airborne platforms and, in instances, resulted in restrictions
or limitations in air operations.
The use of large strike packages as well as constant, around-the-clock air
strikes resulted in heavily congested air space during most of the air
campaign. The number of airborne aircraft was sometimes constrained by
the number of tankers that had to be present to meet refueling needs.
Aircraft strikes on targets were sometimes canceled or aborted because
aircraft were unable to get to a tanker.
To preserve tactical surprise as well as to keep tankers, which have no
self-protection capability, out of the range of Iraqi SAMs, nearly all tanker
tracks or orbits occurred in the limited airspace over northern Saudi
Arabia, south of the Iraqi border.
24
The heavily saturated airspace alone
increased the probability of near midair collisions (NMAC). Nighttime
operations and operations in bad weather only exacerbated an already
complex, precarious, operational environment.
25
The Air Force Inspection and Safety Center reported 37 Desert Storm
NMACs, believing, however, that these were only a fraction of the actual
number. In one reported NMAC, a KC-135 tanker crew saw two fighter
aircraft approaching from the rear, appearing to be rejoining on the tanker.
It became apparent to the tanker crew that the fighters had not seen the
tanker. The tanker crew accelerated to create spacing, avoiding an NMAC,
but the reported distance between the fighters and the tanker was only
between 50 and 100 feet before evasive action was taken.
Airborne Sensor Aircraft
Support
The U.S. air order of battle (AOB) during the third week of the air campaign
indicates that over 200 airborne sensor aircraft, providing a range of
combat-support duties, were in the Persian Gulf theater. These included a
variety of reconnaissance, surveillance, electronic combat, and battlefield
24
We were told by several Desert Storm pilots, from different units, that there were instances in which
tankers had to cross over into Iraq to refuel aircraft that would not have made it back to the tanker
before running out of fuel.
25
We made several recommendations for enhancing the efficiency of aerial refueling operations based
on Desert Storm. See Operation Desert Storm: An Assessment of Aerial Refueling Operational
Efficiency (GAO/NSIAD-94-68, Nov. 15, 1993).
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command and control platforms. A discussion of the roles of each of these
can be found in appendix X.
Strike Support-Related
Missions
Combat air patrol (CAP), escort missions, and SEAD are types of
combat-support missions that, in Desert Storm, were frequently tied
directly to aircraft strike missions or were conducted in areas near where
strikes were occurring and, therefore, also benefited strike aircraft.
CAP missions protect air or ground forces from enemy air attack within an
essentially fixed geographic area. In Desert Storm, these included coalition
ships, aircraft striking targets, and high-value air assets such as AWACS and
tankers. Escort missions were normally conducted by air-to-air fighter
aircraft and were used to protect strike aircraft from attack by enemy air
forces en route to and returning from missions. In contrast to CAP, escorts
do not remain in a relatively fixed area but, rather, stay with the strike
package. Fighter escort also served as force protection, when needed, for
airborne assets such as AWACS and tankers that have limited or no
self-protection capability. Finally, jamming and SEAD support aircraft like
EF-111s, EA-6Bs, and F-4Gs provided direct support to strike packages or
target area support that benefited nearby strike aircraft.
Figure II.3 compares the number of CAP, SEAD, and escort strike support
missions conducted during each week of the Desert Storm air campaign.
Overall, the total number of CAP missions was somewhat greater than SEAD
missions and substantially greater than escort missions, and there were no
significant fluctuations in this number during the 6-week air campaign.
That CAPs were often necessary for combat-support aircraft (such as
tankers and AWACS) as well as strike aircraft may explain the greater
number of CAP missions relative to SEAD and escort missions. In figure II.3,
we also observe that the only type of combat support-related activity that
actually showed some gradual decline over time was escort missions. This
is logical given that the threat from enemy aircraft was significantly
diminished, if not eliminated, by the second week of the air campaign.
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Figure II.3: Strike Support Missions by Week
CAP
0
200
400
600
800
1,000
708
812
830
710
735
887
Number of missions
SEAD
0
200
400
600
800
1,000
805
681
691
730 722
697
Number of missions
Escort
0
200
400
600
800
1,000
588
622
409
425
339
142
Number of missions
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
The only notable drop in SEAD missions was after the first week of the air
campaign. However, the number remained rather static during the
following 5 weeks. This may reflect the fact that although the Iraqi IADS
had been disrupted early in the air campaign, numerous SAM and AAA sites
remained a threat, with autonomous radars, until the end of the war. The
fact that there was not a consistent decline in SEAD missions, over time,
suggests that simply destroying the integrated capabilities of the air
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Campaign
defense system did not, unfortunately, eliminate its many component
parts. (This is discussed further in app. VI.)
Aircraft Maintenance
Personnel
The range of combat-related support encompasses some understanding of
the personnel required to maintain airborne assets. In Desert Storm,
approximately 17,000 Air Force personnel had force maintenance
responsibilities. This figure accounts for approximately 31 percent of the
total Air Force population in the area of responsibility.
Support Provided for the
F-117 Was Understated
Shortly after Desert Storm, Air Force Gen. J ohn M. Loh told the Congress
that
“Stealth . . . restores the critically important element of surprise to the conduct of all our air
missions” and “ . . . stealth allows us to use our available force structure more efficiently
because it allows us to attack more targets with fewer fighters and support aircraft.”
26
In describing the performance of the F-117 in Desert Storm, another Air
Force general testified that
“Stealth enabled us to gain surprise each and every day of the war. . . . Stealth allows
operations without the full range of support assets required by non-stealthy aircraft.”
27
In contrast, as discussed previously, conventional aircraft in Desert Storm
were routinely supported by SEAD, CAP, and escort aircraft. Because F-117s
could attack with much less support than conventional bombers, they
were credited with being “force multipliers,” allowing a more efficient use
of conventional attack and support assets.
28
For example, in their April 1991 post-Desert Storm testimony to the
Congress, Gens. Horner and Glosson testified that 8 F-117s, needing the
26
Testimony by Gen. Loh (then USAF, Commander, Tactical Air Command). Department of Defense
Appropriations for 1992, Hearings before the Subcommittee on the Department, of Defense, House
Committee on Appropriations, Apr. 30, 1991, p. 510.
27
Testimony by Lt. Gen. Charles A. Horner, then commander of 9th Air Force and Central Command
U.S. Air Forces, before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Apr. 30, 1991, pp. 468-69.
28
Information that would definitively address the extent to which the F-117s were detected by the
Iraqis and the extent to which the F-117s were supported by other airborne assets in Desert Storm is
classified. We requested but were not granted access to information that would have enabled us to
fully understand the detectability of the F-117 during Desert Storm. Although that information could
not have been presented in this report, our review of it would have given us greater confidence that the
information contained in the report was reliable and valid. The information presented in this section
was the best we could obtain given our limited access to records.
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Campaign
support of only 2 tankers, could achieve the same results as a package of
16 LGB-capable, nonstealth bombers that required 39 support aircraft or 32
non-LGB capable, nonstealth bombers that required 43 support aircraft.
29
The Air Force depicted this comparison in its congressional testimony
with the graphic reproduced as figure II.4.
30
Figure II.4: “The Value of Stealth”
PRECISION BOMBS STANDARD PACKAGE PRECISION AND STEALTH
$5.5B $6.5B $1.5B
B
o
m
b

D
r
o
p
p
e
r
s
A
i
r

E
s
c
o
r
t
T
a
n
k
e
r
s
S
u
p
p
r
e
s
s
i
o
n
o
f

E
n
e
m
y
A
i
r

D
e
f
e
n
s
e
Procurement cost &
20 year O&S cost
Source: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense ( Apr. 30, 1991) , p. 472.
29
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense (Apr. 30, 1991), p. 472.
30
Figure II.4 depicts two actual strike packages employed against the Baghdad Nuclear Research
Facility. Appendix XI addresses the effectiveness of the conventional (F-16) and the stealth
(F-117) strike packages against this target.
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Campaign
In figure II.4, the use of the stealthy F-117 in Desert Storm is depicted as
having several positive effects: it reduces the number of aircraft employed
on a mission, thereby reducing overall costs; it reduces the number of
aircraft and pilots at risk; and it increases the number of missions that can
be tasked without increasing the number of aircraft.
31
However, following
our review of after-action reports and interviews with F-117 pilots and
planners, we found that this depiction does not adequately convey the
(1) specific operating procedures required by the F-117, (2) modifications
in tactics during the campaign to better achieve surprise, and (3) support,
in addition to tanking, that it received.
F-117 Detectability and
Operating Procedures
In addition to its low observable features, the F-117 achieves stealthy flight
through the avoidance of daylight, active sensors or communications, and
enemy air defense radars.
[DELETED] Every F-117 strike mission in Desert Storm was carried out at
night.
[DELETED]
Stealth Requires Extensive Mission Planning. Each pilot has an individual
mission plan tailored to the assigned target and the threats that surround
the target. Because F-117s are not “invisible” to radar but, rather, as the Air
Force points out, are “low observable,” a computerized mission planning
system [DELETED]. [DELETED]
32
Stealth and Tactical Surprise in
Desert Storm
A significant claim made by the Air Force is that because of stealth, F-117s
were able to achieve tactical surprise each night of the campaign,
including the first night when F-117s attacked the key Iraqi air defense
nodes and, in so doing, opened the way for attacks by nonstealth aircraft,
thereby greatly reducing potential losses. However, we found the
following Desert Storm information to be inconsistent with the Air Force
claim.
31
The “value of stealth” depicted in figure II.4 is essentially anecdotal—it depicts two missions flown
during the first week of the campaign. The Air Force does not cite evidence that this represents the
typical, or average, use of support aircraft by conventional and stealth aircraft in Desert Storm. For
example, because the standard package illustrated for the conventional fighters was substantially
downsized by the end of the first week of the air campaign, as the threat level was reduced, the
claimed life-cycle cost for each of these packages is not necessarily an appropriate measure for
comparison. As discussed here, the depiction does not properly credit other (nontanker) support
assets that helped the F-117s attain their Desert Storm achievements.
32
The F-117s were deployed to King Khalid Air Base near Khamis Mushait in the southwestern corner
of Saudi Arabia. Mission times averaged over 5 hours.
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Campaign
AAA Before and After F-117 Bomb Impacts. A number of Air Force officials
told us that because AAA did not start until after the first F-117 bombs had
exploded, this was evidence that F-117s had achieved tactical surprise.
However, we found that the absence of AAA prior to bomb impact was
neither consistent for all F-117 missions nor unique to F-117s.
An Air Force after-action report stated that in the case of the A-10, AAA
began after the first bomb detonation, not just sometimes but “in most
cases” and in “the majority of first passes.”
33
Similarly, pilots of other
aircraft, including F-16s and F-15Es, also reported the same phenomenon.
They encountered no AAA until after their bombs exploded, and like the
F-117s, they were subject to AAA primarily during egress from the target.
Moreover, F-117 pilots told us that, on occasion, AAA in a target area would
erupt “spontaneously”—before they had released their bombs or the
bombs had exploded. In response to this threat, the F-117 Tactical
Employment manual states (on pp. 3-11, 3-29, and 3-31) that F-117
refueling and jamming support procedures were altered during Desert
Storm to delay “spontaneous” AAA in the target area.
[DELETED]
In sum, the claim that the F-117s consistently achieved tactical surprise is
not fully consistent with the information we obtained. The absence of AAA
prior to F-117 bomb impact was not universally observed and was not
unique to the F-117. [DELETED]
F-117s Benefit From Support
Aircraft
In contrast to the Air Force illustration to the Congress that F-117s require
only tanker support in combat (see fig. II.4), Desert Storm reports and
participants stated explicitly that the F-117s did, in fact, receive more than
just tanker support in Desert Storm.
At the end of 1991, after press accounts stated that the Air Force had
exaggerated the degree to which F-117s operated without defense
suppression and jamming support, Air Force officials then concurred that
standoff jamming from EF-111s had been employed from time to time in
conjunction with F-117 strikes.
34
This position—that the F-117 did, in fact,
benefit from jamming on occasion—is more consistent with the title V
33
57th Fighter Weapons Wing, Tactical Analysis Bulletin, Nellis Air Force Base 92-2 (Secret), pp. 6-7
and 6-8.
34
Bruce B. Auster, “The Myth of the Lone Gunslinger,” U.S. News and World Report, November 18,
1991, p. 52, and Davis A. Fulghhum, “F-117 Pilots, Generals Tell Congress About Stealth’s Value in Gulf
War,” Aviation Week and Space Technology, May 6, 1991, pp. 66-67, as reported in GWAPS, vol. II, pt. II
(Secret), p. 354.
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Campaign
report than with the Air Force’s testimony in April 1991 that failed to note
nontanking combat support having been provided to F-117s in Desert
Storm. As discussed previously, the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW)
lessons-learned report unambiguously describes how jamming assets were
incorporated in F-117 tactics and operations. Pilot interviews and portions
of the lessons-learned report also suggest that F-117s, occasionally,
benefited from fighter support aircraft.
[DELETED]
In terms of air-to-air fighter support, the Air Force states that there was
typically little or none provided for the F-117s. The Desert Storm “Lessons
Learned” section of the F-117 Tactical Employment manual is unclear on
this issue, stating (on p. 3-29) that
“Unit coordination with the F-15s occurred each day. While we never had any F-15s tied to
us, we had to make sure they understood our general plan for the night.”
In addition, several pilots we interviewed believed that air-to-air, F-15
aircraft were in a position to challenge any Iraqi interceptors that would
have posed a threat to the F-117s.
Aircraft Survivability
The percentage of aircraft lost and damaged in Desert Storm was very
low—compared both to planners’ expectations and to historic experience.
The attrition rates of the Israeli air force in the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli
wars were about 10 times those of Desert Storm.
Coalition combat aircraft conducted approximately 65,000 combat sorties
in Desert Storm. A total of 38 aircraft was lost to Iraqi action, and
48 other aircraft were damaged in combat, making a total of 86 combat
casualties. However, of these casualties, only 55 involved any of the
8 air-to-ground U.S. aircraft under review, of which just 16 were losses,
with the remaining 39 being damage incidents. All coalition aircraft
casualties and the known causes are shown in table II.7, with the aircraft
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Campaign
under review listed first; for comparison, TLAM en route losses are also
shown.
35
35
By aircraft “casualties,” we mean both aircraft that were lost and aircraft that were damaged. While
some, but not all, damaged aircraft were returned to service after repairs of varying extent and while
there can be important differences between an aircraft that is lost and one that is damaged, we include
damaged aircraft in our analysis for the following reasons: (1) air defense systems that incur only
damage nonetheless often achieve their aim of forcing the damaged aircraft to return to base before
the target is reached or weapons are released; (2) DOD reports and statements made about various
aircraft refer not just to lost aircraft but also to hits from air defense systems; and (3) including
damaged aircraft is more analytically conservative—that is, in assessing air defense systems and
aircraft survivability, it is impossible to predict for the purposes of deriving “lessons learned” whether
a hit will result in a loss or merely damage.
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Table II.7: Type of Coalition Aircraft
Lost or Damaged and Attributed Cause
Aircraft
Radar
SAM IR SAM AAA Other Total
F-117 lost 0 0 0 0 0
F-117 damaged 0 0 0 0 0
F-111F lost 0 0 0 0 0
F-111F damaged 0 0 3 0 3
F-15E lost 1 0 1 0 2
F-15E damaged 0 0 0 0 0
A-6E lost 1 0 2 0 3
A-6E damaged 0 0 3 2 5
O /A-10 lost 0 6 0 0 6
O /A-10 damaged 0 3 11 0 14
F-16 lost 2 0 1 0 3
F-16 damaged 1 2 0 1 4
F/A-18 lost 0 0 0 2
a
2
F/A-18 damaged 0 7 1 0 8
B-52 lost 0 0 0 0 0
B-52 damaged 2 1 2 0 5
G R-1 lost
b
4 1 2 2 9
G R-1 damaged
b
1 0 0 0 1
O ther lost
c
2 6 3 2 13
O ther damaged
c
0 2 4 2 8
Total lost 10 13 9 6 38
Total damaged 4 15 24 5 48
Total casualties 14 28 33 11 86
TLAM lost
d
0 0 0 [ DELETED] [DELETED]
a
O ne loss was attributed by G WAPS to a M I G -25; the second was stated as unknown.
b
G R-1 data in this table include aircraft from the United K ingdom, I taly, and Saudi Arabia.
c
These rows include AC-130, EF-111, F-4G , F-14, F-15C, AV-8B, O V-10, A-4, F-5A, and Jaguar
casualties. While these aircraft are not part of the focus of this report, they are included in this
table as part of our discussion of the effectiveness of the I raqi air defenses.
d
TLAM losses are based on a study by Center for Naval Analyses ( CNA) and DI A that found that
of the 230 TLAM Cs and D-I s, an estimated [ DELETED] did not arrive at their target areas. An
additional 30 TLAM Cs with airburst mode warheads and 22 D-I I s could not be assessed. I f the hit
rate for these 52 TLAM S is assumed to be the same as for the 230 assessable TLAM Cs and D-I s,
then an additional [ DELETED] TLAM S did not arrive at their targets. Thus, an estimate for the total
losses, using this assumption, would be a minimum of [ DELETED] and a maximum of [ DELETED] .
Source: G WAPS, vol. V, pt. I ( Secret) , pp. 670-81.
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Campaign
Relative Effectiveness of
Iraqi Threat Systems
The system perceived before Desert Storm as most threatening—radar
SAMs—actually accounted for less than one-fifth the number of casualties
caused by AAA and IR SAMs. Moreover, the system generally considered to
be a lesser threat, AAA, proved throughout the war to be quite lethal.
The data in table II.7 show that small, portable, shoulder-launched SAMs
with IR guidance systems were the leading cause of Desert Storm aircraft
kills, responsible for 13 of 38 (34 percent), followed by 10 (26 percent)
attributed to radar SAMs and 9 (24 percent) to AAA. In contrast, AAA was the
leading cause of damage to aircraft, accounting for 24 of 48 cases
(50 percent of total damaged). IR SAMs were the next leading cause of
damage, with 15 cases (31 percent), and radar SAMs were last, with 4 cases
(8 percent).
If we sum the losses and damage by cause, portable IR SAMs accounted for
31 percent of the total casualties, and AAA accounted for 38 percent—both
more than twice the 16 percent of total casualties from radar SAMs. In
effect, the data show that the antiair threat assessed by many both before
and during the war as the “high” threat system—radar SAMs—was
responsible for just 16 percent of the coalition’s total casualties.
Conversely, the expected “low threat” AAA and man-portable IR SAMs, such
as the 1970’s vintage SA-7, which made up the majority of the Iraqi IR SAM
force, accounted for 71 percent of total casualties (58 percent of total kills
and 81 percent of total damage cases).
There are a number of possible explanations for this overall inversion of
the perceived high and low threats to combat aircraft. First, radar SAM sites
proved vulnerable to attack and destruction from U.S. high-speed
antiradiation missiles (HARM) and other SEAD systems that were able to
detect and thus locate radar systems and directly attack them.
36
Every
time a SAM radar was turned on, it provided a beacon for the weapons that
could attack it—as occurred frequently, according to pilots.
Second, and directly related, when the Iraqis operating the SAM sites chose
not to turn on their radars, to avoid being detected and attacked, and then
launched the SAMs ballistically—that is, without radar guidance—the SAMs
could not track a moving aircraft. Therefore, these SAMs had little, if any,
chance of damaging aircraft, which could easily evade them by
maneuvering out of their path.
36
Aircraft with HARMs or those that engaged in SEAD included the A-10, F/A-18, F-16, F-15E, F-117,
F-111F, B-52, GR-1, F-4G, A-6E, EA-6B, and EF-111.
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In effect, the radar that was critical to ensuring SAM lethality made every
SAM site vulnerable to destruction by U.S. SEAD aircraft. Further,
coordination among SAM sites was essentially precluded by the fact that, as
explained above, the Iraqi IADS proved vulnerable to disruption and
degradation very early in the air campaign.
37
As a result, coalition aircraft
were generally not threatened by a well-integrated air defense system,
with coordinated multiple defense layers, but rather by hundreds of
autonomously operating SAM and AAA sites with individual radar(s), and by
thousands of inherently mobile, portable, shoulder-launched IR SAMs and
thousands of AAA guns without radars.
Figure II.5 shows the day-by-day coalition aircraft casualties from
radar-guided SAMs for the 43 days of the war. After day 5, aircraft
casualties from radar-guided SAMs dropped off sharply: there were nine
casualties over the first 5 days but only five more from radar-guided SAMs
during the remaining 38 days of the war.
In sharp contrast to the readily detectable and locatable radar-guided SAMs
(of which there were hundreds), neither IR SAMs nor optically aimed AAA
emit any signal during their search and acquisition phase. Moreover, there
were thousands of AAA sites throughout Iraq and the KTO and thousands of
portable IR SAMs in the KTO. Except for the small number of fixed AAA sites
that had, and actually used, radar, all IR SAMs and most AAA were very hard
to find before they were actually used. As a result, even at the end of the
war, pilots reported little if any diminution of AAA, and aircraft casualties
from AAA and IR SAMs continued up to February 27—at the end of the war.
As the Desert Storm “Lessons Learned” section of the F-117 Tactical
Employment manual reported (on p. 3-29), “The threats [to aircraft] were
never attrited . . . AAA tended to be the highest threat.”
37
See the “Operating Conditions” section above and appendix VI. See also J oint Electronic Warfare
Center (J EWC), Proud Flame Predictive Analysis for Iraq (Secret), San Antonio, September 1990, p. 28.
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Campaign
Figure II.5: Combat Aircraft Casualties From Radar SAMs
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43
0
1
2
3
4
5
ATODAY (day of campaign)
Number of casualties
Note: Air tasking order day ( ATO DAY) .
Figure II.6 shows clearly that 17 aircraft casualties occurred within the
first 24 hours, or nearly 20 percent of the war’s entire aircraft casualties
(during less than 2.5 percent of its total length). It was during this time that
Iraqi defenses were at their strongest and were first attacked and that
coalition pilots were at their lowest levels of Desert Storm combat
experience. Similarly, there was a significantly higher overall daily
casualty rate in the first 5 days of the war, during which 31 aircraft
casualties occurred (36 percent of the total and an average of 6.2 per day),
compared to the following 38 days, with a total of 55 more casualties (an
average of 1.45 per day).
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This diminution in aircraft casualty rates may partly be explained by the
fact that losses to radar-guided SAMs fell to nearly 0 after day 5, having
accounted for 29 percent (9 out of 31) of total casualties by then. They
accounted for just 9 percent (5 out of 55) of all aircraft casualties in the
remainder of the war. It is apparent, therefore, that by the end of day 5 of
the air campaign, radar SAMs had been virtually eliminated as an effective
threat to coalition aircraft.
Figure II.6: Daytime Combat Aircraft Casualties From All Threats
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43
0
5
10
15
20
ATODAY (day of campaign)
Number of casualties
Moreover, in the first 3 days of the war, some aircraft (B-52s, A-6Es, GR-1s,
and F-111Fs) attacked at very low altitude, where they found they were
vulnerable to low-altitude defenses—AAA and IR SAMs. As a result, on day
two, Brig. Gen. Glosson ordered that all coalition aircraft observe a
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Campaign
minimum attack level of about 12,000 feet. While probably improving
overall survivability, this tactic also resulted in much less accuracy with
unguided weapons (see discussion in app. III). In effect, Brig. Gen.
Glosson’s order served to manage the attrition rate of the air campaign,
taking into account the view, as one general stated, that no Iraqi target was
so important as to justify the loss of a pilot’s life.
Since the effects of having degraded the Iraqi IADS cannot be easily
separated out from the effects of also consistently flying only at higher
altitudes, the extent to which the latter decreased vulnerability cannot be
quantitatively specified. However, there are data on the altitude at which
32 U.S. Air Force aircraft casualties occurred (data were not available for
other aircraft). Of these 32 cases, 21, or about two-thirds, were hit at or
below 12,000 feet.
38
This suggests that the altitude floor did serve to save
lives.
39
Figure II.6 also shows that after the first week, aircraft casualties occurred
sporadically, but there were 17 hits during the last week of the war. Since
only two of these were attributed to a radar-guided SAM, it is apparent that
AAA and IR SAMs remained potential threats to the end. The casualty data
therefore confirm the statements of numerous pilots who told us that,
unlike radar SAMs, AAA and IR SAMs were never effectively suppressed,
thereby continuing as lethal threats throughout the war.
Aircraft Casualty Rates Aircraft casualty rates can be calculated by dividing casualties by total
sorties or total strikes. Table II.8 shows aircraft casualty rates per strike
for the aircraft under review.
The overall aircraft casualty rate was 0.0017 per strike, or in other words,
about 0.0017 aircraft were lost or damaged per strike in Desert Storm. The
F-117 was the only aircraft under review that reported no losses or
damage. However, using an analysis performed in DOD but not publicly
38
Of those 21, 12 were A-10 casualties. A-10s were permitted to operate below 12,000 feet to as low as
4,000 to 7,000 feet on J anuary 31 and thereafter. After J anuary 31 is when 10 of the 12 medium- to
low-altitude casualties occurred.
39
Additional evidence that low-altitude deliveries were more lethal than higher ones can be found in
the pattern of A-6E and British Tornado losses. Of the seven British Tornados that were lost, four were
shot down during the first week of the campaign at very low altitude while conducting strikes against
airfields. In an analysis, DIA concluded that the basic cause was delivering ordnance at very low
altitude in the face of very heavy defenses, rather than being the function of a defect in the aircraft.
After the change to medium-altitude deliveries, only three more British Tornados were lost in the
remaining 5 weeks of the air campaign. A-6E pilots told us that their casualty rate dropped significantly
after units using low-altitude tactics switched to high altitudes.
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reported, we calculated the likelihood of a nonstealthy aircraft being hit if
it flew the same number of strikes as the F-117 (that is, 1,788), with a
general probability of hit equal to 0.0017.
40
This calculation showed that 0
hits would be the most likely outcome for a nonstealthy aircraft
conducting 1,788 strikes. This indicates that although there were no F-117
casualties in Desert Storm, the difference between its survivability and
other aircraft may arise from its smaller number of strikes as much as
other factors.
Table II.8: Desert Storm Aircraft
Casualty Rates
Aircraft Total casualties Total strikes
Aircraft casualty
rate per strike
F-117 0 1, 788 0
F-111F 3 2, 802 0.0011
F-15E 2 2, 124 0.0009
A-6E 8 2, 617 0.0031
O /A-10 20 8, 640
a
0.0023
F-16 7 11, 698 0.0006
F/A-18 10 4, 551 0.0022
B-52 5 1, 706 0.0029
G R-1 10 1, 317 0.0076
Total 65
b
37,243 0.0017
a
Precise A-10 strike data were not available. G WAPS recorded 8, 640 A-10 sorties. G iven the
definition of a strike, the number of A-10 strikes may have been larger than the number of
bombing sorties. I f the number of A-10 strikes is larger than 8, 640, then its per-strike aircraft
casualty rate would be lower.
b
Totals do not conform to the total shown for all coalition aircraft in this table because only the
air-to-ground aircraft under review are included.
Aircraft Casualties During
Night Attacks
Other ways to compare Desert Storm aircraft casualty rates put the F-117’s
survival rate in a clearer perspective. Since the F-117s attacked only at
night, we examined the casualties for other aircraft during night missions,
in effect controlling for daylight (when optically aimed antiaircraft
weapons can be used most effectively). Data on whether aircraft
casualties occurred in day or at night were provided for 61 of the 86
coalition aircraft casualties. Twenty-five (29 percent) were not identified
as either day or night and were presumably unknown or unrecorded. Of
the 61, 44 (72 percent) of the casualties with a known time occurred in
40
This analysis considers only the number of strikes flown. Factors known to be related to aircraft
survivability—for example, the severity of defenses and the time of day when strikes were
conducted—were not factored into the analysis.
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daytime; 17 (28 percent) occurred at night. (See table II.9.) These and
other data strongly suggest that flying combat operations at night was
safer than flying during the day.
Table II.9: Aircraft Casualties in Day
and Night Day casualties (44) Night casualties (17)
Aircraft Lost Damaged Lost Damaged
F-117
a a a a
F-111F
a a a
3
F-15E
a a
2
a
A-6E 2 1 1
a
O /A-10 6 12
a a
F-16 3 3
a a
B-52
a
2
a
1
F/A-18 1
a
1
a
G R-1 3
a
4
a
O ther 11
a
4 1
Total 26 18 12 5
a
No casualties or no day or night data on casualties.
Five types of aircraft—F-111Fs, F-15Es, A-6Es, A-10s, and F-16s—flew at
least as many night strikes as the F-117. As shown in table II.9, of these
aircraft, F-111Fs, A-10s, and F-16s also incurred no losses at night, and the
A-6Es, A-10s, and F-16s received no damage at night. In this context, it is
notable that the aircraft that incurred the highest absolute number of
casualties, but not the highest attrition rate, the A-10, incurred neither
losses nor damage at night, although it conducted approximately the same
number of night sorties as the F-117. These data suggest that, in Desert
Storm, flying at night was much safer than during the day, regardless of
size of radar cross-section or other aircraft-specific characteristics.
The casualty data also show that after the first few days of the war, the
number of night casualties fell off considerably. Of the 17 identifiable
nighttime casualties, all but 3 occurred during the first 6 days of the war.
There are two plausible, complementary explanations for this. First, by
day five, the IADS and radar SAMs, which were unaffected by time of day,
had been rendered ineffective through a combination of actual destruction
to radar facilities and deterrence in turning radars on, achieved through
bombing. Second, after day three, most low-altitude attacks, and their
lower survival rates, were terminated. Thus, by the end of the first week,
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the only air defense weapon that was not impeded at night—radar
SAMs—had been suppressed and the optically aimed AAA and IR SAMs that
were impeded by night were reduced in effectiveness by the coalition’s use
of high-altitude tactics.
In effect, the data indicate that most Desert Storm aircraft casualties
occurred during the day. Therefore, it is simply less likely that any aircraft,
including the F-117, which operated only at night, would have been hit or
lost, especially after radar SAMs were suppressed and low-altitude attacks
were discontinued.
Air Defense
Concentrations
Because no F-117s were lost or damaged in Desert Storm, they have been
thought of as uniquely survivable, compared to other aircraft. Indeed, the
Air Force contended in its September 1991 Desert Storm white paper that
“the F-117 was the only airplane that planners dared risk over downtown
Baghdad” where air defenses are claimed to have been uniquely dense or
severe.
41
Downtown Threats More radar-guided SAM systems were deployed to the Baghdad area than
any other area in Iraq, and diagrams of SAM coverage confirm that the
greatest concentration of defenses were in that area. (Table II.10 presents
the number and location of Iraqi SAM batteries.)
Table II.10: Number and Location of
Iraqi SAM Batteries Location SA-2 SA-3 SA-6 SA-8 Roland Total
M osul/K irkuk 1 12 0 1 2 16
H-2/H-3 1 0 6 0 6 13
Talil/Jalibah 1 0 0 0 2 3
Basrah 2 0 8 0 5 15
Baghdad 10 16 8 15 9 58
Source: USAF, History of the Air Campaign, p. 254.
However, it is relevant to note that the defense systems located in the
Baghdad area did not necessarily protect downtown Baghdad at a higher
threat level than the rest of the overall metropolitan area. This would be
logical, since likely targets for any of Iraq’s adversaries were not only
downtown, but were dispersed—along with radar SAM sites—throughout
the Baghdad area. The distribution of radar SAMs deployed to the overall
41
USAF, Reaching Globally, Reaching Powerfully: The United States Air Force in the Gulf War
(Sept. 1991), p. 56.
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Campaign
Baghdad region is shown in figure II.7. These include SA-2, SA-3, SA-6,
SA-8, and Roland missiles.
Figure II.7: Radar-Guided SAM Locations in the Baghdad Area
Source: 52nd Fighter Wing Desert Storm, A success story, Briefing, G WAPS Files, G WAP, vol. I V,
pt. I : Weapons, Tactics, and Training Report ( unclassified) , p. 12.
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Campaign
The greatest concentrations of radar SAMs were clearly not in the center of
the city but, rather, in its outlying regions. The lethal range of these
systems was described by Air Force intelligence experts as extending over
the general Baghdad area, as far as 60 miles outside the city.
Moreover, because the engagement range of the five different types of
SAMs varied, and because they were dispersed throughout the Baghdad
area, it appears unlikely that they somehow converged over the downtown
area to make it the most dangerous locus of all. The maximum
engagement ranges of the systems varied from 3.5 miles for the Roland to
27 miles for the SA-2.
42
Only the Vietnam-era vintage SA-2s would have had
sufficient range to cover most of the area shown in figure II.7 and to
converge over the center of the city.
43
For the others, with ranges varying
from 3.5 to 13 miles, the deployment pattern shows that the densest
concentrations of overlapping radar SAM defenses were outside downtown
Baghdad.
[DELETED]
With regard to the two other principal antiaircraft defenses, IR SAMs and
AAA, there were clearly more AAA sites in the Baghdad area than elsewhere
in Iraq, but IR SAMs were deployed only to army field units, mostly in the
KTO and not at all in Baghdad. (See fig. II.8.)
However, AAA sites, like radar SAMs, were deployed throughout the greater
metropolitan Baghdad area, not just downtown. Therefore, while AAA in
the Baghdad region may have been more severe than elsewhere, it is also
the case that it endangered not just the F-117s but all other coalition
aircraft that conducted strikes in the general metropolitan area.
42
According to USAF intelligence data, the maximum ranges were SA-2, 27 miles; [DELETED]; Roland,
3.5 miles.
43
Also, the SA-6, with the next greatest assessed range of these systems, is at least 20 years old and
[DELETED].
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Campaign
Figure II.8: AAA Deployment in Iraq
a
[FIGURE DELETED]
a
Does not include I R SAM s and AAA deployed to I raqi army and Republican G uard forces in the
field.
Source: G WAPS, vol. I I , pt. I : O perations Report ( Secret) , p. 82.
Aircraft Risked Over
Downtown
Given the distribution of defenses throughout the Baghdad region, the
survivability of the F-117 is more appropriately compared to that of other
aircraft that were tasked to targets in the region, not just to those tasked
to downtown targets.
44
In this context, we found that five other types of
aircraft made repeated strikes in the Baghdad region—F-16s, F/A-18s,
F-111Fs, F-15Es, and B-52s. Large packages of F-16s were explicitly tasked
to “downtown” targets in the first week of the air campaign, but these
taskings were stopped after two F-16s were lost to radar SAMs over the
Baghdad area during daytime. Available data report no casualties over the
Baghdad area, except for one F/A-18, one GR-1, and the two F-16s cited
above.
45
Assertions that the F-117 was uniquely survivable because it alone was
tasked to uniquely severe defenses over downtown Baghdad are therefore
not supported by the data. F-117s never faced the defenses that proved to
be the most lethal in Desert Storm—daytime AAA and IR SAMs. Whereas, the
defenses around metropolitan Baghdad were among the most potent in
Iraq, the defenses over downtown were not more severe than those over
the metropolitan area. Other aircraft were tasked to equally heavily
defended targets. Moreover, some aircraft that flew at night also
conducted strikes without casualties.
44
Other aircraft that were tasked to Baghdad and attacked during the day would have faced more
severe defenses than did the F-117s at night: during the day optically aimed AAA would be able to
operate at its most effective level.
45
GWAPS and other reports did not specify the locations of all aircraft casualties. Therefore, it is
possible that some of these aircraft were damaged or lost over the Baghdad metropolitan area, but the
data available do not specify locations.
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Campaign
In sum, the factor most strongly associated with survivability in Desert
Storm appears to have been the combination of flying high and flying at
night—an environment that the F-117s operated in exclusively.
Other Factors in Aircraft
Survivability
Two additional factors are notable about aircraft survivability from
available data.
Size of Strike Packages One early tactic in the air war that may have had the effect of causing
some aircraft losses to Iraqi defenses was to send large numbers of aircraft
over a target one after another. While the first aircraft over the target
frequently encountered no defenses, its bomb detonations would alert the
Iraqis, resulting in AAA and SAMs being directed against the aircraft that
followed. [DELETED]
Attempt to Change Aircraft
Camouflage
The fact that the optically aimed AAA and IR SAMs remained lethal
throughout the air campaign put a premium on the extent to which aircraft
operating during the day could be made less visible through camouflage.
A-10 pilots told us that the aircraft’s dark green paint scheme—intended
for low-level operations in northern Europe (including for concealment
from aircraft from above)—made them stand out in the desert against both
sand and sky. Consequently, some A-10 units began to paint their aircraft
the same light grey color scheme of most other Air Force aircraft.
However, the units that repainted their A-10s were subsequently ordered
by Air Force Component, Central Command (CENTAF) to change them back
to dark green.
A total of 20 A-10s was hit during the war—nearly 25 percent of all aircraft
casualties. Some A-10 pilots we spoke to believed—and one participating
unit’s after-action report stated—that the dark green paint was
unacceptable and may have been responsible for some of the casualties. A
postwar Air Force study on survivability stated that the concerns over the
A-10’s paint scheme were “valid” and recommended that, in the future,
“Paint schemes must be adaptive to the environment in which the aircraft
operate.”
46
It is noteworthy that no A-10s were shot down, or even
damaged, at night, when the dark paint scheme very probably assisted
them or, at minimum, did not make them stand out.
46
USAF Air Warfare Center, U.S. Air Force Surface-to-Air Engagements During Operation Desert Storm
(Secret), Eglin Air Force Base: J anuary 1992, p. 12.
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Summary
In this appendix, we addressed questions concerning pre-Desert Storm
claims made for air-to-ground aircraft, munitions, and target sensor
systems versus how they were actually used in Desert Storm. In addition,
we examined trends in aircraft and munition use, with particular emphasis
on the F-117, and aircraft survivability, including the factors suggested by
Desert Storm data that are most likely to account for aircraft casualties.
We first examined the operating environment of Desert Storm to provide
the relevant context. The coalition faced a well-understood threat and had
considerable lead time to prepare and actually practice for the eventual
conflict. This provided coalition forces with an edge that should not be
discounted in evaluations of the outcomes of the Persian Gulf War. The
coalition had 6 months to plan for the war, deploy the necessary assets to
the theater, practice strikes and deceptions, gather intelligence on targets,
and become highly familiar with the operating environment. The fact that
the coalition knew which IADS nodes to hit to inflict the most damage, the
most quickly, was critical to its rapid degradation, and to the achievement
of a form of air supremacy—elimination of an integrated, coordinated air
defense. Without this supremacy, the air campaign might have proceeded
at a much slower pace and perhaps with more losses. Further, the United
States had the advantage of facing a highly isolated adversary, essentially
unable to be reinforced by air, sea, or ground. The unique and often
cooperative conditions of Desert Storm also severely limit the lessons of
the war that can be reasonably applied to potential future contingencies.
We next compared planned aircraft and munitions use to actual Desert
Storm use, along with patterns of aircraft and munition weight of effort
against sets of strategic targets. While there were few notable
discrepancies between original aircraft or munitions design and actual use
of either in the conflict, two that are related did stand out: the survivability
decision to bar munitions deliveries from below 12,000 feet after day 2 and
the corresponding fact that most unguided munitions tactics, before the
war, planned for low-altitude deliveries. The switch to medium- to
high-altitude deliveries meant that the accuracy of unguided munitions
was greatly reduced. This trade-off was feasible in Desert Storm as a way
to reduce attrition—in fact, to almost eliminate it. But since 95 percent of
the bombs and 92 percent of the total tonnage were unguided, there may
have been a severe reduction in the accuracy of that ordnance.
In less than half of the strategic target categories, there was a clear
preference for a particular type of air-to-ground platform. Preferences
were evidenced for F-117s, F-15Es, A-6Es, and F/A-18s against C
3
, GVC, NBC
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Campaign
(F-117), NAV (A-6E and F/A-18), and SCU (F-15E) targets. Nonetheless,
considering all target categories and selected platforms, most aircraft were
assigned to multiple targets across multiple target categories.
The combination of the ban on low-altitude tactics after day two, the
degradation of radar SAMs and the IADS in the early days of the war, and the
fact that a high proportion of strikes were flown at night—which
constituted another form of aircraft sanctuary—almost certainly was
responsible for a coalition aircraft attrition rate well below what planners
expected and below historical precedent in the Middle East.
The Desert Storm air campaign was not accomplished by the efforts of
strike aircraft alone. Aerial refueling tankers, airborne
intelligence-gathering aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft, and strike support
aircraft like F-4Gs, F-15Cs, and EF-111s were vital ingredients in the
successful execution of the air campaign.
While many factors about the operating environment in Desert Storm were
highly favorable to the coalition’s air effort, aircraft targeting capabilities
and precision munitions were put to the test by some periods of adverse
weather as well as adverse conditions like smoke from oil fires or dust
from bombing. Even mild weather conditions, including humidity,
rendered precision bombing sensors (such as IR target detection systems
and laser target designation systems) either degraded or unable to work at
all. Moreover, even in clear weather, pilots sometimes found it difficult to
locate or identify valid targets from medium and high altitudes. In sum, our
research and analysis found that official DOD descriptions of aircraft
targeting capabilities were overstated based on the Desert Storm
experience.
Finally, we addressed the role of the F-117 in the Desert Storm air
campaign and examined some of the significant controversies about its
use and contribution. Contrary to their “Lone Ranger” image, F-117s
certainly required tanking as well as radar jamming support, while support
from air-to-air fighter aircraft is less clear. The claim that F-117s—often,
but not always—achieved tactical surprise, as defined by the absence of
AAA until bombs made impact, was matched by the experience of other
aircraft. The gains provided by stealthiness also required substantial
trade-offs in terms of capabilities and flexibility, including [DELETED]. No
F-117s were reported lost or damaged in Desert Storm, but they operated
exclusively at night and at medium altitudes. This operational context was
clearly less likely to result in aircraft casualties than low-level attacks or
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Campaign
attacks at any level in daylight. Moreover, like the F-117s, some other
nonstealth attack aircraft experienced no losses operating in the
high-threat areas of Baghdad and operating at night at medium altitude.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
In this appendix, we respond to requester questions concerning the
effectiveness of the different types of aircraft and munitions, the validity of
manufacturer claims about weapon system performance, and the extent to
which the air campaign objectives for Desert Storm were achieved. We
address aircraft and munition effectiveness by answering nine questions,
the first of which focuses on the quality and scope of the weapon system
performance data from the Gulf War. Questions 2 through 7 address the
effectiveness of individual weapon systems, and questions 8 and 9 address
the combined effectiveness of the air campaign in achieving various
objectives. The specific questions are as follows.
1. Effectiveness Data Availability: What data are available to compare the
effectiveness of the weapon systems used, and what are the limitations of
the data?
2. Associations Between Weapon Systems and Outcomes: Did outcomes
achieved among strategic targets vary by type of aircraft and munition
used to attack targets?
3. Target Accuracy and Effectiveness as a Function of Aircraft and
Munition Type: Did accuracy in hitting targets with LGBs vary by type of
delivery platform? Similarly, did outcomes achieved among strategic
targets vary by platforms delivering unguided munitions?
4. LGB Accuracy: Did laser-guided bombs achieve the accuracy claimed to
permit using only one per target?
5. F-117 Effectiveness Claims: Did the F-117s actually achieve an
unprecedented 80-percent bomb hit rate? Were the F-117s highly effective
against strategic air defense targets on the first night of the campaign,
thereby opening the way for more vulnerable nonstealthy aircraft to
attack?
6. TLAM Effectiveness Claims: Do the data support claims for the
effectiveness of Tomahawk land-attack (cruise) missiles?
7. Weapon System Manufacturers’ Claims: What are the claims that have
been made by defense contractors for the effectiveness of the weapons
they produced, and do the data support these claims?
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8. Air Campaign Effectiveness Against Mobile Targets: What was the
effectiveness of the air campaign against small ground targets—tanks,
armored personnel carriers, and artillery?
9. Air Campaign Effectiveness in Achieving Strategic Objectives: To what
extent were the overall military and political objectives of Desert Storm
met, and what was the contribution of air power?
Effectiveness Data
Availability
Our first subquestion is concerned with the reliability of the data available
to assess and compare the effects of the weapon systems used in Desert
Storm. Under the best of circumstances, there would be sufficient data on
the use of aircraft, missiles, and munitions, and on the damage inflicted on
each target, to compare inputs and outcomes comprehensively. This
would permit analysis, for example, of whether or not an aircraft with
unguided bombs is as effective as one with LGBs or how different kinds of
aircraft and munitions performed against various targets under a range of
threat and strike conditions.
However, Desert Storm was not planned, executed, or documented to
satisfy the information needs of operations analysts or program
evaluators.
1
As a result, there are sometimes significant gaps in the data on
weapon system performance and effectiveness, the latter as a result of
insufficient BDA, in particular. For example, because multiple aircraft of
different types delivered multiple bombs, often on the same aimpoint, and
damage was often not assessed until after multiple strikes, for most
targets, it is not possible to determine what target effects, if any, can be
attributed to a particular aircraft or particular munition.
Making use of the best available data on both inputs and outcomes, we
compared the effectiveness of several air campaign systems both
quantitatively and qualitatively and also examined the extent to which
campaign goals were achieved. Because specific aircraft and munitions
could not, for the most part, be identified with specific damage to targets,
we developed alternative measures of effectiveness. In particular, the
Desert Storm data permitted us to determine (1) the aircraft, munitions,
and missiles that were expended against the set of targets in each strategic
category and (2) the levels of damage achieved for many of the targets in
most target categories. BDA reports indicating that restrikes were needed
provided a measure of inputs that had not fully achieved the required
1
While some may see this as solely a problem for postwar evaluations, the frequent lack of timely data,
such as BDA, was repeatedly cited by Desert Storm pilots and planners as a problem during the war.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
results. And when BDA reports indicated success, this was taken as an
upper-bound measure of what it took to achieve a successful outcome.
The total input measure can be compared with the prewar probability of
destruction (PD) estimates of the effectiveness of a given munition, missile,
or aircraft against a specific target type. Observed differences can
potentially be explained by various factors such as the effect of tactics on
effectiveness, the uniqueness of conditions encountered in Desert Storm,
or the uncertainties and risks to be considered when tasking aircraft and
missiles against specific target types.
Our assumption is that under wartime conditions with imperfect field
information, delays in reporting BDA, communications breakdowns, and
other sources of friction, the inputs used on a target or class of targets are
likely to be the more accurate measure of future inputs than PD
calculations derived from less than fully realistic field tests or earlier
conflicts.
2
For example, the latter may indicate that, under certain
conditions, a 2,000-pound LGB has a 0.9 PD of destroying a room inside a
building with 2-feet-thick concrete walls. However, it may be more useful
to know that, in an actual contingency, six LGBs were used against such
targets, because the costs and risks of tasking additional pilots, aircraft,
and munitions against a target were less than the risk that the target
objectives had not been met.
Associations Between
Weapon Systems and
Outcomes
Our second subquestion is concerned with whether the degree to which
target objectives were met varied by type of aircraft or munition used. The
available data reveal associations of greater and lesser success against
targets between types of aircraft and munitions over the course of the
campaign and with respect to individual target categories. However, data
limitations inhibit direct comparisons between weapon systems or
generalizations about the effectiveness of individual weapon systems.
Target Outcomes by Type
of Aircraft and Munition
Data on the number of munitions, aircraft, and TLAMs used against certain
strategic targets were available, as were damage assessment reports for
432 strategic targets with BE numbers that were attacked. By matching
inputs to the targets for which damage assessments were made, we
examined whether any patterns could be ascertained between the types of
inputs and the outcomes.
2
Delivery accuracy data in the J oint Munitions Effectiveness Manual are based in part on visual,
manual system accuracies achieved in prior combat dating as far back as World War II. (J MEM, ch. 1,
p. 1-24, change 4.)
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Using specific criteria, we rated outcomes on the strategic targets with BE
numbers for which there were sufficient phase III BDA data to reach a
judgment about whether attacks on a target had been either “fully
successful” or “not fully successful.”
3
Out of 432 targets with BDA reports,
357 could be matched with BE-numbered targets for which campaign input
data were also available.
4
For both the TLAMs and eight air-to-ground
aircraft reviewed here that delivered ordnance against strategic targets,
table III.1 shows a frequency count, by platform, of the number of targets
that we rated as damaged to an FS or NFS level and the ratio of FS to NFS
targets.
Table III.1: Number of Targets
Assessed as Fully Successful and Not
Fully Successful by Platform
Platform FS NFS FS:NFS ratio
A-6E 37 34 1.1:1
A-10
a a a
B-52 25 35 0.7:1
F-111F 41 13 3.2:1
F-117 122 87 1.4:1
F-15E 28 29 1.0:1
F-16 67 45 1.5:1
F/A-18 36 47 0.8:1
G R-1 21 17 1.2:1
TLAM 18 16 1.1:1
Total
b
190 167 1.1:1
a
No data available.
b
I ndividual platform data do not sum to the total because individual targets were often attacked
by multiple platforms.
Table III.1 shows that, overall, there were more FS than NFS target
assessments and that, except for the B-52, F-15E, and F/A-18, all platforms
participated in more FS than NFS target outcomes. The ratio of FS to NFS
target assessments was greatest for the F-111F, indicating that it
participated in proportionally more FS than NFS target outcomes. In
3
An FS assessment means that the target objective had been met sufficiently to preclude the need for a
restrike. An NFS assessment does not equate with failure—rather, it means that despite the damage
that may have been inflicted at the time of the BDA, the target objective had not been fully achieved
and, in the opinion of the BDA analysts, a restrike was necessary to fully achieve the target objective.
For a more complete explanation of the strengths and limitations of our methodology for assessing
target outcomes, see appendix I.
4
The Missions database contained input data on 862 BE-numbered targets.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
addition, the ratios of FS to NFS outcomes for the F-117 and F-16 were
similar in magnitude.
Another way in which to compare and contrast success rates among
platforms is to look at the number of FS and NFS targets with which each
delivery platform was associated across target categories. These
comparisons are shown in table III.2.
Table III.2 illustrates associations between individual types of aircraft and
outcomes (that is, number of FS and NFS assessments) in various strategic
target categories. Two types of comparisons evident in the data include
the success of individual platforms against individual target categories
compared with (1) the success of all platforms against individual target
categories and (2) a platform’s success against all campaign targets.
Table III.2: Number of FS and NFS Targets by Platform and Target Type
C
3
ELE GVC LOC MIB
Platform FS NFS FS NFS FS NFS FS NFS FS NFS
A-6E 9 6 4 0
a a
9 1 3 7
B-52 0 4 3 3
a a
0 2 8 18
F-111F 4 0
a a
0 0 11 3 5 3
F-117 49 36 0 1 9 11 21 4 9 17
F-15E 3 6 1 0
a a
8 1 0 2
F-16 19 10 4 2 3 3 3 1 10 16
F/A-18 6 9 3 0
a a
7 5 3 8
G R-1 0 0
a a a a
7 3 2 3
TLAM 6 1 2 6 7 3 0 0 1 0
All
b
63 43 11 10 12 11 28 12 17 33
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NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCU
Platform FS NFS FS NFS FS NFS FS NFS FS NFS FS NFS
A-6E 3 9 1 1 7 4 0 2 1 0 0 4
B-52
a a
1 1 10 2 2 3
a a
1 2
F-111F
a a
5 1 15 6
a a
0 0 1 0
F-117 0 1 14 5 13 6 0 1 5 4 2 1
F-15E
a a
1 0 12 6 0 1 0 1 3 12
F-16
a a
4 2 16 5 2 1 3 0 3 5
F/A-18 1 9 1 1 10 6 1 4 3 0 1 5
G R-1 0 0
a a
10 6 1 5
a a
1 0
TLAM 0 0 0 3 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0
All
b
3 10 15 5 22 12 4 12 10 4 5 15
a
No records of platform tasked against target type in M issions database.
b
I ndividual platform data do not sum to category total because individual targets were often
attacked by multiple platforms.
Success rates for individual platforms against individual categories did not
necessarily mirror the overall campaign’s rate of success against individual
categories. For example, while the overall ratio of FS to NFS C
3
targets
showed more FS relative to NFS assessments (63:43), the ratios for the B-52,
F-15E, and F/A-18 (0:4, 3:6, and 6:9, respectively) indicate that these
platforms were less successful against these types of targets than the
campaign as a whole. However, some platforms are associated with higher
rates of success against individual categories than were achieved by the
overall campaign. For example, the number of FS:NFS LOC targets associated
with the A-6E (9:1), F-111F (11:3), F-117 (21:4), and F-15E (8:1) indicate
higher rates of success than were achieved by the campaign in the
aggregate (28:12).
While most platforms participated in more FS than NFS outcomes during
the campaign as a whole, some platforms participated against selected
target categories in more NFS than FS outcomes. For example, TLAMs
participated in strikes against more NFS than FS targets in the ELE and NBC
categories, while F-117s and F-16s participated in more NFS than FS
outcomes in the MIB targets. In contrast, while the B-52s and the F/A-18s
had more NFS relative to FS overall against OCA targets, both platforms
participated in more FS than NFS outcomes. In addition, the F/A-18s
participated in more FS than NFS outcomes against ELE, LOC, and SAM
targets.
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The success rates for individual platforms over the course of the campaign
did not necessarily mirror the pattern of success achieved by a platform
against targets in specific categories. For example, while the ratio of FS:NFS
for targets struck by the F-15E during the campaign was 28:29, its
association with success in the LOC and OCA categories was proportionately
far better (8:1 and 12:6, respectively), yet its association with success in
the SCU category was worse (3:12). In another example, the ratio of FS to
NFS for targets struck by B-52s over the course of the campaign was
relatively unfavorable (25:35); its association with success in the OCA
category was much better (10:2).
In sum, while these data do not allow direct effectiveness comparisons
between aircraft types, they do indicate that effectiveness did vary by type
of aircraft and by type of target category attacked. Subsequent
subquestions address more direct aircraft effectiveness comparisons
where the data permit.
Munition Types and
Outcomes
Another way in which the Desert Storm databases permit comparison of
inputs and outcomes is by type of munition used in each target category.
Table III.3 shows the average amount, in tons, of guided and unguided
munitions used per BE, by target category, for both FS and NFS targets and
the ratio of unguided-to-guided bomb tonnage used.
Table III.3 shows that, on average, FS targets received more guided
munition tonnage (11.2 tons versus 9.4) and less unguided munition
tonnage (44.1 tons versus 53.7) per BE than NFS targets. However, this
pattern did not hold across all target categories. For example, the opposite
pattern occurred in the ELE, NAV, NBC, and SAM target categories, where NFS
targets generally received more guided munition tonnage than targets
rated FS, and the ratio of unguided to guided munition tonnage was lower
than for targets rated FS, as well.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Table III.3: Average Guided and Unguided Tonnage Per BE by Outcome by Category
Average tons Average tons
Fully successful Not fully successful
Target Unguided Guided
Unguided-
to-guided Unguided Guided
Unguided-
to-guided
C
3
7.2 3.9 1.9:1 14.7 4.0 3.6:1
ELE 49.8 5.4 9.2:1 36.8 7.5 4.9:1
G VC 6.7 11.2 0.6:1 4.4 9.5 0.5:1
LO C 8.5 7.6 1.1:1 18.4 6.1 3.0:1
M I B 120.2 10.0 12.0:1 119.8 5.2 23.1:1
NAV 17.5 1.2 14.2:1 29.0 5.2 5.6:1
NBC 41.1 19.3 2.1:1 125.7 73.7 1.7:1
O CA 152.6 43.9 3.5:1 106.7 36.0 3.0:1
O I L 110.8 2.3 49.3:1 45.6 1.5 31.4:1
SAM 7.2 0.8 8.8:1 1.1 4.8 0.2:1
SCU 94.2 7.1 13.3:1 66.3 5.0 13.3:1
Total 44.1 11.2 3.9:1 53.7 9.4 5.7:1
Bomb Tonnage, Munition
Type, and Outcomes
A widespread image from Desert Storm was that of a single target being
destroyed by a single munition. However, the data show that an average of
55.3 tons (110,600 pounds) of bombs were expended against each BE rated
FS. The average for BEs rated NFS was 63 tons of bombs (126,000 pounds).
5
If the tonnage in each case was composed solely of 2,000-pound bombs,
this would have meant using, at a minimum, nearly 56 bombs against every
BE rated FS and about 63 on every NFS target. If the mix of munitions
included smaller sizes as well, more than 56 munitions would have been
dropped on each FS target. While some of this tonnage almost surely
reflects the fact that many BE-numbered targets had more than one DMPI
(or aimpoint), the fact remains that the amount of tonnage used per BE
(whether FS or NFS), as well as the number of bombs that were dropped,
was substantial.
Since the exact number of DMPIs per BE is not known, we are unable to
determine whether the differences between the average tonnages dropped
on FS versus NFS targets are meaningful. The fact that NFS targets received
more tonnage, on average, than FS targets, may simply reflect restrikes
directed at targets insufficiently damaged by initial attacks.
5
These data represent the total weight of bombs dropped on targets according to the Missions
database. The database does not consistently provide information on whether the bombs actually hit
the intended aimpoints. Nor do these data include munitions dropped by coalition members other than
the United States and the United Kingdom.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
The data also show that FS targets received, on average, more tonnage per
BE of guided munitions than NFS targets (11.2 tons versus 9.4) and less
unguided tonnage per BE (approximately 44 versus 54 tons). Since most of
the LGBs weighed from 500 to 2,000 pounds, the average difference of 3,600
pounds of munitions is equivalent to about one 2,000-pound LGB and three
500-pound LGBs or to about seven 500-pound LGBs.
Target Accuracy and
Effectiveness as a
Function of Aircraft
and Munition Type
Although the Desert Storm input and BDA data do not permit a
comprehensive aircraft-by-aircraft or munition-by-munition comparison of
effectiveness, it is possible to compare and examine the effects of selected
types of munitions and aircraft where they were used in similar ways. This
is because the data on some systems—such as the F-117 and F-111F—are
more complete, better documented, and more reliable than data collected
on other systems. Thus, our third subquestion addresses the relationship
between the (1) type of delivery platform and target accuracy using LGBs
and (2) type of delivery platform and bombing effectiveness using
unguided munitions.
A major issue raised during and after Desert Storm concerns the bomb
delivery accuracy of stealthy versus conventional aircraft. The Air Force
states that the F-117 was more accurate than any other LGB-capable
platform because its stealthiness negated the necessity to engage in
evasive defensive maneuvers in the target area, making it easier to hold
the laser spot on the target and reducing the distance between the target
and the aircraft. In contrast, nonstealthy aircraft are more likely to engage
in defensive maneuvers after the bombs are released—increasing the
chance of losing the laser spot, as the aircraft seeks to avoid air defense
threats and speeds away from the target. Therefore, in LGB delivery against
fixed targets, it was argued that the type of platform did make a difference
in accuracy.
Of all the Desert Storm strike aircraft, there were sufficient data to
compare only the F-117 to the F-111F on this dimension.
6
We compared
the reported target hit rates of the F-117 and F-111F against 49 Desert
6
The 48th TFW operations summary reported the outcome of each F-111F strike mission as a hit
(“Yes”) or miss (“No”). The F-111Fs dropped from one to four bombs per target, per mission. A hit was
reported when at least one bomb struck the target. It was not possible to determine from the database
the number of bombs that impacted on a target reported as hit. The F-117 database, in contrast,
reported outcome data for each bomb dropped.
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Appendix III
Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Storm targets struck by both aircraft.
7
The 49 targets comprised primarily
airfields; bridges; large military industrial bases; and nuclear, biological,
and chemical facilities. Table III.4 shows summary LGB strike data on the
49 targets for the F-117 and F-111F.
Table III.4: F-117 and F-111F Strike Results on 49 Common Targets
a
Strikes where target
was reported hit
Aircraft
Laser-guided
bombs dropped
Number of
strikes
Total
dropped
Average bombs
dropped per strike Number Percent
F-111F G BU-10
G BU-12
G BU-15
G BU-24A/B
G BU-28
422 93 2.1 357 85
F-117 G BU-10
G BU-12
G BU-27
456 517 1.1 363 80
a
For this table, a strike is defined as one aircraft attacking one target where one or more bombs
were dropped. M ore than one bomb can be delivered on the same target. M ore than one strike
can occur on the same sortie, which is one flight by one aircraft.
The F-111Fs and the F-117s flew comparable numbers of bombing strikes
against the same 49 targets—422 and 456, respectively. However, the
F-111Fs dropped more bombs than the F-117s (893 versus 517); thus, the
F-117s averaged only slightly more than 1 bomb per strike while the
F-111Fs averaged over 2 bombs. For the F-111F, the reported target hit
rate was 85 percent, for the F-117s, 80 percent. Thus, despite the
advantages of stealth in LGB-deliveries—for the 49 common targets for
which we have data—the reported target hit rate for the nonstealthy
F-111F was greater than for the stealthy F-117.
As noted above, the total number of F-111F bomb hits on a given target
was not recorded; a “hit” was counted if at least one bomb of four released
hit the target. Therefore, it cannot be determined from these data whether
perhaps (1) the F-111Fs achieved a higher reported target hit rate because
they could drop more bombs on a target than the F-117s, and therefore,
the F-111Fs had a greater number of chances of hitting the target with at
7
Even though there are some data and methodological limitations to this comparison (that is,
aimpoints may differ; over time, the intensity of the defenses could vary), the results on these
49 targets compare LGB results on the same targets, albeit with limitations to the conclusions that can
be drawn.
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Appendix III
Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
least one bomb, or (2) the F-111Fs achieved more bomb hits per target
than the F-117s, causing more damage per strike than the F-117s.
8
F-117 Versus F-111F Target
Hit Rates With Same Type
of LGB
We compared the F-117 and F-111F target hit rates when using precisely
the same munitions on the same targets by analyzing only strikes for
which the same types of munitions were dropped (that is, GBU-10 or
GBU-12).
9
Table III.5 shows the number and percent of strikes by F-117s
and F-111Fs on 22 targets where only GBU-10 and GBU-12 LGBs were
dropped.
Table III.5: F-117 and F-111F Strike Results on 22 Common Targets With GBU-10 and GBU-12 LGBs
Strikes where target
reported hit
Aircraft
Laser-guided
bombs dropped
Number of
strikes
Total
dropped
Average bombs
dropped per strike Number Percent
F-111F G BU-10
G BU-12
130 285 2.2 123 95
F-117 G BU-10
G BU-12
212 271 1.3 167 79
The F-117s flew almost twice as many strikes with GBU-10s and GBU-12s as
the F-111F; however, the total number of GBU-10s and GBU-12s dropped was
almost identical. Thus, the F-111Fs dropped more bombs per strike
(2.2) than the F-117s (1.3). As with the set of 49 common targets, the
percentage of strikes where the target was reported hit was higher for the
F-111F than for the F-117, and the differential in target accuracy was
greater.
Effectiveness by Aircraft
Type With Unguided
Bombs
To examine whether the type of aircraft used was related to the
effectiveness of unguided bombs, we compared damage to targets
attacked with only a single type of unguided bomb. Sixty-eight strategic
targets were attacked with the 2,000-pound MK-84 unguided bomb and no
other munition. The available data indicate that the platform of delivery
may affect the effectiveness of the munition. Table III.6 shows the number
8
In Desert Storm, the F-111F typically carried four LGBs per mission; the F-117 can carry a maximum
of only two.
9
Reliability and generalizability constraints on this comparison include the fact that the F-111F target
hit data could not be verified; a significant portion of the reported F-117 hits lacked corroborating
support or was inconsistent with other available data; and the calculated target hit rates per mission
do not necessarily equate with bomb hit rate. Moreover, the results apply only to targets struck by both
types of aircraft and thereby do not address other target types where one aircraft may have performed
better than the other, such as F-111F conducting “tank-plinking” or F-117s striking hardened bunkers
in Baghdad.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
of targets attacked by aircraft type and the number and percent that were
assessed as successfully destroyed.
Table III.6: Outcomes for Targets
Attacked With Only MK-84 Unguided
Bombs
Targets successfully
destroyed
Aircraft
Targets
attacked Number Percent Categories struck
F-111E 1 0 0 M I B
F-15E 3 1 33 C
3
, LO C
F-16 34 18 53 C
3
, ELE, G VC,
LO C, M I B, NBC,
O I L, SCU
F/A-18 7 3 43 C
3
, LO C, M I B, O I L
A-6E 1 1 100 ELE
The two types of aircraft with the highest representation were the F-16 and
the F/A-18.
10
Of the 34 targets attacked by the F-16, 53 percent were
successfully destroyed. Forty-three percent of the seven targets struck by
the F/A-18 were fully destroyed. However, the differences in percentage of
targets where the objectives were successfully achieved were not
statistically significant.
11
The number of target categories struck by the F-16 with MK-84s was
considerably larger than those struck by the F/A-18. To eliminate any bias
from the range of categories struck, table III.7 presents F-16 and F/A-18
strike results only for targets in categories common to both.
Table III.7: Outcomes for Targets
Attacked With Only MK-84s Delivered
by F-16s and F/A-18s
Targets successfully
destroyed
Aircraft
Targets
attacked Number Percent Categories struck
F-16 23 12 52 C
3
, LO C, M I B, O I L
F/A-18 7 3 43 C
3
, LO C, M I B, O I L
10
With only 2 exceptions, each of the 44 targets was attacked exclusively by a single type of aircraft.
One target was struck by both the F-16s and F/A-18s, and a second target was struck by both the F-16s
and F-111Es.
11
We tested the direct comparisons between the F/A-18 and the F-16 statistically using the chi-square
procedure, and we found them not to be significant at the 0.05 level.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Table III.7 reveals that the F-16s appear to have been somewhat more
effective than the F/A-18s.
12
As in table III.6, the difference in success rates
was not statistically significant. However, the ratios of FS to NFS targets for
each aircraft (12:11 for the F-16s; 3:4 for the F/A-18s) are consistent with
the ratios of FS to NFS targets associated with these aircraft in the
campaign. (See table III.1.) In each case, the FS to NFS ratio for the F-16s is
greater than 1:1; the ratio for the F/A-18s is less than 1:1.
LGB Accuracy
Videotapes of LGBs precisely traveling down ventilator shafts and
destroying targets with one strike, like those televised during and after
Desert Storm, can easily create impressions about the effect of a single LGB
on a single target, which was summed up by an LGB manufacturer’s claim
for effectiveness: “one target, one bomb.”
13
The implicit assumption in this
claim is that a target is sufficiently damaged or destroyed to avoid needing
to hit it again with a second bomb, thus obviating the need to risk pilots or
aircraft in restrikes. However, evidence from our analysis and from DIA’s
does not support the claim for LGB effectiveness summarized by “one
target, one bomb.”
To examine the validity of the claim, we used data from attacks on
bridges, aircraft shelters, radar sites, and bunkers of various types with the
most advanced LGBs used in Desert Storm, those with the “Paveway III”
guidance system.
14
(See table III.8.)
12
As noted in the discussion of table III.6, several data limitations limit the reliability of conclusions.
These limitations include the fact that data on Air Force aircraft in the Missions database are more
reliable than on Navy aircraft; some phase III reports on targets may have been produced before the
final strikes occurred (with the result that damage that came after the last BDA report would not be
credited); and not all of the 68 common targets were assessed by DIA.
13
This phraseology has been used by Texas Instruments, a manufacturer of LGBs, in its public
advertising.
14
LGBs have three component parts: a guidance and control mechanism, a warhead or bomb body, and
airfoil or wings. Three generations of Paveway LGB technology exist, each successive generation
representing a change or modification in the guidance mechanism.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Table III.8: List of DMPIs and
Identifying Information Number Target name DMPI 1 ATODAY
a
1 North Taji command bunker Fac 2 3
2 K arbala depot, ammo
storage
E bnkr ( 1) N. 17
3 Samarra CW facility Bnk 1 20
4 Samarra CW facility Bnk 4 20
5 Tallil airfield Bnk 38 D116 23
6 I raqi AF hdq, Baghdad Bnk 5 O SP4 33
7 I raqi intel hdq, K u bks Entrance 36
8 Al Fahud Bridge 38
9 Suq Ash Shuyukh Bridge 38
10 Pontoon bridge None indicated 42
11 Taji bunker Bunker 42
12 Highway bridge 32 08 90 N 2
13 Al Amarah Command bunker 3
14 6 Corp Army hdq Command bunker 14
15 Al Taqaddum Shelter #2 8
16 K uwait City Radar Site 29
17 Al Q aim M ine M ine entrance 32
18 Az Zubayr Radcom Antenna 33
19 Al Q aim phosphate plant Earth covered bnkr 33
20 Ar Rumaylah Afld Bridge S. end 36
a
ATO DAY is the air tasking order day, the day of the war on which the strike occurred.
Source: M issions database, January 1993.
Each of these targets had a single, identifiable DMPI. If the “one-target,
one-bomb” claim is accurate, there should have been a one-to-one
relationship between the number of targets and the number of LGBs
delivered to those targets. Our data did not allow us to determine whether
one bomb typically caused sufficient damage to preclude a restrike, and
campaign managers evidently did not assume this was the case, for the
average number of LGBs dropped per target was four. Figure III.1 depicts
the number of Paveway III LGBs that were delivered against 20 DMPIs.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Figure III.1: Paveway III LGBs Delivered Against Selected Point Targets
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
DMPI
Number of LGBs
Figure III.1 shows that the “one-target, one-bomb” claim for Paveway III
LGBs was not validated in a single case in this sample from Desert Storm.
No fewer than two LGBs were dropped on each target; six or more were
dropped on 20 percent of the targets; eight or more were dropped on
15 percent of the targets. The average dropped was four LGBs per target.
15
Similarly, a DIA analysis of the effectiveness of 2,000-pound BLU-109/B
(I-2000) LGBs dropped by F-117s and F-111Fs on Iraqi hardened aircraft
shelters and bunkers found that many shelters were hit by more than one
15
DOD commented that the types of targets in table III.8 are primarily hardened shelters and bunkers
or bridges where probabilities of kill typically, require more than one bomb—even with a direct hit. We
concur. A single advanced 2,000-pound LGB was often insufficient to achieve the desired level of
damage against high-value single-DMPI targets. Thus, “one target, one bomb” was not routinely
achieved.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
LGB, often as a result of insufficient BDA data prior to restrike.
16
At Tallil
airfield, for example, many bunkers “were targeted with two or more
weapons.” (DIA, p. 28.) One bunker was hit by at least seven LGBs, although
aircraft video showed that the required damage had been inflicted by the
third and fourth bombs. As DIA noted, this meant that “two unnecessary
restrikes using three more weapons were apparently conducted because
complete information was not available, utilized, or properly
understood/relayed.” (DIA, p. 49.) The DIA analysis also shows that one
bomb was insufficient; four bombs were required to achieve the necessary
damage.
The DIA analysis noted that the “penetration capability of a warhead is
determined by many factors: impact velocity, impact angle, angle of attack,
target materials, and weapon design.” (DIA, p. 7.) The DIA data are
consistent with our finding that targets were hit by more than one LGB in
part because more than one LGB was needed to reach the desired damage
level. They also demonstrate that insufficient BDA sometimes prevented
knowing at what point a target had been destroyed, thereby putting pilots
and aircraft at risk in conducting additional strikes. Moreover, planners
were apparently ordering the delivery of multiple bombs because either
BDA revealed that one bomb did not achieve target objectives or they did
not believe the presumption that “one target, one bomb” was being
achieved.
F-117 Effectiveness
Claims
The Air Force has written that
“The Gulf War illustrated that the precision of modern air attack revolutionized warfare.
. . . In particular, the natural partnership of smart weapons and stealth working together
gives the attacker unprecedented military leverage.”
17
According to a former Secretary of the Air Force, “In World War II it could
take 9,000 bombs to hit a target the size of an aircraft shelter. In Vietnam,
300. Today [May 1991] we can do it with one laser-guided munition from
an F-117.”
18
16
DIA, Vulnerability of Hardened Aircraft Bunkers and Shelters to Precision-Guided Munitions
(Secret), April 1994.
17
USAF, Reaching Globally, Reaching Powerfully: The United States Air Force in the Gulf War
(Sept. 1991), p. 55.
18
Statement contained in a summary of public quotes and comments about performance of the F-117A
Stealth Fighter in Operation Desert Storm provided to us by Lockheed Corporation on March 19, 1993.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
According to DOD’s title V report, the F-117 proved to be a highly accurate
bomber with a bomb hit rate of 80 percent against its targets—accuracy
characterized by its primary contractor, Lockheed, as “unprecedented.”
19
In addition, DOD emphasized in post-Desert Storm assessments that the
F-117’s stealth attributes and capability to deliver LGBs were instrumental
on the first night of the war when the aircraft struck over 30 percent of all
strategic targets, including components of the Iraqi IADS, thereby opening
major gaps in Iraqi air defenses for conventional nonstealthy aircraft. The
Air Force also contends that no other aircraft struck IADS and other targets
in downtown Baghdad on the first night of the campaign and throughout
the war because of the intensity of air defenses.
It may well be that the F-117 was the most accurate platform in Desert
Storm. However, the Desert Storm data do not fully support claims for the
F-117’s accuracy against IADS-related targets, targets on the first night of
the campaign, or targets throughout the war. As discussed in detail below,
we estimate that the bomb hit rate for the F-117 was between 55 and
80 percent, the rate of weapon release was 75 percent. Thus, Desert Storm
demonstrated that even in an environment with historically favorable
weather conditions, the bomb release rate for the F-117 may be lower than
for other aircraft.
20
Finally, the F-117 was not the only aircraft tasked to
targets in downtown Baghdad, but after the third day, planners concluded
that for the types of targets and defenses found in Baghdad, the F-117 was
more effective.
21
The F-117 Bomb Hit Rate Various components of DOD and GWAPS reported similar bomb hit rates
based on slightly different numbers of bomb drops and hits. DOD’s title V
report to the Congress stated that F-117s dropped 2,040 bombs during the
campaign, of which 1,634 “hit the target,” achieving a bomb hit rate of
80 percent. (DOD, p. T-85.) The Air Force Studies and Analysis Group
reported that the F-117s achieved an 80-percent hit rate based on 1,659
hits. The Air Force Office of History reported that “Statistically, the 37th
19
In a briefing to us in September 1993, Lockheed also concluded about the F-117 in Desert Storm
“stealth, combined with precision weapons, demonstrated a change in aerial warfare . . . one bomb =
one kill.”
20
For example, historically over Baghdad, the average percentage of time that the cloud ceiling is less
than or equal to 3,000 feet is only 9 percent; comparable percentages over Beirut, Lebanon; Osan AB,
Korea; and St. Petersburg, Russia; are 17, 33, and 64, respectively. Thus, while the weather over Iraq
was less favorable than average for that location, the conditions encountered in Desert Storm may well
have been better than likely conditions in other likely contingency locations.
21
As discussed in appendix II, we also found that based on Air Force intelligence analysis and other
data, the defenses of the greater Baghdad metropolitan area were as intense as those of “downtown”
Baghdad. Multiple aircraft types were tasked to the large area without experiencing casualties.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Tactical Fighter Wing compiled a record that is unparalleled in the
chronicles of air warfare: the Nighthawks [F-117s] achieved a 75 percent
hit rate on pinpoint targets . . . recording 1,669 direct hits . . . .”
22
The GWAPS report stated that “They [F-117s] scored 1,664 direct hits . . . .”
and achieved a bomb hit rate of 80 percent.
23
We sought to verify the data
supporting these statements.
Data Underlying Claimed
F-117 Hits
During the war, mission videos of F-117 bomb releases were reviewed
after each night’s strikes by analysts at the 37th TFW (and often by planners
in the Black Hole) to determine hits and misses and the need for restrikes.
The analysts at the 37th TFW were able to determine whether a bomb hit its
intended target, or if the bomb missed, why and by what distance. This
information was recorded on the 37th TFW Desert Storm database, which
summarized the disposition of each F-117 strike mission. Our review of the
database and interviews with F-117 pilots and the analysts who compiled
the database show that some reported hits (1) were accompanied by data
indicating the “miss distance” between the DMPI and point of bomb impact,
(2) were not based on mission video, (3) were credited when the available
video failed to record bomb impact, and (4) were accompanied by
conflicting remarks. Our finding is that approximately one-third of the
bomb drops assessed to be hits either lacked corroborating video
documentation or were in conflict with other information in the database.
(See table III.9.)
22
Office of History, Headquarters 37th Fighter Wing, Special Study: 37FW/HO-91-1 (J an. 9, 1992).
23
GWAPS, vol. IV, pt. I (Secret), p. 44; vol. II, pt. II (Secret), p. 392.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Table III.9: Reported F-117 Hits
Lacking Corroborating Support or in
Conflict With Other Available Data
F-117 hits Number Percent
Total reported 1, 677 100.0
Hits with miss distance data 360 21.5
Hits with no video record 96 5.7
Hits with video tape recorder problems or impact not
recorded
69 4.1
Hits with conflicting remarks 49 2.9
Total reports of hits lacking corroborating support or in conflict
with other available data
574
Reported F-117 hits without corroborating video or in
conflict with other available data
535
a
31.9
Reported F-117 hits with corroborating video 1, 142 68.1
a
This total is less than the sum of the first four rows because, in several instances, a reported hit
was accompanied by more than one piece of missing or incompatible data.
Reported Hits With Miss
Distance Data
The distance by which the bomb missed the aimpoint was recorded in the
TFW database. For 360 of the 1,677 hits reported, the miss distances ranged
from 1.6 meters (approximately 5 feet) up to 164.5 meters (approximately
540 feet). This range was comparable to the range of miss distances
recorded for the 70 reported misses, which ranged from 3.2 to 178.1
meters.
24
However, while the ranges of miss distances for hits and misses
were equivalent, the distribution of miss distances was clearly skewed
toward larger values for reported misses. The mean miss distance for the
hits was 13.1 meters (43 feet), while the mean miss distance for the misses
was 69.2 meters (226.9 feet)—five times the mean for hits.
25
Reported Hits Without
Documenting Video
In 96 instances, hits were credited despite the absence of a video record of
the mission and in contrast to 37th TFW peacetime training policy and the
policies of other LGB-capable aircraft in Desert Storm. In peacetime
training, bomb drops by F-117s without video documentation are
considered misses. In Desert Storm, the 37th TFW credited hits solely on
the basis of pilot accounts; in contrast, pilot reports were substantially
discounted by Air Force analysts of air campaign hits or kills by other
types of air-to-ground aircraft employing guided munitions but with
inconclusive video. For example, for every three tanks claimed as kills by
A-10 pilots, only one was credited, for a 33-percent kill rate; F-111F pilots
24
Paradoxically, the database contains more miss distances for reported hits (360) than for reported
misses (70). This may be because miss distances for misses occurring outside the field of view of the
F-117 DLIR could not be determined.
25
The median miss distance for the hits was 4.98 meters (16.33 feet), while the median miss distance
for the misses was 66.75 meters (218.94 feet)—13 times the average for hits.
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Appendix III
Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
were credited with a 50-percent tank kill rate for pilot-only claims. The
37th TFW justified crediting hits based solely on pilot reports on the
grounds that the F-117 demonstrated superior accuracy in Desert Storm.
Reported Hits With Video
Problems or Where Bomb
Impacts Were Not Recorded
In 69 instances, the video recorded during a mission—from which hits and
misses are determined—was of poor quality or failed to record bomb
impact. Poor quality video and video that did not record bomb impact
within its field-of-view pose unique BDA problems for the F-117s. F-117s are
unique in that all missions are flown at night. A lone pilot must
concentrate on the cockpit display to aim the laser designator on the
aimpoint until bomb impact, and the impact typically occurs directly
beneath the aircraft as it passes over the target. The aircraft’s video
records the image seen by the pilot during the mission. There is no other
means for the pilot or BDA analysts to view bomb impacts. The intelligence
chief for the 37th TFW during Desert Storm told us that while to claim hits
when miss distances were small could be justified, hit claims made when
available video did not record bomb impact could not be justified.
Table III.10 illustrates examples of remarks indicating nonsupporting
video.
Table III.10: Examples of Remarks
Indicating Nonsupporting Video Day BE Reported hits Remarks
022 A 2 No release on tape
006 B 2 No impact seen, bad tape
001 C 1 G imbal, no impact seen
034 D 1 Tape bad . . . , can’t see impact
019 E 1 Not on tape
Source: 37th TFW Desert Storm database.
Reported Hits With Conflicting
Remarks
In 49 cases, credited hits were accompanied by remarks indicating that the
bombs missed the aimpoint or malfunctioned. There was no standing
requirement that remarks be entered in the database, but the analysts who
reviewed mission video entered explanatory or clarifying comments at
their discretion. Examples of remarks that are in conflict with reported
hits include references to dud bombs, bombs that struck objects other
than the DMPI, and bombs that did not guide. Table III.11 illustrates
examples of remarks indicating nonsupporting video.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Table III.11: Examples of Remarks in
Conflict With Reported Hits Day Target Reported hits Remarks
025 F 2 2nd bomb hit short and left
011 G 1 Dud wpn
040 H 2 O ne bomb no guide
023 I 1 Hit on wrong bunker
004 J 1 Bomb long
Source: 37th TFW Desert Storm database.
The Definition of F-117
Bomb Hits in Desert Storm
One of the primary reasons that reported hits are apparently in conflict
with other information recorded on the 37th TFW database is that during
Desert Storm, specific objective peacetime bomb hit criteria were replaced
with subjective wartime criteria. According to former 37th TFW officials,
bombs making impact more than 3 feet from a DMPI in peacetime training
were considered “gross errors.” (And as noted previously, bomb drops
without video were classified as misses.) However, these officials told us
that in wartime, they deemed these criteria no longer appropriate. In the
words of one former wing intelligence officer, “A GBU-10 striking 4 feet
from a radar will accomplish the objective of the mission.” Thus, a bomb
was judged to be a hit when 37th TFW officials concluded that it probably
had an adverse effect on the enemy. For example, if the intended target
was a specific bunker in a large ammunition storage facility and the bomb
missed the intended bunker but hit a bunker nearby, the bomb was
counted as a hit.
In its Desert Storm white paper, the Air Force reported that campaign
planners’ faith in the F-117 targeting system was so great that pilots were
tasked to hit not merely a particular building or shelter “but a particular
corner, a vent, or a door. In fact, if they hit the building, but not the
particular spot, their sortie counted as a miss, not a hit.”
26
We conclude
that the 80-percent “direct” bomb hit rate claim is not fully justified. The
level of bomb accuracy was clearly less than the characterization in the Air
Force white paper. However, the subjective criteria and other data
problems prohibit us from recalculating a fully documented rate.
27
26
Reaching Globally, Reaching Powerfully (1991), p. 24.
27
We reviewed a selective sample of mission videos in which reported hits contained contradictory
information to determine the feasibility of verifying hit data. We determined that hit data could not be
comprehensively verified because of (1) missing video, (2) video records lost when tape was reused
during the campaign, (3) video images that were poor, (4) mislabeling of video, and (5) video in which
the impact image was inconclusive.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Therefore, we estimate that the F-117 bomb hit rate is likely to have been
somewhere in the interval between the upper bound asserted by the Air
Force of 80 percent and a worst-case, lower bound of approximately
55 percent. The lower bound assumes that all the reported hits lacking
corroborating support or in conflict with other available data are
discounted.
28
Whatever the actual bomb hit rate for the F-117, it may well
have been “unprecedented,” “unparalleled,” and higher than the rates
achieved by any other aircraft in Desert Storm; however, the data on the
F-117 as well as other aircraft are insufficient to make such
characterizations.
Probability of Weapon
Release
An aircraft’s bombing accuracy or bomb hit rate is one of two essential
variables that operational planners use in estimating the probability that a
given target will be damaged to the desired level when a specific number
of aircraft attack it.
29
The second variable required by planners is the
probability of weapon release. Planners need to know not only the
accuracy of a weapon system but also the likelihood that on a given sortie
the aircraft will be able to release its weapons. The 37th TFW database
allowed the calculation of the probability of weapon release for the F-117
in Desert Storm.
The probability of weapon release is a function of multiple probabilities of
potential failures during a mission that would prevent an aircraft from
arriving over a target and releasing its weapons. The potential aircraft
failures include (1) mechanical failure; (2) mission kill by enemy aircraft,
SAM, or AAA; (3) diversion in reaction to enemy air defenses; (4) inability to
locate the intended target; (5) inability to acquire the target in time to
effectively launch weapons; (6) inability to complete attack coordination,
and (7) inability to release weapons after arriving at the target. The F-117
proved more prone to some of these failures than others. In Desert Storm,
no F-117 failed to release because of enemy aircraft, SAMs, or AAA or
because of reactions to enemy air defenses.
30
However, F-117s did
28
Clearly, some of the data in conflict with reported hits are more convincing than others; we believe
that it is likely that some of these cases can be justified as functional hits. However, some of the
evidence is equally convincing that some of the reported hits should not have been credited (such as
miss distances as great as 540 feet and hits credited when bomb impact was outside DLIR FOV). The
data do not permit a bomb-by-bomb reassessment.
29
The J oint Munitions Effectiveness Manual states that damage expectancy is determined by the
probability of damage to a target (that is, bomb hit rate) times the probability of release. A complete
assessment of the probability that a target will receive the desired level of damage would also need to
consider the number of aircraft sorties tasked and the appropriate selection of munition type given the
characteristics of the target.
30
We discussed F-117 survivability in Desert Storm in appendix II.
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Appendix III
Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
experience mechanical problems and adverse weather. Table III.12
presents the number of each type of failure that resulted in aborts and
prevented bombs from being dropped on tasked F-117 strikes.
Table III.12: Failures That Prevented
Bombs From Being Dropped on F-117
Primary Strikes
a
Final disposition Number Percent
Total primary strikes tasked 2, 271 100.0
Weather aborts 412 18.1
Air aborts 140 6.2
G round aborts 17 0.8
Total primary strikes where no bombs were dropped 569 25.1
Total primary strikes where bombs were dropped 1, 702 74.9
a
A primary strike is defined as one aircraft tasked to deliver one or more bombs on a specific
DM PI during a single sortie.
Source: 37th TFW Desert Storm database.
As table III.12 shows, one-quarter of all F-117 primary strikes tasked were
aborted, principally because of bad weather.
31
(As explained in app. II,
poor weather made it difficult for F-117s to identify and acquire targets
and could prevent lasers from illuminating targets for the bombs.) Thus,
based on the Desert Storm experience, operational planners considering
the use of the F-117 in a comparable scenario and environment would
anticipate that the expected probability of a target’s being damaged to the
desired level would be based on the number of bombs tasked, reduced by
the proven probability of bomb release (75 percent), and reduced further
by the demonstrated hit rate (between 55 and 80 percent). Therefore, in
Desert Storm, the probability of a target’s receiving damage from a
scheduled F-117 strike (that is, the probability of bomb release times the
demonstrated hit rate) was between 41 and 60 percent.
32
31
In contrast, according to GWAPS, 3,154 Air Force sorties were canceled and 2,280 were aborted
during Desert Storm and 69,406 sorties were flown, for a combined sortie cancellation and abort rate
of approximately 8 percent. The GWAPS data include the range of deployed Air Force aircraft
performing the full range of service missions. Thus, while data are not available to compare mission
cancellation and abortion rates by strike aircraft, the available data do indicate that the F-117 was
more vulnerable to poor weather in performing its mission than was the average Air Force aircraft.
GWAPS, vol. V, pt. I (Secret) tables 76 and 174, pp. 267, 408.
32
DOD provided the following comment in response to this finding in our draft report, “This statement
corrects exaggerated information (80 percent hit rate) supplied in the DOD title V report. The
difference in the report represents confirmed and corroborated hits. Although statistically different,
the important point is that two out of every five bombs delivered were on target. This represents a
quantum leap in bombing accuracy, especially when considering that the CEP for laser guided
munitions are measured in feet, not hundreds of feet. Aircraft without a precision guided munition
(PGM) capability could not repeatedly duplicate these results.”
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Appendix III
Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
F-117 Effectiveness on the
First Night of the Air
Campaign
Lockheed, the primary contractor for the F-117, claimed after the war that
“During the first 24 hours [of the air campaign], 30 F-117s struck 37 high value targets,
inflicting damage that collapsed Saddam Hussein’s air defense system and all but
eliminated Iraq’s ability to wage coordinated war. The concept of modern air warfare had
been changed forever.”
33
In April 1991, Lt. Gen. Horner, the J oint Force Component Commander in
Desert Storm, testified before the Congress that
“The F-117 allowed us to do things that we could have only dreamed about in past conflicts.
Stealth enabled us to gain surprise each and every day of the war. For example, on the first
night of the air campaign the F-117s delivered the first bombs of the war against a wide
array of targets, paralyzing the Iraqi air defense network.”
34
This claim is useful in assessing F-117 performance because the first
night’s missions exemplified the design mission of the aircraft: to strike
selected high-value, well-defended targets with LGBs. In Desert Storm,
these included the strategic air defense targets referred to—comprising
primarily SOCs, IOCs, and key C
3
elements of the IADS.
To assess whether the F-117s were as effective as claimed on the first
night, and specifically in contributing to the collapse of the IADs, we
addressed the following questions: (1) What were the reported F-117 bomb
hit rates on the first night of the campaign against all targets, and
IADS-related targets in particular? (2) Can the damage done to IADS targets
by the F-117s on the first night be separated out from damage done by
other aircraft?
We found that the claim that the F-117s alone were crucial in collapsing
the IADS on the first night of the campaign is not fully supported by strike,
BDA, and other intelligence data. These data indicate that the F-117s
achieved only partial strike success on the first night; many other coalition
aircraft attacked IADS-targets at the onset of the campaign; and IADS
capabilities were diminished but continued to operate and remain viable
past the first night.
F-117 Hit Rate on Planned
Aimpoints on the First Night
We examined the F-117 database to evaluate whether it supported the
claim that the F-117s had hit all 37 targets to which they had been tasked
during the first night of the air campaign. These data show that only
33
Lockheed Corporation, “We Own the Night,” Lockheed Horizons, Issue 30 (May 1992), p. 57.
34
DOD 1992 appropriations hearings (Apr. 30, 1991).
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
57 percent of the targets were hit on the first night.
35
Further,
approximately half of the reported bomb hits (16 of 31) did not have
corroborating documentation or were in conflict with other available data.
(See table III.13.)
Table III.13: 37th TFW Data on Bombs Dropped by F-117s During the First 24 Hours
Target Category DMPIs
Bombs
tasked
AC
tasked Hits Misses No drops
Hits with data
problems
a
A [ DELETED] 1 2 1 0 0 2 0
B [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
C [ DELETED] 2 2 2 1 1 0 1
D [ DELETED] 2 2 2 1 1 0 1
E [ DELETED] 2 2 2 1 0 1 0
F [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 1 0 0
G [ DELETED] 1 1 1 1 0 0 1
H [ DELETED] 1 1 1 1 0 0 1
I [ DELETED] 1 1 1 1 0 0 0
J [ DELETED] 2 2 2 2 0 0 1
K [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 1 0 0
L [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
M [ DELETED] 2 3 2 3 0 0 0
N [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
O [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
P [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
Q [ DELETED] 3 4 4 4 0 0 2
R [ DELETED] 1 1 1 1 0 0 1
S [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 1 0 0
T [ DELETED] 2 2 2 0 2 0 0
U [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 1 0 0
V [ DELETED] 2 2 2 0 2 0 0
W [ DELETED] 1 1 1 1 0 0 0
X [ DELETED] 1 1 1 1 0 0 1
Y [ DELETED] 4 4 2 2 1 1 1
Z [ DELETED] 1 1 1 1 0 0 0
AA [ DELETED] 1 1 1 1 0 0 0
BB [ DELETED] 2 2 2 1 0 1 0
CC [ DELETED] 1 1 1 1 0 0 1
( continued)
35
Fifty-nine percent of the tasked targets were hit on the second night, for a two-night average of
58 percent. Although the claim was based only on the first night’s 37 targets, we examined the data on
the second night as well, to determine if the first night’s performance was an anomaly.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Target Category DMPIs
Bombs
tasked
AC
tasked Hits Misses No drops
Hits with data
problems
a
DD [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
EE [ DELETED] 3 3 3 2 1 0 2
FF [ DELETED] 4 4 4 1 3 0 1
G G [ DELETED] 2 2 2 2 0 0 1
HH [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
I I [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
JJ [ DELETED] 2 2 1 2 0 0 1
K K [ DELETED] 1 1 1 0 1 0 0
Total 57 60
b
31 16 13 16
a
Reported hits that lack corroborating support or are in conflict with other available data.
b
Column total would not equal sum of aircraft tasked because some aircraft were tasked to more
than one DM PI .
Source: 37th TFW Desert Storm and M issions databases.
F-117 First-Night Hit Rate
on IADS Targets
A key claim made for the F-117s is that their effectiveness in destroying
IADS targets on the first night opened up holes that nonstealthy aircraft
then used to successfully attack other targets. Fifteen of the 37 F-117
first-night targets were IADS-related. Because of weather aborts and misses,
only 9 of these 15 F-117 targets (60 percent) were reported hit by the
F-117s on the first night of the campaign. Table III.14 shows our analysis of
the 37th TFW database and DIA BDA reports.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Table III.14: F-117 Hit Rate on Strategic Integrated Air Defense Targets on the First Night
Number
Success
Battle damage assessment
a
Target DMPIs
Bombs
tasked
Aircraft
tasked Hits Misses
No
drops
Hits with data
problems
b
Yes No I
c
Day
d
A 1 2 1 0 0 2 0
C 2 2 2 1 1 0 1 X 28
H 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 X 5
I 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 X 7
J 2 2 2 2 0 0 1 X 6
L 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
M 2 3 2 3 0 0 0 X 2
Q 3 4 4 4 0 0 2 X 2
T 2 2 2 0 2 0 0 X 3
V 2 2 2 0 2 0 0 X 2
W 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 X 2
G G 2 2 2 2 0 0 1 X 3
HH 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
I I 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
JJ 2 2 1 2 0 0 1 X 2
Total 24 27 17
e
17 5 5 7 2 8 1
a
Assessment of first phase I I I report issued on target.
b
Reported hits that lack corroborating support or are in conflict with other available data.
c
Phase I I I assessment inconclusive.
d
Day of Desert Storm on which first DI A BDA report on target was issued.
e
Total does not equal sum of aircraft tasked; some aircraft were assigned more than one target.
Source: 37th TFW Desert Storm and M issions databases.
The table shows that 17 F-117s were tasked to deliver 27 LGBs on 15
IADS-related targets with a total of 24 DMPIs. According to the 37th TFW
database, 5 of the scheduled 27 LGBs (19 percent) were not dropped,
another 5 (19 percent) were misses; and 17 (63 percent) were hits. Of the
17 claimed hits, however, 7 (41 percent) either lacked supporting video or
were in conflict with other available data. This means that there are
unambiguous data supporting hits by 10 of the 22 LGBs (45 percent) that
were dropped on IADS targets. The F-117s did not hit 6 of the 15
(40 percent) IADS targets to which they were tasked, 1 of which was the Air
Defense Operations Center in Baghdad.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
During Desert Storm, DIA produced phase III BDA assessments on 11 of the
15 IADS targets to which the F-117s were tasked on the first night.
According to initial DIA BDA assessments of the IADS targets (most of which
were made by the end of day 3 of the campaign), 2 of the 11 targets
assessed were damaged sufficiently to preclude restrikes, 8 targets
remained functional and were recommended for restrikes, and 1 could not
be conclusively assessed.
In sum, the claim that the F-117s were responsible for collapsing the IADS
on the first night appears open to question because (1) the F-117s did not
hit 40 percent of their tasked targets on the first night and (2) of the 11
IADS-related targets attacked by F-117s and assessed by DIA, 8 were
assessed as needing additional strikes. In addition, the Missions database
shows that 167 other platforms (such as A-10s, F-4Gs, and F/A-18s) also
struck 18 air defense-related targets (IOCs, SOCs, and radars) on the first
night.
The lack of data on the exact degree to which most targets were damaged,
and how that might have affected total integrated capabilities, precludes
attributing greater effectiveness to the F-117s than to other systems. Thus,
while, overall, the coalition was able to neutralize the IADS in the early days
of the war, the data are insufficient to validate the claim that the F-117s
alone were the critical element, above all on the first night of the air
campaign.
Moreover, Air Force intelligence assessments of the extent to which the
IADS was operating in the first few days of the war do not support the
assertion that the system was “collapsed” during the first few hours of the
first night. Daily intelligence summaries prepared during the war, called
DAISUMs, characterized the IADS on the third day of the campaign as
“crippled but information is still being passed” and “evidence of
degradation of the Iraqi C
2
network is beginning to show.” The DAISUMs also
described overall Iraqi electronic warfare activity as low but radar and SAM
activity in Baghdad and KTO as heavy. By the fifth day of the air war, the
DAISUMs described the situation as, “In general, the Iraqi IADS is down but
not out.”
Aircraft Tasked to
Downtown Baghdad
Related to the claim for F-117 effectiveness against IADS targets is a
broader claim made by the Air Force concerning the overall value or
survivability of stealth aircraft. The Air Force stated in its Desert Storm
white paper that “the F-117 was the only airplane that the planners dared
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
risk over downtown Baghdad.” The Air Force further stated that “so
dangerous was downtown Baghdad that the air campaign planners
excluded all other attackers, except F-117s and cruise missiles, from
striking it.”
36
Similarly, in joint testimony to the Congress on stealth and
Desert Storm, Gens. Horner and Glosson stated “F-117s were the only
aircraft that attacked downtown Baghdad targets—by most accounts more
heavily defended than any Eastern Europe target at the height of the Cold
War.”
37
A virtually identical claim was made by Air Combat Command’s
Gen. Loh, also in congressional testimony.
38
Contrary to these statements,
however, we found that strikes by other aircraft were not only planned but
also executed against key targets in downtown Baghdad.
A CENTAF-prepared Master Attack Plan (MAP) identified all planned air
campaign strikes for the first 72 hours of the air war. For the third day of
Desert Storm, the MAP called for three large-package F-16 strikes against
targets both in downtown Baghdad and against the nearby Baghdad
Nuclear Research Facility. Forty F-16s in package G were assigned to
strike 5 leadership targets in the heart of the city—the headquarters of
Iraqi intelligence service, directorate of internal security, military
intelligence, national air force, and Baath Party. Another 16 F-16s in
package N were assigned to restrike military intelligence headquarters;
8 more were tasked to a sixth central city target, the Ministry of
Information and Culture. Although planned, these attacks were canceled
because of poor weather.
On day 3 of the campaign, the third and largest package (package Q)
included 72 F-16s; 56 were tasked against the Baghdad Nuclear Research
Facility, on the edge of the city and just 10 miles from the presidential
palace. Eight F-16s were tasked against the Baghdad Petroleum Refinery,
across the Euphrates River from central Baghdad and barely 2 miles from
the presidential palace. Four each were tasked to restrike the air force and
Baath Party headquarters. These attacks were carried out, and two F-16s
in this package were lost.
Thus, the MAP for day 3 called for a total of 152 F-16s to strike targets
within a radius of 10 miles of the presidential palace; 96 were specifically
tasked to targets in the heart of the city. Moreover, those tasked to the
36
USAF, Reaching Globally, Reaching Powerfully (1991), p. 19.
37
DOD 1992 appropriations hearings (Apr. 30, 1991), p. 468.
38
Gen. Loh, the “Value of Stealth,” DOD 1992 appropriations hearings (Apr. 30, 1991), p. 2. Figure II.4 is
an Air Force depiction of the use of F-117s and F-16s against the Baghdad Nuclear Research Facility to
demonstrate the “value of stealth.” Appendix XI addresses the claim that the comparative advantage of
stealth aircraft delivering LGBs over conventional aircraft delivering unguided bombs was
demonstrated in Desert Storm when both types of aircraft attacked the same Baghdad target.
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Appendix III
Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
nuclear research center were well within the threat ranges of SAM and AAA
sites that defended Baghdad area targets, whether core or suburban. And
as explained in appendix II, many types of aircraft struck targets in
metropolitan Baghdad, which was heavily defended throughout, thus
making the distinction about taskings over downtown Baghdad versus the
metropolitan area somewhat moot.
While aircraft other than F-117s were not subsequently tasked against
downtown targets after package Q on day 3 of the campaign, many types
of bombers struck targets in the Baghdad metropolitan area repeatedly
throughout the air campaign. And those attacks carried out at night
resulted in either zero or minimal casualties for nonstealthy, conventional
aircraft.
TLAM Effectiveness
Claims
Extensive analysis of BDA imagery and other data on the effectiveness of
Tomahawk land-attack missiles by the Center for Naval Analyses has
found that TLAM performance in Desert Storm was well below the
impression conveyed in DOD’s title V report to the Congress, as well as in
internal DOD estimates.
The title V report, while essentially silent about the missile’s actual
accuracy and effectiveness, notes that the “launching system success rate
was 98 percent.” (DOD, p. T-203.) CNA and DIA reported that the J oint Chiefs
of Staff estimated in April 1991 (just a couple months after the conflict
ended) that 85 percent of the TLAMs had hit their intended targets.
39
Three
variants of TLAMs were used in Desert Storm: TLAM Cs, with conventional
unitary warheads; and TLAM D-Is; and TLAM D-IIs, which dispense different
types of conventional submunitions.
40
39
J oint CNA/DIA Research Memorandum 93-49, TLAM Performance During Operation Desert Storm:
Assessment of Physical and Functional Damage to the TLAM Aimpoints, Vol. I: Overview and
Methodology (Secret), March 1994, p. 21. CNA/DIA noted that J CS assumed that TLAMs were always
responsible for all the damage at the aimpoint, even when it had been targeted by other U.S. weapons.
40
This report and the CNA/DIA reports cited do not assess the performance of the TLAM D-IIs because
of classification issues.
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Appendix III
Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Number of TLAMs
Launched and Type of
Targets
During Desert Storm, a TLAM mission was loaded 307 times into a
particular missile for launch from a Navy ship or submarine.
41
Of those
307, 19 experienced prelaunch problems. Ten of the 19 problems were
only temporary, thus these missile were either launched at a later time or
returned to inventory. Of the 288 actual launches, 6 suffered boost failures
and did not transition to cruise. Of the 282 missiles that transitioned to
cruise, 22 were TLAM D-IIs and 260 were TLAM Cs and D-Is.
Of the 38 targets attacked by TLAMs, 37 were attacked by the 260 TLAM Cs
and D-Is. The 37 targets had a total of 173 individual aimpoints; they were
aimed at 10 leadership targets: 6 C
3
targets, 3 air defense targets, 8 electric
power targets, 4 oil-related targets, 4 chemical and missile targets, and
2 airfield targets. (The 38th target was targeted by TLAM D-IIs alone.)
However, TLAMs were limited in the type of target to which they could be
aimed, since they did not have anywhere near the “hard target” capability
of a 2,000-pound bomb. CNA/DIA reported that although two TLAMs hit the
Baghdad air defense operations center, they made only “small craters on
the roof” of the 11-feet-thick reinforced concrete bunker.
Concentrated Launch
Period
TLAM launches occurred overwhelmingly in the first 3 days of the war. Of
the 260 TLAM Cs and D-Is that transitioned to cruise phase, more than
39 percent were fired in the first 24 hours; 62 percent were launched
during the first 48 hours; just over 73 percent in the first 72 hours; and no
TLAMs of any kind were launched after February 1, 1991, just 2 weeks after
the war started. CNA/DIA offered no explanation for why there were no
launches after February 1. However, CNA/DIA noted that on February 1, six
TLAM Cs were fired in a “stream raid,” all aimed at the Rasheed airfield;
they arrived in the Baghdad area about 11 a.m., they were fired upon, and
only two of the six arrived at the target. GWAPS reported that Gen.
Schwarzkopf did not approve any additional TLAM strikes either because
(1) television coverage of daylight strikes in downtown Baghdad proved
unacceptable in Washington or (2) their use was deemed too expensive
given its relatively small warhead and high cost.
41
Some analysts may be more familiar with a lower figure of intended launches. However, as CNA/DIA
stated, “a TLAM mission was loaded 307 times into a particular missile for launch (i.e., there were
missile/mission pairs).” Of these, 10 missiles experienced “temporary problems” preventing launch
when intended (some were launched later and some returned to inventory), and 9 had prelaunch
failures. Subtracting these 19 missiles, there were 288 TLAM Desert Storm launches at the time
intended. Since 307 missiles were originally matched to a mission, we used that number as the
universe of TLAM launches. (For further discussion, see CNA/DIA, vol. I (Mar. 1994), pp. 70-72.)
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Problems With BDA Despite initial strong positive claims made for TLAM performance in Desert
Storm, analysis of TLAM effectiveness was complicated by problematic BDA
data. Multiple TLAMs were targeted to the same targets, and attacks by U.S.
Air Force bombers with other weapons were also made against some TLAM
targets before the targets could be assessed for BDA purposes. Thus, for
many TLAMs, it was difficult to identify the damage a particular missile may
have done, or to know whether it actually even reached the target, if the
target was scheduled for attack by other weapons before BDA collection.
However, using BDA imagery and analysis, CNA/DIA’s postwar analyses have
shown that about as many TLAM Cs and D-Is failed to arrive at their
intended targets—termed “no shows”—as are estimated to have hit their
targets. Others arrived at the designated target area, but impacted so far
away from the aimpoint as to only create a crater. Of the 260 TLAM Cs and
D-Is that transitioned to cruise flight, 30 were TLAM Cs with “programmed
warhead detonation”—airburst mode—that created damage effects that
CNA/DIA stated could not be evaluated adequately by existing BDA imagery.
Therefore, these 30 are excluded from CNA/DIA’s assessment of the
percentage of TLAMs that arrived at the target area and that hit their
intended target. (Since there was no way to reliably ascertain any damage
caused by the airburst mode TLAMs, it could not be determined how many
arrived over the targets either.) Ranges in the estimates for arrival and hits
reflect BDA uncertainties.
Table III.15 shows the number of TLAMs launched and the number of
TLAM Cs and D-1s estimated by CNA/DIA to have arrived at their targets and
to have caused some damage.
For those TLAMs for which CNA/DIA were able to interpret BDA data, an
estimated [DELETED] percent hit their intended aimpoint. These
[DELETED] missiles represented [DELETED] percent of all 307 attempted
launchings. If the [DELETED]-percent hit rate for the 230 detectable
TLAM Cs and D-Is was assumed to have been the case also for the 30 PWD
TLAM Cs and the [DELETED] TLAM D-IIs that transitioned to cruise, then a
total of [DELETED] TLAMs would have hit their intended targets, or
[DELETED] percent of the 307 attempted launches.
42
However, actual damage to targets may well have been even less than the
[DELETED]-percent hit rate appears to imply, given that, as CNA/DIA noted,
the methodology used to define a TLAM hit was “in some ways generous.”
42
There were [DELETED] PWD TLAM Cs and D-IIs that transitioned to cruise. The range is
[DELETED] percent, which is [DELETED]. Adding [DELETED].
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
CNA/DIA stated that a hit was defined as “damage of any kind to the
aimpoint or element containing the aimpoint.” (CNA/DIA, p. 67.) This meant,
CNA/DIA explained, that “if a TLAM impacts the dirt some distance from the
target but causes even minor fragment or blast damage to its aimpoint
element, it is counted as a hit.” (CNA/DIA, p. 67.) CNA/DIA reported that there
were [DELETED] such marginal hits; if they are excluded, the TLAM hit rate
was [DELETED]-percent for nonairburst TLAMs.
Table III.15: TLAM Performance in
Desert Storm Phase of TLAM use All C and D-I only All C and D-I only
M issile/mission pairs 307 [ DELETED]
a
[ DELETED] [ DELETED]
Successful launches 282 [ DELETED] [ DELETED] [ DELETED]
Transition to cruise flight
b
[ DELETED]
b
[ DELETED]
Arrived in target area
c b
[ DELETED]
b
[ DELETED]
No shows at target
d b
[ DELETED]
b
[ DELETED]
Hit or damaged target
b
[ DELETED]
b
[ DELETED]
a
Excludes 10 TLAM s with “temporary problems” from base used to calculate percentages.
b
Data not available.
c
Excludes 30 TLAM s with programmed warhead detonation or airburst mode that could not be
assessed. Therefore, numbers and percentages at this line and below are based on a set of 230
non-airburst mode TLAM s. For further details, see CNA/DI A, TLAM Performance During Desert
Storm ( Secret) , M arch 1994, pp. 2-3.
d
An additional [ DELETED] TLAM s that arrived in their target areas impacted at distances at least
five times greater than their predicted CEP ( circular error probable) — that is, from [ DELETED]
from their aimpoints. These [ DELETED] were not counted as “no shows” or as hits.
Source: CNA/DI A, vol. 1 ( Secret) , M arch 1994, pp. 71-72.
Beyond TLAM’s [DELETED]-percent miss rate against intended targets, it
demonstrated additional problems. The relatively flat, featureless, desert
terrain in the theater made it difficult for the Defense Mapping Agency to
produce usable TERCOM ingress routes, and TLAM demonstrated limitations
in range, mission planning, lethality, and effectiveness against hard targets
and targets capable of mobility. Specifically, CNA/DIA reported that mission
failures resulted from three issues independent of the missile and were
problems that existed before the missile was launched. First, mission
guidance was not always clear and specific (12 TLAMs were expended
against 12 aimpoints where objectives were vague). Second, supporting
intelligence was not always accurate (five TLAM aimpoints were
misidentified with respect to their function). And third, targets were not
always within the capabilities of the TLAM warhead (five aimpoints were
either mobile or too hardened for the TLAM warhead).
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
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Since the war, the Navy has developed a Block III variant of the TLAM. Its
improvements include the use of Global Positioning System in TLAM’s
guidance system. With GPS, TLAM route planning is not constrained by
terrain features, and mission planning time is reduced. Some experts have
expressed the concern that GPS guidance may be vulnerable to jamming.
Thus, until system testing and possible modifications demonstrate TLAM
Block III resistance to electronic countermeasures, it is possible that the
solution to the TERCOM limitations—GPS—may lead to a new potential
vulnerability—jamming. Moreover, the Block III variant continues to use
the optical Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator, which has various
limitations. [DELETED]
In sum, TLAMs were initially believed to be extremely successful in
hitting—and therefore damaging—their targets; however, subsequent
intensive analysis shows that the hit rate for 230 TLAM Cs and D-Is was
[DELETED] percent. Moreover, a stricter definition of a “hit” indicates a
slightly lower rate of [DELETED] percent. TLAMs were aimed at just 38
targets, perhaps based on their limited capabilities against reinforced
targets. While TLAMs offered a distinct alternative to having to deliver
weapons from a manned aircraft, the data from Desert Storm suggest that
there are important limitations to their effectiveness in terms of hit rate
and capability of damaging a wide range of targets.
Weapon System
Manufacturers’ Claims
We assessed the accuracy of statements made by various U.S.
manufacturers about the performance of their products that played a
major role in the air campaign. Table III.16 presents manufacturers’
statements and summarizes our finding on each product.
43
43
We culled statements from annual reports to stockholders, “10-K” annual reports to the federal
government, and public advertisements appearing in a major weekly publication (Aviation Week and
Space Technology).
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Table III.16: Manufacturers’ Statements About Product Performance Compared to GAO Findings
Manufacturer Product Statement Finding
G eneral Dynamics F-16 “No matter what the mission, air-to-air,
air-to-ground. No matter what the weather, day
or night. The F-16 is the premier dogfighter.”
a
The F-16’s delivery of precision air-to-ground
munitions, such as M averick, was impaired, and
sometimes made impossible, by clouds, haze,
humidity, smoke, and dust. O nly less accurate
unguided munitions could be employed in
adverse weather using radar.
G rumman A-6E “A-6s . . . [ were] detecting, identifying, tracking,
and destroying targets in any weather, day or
night.”
b
The A-6E FLI R’s ability to detect and identify
targets was limited by clouds, haze, humidity,
smoke, and dust; the laser designator’s ability to
track targets was similarly limited. O nly less
accurate unguided munitions could be
employed in adverse weather using radar.
Lockheed F-117 Achieved “80 percent direct hits.”
c
The hit rate was between 55 and 80 percent; the
probability of bomb release was only 75
percent; thus, the probability of a hit during a
scheduled F-117 mission was between 41 and
60 percent.
The “only aircraft to attack heavily defended
downtown Baghdad.”
c
O ther types of aircraft frequently attacked
targets in the equally heavily defended
metropolitan area; the Baghdad region was as
heavily defended as downtown.
“During the first night, 30 F-117s struck 37
high-value targets, inflicting damage that
collapsed Saddam Hussein’s air defense
system and all but eliminated I raq’s ability to
wage coordinated war.”
d
O n the first night, 21 of the 37 high-value targets
to which F-117s were tasked were reported hit;
of these, the F-117s missed 40 percent of their
strategic air defense targets. BDA on 11 of the
F-117 SAD targets confirmed only 2 complete
kills. Numerous aircraft, other than the F-117,
were involved in suppressing the I raqi I ADS,
which did not show a marked falloff in aircraft
kills until day 5.
“O n Day 1 of the war, only 36 Stealth Fighters
( less than 2.5% of the coalition’s tactical assets)
were in the G ulf theater, yet they attacked 31%
of the 17 January targets.”
d
The 2.5-percent claim is based on a
comparison of the F-117s to all deployed
aircraft, including those incapable of dropping
bombs. The F-117s represented 32 percent of
U.S. aircraft capable of delivering LG Bs with
warheads designed to penetrate hardened
targets. F-117s were tasked against 35 percent
of the first-day strategic targets.
“The F-117 reinstated the element of surprise.”
c
O ther nonstealthy aircraft also achieved
surprise. Stealth characteristics did not ensure
surprise for all F-117 strikes; modifications in
tactics in the use of support aircraft were
required.
M artin M arietta LANTI RN Can “locate and attack targets at night and
under other conditions of poor visibility using
low-level, high speed tactics.”
e
LANTI RN can be employed below clouds and
weather; however, its ability to find and
designate targets through clouds, haze, smoke,
dust, and humidity ranges from limited to no
capacity at all.
( continued)
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
Manufacturer Product Statement Finding
M cDonnell Douglas F-15E An “all weather” attack aircraft.
f
The ability of the F-15E using LANTI RN to detect
and identify targets through clouds, haze,
humidity, smoke, and dust was very limited; the
laser designator’s ability to track targets was
similarly limited. O nly less accurate unguided
munitions could be employed in adverse
weather using radar.
TLAM C/D
cruise missile
“Can be launched . . . in any weather.”
g
TLAM ’s weather limitation occurs not so much at
the launch point but in the target area where the
optical [ DELETED] .
“I ncredible accuracy”; “one of the most accurate
weapons in the world today.”
g
From [ DELETED] percent of the TLAM s reached
their intended aimpoints, with only [ DELETED]
percent actually hitting the target. I t is
impossible to assess actual damage incurred
only by TLAM s.
Northrop ALQ -135
jammer for
F-15E
“Proved itself by jamming enemy threat radars”;
was able “to function in virtually any hostile
environment.”
a
[ DELETED]
Texas I nstruments Paveway
guidance for
LG Bs
“Employable” in “poor weather/visibility”
conditions.
h
Clouds, smoke, dust, and haze impose serious
limitations on laser guidance by disrupting laser
beam.
“TI Paveway I I I : one target, one bomb.”
a
O ur analysis of a selected sample of targets
found that no single aimpoint was struck by one
LG B— the average was 4, the maximum was 10.
“LG Bs accounted for only 5% of the total
ordnance. But Paveway accounted for nearly
50% ” of targets destroyed.
a
Data were not compiled that would permit a
determination of what percentage of targets
were destroyed by any munition type.
a
From a company advertisement in Aviation Week and Space Technology, ( 1991) .
b
G rumman Annual Report, 1991, p. 12.
c
Lockheed briefing for G AO .
d
From Lockheed Horizons, “We O wn the Night, ” I ssue 30 ( 1992) , p. 55, 57.
e
M artin M arietta, 10-K Report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, 1992, p. 14.
f
M cDonnell-Douglas, “Performance of M CAI R Combat Aircraft in O peration Desert Storm, ”
brochure.
g
M cDonnell-Douglas, “Tomahawk: A Total Weapon System, ” brochure.
h
Texas I nstruments, “Paveway I I I : Laser-G uided Weapons, ” brochure, 1992.
Table III.16 shows that each of the manufacturers made public statements
about the performance of their products in Desert Storm that are not fully
supported. We also found that although some manufacturers told us that
they had only limited information available to them—to the point of
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
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relying on hearsay—this did not inhibit them from making unfounded
assertions about system performance, attempting to create favorable
impressions of their products. Finally, while the manufacturers’ claims
were often inaccurate, their assertions were not significantly different
from, nor appreciably less accurate than, many of the statements of DOD
officials and DOD reports about the same weapon systems.
Air Campaign
Effectiveness Against
Mobile Targets
Over the 38 days preceding the ground campaign, approximately 37,500
strikes were conducted against Iraqi forces in kill box areas, targeting
tanks, armored personnel carriers (APC), and other tactical vehicles.
Because there are few data on the precise number of munitions expended
or sorties flown against tanks and other vehicles, and because it was
impossible to systematically collect and compare BDA data to assess
munition hit rates, it is also impossible to know what level of effectiveness
was achieved in Desert Storm for the various munition types used.
Pilots reported that they had been able to destroy large numbers of
vehicles on the ground—tanks, APCs, and trucks—as well as artillery
pieces, before and during the ground campaign, especially with guided
munitions such as LGBs and Maverick missiles. While much pilot
frustration stemmed from the use of unguided bombs from medium to
high altitudes, a number of limitations were also revealed in the use of
guided munitions.
The Desert Storm databases do not provide data on attacks against
specific vehicles; many such attacks are subsumed as strikes against kill
boxes in the KTO. Interviews with pilots revealed that the effectiveness of
munitions against small ground targets was constrained both by Desert
Storm altitude delivery restrictions and the combined technical limitations
of the aircraft, sensors, and munitions used, whether guided or unguided.
At the same time, because Iraqi KTO forces tended to remain in place
through the 38 days preceding the ground campaign—and often put tanks
in recognizable formations—they were comparatively easy to identify.
As noted in appendix II, after day 2, aircraft delivery tactics were designed
to maximize survivability—by dropping ordnance from medium to high
altitudes—rather than to maximize weapon effectiveness. Most pre-Desert
Storm training occurred at low altitudes where bombs are not subject to
the high winds found in the gulf at high altitudes. It was the consensus of
the Desert Storm veteran pilots we interviewed that unguided munitions
were much less accurate from high altitude than from low.
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Pilots reported that guided munition effectiveness also decreased
somewhat from higher altitudes because (1) targets were more difficult to
designate with lasers, (2) some computer software did not allow
high-altitude bombing, and (3) the LGBs were also subject to the effects of
wind. Depending on the missile sensors, guided munition delivery was also
degraded, if not altogether prevented at times, by clouds, smoke, dust,
haze, and even humidity.
The difficulty in identifying and targeting vehicles and other small ground
targets, whether with guided or unguided munitions, was reflected in the
findings of postwar studies by the Army’s Foreign Science and Technology
Center (FSTC) and the CIA that sought to distinguish the relative
effectiveness of the air and ground campaigns in destroying Iraqi armor.
FSTC and CIA both found that the attrition of armored vehicles from guided
munitions was probably less than was initially claimed for air power. FSTC
personnel examined tanks that the Iraqis had left behind in the KTO.
44
Of
163 tanks analyzed, 78 (48 percent) were abandoned intact by the Iraqis or
were destroyed by Iraqi demolition, presumably to deny them to the
coalition, while 85 (52 percent) had sustained 145 hits. Of these hits, only
28 (17 percent) were assessed as having come from air-to-ground
munitions.
Using aerial photography, the CIA identified the number of Iraqi tanks and
APCs that did not move from areas where they were deployed during the
entire air campaign to areas where ground fighting occurred and were
therefore “destroyed or damaged during the air campaign . . . inoperable
because of poor maintenance, or . . . abandoned.”
45
The CIA study examined the damage done to armored vehicles of 12 Iraqi
divisions, 3 of them Republican Guard divisions. Of the 2,665 tanks
deployed to those 12 divisions, the CIA estimated that 1,135 (43 percent)
were destroyed by aircraft before the ground war and 1,530 (57 percent)
were undamaged. Of 2,624 APCs, 827 (32 percent) were assessed as
destroyed by aircraft; 1,797 escaped damage. The levels of attrition among
divisions varied greatly, with the RG units experiencing the lightest
44
The sample of tanks studied was not scientifically selected; it consisted simply of those that the study
participants were able to locate and inspect.
45
CIA, Operation Desert Storm: A Snapshot (Sept. 1993), last page. Even though some number of the
vehicles were possibly abandoned or broken down because of lack of maintenance, the study’s
methodology credited all vehicles that did not move as vehicles killed by air attack; thus, the study
may have overcounted the percentage of tanks, APCs, and artillery destroyed by air-to-ground
munitions.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
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attrition, although there was substantial variation among them as
well—from 13 to 30 percent of tanks destroyed before the ground
campaign.
46
In sum, although the CIA and FSTC studies each had methodological
shortcomings, taken together, their findings suggest that while the air
campaign may have been less effective than first estimated against these
targets, it still destroyed (or rendered unusable) less than half the Iraqi
armor in the KTO.
Air Campaign
Effectiveness in
Achieving Strategic
Objectives
To what extent were each of the strategic objectives of the air campaign
met? We addressed this subquestion in two parts. First, we reviewed the
available outcome data for each category of strategic targets as possible
indicators of the campaign’s effectiveness in destroying different
categories of targets. Second, we reviewed the available data and literature
on the aggregate effectiveness of the campaign in meeting each of the
strategic objectives.
Outcome Data by Strategic
Target Category
The effectiveness of aircraft and munitions in the aggregate varied among
the strategic target sets.
47
While the attainment of strategic objectives is
determined by more than the achievement of individual target objectives,
the compilation of individual target objectives achieved was one tool used
by commanders during the war to direct the campaign. Table III.17
illustrates that just over half (53 percent) of the final DIA phase III reports
concluded that the target had been destroyed or the objective had been
met and no additional strikes were required. The percentage of targets
assessed as fully destroyed in each category ranged from a low of
25 percent in the SCU category to a high of 76 percent in the NBC category.
46
The Hammurabi, Madinah, and Tawakalna RG divisions experienced 13, 23, and 30 percent attrition
of their tanks, respectively (for an average attrition of 21 percent). Nine regular army armored and
mechanized divisions experienced an average tank attrition rate of 48 percent.
47
The number of targets in each strategic target set where the target objectives had been successfully
met was used as a measure of the effectiveness of aircraft and munitions in the aggregate. The
determination of whether the target objective had been met was based on the final DIA phase III BDA
report written on a target during the campaign.
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Desert Storm
Table III.17: Targets Categorized as Fully Successfully Destroyed and Not Fully Successfully Destroyed
Target category Number FS Percent FS
Number
NFS
Percent
NFS Total
C
3
73 57 55 43 128
ELE 13 57 10 43 23
G VC 13 52 12 48 25
K BX
a a a a a
LO C 35 67 17 33 52
M I B 18 31 40 69 58
NAV 4 29 10 71 14
NBC 16 76 5 24 21
O CA 24 65 13 35 37
O I L 9 38 15 62 24
SAM 18 69 8 31 26
SCU 6 25 18 75 24
Total 229 53 203 47 432
a
Data were not available.
Although the rate of success varies across target categories, for several
reasons these rates do not necessarily reflect the relative degree to which
individual campaign objectives—as operationalized through the formation
of target categories—were achieved. Desert Storm campaign goals were
not necessarily achieved through the cumulative destruction of individual
targets. For example, destroying x percent of all bridges does not
automatically equate to reducing the capacity of the lines of
communication by x percent, for several reasons: the bridges destroyed
may not be the most crucial to the flow of supplies, intelligence may not
have identified all of the bridges, and the enemy may effectively respond
with countermeasures (such as pontoon bridges). In addition, not all
targets are of equal importance. The value in destroying a key bridge over
the Euphrates may well be higher than destroying a bridge in Baghdad
with its numerous alternative bridges.
Another reason why the data in table III.17 must be interpreted with
caution is that the partial damage to the majority of targets assessed as not
fully successful could have contributed toward the attainment of the
overall campaign objectives. Moreover, no criteria, and no data, exist to
determine the absolute or relative effect of partially (or fully) damaged
targets on the attainment of campaign objectives.
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Further, table III.17 presents data only on targets for which BDA data exist.
These targets constitute less than half of the targets in the Missions
database, and they do not necessarily represent all of the targets in each
category. In addition, relevant targets that should have been struck but
were not on the list of strategic targets (such as unknown Iraqi NBC
targets) are not represented among the targets in the table.
Air Campaign
Effectiveness in Achieving
Key Objectives
The Desert Storm air campaign had larger goals than simply damaging
individual target. For example, it is one thing to destroy a dozen bridges; it
is another to achieve the objective of effectively cutting supply lines. In
this section, we examine the effectiveness of the air campaign with regard
to several broad objectives that account for nearly all 12 of the strategic
target categories shown in table III.17.
48
Because of their limitations, the
data shown in table III.17 should be used only as supporting or partial
evidence.
We augment those success rates with information from pilots, planners,
and analysts summarized in table III.18, which compares the Desert Storm
results as reported in DOD’s title V report to our findings.
Table III.18: Desert Storm Achievement of Key Objectives
Target set DOD title V result Our finding
I ADS and airfields Air supremacy “attained.”
I ADS “fragmented” within hours; medium- and
high-altitude sanctuary created; however, AAA and
I R SAM s remained a threat to the end.
I raqi air force “decimated.”
Coalition rapidly achieved complete control of I raqi
and K TO airspace, almost uncontested by I raqi
aircraft.
I ADS fragmented over first few days, but
autonomous SAM and AAA sites and I R SAM s
remained serious threats.
I ntegrated threat overstated; autonomous threat
understated.
290 of 724 fixed-wing I raqi aircraft destroyed, 121
escaped to I ran, and remainder not hit; 43 percent
of air force intact and in I raq at end of war.
( continued)
48
The only strategic target category not clearly subsumed under one of several broader sets is that of
naval-related targets, including port areas. These targets were not a major focus of our study. Both
DOD’s title V report and GWAPS reported that the air campaign was highly effective in eliminating
Iraq’s naval forces.
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Target set DOD title V result Our finding
Leadership and
command, control, and
communications
Leadership forced to “move often, ” reducing C
3
;
telecommunications facilities destroyed but were
often repaired.
Redundant and alternative communication facilities
“were difficult to destroy.”
M uch of command structure was “degraded.”
52 percent of leadership and 57 percent of C
3
targets were successfully destroyed or damaged.
Despite hits on C
3
nodes, Saddam was able to
communicate with and direct I raqi forces.
O il and electricity 80 percent of oil-refining capacity “damaged.”
National electric power grid “eventually collapsed.”
Early disruption of primary sources negatively
affected entire war industry capabilities.
Data support title V report’s assessment.
Scuds Scud facility damage “less than previously thought.”
Launches reduced after day 11, with some increase
in last week and occasional large salvos.
No destruction of mobile launchers confirmed; they
were difficult to find.
No known destruction of mobile Scud launcher.
Scud launches seemingly temporarily suppressed
but end-of-war launches suggest large reserve may
still exist.
Scud hunt level of effort overstated.
No correlation between rate of launches and
anti-Scud sorties.
Nuclear, biological, and
chemical
Nuclear facility destruction “was incomplete”;
damage to “known” nuclear facilities was
“substantial”; however, nuclear program “did not
suffer as serious a setback as desired.”
Chemical warfare program was “seriously damaged;
75 percent of production capability destroyed.”
NBC destruction estimates “suffered from
incomplete target set information.”
Nuclear program virtually intact; only less than 15
percent of the facilities hit because of lack of
knowledge about the program.
76 percent of known NBC targets fully successfully
destroyed.
While known nuclear sites were severely or
moderately damaged, overall program was virtually
intact because only less than 15 percent of the
facilities were known and, therefore, attacked.
Railroads and bridges
( lines-of-communication)
Three-quarters of bridges to K TO destroyed; major
food shortages for frontline forces; lines of
communication in K TO effectively interdicted.
67 percent of LO C targets fully successfully
destroyed.
I raqi ground forces experienced some shortages
but, overall, remained adequately supplied up to
ground war start.
Republican G uard and
other ground forces in the
K TO
I raqi forces’ overall combat effectiveness “reduced
dramatically, ” “significantly degraded”; “not every
Republican G uard division was hit equally hard.”
Those south of Basrah “received less damage.”
RG forces overall less damaged than frontline forces.
Frontline troops and equipment apparently hit hard,
but morale apparently very low before the air
campaign.
Static tactics of I raqi ground forces aided targeting.
Some RG heavy armor divisions escaped with large
inventory.
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Desert Storm
Air Supremacy Using DOD’s definition of air supremacy, we can state that the coalition
rapidly achieved and maintained it—meaning that there was no effective
opposition to coalition aircraft from the Iraqi air force within just a few
days of the onset of the air campaign.
49
However, coalition aircraft were
never safe from AAA or handheld IR SAMs while flying at either low or
medium altitude at any time during the conflict, and actual damage to the
Iraqi air force was less than implied by the claim of air supremacy.
The primary response of the Iraqi air force to coalition attacks and
capabilities was either to flee to Iran or to try to remain hidden in
hardened aircraft shelters or in civilian areas. As a result, after some initial
resistance—including the likely shooting down of an F/A-18—the Iraqi air
force retreated, offering little threat to either coalition aircraft or to
coalition ground forces. At the same time, an estimated 290 (40 percent) of
Iraq’s 724 fixed-wing aircraft were destroyed in the air or on the ground by
the coalition; another 121 escaped to Iran, leaving 313 (43 percent) intact
and inside Iraq at the end of the war. GWAPS’ conclusion that the “Iraqi Air
Force was not completely destroyed by the war’s end” may be an
understatement, since more fixed-wing aircraft survived than were
destroyed.
50
While the Iraqi air force never posed a serious threat to a
qualitatively and quantitatively superior coalition force, more than enough
of it survived to remain a regional threat.
Similarly, as evidenced by pilots’ accounts and low-level losses that
continued throughout the war, coalition aircraft were not able to defeat
the AAA or portable IR SAM threats because of the very large number of
these systems and the difficulty in finding such small, mobile, nonemitting
systems. This meant that while coalition aircraft had a high-altitude
sanctuary, medium- and especially low-altitude deliveries remained
hazardous throughout the war.
Moreover, although radar-guided SAMs accounted for almost no damage or
losses after the first week of the air war—because they were being
launched unguided—the number of launches remained quite substantial
throughout the campaign. About 151 SAMs were launched in the last 8 days
of the air war, although only 2 resulted in loss or damage to coalition
49
On J anuary 27, 1991, Gen. Schwarzkopf declared that coalition air forces had achieved air
supremacy. (DOD title V report to the Congress [Apr. 1992], pp. 124, 127, and 129. See glossary for
definition.)
50
GWAPS, vol. II, pt. II (Secret), p. 156. GWAPS also notes that there are some questions about the
exact number of aircraft; this reflects data gaps and counting issues. Therefore, all numbers cited are
estimates.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
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aircraft.
51
Eleven coalition aircraft were shot down in the last 3 days of the
war, almost all at low altitudes (either in advance of the ground war or
during it), from AAA or IR SAMs. Of a total 86 coalition aircraft lost or
damaged during the war, 21 losses (25 percent) occurred in the last
7 days—long after air supremacy had been declared.
Leadership and Command,
Control, and Communications
The effectiveness of the air war against the Iraqi “national command
authority” is less clear than for air supremacy, not least because there is
no readily quantifiable measure about what it would have meant to
“disrupt” command, control, and communications. There are no
agreed-upon yardsticks about how many communication nodes or lines
need to have been destroyed, how much dispersion or degradation of
authority fulfills the term “disrupt,” or what it means to “isolate” Saddam
from the Iraqi people or to force him to “cry uncle.”
Moreover, while the kind of targets that were related to C
3
were fairly
apparent, they were also diverse—including the “AT&T building,” the
presidential palace, numerous deeply buried command bunkers, military
headquarters, telecommunication switching facilities, and so forth.
Further, even if all these had been destroyed—and analysis of the DIA
phase III messages shows that at least 57 percent of the C
3
category and
52 percent of the GVC were—the fact that C
3
could be and was maintained
through radios meant that C
3
was very difficult to disrupt. In effect, the
extent of communications disruption was “unknown.”
52
It is clear,
however, that the air campaign against the Iraqi leadership did not cause
the regime to collapse and thereby preclude the need for a ground
offensive.
Oil and Electricity The attacks on electricity-related targets largely achieved their objective of
sharply reducing generated electricity but apparently did not succeed in
weakening popular support for the regime, as hoped by air war planners.
Oil supplies were somewhat reduced by air attacks but not enough to
affect the Iraqi forces. Table III.17 reports that 38 and 57 percent of the oil
and electric facility targets, respectively, were assessed as fully
successfully destroyed. These data are consistent with GWAPS and title V
accounts of the damage to the oil and electricity infrastructure, which
concluded that the campaign was more successful in achieving its goals in
the electricity category than in the oil category.
51
GWAPS, vol. II, pt. II (Secret), p. 140, fig. 10. Numbers are our estimates based on the bar charts
shown in the figure.
52
GWAPS, vol. II, pt. II (Secret), p. 348, notes that “the available evidence will not permit even a rough
quantitative estimate as to how much Baghdad’s national telecommunications and C
3
were disrupted by
strategic air attack.”
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
With regard to electricity, both accounts agree that attacks on electric
power plants and transformer facilities in the first 2 days resulted in a
fairly rapid reduction in generating capacity. By J anuary 20, capacity had
dropped from about 9,500 megawatts to about 2,500; after numerous
restrikes against smaller plants, it was eventually reduced to about 1,000
megawatts, or about 15 percent of prewar capability. While the lights did
go off in Baghdad as well as in much of the rest of central and southern
Iraq, GWAPS found no evidence that this negatively affected the popularity
of the Hussein regime.
53
GWAPS notes that damage to electric generator halls was somewhat greater
than had been planned. While the planners had wanted only the electrical
transformers and switching systems hit, to avoid long-term damage, the
pilots, perhaps unaware of these plans, hit the generators. Forcing the
Iraqis to rely on secondary backup power sources was an undoubted
hindrance to overall capabilities.
With regard to oil, the air campaign focused on reducing refining
capability and destroying stored refined oil. Iraqi oil production was
concentrated at three major refineries. According to GWAPS, the CIA
estimated that more than 90 percent of the total Iraqi refining capability
was rendered inoperative by air strikes. However, only about 20 percent of
the refined product storage capacity was destroyed, perhaps because
fewer than 400 sorties struck these facilities. Further, because Iraqi units
had sufficient stocks to last for weeks, if not months, when the ground war
started, the attacks on oil had no significant military impact on Iraqi
ground forces.
Mobile Scud Launchers The overall record against mobile Scuds strongly suggests that even under
highly favorable circumstances—namely, in a condition of air supremacy
with no jamming of airborne sensors and with Scud launches lighting up
the night sky—the United States did not have the combination of real-time
detection and prosecution required to hit portable launchers before they
moved from their launch points. There is no confirming evidence that any
mobile Scud launchers were destroyed, and data to support the deterrent
effect of the Scud-hunting campaign are weak because the rate of firings
does not appear to have been related to the number of anti-Scud sorties.
The launches of Scud missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia forced a major
unplanned diversion of air resources into trying to locate and target trucks
and other vehicles being used as mobile launchers. Preventing these
53
GWAPS, vol. II, pt. II (Secret), p. 308.
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Appendix III
Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
launches became an urgent mission, yet both GWAPS and DOD title V
reported that there is not a single confirmed kill of a mobile launcher; a
draft Rand analysis reached essentially the same conclusion.
54
In 42 instances, F-15s on Scud-hunting missions were directed to an area
from which a Scud had been launched but prosecuted only 8 to the point
of delivering ordnance. However, both GWAPS and DOD credit the anti-Scud
campaign with suppressing the number of launches after the initial 10 days
of the war. There was a clear drop-off in Scud launches after day 10 of the
war, but an increase again starting with day 36. The firing rate of Scuds
averaged about 5 per day for the first 10 days—but with large daily
variations—and declined to approximately 1 per day until the last week of
the war, during which it averaged 3 per day.
55
The number of launches on a
given day shows no consistent relationship to the number of planned
counter-Scud sorties. This can be seen from the fact that while the number
of anti-Scud sorties ranged from about 45 to 90 on days 2 through 12, the
number of Scud launches varied from 0 to 14 per day during that period.
NBC Warfare Capabilities The coalition’s objective was to eliminate Iraq’s capabilities to build,
deploy, or launch nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons. The goal of
eliminating Iraq’s NBC capabilities was not even approximated by the air
campaign; very substantial NBC capabilities were left untouched. An
intelligence failure to identify NBC targets meant that the air campaign hit
only a tiny fraction of the nuclear targets and left intact vast chemical and
biological weapons stores.
56
While 3 nuclear-related facilities were severely or moderately damaged by
air power, these turned out to be only less than 15 percent of those
identified by U.N. inspection teams after the war. The United Nations
identified 16 “main facilities.” Moreover, some facilities may have
remained shielded from the United Nations. Therefore, effectiveness
against this target category was probably even less than can be estimated
from damage to known sites. The unclassified title V report stated
(on p. 207) that the nuclear program “did not suffer as serious a setback as
was desired.”
54
Rand, “Technology Lessons From Desert Storm Experience: A Preliminary Review and Assessment,”
draft report (Oct. 1991), p. 3 and chart 25.
55
Institute for Defense Analyses, Desert Storm Campaign, P-2661 (Apr. 1992), p. I-16.
56
It is fair to note that although the air campaign was not directly effective in destroying the vast
majority of Iraq’s NBC warfare capabilities by the end of the war, the campaign was instrumental in
securing the coalition victory and motivating Saddam Hussein to accept U.N. resolutions and on-site
inspection teams. Thus, the air campaign indirectly led to the achievement of this campaign objective
following the cease-fire.
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Appendix III
Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
With regard to chemical warfare production facilities, DIA concluded that
by February 20, 1991, a 75-percent degradation of production and filling
facilities had been achieved. However, it was also the case that large
stocks of chemical weapons were not destroyed: “it took numerous
inspections and much effort after the war by U.N. inspectors to begin even
to approach eliminating the bulk of Iraq’s chemical weapons.”
57
For
example, in April 1991, Iraq admitted to the U.N. that it still had 10,000
nerve gas warheads, 1,500 chemical-weapon bombs and shells, and 1,000
tons of nerve and mustard gas. Later, it conceded that it still had 150,000
chemical munitions. Therefore, it is readily apparent that, as with the
nuclear weapons targets, much was missed, either through lack of target
information or through ineffective attacks.
For several years following the cease-fire, U.N. inspection teams were
unable to find conclusive evidence that Iraq had produced offensive
biological weapons. However, in mid-1995, in response to U.N. inspection
commission evidence, the Iraqis admitted to producing large quantities of
two deadly agents—the bacteria that cause botulism and anthrax—on the
eve of the Gulf War. Several suspected production facilities were hit
during the war, as were suspected research facilities at Taji and Salman
Pak. In addition, a number of refrigerated bunkers believed to contain
biological weapons were hit. DOD’s classified title V report stated
(on p. 224) that the biological warfare program “was damaged and its
known key research and development facilities were destroyed. Further,
most refrigerated storage bunkers were destroyed.” Whether these
constituted the entirety of Iraq’s biological warfare program is not yet
known.
Lines of Communication Destroying railroads and bridges as well as supply convoys was seen as
the key to meeting several related objectives—cutting supply lines to the
KTO to degrade and demoralize Iraqi forces and blocking the retreat of
those forces, leading to their destruction in the ground campaign. While
large numbers of bridges, railroad lines, and other LOC targets were
destroyed by air attacks, the sheer amount of in-place stocks, as well as
the number of available transport vehicles, apparently served to keep most
of the Iraqi ground forces adequately supplied, up to the start of the
ground war. Thus, the goal of cutting lines of communication was only
partially met.
Table III.17 indicated that approximately two-thirds of the LOC targets
assessed were determined to be successfully destroyed. GWAPS and the
57
GWAPS, vol. II, pt. II (Secret), p. 331.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
title V report stated that so many bridges over the Euphrates and Tigris
rivers were destroyed that supply flows were severely reduced to frontline
troops. GWAPS stated (on p. 349) that “all important bridges [were]
destroyed”; the title V report noted that three-fourths of the bridges from
central Iraq to the KTO were destroyed or heavily damaged. It is estimated
that attacks on LOC targets reduced the carrying capacity of traffic on the
Baghdad-to-KTO highways from about 200,000 metric tons per day to about
one-tenth that amount by the end of the war. In addition, damage to
railroad bridges completely cut the only rail line from Iraq to Kuwait.
However, GWAPS noted (on p. 371) that the Iraqis’ stocks of material in
theater were so large that “by the time the ground war began, the Iraqi
army had been weakened but not ’strangled’ by air interdiction of its lines
of communications.” For example, at the start of the air campaign, Iraq
had 40,000 to 55,000 military cargo trucks, 190,000 commercial vehicles,
and 120,000 Kuwaiti vehicles. In addition, Iraq had 300,000 metric tons of
ammunition in dozens of locations in the KTO; only an estimated 10 percent
of this was destroyed before the ground war.
58
The GWAPS report stated
that logistic movement difficulties within Kuwait may have resulted as
much from Iraqi ineptitude as from air attacks; the effect of the latter is
impossible to separate out. Moreover, despite the air attacks, GWAPS found
that the Iraqi forces were adequately sustained overall throughout the air
campaign, although some units reported food shortages.
Iraqi Ground Forces, Including
the Republican Guard
Assessments differ about the extent to which the effectiveness of the Iraqi
forces in the KTO was reduced before the ground war. Estimates of overall
effectiveness must take into account not only the inventory of weapons
but also morale and readiness. Moreover, not all equipment was equally
valuable, and some, such as artillery, was potentially more lethal against
an attacking force (including feared chemical munitions) but less
important than tanks for degrading Iraqi offensive capabilities.
The Iraqi ground forces were diverse in a number of ways: the
better-equipped, elite Republican Guards were kept relatively far back
from the front while the lesser supplied frontline troops were heavily
composed of ethnic groups out of favor and out of power within Iraq.
Evidence from interviews with Iraqi prisoners of war suggests it was not
just the air campaign that destroyed the effectiveness of their ground
forces: they characterized themselves not as “battle hardened” after
8 years of war with Iran but, rather, as “war weary.” U.S. Army intelligence
summaries of the statements of prisoners stated the following:
58
GWAPS, vol. II, pt. II (Unclassified), p. 194.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
“War weariness, harsh conditions, and lack of conviction of the justice of the invasion of
Kuwait caused widespread desertion in the Iraqi Army prior to the air campaign, but in
some units the genuine foot race north [that is, desertion] really commenced when the
bombs began to fall.”
59
In effect, the air campaign was a factor in that collapse of morale, but it
was clearly not the only cause: the fact that the Iraqi forces were in a
preexisting state of low morale cannot be ignored.
Another measure of the effect of air power against Iraqi ground forces is
its destruction of Iraqi equipment. GWAPS stated that the operations plan
set a requirement that Iraqi ground forces in the KTO were to be reduced to
no more than 50-percent effectiveness by the start of the ground war.
According to some sources, this meant a 50-percent reduction not in the
number of weapons in each and every category but, rather, in overall
capabilities. However, GWAPS stated (on p. 203) that phase III of the air
campaign had been designed to “reduce Iraqi armor and artillery by that
planned amount.” The broad objectives were not only to reduce the
capability of these units to inflict casualties but also—as the title V report
states at least three times—to “destroy” the Republican Guard.
In effect, several competing objectives existed under the broader umbrella
of meeting the goal of reducing the Iraqi ground forces by 50 percent. For
while the commander in chief of the Central Command ordered that
attrition against Iraqi frontline forces be maximized, this meant that fewer
sorties were flown against the less-threatening “third echelon” Republican
Guard divisions, and fewer against the Republican Guard heavy armor
divisions, than against the infantry divisions closer to the front.
60
As a
result, destruction of the three “heavy” Republican Guard divisions
(“holding the bulk of all the armor”) was considerably less than that
against either the frontline forces or the Republican Guard infantry
divisions.
61
All frontline forces had been reduced to less than 50-percent
effectiveness just before the ground war, while most of the rear units were
above 75-percent effectiveness. The consequence of the much greater
weight of effort on the front lines was that very large numbers of
Republican Guards and their armor were either not attacked or only
59
Department of the Army, “The Gulf War: An Iraqi General Officer’s Perspective,” memorandum for
the record, 513th Military Intelligence Brigade, J oint Debriefing Center (Mar. 11, 1991), p. 4.
60
The title V report states that there were fewer sorties against the rearward Republican Guard units
because they were better dug in and had better air defenses, requiring more air support and more
sorties. The Republican Guard infantry divisions formed a “second echelon” reserve, well behind the
front lines but in front of the heavy, armored divisions.
61
GWAPS, vol. II, pt. II (Secret), p. 161.
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Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
sporadically attacked during the air campaign. The end result was that
many of these forces escaped back into central Iraq, leaving some of the
most formidable Iraqi forces intact.
The CIA estimated that no more than about 30 percent of the tanks of the
three key Republican Guard “heavy” divisions were destroyed by air
power before the ground campaign. Total tank losses by the end of the
ground war for those three heavy divisions were 50 percent, according to
the CIA, compared to an estimated 76 percent for all Iraqi tanks in the KTO.
Our analysis of the Missions database found that targets most closely
associated with ground troops received by far the most strikes and the
most bombs and bomb tonnage compared to other target categories.
These targets received at least nine times more strikes, five times more
bombs, and five times more bomb tonnage than the next highest strategic
target category, MIB.
Whatever the exact cause of armor or personnel losses, the fact remains
that large numbers of Republican Guard armor were able to avoid
destruction or capture by U.S. ground war forces. They were then
available to Saddam for maintaining his power and to threaten Kuwait in
October 1994.
Summary
Many claims of Desert Storm effectiveness show a pattern of
overstatement. In this appendix, we addressed the effectiveness of
different types of aircraft and munitions used in Desert Storm and the
overall effectiveness of the air campaign in achieving its objectives. The
Desert Storm input and BDA data did not permit a comprehensive
aircraft-by-aircraft or munition-by-munition comparison of effectiveness;
however, we were able to combine input and outcome data to (1) reveal
associations of greater and lesser success against targets between types of
aircraft and munitions and (2) examine the effects of selected types of
munitions and aircraft where they were used in similar ways. Thus, we
were able to work within the data constraints to examine several aspects
of aircraft, munition, and campaign effectiveness.
While the available Desert Storm input and outcome data did not allow
direct effectiveness comparisons between all aircraft types, they did
indicate that overall effectiveness varied somewhat by type of aircraft and
more so by type of target category attacked. The data also revealed
patterns of greater and lesser success against targets, both between types
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Appendix III
Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
of aircraft and munitions over the course of the campaign and with respect
to individual target categories.
There was no consistent pattern indicating that the key to success in target
outcomes was the use of either guided or unguided munitions. On average,
targets where objectives were successfully achieved received more guided
and fewer unguided munitions than targets where objectives were not
determined to have been fully achieved. But in several target categories,
the reverse was true. Nor were there major differences in the apparent
effect of platform type on strike performance. When attacking the same
targets with LGBs, the F-111Fs reported achieving only a slightly greater
target hit rate than the F-117s. Similarly, there was little difference in the
rates of success achieved by F/A-18s and F-16s when delivering the MK-84
unguided munition.
The results of our analyses did not support the claim for LGB effectiveness
summarized by “one target, one bomb.” Moreover, planners apparently
ordered restrikes either because BDA revealed that one bomb did not
achieve target objectives or they did not believe that “one target, one
bomb” was being achieved.
Desert Storm data also do not clearly support a number of major DOD
claims for the F-117. For example, according to some, the accuracy of the
F-117 in combat may have been unprecedented; our estimates of the bomb
hit rate for the F-117 show that it was between 55 and 80 percent. Of equal
importance, the rate of weapon release for the F-117 during Desert Storm
was only 75 percent—largely because of a weather abort rate far higher
than for other strike aircraft. Thus, the effectiveness of scheduled F-117
strikes was between 41 and 60 percent. And the accuracy and
effectiveness of the TLAM was less than generally perceived.
Our analysis of manufacturers’ claims revealed the same pattern of
overstatement. All the manufacturers whose weapon systems we reviewed
made public statements about the performance of their products in Desert
Storm that the data do not fully support. And while the manufacturers’
claims were often inaccurate, their assertions were not significantly
different from, nor appreciably less accurate than, many of the statements
of DOD officials and DOD reports about the same systems’ performance in
Desert Storm.
Finally, we found that the available quantitative and qualitative data
indicate that damage to several major sets of targets was less complete
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Appendix III
Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
Desert Storm
than DOD’s title V report to the Congress made clear and, therefore, that the
objectives related to these target sets were only partially met. The gap
between what has been claimed for air power in Desert Storm and what
actually occurred was sometimes substantial. In effect, even under the
generally favorable tactical and environmental conditions prevalent during
Desert Storm, the effectiveness of air power was more limited than
initially expected (see app. V) or subsequently claimed.
In light of the favorable conditions under which the air campaign was
pursued and the technological and numerical advantages enjoyed by the
coalition, it would not have been surprising if the effectiveness of the
individual aircraft and munitions had been quite high. However, the
commander of the U.S. air forces clearly stated at the onset of the war that
his top priority in the air campaign was survivability. Conducting the war
from medium and high altitudes precluded some systems from being used
in ways that would probably have maximized their effectiveness. At the
same time, the basically flat terrain, the attainment of air supremacy, and
the dearth of Iraqi countermeasures provided favorable delivery
conditions. Aircraft, munitions, and campaign effectiveness, to the extent
that they can be measured, should be extrapolated only with care to
another enemy in another contingency.
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
This appendix compares the costs and performance of the aircraft and
munitions used in the Desert Storm air campaign, as well as the results
from them. Because the data collected in Desert Storm about the
performance of weapon systems contain numerous inconsistencies in
quality and quantity, they do not allow us to make a reliable
cost-effectiveness comparison of all the systems under review.
For some aircraft, such as the F-117, there are relatively good data about
the number of sorties conducted, while for others, such as the A-10,
numerous questions remain about the most basic kind of performance
data. For most systems, including the TLAM, there are relatively few
instances in which the effects of a particular attack with a particular
weapon on a given target can be separated out from other attacks on the
same target. This is because BDA data often were not collected until after
several attacks had occurred.
To approximate a measure of cost-effectiveness, we considered an
aircraft’s total program unit cost; sortie cost; and Desert Storm
performance data such as survivability, sortie rate, and outcomes achieved
by target category. Combining aircraft input and output performance data
with cost estimates permits us to present as comprehensive a comparison
as possible of the multiple weapon systems used in the air campaign.
Cost and Performance
of Aircraft
Measures Used The following measures assisted us in our comparative evaluation of the
aircraft under review. Dollar costs are in constant fiscal year 1994 dollars.
Total Program Unit Cost This measure includes research and development and procurement costs
identified in DOD’s periodic Selected Acquisition Reports to the Congress,
to permit a comparison of aircraft per unit costs.
Desert Storm Cost Per Sortie This is the cost to operate each type of aircraft under review on a typical
sortie. These estimates of comparative costs were generated by the Air
Force at our request, using Air Force and Navy data and an agreed-upon
methodology.
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Average Desert Storm Sorties
Per Day
This measure was derived by dividing total sorties for each aircraft under
review by the 43 days of the air campaign and by the number of aircraft
deployed. Since these averages were clearly dependent upon multiple
factors—such as distance to target, which can vary greatly for identical
Navy aircraft on different carriers or identical Air Force aircraft at
different bases—there are various factors that can explain differences
between aircraft on this measure.
1
However, it is a summary measure of
overall aircraft availability and, as such, permits an understanding of the
range of the comparative availability of each aircraft to perform its
assigned mission at its own particular level of effectiveness, which can
vary by type while not showing the explanation for differences.
Availability is commonly regarded as advantageous, since it is assumed
that it is better to be able to attack the enemy more rather than less in a
given time period.
Desert Storm Casualty Rate This measure permits a comparison of the survivability of aircraft, derived
by dividing total sorties of each aircraft type by total lost and damaged
aircraft of each type.
Number and Ratio of Guided
and Unguided Munitions
Delivered
This performance measure presents the type and number of munitions
delivered, by aircraft type, on all target categories.
Total Tonnage and Average
Tonnage Per Day Per Aircraft
This performance measure compares each aircraft’s delivery of munitions,
as measured by total Desert Storm tonnage and average tonnage per day
per aircraft. The assumption is that, given a specific munition type, it is
advantageous to deliver more rather than less tonnage per day against an
enemy. This measure is, of course, complicated by variance in the type of
munitions that different aircraft types deliver. Thus, it is also necessary to
review the effect that the various aircraft types had on targets with their
different munition combinations.
Environmental Flexibility This measure compares aircraft on their capability to operate in two
stressful environmental conditions: conducting combat flight operations at
night and in adverse weather. First, we indicate whether an aircraft was
used for both day and night strikes in Desert Storm (versus day or night
only). Second, we indicate whether an aircraft had the capability to deliver
munitions effectively under adverse weather conditions. We did not have
sufficient data to know whether pilots chose to release bombs in poor
weather regardless of accuracy degradation.
1
Other factors can include, aircraft reliability and maintainability, mission planning requirements,
aircrew fatigue and availability, and ability or inability to operate out of forward operating bases; all
can vary by aircraft type.
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Predominant Target Taskings The strategic target categories we measure accounted for three-quarters or
more of an aircraft’s Desert Storm strikes. By eliminating those categories
for which only a comparatively small number of aircraft strikes were
performed, we obtained an overall assessment of what target categories an
aircraft was used most often against. This, we believe, is somewhat more
useful and informative than simply tallying up the gross number of target
categories an aircraft was used against, even if only a handful of strikes
were flown in some categories. This latter methodology was used by the
Air Force and DOD in descriptions of the F-117s’ contribution to the air
campaign.
Ratio of Targets Successfully
and Not Fully Successfully
Destroyed
Using the data discussed in appendix III, we compared the various aircraft
on the overall ratio of targets they attacked that were, or were not,
assessed as successfully destroyed. At best, these ratios reflect
assessments of the level of success associated with the various aircraft,
though not necessarily exclusively attributed to them.
Other Possible Measures Numerous measures could be used in comparing Desert Storm air
campaign systems, such as aircraft mission capable rates or aircraft range.
We chose the measures that, in our view, offered the most useful ways in
which to compare systems used in Desert Storm, again taking into account
data availability and limitations. Thus, for example, rather than comparing
mission capable rates, we compared sortie rates actually flown in the air
campaign: we believe it more informative to measure that a combat sortie
was actually flown than that an aircraft was determined “mission capable”
yet may not have actually flown a combat mission. Similarly, aircraft range
was not compared because the availability of tanker aircraft in Desert
Storm tended to mask differences between aircraft on this dimension.
(However, if fewer tankers are available in future conflicts, range
differences among aircraft could have a significant effect on availability.)
Finally, it is important to emphasize that no single measure should
automatically be given greater weight than others in assessments of
aircraft or munitions. The comparison we proffer here intentionally
presents multiple dimensions on which to assess air campaign systems,
not least because of the data reliability problems already discussed.
Further, aircraft have different missions, and effectiveness on one type of
mission may have been achieved through design requirements that greatly
limit performance on other missions. Therefore, no one single cost or
performance measure will consistently capture all that should be known
or understood in comparing one aircraft type to another.
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Overall Results Table IV.1 presents cost and performance data for the aircraft under
review.
The following appear to be the major points that can be drawn with regard
to the issue of Desert Storm aircraft cost and performance. Comparatively,
none of the air-to-ground aircraft examined demonstrated overall
consistently superior performance across the measurable performance
indicators. Similarly, no aircraft performed consistently poorly on all or
most of these dimensions.
Neither single-role bombers, nor multirole fighter-bombers demonstrated
obvious superiority compared to others in the air-to-ground role.
Defensive air-to-air missions were predominantly performed by single-role
air-to-air aircraft, with single-role F-15Cs credited with over 85 percent of
Desert Storm air-to-air kills. While multirole aircraft did perform some
support and some air-to-air missions, their participation by no means
eliminated the need for single-role air-to-air and support aircraft. The
evidence from Desert Storm points to the usefulness of single-role aircraft
in their respective missions and the usefulness of multirole aircraft most
predominantly in the air-to-ground mission.
The data in table IV.1 reveal no clear link between the cost of either
aircraft or weapon system and their performance in Desert Storm. Neither
relatively high-cost nor low-cost air-to-ground aircraft demonstrated
consistently superior performance across a range of measures such as
sortie rate, survivability, amount of munitions delivered, and participation
in successful target outcomes.
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Table IV.1: Cost and Performance of Major U.S. and U.K. Desert Storm Air-to-Ground Aircraft and TLAM
Cost
Combat sortie
Munitions delivered
Platform Total program unit cost
a
Sortie
b
Average per day
per aircraft
Rate of lost and
damaged aircraft
per sortie
Number
guided
Number
unguided Ratio
F-117 $111.2
e
$15.7 0.7 0 2, 000 4 500:1
F-111F $68.3 $24.9 0.9 0.0011 2, 935 586 5:1
F-15E $39.1 without LANTI RN
$46.5 with 2 LANTI RN pods
$11.5 1.0 0.0009 1, 669 14, 089 1:8
A-6E $39.3 $27.8 1.1 0.0031 623 17, 588 1:28
F-16 $18.9 without LANTI RN
$22.6 with 1 LANTI RN pod
$5.9 1.2 0.0006 159 38, 438 1:242
F/A-18 $35.9 $17.2 1.2 0.0022 368 11, 179 1:30
G R-1 $32 - $57.3
f g
0.9 0.0076 497 1, 346 1:3
A-10 $11.8
g
1.4
h
0.0023 4, 801
g g
B-52 $163.8
j g
0.6 0.0029 36
k
71, 885 1:1, 196
TLAM $2.85 $2, 855.0
g
[ DELETED]
l
297 0
i
Munitions delivered
Platform
Total
tonnage
Tonnage per
aircraft per day Strike conditions
Predominant
target
categories
c
FS:NFS
ratio
d
F-117 1, 990 1.10 Night only; no weather capability C
3
, LO C, M I B,
NBC, O CA
1.4:1
F-111F 2, 004 0.71 Night only; limited by weather K BX, LO C, O CA 3.2:1
F-15E 5, 593 2.71 M ostly night; very few day missions; limited by
weather
K BX, O CA, SCU 1.0:1
A-6E 5, 715 1.16 M ostly night; some day; limited by weather K BX, NAV 1.1:1
F-16 20, 866 1.93 M ostly day; some night; limited by weather K BX, O CA 1.5:1
F/A-18 5, 513 0.74 Day and night; limited by weather C
3
, K BX, O CA 0.8:1
G R-1 1, 090 0.38 Day and night; limited by weather K BX, O CA, O I L 1.2:1
A-10
g g
M ostly day; some night; no weather capability K BX
g
B-52 25, 422 8.69 M ostly night; some day; no weather limitation K BX, M I B 0.7:1
TLAM 144 3.30
m
Day and night; limited by weather C
3
, ELE, G VC,
NBC, SCU
1.1:1
( Table notes on next page)
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
a
I n millions of fiscal 1994 dollars.
b
I n thousands of fiscal 1994 dollars. G eneric aircraft sortie costs, not specific Desert Storm sortie
costs. Total program unit cost and sortie cost for the TLAM are the same because a combat sortie
for the TLAM requires the physical destruction of the missile.
c
Target categories in which approximately three-quarters of all strikes by aircraft type were
directed.
d
Based on the analysis in appendix I I I and summarized in table I I I .1.
e
Lockheed data expressed in “then-year” dollars. DO D data exist but are classified at the “special
access required” level. Because the specific “then-year” dollars were not identified by year and
amount, we were unable to convert them to fiscal 1994 dollars. Even though this figure
understates the cost of the F-117, it is the best figure we could obtain.
f
Estimated costs obtained from public sources.
g
Data were not available.
h
A-10 sorties may have been undercounted; thus, 1.4 may be too low.
i
Data were not applicable.
j
I ncludes $6.8 billion in acquisition costs for 102 aircraft and $9 billion in modifications since the
B-52H was deployed in the early 1960s. A portion of the $9 billion spent on modifications were for
upgrades of its strategic-nuclear capability or upgrades subsequently superseded by other
modifications. The data we received from the Air Force did not specifically identify those
modification costs relevant to the B-52s as used in Desert Storm. Also, the total program unit
costs attributed to other aircraft could be understated somewhat in comparison to the B-52. Cost
data for all aircraft other than the B-52 were obtained from Selected Acquisition Reports.
However, these reports, which include modification costs, are no longer issued after airframe
production ceases. Thus, modification costs for out-of-production aircraft are not captured on
these reports and are not reflected in table I V.1. Therefore, the costs cited here tend to overstate
the B-52’s cost relative to the other aircraft.
k
The B-52 launched 35 CALCM s ( conventional variants of the air-launched cruise missile) .
l
TLAM losses are based on a study by CNA/DI A that found that of the 230 TLAM C and D-I
models launched, an estimated [ DELETED] did not arrive at their target areas.
m
Tonnage per day for TLAM s is its total tonnage ( 144 tons) divided by the number of days in the
entire air campaign ( 43) .
Virtually every type of aircraft and the TLAM demonstrated both significant
strengths and limitations. For example, no F-117s were lost or damaged; it
was the platform of choice among planners for nighttime strikes against
stationary, point targets, yet it was employable in only highly limited
conditions. The much older, nonstealthy F-111F achieved a somewhat
higher target hit rate than the F-117 against targets attacked by both with
the same type of munition (although the F-111F expended more munitions
per target). The low-cost A-10s and F-16s made large contributions in
terms of missions flown and bomb tonnage delivered and performed as
well on other measures, such as survivability rates. However, neither was
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
equipped to deliver LGBs, and the F-16’s potential effectiveness with
unguided munitions was diminished by operating from medium and high
altitudes. B-52s delivered much more tonnage individually and as a force
than any other aircraft, but accuracy from high altitude was low.
2
Similarly, the F-16s delivered about 21,000 tons of bombs, but this worked
out to only 1.93 tons daily per aircraft, compared to 2.71 tons for the
F-15Es; F-15Es, however, accounted for only about one-quarter as much
total tonnage as the F-16s. Thus, on one performance measure, the F-15Es
look better than the F-16s, but much less impressive on another. In
addition, the F-15Es had sortie costs about double those of the F-16s but
also delivered a much greater ratio of guided-to-unguided munitions (1 to 8
versus 1 to 242). This was a result, in part, of the command decision to
assign the available LANTIRN targeting pods, and thus the ability to deliver
LGBs, to F-15Es rather than to F-16s; it was also a result, in part, of the
decision to assign all but a few Maverick missiles to A-10s rather than to
the F-16 units that were trained to employ them.
A comparably mixed picture can be seen for all the other aircraft under
review. Overall, therefore, the data in table IV.1 present an inconclusive
picture when it comes to rank-ordering the costs and performance of the
aircraft as they were used in Desert Storm.
Comparative Strengths and
Limitations of Aircraft
Types
To facilitate comparative assessment of the aircraft, we examined the
extent to which the data above, in combination with data discussed in
appendixes II and III, can address four questions that involve aircraft
acquisition issues of concern to the Congress:
1. Did the F-117 stealth bomber differ in air-to-ground combat
performance and effectiveness from nonstealth aircraft, and what was the
contribution of stealth technology to the outcome of the air campaign?
2. What were the contributions of single-purpose aircraft versus the
multirole or dual-role aircraft recommended by DOD’s “Bottom-Up
Review”?
3. Was there a relationship between aircraft cost and performance?
4. How did the TLAM cruise missile perform compared to various aircraft?
2
See Operation Desert Storm: Limits on the Role and Performance of B-52 Bombers in Conventional
Conflicts (GAO/NSIAD-93-138, May 12, 1993).
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Stealth Versus Nonstealth
Aircraft
Stealth was one of many options used to achieve portions of what was
accomplished in the air campaign. It could not serve to achieve all
objectives given its operating limitations. For example, it was not designed
to, and in Desert Storm it did not, engage targets (1) that were mobile and
required searching, (2) that were large “area targets” requiring coverage by
dozens of bombs, or (3) that planners wanted to attack during the day.
Most notably, the F-117’s bomb hit rate was between 55 and 80 percent,
and equally important, its weapon release rate was only 75 percent.
In addition, in some respects, other aircraft may have equaled the F-117 on
the very dimensions for which special claims had been made for it. The
limited data available showed that the F-111F missions were about as
successful in hitting common targets. Pilots of aircraft other than the F-117
reported that they, too, achieved surprise on many, and in some cases
most, attacks, according to an Air Force criterion for the success of
stealth—namely that defensive fire from SAMs and AAA did not commence
until after the first bombs detonated. While the F-117 attacked targets in
every strategic category—more than any other aircraft—in some
categories, very few strikes were conducted, and every type of aircraft
under review attacked targets in no less than three-fourths of the
categories. And unlike several other aircraft, the F-117 never faced the
daytime air defenses that turned out to be the war’s most lethal.
As the second most expensive aircraft in our study—costing almost twice
as much as the next most costly aircraft—the F-117 did not perform as
well as several other aircraft on the sorties- and tons-per-day measures.
For example, the F-15Es averaged 1 mission per day (about 50 percent
higher than the 0.7 average for F-117s) and averaged 2.71 tons of released
munitions per day (246 percent more than the F-117 average). The F-16s
averaged 1.2 sorties daily (70 percent more) and delivered 75 percent more
tonnage daily than the F-117s.
To maintain stealth, F-117s can carry bombs only internally; this limits
them to two LGBs. As a result, each F-117 was clearly very limited in the
number of aimpoints it could hit before having to return home. Also, the
F-117s were based more than 1,000 miles from Baghdad, which meant a
round-trip mission as long as 6 hours with multiple refuelings. One Air
Force explanation for this basing decision was the need to keep the F-117s
out of range of Scud missiles. Another explanation was that the air base at
Khamis Mushayt was one of only a select few in-theater bases with
sufficient hangars to house the F-117 fleet and protect its sensitive radar
absorptive coating from the elements. Another possible reason for the
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
F-117s being based so far away was the fact that a complex and
time-consuming mission planning process was necessary to exploit its
stealth characteristics. The time this mission planning system took and the
fact that the F-117 was able to conduct combat operations only at night
could have meant that the time required to fly between Khamis Mushayt
and the Saudi border was not the key limiting factor on the F-117’s Desert
Storm sortie rate. Moreover, unlike other aircraft, such as the A-10 and the
F-16, the F-117 did not fly from a more distant main operating base to a
forward one from which multiple sorties were generated.
Other Desert Storm aircraft were also limited by their distance from
targets. For logistics reasons, most B-52s flew from far more distant bases
than the F-117s, resulting in a slightly lower 0.6 average on daily sorties. In
contrast, the B-52s had nearly eight times the daily average munition
delivery (8.69 tons versus 1.10 tons) because of their greater carrying
capability. Navy planes on carriers in the Red Sea were similarly limited in
terms of sortie rates because of the distance from targets and carrier
rotations.
3
The A-6Es averaged 1.1 daily sorties and 1.16 tons per day in
munitions. The F/A-18s averaged nearly the same number of daily sorties
(1.2), but delivered only an average of 0.74 tons of munitions per day,
approximately two-thirds that of the F-117s. F-111Fs were based 525
nautical miles from the Iraqi border, some F-16s were 528 nautical miles
from the border, and some F-15Es were about 250 nautical miles away.
Thus, distance to targets was clearly a factor in various aircrafts’ sortie
rates, but it was not the only factor; additional reasons included complex
mission planning requirements, logistics needs, inability to operate out of
forward operating bases, and requirements to operate only from aircraft
carriers that could not be deployed close by.
Nevertheless, distance to target alone cannot explain performance, since
the F-111Fs averaged 0.9 sorties per day (28 percent higher than the
F-117s) but released only 0.7 tons of munitions per day per
aircraft—36 percent below the F-117’s average. Similarly, the British,
Saudi, and Italian air-to-ground variants of the Tornado flew slightly more
sorties per day (0.9), yet they delivered less than half the daily tonnage
(0.4).
At the same time, the F-117s were not able to perform tasks routinely
carried out by other aircraft because of the operating trade-offs that were
necessary to enable them to be stealthy and to deliver LGBs. Such routine
3
Sortie rates and munition payloads cited here are for all Navy aircraft, from both Red Sea and Persian
Gulf carriers and for Marine Corps F/A-18s and A-6Es based on land.
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
tasks include strikes in poor weather or under any conditions in daylight
or dusk, attacks against mobile targets that required searching, and
missions that required deviation after takeoff from planned flight paths.
However, to the extent that air defense systems depend on radar, it is
surely an advantage to be less detectable by radar than other aircraft, and
the available evidence suggests that in Desert Storm, the F-117 was not
easily detectable by radar. However, nonstealthy aircraft were also able to
escape engagement by radar-based defense systems by other means such
as by being masked by jamming support aircraft or by virtue of the
physical destruction of radars by SEAD aircraft such as the F-4G. Moreover,
given the widespread jamming that occurred in Desert Storm, the
availability of fighter protection, as well as the relatively rapid degradation
of the Iraqi IADS, it is clear that the F-117s sometimes also benefited from
these support factors and did not always operate independent of them.
Single-Role Versus Multirole
Aircraft
In its October 1993 “Bottom-Up Review,” DOD expressed a strong
preference for multirole as opposed to “special-purpose” aircraft because
“multi-role aircraft, capable of air superiority, strike, and possible support
missions have a high payoff.”
4
The use of both types of aircraft in Desert
Storm permits a comparison on some dimensions of their performance
and contribution.
The Navy F/A-18 was the only multirole aircraft that was actually
employed in both air-to-ground strikes and air-to-air engagements. A large
number of F/A-18 missions, especially in the early stages of the air war,
were escort, and one F/A-18 was credited with two air-to-air kills.
Although the F-16 and the F-15E were equipped with guns and missiles for
self-defenses, neither of these Air Force multirole aircraft performed any
escort or air-to-air missions. Air-to-air engagements for Air Force aircraft
were the domain of the single-role, air-to-air, F-15C, which was neither
equipped nor tasked to air-to-ground missions.
5
While the exercise of
air-to-air capability by Air Force multirole aircraft was apparently strongly
discouraged, air supremacy meant that there was limited need for air-to-air
4
DOD, Report on the Bottom-Up Review, Les Aspin, Secretary of Defense, (Oct. 1993), p. 36. Secretary
of Defense William J . Perry endorsed the Bottom-Up Review and has not altered the review’s advocacy
of multirole aircraft over special purpose aircraft.
5
U.S. F-15Cs were credited with 31 coalition air-to-air kills, 87 percent of the Desert Storm total. F-14s
were also assigned to the air-to-air mission; however, none had any air-to-air kills of fixed-wing aircraft
(though one enemy helicopter was shot down by an F-14).
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
capability, and what did exist was adequately covered by F-15Cs and
F-14s.
6
With regard to support roles, F/A-18s and F-16s employed HARM missiles
and other munitions to suppress enemy air defenses. However, this
supplemented rather than eliminated the role played by specialized F-4Gs,
EF-111s, and EA-6Bs—all of which were used extensively in SEAD or
jamming.
The data available permit a limited comparison of multirole aircraft and
more specialized, single-role bombers (F-117, F-111F, A-10, A-6E, GR-1,
and B-52) in the air-to-ground mission. In terms of unit cost, the single-role
aircraft are both the most and the least expensive (the B-52 and the F-117
versus the A-10).
7
In terms of the average daily sorties, only the single-role
A-10 exceeded the multirole F-16’s and F/A-18’s rate of 1.2 per day.
Excluding the B-52, multirole aircraft had the highest as well as the lowest
average daily munition tonnage; the F-15E was the highest, at 2.71 tons,
and the F/A-18 was the lowest, at 0.74 tons.
On other performance measures, the two aircraft types appear to be
generally indistinguishable. All were very survivable, most had comparable
overall night and weather capability, as well as similar night and weather
limitations, and most delivered a mix of guided and unguided munitions.
In terms of the ratios reflecting rate of participation against successfully
and not fully successfully destroyed targets, the single-role F-111F had the
highest ratio and the single-role B-52 had the lowest ratio. However, the
multirole F/A-18 had a ratio that was nearly identical to that of the B-52,
and the multirole aircraft with the highest ratio—the F-16 at 1.5:1—had a
ratio that was 47 percent of the F-111F’s 3.2:1.
In sum, in air-to-air combat, multirole aircraft had only minimal
opportunity, accounting for only 2 of 38 air-to-air kills. Some multirole
aircraft were used in air-to-air support SEAD missions, but their use did not
halt the need for aircraft specialized for those type of missions. Both single
and multirole aircraft appeared at both ends of the cost scale. As a generic
type, multirole aircraft did not demonstrate any major payoff in the
air-to-air role since the more specialized F-15Cs accounted for almost all
6
Pilots told us that Gen. Horner said the first F-16 pilot to unload his bombs in order to attack an Iraqi
aircraft would be “sent home.”
7
In terms of sortie cost, the single-role A-6E and the F-111F were high and the multirole F-16, F/A-18,
and F-15E were lowest and lower; however, it is not clear whether it was the A-6’s and F-111F’s much
older age than the multirole aircraft that explains their higher cost or their single role.
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
air-to-air kills. In the air-to-ground role, multirole performed at the same
overall level as specialized aircraft. Generally, the multirole aircraft did not
perform as multirole aircraft in Desert Storm.
However, using Desert Storm data, it is not possible to reach firm
conclusions about the multirole aircraft’s potential payoff, relative to
single-role aircraft. With greatly varying total program unit costs, as well
as a wide range of daily average bomb tonnage dropped and especially the
apparent lack of need for multirole aircraft on missions other than
air-to-ground attack, the case for or against multirole and single-role
aircraft is not readily apparent solely from Desert Storm experiences.
Relationship Between Aircraft
Cost and Performance
It is often asserted that, on average, the more that something costs—such
as a passenger car—the better it is, compared to similar things that cost
less. A more expensive automobile is assumed to possess certain
performance qualities that make it superior to a low-cost car: it might
accelerate more quickly, handle more precisely, or ride more comfortably.
Moreover, these advantages are assumed not to have limitations that
would prevent the car from being used as frequently as one chose or under
a wide variety of conditions. Similarly, a common impression of military
hardware is that an airplane that costs much more than others would have
greater capabilities that distinguish it from other aircraft, making it overall
a “better” aircraft. While this perception may appear to be simplistic, it has
been sufficiently widespread, even among military experts, to warrant
examination in light of the Desert Storm data. Moreover, DOD commonly
justifies very costly aircraft and other weapons to the Congress, and to the
public, on the grounds that they are more capable than other aircraft and
they offer unique capabilities that warrant the greater cost.
In this section, we consider aircraft total program unit costs and whether
there was any discernible correlation between those costs and the Desert
Storm performance measures cited above. As noted above, at $111 million
and $164 million, respectively, the F-117 and B-52H cost far more than the
next most expensive aircraft under review (the $68 million F-111F). The
A-10, at $12 million, was the least expensive U.S. air-to-ground aircraft in
Desert Storm; the F-16—with one LANTIRN pod—was the next least
expensive at $23 million.
Survivability and Operating Conditions. In terms of aircraft survivability,
high- and low-cost aircraft were almost identical at night and at
medium-to-high altitudes (as shown in app. III, statistically speaking, there
was no meaningful difference in the survivability rates of any of the Desert
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Storm air-to-ground aircraft). Most high- and low-cost aircraft were able to
operate both day and night, although high-cost F-117s, F-111Fs, and F-15Es
were used almost exclusively in the more survivable nighttime
environment. In effect, in general, high cost did not correlate with
improved survivability, although it may correlate with it in the case of the
F-117, which, as intended, operated only at night and at medium
altitudes—an environment where substantially fewer aircraft casualties
occurred in Desert Storm.
In terms of other environmental conditions, there was no pattern of
high-cost aircraft offering consistently better performance in adverse
weather. Indeed, the more costly aircraft with LGB capability were more
likely to be vulnerable to weather degradation than were aircraft that used
unguided ordnance. For, while both types of aircraft delivered guided and
unguided ordnance, most of the more costly aircraft delivered more
guided, relative to unguided, bombs.
8
One reason for this was that low-cost
aircraft were not equipped to deliver LGBs, which can partially account for
aircraft cost differentials.
9
Whether the capability to deliver LGBs versus
unguided munitions made the platform more or less effective would
depend on an assessment of the relative merit of those munition types,
discussed later in this appendix.
Number Deployed. All other things being equal, one would expect that the
more costly an aircraft, the fewer would be available to be deployed in
combat, since fewer would likely have been produced.
10
This proved to be
the case in Desert Storm, with 251 F-16s and 148 A-10s deployed compared
to 42 F-117s, 48 F-15Es, and 66 F-111Fs. Although obvious, it may be worth
recalling that, in terms of total program unit costs, a single F-117 costs
8
Two prominent exceptions to this are the high-cost B-52, which delivered very few guided munitions,
and the low-cost A-10, which delivered about 4,800 guided Maverick missiles.
9
For example, providing the low-cost A-10 with LGB-capability would, at a minimum, raise the A-10 unit
price by about $7.4 million by adding two LANTIRN pods, to $19.2 million, an increase of 63 percent.
This increase would, however, result in the A-10’s continuing to be the lowest cost aircraft under
review. It should also be noted that since the war, the relatively low-cost F-16 has been equipped with
both types of LANTIRN pods, thus enabling it to deploy LGBs.
10
The statistical correlation between aircraft unit cost and numbers deployed was r =–0.54. Unit cost
data for the Tornado was calculated as the average of the highest and lowest fiscal 1994 unit cost
figures that were available. The number of Tornado GR-1s deployed to Desert Storm was taken from
the British AOB for February 1991 cited in the British Ministry of Defense Gulf War Lessons Learned
report. The number of all other aircraft deployed to Desert Storm was taken from DOD’s title V report.
Because the number of aircraft deployed to battle is likely to be related to the number available for
deployment, we also examined, where the data permitted, the correlation between the number of
aircraft produced and unit cost. The correlation was r =–0.54, indicating that more costly aircraft are
produced in smaller numbers, thus leaving fewer available for deployment, relative to less costly
aircraft. GR-1 data are not included because production numbers for these aircraft were unavailable.
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
about as much as about 9 A-10s; a single F-111F equals 3 F-16s with
LANTIRN pods.
Thus, in assessing an overall force, the appropriate comparisons should
not be between one high-cost aircraft and one low-cost aircraft because to
acquire equal forces of the two would obviously require vastly different
amounts of money. A more appropriate way to measure aircraft forces
might be the number of aircraft that an equal amount of acquisition
funding can purchase. For example, the fleet of 42 F-117s deployed to
Desert Storm cost $4.7 billion to develop and build, while the three times
larger fleet of 148 A-10s cost $1.7 billion; that is, 106 additional aircraft for
$3 billion less. Similarly, for the same amount of money, very different
sized fleets, and capability, can be procured. For example, $1 billion in
funding would procure 9 F-117s or 85 A-10s. The Desert Storm
performance data reveal that the 9 F-117s would have carried out fewer
than 7 sorties per day; in contrast, the 85 A-10s would have flown 119.
While the design missions of the two aircraft differ substantially, their use
in Desert Storm demonstrated that they are not necessarily mutually
exclusive. Nearly 51 percent of the strategic targets attacked by the
stealthy F-117s were also attacked by less costly, conventional
aircraft—such as the F-16, F-15E, and F/A-18.
11
Based on its performance in Desert Storm, advocates of the F-117 can
argue that it alone combined the advantages of stealth and LGBs,
penetrated the most concentrated enemy defenses at will, permitted
confidence in achieving desired bombing results, and had perfect
survivability. Advocates of the A-10 can argue that it, unlike the F-117,
operated both day or night; attacked both fixed and mobile targets
employing both guided and unguided bombs; and like the F-117, it suffered
no casualties when operating at night and at medium altitude. In short, the
argument can be made that to buy more capability, in the quantitative
sense, the most efficient decision could be to buy less costly aircraft.
Moreover, to buy more capability in the qualitative sense, it may be a
question of what specific capability, or mix of capabilities, one wants to
buy: in the F-117 versus A-10 comparison, each aircraft has both strengths
and limitations; each aircraft can do things the other cannot. Therefore,
despite a sharp contrast in program unit costs, based on their use,
performance, and effectiveness demonstrated in Desert Storm, we find it
inappropriate to call one more generally “capable” than the other.
11
The incompleteness of A-10 strike data prevents our identifying the extent, if any, to which, A-10 and
F-117 target taskings overlapped. However, each type of aircraft performed 40 or more strikes in the
following strategic target categories: C
3
, KBX, OCA, SAM, and SCU.
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
The data did not demonstrate a consistent relationship between the
program unit cost of aircraft and their relative effectiveness against
strategic targets, as measured by the ratio of fully successful to not fully
successful target outcomes for the set of strategic targets attacked by each
type of aircraft. For example, while the high-cost F-111F had the highest
ratio of all aircraft reviewed, the relatively low-cost F-16 had a higher ratio
than either the F-117 or the F-15E, both of which were on the high end of
the cost scale. The F/A-18, in the middle of the cost scale, had a low ratio
of participation against successfully destroyed targets relative to
unsuccessfully destroyed targets, but the medium-cost A-6E had a ratio
that was higher than or equivalent to the F-15E and F-117, both much
higher cost aircraft. However, the F-117 and the F-111F, two high-cost,
LGB-capable aircraft, ranked first and third in participation against
successful targets.
12
Summary. We found no clear link between the cost of either aircraft or
weapon system and their performance in Desert Storm. Aircraft total
program unit cost does not appear to have been strongly positively or
negatively correlated with survivability rates, sortie rates or costs, average
daily tonnage per aircraft, or success ratio of unguided-to-guided munition
deliveries. No high-cost aircraft demonstrated superior performance in all,
or even most, measures, and no low-cost aircraft was generally inferior.
On some measures low-cost aircraft performed better than the high-cost
ones (such as sortie rate, sortie cost); on some measures, the performance
of low- and high-cost aircraft was indistinguishable (such as survivability
and participation against targets with successful outcomes).
TLAM Cruise Missile Compared
to Aircraft
The Navy’s TLAM cruise missile is substantially different from the aircraft
reviewed. Its unit cost of approximately $2.9 million is clearly well below
that of any aircraft, but because it is not reusable, it had the highest cost
per sortie. Moreover, there were major categories of strategic targets
(mobile, very hard, or buried targets) that it was inherently incapable of
attacking or destroying. Also, like many guided munitions, the TLAM’s
optical guidance and navigation system (employed in the last portion of
flight) can be impeded by [DELETED].
13
This means that the costs of
12
Participation by each type of air-to-ground aircraft against targets assessed as fully successful targets
was as follows: F-117 =122, F-16 =67, F-111F =41, A-6E =37, F/A-18 =36, F-15E =28, B-52 =25, and
GR-1 =21. No data were available for the A-10. The TLAM participated against 18 targets assessed as
fully successful. Participation against FS targets by type of aircraft is a function of two factors—the
breadth of targets tasked to each type of aircraft (see app. III) and their FS:NFS ratio as presented
previously.
13
Even if the P(k) for a single TLAM against a given target is [DELETED], no less than [DELETED]
missiles would be required to guard against reliability failure if the target is deemed to have urgent or
high value.
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
hitting any given target are substantial, given that TLAMs are single-use
weapons.
These TLAM characteristics must be balanced against the fact that its
employment does not risk an aircraft or its pilot. There is, of course,
essentially immeasurable benefit to avoiding the loss or capture of pilots.
However, TLAMs are limited in their applicability compared to some aircraft
because many target types (for example, very hard targets) are not
vulnerable to TLAMs or are not feasible as TLAM targets (for example, mobile
ones). Further, given the TLAM’s high-unit cost and demonstrated P(k),
consideration must be given to whether a given target is sufficiently
valuable to be worth using a TLAM. High costs mean that relatively few
targets in an air campaign would be worth targeting with TLAMs, especially
if aircraft survivability is high.
Cost and
Effectiveness of
Munitions
A review of the cost and use of the air-to-ground munitions in Desert
Storm supplements the foregoing assessment of aircraft to examine what
aircraft-munition combinations may have been the most effective in the air
campaign. The GWAPS study presented data on air combat-related ordnance
expended in Desert Storm by U.S. forces. Neither a separate breakout nor
ordnance dropped by other coalition air forces was available.
14
Five major
types of ordnance were released by U.S. air-to-ground aircraft in Desert
Shield and Desert Storm. Table IV.2 shows these and their cost.
14
The ordnance included cruise missiles, of which 35 were CALCMs launched from B-52s, and 297
TLAMs from Navy ships and submarines. We include both types of missiles because they were integral
to the air campaign in terms of their targets and their role in the planning of the air campaign.
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Table IV.2: Desert Shield and Desert
Storm Air-Related Ordnance
Expenditures by U.S. Forces
Number Cost
a
Bombs and noncruise missiles
Unguided bombs 210, 004 $432.0
G uided bombs 9, 342 298.2
Antiradiation missiles 2, 039 510.9
Air-to-surface guided missiles 5, 448 549.1
Total 226,833 $1,790.2
Cruise missiles
TLAM s 297 $861.3
CALCM s 35 52.5
Total 332 $913.8
Total bombs and missiles 227,165 $2,704.0
a
I n millions of fiscal 1990 dollars.
Source: G WAPS, vol. v, pt. I ( Secret) , pp. 581-82, and DO D Selected Acquisition Report on
TLAM .
It is evident from table IV.2 that while the vast majority of the expended
ordnance was unguided—92.4 percent—the inverse was true for cost.
About 84 percent of cost was accounted for by the 7.6 percent of ordnance
that was guided. If the 332 cruise missiles are excluded—with their
extremely high unit costs—unguided ordnance still represented about
92.6 percent of the total number expended, but the percentage of cost for
ordnance that was guided decreases to 75.9 percent.
The points summarized in table IV.3 concerning the relative strengths and
weaknesses of guided and unguided munitions are supported in the
discussion below.
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Table IV.3: Relative Strengths and Limitations of Guided and Unguided Munitions in Desert Storm
Measure Relative strengths Relative limitations
Guided
Cost No demonstrated strengths. LG Bs, M avericks, and
other guided munitions were much more expensive
than unguided munitions.
High unit cost; cost ratio of LG Bs to unguided
unitary bombs ranged up to 48:1; for M avericks,
164:1.
Survivability Varying amounts of standoff capability avoided
defenses collocated with the target. LG B and other
guided munition use permitted medium- and
high-altitude releases while retaining accuracy, thus
reducing aircraft vulnerability to AAA and I R SAM s.
Standoff capability did not negate defenses not at
the target. [ DELETED]
O perating characteristics Night-capable, clear weather ( except for most EO
guidance systems) ; some correctable accuracy
degradation from high winds.
Adverse weather, clouds, smoke, dust, haze, and
humidity either eliminated or seriously restricted
employment. Sometimes required precise
intelligence and more demanding mission planning.
Effectiveness Sometimes highly accurate even from high altitudes,
even against point targets; lower likelihood of
collateral damage.
“O ne target, one bomb” is an inappropriate and
illusive characterization of LG B effectiveness; no
consistent relationship between use of guided
munitions and targets that were successfully
destroyed.
Unguided
Cost Low unit cost; made up 92 percent of the munitions
used but only 16 percent of munitions cost.
No cost disadvantages identified.
Survivability Permitted higher pilot situation awareness and more
ready ability to maneuver to evade threats.
Little or no standoff capability from defenses at
target except for use at high altitude, which severely
degraded accuracy.
O perating characteristics Exploited radar bombing systems impervious to
weather but only for missions requiring limited
accuracy.
Nonradar unguided bombing systems had virtually
as many limitations from weather, smoke, dust, and
so on as guided munition sensors; accuracy
seriously degraded by winds, especially when used
at medium-to-high altitude.
Effectiveness O f all munitions used, 92 percent were unguided;
unguided munition use was an essential part of the
air campaign, especially against area targets and
ground forces.
Not accurate from medium-to-high altitude against
point targets. Higher likelihood of collateral damage;
no consistent relationship between use of unguided
munitions and targets that were successfully
destroyed.
Weighted Average Munition
Costs
We analyzed and compared the munitions used in Desert Storm,
calculating the weighted average unit cost for each munition, which is
based on the different numbers of each type used and their unit cost.
Table IV.4 compares these costs for unguided unitary bombs, unguided
cluster bombs, LGBs, the IR/EO guided GBU-15, and the Maverick and Walleye
air-to-surface munition.
The data in table IV.4 show that there are very large differences in the unit
costs between the categories of guided and unguided munitions, as well as
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
substantial cost variations within each category. The unguided unitary
bombs used in the air campaign cost, on average, $649 each, while LGBs
cost, on average, more than $31,000 each—a cost ratio of about 1:48. The
cost ratio of the average unguided unitary bomb to the other major type of
guided munition, the Maverick, was 1:164. Even the cost for more
expensive unguided cluster munitions was just one-fifth the average LGB
and one-eighteenth the cost of a Maverick.
15
In terms of munition expenditures, 17 times more unitary unguided bombs
were dropped than LGBs and 30 times more unguided unitary bombs than
Mavericks. Six times more cluster munitions were used than LGBs, 11 times
more clusters than Mavericks.
15
Some unguided munitions were more expensive than some guided: CBU-89s cost four times more
than GBU-12s, [DELETED].
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Table IV.4: Unit Cost and Expenditure
of Selected Guided and Unguided
Munitions in Desert Storm
a
Munition Unit cost
Number
expended Total cost
Average
unit cost
b
Unguided unitary
M K -82LD
M K -82HD
M K -83
M K -84G P
M K -84HD
M -117
Subtotal
$498
1, 100
1, 000
1, 871
2, 874
253
69, 701
7, 952
19, 018
9, 578
2, 611
43, 435
152,295
$34, 711, 098
8, 747, 200
19, 018, 000
17, 920, 438
7, 504, 014
10, 989, 055
$98,889,805 $649
Unguided cluster
CBU-52/58/71
CBU-87
CBU-89
CBU-72
CBU-78
M K -20
Subtotal
2, 159
13, 941
39, 963
3, 800
39, 963
3, 449
7, 831
10, 035
1, 105
254
209
27, 987
57,421
$38, 497, 129
139, 897, 935
44, 159, 115
965, 200
8, 352, 267
96, 527, 163
$328,398,809 $5,719
Laser guided
G BU-10
G BU-12
G BU-16
G BU-24
G BU-24/109
G BU-27
G BU-28
Subtotal
$22, 000
9, 000
150, 000
65, 000
5, 000
75, 539
100, 000
2, 637
4, 493
219
284
897
739
2
9,271
$58, 014, 000
40, 437, 000
32, 850, 000
18, 460, 000
76, 245, 000
55, 823, 321
200, 000
$282,029,321 $30,421
I R G BU-15 $227, 600 71 $16, 159, 600 $227, 600
IR and EO Maverick
AG M -65B
AG M -65C
AG M -65D
AG M -65E
AG M -65G
Subtotal
$64, 100
110, 000
111, 000
101, 000
269, 000
1, 673
5
3, 405
36
177
5,255
$107, 239, 300
550, 000
377, 955, 000
3, 636, 000
47, 613, 000
$536,993,300 $102,187
Walleye II
AG M -62B $70, 000 133 $9, 310, 000 $70, 000
Total 224,446 $1,271,680,835
a
I n fiscal 1990 dollars.
b
The weighted average unit cost for each general munition type takes into account the different
numbers of each munition type actually used.
Source: G WAPS, vol. V, pt. I ( Secret) , pp. 581-82.
Similar to our findings regarding the relationship between aircraft cost and
numbers deployed, the data in table IV.4 show that the more costly a
munition, the fewer were expended, for both guided and unguided
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
categories of munitions.
16
More than 150,000 unguided unitary bombs were
expended, costing just under $100 million, while in contrast, the 9,271 LGBs
used cost over $282 million. Only 5,255 Maverick missiles were used, but
these cost over $536 million, or 30 percent of all noncruise missile costs,
while representing about 2.3 percent of ordnance expended. Even if cruise
missile costs are included, Mavericks were 21.5 percent of total ordnance
costs, or nearly 10 times their share of total ordnance numbers.
Munition Costs to Attack
Targets
The data available permit us to calculate the munition costs to attack the
targets assessed in appendix III as fully successfully destroyed and not
fully successfully destroyed. These data are shown in table IV.5, grouped
into target categories, for targets that we were able to evaluate from DIA
phase III damage assessments. Data for the A-10 are not included, for the
reliability reasons noted previously.
16
The Pearson correlation coefficient between the number of munitions expended and cost was
negative and moderate in size, r =–0.42. The correlation between the number of unguided munitions
expended and unguided munition cost was r =–0.44, while the correlation between the number of
guided bombs expended and munition cost was slightly stronger r =–0.52, although still in the
moderate range.
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Table IV.5: Number and Cost of Munitions Expended by Target Category and Success Rating
Target Rating
Number of
BEs
a
Munitions
expended
Munitions
per BE NFS:FS
Total BE
targets
Total cost
per BE
b
NFS:FS
C
3
FS 62 974 15.7 2.41 105 $190 1.58
NFS 43 1, 626 37.8 300
ELE FS 10 1, 298 129.8 1.92 14 391 0.30
NFS 4 996 249.0 119
G VC FS 10 139 13.9 0.90 21 186 1.91
NFS 11 133 12.1 356
LO C FS 28 605 21.6 2.47 40 300 1.01
NFS 12 641 53.4 302
M I B FS 17 4, 814 283.2 1.11 50 1, 590 0.69
NFS 33 10, 378 314.5 1, 091
O CA FS 22 7, 682 349.0 0.73 34 4, 661 0.95
NFS 12 3, 059 254.9 4, 445
O I L FS 4 1, 017 254.3 0.44 16 447 1.07
NFS 12 1, 353 112.8 478
NAV FS 3 132 44.0 2.10 13 323 4.13
NFS 10 939 93.9 1, 334
NBC FS 15 1, 458 97.2 2.79 20 1, 600 2.72
NFS 5 1, 354 270.8 4, 346
SAM FS 10 189 18.9 0.63 14 51 4.84
NFS 4 48 12.0 248
SCU FS 5 972 194.4 0.90 20 929 1.52
NFS 15 2, 633 175.5 1, 416
a
BEs attacked exclusively by cruise missiles are not included.
b
Costs are in thousands of fiscal 1991 dollars. As official data on the cost of British munitions were
not available to us, we assumed that the cost of the U.K . 1000 LG B was equivalent to the
G BU-10, the most common U.S. LG B.
Few, if any, consistent patterns can be discerned from the data shown in
table IV.5. Among targets rated FS, the average number of munitions used
per BE ranged from about 12 to 350; among NFS targets, the average per BE
ranged from 12 to 315. The ratio of munitions used on targets rated NFS
versus FS within each category also showed great variation—from 0.44 for
OIL (on average, less than half as many munitions were used on OIL targets
rated NFS as on those rated FS) to 2.8 for NBC targets (NBC NFS targets
received nearly three times as many munitions per BE as those rated FS).
Moreover, in 5 of the 11 target categories, more munitions were expended
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
on FS targets than on NFS targets; however, in 6 categories, the NFS targets
received more munitions than FS ones. In other words, success across
categories did not clearly correlate with the amount of munitions
delivered.
Weapon costs and target success showed some degree of pattern, but it
was counterintuitive: in most categories, nonsuccess was more costly than
success in terms of the munitions employed. In three categories (ELE, MIB,
and OCA), the successfully attacked target costs were higher than those not
fully successful. In the other eight categories, target costs were higher for
the NFS targets.
To control for outliers, or unrepresentative data from small samples, we
looked at the two categories that received the most munitions, MIB (15,192
weapons on both FS and NFS) and OCA (10,741 total weapons). Even
between these two categories there were notable variations. The ratio of
weapons used on NFS versus FS targets was 1.11 for MIB and 0.73 for
OCA—that is, in one target category, FS targets received more munitions on
average than NFS targets, and in the other category, they received less. The
same was true of cost—in one category FS targets had higher munitions
costs, on average, than NFS targets and in the other target category, the
relationship was reversed. In addition, the cost of weapons used for each
FS target was about three times greater for OCA than for MIB ($4.7 million
for OCA targets versus $1.6 million for MIB targets). Also, because there
were less than twice as many munitions used against FS OCA targets as FS
MIB targets, it is apparent that more expensive munitions per unit were
used against OCA targets than MIB targets. However, the ratio of success
against MIB targets was more favorable than against OCA targets.
Any generalizations must be tempered by the fact that the data are
incomplete in at least three regards: (1) A-10 weapons expenditures are
absent, and these aircraft conducted approximately 8,000 combat sorties
during Desert Storm, although the great majority were in the KBX category
not listed in table IV.4; (2) the 357 BE-numbered targets for which FS and
NFS evaluations could be made are a subset of all targets with BEs and a
considerably smaller subset of all targets against which munitions were
delivered during the air campaign; and (3) data on TLAMs and CALCMs are
not included.
Given these limitations, the data shown must be treated as indicators of
Desert Storm performance, not definitive measures. Two conclusions
seem apparent: (1) there was great variability in the number and cost of
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
munitions used to attack targets, whether successfully or unsuccessfully,
and (2) neither greater numbers of munitions used nor greater munition
costs consistently coincided with success across target categories. In 6 of
11 categories, greater numbers of munitions used coincided with NFS, and
in 8 out of 11 comparisons, greater cost of munitions more closely
coincided with NFS assessments.
The use of guided and unguided munitions against the rated targets can
also be compared. Costs of the weapons delivered, per BE, in each target
category are illustrated in table IV.6. (Note, data on TLAMs and A-10s are
not included; therefore, both the weight of effort and costs are somewhat
understated.)
Two points can be made from the data shown in table IV.6. First, in 8 of
the 11 target categories, the cost per BE of precision-guided munitions used
on FS targets exceeded the cost of unguided munitions. The same is true of
the NFS targets in 7 of 11 categories. However, in all cases but one (GVC,
NFS), more unguided munitions were used than guided munitions against
any target, whether it was successfully destroyed or not. Thus, even
though more unguided munitions were almost always used than guided,
the cost to use guided munitions was usually greater.
Perhaps more importantly, the data in table IV.6 permit an analysis of
whether an increase in the number of either guided or unguided munitions
coincided with successfully destroyed targets. In only 4 of 11 categories,
more PGMs were used on average against the FS than NFS targets; in 7 of 11,
more PGMs were used against NFS targets. In 5 of 11 categories, more
unguided munitions were used against the successfully destroyed targets.
In other words, the data do not show that a key difference between
successfully and not fully successfully destroyed targets was that the
former were simply bombed more than the latter. This was the case for
both types of munitions, PGMs and unguided.
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Table IV.6: Munition Costs Associated
With Successfully and Not Fully
Successfully Destroyed Targets
Successfully destroyed
Target
Number
of BEs
a
PGMs
per BE
PGM cost
per BE
b
Unguided
munitions
per BE
Unguided
cost per BE
b
C
3
62 3.5 $160.4 12.2 $29.6
ELE 10 2.0 307.3 127.8 83.4
G VC 10 5.9 167.3 8.0 19.0
LO C 28 6.2 261.7 15.0 38.3
M I B 17 16.3 982.7 266.9 607.5
NAV 3 4.3 287.0 39.6 35.9
NBC 15 19.3 1, 194.5 77.9 405.4
O CA 22 51.9 3, 498.4 297.0 1, 162.6
O I L 4 0 0 254.2 446.6
SAM 10 0.8 22.4 18.1 28.9
SCU 5 11.6 243.9 182.8 685.3
Total 186 12.1 $730.7 91.5 $277.0
Not fully successfully destroyed
Target
Number
of BEs
a
PGMs
per BE
PGM cost
per BE
b
Unguided
munitions
per BE
Unguided
cost per BE
b
C
3
43 3.8 $254.4 34.0 $45.8
ELE 4 0.5 11.0 248.5 107.9
G VC 11 7.7 345.2 4.4 10.4
LO C 12 10.7 281.4 42.7 20.3
M I B 33 7.5 775.1 306.9 316.3
NAV 10 9.1 1, 210.6 84.8 123.7
NBC 5 51.0 4, 051.7 219.8 294.6
O CA 12 39.7 3, 355.6 215.3 1, 089.6
O I L 12 0.3 25.1 112.5 452.9
SAM 4 4.8 104.5 7.3 143.9
SCU 15 6.0 372.0 169.5 1, 043.7
Total 161 9.7 $761.9 134.1 $314.6
a
BEs attacked exclusively by cruise missiles are not included.
b
Costs are in thousands of fiscal 1991 dollars. As official data on the cost of British munitions were
not available to us, we assumed that the cost of the U.K . 1000 LG B was equivalent to the
G BU-10, the most common U.S. LG B.
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Pilot’s Views on Guided
Versus Unguided
Munitions
With regard to the effectiveness of individual munitions, the Desert Storm
data do not permit a comprehensive comparison, since the effects of one
type of weapon were almost never identified before other weapons hit the
target. However, pilots did report both pluses and minuses with both
guided and unguided munitions.
With guided munitions, pilots reported three negative consequences as
delivery altitude increased. First, because the slant range to targets was
increased by higher altitude, [DELETED].
Second, the higher altitude deliveries made LGBs more subject to winds,
and pilots had to correct the [DELETED].
A third problem reported by F-117 and F-15E pilots was the need to revise
some of the computer software for LGBs to accommodate the higher
altitude tactics. [DELETED]
While each of these problems affected accuracy, they were correctable or
caused problems only on the margin. The accuracy problems encountered
by unguided munitions were more difficult, if not impossible, to overcome.
Pilots of virtually every type of aircraft remarked that they had little
confidence in hitting point targets with consistent accuracy from high
altitudes with unguided bombs.
Several reasons were cited. First, pilots stated that much of their training
before Desert Shield had been for low-altitude tactics. As a result, some
pilots had to learn high-altitude bombing techniques either just before or
during the war. Second, the Persian Gulf region experienced winds that
were both strong (as much as 150 mph in jet streams) and unpredictable.
The high-altitude tactics exacerbated the effects of these winds wherever
they occurred, [DELETED].
As a result, pilots reported considerable difficulty attacking small, point
targets, such as tanks, from high altitude with unguided bombs. Some
expressed a high level of frustration in being assigned to do so and said
that it was simply inappropriate, even “ridiculous,” to expect that
unguided bombs were capable of hitting a target like a tank from high
altitude with any consistency. It was also clear that such inaccuracy made
unguided munitions inappropriate for use in inhabited areas, where
civilian assets could easily be hit in error.
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Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
The large number of circumstances using unguided munitions was
described by pilots as both appropriate and effective. These included
military units in the field or other large, area targets, such as buildings or
complexes of buildings, when not near civilian areas.
Attacks on Bridges Beyond the experiences and observations of pilots, the data permit some
analyses that shed some additional insights about the relative
effectiveness and cost of different munition types.
CNA was able to analyze U.S. Navy attacks against certain bridges that
employed LGBs, unguided bombs, and Walleye electro-optical guided
bombs.
17
The CNA data and analysis are only one of a few instances where
it is possible to link target damage with the use of specific types and
numbers of munitions. The analysis separated out the effects of attacks
with the different munitions, and it found 29 strikes on bridges where the
BDA was unambiguous—that is, when no other attack was scheduled
between the time of the attack and the collection of the BDA.
The study found that in eight strikes against bridges using Walleye,
[DELETED]. The same rate of success was found when unguided
munitions were used—[DELETED].
18
CNA data also reveal that, on average,
more unguided munitions were delivered per bridge strike than guided
munitions. On Walleye missions, an average of 1.3 bombs were used per
strike. When LGBs were employed, an average of 3.2 were delivered per
strike. And when unguided bombs were selected, an average of 15 were
used per bridge.
Table IV.7 presents the cost of each type of munition employed and
calculates the average cost of munitions per dropped span.
17
CNA, Desert Storm Reconstruction Report; Volume II: Strike Warfare (Secret), Alexandria, Va.: 1992.
18
Using these data, CNA concluded (on p. 6-41) that “Irrespective of weapon employed, for those
bridge strikes with directly associated BDA, 17 percent of the strikes dropped a [bridge] span. When
considering individual weapon types, the percentages of strikes resulting in dropped spans are similar,
although the percentage for LGB/GBU strikes is somewhat higher. When the indeterminate BDA cases
are considered, the individual results become indistinguishable.”
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Table IV.7: Number and Cost of
Munitions Used in Naval Air Attacks on
13 Bridges in Desert Storm
Munition type Number Cost
a
Spans
dropped
Average
munitions per
span dropped
Total cost
per span
dropped
Walleye 8 $560, 000 [ DELETED] [ DELETED] [ DELETED]
LG B 34 1, 260, 000 3 11.3 420, 000
Unguided 85 120, 052 1 85.0 120, 052
a
The range in costs of guided munitions used against these bridges was from $22, 000 for the
G BU-10 to $150, 000 for the M K -83 LG B. The range in costs for unguided munitions was from
$498 for the M K -82 to $1, 871 for the M K -84.
Based on table IV.7, we find that (1) far fewer—as few as one-tenth—the
number of guided munitions than unguided were required, on average, to
destroy a bridge; (2) there is an inverse relationship regarding cost—that
is, the cost to drop a span with guided munitions was three-to-four times
more than the cost of unguided munitions; and (3) as with our previous
analysis, the Desert Storm evidence did not substantiate the “one-target,
one-bomb” claim—rather, on average, 11 laser-guided bombs were used
for each span dropped. (See app. III.)
These conclusions must be treated cautiously. The sample is from only
13 bridges and consists only of Navy aircraft and munitions. Within these
limitations, the data support our previous findings concerning the
relationship between the cost and effectiveness of guided and unguided
munitions and the numbers actually used to achieve target objectives.
Other Bridge Attack
Analysis
Using the Missions database and the phase III BDA messages, we
performed a second analysis of attacks against bridges. The phase III
messages included 24 bridges attacked by both Air Force and Navy
aircraft. Nineteen of these were successfully destroyed; five were not. The
BDA did not, in these cases, allow any distinctions of what munition type
effected the damage. Using the munition cost data in table IV.4, we
calculated the munition cost to successfully destroy a bridge with both Air
Force and Navy aircraft and guided and unguided munitions. The results
are shown in table IV.8.
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Table IV.8: Munitions Costs to Attack 24 Bridges in Desert Storm
Average
Assessment of bridges
attacked
Guided
munitions
Cost of guided
munitions
a
Unguided
munitions
Cost of unguided
munitions
b
Cost of bridges
attacked
c
FS 10.8 $237, 600 18.2 $34, 052 $271, 652
NFS 7.2 158, 400 14.2 26, 568 184, 968
a
This assumes that the guided munition used was the G BU-10, with a unit cost of $22, 000.
b
This assumes that the unguided munition used was the M K -84 G P, which pilots stated to be the
unguided munition of choice against bridges. The unit cost of this munition was $1, 871.
c
The average costs to attack bridges presented in tables I V.7 and I V.8 are not directly
comparable for two reasons. First, the chronological BDA and strike data compiled by CNA
allowed the calculation of costs up to and including the first successful strike against a bridge.
Unambiguous chronological BDA and strike data were not available through the missions and
phase I I I databases; thus, costs include strikes before, during, and after the initial successful
attack. Second, the criteria for success are different. I n the CNA study, the criterion was “span
dropped.” I n our interpretation of DI A’s phase I I I messages, the criterion was that the mission
objective was met, which often equated with the absence of a restrike recommendation. I n
addition, ambiguous BDA was included in the NFS category.
While these data do not distinguish the effects of different types of
munitions, they do support many of the points made earlier. First, as with
the CNA data, it is clear that while fewer guided munitions were used, their
cost was substantially higher. Second, in both analyses, about 11 LGBs
were used per destroyed bridge. Thus, the data from the CNA
analysis—with unambiguous BDA—suggest that our analysis of the number
of LGBs dropped per successful target—in this case a bridge—is not
inappropriate. It also reinforces the point that it is misleading to
characterize LGBs as “one-target, one-bomb” weapons. Third, and finally,
there are so few cases where BDA permits a reliable analysis of the exact
number of a specific type of munition used per successful mission; thus,
the data available from Desert Storm do not permit supportable general
conclusions about the comparative effectiveness of guided versus
unguided munitions.
Survivability One characteristic pilots cited as a strong advantage of guided munitions
over unguided was the ability to release a munition at a substantial
standoff distance from a target, thereby limiting exposure to any defenses
at the target.
19
There were, however, limitations to the advantages of
19
Different guided munitions could be delivered at standoff distances greater or lesser than others:
specifically, the IR version of the GBU-15 had a standoff capability of up to [DELETED]. Maverick
missiles stood off at slant ranges of [DELETED]. Unpowered LGBs were described by some pilots as
having a limited standoff capability.
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
standoff capability. [DELETED] A-10 pilots noted that Iraqi defenses were
not always directly collocated with the target, with the result that
launching a weapon from maximum delivery range could still expose
aircraft to defenses not at the target. Standoff capability distanced aircraft
from defenses collocated with the target, but that was not necessarily all
the defenses.
Another factor cited by pilots about guided munitions was the relatively
high workload required to employ them. [DELETED]
20
[DELETED]
Pilots delivering unguided munitions experienced different problems:
vulnerability to AAA was high when releasing at the low altitude that
maximized the accuracy of unguided munitions. Thus, CENTAF’s order to
cease low-level deliveries after the third day of the campaign meant a
trade-off of reduced accuracy with unguided bombs for improved
survivability.
In sum, delivery tactics for guided and unguided munitions both
compromised aircraft survivability but in different ways. The advantage of
guided munitions to standoff from a target’s defenses varies by PGM type,
and some pilots reported that standoff from target defenses did not always
ensure standoff from all relevant defenses. Moreover, guided munitions
can make aircraft more vulnerable [DELETED], while maximum accuracy
for unguided bombs requires more dangerous low-altitude delivery.
Operating Characteristics As discussed in appendix II, night, clouds, haze, humidity, smoke, dust,
and wind had significant, but different, effects on guided and unguided
munitions. Delivery of guided munitions was either limited or prevented
altogether by weather or other conditions that impaired visibility. In
contrast, when weather and other environmental conditions affected
infrared or optical search sensors for unguided munitions, they could still
be delivered with radar. Doing so meant that the ability to identify valid
targets among relatively indiscriminate radar returns was usually poor and
accuracy from high altitude was also poor, but the employment of
unguided munitions was still possible.
20
The “heads down” and subsequent situational unawareness problem was much less of a problem in
two-seat aircraft (the F-15E, A-6E, and the D model of the F/A-18). In these, the pilot could concentrate
on external threats while the weapon systems officer performed the “heads down” tasks necessary to
deliver the guided munition. However, this advantage of two-seat air-to-ground aircraft did not
appreciably reduce the “wings level” time of the aircraft.
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
Another operating characteristic was the support that the different
munition types normally required. Pilots reported varying levels of
intelligence and mission planning they needed for guided and unguided
munitions. For example, [DELETED]. (In F-111F LGB missions, such as
“tank plinking,” detailed information and planning were not necessary.)
Although they strongly preferred receiving detailed target and mission
planning data, pilots using unguided munitions reported that they often
had less support. For example, B-52 pilots stated that they sometimes
received new targets just before takeoff, or even when they were en route
to a previously planned target, but the new targeting information was
sometimes little more than geographic coordinates.
In addition, “precision” for guided munitions requires not only precise
accuracy from the munition but also precise intelligence support. Pinpoint
accuracy is impossible if the right aimpoint is unknown.
In sum, to achieve accuracy, guided munitions were normally more limited
by weather and by their support and intelligence needs than unguided
munitions. In contrast, unguided munitions were usable in poor weather,
but they were also less accurate.
Summary
In this appendix, we found that each type of aircraft and munition under
review demonstrated both significant strengths and weaknesses. There
was no consistent pattern indicating that either high-cost or low-cost
aircraft or munitions performed better or were more effective in Desert
Storm.
21
The limited data do not show that multirole aircraft were either more or
less effective in the air-to-ground capacity than more specialized,
single-role aircraft. However, air-to-air missions were predominantly
performed by single-role air-to-air aircraft, and while multirole aircraft did
perform some air-defense escort and some support missions, their use did
not eliminate the need for single-role, air-to-air, and other support aircraft.
The evidence from Desert Storm would seem to suggest the usefulness of
single-role aircraft in their respective missions and the usefulness of
multirole aircraft most predominantly in the air-to-ground mission.
21
Despite the absence of an overall, consistent pattern, there were clearly cases where both types were
ineffective: weather either seriously degraded or rendered unusable guided munitions; high-altitude
deliveries made unguided munitions highly inaccurate, according to pilots who termed the use of
unguided munitions against point targets, “ridiculous.” Conversely, there were conditions where the
data indicated that both munitions were effective.
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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm
The high-cost F-117 stealth bomber has significant operating limitations
that affect when, where, and how it can be used; its target hit rate appears
to have been matched by the F-111F against similar targets. Although the
F-117 was often, but certainly not always, tasked against different targets,
on certain performance dimensions—such as sortie rate, operations in
weather, and tonnage delivered—it did not match the performance of
several moderate-and even low-cost aircraft.
Guided munitions are many times more costly than unguided munitions,
and their employment was constrained by poor weather, clouds, heavy
smoke, dust, fog, haze, and even humidity. However, guided munitions
were less affected by winds and, unlike unguided munitions, they were
more consistently accurate from medium-to-high altitude. Although quite
inexpensive and less restricted by low visibility, unguided munitions
cannot reliably be employed against point targets from the medium and
high altitudes predominantly used in Desert Storm.
Both guided and unguided munitions have important implications for
aircraft survivability. To be accurate, unguided munitions need
low-altitude delivery, which in Desert Storm was found to be associated
with too many casualties. While guided munitions can be accurate from
high altitude, their standoff capability does not necessarily protect them
from defenses not at the target. [DELETED]
While guided munitions are clearly more accurate from medium and high
altitudes, their high unit cost means that they may not be the least
expensive way to attack certain targets, sometimes by a considerable
margin, compared to unguided bombs. There was no apparent pattern
indicating that guided munitions were, overall, more effective than
unguided munitions in successfully destroying targets or that the
difference between targets that were successfully destroyed and that were
not fully successfully destroyed was simply that the latter were not
attacked as often as the former by either guided or unguided munitions.
The TLAM cruise missile demonstrated a high-cost sortie rate, low
survivability, and severe employment limitations. Its accuracy was
substantially less than claimed; however, unlike any aircraft, its use does
not risk an aircraft or, more importantly, its pilot.
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Appendix V
Operation Desert Storm Objectives
In an address to the Congress on August 5, 1990, 3 days after Iraq’s
invasion of Kuwait, President George Bush stated that the U.S. national
policy objectives in the Persian Gulf were to
• effect the immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of all Iraqi
forces from Kuwait;
• restore Kuwait’s legitimate government;
• ensure the security and stability of Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf
nations; and
• ensure the safety of American citizens abroad.
1
Initially, U.S. forces were deployed as a frontline deterrent to an Iraqi
attack on Saudi Arabia. However, almost immediately, planning began for
an offensive air campaign aimed at forcing an Iraqi withdrawal from
Kuwait and accomplishing the other national policy objectives. Between
early August 1990 and J anuary 16, 1991, the phase of the campaign named
Operation Desert Shield, U.S. and coalition planners drew up a series of
increasingly refined and progressively more ambitious offensive campaign
plans.
2
The plans changed as the number and size of U.S. and coalition
forces committed to the campaign increased, but we did not review each
variation in these plans. Rather, we present the plan as it stood on the eve
of the war, to understand better what the goals of the campaign were as it
was about to start. In addition, we examine how the offensive campaign’s
goals were to be operationalized in terms of phases and targets.
Desert Storm
Campaign Objectives
On the eve of the offensive campaign, the commander in chief of the
Central Command issued his operational order (OPORD) to U.S. and
coalition forces to carry out Operation Desert Storm. The OPORD was
almost identical to the operations plan that had been distributed to U.S.
forces earlier in the month.
According to the OPORD (p. 5), the
1
Cited in DOD’s title V report, p. 30, and GWAPS, vol. I, pt. I: Planning (Secret), p. 87.
2
During the course of Desert Shield, more than 25 countries joined the coalition to oppose Iraq’s
invasion of Kuwait and enforce U.N. sanctions against Iraq. Nine coalition members (in addition to the
United States) participated in the Desert Storm air campaign; the remaining countries contributed
either to the ground and maritime campaigns or in a supporting capacity (for example, medical teams,
supply ships, and financial aid). Approximately 16.5 percent of the combat sorties during the air
campaign were flown by non-U.S. forces. About 5 percent were flown by the United Kingdom; the
others were flown by the aircraft of other coalition members.
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Appendix V
Operation Desert Storm Objectives
“offensive campaign is a four-phased air, naval and ground offensive operation to destroy
Iraqi capability to produce and employ weapons of mass destruction, destroy Iraqi
offensive military capability, cause the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, and restore
the legitimate government of Kuwait.”
To achieve these general objectives, the OPORD further stated that offensive
operations would focus on the following theater objectives:
• “attack Iraqi political/military leadership and command and control (C
2
);
• “gain and maintain air superiority;
• “sever Iraqi supply lines;
• “destroy chemical, biological, and nuclear capability; and
• “destroy Republican Guard forces.”
3
According to OPORD, the offensive campaign would be executed in four
phases, of which the first three essentially involved the air campaign and
the last, the ground offensive. Although each phase had its own specific
objectives, the OPORD stated (on p. 6) that execution would not necessarily
be sequential and that “phases may overlap as objectives are achieved or
priorities change.” In effect, the plan recognized the need for flexibility in
the face of changing circumstances.
According to the OPORD, phase I—the strategic air campaign— would start
the offensive and was estimated to require 6 to 9 days to meet its
objectives. The OPORD stated (on p. 9) that the
“strategic air campaign will be initiated to attack Iraq’s strategic air defenses;
aircraft/airfields; strategic chemical, biological and nuclear capability; leadership targets;
command and control systems; Republican Guard forces; telecommunications facilities;
and key elements of the national infrastructure, such as critical LOCs, electric grids,
petroleum storage, and military production facilities.”
The amount of damage to be inflicted on each of these target categories
was not stated, but the OPORD noted (on p. 9) that “repaired or
reconstituted targets will be re-attacked throughout the offensive
campaign as necessary.”
Phase II—the attainment of air superiority in the Kuwait theater of
operations—was estimated to begin sometime between day 7 and day 10
and to require 2 to 4 days, ending no later than D+13 (days after D-Day).
The OPORD stated (on p. 9) that
3
The operations plan states that the Iraqi leadership was to be “neutralized”; this wording does not
appear in the OPORD.
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Appendix V
Operation Desert Storm Objectives
“air superiority in the Kuwait theater of operations will be established by attacking
aircraft/airfields, air defense weapons and command and control systems in order to roll
back enemy air defenses. . . . The ultimate goal of this phase is to achieve air supremacy
through the KTO.”
Phase III—battlefield preparation—was estimated to start sometime
between D+9 and D+14 and to require 6 to 8 days. The OPORD noted (on
p. 10) that phase III would involve
“attacking Iraqi ground combat forces (particularly RGFC units) and supporting
missile/rocket/artillery units; interdicting supply lines; and destroying command, control
and communications systems in southern Iraq and Kuwait with B-52s, tactical air, and naval
surface fires . . . . The desired effect is to sever Iraqi supply lines, destroy Iraqi chemical,
biological, and nuclear capability, and reduce Iraqi combat effectiveness in the KTO by at
least 50 percent, particularly the RGFC. . . . [Moreover,] the purpose . . . is to open the
window of opportunity for initiating ground offensive operations by confusing and
terrorizing Iraqi forces in the KTO and shifting combat force ratios in favor of friendly
forces.”
4
Phase IV—the ground offensive—had no estimated concrete start day in
the OPORD, since it was dependent on achieving at least some of the goals
of the first three phases, most especially that of degrading overall Iraqi
ground force effectiveness by 50 percent. Nor did the OPORD cite the
anticipated duration of phase IV. However, in a December 20, 1990,
briefing, the CENTAF Director of Air Campaign Plans estimated that the
ground offensive would require 18 days, with the total campaign taking
32 days.
Centers of Gravity The OPORD further stated that Iraq had three centers of gravity (COG) to be
targeted for destruction throughout the offensive campaign. These were
Iraq’s (1) national command authority, (2) NBC capability, and (3) the
Republican Guard forces. The operations plan of December 16, 1990, cited
the identical COGs, but also included a matrix “showing the phase in which
each theater objective becomes the focal point of operations.” (See
pp. 9-10.) This matrix is reproduced in table V.1.
4
After the war, a considerable controversy arose over whether the 50-percent criterion referred to
overall Iraqi ground force capabilities in the KTO or to the actual number of vehicles to be destroyed.
Based on the actual order presented here, it appears to have been the broader criterion, relating to the
effectiveness of the units.
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Appendix V
Operation Desert Storm Objectives
Table V.1: Desert Storm Theater
Objectives and Phases
Theater objective
Phase I:
strategic air
campaign
Phase II:
Kuwait theater
of operations
air supremacy
Phase III:
battlefield
preparation
Phase IV:
ground
offensive
Disrupt leadership and
command and control X
Achieve air supremacy X X
Cut supply lines X X X X
Destroy NBC capability X X
Destroy Republican
G uard X X X
Liberate K uwait City X
Source: CENTCO M operations plan, December 16, 1990, p. 10.
Potential Effectiveness of
Air Power
Air power was intended to be used in all four phases but clearly would
dominate the first three phases, which preceded the ground offensive.
According to one of the key planners of the air campaign, it was hoped
that the ground offensive would be rendered unnecessary by the
effectiveness of the coalition air force attacks against Iraqi targets.
5
A
senior Desert Storm planner we interviewed told us that the strategic air
campaign (phase I) would concentrate on leadership-related targets deep
inside Iraq, with the goal of forcing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to “cry
uncle.” If destruction of key leadership facilities—ranging from the
presidential palace to critical communications nodes to military
headquarters—did not result in an Iraqi collapse, then the elite Republican
Guard units in the KTO would be hit next.
6
It was hoped that Saddam
Hussein would flinch if severe destruction were inflicted on the
Republican Guard, a key prop of Iraqi power. Finally, according to one key
Black Hole planner (see glossary), if those attacks did not result in an Iraqi
retreat, then the air campaign would continue with massive attrition of the
Iraqi frontline forces, followed by a ground offensive.
As noted above, the OPORD did not specify the precise level of damage to be
inflicted during phase I on a broad variety of strategic targets. This
probably reflected the planners’ focus on “an effects-based plan.” That is,
rather than concentrating on achieving a specific level of damage to
individual targets or target sets, the goal was to achieve a greater impact,
5
See DOD title V report, p. 135.
6
The KTO area included RG units deployed as part of the attack on Kuwait in the area of Iraq
immediately north of Kuwait.
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Appendix V
Operation Desert Storm Objectives
such as shutting down the national electric power grid or paralyzing the
ability of the Iraqi leadership to transmit orders or receive information
from field units. Therefore, it was more important to destroy critical
nodes, such as the generating halls of electric power plants or the
telephone switching centers in Baghdad, than to flatten dozens of less
important targets. Further, as a number of observers have noted, in certain
categories, the goal was not to destroy them for years to come but, rather,
to severely disrupt Iraqi capabilities temporarily. (This was particularly
true with regard to oil production and electrical generation but not true for
NBC targets.)
In sum, and not for the first time in armed conflict in this century, it was
hoped that the shock and effectiveness of air power would precipitate a
collapse of the opponent before a ground campaign. Failing that, it was
expected that sufficient damage could be inflicted on enemy ground forces
to greatly reduce casualties to the coalition ground forces.
These goals help explain, in part, the early concentration on key strategic
targets in the opening hours and days of the air campaign. To
operationalize these goals, the U.S. air planners divided fixed targets in
Iraq and the KTO into the 12 categories cited in appendix I. (See table I.1.)
The air planners assigned targets within each of these categories to
different aircraft, deciding which specific targets to hit and when. It is
essential to realize that each of these categories is quite broad; many of the
targets that fell under a single category varied considerably, along
numerous dimensions. Perhaps most important, the number of aimpoints
at a given target type, such as an airfield, could range from a few to
dozens, depending on the number of buildings, aircraft, radar, and other
potential targets at the location. Similarly, nuclear-related and military
industrial facilities contained varying numbers of buildings, each
considered an aimpoint.
In addition, each target category contained targets that had varying
degrees of hardness, creating different levels of vulnerability. For example,
“leadership” targets ranged from “soft” targets such as the presidential
palace and government ministry buildings to bunkers buried tens of feet
beneath the earth and virtually invulnerable to conventional weapons.
Bridges, a part of the “railroad and bridges” category, varied in terms of
the number of arches, the type of material used to construct them, width,
and other factors that could significantly affect the number and type of
weapons required to destroy them. In effect, any interpretation of the
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Appendix V
Operation Desert Storm Objectives
number and kind of weapons and platforms required to inflict desired
damage on a broad target category must start with the understanding that
a tremendous range of targeting-related variables existed within a given
category. (For a more complete list of the kinds of targets contained
within each broad category, see app. I.)
In an analysis of the intended effects of the air campaign, GWAPS grouped
the 12 target sets into 7 categories and, in greater detail than the OPORD,
stated the air campaign’s goals based on an analysis of Desert Storm
documents and interviews with many participants. Table V.2 summarizes
this analysis.
Table V.2: Operational Strategic
Summary of the Air Campaign Target sets Desired or planned effects
I ntegrated air defense and
airfields
Early air superiority
Suppress medium- and high-air defenses throughout
I raq
Contain and destroy I raqi air force
Naval targets Attain sea control— permit allied naval operations in
northern Persian G ulf
Leadership,
telecommunications, and C
3
Pressure and disrupt governmental functioning
I solate Saddam Hussein from I raqi people and forces in
the K TO
Electricity and oil Shut down national grid— minimize long-term damage
Cut flow of fuels and lubricants to I raqi forces— no lasting
damage to oil production
NBC and Scuds Destroy biological and chemical weapons
Prevent use against coalition
Destroy production capability
Destroy nuclear program— long term
Prevent and suppress use of Scuds— destroy production
and infrastructure
Railroads and bridges Cut supply lines to the K TO — prevent retreat of I raqi forces
RG and other ground forces
in the K TO
Destroy the Republican G uard
Reduce combat effectiveness of remaining units by 50
percent by G -day ( start of the ground war)
Source: Analysis of G WAPS, vol. I I , pt. I I ( Secret) , p. 353, table 25.
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Appendix V
Operation Desert Storm Objectives
Discussion
Table V.2 shows that some target sets were intended to be destroyed
completely by air power, while others were to be damaged to a degree that
would prevent their use during the conflict and for a short-term period
afterward. Two of the three key COGs cited above—NBC and the RG—were
slated for complete destruction, as were the Scuds that could deliver
nuclear, biological, or chemical warheads. Although there was no explicit
goal to topple the Hussein regime, some observers believe that effectively
crippling the RG units might have encouraged regular army officers to
attempt a coup d’état. In effect, the goals of the air campaign were almost
surely more ambitious than simply to “disrupt” the Iraqi leadership.
In addition, the goal of cutting supply lines to the KTO could only be
accomplished by effectively cutting all bridges and railroads while also
preventing supply trucks from using existing roads or alternative routes,
such as driving on the flat desert.
To achieve the results hoped for, the Desert Storm air planners put
together a list of strategic targets to be attacked during the first 2 to 3 days
of phase I, the strategic air campaign. This list grew during the months of
planning, from 84 targets in late August 1990 to 476 by the eve of the war.
The increase in the number of targets reflected several factors, not the
least of which was that as coalition aircraft numbers deployed to the
region rose dramatically, so too did the capability to hit many more targets
during a very short period of time. In addition, the months of preparation
had permitted the development of intelligence about critical targets and
their locations and refinements in the plan to maximize the potential
shock to Iraq.
The increase in the targets, by set, is shown in table V.3. (Note that the
bottom two categories—“breach” and SAMs—are actually components of
other categories. “Breaching” would normally be a tactical battlefield
preparation mission; SAMs are part of strategic air defense.)
Because this growth in both target sets and number of targets has been
thoroughly analyzed in previous studies, we review here only several
major points. According to a number of analyses, the increase in the RG
category (from 12 to 37 targets) reflected the CENTCOM CINC’s concern that
these units be destroyed as essential to maintaining regional stability after
the end of the war. In his view, these units not only propped up the Iraqi
regime but also gave it an offensive ground capability that had to be
eliminated.
7
7
GWAPS, vol. I, pt. I (Secret), p. 173.
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Appendix V
Operation Desert Storm Objectives
Table V.3: Target Growth, by Category,
From the Initial Instant Thunder Plan to
January 15, 1991
a
Target category
Instant
Thunder 9/13/90 10/11/90 12/1/90 12/18/90 1/15/91
SAD 10 21 40 28 27 58
NBC 8 20 20 25 20 23
SCU
b b c c
16 43
G VC 5 15 15 32 31 33
C
3
19 26 27 26 30 59
ELE 10 14 18 16 16 17
O I L 6 8 10 7 12 12
LO C 3 12 12 28 28 33
O CA 7 13 27 28 28 31
NAV 1 4 6 4 4 19
M I B 15 41 43 44 38 62
RG
b d d d
12 37
Breach 0 0
b b
0 6
SAM 0 0
b b
0 43
Total 84 174 218 238 262 476
a
I nstant Thunder was the initial air campaign plan prepared by Air Force planners only days after
the I raqi invasion of K uwait.
b
Not available.
c
Scuds included in NBC category.
d
Republican G uard included in M I B category.
Source: G WAPS, vol. I , pt. I ( Secret) , p. 195.
Similarly, the air planners feared that a “premature” Iraqi surrender, after
only a short strategic air campaign, would preclude the destruction of
much of Iraq’s offensive military capabilities, particularly NBC. Therefore,
“as the plan execution date grew closer and additional aircraft arrived in country . . .
planners sought to spread sorties across as many of the target categories as possible, rather
than concentrate on the neutralization of all or more targets in one category before the
next became the focus of attacks.”
8
While seeking to eliminate as much Iraqi offensive capability as possible,
as quickly as possible, air planners also had to allocate a large portion of
the early strikes to the phase II goal of achieving air superiority, according
to most analyses of the conflict. This reflected the CENTAF commander’s
8
GWAPS, vol. 1, pt. I (Secret), p. 174.
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Appendix V
Operation Desert Storm Objectives
priority of minimizing aircraft losses. It was believed that this could be
achieved only by rendering ineffective the Iraqi integrated air defense
system, a highly centralized, computerized defense incorporating
hundreds of radar-guided SAMs and about 500 fighter aircraft. A second
goal was to prevent the Iraqis from attacking coalition units with aircraft
delivered chemical or biological weapons, much less with conventional
ones. The fear of nonconventional weapon attacks also generated
requirements to destroy as many Scud missiles and launchers as possible.
This target category was broken out from the chemical set by
December 18, 1990, and then increased from 16 to 43 targets by the eve of
the war.
9
Finally, air superiority was essential to prevent the Iraqis from detecting or
disrupting the movement of a huge coalition ground force in Saudi Arabia
to execute a surprise attack on Iraqi forces from the west rather than
through their front lines.
Two to Three Days
Planned
As noted above, only the first 2 to 3 days of the strategic air campaign
were planned in great detail, with the remainder to be based on the
damage done to the high-priority targets that would be hit in the first 48 to
72 hours. A master attack plan was prepared for the first 72 hours, but
actual air tasking orders were prepared for only the first 48 hours, because
the CENTAF commander believed that plans would have to be changed
given the results of the first 2 days. Using BDA intelligence, planners
anticipated that some targets would have to be restruck, while new ones
could be hit once BDA showed that those of the highest value were
destroyed or sufficiently damaged. Sixty percent of the 476 targets
designated by J anuary 16, 1991, were to be hit during the first 72 hours,
including “34 percent [of the targets attacked] . . . in the strategic air
defense and airfield categories.”
10
Thus, by the eve of the war, an extremely detailed yet flexible air
campaign plan was ready to be formulated, using forces that had been
deployed to carry out the campaign.
9
It was also believed that Iraq would launch Scud attacks on Israel in an attempt to bring that country
into the war, thereby breaking apart the allied coalition, with its many Arab state participants. As
events unfolded, this fear was justified, and a massive effort was devoted to suppressing Scud
launches.
10
GWAPS, vol. I, pt. I (Secret), p. 197.
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Appendix V
Operation Desert Storm Objectives
Aircraft Deployed to the
Conflict
There was very substantial variation in the proportion of U.S. air-to-ground
aircraft deployed to the gulf, compared to the total number available of
each kind of aircraft. Table V.4 shows the maximum number of each kind
of U.S. air-to-ground platform sent to the gulf, the total worldwide U.S.
inventory for each aircraft, and the percentage that the Desert Storm
deployment represented of total inventory for that particular aircraft.
Table V.4: Number and Percent of
Inventory of U.S. Air-to-Ground
Aircraft Deployed to Desert Storm
Aircraft
Number
deployed
Total U.S.
inventory (1990)
Number deployed
as percent of
U.S. inventory
F-111F 66 83 80
F-117 42 56 75
B-52 68 118 58
F/A-18D 12 29 41
F-15E 48 125 38
A-6E 115 350 33
F/A-18A/C 162 526 31
A-10 148 565 26
F-16 251 1, 759 14
Source: DO D’s title V report, vol. I I I , appendix T.
It seems reasonable that a number of factors would have played roles in
determining the numbers deployed for any given type of aircraft, including
(1) the total inventory, which varied tremendously (from as few as 29 to
1,759); (2) the perceived need or role for the aircraft; and (3) the estimated
likely effectiveness of the aircraft. It is not clear from planning or other
documents which of these factors (or other ones) determined the different
percentages of the worldwide inventory for each type of aircraft that was
eventually allocated to the gulf. However, in general, the smaller the U.S.
inventory of a particular type of aircraft, the larger the proportion of that
inventory that was dedicated to Desert Storm.
Summary
In this appendix, we identified the KTO objectives: (1) attack Iraqi
leadership and command and control, (2) achieve air superiority, (3) sever
Iraqi supply lines, (4) destroy Iraq’s NBC capability, and (5) prepare the
battlefield by attacking RG and other ground forces.
The U.S. objectives were to be achieved by conducting a four-phase
campaign, the first three phases of which constituted exclusively an air
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 203
Appendix V
Operation Desert Storm Objectives
campaign. Phase I—the strategic air campaign—would start the offensive
and address the centers of gravity and most of the 12 strategic target
categories. Phase II—the attainment of air superiority over Iraq and in the
Kuwait theater of operations—was initiated simultaneously with phase I.
Phase III—battlefield preparation—involved attacking Iraqi ground
combat forces (particularly RG units) to reduce Iraqi combat effectiveness
in the KTO by at least 50 percent. Finally, came phase IV—the ground
offensive—during which coalition ground forces would be supported by
the coalition air forces.
The air campaign plan continued to evolve from the initial Instant Thunder
plan proposed in August 1990 until the eve of the campaign. During this
time, the number of target categories remained nearly constant, but the
number of targets grew from 84 to 476. A substantial portion of the U.S.
air-to-ground inventory was dedicated to Desert Storm to service the many
targets. The planners expected that the air campaign objectives could be
decisively achieved in days or, at most, weeks. On the eve of the campaign,
detailed strikes had been planned for only the first 48 to 72 hours.
Subsequent strikes on strategic targets were expected to be planned based
on the results achieved in the initial strikes.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 204
Appendix VI
Basic Structure of the Iraqi Integrated Air
Defense System
The country was divided into four sectors, each controlled by a sector
operations center and each reporting directly to the national air defense
operations center (ADOC) in Baghdad. The integrated air defense system
was highly centralized, [DELETED]. Each SOC transmitted data back to
intercept operations centers, which in turn controlled SAM batteries and
fighter aircraft at air bases.
There were [DELETED] IOCs across the four sectors in Iraq feeding data to
individual SOCs. Each IOC was optimized to direct either SAM or fighter
aircraft against incoming enemy aircraft. Each IOC was connected to
observer and early warning area reporting posts (RP) [DELETED].
Figure VI.1 shows the four IADS sectors in Iraq, the Kuwait sector, the RPs,
IOCs, SOCs, ADOC, and the communication lines among these components.
There were about 500 radars located at approximately 100 sites,
[DELETED].
1
[DELETED]
2
Figure VI.1: The Iraqi Air Defense Network
[FIGURE DELETED]
Source: [ DELETED]
Evidence on IADS
Capabilities
IADS Could Only Track a
Limited Number of Threats
Despite the numerous components of the IADS, its actual operating
capabilities were quite limited. The system was designed to counter
comparatively limited threats from Israel and Iran, with each SOC capable
of tracking [DELETED]. While sufficient against an attack from either
1
GWAPS, vol. II, pt. I (Secret), p. 83.
2
SPEAR (Secret), December 1990, p. 3-11.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 205
Appendix VI
Basic Structure of the Iraqi Integrated Air
Defense System
regional opponent, the system was inadequate to cope with a force of
hundreds of aircraft and unmanned aerial decoys. [DELETED]
3
IADS Design Made the
System Easy to Disrupt
[DELETED]
IADS Design Was Known
in Detail to U.S.
Intelligence
Another advantage that the coalition had in attacking the IADS is that all
internal designs of the KARI computer system that controlled it
[DELETED].
4
[DELETED]
Iraqi SAMs Were Old or
Limited in Capability
Some key Iraqi antiair weapons were either quite old, well understood by
U.S. intelligence, or limited in range and capability. SAMs with the greatest
range, SA-2s and SA-3s, had been deployed 30 years earlier, putting them
at the end of their operational lifespan. Moreover, both the USAF and other
coalition air forces had long established countermeasures to these
systems.
[DELETED]
The four types of SAMs just discussed—SA-2s, SA-3s, SA-6s, and
SA-8s—along with Roland, were those that entirely comprised the SAM
defenses of the five most heavily defended areas of Iraq: Baghdad, Basrah,
Tallil/J alibah, H-2 and H-3 airfields, and Mosul/Kirkuk. [DELETED]
AAA Guns Were Not
Radar-Guided
While linked to the IADS, AAA guns were mostly unguided and used in
barrage-style firing against attacking aircraft. Still, even unguided
barrage-style AAA remained a considerable threat to attacking aircraft
required to fly above 12,000 feet for most of the war.
The Iraqi Air Force Failed
to Play a Role
With a substantial portion of the Iraqi air force destroyed, inactive, or
fleeing to Iran early in the campaign, the threat was severely reduced since
part of the effectiveness of the IADS depended on vectoring its fighters to
attacking aircraft.
3
SPEAR (Secret), December 1990, p. 3-25. Similarly, DIA reported that the IADS “could track only a
limited number of threats and was [DELETED].” DIA, BDA Highlights (March 22, 1991), p. 26.
4
USAF, History of the Strategic Air Campaign: Operation Desert Storm (Secret), p. 258.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 206
Appendix VII
Pre-Desert Storm Missions and Actual Use
F-117 The F-117 was originally only intended for selected missions against
heavily defended, high-value targets. The F-117’s unique “low-observable”
design narrows the range of its mission capability compared to other
nonstealthy aircraft.
Before the war, planners primarily tasked the F-117s to high-value, heavily
defended, air defense, C
3
, leadership, and NBC targets in and around
Baghdad. The targets actually attacked by the F-117s became somewhat
more diverse as the war progressed. According to an F-117 after-action
report, the doctrinal target list for the F-117 “went out the window.”
F-111F Pre-air campaign mission plans for the F-111F focused on low-altitude air
interdiction against strategic targets, such as airfields, radar sites, and
chemical weapons bunkers. However, like all other aircraft, almost all
Desert Storm missions were conducted at medium-to-high altitude.
Another deviation from pre-Desert Storm mission planning for the F-111F
were LGB strikes against tanks commonly referred to after the war as “tank
plinking.”
The F-111F was the only Desert Storm aircraft to deliver the GBU-15 and
the 5,000-pound laser-guided, penetrating GBU-28.
F-15E Pre-Desert Storm plans focused largely on an air interdiction role for the
F-15E. However, the F-15E minimally participated in the overall air
interdiction effort. Rather, F-15E missions were predominantly Scud
hunting, reconnaissance, and antiarmor missions in kill boxes.
The F-15E is one of three U.S. Air Force LGB-capable platforms, yet the
majority of the bomb tonnage delivered by the F-15E was unguided.
Because of the limited number of LANTIRN targeting pods, only one-quarter
of the F-15Es deployed to the Persian Gulf had the capability of
autonomously delivering LGBs.
A-6E Pre-Desert Storm plans involved air interdiction for A-6s with some
emphasis on attacking airfields and Iraqi air defenses located at airfields.
A-6s conducted air interdiction missions against a range of Desert Storm
strategic targets, delivering the bulk of the bombs dropped on naval
targets.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 207
Appendix VII
Pre-Desert Storm Missions and Actual Use
F-16 Initial air campaign plans tasked F-16s mostly during the daylight hours in
large strike packages against targets such as airfields, chemical weapons
storage areas, Scud missile production facilities, Republican Guard
locations, leadership targets, and military storage facilities. Several strikes
against strategic targets in the Baghdad area occurred during the first
2 weeks of the war. F-16s conducted a proportionately large number of
strikes against C
3
, NBC, OCA, and OIL targets. F-16 pilots told us that their
missions further evolved at the end of the war to patrolling highways and
rivers and striking and harassing targets of opportunity such as trucks,
repaired bridges, and barges.
F/A-18 F/A-18s were initially assigned to carry out suppression of enemy air
defenses, fleet defense combat air patrol, escort of other strike aircraft,
and attacks against a range of ground targets. As Iraqi threats against Navy
aircraft carriers were degraded, the number of F/A-18 CAP sorties was
reduced while those allocated to interdiction increased. However, the
F/A-18’s lack of an autonomous laser for delivery of LGBs was cited in DOD’s
title V report as a shortcoming.
1
A-10 When planners began to construct the air campaign plan, they did not
anticipate tasking the A-10 against strategic targets. However, the role of
the A-10 in the campaign evolved as the events of the war unfolded. The
lower air defense threat in Scud launching areas enabled planners to task
the A-10 against these targets and to capitalize on the A-10’s large payload
capacity and loitering ability. Intense AAA and IR SAM threats encountered
near RG targets motivated the Air Force to largely assign the A-10s to lower
threat areas.
According to the pilots we interviewed, combat air support performed by
the A-10 was difficult and nontraditional. For example, much of it was
performed at night for both the Marines and the Army, when a key
problem was how to identify targets. Although the A-10 is generally
considered a day-only aircraft, two squadrons flew night missions
[DELETED].
B-52 Over two-thirds of the B-52 missions were directed against Iraqi ground
forces, with the remainder against targets such as military industrial
1
See Naval Aviation: The Navy Is Taking Actions to Improve the Combat Capabilities of Its Tactical
Aircraft (GAO/NSIAD-93-204, J uly 7, 1993), for more information on F/A-18 limitations in Desert Storm.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 208
Appendix VII
Pre-Desert Storm Missions and Actual Use
facilities, electrical power plants, and airfields. B-52s flew just over
3 percent of the total air combat missions, but because of the aircraft’s
uniquely large payload, these accounted for 30 percent of the total bomb
tonnage released.
2
The Strategic Air Command officially reported the B-52 CEP to be
[DELETED]. This level of inaccuracy resulted from the high winds that
affected unguided bomb ballistics and from an error introduced by a
contractor in misidentifying the ground coordinates of targets.
British Tornado, GR-1 The British Tornado had a visible and consistent role in the strategic air
campaign, being one of the few non-U.S. coalition aircraft assigned
missions in the final, command-approved, version of the Master Attack
Plan. A primary planned mission for the Tornado was attacking runways
with the J P233 munition at very low altitude. However, the combination of
four British Tornado losses in the first week of the air campaign and the
command decision to go to medium-altitude operations brought an end to
these planned missions.
In the remaining 5 weeks of the air campaign, the primary Tornado
mission was air interdiction at medium altitude against a variety of target
types. Many of the new targets were point targets, like hardened aircraft
shelters and bridges believed to necessitate LGBs. Because the Tornado
had no laser self-designation capability, buddy lasing tactics with the
British Buccaneer aircraft were attempted. A British Ministry of Defense
report suggests that the buddy lasing experience demonstrated the need
for laser self-designation capability in the Tornado.
3
2
See Operation Desert Storm: Limits on the Role and Performance of B-52 Bombers in Conventional
Conflicts (GAO/NSIAD-93-138, May 12, 1993).
3
British Ministry of Defense, The Gulf Conflict: Lessons Learned, p. 8-6.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 209
Appendix VIII
Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis
The weight of effort and type of effort indices permitted us to examine the
relative contributions of the air-to-ground platforms and revealed the
overall magnitude of the weight and type of effort that was expended
against the strategic target sets established pursuant to the military
objectives of the Persian Gulf War. In this appendix, we report results not
included in appendix I.
WOE Platform
Comparisons
Collectively, military industrial base, offensive counterair and kill box
target sets received most of the weight of effort from the air-to-ground
platforms reviewed here, and KBX targets received by far the most strikes,
the most bombs, and the most bomb tonnage. BE-numbered targets in the
KBX target set received at least 9 times more strikes, 5 times more bombs,
and 5 times more bomb tonnage than the next highest ranking strategic
target set in this regard. The comparisons indicate that the F-111F and the
F-117 accounted for the majority of the guided bomb tonnage delivered
against strategic targets, while the B-52 and the F-16 accounted for the
majority of the unguided bomb tonnage delivered.
The B-52 and the F-16 accounted for the majority of unguided ordnance
delivered against KBX targets. Respectively, they delivered approximately
32 million and 31 million pounds of bombs on KBX targets. The F-15Es
participated most exclusively against Scud targets. Of the PGM tonnage
delivered on C
3
, NBC, and MIB targets, the F-117 accounted for most of it.
Weight of effort on NAV targets was almost exclusively the domain of Navy
platforms, where the A-6E accounted for much of the weight of effort. The
Navy platforms did contribute a considerable WOE against KBX targets. The
only non-U.S. coalition platform reviewed here—the British Tornado,
GR-1—did not contribute a majority of WOE on any of the strategic target
sets.
Figure VIII.1 shows the number of strikes by each platform against all
12 target categories. Relative to other platforms, the F-16 was a
predominant force against KBX targets, accounting for at least 51 percent of
the total strikes. The number of strikes conducted by the F-16s, F/A-18s,
F-111Fs, A-6Es, F-15Es, and the B-52s on KBX targets was the largest
number of strikes that each conducted compared to other strategic target
categories. Figure VIII.1 also shows that the majority of the Desert Storm
platforms expended more of their strike efforts on KBX targets than on any
other strategic target category.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 210
Appendix VIII
Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis
Figure VIII.1: Target Category Strikes, by Platform
CCC ELE GVC KBX LOC MIB NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCU
0
5,000
10,000
15,000
Target category
Number of strikes
GR1
FA18
F16
F15E
F117
F111F
B52
A6E
Figure VIII.2 depicts strike data for the selected platforms against the
target categories, excluding KBX targets.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 211
Appendix VIII
Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis
Figure VIII.2: Target Category Strikes, by Platform, Excluding KBX Targets
CCC ELE GVC LOC MIB NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCU
0
500
1,000
1,500
2,000
2,500
Target category
Number of strikes
GR1
FA18
F16
F15E
F117
F111F
B52
A6E
When KBX strikes are removed, figure VIII.2 more clearly shows other
patterns, particularly that more strikes were expended on the MIB and OCA
target categories relative to other target categories. In addition to being
one of the strategic target sets, MIB targets often served as “dump” targets
or secondary targets, while the OCA target set was associated with the
Desert Storm objective of achieving air supremacy and would be expected
to be given a considerable weight of effort.
Similar to F-16 strike data against KBX targets, the F-16 stands out in terms
of the number of strikes conducted against OCA, MIB, ELE, and OIL target
sets. One factor that can account for this is that more F-16s were deployed
to the Persian Gulf theater than any other aircraft.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 212
Appendix VIII
Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis
Compared to other target sets, the F-111F delivered more strikes on the
OCA target category. This coincides both with the stated mission capability
of the F-111F, as well as the Desert Storm plans for the F-111F, which
focused predominantly on an air interdiction role.
The F-15E conducted the largest number of strikes against Scud targets. In
contrast to other platforms, the F-15E was not a significant part of strike
efforts on any other target category. The F-117 conducted the most strikes
on the C
3
target category, the GVC target category, and the NBC target
category. Figure VIII.3 shows the number of bombs delivered by
air-to-ground platforms against the strategic target sets.
Figure VIII.3: Bombs Delivered, by Platform
CCC ELE GVC KBX LOC MIB NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCU
0
20,000
40,000
60,000
80,000
100,000
Target category
Number of bombs
GR1
FA18
F16
F15E
F117
F111F
B52
A6E
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 213
Appendix VIII
Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis
Figure VIII.3 shows that the number of bombs delivered on KBX targets was
at least four times as great as the number of bombs delivered on the MIB
target set, the next highest.
Figures VIII.3 and VIII.4 show that the B-52 delivered more bombs against
7 of 12 target categories (ELE, KBX, LOC, MIB, NBC, OCA, and OIL). The F-16 was
second only to the B-52 in bombs delivered against MIB and OCA strategic
targets. Together with the data from the KBX target category, the F-16 is
second to the B-52 in number of bombs delivered against the KBX, the MIB,
and the OCA strategic target sets. The A-6E dominated strategic targets in
the NAV target set, and the F-15E delivered substantially more bombs on
Scud targets compared to the other platforms.
Figure VIII.4: Bombs Delivered, by Platform, Excluding KBX Targets
CCC ELE GVC LOC MIB NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCU
0
5,000
10,000
15,000
20,000
Target category
Number of bombs
GR1
FA18
F16
F15E
F117
F111F
B52
A6E
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 214
Appendix VIII
Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis
Similar to the number of bombs delivered against target categories, figure
VIII.5 shows that the most bomb tonnage was delivered on the KBX, MIB,
and OCA target sets.
Figure VIII.5: Bomb Tonnage Delivered, by Platform
CCC ELE GVC KBX LOC MIB NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCU
0
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
Target category
Bomb tonnage
GR1
FA18
F16
F15E
F117
F111F
B52
A6E
B-52s delivered more bomb tonnage, relative to the other platforms against
strategic targets in the ELE, KBX, MIB, OCA, and OIL target categories. The
F-16 delivered in excess of 31 million pounds of bombs on KBX targets.
This is second only to the B-52, which delivered approximately 32 million
pounds of bombs. (See fig. VIII.6.)
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 215
Appendix VIII
Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis
Figure VIII.6: Bomb Tonnage Delivered, by Platform, Excluding KBX Targets
CCC ELE GVC LOC MIB NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCU
0
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
8,000
Target category
Bomb tonnage
GR1
FA18
F16
F15E
F117
F111F
B52
A6E
Figure VIII.6 shows that the F-16 delivered more bomb tonnage on C
3
and
NBC targets than on the other platforms. The F-15E delivered more bomb
tonnage on Scud targets than on any other strategic target set. With regard
to F-15E efforts against Scud targets, all of the WOE indices (number of BEs,
number of strikes, number of bombs, bomb tonnage) converge to indicate
that the F-15E was the predominant force on Scud targets and was not a
principal part of the weight of effort on other strategic target categories.
Figure VIII.6 does not indicate that among the various platforms tasked to
C
3
, LOC, NAV, NBC, OCA, and SAM targets, a single platform is distinctive in
terms of the bomb tonnage delivered. The data show distinctive variability
in sources of bomb tonnage delivered against ELE, MIB, OIL, and to some
degree, SCU targets. B-52 bomb tonnage accounts for this distinction
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 216
Appendix VIII
Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis
against all these target sets except for Scud targets, which were accounted
for by the efforts of the F-15E.
TOE Platform
Comparisons
The type of effort measures indicate the quantity of guided and unguided
bomb tonnage delivered by the selected air-to-ground platforms.
Figure VIII.7 shows PGM tonnage delivered by platforms.
The most PGM tonnage was delivered against OCA targets. A factor that can
account for this is that many OCA targets were hardened aircraft shelters
and were attacked with LGBs. F-111Fs delivered in excess of 1.7 million
pounds of bombs on OCA targets. F-111Fs also delivered the most PGM
tonnage on KBX targets, which largely reflects F-111F tank-plinking efforts
using LGBs. Compared to the other platforms, the F-117 accounted for the
bulk of the PGM tonnage delivered on C
3
, NBC, and MIB targets.
Figure VIII.7 shows that the F-15E delivered a majority of guided bomb
tonnage on Scud targets and that this was the only strategic target
category in which the F-15E contributed the majority of the PGM tonnage.
This pattern is expected because the F-15E received most of its tasking to
Scud targets and because the wing had limited PGM capability.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 217
Appendix VIII
Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis
Figure VIII.7: PGM Tonnage Delivered, by Platform
CCC ELE GVC KBX LOC MIB NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCU
0
500
1,000
Target category
Bomb tonnage
GR1
FA18
F16
F15E
F117
F111F
B52
A6E
Figure VIII.8 shows that not only were very sizable amounts of unguided
bomb tonnage delivered against BE-numbered KBX targets, but the
unguided bomb tonnage delivered against KBX targets, relative to the other
strategic target categories, was immense.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 218
Appendix VIII
Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis
Figure VIII.8: Unguided Tonnage Delivered, by Platform
CCC ELE GVC KBX LOC MIB NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCU
0
5,000
10,000
15,000
20,000
25,000
30,000
35,000
40,000
Target category
Bomb tonnage
GR1
FA18
F16
F15E
F117
F111F
B52
A6E
Approximately 78 million pounds of unguided bombs were delivered
against ground targets located in kill boxes. Comparatively, F-16 and B-52
are the two platforms that accounted for the preponderance of unguided
bomb tonnage delivered here. B-52s accounted for approximately
32 million pounds; F-16s approximately 31 million pounds, at least
two-thirds of the total unguided bomb tonnage delivered on BE-numbered
KBX targets. Figure VIII.8 also shows that the B-52 accounted for the
majority of unguided bomb tonnage delivered against MIB targets.
Figure VIII.9 indicates that more unguided bomb tonnage was delivered
against targets in the MIB and OCA strategic target categories than in the
other strategic target categories.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 219
Appendix VIII
Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis
The F-16 delivered more of the unguided bomb tonnage against strategic
targets in the C
3
, GVC, NBC, and OCA categories, and it was second to the
F-15E in unguided bomb tonnage delivered against targets in the SCU
category. Summing across all target categories and comparing to other
platforms, B-52s and F-16s accounted for the preponderance of bombs
delivered against strategic targets.
Figure VIII.9: Unguided Tonnage Delivered, by Platform, Excluding KBX Targets
CCC ELE GVC LOC MIB NAV NBC OCA OIL SAM SCU
0
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
8,000
Target Category
Bomb Tonnage
GR1
FA18
F16
F15E
F117
F111F
B52
A6E
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 220
Appendix IX
Target Sensor Technologies
Radar
Radar systems vary from older, low-resolution ground-mapping radars on
the F-111F and B-52 to much newer, high-resolution target detection
synthetic aperture radar on the F-15E. The basic forms of radar are pulse
and continuous-wave types. Both detect targets by transmitting radio
waves and then searching for return radio waves reflected from those
targets in order to determine information about the location and speed of
targets.
Electro-optical
Electro-optical systems exist as a sensor on munitions, such as the EO
version of the Maverick missile, and as separate systems, such as night
vision goggles. EO-guided weapons carry a miniature TV sensor or camera
in the nose that senses targets that provide suitable visible (dark or light)
contrasts. Night-viewing systems operate by magnifying the tiny amount of
light available from the sky, even in the darkest night.
Infrared
Imaging infrared systems are sometimes integral to the aircraft (Pave
Tack, TRAM, and FLIR/DLIR on the F-111F, A-6E, and F-117, respectively) and
are sometimes a part of a pod or munition attached to the exterior of the
aircraft (such as LANTIRN for the F-15E and F-16 and the IR version of
Maverick on the A-10). IR systems lock onto targets by focusing on heat
sources. Imaging IR systems are virtually infrared TV cameras, which
create a heat image of a target and then rely on signal processing to lock
onto a designated part of the heat image, rather than simply the hottest
part of the image, as nonimaging IR systems do.
Other Sensor Systems
Other sensor systems using the technologies discussed above were
employed in Desert Storm, and other technologies were used to
supplement, or supplant, the systems described above. These systems
were not integral to the aircraft, themselves, nor to the munitions carried
by them; they were mostly either on separate platforms used before or
concurrently with the strike aircraft, or they consisted of additional
equipment employed by pilots. In the former category were target images
provided by intelligence or reconnaissance sensors and sometimes made
available to aircrew at the mission planning stage. Pilots of virtually all
aircraft reported that receipt of such images and target planning materials
were extremely important for mission planning, target study, and mission
success, although needed materials were often unavailable or of poor
quality. Pilots of aircraft delivering guided munitions stated this was
especially true for them because they were often tasked to attack a
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 221
Appendix IX
Target Sensor Technologies
specific building, or a section of a building, and they needed the aids and
cues available in target images to ensure accurate selection of the desired
aimpoint.
While hardly a technology, a key “sensor system” was human vision.
Although limited to clear weather, pilots from several aircraft reported
confidence that they could hit a target, even with unguided bombs, as long
as they could see it. At night, some pilots attempted to target visually by
using illumination flares. Varying success with this method was reported
by some A-10 and F/A-18 pilots, while A-6E pilots said they found it nearly
impossible to find targets using flares.
Another system used by pilots, especially those in aircraft without infrared
systems (A-10 and F/A-18), was handheld binoculars during the day and
night vision goggles at night. With binoculars, pilots reported varying
levels of success in finding and identifying targets from medium and high
altitude during the day. Binoculars required unimpeded clear weather
conditions and imposed a high workload on pilots in single seat aircraft.
Pilots also reported that night vision goggles were ineffective for
identifying valid targets on the ground at 10,000 feet or higher.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 222
Appendix X
Combat Support Platforms
Reconnaissance
Platforms
[DELETED] reconnaissance platforms, including TR-1As, U-2s, RF-4Cs,
RC-135s, and S-3A/Bs were deployed to the Persian Gulf theater.
Reconnaissance platforms provided support to combat aircraft by serving
as airborne intelligence collection platforms, and they could also provide
communications and electronic and photographic intelligence on enemy
targets or situations.
In Desert Storm, intelligence from reconnaissance platforms was used for
target study, to plan strike missions, and for BDA purposes. U-2/TR-1
intelligence was used in strike missions against Scud missile launchers,
ships, Iraqi tanks, armored vehicles, and artillery.
Before the air campaign began, airborne intelligence collectors, such as
RC-135s and U-2/TR-1s, flew near the Iraqi-Saudi border and gathered data
on the nature of the Iraqi air defense system.
Surveillance
Platforms
There were approximately [DELETED] airborne surveillance and control
platforms, comprised of E-8 J STARS, E-3 AWACS, E-2C Hawkeye, and U.S.
Marine Corps OV-10s. Respectively, these surveillance platforms provided
early-warning surveillance for Navy aircraft carriers (E-2C), command and
control for Desert Storm air defense forces (AWACS), identification of friend
or foe (IFF) capability, and airborne surveillance of ground targets (J STARS).
Because of the large number of aircraft simultaneously operating during
the air campaign, AWACS was critical for IFF, [DELETED]. Marine Corps
OV-10s conducted radio relay and visual reconnaissance missions on
ground troop targets and maintained 24-hour coverage over the battlefield
once the ground war started.
Notable from the Gulf War was J STARS, which flew its first operational
mission in Desert Storm. J STARS collected intelligence on the movement of
Iraqi ground forces in the KTO and other parts of the theater where ground
troops were situated. [DELETED]
Electronic Combat
Platforms
Platforms that conducted electronic combat missions or electronic
warfare in a combat-support role included EF-111s, EC-135s, EC-130s, and
EA-6B aircraft. These aircraft conducted missions that either involved
jamming of enemy radars or attempted the destruction of radar sites with
the use of HARM missiles or tactical air-launched decoys, within the range
of enemy radars, for deception purposes. Because electronic combat
support missions helped disinfect target areas of threats to strike aircraft,
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 223
Appendix X
Combat Support Platforms
they facilitated the ability of primary strike aircraft to conduct attacks on
targets.
ABCCC
EC-130Es served as airborne battlefield command, control, and
communication (ABCCC) combat support platforms. ABCCC was designed to
provide real-time command and control over air forces. With ABCCC,
commanders on the ground could relay real-time information on war
developments and, if necessary, ABCCC could then relay information to
aircraft, providing a near real-time response mechanism to unfolding
events. ABCCC provided support to F-15Es operating in kill boxes by
providing target deconfliction information before bomb deliveries. ABCCC
also provided real-time ATO and BDA information to some units, which
pilots pointed out as helpful to mission planning and strike activity given
the large time lags in the formal ATO and BDA dissemination process.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 224
Appendix XI
The Experience of F-16s and F-117s at the
Baghdad Nuclear Research Facility
The Air Force has repeatedly claimed that an F-117 mission against the
Baghdad Nuclear Research Facility at Osirak was a major success,
following a failed mission by F-16s. It cites this case as a prime example of
the accuracy and effectiveness of stealth aircraft with precision munitions
over conventional aircraft with unguided munitions.
On the third day of the campaign, a large conventional daylight strike by
56 F-16s with unguided bombs attacked the nuclear complex, which was
one of the three most heavily defended areas in Iraq. The results were
assessed as very poor. Gen. Glosson told the Congress that, in contrast,
“four nights later, we launched a third package [of F-117s] . . . three out of
four reactors were destroyed.”
1
To verify the claim, we sought to answer the following questions:
• What was the frequency and number of F-16 and F-117 strikes on this
target?
• Were aircraft other than the F-16 and the F-117 tasked against the target?
• When did DIA report that the target was functionally destroyed?
According to DIA, the nuclear research facility was not fully destroyed
following the F-117 strikes on day 6 of the campaign. DIA produced seven
phase III battle damage assessments on the target beginning on the second
day of the campaign. The final phase III report, which was issued on
February 26, day 42 of the campaign, concluded that the ability to conduct
nuclear research or processing at the site was severely degraded. The
report, however, went on to recommend restrikes on four DMPIs at the
site—if the objective was to totally eliminate facility functions.
As illustrated in table XI.1, F-117s conducted strikes on an additional
7 nights following the strike on day 6, the last not occurring until day 38.
Table XI.1: Number of Days, Total
Aircraft, and Total Bombs Employed
Against the Baghdad Nuclear
Research Center During Desert Storm
Total
Aircraft Air campaign days of attack Aircraft Bombs
F-117 2, 3, 6, 12, 14, 19, 22, 34, 35, 38 59 84
F-16 2, 3, 5 77 170
F-111F 19 7 4
Source: O ur analysis of the 37th TFW Desert Storm and M issions databases.
1
DOD 1992 appropriations hearings (Apr. 30, 1991), p. 490.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 225
Appendix XI
The Experience of F-16s and F-117s at the
Baghdad Nuclear Research Facility
As successful as the F-117 strikes may have been on day 6, an additional 48
F-117s were tasked seven more times against the target over the next 32
days, dropping 66 more bombs. Moreover, on day 19 of the campaign, 17
F-111Fs were tasked to strike the site. Therefore, the scenario described
by the Air Force—an unsuccessful, large conventional package strike
using unguided munitions, followed by a successful, small package of
stealth aircraft using guided munitions—neither fully presents the results
of the two missions, nor fully presents the weight and type of effort
expended to achieve success at this target.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 226
Appendix XII
Comments From the Department of Defense
Note: G AO comments
supplementing those in the
report text appear at the
end of this appendix.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 227
Appendix XII
Comments From the Department of Defense
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 228
Appendix XII
Comments From the Department of Defense
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 229
Appendix XII
Comments From the Department of Defense
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 230
Appendix XII
Comments From the Department of Defense
The following are GAO’s comments on the DOD’s letter dated March 28,
1996.
GAO Comments
1. The acquisition of new precision-guided munitions may well provide
new capabilities that overcome the limitations observed in Operation
Desert Storm. However, the degree to which these new munitions may
overcome the limitations of existing munitions can only be determined
after rigorous operational test and evaluation of both new and existing
munitions.
2. The Deep Attack/Weapons Mix Study will not fully address the
implications of our findings concerning the strengths and limitations of
guided and unguided munitions. DAWMS is an analysis of the full range of
precision-guided munitions in production and in research, development,
test, and evaluation that will determine the number and types of
precision-guided munitions that are needed to provide a complementary
capability against each target class. By analyzing only precision-guided
munitions, the study does not address the benefits realized from
92 percent of the munitions delivered in Operation Desert Storm. The
premise of the DAWMS does not acknowledge the ambiguous results from
Desert Storm regarding munitions effectiveness, the cost and operational
trade-offs between guided and unguided munitions, and the demonstrated
preference for unguided over guided munitions against several strategic
target categories.
3. The Precision Strike Architecture study was designed to define a
“system of systems” for precision strike by
• defining the mission,
• identifying the component systems,
• developing a concept of operations,
• facilitating opportunities for system evolution,
• creating criteria for establishing choices among alternatives, and
• determining costs.
The resulting architecture for precision strike is a plan that addresses the
limitations in strike capabilities demonstrated in our report. However, the
degree to which the sensor and other precision strike shortcomings are
alleviated cannot be known until a new precision strike architecture is
implemented and tested.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 231
Appendix XII
Comments From the Department of Defense
4. We strongly acknowledge the need to maintain a rigorous operational
test and evaluation capability to ensure that commanders, planners, and
operators are aware of both the strengths and weaknesses of existing and
new weapon systems under a variety of combat conditions.
5. While the physical limitations of all sensors, including laser and
forward-looking infrared, may have been known before Desert Storm, they
were not necessarily fully acknowledged by DOD or its contractors either
before the conflict or in reports to the Congress after the coalition’s
victory.
6. Our recommendation addresses the demonstrated intelligence
shortcomings in performing BDA and in identifying strategic targets in
Operation Desert Storm. It is not apparent that the scope of the Deep
Attack/Weapons Mix Study is sufficient to address DOD’s need to cultivate
intelligence sources that can identify and validate strategic targets in
future scenarios.
7. Part of the significance of the munitions use data from Desert Storm is
that it reveals patterns of use when perfect BDA does not exist. For
example, we found in Desert Storm that multiple strikes and weapon
systems were used against the same targets; more munitions were
delivered than peacetime test capabilities would indicate as necessary;
determinations of whether target objectives were met were frequently
unknown; and when objectives were met, the specific system responsible
could not be determined. These observations should temper one of the
primary expectations of the DAWMS: that a growing inventory and
increasing capabilities of weapons will reduce the sorties required for
deep attack missions.
8. We recognize that where DOD concurs with the premises of our
recommendations, it does so based on information other than the analyses
we conducted of the Desert Storm air campaign. Owing to these
differences, the solutions pursued by DOD may not fully address the needs
we perceived. Therefore, although the scope of the specific studies and
ACTDs indisputably address our recommendations, the degree to which
they result in solutions to Desert Storm shortcomings and limitations
cannot be known until the resulting changes and innovations are
operational.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 232
Appendix XIII
Major Contributors to This Report
Program Evaluation
and Methodology
Division, Washington,
D.C.
Kwai-Cheung Chan
Winslow T. Wheeler
J onathan R. Tumin
J effrey K. Harris
Carolyn M. Copper
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 233

Glossary
Aimpoint Desired location of bomb impact on target.
Air Superiority The degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another, which
permits operations by the former and its related land, sea, and air forces at
a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing
force.
Air Supremacy The degree of air superiority wherein the opposing force is incapable of
effective interference.
Battle Damage Assessment An analysis of the damage inflicted on a target from a bombing or missile
strike.
Black Hole The Special Planning Group established by Gen. Glosson in Riyadh during
Desert Shield to design the air campaign.
Breach To create a break or opening in a line of defenses.
Center of Gravity The economic, military, and political pillars of an existing regime.
Effectiveness The level of functional damage achieved for a given munition or strike.
Fully Successful A bomb damage assessment determination that the target objective was
achieved and a restrike was unnecessary.
Imagery Intelligence derived from visual photography, infrared sensors, lasers,
electro-optical systems, and radar sensors such as synthetic aperture
radar.
KARI A French-design computer network for Iraq’s air defense components.
(KARI is Iraq spelled backward in French.)
Kill Box A 30-mile by 30-mile geographic designation within the Kuwait theater of
operations in which autonomous strike operations were conducted.
GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 234
Glossary
Laser-Guided Bomb A bomb that uses a seeker to detect laser energy reflected from a target
and, through signal processing, guides itself to the point from which the
laser energy is being reflected.
Lines of Communication Land, water, or air route that connects an operating military force with a
base of operations and along which supplies and military forces move.
Munition Explosive projectiles (such as missiles) or items (such as bombs) with a
fuse.
Not Fully Successful A bomb damage assessment determination where the target objective was
not achieved and a restrike was necessary.
Operation Order A directive, usually formal, issued by a commander to subordinate
commanders to effect the coordinated execution of an operation.
Operation Plan A plan for a single or series of connected operations to be carried out
simultaneously or in succession.
Platform An aircraft or missile that delivers a munition to a target.
Sortie One flight by one aircraft.
Strategic Target A target integral to the source of an enemy’s military, economic, or
political power.
Strike The delivery of munitions on one target by one platform during one sortie.
(973364/713004) GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign Page 235
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GAO
Permit No. G100
COMBATAIRCRAFT
FUNDAMENTALS
BY ORDER OF 1HE
SECRE1ARY OF 1HE AIR FORCE
3-3.18
AIR FORCE TACTICS,
TECHNIQUES, AND PROCEDURES
F-117 (U)
19 October 2004
UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO
UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO
THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK
NOTICE: AFTTP 3-1 and 3-3 volumes are available on-line via SIPRNET at the Iollowing web
site: https://wwwmil.nellis.aI.mil/units/awIc/jastc/deIault.htm.
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY
OF THE AIR FORCE
AIR FORCE TACTICS, TECHNIQUES,
AND PROCEDURES 3-3.18
21 December 2004
Tactical Doctrine
COMBAT AIRCRAFT
FUNDAMENTALS—F117
OPR:  49 OSS/OSKW (Maj James Thompson) CertiIied by: HQ ACC/CC
(General Hal M. Hornburg)
Supersedes  NA Pages: 232
Distribution: X 
(Controlled by AWFC/DOTW)
PURPOSE: The Air Force Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (AFTTP) 3-3 series publications
are the primary aircraIt Iundamental reIerence document Ior the USAF. This series provides a
comprehensive, single-source document containing Iundamental employment procedures and
techniques necessary to accomplish the various missions. The procedures and techniques are
presented  solely  Ior  consideration  in  planning  and  are  not  Ior  regulatory  purposes.  Other
procedures and techniques may be used iI they are saIe and eIIective; the Iundamentals presented
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to build and expand on these Iundamentals.
APPLICATION: This publication applies to all active duty, Air Force Reserve, and Air National
Guard personnel. The doctrine in this document is authoritative but not directive. This publication
applies when published in ANGIND2 Ior Air National Guard and AFRESIND2 Ior United States
Air Force Reserve.
SCOPE: This manual addresses basic Ilying tasks and planning considerations Ior the air-to-air
(A/A) and air-to-surIace (A/S) arena. It presents a solid Ioundation on which eIIective tactics can
be developed. AFTTP 3-3 is not a step-by-step checklist oI how to successIully employ aircraIt,
but rather it provides inIormation and guidelines on basic procedures and techniques.
SERIES: The series oI AFTTP 3-3 volumes includes the Iollowing:
Volume 3 Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—A/OA-10
Volume 4 Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—F-15A/B/C/D
Volume 5 Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—F-16C/D
Volume 18 Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—F-117
Volume 17 Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—F-15E
Volume 19 Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—B-52
ii AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
Volume 20 Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—B-1
Volume 22A Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—KC-10
Volume 22B Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—KC-135
Volume 24 Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—HH-60G
Volume 25 Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—C-130
Volume 31 Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—AC-130
Volume 33 Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—HC/MC-130
Volume 34 Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—MH-53
Volume 35A Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—C-17
Volume 35B Combat Aircraft Fundamentals—C-5
AUTHORS: The Iollowing people assisted in writing and preparing this volume:
Maj James Thompson (OPR) 49 OSS/OSTM
Maj Patrick Adams 8 FS
Maj Mark Hoehn 417 WPS
Maj Jay Keller 8 FS
Capt William Fry 49 OSS/IN
Capt Jason Wilson 9 FS
Capt Kelly Witcher 49 OSS/OSTE
LEAD PRODUCTION TEAM. The Iollowing individuals prepared, edited, and published this
volume:
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Mark Reppert AWFC/DOTW Technical Editor
Leo Medina AWFC/DOTW Editor 
Frank Maturi AWFC/DOTW MM/Visual InIormation Specialist
DISTRIBUTION: The AFTTP 3-3 series is distributed worldwide to the USAF and the combat
Iorces oI the other US services. These volumes are not releasable to foreign nationals, non-US
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 iii
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authority. Contact:
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HAL M. HORNBURG
General, USAF
Commander, Air Combat Command
iv AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 v
UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
CHAPTER 1—INTRODUCTION
1.1 Overview    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1-1
1.2 Purpose    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1-1
1.3 Change Procedures   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1-1
CHAPTER 2—MISSION PREPARATION
2.1 Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-1
2.2 Establishing Priorities and Situational Awareness    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-1
2.2.1   General    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-1
2.2.2   Fundamental Tasks   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-1
2.2.3   Changes in Priorities   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-1
2.2.4   Mission Accomplishment   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-1
2.3 Mental and Physical Considerations   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-1
2.3.1   G-Induced Loss oI Consciousness    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-1
2.3.2   Mental Considerations    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-2
2.3.3   Physical Considerations    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-2
2.4 Misprioritization and Basic Situational Awareness    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-2
2.5 Objectives    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-3
2.5.1   Mission Objectives   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-3
2.5.2   Training Objective Components   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-3
2.5.3   DeIined Objectives   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-3
2.6 Mission Preparation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-3
2.6.1   Mission Planning Accomplishment    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-3
2.6.2   BrieIing   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-4
2.7 Mission Execution   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-4
2.7.1  Flight Leadership   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-4
2.7.2  Wingman Responsibilities   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-5
2.7.3  Flight Discipline    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-5
2.8 Debriefing    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-5
2.8.1  Purpose  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-5
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2.8.2  Preparation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-5
2.8.3  DebrieIing Techniques  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2-5
CHAPTER 3—FORMATION
3.1 General Tasks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-1
3.1.1  Introduction   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-1
3.1.2  Communication   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-1
3.1.3  Lead Changes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-1
3.2 Basic Formation    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-2
3.2.1  Ground Operations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-2
3.2.2  Runway Lineup    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-2
3.2.3  Engine Run-Up    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-2
3.2.4  Trail Departure  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-2
3.2.5  Climb Out    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-6
3.3 Basic Formations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-8
3.3.1  Fingertip Formation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-8
3.3.2  Route Formation    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-8
3.3.3  Day Three-Ship Close/Route Formation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-8
3.3.4  Crossunders   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-8
3.3.5  Element Crossunders   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-8
3.3.6  Echelon    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-8
3.3.7  Pitchouts and Rejoins  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-10
3.3.8  Formation Approach and Landing   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-11
3.3.9  Lost Wingman   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-11
3.4 Tactical Formations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-12
3.4.1  Formation Considerations   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-12
3.4.2  Collision Avoidance    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-12
3.4.3  Two Ship Formations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-13
3.4.4  Multi-Ship Formations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-13
3.4.5  Climbs and Descents   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-13
CHAPTER 4—AIRCRAFT BASICS AND INSTRUMENTS
4.1 Aircraft Basics and Navigation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-1
4.1.1   AircraIt PreIlight   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-1
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4.1.2  BeIore Engine Start   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-1
4.1.3  Battery Power Engine Start   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-4
4.1.4  External Power Engine Start    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-5
4.1.5   BeIore Taxi   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-6
4.1.6  Taxiing   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-10
4.1.7  Marshalling, Arming, and Pre-TakeoII   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-12
4.1.8  TakeoII   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-15
4.1.9  En Route    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-17
4.1.10  Recovery    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-21
4.1.11  Shutdown Procedures    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-26
4.2 Aircraft Handling   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-27
4.2.1   Engine response    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-27
4.2.2   Pitch Response    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-27
4.2.3   Roll Response   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-27
4.2.4   Yaw Response  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-27
4.3 Instruments   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-27
4.3.1  Basic Instruments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-27
4.3.2  Instrument Cross-Check    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-30
4.3.3  Basic Instrument Approach Procedures  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-30
4.3.4  Instrument Approach Autopilot Use    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-32
4.4 Spatial Disorientation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-33
4.4.1  Type I Unrecognized Spatial Disorientation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-33
4.4.2  Type II Classic Spatial Disorientation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-33
4.4.3  How It Relates to the F-117   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-33
4.4.4  Unusual Attitudes and Spatial Disorientation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-34
4.4.5  Unusual Attitudes    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-34
4.4.6  Prevention    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-35
4.4.7  Unusual Attitude Recoveries   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-36
4.4.8  Illusions   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-37
4.5 Abnormal Procedures  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-37
4.5.1   Aborts   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-37
4.5.2   Possible Loss oI AircraIt Zone   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-38
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4.5.3 No Radio   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-39
4.5.4 Fuel MalIunctions   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-39
4.5.5 Inertial Navigation System MalIunctions   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-40
CHAPTER 5—AIR TO SURFACE
5.1 General  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-1
5.2 Mission Planning  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-1
5.2.1  Mission Planning   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-1
5.2.2  Planning Delivery Parameters   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-2
5.2.3  Minimum Release Altitude    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-2
5.2.4  Mission BrieIing    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-2
5.2.5  Prior to Step   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-3
5.3 Ground Operations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-6
5.3.1   Weapons PreIlight  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-6
5.3.2   End oI Runway Check    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-6
5.4 Surface Attack Administrative    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-6
5.4.1   Stealth Check    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-6
5.5 Weapons Delivery   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-11
5.5.1  Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System    . . . . . . . . . . .  5-11
5.5.2  Global Positioning System  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-12
5.5.3  Weapons Switchology   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-12
5.5.4   Basic Weapons Delivery Technique   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-13
5.5.5   Working the IRADS   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-16
5.6 Malfunctions    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-19
5.6.1   InIrared Acquisition/Designation System MalIunctions    . . . . . . . . . .  5-19
5.6.2   Laser MalIunctions   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-21
5.6.3  Hung Bomb   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-21
5.7 Update Procedures   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-21
5.7.1  Inertial Navigation System    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-21
5.7.2  Global Positioning System  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-21
5.7.3  Update Considerations and Techniques  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-21
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 ix
UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
CHAPTER 6—AIR REFUELING
6.1 Ground Operations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-1
6.2 Tanker Rejoin   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-1
6.2.1  Air ReIueling Initial Point   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-1
6.2.2  Emmissions Control 1   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-1
6.2.3  Emissions Control 2   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-2
6.2.4  Finding the Tanker   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-2
6.2.5  Tanker Rendezvous   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-2
6.2.6  Pre-ReIueling Checks    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-5
6.3 Observation Position  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-5
6.4 Pre-Contact Position   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-5
6.4.1  AircraIt Handling   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-6
6.4.2  Lighting and Switches   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-6
6.5 Contact Position    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-8
6.5.1  Transition   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-8
6.5.2  Aluminum Overcast   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-8
6.6 On the Boom   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-8
6.6.1  Power   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-8
6.6.2  Fuel rates   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-8
6.7 Post Refueling Procedures   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-8
6.7.1  Post ReIueling Checks   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-8
6.7.2  Flight Rejoin    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-8
6.7.3  Steerpoint   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-8
6.7.4  Departing   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-10
6.8 Abnormal Procedures  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-10
6.8.1  Blind  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-10
6.8.2  Fuel Imbalance  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-10
6.8.3  Spatial Disorientation    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-10
6.8.4  Fuel Spray    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-11
6.8.5  Breakaway   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-11
x AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
CHAPTER 7—LOW ALTITUDE OPERATIONS
7.1 Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-1
7.2 Additional References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-1
7.3 Awareness and Considerations    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-1
7.3.1  Altitude    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-1
7.3.2  Airspeed   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-1
7.3.3  Turns    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-3
7.3.4  Route/Form 70 Study  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-3
7.3.5  Autopilot    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-3
7.3.6  Threats and Terrain    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-3
7.4 Low-Altitude Basics  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-3
7.4.1  Altitude ReIerence   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-3
7.4.2  Low-Altitude Hazards   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-3
7.4.3  Insidious Descent   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-3
7.4.4  Ground Probability oI Kill   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-4
7.4.5  Ridgeline Crossings   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-5
7.5 Route Abort Procedures  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-5
7.5.1  General   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-5
7.5.2  Aborting the Low-Altitude Arena   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-5
7.6 Low-Altitude Mission Planning   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-6
7.6.1  Mission Objective    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-6
7.6.2  Threats   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-6
7.6.3  Terrain   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-6
7.6.4  Air Force Mission Support System Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-6
7.6.5  Route and Turn Point Selection   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-7
7.6.6  Multi-Ship DeconIliction   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-7
7.6.7  Update/OIIset Points    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-7
7.6.8  Chart Selection  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-7
7.7 Navigation    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-7
7.7.1  Computer Assisted Navigation    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-7
7.7.2  Visually Assisted Navigation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-7
7.7.3  Dead Reckoning  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-8
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 xi
UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
7.8 Employment Considerations   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-8
7.8.1  Attack Timeline   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-8
7.8.2  InIrared Acquisition and Designation System   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-8
7.8.3  Low-Altitude Formations    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-8
7.8.4  Low Altitude Weapons Employment    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-8
CHAPTER 8—NIGHT AND ADVERSE WEATHER OPERATIONs
8.1 Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-1
8.2 Night Ground Ops  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-1
8.2.1  Lighting and Filters   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-1
8.3 Night Taxi  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-1
8.4 Night Takeoff  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-2
8.4.1  Lights   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-2
8.4.2  Cockpit Review   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-2
8.4.3  LiIt oII    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-2
8.4.4  Climb   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-2
8.4.5  Departure   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-2
8.5 Night Formations    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-2
8.5.1  Night Vision Goggles Formations   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-2
8.5.2  Night Vision Goggle Lead Considerations    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-2
8.6 Night Approaches   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-2
8.6.1  Double Checks   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-5
8.6.2  HUD Setup  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-5
8.7 After Landing At Night  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-5
8.7.1  Taxi Back   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-5
8.7.2  Cockpit Clean Up  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-5
8.8 Weather . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-5
8.8.1  Avoidance    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-5
8.8.2  Avoidance Failed   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-5
CHAPTER 9—Night SYSTEMS: NIGHT VISION GOGGLES AND IRADS
9.1 Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-1
9.2 Night Vision Goggles    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-1
9.2.1  Night Vision Goggle Operations   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-1
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9.2.2  Night Vision Goggle Capabilities    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-5
9.2.3  Night Vision Goggle Planning Considerations   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-8
9.2.4  Environmental Conditions   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-8
9.2.5  Night Vision Goggle PerIormance Considerations   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-8
9.2.6  Night Vision Goggle Limitations    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-10
9.2.7  Night Vision Goggle Employment    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-12
9.2.8  Night Vision Goggle Formations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-14
9.3 Infrared Acquisition and Designation System   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-15
9.3.1  The InIrared Acquisition and Designation System   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-15
9.3.2  InIrared Acquisition and Designation System Mission                                            
Planning Considerations    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-15
9.3.3  InIrared Acquisition and Designation System Ground Operations   . . .  9-17
9.3.4  InIrared Acquisition and Designation System En Route Considerations   9-18
9.3.5  InIrared Acquisition/Designation System Attack Mission                                    
Planning Considerations    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-19
9.3.6  Non-Visual Attack Formations    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-25
9.3.7  Visual Formation Options—Day and Night Vision Goggle   . . . . . . . .  9-25
ATTACHMENT 1—OPERATIONAL BREVITY WORDS, DEFINITIONS,
AND COUNTERAIR COMMUNICATION STANDARDS
A1.1 General  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-1
A1.2 Layout    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-1
A1.3 USAF and 1oint Operational Brevity Words   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-1
A1.4 Categorized Brevity Lists   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-29
A1.5 Terms and Definitions    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-33
A1.6 Air-to-Air Communication Standards    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-40
A1.6.1   Communications Plan   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-40
A1.6.2   Communications Fundamentals   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-40
A1.6.3   IdentiIication Criteria and Rules oI Engagement   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-42
A1.6.4   Calling the Picture and Labels    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-44
A1.6.5   Comm Ior Groups CAPping (Pre-Commit Pictures)    . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-45
A1.6.6   Picture Labeling    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-46
A1.6.7   Bounding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-55
A1.6.8   Inner-Group Formation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-56
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A1.6.9   Maneuvering Groups    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-58
A1.6.10 Faded Comm and Techniques  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-60
A1.6.11 Electronic Attack    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-61
A1.6.12 New Groups    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-61
A1.6.13 Additional Groups  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-62
A1.6.14 Pop-Up Groups   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-62
A1.6.15 Fighter Cold Ops   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-63
A1.6.16 New Picture Comm   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-63
A1.6.17 Untargeted Group   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-64
A1.6.18 Final Lock Comm   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-64
A1.6.19 Clean Comm   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-65
A1.6.20 Engaged Comm  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-65
A1.6.21 Threat Calls   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-66
A1.6.22 BOGEY DOPE   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-66
A1.6.23 SPIKE Comm   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-67
A1.6.24 Mud/Singer Comm   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-67
ATTACHMENT 2—GLOSSARY OF REFERENCES AND                      
SUPPORTING INFORMATION
A2.1 References    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A2-1
A2.2 Acronyms and Abbreviations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A2-1
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LIST OF FIGURES
page
Figure 3.1  Two-Ship Runway Lineup   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-3
Figure 3.2  Three-Ship Runway Lineup   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-4
Figure 3.3  Four-Ship Runway Lineup    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-5
Figure 3.4  FLIR Assisted Trail Departure Setup    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-7
Figure 3.5  Fingertip (Close) Position    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3-9
Figure 4.1  Master Test Switch    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-7
Figure 4.2  Brake Control Panel   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-10
Figure 4.3  DEP Setup    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-13
Figure 4.4  TakeoII Sight Picture   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-15
Figure 4.5  Departure Autopilot Settings   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-18
Figure 5.1  Sample Basic Range Attack Pattern    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-8
Figure 5.2  Tuning Example  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-14
Figure 5.3  Dual Door SMD Example   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5-20
Figure 6.1  Endgame Geometry   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-3
Figure 6.2  KC-135 Observation Position    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-5
Figure 6.3  KC-10 Observation Position    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-6
Figure 6.4  Pre-Contact Position    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-7
Figure 6.5  Contact Position   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-9
Figure 6.6  Director Lights   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-10
Figure 7.1  Radar Line oI Sight to Airborne Targets Irom SurIace Emitters  . . . . . . . .  7-2
Figure 8.1  Trail   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-3
Figure 8.2  Station Keeping   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8-4
Figure 9.1  Image IntensiIication   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-2
Figure 9.2  Comparison oI the Human Eye and Third-Generation NVGs  . . . . . . . . . .  9-3
Figure 9.3  ANVIS-9 NVGs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-4
Figure 9.4  Lighting Controls   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-6
Figure 9.5  Comparison oI NVG and IRADS Technology    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-7
Figure 9.6  Podium EIIect    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-21
Figure 9.7  Weapons Acquisition Footprint   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-24
Figure A1.1  Two Groups Azimuth    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-3
Figure A1.2  Bearing (Northwest) Inner Group Formation    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-4
Figure A1.3  Four-Group Box  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-5
Figure A1.4  Three-Group Champagne    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-7
Figure A1.5  Container Inner Group Formation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-9
Figure A1.6  Echelon Fill-Ins   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-11
Figure A1.7  Ladder Pictures    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-15
Figure A1.8  Lead-Trail Inner Group Formation    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-15
Figure A1.9  Line Abreast Inner Group Formation    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-16
Figure A1.10  Two Groups Range    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-20
Figure A1.11  Stinger Inner Group Formation   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-25
Figure A1.12  Three-Group VIC  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-27
xvi AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
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Figure A1.13  Four-Group Wall   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-28
Figure A1.14  Wedge Inner Group Formation    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-28
Figure A1.15  CAP Comm    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-46
Figure A1.16  Counteropposing CAPs   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-47
Figure A1.17  Beam CAP   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-47
Figure A1.18  Counterrotating CAPs    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-48
Figure A1.19  Marshaling Group    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-48
Figure A1.20  Azimuth   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-49
Figure A1.21  Range   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-50
Figure A1.22  Echelon Fill-In   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-50
Figure A1.23  Champagne    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-51
Figure A1.24  VIC  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-51
Figure A1.25  Wall and Ladder Presentations    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-52
Figure A1.26  Five-Group Ladder    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-53
Figure A1.27  Four-Group Wall   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-55
Figure A1.28  Four-Group Box  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-56
Figure A1.29  Bounding   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-57
Figure A1.30  Inner Group Formations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-59
Figure A1.31  Maneuvering Groups Inside “Meld/MTR” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-60
Figure A1.32  Maneuvering Groups (Core InIormation)    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-61
Figure A1.33  Additional Group   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-62
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 xvii
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LIST OF TABLES
page
Table 4.1 Common FCS Failure Codes    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-9
Table 4.2 Penetration Settings    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-22
Table 4.3 Aborts   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4-38
Table 7.1 Low Altitude ReIerences    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-1
Table 7.2 Time to Impact (seconds) in a Wings-Level Dive    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-4
Table 7.3 Time-to-Impact (seconds) in a Level Turn     . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-5
Table 7.4 Wings-Level versus Level Turn   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7-5
Table 9.1 NVG/IRADS Comparison    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9-7
Table A1.1 Basic Air-to-Air Employment    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-30
Table A1.2 Basic Air-to-SurIace Employment   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-30
Table A1.3 Close Air Support   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-30
Table A1.4 Combat Search and Rescue  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-31
Table A1.5 Command/Control    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-31
Table A1.6 SEAD/Rivet Joint Integration   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-32
Table A1.7 Laser   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-32
Table A1.8 Night Vision Device/IR Illuminator   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-32
Table A1.9 Data Link    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-32
Table A1.10 Joint STARS   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-32
Table A1.11 Joint Maritime Operations    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A1-32
xviii AFTTP 3-3.18, 19 October 2004
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THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 1-1
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
1.1  Overview.  Aerial warIare is still a relatively new Iorm oI combat, spanning a period oI only
90 years. During that time, rapid technological developments have spurred progress Irom very
primitive weapons systems to the inclusion oI stealth into modern Iighters. The unmatched
precision and low observable (LO) characteristics oI the F-117 are primarily the result oI these
recent advancements. Nevertheless, the basic principles oI aerial combat have remained virtually
unchanged.  These  Iundamentals  or  standards  Iorm  the  Ioundation  oI  training  Ior  tactical
employment.  This  document  provides  guidance  to  these  Iundamentals  as  they  apply  to
employment oI the F-117 weapons system.   
1.2  Purpose.  This manual supplements both Iormal and continuation training (CT) programs
and, with AFTTP 3-1, provides aircrew the inIormation needed to make the right decisions during
any phase oI a tactical mission.  AFTTP 3-3 provides no authority or sanctions to depart Irom
established training procedures and directives; nor is it directive in nature.
1.3  Change Procedures.   AircraIt  modiIication,  operational  and  training  experience  dictate
changes to this volume. Old procedures and tactics are never disregarded simply because they
have been around Ior a while. At the same time, new and better ways oI accomplishing the mission
evolve and need to be incorporated into this volume. SaIety oI Ilight changes are incorporated as
soon as possible. Other inputs are included during the biannual update cycle. Suggested changes
are to be Iorwarded Irom any level oI command to: Headquarters (HQ) ACC/DOT, 205 Dodd
Blvd, Suite 101, Langley AFB, Virginia 23665-2789. 
1-2 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 2-1
CHAPTER 2
MISSION PREPARATION
2.1 Introduction. Mission preparation is a key to success in training and combat. The success oI
all that Iollows (e.g., brieIing, execution, and debrieIing) is directly related to the amount and
quality oI preparation. First, determine mission objectives in terms oI the desired improvement in
measurable combat capability and related basic aircrew skills. Second, prepare yourselI Ior the
mission. Finally, decide how to brieI and execute the mission. This chapter addresses several
planning considerations.
2.2 Establishing Priorities and Situational Awareness.
2.2.1 General. Task prioritization during the heat oI the mission is paramount. There are
occasions when not all tasks can be done at once; prioritizing the tasks is required to ensure
mission accomplishment.
2.2.2 Fundamental Tasks. Know the Iollowing Iundamental tasks:
· Maintain aircraIt control.
· Do not hit the ground or anything attached to it.
· Do not hit anything in the air (e.g., lead or wingman).
· Do not run out oI Iuel.
· Do not let anything shot Irom the ground or air hit the aircraIt.
2.2.3 Changes in Priorities. There may be shiIts in Iundamental task priorities, but they are
never completely removed. For example, at 20,000 Ieet in close Iormation in the weather,
avoiding a midair collision is a bigger concern than hitting the ground.
2.2.4 Mission Accomplishment. This task has a high priority; however, in peacetime there
is no mission more important than saIe recovery oI the Ilight. The aircrew cannot aIIord to
exceed personal limits in the desire Ior mission accomplishment. Aircrew limits vary Irom
day-to-day, based on psychological and physical preparation.
2.3 Mental and Physical Considerations. A Iighter mission demands total involvement,
whether it is actual combat or continuation training (CT). This means being mentally and
physically prepared Ior the mission. Mental preparation requires setting aside outside stresses to
allow Ior total concentration on the mission. Physical preparation means conditioning the body
Ior the extraordinary demands oI aerial combat and adopting a healthy liIestyle. 7KLV LV DQ
DWWLWXGH. The Iighter pilot's attitude is a proper blend oI pride, desire, aggressiveness, and
knowledge.
2.3.1 G-Induced Loss of Consciousness. USAF Iighter aircraIt can currently exceed pilot
tolerance Ior sustained high gravitational load Iactors (G). This capability oIten allows pilots
to apply more Gs than their bodies can tolerate; aIter a 'short grace period,¨ oxygen available
to the brain is depleted and consciousness is lost. Pilots must anticipate G onset, control the G
onset rate, and coordinate their G straining maneuver. This takes physical preparedness,
mental discipline, and practice to master. Failure to do so could spell disaster. G-induced loss
2-2 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
oI consciousness (GLOC) has two serious traits. First, it is more dangerous than other pilot
stresses because it is not possible Ior pilots to accurately and reliably know how close they are
to the GLOC threshold. Second, since amnesia (oI the incident) is a characteristic oI GLOC, a
pilot may not remember a loss oI consciousness and, thereIore, may not be cognizant oI any
'close calls¨ the pilot was lucky enough to have survived. The best solution to the GLOC
problem is pilot awareness. The pilot has ultimate control over G stress Iactors. The F-117 is
potentially more dangerous than other aircraIt as Iar as Gs are concerned. In most Iighter
aircraIt, pilots expect to pull Gs commensurate with aircraIt perIormance. In the F-117, pilots
normally do not expect to pull more than 3 Gs. This sets up the potential Ior GLOC iI sudden
abrupt maneuvers are made Iar exceeding the pilot`s expectation oI Gs during a sortie. Pilots
must always use caution when applying Gs to the aircraIt.
2.3.2 Mental Considerations. LayoIIs such as a long leave, duties not including Ilying
(DNIF), or even just coming out oI a low G Ilying phase can have an impact on the pilot`s
mental preparedness and requires a build-up oI mission tasking tolerance. Anxiety in new
situations or other pressures can mask objectivity in assessing tolerance. Aggressiveness, iI
not properly controlled, can lead to overconIidence and inattention to, or disregard Ior bodily
warning signs oI Iatigue and stress. Pilots need to be aware oI these Iactors and be on guard
Ior signs oI stress limits. An individual's tolerance and warning signs can vary signiIicantly
Irom day-to-day. The Iollowing can help pilots stay mentally Iit Ior the mission.
2.3.2.1 Avoiding Unnecessary Risk. IdentiIy high-stress situations and maneuvers in the
brieIing Ior each mission and the proper techniques Ior avoiding or mitigating risk.
2.3.2.2 Flight Lead Considerations. Flight leads should exercise strong control and
monitor the Ilight members. Consider coming home early iI any Ilight member
demonstrates Iatigue.
2.3.3 Physical Considerations. The Iighter crew member on a good diet, with proper
physical conditioning, and adequate rest is physically prepared to meet demanding mission
tasks. There is a negatively synergistic eIIect when more than one oI these Iactors is below
standard. Proper physical conditioning involving anaerobic training (e.g., Iree weights,
Nautilus, Universal Gym, and Hydra-Fitness) and aerobic training (e.g., running, racquetball,
and cycling) play an important role in improved mission success. Proper mission planning
begins with good physical preparedness.
2.4 Misprioritization and Basic Situational Awareness. Misprioritization during any mission
will result in channelized attention and can have disastrous results. By proIessionally preparing Ior
each mission and deIining objectives accounting Ior the lowest common denominator, you can
delay or deny task saturation Iactors. Each member oI the team must mentally Ily the mission
beIore strapping on the jet (chair Ily/hangar Ily). Search Ior situations that are most critical and
mentally address what would happen in the cockpit: instrument cross-check, change switches,
conduct visual search, audibilize a 'surprise,¨ have an emergency. Stress basic situational
awareness (SA). Fighter pilots are not born with it; it must be developed and kept 'current.¨
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 2-3
2.5 Objectives.
2.5.1 Mission Objectives. Mission objectives should be the basis Ior mission preparation.
The mission objectives give the 'big picture¨ oI what is happening. Examples oI mission
objectives are 'Destroy the assigned targets on time, with no losses.¨ The speciIic or
'training¨ objectives are perIormance statements used to measure individual and team success
during the mission.
2.5.2 Training Objective Components. A valid objective has three parts: perIormance,
conditions, and standards. They must be measurable and achievable.
2.5.2.1 Performance. This is what each pilot or the Ilight does during the mission. It
describes action and is not vague. Use action verbs such as: employ, practice, negate, etc.
2.5.2.2 Conditions. These are starting parameters such as 'with no GPS¨ or 'on a
controlled range with BDU-33 practice ordnance.¨
2.5.2.3 Standards. They state how well the task must be perIormed, and is categorized
by time limits, accuracy, and quality (e.g., 'meeting valid attack criteria¨ or 'tracking
within 1 mil¨).
2.5.3 Defined Objectives. DeIine objectives with contingencies and other planning
considerations such as weather, sun position, day or night, the threat, or the air tasking order
(ATO) in mind. Well-deIined objectives are based on the mission requirements and the
particular mission`s most limiting Iactor (e.g., weather, wingman experience, and so Iorth).
Clear objectives limit the impact oI distractions and Iocus attention on mission
accomplishment.
2.6 Mission Preparation. From a basic student upgrade sortie to a complex combat scenario, the
success oI any F-117 mission demands thorough preparation. This preparation consists oI two
phases: mission planning and mission brieIing. Incomplete preparation in either area degrades
mission accomplishment.
2.6.1 Mission Planning Accomplishment. The Ilight leader establishes priorities Ior
mission planning and delegates them to Ilight members to ensure all planning considerations
are addressed while precluding any duplication oI eIIort. All Ilight members, as well as
intelligence, targeteers and weather, should be involved in the mission preparation. The depth
oI planning detail is dictated by the mission and Ilight experience level, but all necessary
mission planning must be completed in time to conduct a concise, comprehensive brieIing.
There are many Iactors which must be considered to ensure preparation is thorough.
2.6.1.1 Main Factors. Two main Iactors which determine the direction oI mission
preparation are the role oI the F-117 Ior the particular mission (e.g., deep strike,
interdiction, time-sensitive targeting |TST|) and the overall mission objective (e.g.,
student training, syllabus objectives, CT, visual bombing, or combat target destruction).
2.6.1.2 Additional Factors. Additional Iactors which must be addressed during mission
preparation, depending on the role and overall objective, include:
· Flight size.
· Experience level oI Ilight members.
2-4 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
· Higher headquarters (HQ) guidancesyllabus, air Iorce instructions (AFI), and
ATO (Irag).
· Support assets.
· Controlling agencies.
· Communications.
· Fuel considerations and reIueling.
· Rules oI engagement (ROE)/Special instructions (SPINS).
· Target.
· Routing.
· Threats.
· Weather.
· AircraIt stores conIiguration.
· Weapons delivery options.
2.6.2 Briefing.
2.6.2.1 Mission Briefing. The brieIing sets the tone Ior the entire mission. Establish
goals and have a plan to accomplish them. Write the mission objectives on the board.
Outline the standard that measures successIul perIormance.
2.6.2.2 Standard Briefing Items. Cover start, taxi, takeoII, recovery, and relevant special
subjects in an eIIicient manner. Elements oI the mission which are standard are brieIed as
'Standard.¨ Spend most oI the time describing the 'what¨ and 'how to¨ oI the mission.
2.6.2.3 Mission Support Briefs. II support assets, Iriendly players, intelligence (Intel), or
other mission personnel are present, brieI them Iirst on the pertinent inIormation and the
mission. However, ground-controlled intercept (GCI)/airborne warning and control
system (AWACS) controllers need to receive the entire tactical brieIing. Alternate
missions will be less complex but also have speciIic objectives.
2.6.2.4 Briefing Technique. The Ilight lead needs to be dynamic and enthusiastic. He
motivates and challenges the Ilight to perIorm to planned expectations, asking questions to
involve Ilight members and determine brieIing eIIectiveness. II other Ilight members are
involved in the brieIing process, keep the number oI speakers to a minimum to avoid
duplication or contradiction oI inIormation and to control brevity.
2.7 Mission Execution.
2.7.1 Flight Leadership. Flight leaders have the general responsibility Ior planning and
organizing the mission, leading the Ilight, delegating tasks within the Ilight, and ensuring
mission accomplishment. They are in charge oI the resources entrusted to them; they must
know the capabilities and limitations oI each member oI the team. Once airborne, they have
the Iinal responsibility and controlling authority Ior establishing the Iormations, maximizing
the Ilight's eIIectiveness, and leading the Ilight successIully to and Irom the target.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 2-5
2.7.2 Wingman Responsibilities. Wingmen have the supporting role in the Ilight. They help
the leader plan and organize the mission. They have visual lookout and deconIliction
responsibilities, perIorm back-up navigation tasks, and are essential to target destruction
objectives in a surIace attack role. It is essential wingmen understand their brieIed
responsibilities and execute their contract in a disciplined manner.
2.7.3 Flight Discipline. Discipline is perhaps the most important element Ior success in any
aspect oI aerial combat. On an individual basis, it consists oI selI-control, maturity, and
judgment in a high-stress, emotionally charged environment. Teamwork is an integral part oI
discipline; individuals evaluate their own actions and how they aIIect the Ilight and mission
accomplishment. II all Ilight members know their respective duties, they work together as a
team. Experience and realistic training leads to solid and proIessional discipline in the air.
2.8 Debriefing.
2.8.1 Purpose. The objective oI the debrieI is twoIold. First, was the mission
accomplished? II not, then Iind out why not, and determine iI it needs to be repeated. Second,
were the mission objectives achieved? What aspects oI the mission (good and bad) can be
used as learning points to improve mission accomplishment?
2.8.2 Preparation. Reconstruction oI the mission objectives occupies much oI the
debrieIing. BeIore the debrieIing, use everything available (e.g., videotape recorder |VTR|,
notes, and range scores) to reconstruct the mission and develop the evaluation. Preparation
beIore the debrieI with Ilight members and support assets provides Ior a well-controlled,
eIIective debrieIing. An honest assessment oI accomplishments is more important than
'winning the debrieI.¨ Be alert Ior training rule violations and Iix any deviations to
regulations or saIety immediately.
2.8.3 Debriefing Techniques.
2.8.3.1 General. Get the small items (administrative details) out oI the way Iirst. Discuss
signiIicant departures Irom the brieIed Ilow or established procedures without belaboring
the items. Review the mission objectives and provide a general impression oI mission
success. Begin any debrieIing discussion by Iirst deciding iI the mission objective was
met. II not, the primary Iocus should be on Iinding out 'why¨ and then discovering the
reason. Lessons learned and points to ponder should be passed on to other Ilights or could
be used to update tactics in the Iuture.
2.8.3.2 Complex Missions. Some missions do not lend themselves to detailed
reconstruction. Choose only the signiIicant events that impacted the objectives oI the ride.
The Iinal summary includes an assessment oI strong and weak points and the required
corrections.
2-6 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 3-1
CHAPTER 3
FORMATION
3.1 General Tasks.
3.1.1 Introduction. Formation discipline is essential Ior the saIe and eIIicient employment oI
the F-117. During combat operations, Iormation may be required to coordinate oIIensive
weapons eIIects, mutual support, and survivability. The integrity oI a Iormation is maintained
only when the leader has complete knowledge and control oI the actions oI each Ilight
member. The Ilight leader brieIs the Iormations to be Ilown and Iormation responsibilities.
Wingmen maintain assigned Iormation position until a change is ordered or approved by the
Flight Lead.
3.1.2 Communication. Discipline within a Iormation is immediately evident in its
communications, whether by radio or visual signals. Regardless oI the method, all
communications must be clearly understood by every Ilight member. Radio discipline
requires not only clarity and brevity in the message itselI, but limiting unnecessary
transmissions as well.
3.1.2.1 Call Sign Usage. Always use the complete assigned call sign Ior Ilight
transmissions. Radio calls are preIaced by the Ilight call sign to alert wingmen that a
message is directed to the Ilight. Wingmen acknowledge all radio calls unless brieIed
otherwise, with their position number ('STEALTH 2,¨ 'STEALTH 3,¨ or 'STEALTH 4¨).
Reliance on voice recognition or inIlection to identiIy other aircraIt is a poor peacetime
practice and intolerable in combat. In exercises or combat, situational awareness (SA) is
the key to success, and disciplined call sign use is required. Poor radio discipline quickly
degrades SA.
3.1.2.2 Visual Signals. To keep radio transmissions to a minimum, use visual signals
during the daytime whenever practical. Unless the Ilight leader speciIically brieIs
nonstandard or unit speciIic signals, use only standard AFI 11-205, $LUFUDIW &RFNSLW DQG
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3.1.3 Lead Changes.
3.1.3.1 Transfer of Role. Lead changes require a clear transIer oI roles and deconIliction
responsibilities Irom one Ilight member to another. Lead changes are initiated and
acknowledged with either a radio call or visual signal. Obtain visual contact with the new
lead beIore initiating a lead change. The lead change is eIIective upon acknowledgement.
All Ilight members continue to ensure aircraIt separation during position changes. The new
leader continues to monitor the new wingman`s position.
3.1.3.2 Lead Change Acknowledgement. II using the radio to initiate or acknowledge
the lead change, use call signs and be speciIic. An example is: 'STEALTH 2, TAKE THE
LEAD ON THE LEFT.¨ The acknowledgement is: 'STEALTH 2 HAS THE LEAD ON
THE LEFT.¨ Lead changes using visual signals may be preIerred during the daytime.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 3-2
3.2 Basic Formation.
3.2.1 Ground Operations. The leader will brieI the Ilight procedures, but taxi will normally
be 20 minutes prior to takeoII, rather than 15, to ensure the two-ship can get through
quick-check in time.
3.2.2 Runway Lineup. The Ilight lead will determine which side oI the runway to take aIter
considering departure route, wind direction, runway conditions, and runway width.
3.2.2.1 Two-Ship Lineup. Flight lead will normally take the middle oI the assigned side
oI the runway. Number Two pulls Iorward to align the gear oI lead. Usually 10 Ieet
between wingtips is suIIicient. A technique to ensure wingtip spacing is Ior Number Two
to take the center oI the assigned side oI the runway (depending on runway width). (See
Figure 3.1, Two-Ship Runway Lineup.)
3.2.2.2 Three-Ship Lineup. Flight lead will line up near the edge oI the side oI the
runway. Number Two pulls Iorward on the runway centerline to align the gear oI lead.
Number Three lines up towards the edge oI the assigned side oI the runway, aligned on the
gear oI Number Two. All aircraIt should have a minimum oI 10-Ioot wingtip spacing. (See
Figure 3.2, Three-Ship Runway Lineup.)
3.2.2.3 Four-Ship Lineup. During daytime operations only, the Flight lead will line up
500 Ieet down on the appropriate side near the edge oI the runway. Number Two lines up
with the wingtip on the centerline on the opposite side oI the runway. Number Three lines
up with a wingtip on the centerline lined up centered behind Numbers One and Two.
Number Four lines up near the edge oI the opposite side oI the runway, lining up Number
Three`s gear. (See Figure 3.3, Four-Ship Runway Lineup.)
3.2.3 Engine Run-Up. During daytime, the wingman will turn on the landing light when
cleared Ior takeoII. For two-ships lead will signiIy engine run-up by visual signal and the
wingman will respond with a head nod when ready. At night, Ior two-ship Ilights the wingman
will turn oII the taxi light to signiIy readiness Ior engine run-up. When lead turns on his
landing light the wingman then perIorms the run-up checks and signiIies ready Ior takeoII by
turning the landing light on. For Iour-ship Ilights, Number Three calls ready when Number
Four signals ready through a head nod or taxi light oII. Lead will signal run-up by radio call or
landing light on at night.
3.2.4 Trail Departure. The purpose oI a trail departure is to get a Ilight oI two or more
aircraIt airborne when conditions do not permit a visual Iormation Rejoin out oI traIIic. Wet
runways, crosswind limits, stores conIiguration diIIerences, low ceilings, or poor visibility are
normally the deciding Iactors. The Ilight lead`s responsibility is to Ily the published departure
as brieIed. The wingman`s overriding priority is to maintain aircraIt control. The pilot should
concentrate on instrument Ilying during the departure.
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Figure 3.3 Four-Ship Runway Lineup.
Four Ship Runway Lineup
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 3-6
3.2.4.1 Before Takeoff.
3.2.4.1.1 Review the Departure. As a technique, set the FLIR in SRCH, WFOV and
slew the inIrared acquisition and detection system (IRADS) cursor to approximately 3
degrees above the horizon. This will assist in eyeballing Lead (and/or Number Two)
when saIely airborne and climbing on the departure. Have the departure plate out and
the navigation displays set up properly prior to takeoII.
3.2.4.1.2 Clearance. All Ilight members should listen careIully to the clearance and
controlling agencies Ior nonstandard or unpublished restrictions.
3.2.4.2 After Takeoff.
3.2.4.2.1 FLIR Assist. With SRCH and WFOV selected, Lead (and/or Number Two)
will normally show up in the center oI the screen. AIter establishing a saIe climb rate,
adjust as required Ior additional SA. (See Figure 3.4, FLIR Assisted Trail Departure.)
3.2.4.2.2 Fly the Departure. Do not sacriIice aircraIt control and basic instrument
procedures while Ilying the departure. Proper execution oI the departure procedure
will ensure proper separation throughout the procedure. Flight leads will call out any
unbrieIed changes. Accelerate to the brieIed climb airspeed, then climb out at the
pre-brieIed power setting, normally military power. Do not accelerate to closing
airspeed until leveled oII, unless otherwise brieIed.
3.2.4.2.3 Maintaining Track. During constant heading segments oI the standard
instrument departure, use small heading changes to maintain track behind Lead.
Wingmen may oIIset the preceding aircraIt slightly to avoid jet wash. Strong
crosswinds may cause the aircraIt in Iront to be oIIset Irom the expected no-wind
position.
3.2.4.2.4 Turns. Anticipate Lead`s turns on the situation display (SID). To maintain
trail in turns, the rule oI thumb is Ior 30 degrees oI bank; delay the turn 10 seconds Ior
each mile in trail.
3.2.4.2.5 Spacing. To maintain the brieIed spacing, comply with the SID routing and
restrictions. Power and airspeed can be used, but is the least desirable means oI
maintaining spacing because oI the accordion eIIect on Number Three.
3.2.4.2.6 Altitude. Fly the SID precisely and maintain appropriate altitude separation
Make all appropriate SID turns, level-oIIs, and course changes. Fly precise
instruments, maintain airspeed, Iollow the SID, and there will not be a conIlict. Even
without a FLIR eyeball, lead should be within a Iew degrees and 2 to 3 NM oI the nose
when breaking out on top oI the clouds.
3.2.4.2.7 Errors. The most common cause oI error during the trail departure is not
Ilying the SID.
3.2.5 Climb Out. Both aircraIt climb at 300 KCAS in mil power. Using 30 degrees oI bank,
Ily the published DP or the ATC departure clearance. Maintain the navigational routing to the
Iirst steer point. TACAN air-to-air in the 'X¨ or 'Y¨ channel (as brieIed) is used to set the
Ilight spacing at 1 NM trail or as brieIed. The wingman should initially level oII 1,000 Ieet
below the leader, then close to the brieIed position Ior station-keeping. Ensure the altimeter is
set at 29.92, passing FL180.
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 3-8
3.3 Basic Formations.
3.3.1 Fingertip Formation. When Ilying Close Formation with another F-117, align the tip
oI the lead aircraIt`s wing with the midpoint oI the engine exhaust (Iore and aIt) and align the
aIt tips oI the vertical stabilizers (in and out). Another set oI reIerences Ior Iore and aIt is
setting the wingtip light (position light) at the intersection oI the Iins and the Iuselage. A small
portion oI the inlet grid should be visible. Roll outs Irom turns require more Iorward stick
pressure than most aircraIt. The wingman will stack just low enough to see the wingtip
position light on the underside oI the wing. (See Figure 3.5, Fingertip |Close| Position.)
3.3.2 Route Formation. Route is an extension (up to 500 Ieet) oI the Close Formation
reIerences. The wingtip light in the intersection oI the Iin and Iuselage is probably easiest to
see Irom Iarther distances. The position allows wingmen to comIortably check cockpit
instruments, provide visual lookout and still be close enough to move into Close Formation iI
weather or other circumstances dictate. During turns, the element or aircraIt turned into stacks
down only as necessary to keep Lead in sight and stay below Lead`s plane oI maneuver. When
turned away, the element or wingman executes an Echelon Turn. (See paragraph 3.3.6,
Echelon.) Crossunders may be directed as in Close Formation using a wing Ilash.
3.3.3 Day Three-Ship Close/Route Formation. Under i ns t r ument met eor ol ogi cal
conditions (IMC), Lead should not exceed 30 degrees oI bank. Number Two should stack
slightly low while in echelon so Number Three can see through Number Two to align canopies
with Lead.
3.3.4 Crossunders. The F-117 canopy structure restricts visibility during crossunders and in
banks in excess oI 60 degrees. During crossunders, reduce power to driIt aIt and low oI the
lead aircraIt, ensuring nose/tail separation. Drop Iar enough aIt to ensure visual contact is
maintained without restriction Irom the canopy structure. Cross to the opposite side and move
back to the original position.
3.3.5 Element Crossunders. When an element crosses under, the element drops below and
behind the Lead (element) maintaining nose-tail and vertical clearance, crosses to the opposite
side, then moves up into position. Number Four changes position during the crossunder when
Number Three passes behind Lead. To return to Fingertip Formation, the leader makes a radio
call.
3.3.6 Echelon. In Echelon Turns, maintain the same relative position as Fingertip Ior turns
into the echelon. For turns away, the Iuselage oI all aircraIt will be maintained in the same
horizontal plane. Lead aircraIt should attempt to maintain 45 degrees oI bank and will not
exceed 60 degrees oI bank. The common tendency is to drop aIt. This is due to blockage oI
visual reIerences by the top oI the canopy. As long as 45 degrees oI bank is not exceeded, this
is not a problem. Route echelon is an Echelon Formation with route spacing between aircraIt.
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 3-10
3.3.7 Pitchouts and Rejoins.
3.3.7.1 Pitchouts. During the pitchout, use 2 Gs and 60 degrees angle oI bank unless lead
brieIs otherwise. Sight will probably be lost during the Iirst part oI the turn, so a uniIorm
pitchout will ensure aircraIt separation and make it easier to regain visual as during roll
out. Ideally, lead will pitch out with approximately 350 KCAS so there is energy through
the turn and roll out with 300 KCAS or better. Do not take more than Iive seconds spacing
to avoid the increased probability oI losing sight oI Lead. II ever blind, let lead know
immediately. With lead in sight, call 'TWO`S VISUAL.¨ Lead will give a wing rock
beginning in the direction oI the planned turn to direct the Rejoin. II it is straight ahead, the
Rejoin will be directed on the radio.
3.3.7.2 Turning Rejoins. During the initial portion oI the Rejoin, the wingman should
maneuver to place the lead aircraIt in the Iorward portion oI the side window. AIter closing
to within 6,000 to 8,000 Ieet, the wingman should then maneuver to place lead on the line
Ior the Iinal portion oI the Rejoin. The rejoin line is deIined as the vertical stabilizer
halIway through the upper wing during the Rejoin. Exercise caution during the Iinal
portion oI the join up since speed brakes are not available to control closure rates. Also, it
is not a good idea to cross control (slip/skid) the aircraIt in an attempt to slow down. A
good technique to control closure during the Rejoin is to reduce overtake to 10 knots Ior
each 1,000 Ieet oI closure (i.e., when 3,000 Ieet back, have 30 knots closure, at 2,000 Ieet,
20 knots, and so Iorth). Once proIicient, modiIy these parameters as necessary to expedite
the Rejoin. Rejoins require a continuous cross-check oI airspeed, position, and relative
closure to the lead aircraIt. II not perIormed correctly, a Rejoin can become hazardous.
AircraIt always rejoin in sequential order. Number Two rejoins to the inside oI turns,
Numbers Three and Four go to the outside. II overtake is excessive approaching the route
position, initiate a controlled overshoot. Reduce bank angle to maintain sight oI Lead and
ensure nose-tail separation passing behind and below lead`s aircraIt. Stabilize on the
outside oI the turn, then smoothly cross back under and complete the Rejoin to Fingertip.
Standard rejoin airspeed is 300 KCAS. During Turning Rejoins, lead will use 30 degrees
oI bank, unless otherwise brieIed.
3.3.7.3 Straight Ahead Rejoin. While rejoining straight ahead, it may be diIIicult to
gauge distance and rate oI closure without using air-to-air TACAN. This may be attributed
to the Ilat color and basic odd shape oI the jet. A conservative rule oI thumb is 350 KCAS
until inside 3,000 Ieet, then 320 until approaching route. As a technique, use the Ilight
vector in the head-up display (HUD) to assist in estimating the distance. At about 3,000
Ieet, the F-117 should be the same size as the interior oI the Ilight vector circle and two
vertical Iins can be identiIied. At about 2,000 Ieet, the F-117 is approximately 2/3 the size
oI the Ilight vector. At approximately 1,000 Ieet, aspect angle begins to become clearly
visible and the F-117 is the same size as the Ilight vector. A modiIication to this technique
is to look Ior approximately 50 KCAS oI overtake airspeed at 3,000 Ieet, then reduce speed
by 10 knots per 1,000 Ieet. At this point, make a bid to the appropriate side to complete the
Rejoin. Number Two normally joins to the leIt side with Number Three and Number Four
joining to the right oI lead. Velocity vector control is extremely important during the
rejoin phase. For a Straight Ahead Rejoin, Ily the aircraIt to a route position and once
stabilized, transition to Close Formation. Use the velocity vector by placing it just to the
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 3-11
leIt or right oI Lead. Obviously the velocity vector is only an aid and is not used as the sole
reIerence. Basic pilotage always applies, and a 'bad¨ velocity vector does not mean much
iI the wingman hits the lead.
3.3.7.4 Beacon Out Rejoins.
3.3.7.4.1 Purpose. In real-world contingency operations, the F-117 will Ily without the
rotating beacon. Beacon out training may be practiced with a two-ship in restricted or
warning areas. See AFI 11-2F-117, Vol 3, /RVW :LQJPDQ 3URFHGXUHV, Ior a list oI
applicable restrictions.
3.3.7.4.2 Visual Cues. The obvious lack oI visual cues Irom the lead aircraIt makes it
imperative to cross-check altitude and lateral separation during the Rejoin. Monitor
closure using air-to-air TACAN and airspeed. Even though lead will have the
navigation lights on bright, the aIt-Iacing white lights on the wingtips tend to blend in
with stars and ground lights. II spatial disorientation is encountered, inIorm lead and
transition to instruments, while maintaining altitude separation.
3.3.8 Formation Approach and Landing.
3.3.8.1 Approach Speed. Lead establishes an approach speed consistent with the heaviest
aircraIt. The wingman is positioned on the upwind side iI the crosswind component
exceeds 5 knots. Lead ensures suIIicient runway width is available Ior the element. AIter
conIiguring, the F-117 is extremely stable to Ily on the wing throughout the approach,
go-around, and missed approach.
3.3.8.2 Stack Level. As the wingman, maintain at least 10 Ieet oI lateral wingtip spacing.
Stack level with the lead aircraIt aIter clear oI IMC, conIigured and established in a
descent on Iinal. While stacking level on an approach (at glideslope intercept), the
mountains in the local area can create a Ialse horizon. This tends to make wingmen stack
low. Be aware oI this tendency and stack high enough to see the opposite wing on
approaches.
3.3.8.3 Missed Approach and Climb Out. During Climb Out, a technique is to have lead
set one oI the throttles one knob width short oI max. This gives the wingman some power
advantage Ior maintaining position and/or rejoining the Ilight.
3.3.9 Lost Wingman. Consider the Iollowing guidelines:
3.3.9.1 Procedures. Review AFI 11-2F-117, Vol 3, /RVW :LQJPDQ 3URFHGXUHV, beIore any
mission involving night air reIueling or IMC.
3.3.9.2 Execution. When executing lost wingman procedures, smoothly transition to
instruments. Execute the appropriate lost wingman procedure in a prompt but controlled
manner while making a radio call to lead. Smooth application oI control inputs is
imperative to minimize the eIIects oI spatial disorientation. Concentrate on the instrument
reIerences and stabilize the aircraIt. Once the pilot initiates the procedure, the pilot should
carry it through until conIirming Ilight path deconIliction (visually, radios, air traIIic
control |ATC|), and correct orientation. Do not attempt to rejoin without clearance Irom
the Ilight lead.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 3-12
3.4 Tactical Formations. In the F-117, station-keeping is normally used during night/visual
meteorological condition (VMC) operations. Trail Formation is normally used during night/IMC
operations. Both require an air route traIIic control center (ARTCC)-assigned altitude block when
operating in controlled airspace.
3.4.1 Formation Considerations. Several criteria, such as the Iollowing, are addressed when
selecting the best tactical Iormation Ior a given mission:
· Role and mission objectives.
· Threats (air and surIace).
· Flight size.
· Flight leader and wingman capabilities.
· Ordnance and Iuel load-maneuvering capability.
· Tactics (low or medium altitude).
· SurIace attack tactics and timing.
· Terrain.
· Weather (ceiling and visibility).
· Support assets (ground-controlled intercept |GCI|, electronic warIare |EW|,
suppression oI enemy air deIenses |SEAD|, and so Iorth).
· Communication rules oI engagement (ROE) (comm out, comm jamming).
3.4.2 Collision Avoidance.
3.4.2.1 Responsibility. Collision avoidance is the responsibility oI the wingman during
Iormation maneuvering. Unless directed otherwise by the Ilight lead, wingmen maneuver
to keep Lead in sight and normally deconIlict high and to the outside.
3.4.2.2 Transfer of Responsibility. The Iollowing are examples oI times when the
primary responsibility Ior deconIliction transIers to the Ilight lead:
· Turn Geometrywhen turn geometry Iorces a wingman to lose visual contact.
· Blindwhen a wingman calls 'BLIND.¨
· Padlockedwhen a wingman calls 'PADLOCKED.¨
3.4.2.3 Wingman Resumption of Responsibility. Primary responsibility Ior deconIliction
transIers back to the wingman aIter the wingman regains a visual on Lead. Although
F-117 tactical Iormations generally allow Ilexibility oI wingman maneuvers, the
diIIerences in responsibilities between the leader and the wingman demand there be no
conIusion between roles. Lead changes are usually made using the radio. The
Iundamentals oI radio discipline described in paragraph 3.1.2, Communication, are
especially critical to tactical Iormations.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 3-13
3.4.3 Two-Ship Formations.
3.4.3.1 Station Keeping (VMC).
3.4.3.1.1 Position. For Two-Ship Formations, wingman maintains a position 500 Ieet
below and a 0.2 to 0.5 NM cone behind the 3/9 line oI lead.
3.4.3.1.2 Techniques. Station-Keeping Formation will be maintained using a
combination oI visual reIerences and the air-to-air TACAN. The IRADS will not be
used to achieve or maintain Station-Keeping Formation. II heavy maneuvering is
required, the best position may be low at 6 o`clock. This will allow easy visibility oI
both wingtip lights and any change in their relationship indicating a turn.
3.4.3.2 Trail Formation (VMC or IMC).
3.4.3.2.1 Position. For Two-Ship Formations, wingman maintains a position 1,000 Ieet
below and 1.0 NM (+ 0.2) behind lead.
3.4.3.2.2 Techniques. Trail Formation will be maintained using a combination oI
visual reIerences and the air-to-air TACAN. The IRADS will not be used to achieve or
maintain trail Iormation.
3.4.4 Multi-Ship Formations. Three-ship operations should emphasize altitude separation
due to altimeter error problems, limited visibility, and poor lighting reIerences Ior the F-117.
3.4.4.1 Restrictions. The Iollowing applies to the use oI Three-Ship Formations.
3.4.4.1.1 Night. Close/Route will not be Ilown at night on another F-117, except
during tanker operations or iI the situation dictates (e.g., emergencies).
3.4.4.1.2 Three-Ship Formations. Three-Ship Formations will be limited to day
Iormation departures or night trail departures.
3.4.4.2 Station-Keeping Formation (VMC). Two maintains 0.2 to 0.5 NM and a
minimum oI 500 Ieet vertical separation. Three should maintain 0.7 to 1.0 NM and 1,000
Ieet vertical separation at all times.
3.4.4.3 Trail Formation (VMC or IMC). Two maintains 1,000 Ieet below and 1 NM
(+ 0.2 NM) behind Lead. Three maintains 2,000 Ieet below and 2 NM (+ 0.2 NM) behind
Lead.
3.4.5 Climbs and Descents.
3.4.5.1 Climbs. For climbs, the wingmen will acknowledge the altitude change, and the
Flight Lead will immediately start the climb. The wingmen will start the climb 10 seconds
later per aircraIt.
3.4.5.2 Descents. For descents, the wingmen will acknowledge the altitude change. The
highest number wingman immediately begins the descent. The remaining wingman or
Flight Lead will begin descent 10 seconds later per aircraIt. Because the wingman has
limited drag authority, it is important Ior lead to maintain power above 75 percent during
descents.
3-14 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-1
CHAPTER 4
AIRCRAFT BASICS AND INSTRUMENTS
4.1 Aircraft Basics and Navigation. This chapter discusses techniques and procedures Ior basic
aircraIt operation. It then discusses aircraIt handling maneuvers, instruments, spatial
disorientation, and abnormal operations.
4.1.1 Aircraft Preflight. Accomplish weapons and aircraIt preIlight IAW the Dash 1 and
Dash 34 checklists. II any problems develop, request a Red Ball as early as possible through
the crew chieI or squadron ops.
4.1.1.1 VTR Tape. Give the VTR tape to the crew chieI beIore entering the cockpit. He
will insert it in the recorder and close the access panel.
4.1.1.2 Forms. There are two 781A sections; one regular and one Ior the radar absorbent
material (RAM). Be vigilant Ior K entries in small print that can potentially ruin one`s day
(e.g., do not use Ieed source to correct Iuel imbalance). There may also be limitations or
mods printed on the outside oI the Iorms. The RAM A section indicates missing or
non-radar cross section (RCS) RAM.
4.1.1.3 Exterior Preflight. Weapons and aircraIt preIlight will be accomplished IAW the
Dash 1 and Dash 34 checklists. Check the weapon bays, weapons load panel (WLP), and
weapons at the start oI the exterior walk-around so the load crew can complete its job and
move to the next aircraIt. II any weapon does not match the respective WLP code, get a
weapons troop to set the correct code.
:$51,1*  On the exterior preIlight, be careIul to avoid injury Irom extended antennas, gear
doors, and such.
4.1.1.4 Brake Accumulator (in the right wheelwell). Quantity may read high (3,000
pounds per square inch |psi|) iI the brakes have not been pumped down aIter a previous
Ilight. To properly check the precharge, have the crew chieI pump down the brakes.
4.1.1.5 PASS and Tailhook. A Ilashlight is needed to see the PASS bottle and hook
accumulator pressure gages. The PASS gage is the upper oI the two gages. Both should
indicate approximately 1,000 psi.
4.1.1.6 Drag Chute Pin. Ensure the drag chute pin is removed. A good place to check this
visually is Irom dead 6 o`clock. From any other angle, the pin and streamer may not be
visible when installed. Check the end oI the pin to ensure it is rounded; iI it is not, part oI
it may have broken oII inside the jet. II the pin is removed prior to arrival at the aircraIt, an
entry veriIying removal should be in the Iorms. Although the pin may not be next to the
Iorms, the end oI the pin should still be checked.
4.1.2 Before Engine Start. When entering the cockpit, be careIul not to kick the clock, clock
knobs, throttles, or inertia reel lock handle. Use only the handgrip on the glareshield when
entering the cockpit. Do not use the glareshield or the head-up display (HUD) combining glass
Ior support.
4-2 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
:$51,1*  The canopy/seat alternate jettison T-handle requires a 50-pound pull to actuate;
however, use caution as the handle has a short actuation stroke. Be sure the handle is pinned beIore
getting into and out oI the cockpit. Ensure the ejection seat saIety lever is SAFE (up) when
entering and exiting the cockpit.
4.1.2.1 Organization. Establish the habit oI using the same cockpit organization Ior every
Ilight, according to personal preIerence. This will make cockpit management easier,
especially in an emergency and something must be Iound quickly. Ensure all required
publications are readily available.
4.1.2.2 Before Start Procedures. The cockpit interior check will be accomplished beIore
power is applied to the aircraIt. Check Ior proper switch settings, primarily in the OFF,
SaIe, Normal, or Caged position. The exceptions are the UHF radio, generator switches,
and bleed air switches. Placing these switches on prior to start enables normal operation
during the start sequence.
4.1.2.3 Verify Checklist. Completing the veriIy checklist prior to engine start is a PXVW to
ensure saIety and prevent system damage.
4.1.2.4 Battery Engine Start. A battery start is the primary method Ior starting engines.
II you are going to perIorm an external power engine start, use the appropriate checklist
Iound at the end oI the normal pages oI the Dash 1 checklist.
4.1.2.4.1 Throttles. Ensure throttles are oII. A positive check is to push Iorward on the
throttles to see iI they move.
4.1.2.4.2 Emergency Gear Handle. II the emergency landing gear release T-handle is
not Iully stowed (as little as 3/8 oI an inch extension), it prevents hydraulic pressure
Irom reaching the gear down actuator, leading to loss oI nosewheel steering without
any associated caution light during taxi.
4.1.2.4.3 Bleed Air Switches. II an engine will not crank, the most likely cause is that
the engine bleed air switches are oII or the throttle is not in OFF. Re-accomplish the
veriIy checklist prior to Iurther actions.
4.1.2.4.4 Battery ON. Check that the BAT light is extinguished. APU start should be
initiated within 1 minute aIter the battery switch is turned on. This will require
expeditious checking oI the critical lights (e.g., airIrame mounted accessory drive
|AMAD|, uncouple |UNCPL|, and ready to couple |RDY to CPL|, master test oI the
Iire and overheat detect circuits, APU Iire switchlight, and tailhook switchlight).
4.1.2.4.5 KY-58. II the power switch is ON, The KY-58 will cause static and beeping
when initially powered. Ensure that the DI Phase/Base Band switch is in the Base Band
position and key the mike once. This initializes the KY-58 usually corrects the static or
beeping. II it does not, ensure that the antennas are extended.
4.1.2.4.6 ~ANTENNAS CLEAR!¨ Advise the crew chieI beIore extending antennas.
:$51,1*  Always clear any conIiguration changes or control movements with the crew chieI.
This includes antennas, Ilight control checks, Ilight control system (FCS) built-in test (BIT)
checks, and AUX GEN/EPU operation.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-3
4.1.2.4.7 Radios. All aircraIt have a LOCOMM antenna. The AUTO position should
select the antenna with the best reception, but either Top (UHF upper antenna) or
Bottom (LOCOMM antenna) may have to be selected iI reception problems are
encountered. Note that the lower retractable UHF antenna is not connected and does
not transmit.
4.1.2.4.8 Master Volume Knob. II communication with both the crew chieI and
outside agencies over the radio is too low in volume, check the Master Volume knob at
your leIt heel. A good setting Ior this hard-to-Iind/-reach knob is all the way Iorward
(clockwise), and then back a touch. (It is extremely diIIicult to check this switch aIter
strapping in.) II it is adjusted too high, the ICS will Ieedback into UHF transmissions.
The squeal will render the F-117 radio unreadable to outside agencies.
4.1.2.4.9 Solenoid Switches. The APU, AUX GEN, START/AMAD RUN, and EMER
HYD switches must be held in the ON position Ior approximately 5 seconds beIore the
switch is held electrically. For the AUX GEN and EMER HYD switches, release the
switch when the proper light indications are observed (i.e., AUX GEN or EMER HYD
ON lights illuminate). For the APU and the START/AMAD RUN switches, holding
the switch on Ior an excessive amount oI time with a malIunctioning system may
damage the system. Release the switch aIter the 5-second minimum time Ior the
solenoid to engage and hold.
4.1.2.4.10 APU Start. To avoid setting oII the sprinkler system, ensure the Iront and
rear hangar doors are open beIore starting the APU. Occasionally the battery has
insuIIicient power to start the APU. This could result Irom maintenance working on
the aircraIt or working a Red Ball with the battery on prior to engine start. Whatever
the reason, remember that during a battery start, the APU must be started within 1
minute aIter turning the battery switch on. II this time limit has passed, or iI the battery
power is drained, have the crew chieI connect external power. On the electrical control
panel, the external power AVAIL light should be illuminated. Momentarily place the
external power switch to Reset, then NORM. Observe that the ON portion oI the
external power available/ON light illuminates.
4.1.2.4.11 APU Limits. II the aircraIt battery is allowed to drain excessively, the APU
will automatically shut oII. Always check the electrical Iault panel to determine the
cause oI any automatic APU shut down. Delay emergency power unit (EPU) start a
minimum oI 3 seconds aIter the APU OFF light extinguishes to ensure the APU
reaches normal output pressure. There is an audible acceleration oI the APU when this
occurs. Turn the AUX GEN switch ON. This will reduce battery drain, but not
eliminate it since the battery is not being charged at this time. Ensure that the AUX
GEN ON light on the EPU/APU panel and the EMER HYD ON light on the
annunciator panel illuminate. Check the EPU Emergency Hydraulic pump output at
3,000 + 200 psi, as shown on the Flight Hydraulic pressure gage. The crew chieI may
tell you that six Ilight control surIaces are up and centered and oIten requests a Ilight
control reset. Operation oI the AUX GEN/EPU should be limited to 4 minutes to
minimize APU oil temperature build up. During successive APU starts, pooled Iuel
may cause a loud bang on the restart. During an APU start with battery power only,
environmental control switch (ECS) air will not be available and the Ian caution light
on the ECS panel will remain on until aIter an engine is started.
4-4 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
4.1.3 Battery Power Engine Start. The start switch will not hold in the start position with
the respective throttle out oI the OFF position.
4.1.3.1 Engine Start Indications. Normally, the exhaust gas temperature (EGT)
accelerates rapidly until around 570 to 590 degrees, peak out around 610 to 630 degrees,
then decrease rapidly to idle indications oI 350 to 450. As the EGT and RPM rise, a good
check Ior proper operation is to see iI the EGT is approximately 10 times the RPM (i.e.,
30-percent RPM should show 300C EGT). Ensure EGT decreases aIter peaking. II not, a
hung start may result.
4.1.3.1.1 Abnormal Starts. The Iollowing are abnormal start indications:
· Negative ignitionengine rotates normally, but Iails to ignite within 20 seconds.
· Hung startengine start begins normally, but core RPM stagnates around
54 percent.
· Hot startengine starts normally, but the EGT rises out oI limits (i.e., above
700 degrees C).
4.1.3.1.2 Corrective Action. For any oI the above, corrective action is the same. Abort
the start and continue to motor the engine. II the starter disengaged, reengage it when
the core RPM is below 30 percent. II the EGT did not exceed 815 degrees C, a restart
may be accomplished once the EGT is below 200 degrees and the tailpipe is clear oI
Iuel. II the 815-degree limit was exceeded, abort the aircraIt, write it up, and get a
structural tracking and engine monitoring system (STEMS) reading.
4.1.3.2 After First Engine Start. Check the annunciator panel lights. Ensure the
generator is on-line and the AUX GEN has turned itselI oII. II the AUX GEN does not turn
oII automatically, turn it oII manually. Write up the malIunction in the 781s aIter the sortie.
4.1.3.3 EDTM Insertion. Do not insert the expanded data transIer module (EDTM) until
aIter the Iirst engine is started. Gently place EDTM into the receptacle such that the handle
moves down toward the center oI the cockpit. The handle should be at about a 45-degree
angle as it is gently set in (do not Iorce the EDTM and avoid banging the receptor clips).
Press the EDTM down and lower the handle. There should be a click as it snaps into place.
Ensure proper insertion by checking that the EDTM Fail light, which is on the right side oI
the EDTM interIace unit (IU) panel just in Iront oI the receptacle, blinks on and then
extinguishes. II the EDTM is bad, have the expediter get a new one beIore starting the leIt
engine.
4.1.3.4 FCS BIT. Accomplish the FCS BIT through step Iive. With power to the main AC
buses established, aircraIt nose heating begins. II start oI the FCS BIT through step Iive is
delayed, Ialse FCS transducer Iailures will most likely result due to uneven heating in the
nose compartment.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-5
4.1.3.5 Infrared Acquisition/Detection System (IRADS). Ensure the LASER mode
switch and the BRSGT-OFF-TEST switches are oII. Turn the Iorward looking inIrared
(FLIR) and downward looking inIrared (DLIR) to STBY to initiate the cooling period,
which may take up to 15 minutes.
4.1.3.6 Seat Adjust. Sitting height is personal preIerence. One technique Ior initial sitting
height is to adjust the seat so the entire HUD is in view with NORM symbology selected.
Another is to sit with normal posture and move the seat until the -5 pitch mark is aligned
with the bottom oI the Iront combining glass. Height can be adjusted Ior diIIerent phases
oI Ilight (e.g., air reIueling, weapons delivery, and recovery).
4.1.3.7 Other Engine Start. Use the same procedures to start the other engine. With both
engines started and on internal power, you can now turn on and initialize the aircraIt
systems.
4.1.4 External Power Engine Start. A checklist exists Ior engine start with external power.
Normally, this procedure is not used locally. The checklist is signiIicantly diIIerent than the
Battery Start Check. Since power and cooling air are used in this procedure, systems are turned
on and checked Ior proper Iunction beIore starting the engines. Follow the checklist explicitly
when perIorming this procedure.
4.1.4.1 Power ON. Turn the battery switch ON and check that the BAT light extinguishes.
Check the AVAIL light is illuminated. Place the EXT PWR switch momentarily to RESET,
then to NORM. The EXT PWR ON light should illuminate. Place the electrically held
AVIONICS GND PWR switch to the A position. This will allow external power to be
applied to all avionic systems. Note that cooling air must be available in order Ior the
AVIONICS GND PWR switch to electrically hold in any position other than NORM.
4.1.4.1.1 INU/GPS. Turn on the inertial navigation unit (INU), global positioning
system (GPS), and control display navigation unit (CDNU). While the checklist does
not call Ior it here, now is a good time to turn on both CMDIs, HUD, and sensor
display (SD).
4.1.4.1.2 Master Test. Complete the entire master test and turn it oII.
4.1.4.1.3 INS/GPS. Start the inertial navigation system (INS) alignment and GPS
initialization prior to engine start.
4.1.4.1.4 Verify Checklist. Completing the veriIy checklist prior to engine start is a
PXVW to ensure saIety and prevent system damage.
4.1.4.1.5 Switches. ReconIirm that the battery switch is on and the BAT light is
extinguished. PerIorm the FCS prestart BIT. Unlike in the battery start check, there are
no deviations in the FCS prestart BIT steps. Ensure the FLIR/DLIR mode switches are
oII to prevent damage Irom power surges as the generators come online during the
engine start sequence.
4.1.4.1.6 Disconnect Power. AIter both engines are started, disconnect external power.
Ensure external power is not removed until you are ready. The litany can be modiIied
as Iollows: cleared on the power and air; traps and doors are clear; rails and ears clear;
canopy coming down.
4-6 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
4.1.5 Before Taxi.
4.1.5.1 Canopy. Ensure the ECS mode selector switch is in CKPT OFF to prevent the
canopy seal Irom inIlating prematurely, thereby making it diIIicult to close and lock the
canopy. Clear the crew chieI to close the traps and doors. A good litany to use is: 'CLEAR
ON TRAPS AND DOORS; RAILS AND EARS CLEAR; CANOPY COMING DOWN.¨
Add 'CLEARED TO DISCONNECT POWER¨ iI external power was used. Ensure the
'elephant ears¨ are down and the canopy rail guard is removed. Closing the canopy on the
guard will damage the canopy rigging.
4.1.5.1.1 The Canopy Handle. Ensure the canopy handle is in the AFT position and
not stowed prior to lowering the canopy. It should be about 1.5 inches Irom the canopy
rail and should not be able to move any Iarther outboard. II the canopy stops while
raising or lowering, check to see iI anything is physically keeping it Irom moving. II
not, the canopy power drive unit (PDU) circuit breaker may have popped. It is located
in the PDU above your right shoulder. It may be necessary to unstrap and turn around
to reset it.
4.1.5.1.2 Lock and Stow. The canopy handle requires a strong push Iorward to latch it.
This is normal. AIter the canopy is closed and latched, the canopy lock handle must be
stowed completely (seated against the small microswitch in the indentation in the
canopy rail) to enable cabin pressurization. Use the Velcro modiIication to ensure the
handle stays in the Iully stowed position. Ensure the canopy unsaIe light is
extinguished. Place the ECS mode switch to NORM.
4.1.5.2 Computers. Raise the guard on the Load/Run/Reset switch and select the Load
position. Turn the three computer switches to ON. There is no need to wait 15 seconds
beIore placing the computer mode switch to Run. The EDTMIU has already completed its
BIT check. A Ilashing STANDBY in the HUD and the color multipurpose display
indictors (CMDI) will be displayed until the computers are up and running.
4.1.5.3 INS/GPS. Turn the INU and GPS switches on.
4.1.5.4 Master Test Panel. The Dash 1 states to perIorm the master test, turn the switch
oII. (See Figure 4.1, Master Test Switch.)
4.1.5.4.1 ICE DET. Press the test switchlight Ior 5 seconds and then release. Check the
Iour ice detect lights in the electrical Iault indicator panel. They should illuminate Ior
10 seconds aIter releasing the test switchlight. The ICING light on the annunciator
panel will also illuminate Ior about 10 seconds. II the Anti Ice switch is in AUTO, the
ENG ANTI ICE light will illuminate with the ICING light.
4.1.5.4.2 Air Data Computer (ADC)-Navigation Interface and Autopilot
Computer (NIAC). Inadvertently leaving the master test in the ADC-NIAC position
will cause the HUD and CMDI airspeed and altitude indications to remain on their test
indications. Also, do not accomplish the ADC BIT during INS alignment. The input oI
2,000 Ieet MSL Irom the ADC BIT can induce an elevation error in the INS alignment
and Iorce the INS into the NAV mode beIore being Iully aligned.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-7
Figure 4.1 Master Test Switch.
4.1.5.5 RCS Monitor (Techniques). Turning the RCS monitor switch on allows
monitoring oI the blow-in doors, antennas, and such in Ilight. Another technique is to
leave the RCS monitor switch oII so as not to become conditioned to seeing these lights
illuminated.
4.1.5.6 INS Alignment. One oI the beneIits oI using ring laser gyro technology is a
signiIicant reduction in alignment time. The Hot Start AIR alignment permits taxiing 90
seconds aIter initiating the alignment. The alignment is then Iinished on the move;
however, it is not as accurate as a completed Iull gyrocompass (GC) alignment. GPS
aiding will keep the system accurate, but without GPS aiding, the accuracy oI the INS will
rapidly degrade. Any shortened alignment degrades the system Ior the next eight
alignments since the Kalman Filter has an eight alignment trim cycle. Whenever a Iull GC
alignment is not completed, one can only hope that the previous eight alignments were
good alignments, preIerably enhanced interrupted alignments (EIA). Full GC alignments
are the means the Kalman Filter uses to maintain the health oI the INS. Quick alignments
should only be used as a back-up.
4.1.5.7 GPS. The global positioning system provides highly accurate, three-dimensional
position, velocity, and time. There are two levels oI accuracy, coarse acquisition (Ior
civilian systems) and precision (Ior military systems). Crypto keys allow access to the
precision signals oI the GPS. While the precision signal is not required Ior a navigation
solution, it is necessary Ior an AIR alignment. II INVALID or NO KEYS is displayed on
the GPS display, the crypto keys may need to be reloaded. A quick way to veriIy that keys
Master 1est Switch
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are loaded is to check on the CDNU GPS MX page 4. It will say RCVR CONTAINS
KEYS iI keys are loaded. The GPS may indicate the keys are UNVERIFIED. This is due
to the lack oI satellite acquisition when inside the hangars. Once you taxi, the GPS should
be able to veriIy the keys. Yearly keys are oIten loaded and, consequently, veriIication may
take up to 20 minutes Irom the Iirst satellite acquisition.
4.1.5.8 FCS BIT Check. There are instances where the FCS BIT test switch trips oII. This
is normally caused by: power interruptions when the leIt generator comes on-line, Ilight
control test panel automatic shut down oII aIter 4 minutes with no activity, and excessive
throttle on start (whenever the throttle position exceeds 16 degrees throttle angle). The
throttle position is 9 degrees at the IDLE detent.
4.1.5.8.1 BIT Reset. II the FCS BIT test switch trips oII, the FCS BIT must be started
again. Otherwise, advance Irom step Iive to resume the test. The display will tell you
what to do. Section two oI the Dash 1 also contains the FCS test steps. Follow the
instructions explicitly. Note that the DUAL FCS Iail light will not illuminate during
test number 21. Upon reaching BIT number 57, iI ground crew slew to 106, advance
step by step to BIT number 67, RESET FCS without perIorming the intervening
instructions. By doing this, the automatic BIT steps will be completed automatically
and the pilot intervened steps will be omitted. Upon reaching BIT test 67, proceed as
directed.
4.1.5.8.2 Manual Inputs. Manual control inputs should be held Ior a minimum oI
2 seconds or as directed. When both stick and rudder inputs are requested, the control
inputs should be applied separately; otherwise, the BIT may Iail. The nosewheel
steering (NWS)/air reIueling disconnect paddle switch must be held whenever
actuating the rudders during the FCS BIT to disconnect the NWS. II not, the nosewheel
will Iollow rudder input and may hang up and not center. The nosewheel will have to
be straightened by maintenance personnel Ior the aircraIt to be able to taxi out oI the
shelter.
4.1.5.8.3 FCS Failures. Failures are sometimes encountered in the FCS test. Red Ball
is a specialist when this occurs. While waiting Ior the specialist to arrive, shut the FCS
BIT oII momentarily then back on and try the test again. Turning the test switch to OFF
Ior a halI second will reset the test to the beginning oI the current section. Leaving the
test switch oII Ior more than halI a second will reset to the beginning oI the test. II this
occurs, simply slew to the appropriate section. Relay the circumstances to the
specialists when they arrive, even iI the FCS BIT subsequently checks out.
4.1.5.8.4 Test Delays. Failures sometimes occur because oI an excessive delay in pilot
response to commands on the display, or to an improper pilot action. In these cases,
cycle the test switch quickly OFF and back ON. The test should reset to its last logical
stopping place. The test can either be done again up to the step where the error
occurred or slew to that step. Actual malIunctions will require specialist attentionlet
the specialist do the troubleshooting. (See Table 4.1, Common FCS Failure Codes.)
4.1.5.8.5 FCS Auto Shutoff. Check the FCS BIT auto shutoII by leaving the FCS test
switch on at the conclusion oI the test. It should turn oII aIter 18 seconds.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-9
Table 4.1 Common FCS Failure Codes.
127(  The FCS BIT checks must pass prior to taxiing.
4.1.5.9 IRADS. Complete the IRADS and sensor display check per the Dash 1 checklist.
Turn FLIR/DLIR mode select switches to STBY, then to IR once the cooling lights
extinguish. When accomplishing a battery start, it may be necessary to delay the IRADS
test until aIter taxiing Ior the IRADS to complete its 15-minute cooling cycle. Also, during
the poststart FCS BIT, the aircraIt shakes enough that the IRADS selI test should be
delayed until the FCS BIT is complete. Place FLIR/DLIR IBIT switches to TEST and
ensure the aircraIt remains stationary. The SD screen will display multiple tests Ior
approximately 4 minutes and then show test results in plain text. Prior to calling Ior a Red
Ball, re-accomplish a second test aIter cycling the FLIR/DLIR to OFF Ior 30 seconds.
:$51,1*    Do not initiate the IRADS test when the aircraIt is in motion on the ground.
However, the IRADS test can be accomplished once airborne.
4.1.5.10 Brake Check. Have the crew chieI conIirm brake movement during this check.
The crew chieI will conIirm leIt pumping, right pumping as each brake system is tested.
Start the check by cycling the brake selector switch to RESET then to NORM and conIirm
that the PRI BRAKE light is extinguished. This ensures that the brake system is in the
normal operating mode. Select Secondary, ensure the PRI BRAKE light illuminates and
pump the brakes. Next, select EMER BRAKE PWR. Note that the PRI BRAKE light
extinguishes and re-illuminates. Check brake Iunction. Deselect EMER BRAKE PWR and
place the brake selector switch back to RESET, then NORM. Observe that the PRI
BRAKE light extinguishes. Pump the brakes to conIirm that the brakes are working in
NORM. Lastly, turn the Park Brake switch on to conIirm brake action, and then use as
desired. See Figure 4.2, Brake Control Panel, Ior a diagram oI the switches.
4.1.5.11 Radios. Load the current day HAVE QUICK net, get ATIS initialize the KY-58
prior to check in.
4.1.5.12 Pins. AIter ensuring the tailhook switchlight is not depressed or illuminated, tell
the crew chieI, 'cleared on the pins.¨ The crew chieI will display the pins on the Iloor oI
the hangar Ior you to veriIy. The pins are then stored in a container in the leIt wheelwell.
Code Problem Fix
3 Trim is in backup Place trim in normal mode
81 AR door is open, reducing Ilight control
computer (FLCC) gains
Close AR door
83, 86,
88 to 91
ISA Failures Have the crew chieI bleed air out oI the
hydraulic lines
127 Dead Ilight control battery Have crew chieI replace battery
154 QC transducer Iailure Turn on pitot heat
4-10 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
Figure 4.2 Brake Control Panel.
4.1.6 Taxiing. The ground handling characteristics oI the aircraIt are good. Visibility is
adequate, but be aware oI blind spots created by the canopy posts, and the lack oI aIt visibility.
Speed cues are poor, and ground speed must be monitored closely to ensure taxi speed limits
are not exceeded. The maximum taxi speeds are 20 knots going out, 25 knots coming back
(postIlight), and 10 knots in turns and in the west area. The aircraIt will hold speed, or perhaps
accelerate, in idle power on a level surIace, especially at low Iuel weights. II in a congested
area, or you Ieel you may not have wing tip clearance (less than 25 Ieet), call Ior wing walkers.
There is a tendency to cut corners because you cannot see the wing tips. Do not do it. Stay on
the yellow lines. Under no circumstances, taxi closer than 10 Ieet to an obstacle. Since the
wing tips are behind the main gear, iI a turn is started beIore the wing tip is past the obstacle,
the wing tip will swing Iar enough outside its original path to strike the obstacle.
4.1.6.1 Brakes. Use the minimum power necessary to pull out oI the chocks. Start with
your Ieet oII the brakes and advance both throttles to approximately 70 percent. Let the
aircraIt start moving beIore doing an initial check oI the brakes. Check the brakes soon
aIter sensing movement. Delay checking the nosewheel steering until out oI the hangar
where there is room to handle steering problems. Avoid sharp turns above 10 knots ground
speed, as it is possible to damage the tires at high gross weights.
4.1.6.1.1 PRI BRAKE Light. II the PRI BRAKE light illuminates, reset it once. II it
illuminates again, stop the aircraIt and call Ior maintenance.
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-11
4.1.6.1.2 Brake Failure. II the brakes Iail, stopping the aircraIt is critical. The brake
Iailure checklist is not boldIace, but there is probably no time to reIer to it in this
situation. Use the EMER BRAKE PWR switchlight Ior Emergency Brakes or the AUX
GEN switch ON Ior Secondary brake circuit power. As a last resort, use the tailhook.
4.1.6.1.3 ANTI-SKID Light. II the anti-skid light illuminates while taxiing, have the
anti-skid system checked by maintenance. The mission may be continued iI the
anti-skid light resets and maintenance clears the aircraIt. II the anti-skid light
illuminates a second time, the mission must be aborted. Do not taxi aIter a second
anti-skid malIunction.
4.1.6.2 NWS. Whenever making a turn using the high gain position (button depressed),
apply the rudder smoothly and stay oII the brakes. Even at slow speeds, the NWS may
disengage when making an abrupt Iull rudder deIlection. This becomes even more likely iI
diIIerential braking is used Ior sharp turns. It is possible to lose the brakes in a tight turn iI
the anti-skid senses too much speed diIIerential between the wheels. II the NWS is
inoperative and has no accompanying light, check that the emergency gear T-handle is
Iully stowed. II there is room to straighten the nosewheel with power and opposite braking,
do so. Otherwise, call Ior a ground crew with a tow bar to straighten the nosewheel to
allow re-engagement oI the NWS. II the NWS light illuminates during taxi, it can be reset
one time. II it illuminates again, contact maintenance to have the aircraIt towed back to the
hanger per the F-117 In-Flight Guide.
4.1.6.3 GPS NAV Mode. The GPS should go to NAV automatically iI the almanac is
available and the initialization data has been veriIied. II the GPS indicates INIT during
taxi, check the GPS page on the CMDI to see iI the GPS is tracking any satellites. II it is
tracking one or two satellites, it should quickly initialize and switch to NAV. II it is not
tracking any satellite, select Search. This should cause the GPS to return to normal
operation.
4.1.6.4 NIAC Alert. II a NIAC alert illuminates taxiing out, check the steam gage heading
versus the HSD heading. (A 6 Iault code will show on the MANT page.) The alert is
caused by a mismatch between altitude heading reIerence system (AHRS) and INS
headings and can be resolved by depressing the PUSH TO SYNC button on the AHRS
when stopped or while taxiing straight ahead. This Iault normally occurs in the hangar and
cannot be cleared until outside the hangar.
4.1.6.5 AHRS. Because AHRS is dependent on magnetic Iields and the INS on
gravitational Iields, diIIerences in system heading can develop when aligning in a metal
hangar. Check INS heading on the CMDI HSD display and compare it to the standby
horizontal situation indicator (HSI) display. II a diIIerence exists, or iI NIAC illuminates
with a 6 on the MANT Page, hold down the PUSH TO SYNC button aIter exiting the
hangar until the headings agree. This should only be done when stopped or while taxiing
straight ahead. Ensure the AHRS control panel has the DG/Slave switch in the slave
position with the proper magnetic variation (-15), hemisphere (N), and latitude set (32
degrees). II the switch is not in Slave, the autopilot will not work in dual channel.
4.1.7 Marshaling, Arming, and Pre-Takeoff. Ensure the seat is armed, the canopy/seat
alternate jettison T-handle pin is removed, and the canopy is locked. A good litany to tell the
4-12 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
EOR crew is, 'SEAT IS ARMED, CANOPY JETTISON PIN PULLED, CANOPY IS DOWN
AND LOCKED, AND THE LIGHT IS OUT.¨
4.1.7.1 Enhanced Interrupted Alignment (EIA). The INS has the capability oI
sweetening the alignment by perIorming an EIA. While this provides a statistical
improvement in INS driIt rate Irom 0.3 to 0.2 NM/HR, the operator will probably not be
able to tell the diIIerence during operational use. This is because the GPS will keep the
system tight throughout the mission. What the EIA does provide is a Iurther tweaking oI
the INS and Kalman Filter. Also, consider doing an EIA whenever possible. Follow the
procedures in the Dash 1 checklist. An EIA cannot be perIormed when more than 15
minutes in NAV mode (taxi time), heading change oI less than 70 degrees, ground speed
has exceeded 80 knots, or align quality did not attain 0.30 NM/HR.
4.1.7.2 IRADS System Check. To accomplish the IRADS and sensor display check,
select SRCH or terrain monitoring (TM) on data entry panel (DEP) to get IRADS looking
straight in Iorward. II the throttle switches do not work, check that the Top Hat switch on
the control stick is centered. Check the Iollowing.
4.1.7.2.1 Tracking. Slew the cursor around to get a Ieel Ior slew/track. Slew down
through the FLIR/DLIR handoII to ensure there is not an excessive jump on the 3/9
line during handoII. Continue to slew down to check that the DLIR is Iunctioning.
4.1.7.2.2 Manual Level and Gain (Gray Scales)/Automatic Level and Gain. On
this check, set manual level and gain (MLG) and ensure level and gain are Iunctional.
For automatic level and gain (ALG), ensure the level control is still Iunctional. II
pressed Ior time, leave it in ALG.
4.1.7.2.3 Polarity. As a general rule, White hot is used Ior day and Black hot is used
Ior night operations.
4.1.7.2.4 Narrow and Wide FOV. Check Ior smooth transition.
4.1.7.2.5 Memory Point Track. Observe M indication in upper leIt SD, and then hit
return.
4.1.7.2.6 Automatic Video Tracking (AVT)/Refined Point Tracking (RPT). See
how well automatic video tracking locks objects.
4.1.7.3 Title Tape. The IRADS test results are a good reminder to title the tape. With test
results showing on the SD, select RCRD on the DEP and pause about 7 seconds to ensure
the recorder is past the leader and actually recording. Tape title procedures are in the F-117
In-Ilight Guide or on the lineup card.
4.1.7.4 DEP Setup. Set the DEP Ior the departure, cruise or approach. See Figure 4.3,
DEP Setup, Ior more details.
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4-14 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
4.1.7.4.1 Speed Menu. Check SPD settings are preset as desired Ior departure, cruise,
or approach. Some techniques are to set the climb schedule CAS and any preplanned
ground speed or mach number.
4.1.7.4.2 Altitude Menu. Check that the altitude is preset per the departure clearance.
4.1.7.4.3 Steering Menu. Another DEP item to check is the steering (STR) Iunction.
Ensure instrument landing system (ILS) and TACAN courses are set, as well as any
preIerences Ior MAN HDG and CRS SEL.
4.1.7.5 HSD Page. Double check ILS and TACAN course settings iI not already checked
on DEP.
4.1.7.6 Edit Page. Checking the Edit Page is similar to reviewing the AF Form 70. The
main purpose is to make the EDTM inIormation match the AF Form 70. Check all target,
OAP and turnpoint coordinates and elevations. Designate the time on target (TOT) target
as a P-point and enter the ETA. See paragraph 4.1.9.8, TOT Mode, Ior more TOT
considerations. Altitude and vertical velocity are important iI planning to use the vertical
navigation (VNAV) proIile. Setting proper minimum en route altitude (MEA) will help iI
current set values are at, or higher, than the planned cruising altitudes. In such cases, the
voice altitude warning will become a nuisance. Because altitude aIIects True Airspeed, it
will also aIIect timing computations. See paragraph 4.1.9.8, TOT Mode, Ior more
inIormation. To check the accuracy oI any Edit Page inputs, compare what the Edit Page
gives as a takeoII time against the AF Form 70 computed takeoII time. They should be
within a minute oI each other.
4.1.7.7 Map. Map settings and Iunctions are mostly a matter oI personal preIerence. Check
Ior overall route in large scale then check target and OAPs in 10 mile scale. Consider a
scale that shows restricted airspace and MOA boundaries. By setting 100- or 140-mile
scale and DTUP, the aircraIt reIerence symbol is displaced toward the bottom oI the screen
so the route outline can be observed as Iar out as the chosen scale will allow. One
technique to use when DMAP is inserted is DTUP, 100- or 140-mile scale, FNC 1, BGD 3,
and automatic REFEL. This setting places the aircraIt reIerence symbol at the bottom oI
the screen while highlighting in red any elevation contour band above current aircraIt
altitude.
4.1.7.8 IFF. Expect to get a Mode 4 check. The IFF must be on with Mode 3A and C
selected to complete the check. Ensure that Mode 3 is set per clearance and the IFF mode
switch in NORM prior to calling number one.
4.1.7.9 TOLD. Review takeoII data. As a minimum, review the check speed, rotation
speed, liIt oII speed, takeoII distance, single engine climb, and maximum abort speed with
and without a chute. Another number to review is the maximum brake application speed
versus gross weight.
4.1.7.10 Radar Altimeter. Set the radar altimeter to the desired altitude. One technique is
to set 1,000 Ieet prior to takeoII and then 4,500 Ieet at level oII. During recovery, set 1,000
Ieet, then 300 Ieet, pilot minimums or height above ground at minimum descent altitude
(MDA).
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-15
4.1.8 Takeoff.
4.1.8.1 Brake Light. The PRI BRAKE light may illuminate just aIter brake release iI the
release is particularly abrupt, or iI both brakes are not released simultaneously. Cycle the
switch to RESET and back to NORM to extinguish the light.
4.1.8.2 Ground Roll. Compare the aircraIt speed at the 2,000-Ioot point to the computed
check speed. Directional control during the takeoII roll is good. The aircraIt will
weathervane into the wind and may require signiIicant rudder and aileron inputs with
crosswind components over 10 knots.
4.1.8.3 Rotation. Rotation requires only a small amount oI back pressure and stick travel,
but iI the pressure is relaxed, the nose drops easily. Maintain initial back pressure until the
airspeed reaches about 200 KCAS, then relax it a bit to still maintain the proper attitude.
Rotation should be 8 to 10 degrees attitude on the vertical situation display (VSD) ( )
water-line symbol). This initial rotation attitude translates to a 1 to 2 climb angle. The
Ilight path marker is a velocity vector and not an attitude reIerence. Use oI the Ilight path
marker Ior initial rotation may result in over rotation. A technique to avoid over rotation
while still using the Ilight path marker in the HUD during takeoII is to place the top oI the
airspeed and altitude containers even with the 5-degree line. (See Figure 4.4, TakeoII
Sight Picture.)
Figure 4.4 Takeoff Sight Picture.
4.1.8.4 Gear Up. Ensure well airborne with two positive rates oI climb beIore raising the
gear. Do not let the nose drop when reaching Ior the handle. Gear retraction takes 6 to 9
seconds. Expect a loud rush oI cockpit air as air conditioning source changes Irom APU to
engine bleed air. The nose gear spinning down may cause vibration aIter raising the gear
on departure. Turns prior to spin down aggravate the vibration due to gyroscopic eIIects.
1akeoff Sight Picture
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4-16 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
The vibration should stop within 30 seconds aIter gear retraction. The PRI BRAKE light
may illuminate iI wheel spin down control does not stop the main gear in 4 seconds. II this
happens, wait 10 to 15 seconds Ior the wheels to stop, then cycle the brake switch.
4.1.8.5 Climb Out. Maintain the 8- to 10-degree climb attitude (1- to 2-degree climb
gradient) while the aircraIt accelerates Irom rotation speed to the single-engine climb
speed. AIter achieving single-engine climb speed, a climb-out attitude oI 5 on the
symbol provides a comIortable climb and allows the aircraIt to accelerate to the climb
schedule. Depending on the temperature, 8 to 9 degrees with the should hold 300
KCAS during the climb-out.
4.1.8.6 Departure. Contact departure control as soon as practical aIter takeoII. Make sure
squawk is on and include altitude passing and altitude cleared to in the call. Departure
normally requests an ident so add with a Ilash to this call. Ensure saIe altitude and airspeed
beIore making turns. One technique is to mirror the night/instrument meteorological
conditions (IMC) procedure to be at 1,000 Ieet AGL and 250 knots beIore making any
turns.
4.1.8.6.1 Autopilot (AP). II the autopilot will not engage aIter getting airborne, it is
likely that a heading discrepancy between the INS and AHRS is causing the problem.
Procedures are the same as on the ground, but until the problem is resolved, only
single-channel autopilot is available. The pilot must determine that the single-channel
selected is operating properly. Check the slave switch is in the slave position.
4.1.8.6.2 Blow-In Doors. The blow-in doors will close with a loud thump at
approximately 0.55 Mach during climbout. Their position can be monitored iI the RCS
MON switch is on.
4.1.8.7 Autopilot/Autothrottle (AT) Climb. Turning on AT engages the CAS HOLD
mode, which holds the speed at the time oI engagement. II another speed mode is desired,
it must be speciIically selected. Similarly, turning on the AP engages the attitude hold
mode. Desired altitude and/or steering modes must be speciIically selected. Always double
check that the AP/AT modes and values on the DEP are what is actually showing on the
VSD and there is a 'C¨ to the leIt oI it! The Iollowing are techniques Ior managing the
autopilot and autothrottle during departure.
4.1.8.7.1 Steering. TakeoII with steering command preset values set but not selected.
This prevents roll commands beIore they are desired.
4.1.8.7.2 Engage. Approaching 300 KCAS, engage autopilot and autothrottle. Note
the airspeed at engagement is now commanded in the VSD.
4.1.8.7.3 Couple. Command and couple the level-oII altitude: ALTENTERCouple.
VeriIy the altitude coupled.
4.1.8.7.4 Bank. At appropriate point, manually roll into bank as speciIied in the
departure procedure.
4.1.8.7.5 Speed. Select the SPD mode Irom CAS HOLD to CAS 300 KCAS.


AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-17
4.1.8.7.6 Heading. Command MAN HDG but do not couple until rolling out on the
departure heading. SPD, ALT and STR modes should now be coupled.
4.1.8.7.7 NAV. Select TACAN preset (TPRE) or horizontal navigation (HNAV) proIile
to Ily remaining portion oI departure. See Figure 4.5, Departure Autopilot Settings, Ior
an example oI DEP settings.
4.1.9 En Route.
4.1.9.1 Level Off. The autopilot can be selected and will make altitude changes without
autothrottle selected. The catch is that the aircraIt must accelerate or decelerate to the
airspeed at which the autopilot normally climbs or descends. II autothrottle is engaged at
300 KCAS, Ior instance, it will use that as its reIerence Ior climbs and descents. In the
descent, it will try to establish a pitch to hold the reIerence airspeed. The opposite holds
true Ior climbs. In other words, iI cruising at 400 KCAS and a lower altitude is entered, the
aircraIt will continue at its current altitude until the aircraIt slows below its reIerence oI
300 KCAS or a reIerence airspeed above 400 KCAS is input in the DEP. II the altitude
hold Iunction is disengaged by turning oII the autopilot, the complete re-engagement
procedure must be accomplished. Push ENTER on the DEP and couple the autopilot with
NWS button. Merely bumping the stick can be recovered by pressing the NWS button.
4.1.9.2 Roll Rates. When coupled up, roll rates are abrupt, yet comIortable. The autopilot
can command turns oI up to 50-bank angle. Banks oI up to 70 may be made using control
stick steering. However, when exercising control stick steering, the A/P ROLL light will
illuminate when lateral stick pressure is applied.
4.1.9.3 Turn Radius Anomalies. Destination steering is invalid when a nav mode is
selected inside two turn radii (e.g., using a 50-bank turn) to the next INS destination point.
For example, iI the INS auto sequences Irom point 5 to 6 and the distance between 5 and 6
is less than two turn radii (approximately 10 NM), nav mode steering becomes invalid and
the autopilot will drive the aircraIt straight ahead Irom the last destination.
4.1.9.4 Auto Sequence. The INS will not auto sequence iI station passage occurs outside
3,000 Ieet horizontally oI the desired destination. The INS must see less than 3,000 Ieet
and be increasing beIore auto sequence occurs. It may also Iail to sequence iI the pilot
switches Irom LVL ATK to DEST or HNAV aIter TTI ÷ 0, but beIore the 5-second over Ily
or auto sequence.
4.1.9.5 Speed Adjustment. When accelerating to a new airspeed, take the time to ensure
the speed has stabilized beIore setting the throttles, or the airspeed can slowly increase out
oI limits. II setting a mach number or Iine tuning a TOT, set the time or mach number Iirst,
then reIerence the ground speed on the leIt CMDI while zeroing out the acceleration or
deceleration. Speed navigation (SNAV) proIile Ilies the programmed speeds set in the Edit
Page. II changes Irom the programmed speed are needed while on autothrottle, switch to
SPD mode and set the new values.
4-18 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
Figure 4.5 Departure Autopilot Settings.
Departure Autopilot Settings
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-19
4.1.9.5.1 Speed Cues. Because there are no good sense oI speed cues, particular
attention must be paid to airspeed in the cross-check. An overspeed or low speed
condition can occur very easily. Airspeed changes oI 50 to 75 knots produce no
noticeable change in cabin noise, control response, or sense oI speed. Also, small
changes in the throttles can produce large and insidious changes in airspeed. A rough
guide Ior setting speeds is to take the Iuel Ilow oI one engine (assuming both engines
are set at the same Iuel Ilow) and divide that by 10 (i.e., 3,100 pph equals 310 KCAS).
4.1.9.5.2 Sound Cues. The aircraIt lacks good speed cues, but it does make some
strange sounds. The blow-in doors closing is one. At high airspeeds, iI the throttles are
brought to idle, the airplane will shudder and the inlets will have a pronounced duct
rumble. This is normal.
4.1.9.6 Trim. Trim inputs are minimal. Pitch trim is automatic with the gear up. Auto yaw
trim works very well, and major trim changes may only be necessary during single-engine
operations. Roll trim is very slow and usually does not need to be changed once set Ior
wings level aIter takeoII, regardless oI airspeed.
4.1.9.7 Turbulence. The aircraIt reacts diIIerently in turbulence than other aircraIt. Instead
oI being jolted vertically or horizontally by turbulence, the aircraIt seems to be on the head
oI a needle and simply rotates about its center oI gravity. Yaw response to turbulence is
more pronounced when the autopilot is engaged. Moderate turbulence may cause the
autopilot to disengage without a voice warning.
4.1.9.8 TOT Mode. This requires VNAV or HNAV and SNAV to engage. There are many
diIIerent techniques Ior using the TOT mode. Listed below are just a Iew good ideas to add
to one`s bag oI tricks. Remember, the AP/AT TOT mode will make a snap adjustment Ior
actual leg winds versus entered leg winds in order to meet the speed and timing
requirements Ior that speciIic leg. II the diIIerence between actual and entered winds is
large, there can be a disconcerting airspeed change with potential problems Ior overall
route timing. II there is time available in, enter the actual winds to help AP/AT timing.
4.1.9.8.1 Save the Gas. To avoid wasting Iuel and/or setting oII speed warnings, it is
best not to engage TOT/autothrottles iI late. Control the speeds manually to
progressively catch-up to the time line, then engage TOT/autothrottle mode.
4.1.9.8.2 Speed Excursions. The TOT mode will sometimes command large speed
excursions (and associated throttle excursions which can again increase Iuel
consumption) aIter track change. These are usually associated with large heading or
altitude changes. The airspeed can also increase to greater than 0.8 Mach. Remember
to watch the lower airspeed release hit limits; the autothrottle with TOT mode engaged
may slow to below OGOI 10-1 minimum weapons release airspeed.
4.1.9.8.3 Manual Override. TOT may be over ridden by disengaging the autothrottle
and/or turning oII TOT mode. II autothrottles are disengaged and TOT mode is
selected, manually Ily to the correct time while monitoring the TOT speed command
caret. When the speed command returns to a reasonable value, re-engage autothrottles.
4-20 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
4.1.9.8.4 Altitude Changes. Keep in mind that the aircraIt sometimes ignores altitude
commands in this mode. For example, iI TOT is commanding 250 KCAS and the
aircraIt is Ilying Iaster, aIter entering a lower altitude, the aircraIt will not descend
unless the throttles are pulled back and airspeed is 250 KCAS.
4.1.9.8.5 Manual Track Change. II a point is designated in the Edit Page as a nav
point but LVL ATK is selected to overIly it, the timing will be thrown oII because the
TOT mode assumes a track change directly over the point as opposed to 5 seconds aIter
TTI ÷ 0¹00. Granted, a small heading change to the Iollowing point is no big deal, but
a 90degree turn will cause real problems. Be ready to manually track change at TTI ÷
0¹00 iI this situation is encountered.
4.1.9.8.6 Plus or Minus TOT. Know that big speed changes, delaying turns by a Iew
seconds, control stick steering turns at a shallower angle oI bank, cutting corners
(either by turning early or cutting out entire legs), or altitude changes, are subtle and
not so subtle techniques oI gaining or losing time towards a TOT. Also know that good
preIlight planning is the best solution to a TOT problem since any or all oI the above
techniques may not always be possible.
4.1.9.9 VNAV. In order to work properly, VNAV requires proper Edit Page inIormation
(e.g., proper altitude, speed, and climb/descent settings). It requires the aircraIt be in
special-use airspace (or combat) where random altitude changes are allowed. Otherwise,
the 'V¨ in VNAV may stand Ior 'Violation.¨ II VNAV is engaged while outside the saIe
corridor, the aircraIt will not descend more than 200 Ieet to the AF Form 70 altitude.
4.1.9.10 Leg Checks. AIter rolling out on a new leg, perIorm checks on Ilight and mission
related items. HATF stands Ior Heading, Altitude, Timing, and Fuel and reminds the pilot
oI the major checks that should be accomplished at each turn point. HATF is one
technique. Others are Speed, Heading, Altitude, Fuel, Timing, Autopilot (SHAFTA) and
Fuel, Altitude, Speed, Timing, Heading (FASTH).
4.1.9.10.1 Heading. II set Ior the Iollow-on leg, it will only require a quick glance to
compare the INS predicted heading with the AF Form 70 predicted heading. Once
conIirmed, reset Ior the next leg.
4.1.9.10.2 Altitude. ConIirm the leg altitude and check the VSD to ensure the autopilot
is still coupled to that altitude.
4.1.9.10.3 Timing. Cross-check timing by using the ETA display on the lower leIt side
oI the VSD. The same inIormation is available on the CDNU progress page but
requires head down to view the data.
4.1.9.10.4 Fuel. Check the Iuel! Imbalances can quickly occur iI not paying attention.
Be sure to check all tanks Ior proper Iuel sequencing. Some Iuel may be trapped (do
not count on using it) or slow to Ieed. Additionally, check continuation and bingo Iuel,
which may require action.
4.1.9.11 Turns. There are diIIerent techniques Ior monitoring route turns. The autopilot
turn techniques may seem too involved, but keep in mind the turns deserve special
attention, especially at night.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-21
4.1.9.11.1 Equal to or Less Than 50 Degrees. Ensure the INS sequences properly
(the course arrow moves to the heading set marker), the TO window shows the next
destination, and the autopilot turns in the proper direction. There is occasionally a
small cranium Iake in the opposite direction just as the system sequences. II
autothrottle is disengaged, adjust the power to hold the airspeed in the turn. Use the
RETURN switch to position the IRADS onto the next destination iI it is still looking at
the last one. A better technique is to use SRCH or TM mode in turns, particularly those
with large heading changes. This is easier on the IRADS servos and gimbals and
provides a rough horizon instead oI pointing at the ground. Cross-check the
perIormance instruments and autopilot status throughout the turn.
4.1.9.11.2 Greater Than 50-Degree Bank Turns (Autopilot Off). II a bank angle oI
greater than 50 but less than 70 degrees is desired, the autopilot will initially begin the
turn up to 50 degrees oI bank. By moving the stick laterally, control stick steering
overrides the navigation hold submode and will illuminate the A/P ROLL light but
does not disengage the autopilot. When the desired bank angle is reached, return the
stick to the neutral position and the autopilot will maintain the set attitude. Use the
VSD or altitude/direction indicator (ADI) to set the desired bank angle. The HUD
lacks bank indications greater than 30 degrees so place the bank arrow in the HUD just
below the containerized airspeed or altitude to stay just below the 70-degree limit. Do
nothing but Ily the aircraIt during these turns and remember speed control! This is not
the time to be setting weapons switches, working with the CDNU. Remember to
recouple the autopilot to the navigation mode as the aircraIt approaches the desired
heading.
4.1.9.11.3 Turns with Altitude Changes. The recommended procedure en route is to
do one, then the other. However, iI both must be done simultaneously, a good
technique is to have the AP/AT Iully engaged while Iocusing completely on this
maneuver.
4.1.10 Recovery.
4.1.10.1 Instrument Approach. While standard Iix-to-Iix computations can derive initial
heading to the TACAN holding Iix or initial approach Iix (IAF), RLG navigation
improvement program has the capability to enter data by lat/long, radial/DME, or by
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) identiIier. While a degree oI caution is
required, no matter which method is used, some attention must be taken whenever working
with ICAO databases. Contrary to popular belieI, there are Navaids that have the same
name/identiIier. Consequently, always check and veriIy ICAO coordinates. Given the
accuracy oI the INS/GPS, headings to these points may be used as long as they are backed
up with TACAN data.
4.1.10.1.1 Checks. Accomplish the descent checklist. It is good practice to set
courses on the backup HSI. Do not Iorget the ILS antenna iI planning to shoot an ILS!
It is a good practice to use the radar altimeter as an instrument approach ground
avoidance aid. A technique is to set the maximum setting at the IAF, an intermediate
setting during the penetration, and the MDA/decision height (DH) Ior Iinal approach.
4-22 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
4.1.10.1.2 Holding. Establish the Dash 1 holding airspeed oI 250 KCAS within
3 minutes oI reaching the holding Iix. The power setting to hold 250 KCAS is 83 to
85 percent, or 2,500 to 2,700 pph per engine.
4.1.10.1.3 Penetration. There are many techniques Ior penetrations. A clean idle
descent requires an 8- to 10-degree nose low pushover to achieve a 250 KCAS descent;
a descent gradient oI minus 6 to 7 degrees (1 to 2 degrees nose low attitude) should
hold the speed and give a 4,500 to 5,000 Ipm rate oI descent. A gear down approach at
idle requires a 10- to 12-degree descent gradient to hold 250 KCAS, giving a 5,500 to
6,000 Ieet per minute (Ipm) rate oI descent. The Dash 1 speaks oI a 70 to 75 percent
power setting, roughly 5 degrees nose low attitude, which yields 250 to 300 KCAS and
3,000 to 4,000 Ipm rate oI descent. Remember, above approximately 15,000 Ieet, idle
RPM will be higher than 70 percent. II Ilying penetration at 250 KCAS and
conIiguring at 10 NM on Iinal approach with a normal 3-degree descent gradient, it
will take 3 to 4 NM and nearly idle power to slow to Iinal approach airspeed prior to
the Iinal approach Iix (FAF). One should be on speed (steady angle oI attack |AOA|
tone) by the FAF. In previewing the penetration, determine the desired descent gradient
(and resultant pitch change) using the Iollowing Iormula: Descent Gradient ÷ Altitude
Change per 100 Ieet/Distance in NM. See Table 4.2, Penetration Settings, Ior some
typical settings.
Table 4.2 Penetration Settings.
4.1.10.1.4 Final Approach. A normal precision approach glide path will require
approximately 82 to 84 percent power to hold approach airspeed (depends on gross
weight, altitude, and temperature). II leveling oII with landing gear down on approach
(Ior an MDA), approximately 91 to 93 percent power will be required to hold Iinal
approach airspeed.
4.1.10.2 Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Landing Pattern.
4.1.10.2.1 Overheads. Fly initial at 300 KCAS and pattern altitude. Check the winds
using the INS. Break over the numbers.
4.1.10.2.2 Pitchout. Fly the pitchout with 60 oI bank. A slight or no reduction in
power is required to slow the aircraIt to the desired 220 to 250 KCAS at the initial
rollout on downwind. Rudders can aid in moving the nose to maintain pattern altitude.
4.1.10.2.3 Downwind. Lower the gear on downwind and be careIul not to slow to less
than 190 KCAS or 7 AOA maximum, prior to turning base. A good airspeed range to
be rolling oII the perch is 190 to 200 KCAS. Auto trim terminates with the gear handle
down. Manually trim as needed.
Airspeed RPM Descent Rate
250 KCAS 70 percent 3,000 to 4,000 Ipm
250 KCAS 77 to 80 percent 2,000 to 3,000 Ipm
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-23
4.1.10.2.4 Final Turn. Transition to on-speed (9.5 AOA) commencing the Iinal turn.
Because oI bank and G, on-speed indications will occur between 170 to 185 KCAS
(normal gross weights) starting to roll out on Iinal approach. A good initial attitude Ior
the turn oII the perch is 45 to 60 degrees oI bank and about an 8- to 10-degree descent
Ior a 2,000-Ioot overhead pattern. Remember the Big E reIerence in the HUD will not
appear until below 200 KCAS. A reduction in power will be required to maintain 9.5
AOA during the turn to Iinal. The desired rollout point is 1 NM at 300 Ieet AGL. Use
the precision approach path indicators to get established on the visual glide path.
4.1.10.2.5 Final. A stabilized 2.5- to 3.0-degree glideslope, on speed, gear down
approach will require approximately 83 percent to 85 percent power setting. The
Dash 1 recommends small power change corrections once established on Iinal to avoid
chasing AOA and glideslope. One technique to help assess crosswind eIIects on Iinal is
to have the HUD switch in NORM so you can see how the reacts to the wind. This
is not a recommendation to rely on the HUD Ior landing. II conditions are turbulent, Ily
an 8 AOA Iinal approach.
4.1.10.2.6 Closed Pattern. Delay pull-up to a closed pattern until at least 250 KCAS
(AFI 11-2F-117, Volume 3) and comply with local regulations.
4.1.10.3 Landing. In a crosswind, Ily a crabbed, wings level approach to touchdown. The
Dash 1 cautions against a wing-low approach. There is a possibility oI dragging an elevon
on the runway.
4.1.10.3.1 Approach Attitude. The approach attitude is about halI the takeoII attitude.
The airplane is not held on speed and driven into the ground; it is Ilared. However, the
Ilare is diIIerent Irom most aircraIt because the stick is not brought back continuously
until touchdown. Coming over the overrun, the stick should slowly be brought aIt to
set the landing attitude while retarding the throttles to idle. Maintain the landing
attitude as ground eIIect is entered.
4.1.10.3.2 Ground Effect. Ground eIIect Irom the delta planIorm is very pronounced,
making smooth touchdown Iairly easy, but it also contributes to early Ilares and long
landings. When the airplane gets to about 15 to 20 Ieet oII the ground, the ground
eIIect takes over and the descent rate decreases on its own as the aircraIt settles
smoothly onto the runway.
4.1.10.3.3 Pilot Induced Oscillations (PIO). There is a normal tendency to initially
Ilare too much, then overcorrect and get into a PIO over the overrun. II this happens,
Ireeze the stick momentarily when slightly nose high and let the aircraIt settle into the
ground eIIect, bringing the stick aIt to arrest any high sink rates that may have
developed.
127(  At normal landing gross weights, the sink rate at touchdown should not exceed 600 Ipm.
II the Ilight path marker gets to level Ilight or above, the aircraIt will Iloat easily in ground eIIect
Ior 1,000 to 1,500 Ieet, even when on-speed.
4.1.10.3.4 Touchdown. Adjust the pitch only to change the descent rate. II the Ilare is
too high, ease Iorward slightly on the stick to allow the aircraIt to settle through the
ground eIIect. The aircraIt is Ilown onto the runway, not stalled. The planned
4-24 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
touchdown speed is 95 percent oI the approach speed. At low gross weights, it would
be easy to touch down at less than 140 KCAS, but the minimum airspeed is 140 KCAS.
DO NOT touch down below 140 KCAS. The aircraIt will land with little diIIiculty at
airspeeds 10 to 20 KCAS above on-speed; however, excessive touchdown speeds
greatly reduce saIety margin Ior stopping and increase the chances oI hot brakes (reIer
to Dash 1, Section 3).
4.1.10.3.5 Max Brake Application Speed. Plan ahead by reIerencing the in-Ilight
guide to determine the maximum brake application speed. Keep in mind that the
in-Ilight guide lists Iour diIIerent altitudes; be sure to choose the correct one. The
intersection oI the ambient temperature and current weight oI stores plus Iuel is the
maximum brake application speed.
4.1.10.3.6 Go-Around. II a go-around is necessary aIter touchdown, lower the nose,
retrim to 1 unit nose down, advance the power to military, and accelerate to rotation
speed (175 KCAS minimum). Without trim input, hold Iorward stick to keep the
aircraIt on the runway until rotation speed.
4.1.10.4 Chuted Rollout. Once the aircraIt is on the ground, it is still at or near Ilying
speed and the nose will want to stay in the landing attitude. Fly the nose smoothly to the
runway. Align the aircraIt with the runway prior to deploying the drag chute. Establishing
a stabilized track along the runway centerline should not take more than 1 to 3 seconds. Do
not delay chute deployment unnecessarily. Deploy the chute immediately whenever
landing distance is in question. To prevent inadvertent chute jettison, pull the handle to the
Iirst detent, and hold it aIt until deceleration is Ielt (about 3 to 5 seconds), then release it
gradually until the detent catch. II the handle goes in past the detent even a small amount,
the jaws will open and the chute will release. Attempt to minimize rudder inputs during the
Iew seconds between pulling the handle and Ieeling the deceleration. However, directional
control is paramount. Make the appropriate Ilight control inputs anytime they are required.
Deceleration is strong and directional control is good. In a crosswind oI 10 knots or more
there is a deIinite tendency to weathervane which becomes more pronounced as speed
approaches 100 knots. Consider jettisoning the chute iI aircraIt control becomes diIIicult
during landing rollout.
4.1.10.4.1 Braking. It is not usually necessary to begin braking until decelerating
below 100 knots. Because oI the signiIicant deceleration caused by the drag chute the
aircraIt will normally slow to taxi speed within 8,000 Ieet on rollout with light to
moderate use oI the brakes. As a technique, slow to below 35 knots prior to passing the
last available cable. It is possible to stop in less than 5,000 Ieet. However, landing must
be on-speed (95 percent oI approach speed), nose gear to the runway within 3 seconds,
chute deployed at nose gear touch down, with a continuous, maximum braking eIIort.
This will probably place the brake energy near the upper limit and hot brakes can be
expected. So, do not attempt an early turn oII iI the intersection is less than 5,000 Ieet
Irom the approach end oI the runway.
4.1.10.4.2 No Chute. II deceleration is not Ielt in 3 to 5 seconds aIter pulling the chute
deploy handle, suspect that the chute has either Iailed to deploy, has inadvertently
jettisoned, or is a streamer, which is the most common chute Iailure. Another scenario
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-25
that may cause a no-chute landing would be an excessive crosswind landing. In either
case, begin maximum eIIort braking once the aircraIt is below the max braking speed.
Monitor speed and runway remaining, and be prepared to use the hook iI necessary. A
good rule oI thumb to judge iI the hook will be required is to check speed at 5,000 Ieet
to go. II the speed is greater than 155 KCAS, deploy the hook.
4.1.10.5 No-Chute Landing. Normally no-chute landings will be accomplished when
crosswinds preclude a chuted landing (reIer to latest 49 FW/OG policy). Use oI the drag
chute is prohibited with crosswinds greater than 15 knots due to directional control
problems. Executing a no-chute landing shiIts the Iocus to avoiding hot brakes and being
prepared Ior brake malIunctions. Ensure that the approach speed is less than the maximum
brake application speed Ior the current pressure altitude, temperature, and weight (Iuel
plus stores). Always be prepared to deploy the chute and/or use the hook iI stopping ability
is questionable.
4.1.10.6 Brake Application. Braking should begin as soon as the nosewheel is on the
runway. The best braking technique is to smoothly apply the brakes as required. One
technique used to evaluate deceleration perIormance is to double Ieet remaining (i.e., at
5,000 Ieet below 100 knots ground speed |KTGS|; 4,000 Ieet below 80 KTGS; 3,000 Ieet
below 60 KTGS). Experience shows that the brakes may go all the way to maximum
application without anti-skid cycling on a dry runway. Moderate braking should be
reached in approximately 3 seconds. Normal distance traveled Irom initial brake
application to taxi speed is approximately 5,000 Ieet. Expect aircraIt with new or little
used brakes to smoke. II hot brakes are suspected or they are smoking excessively, pull
into the nearest hot brake area and request assistance to check the brakes.
4.1.10.7 Aerobraking Landing. ReIerence current wing procedures Ior aerobrake
landing.
4.1.10.8 Chute 1ettison Maneuver. This maneuver is designed to minimize the impact
chuted landings have on traIIic pattern operations by blowing the chute oII the runway.
PerIorm the maneuver very deliberately and in accordance with the Iollowing guidelines.
Listen to the winds and/or check the windsock and maneuver to the downwind side oI the
runway. At Holloman, the cold side is always the leIt halI oI the runway. II a hot side drop
is required, coordinate with tower. Initiate the turn maneuver at less than 10 knots ground
speed using high-gain nosewheel setting. AIter turning 30 to 40 degrees, center the rudder
pedals. It is critical that the rudders be centered beIore jettison to prevent damage to the
rudder/stub Iins. Roll out oI the check turn with Ieet oII the rudder pedals to allow the
chute to square up behind the jet. Add power to get tension on the chute cords. Use no
more than 70 percent RPM. Do not add power until the turn is stopped and the rudder
pedals are centered. Delay 3 to 4 seconds beIore jettisoning the chute. Again, ensure both
Ieet are on the Iloor when the chute is jettisoned. Another chute jettison technique is to
jettison the chute while moving straight ahead on the runway at about 25 to 30 knots
ground speed. Coordinate with tower prior to accomplishing a straight-ahead jettison. Use
this technique when winds are unpredictably variable and/or gusty, crosswind or headwind
component is greater than 15 knots or an excessive tailwind component exists.
4-26 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
4.1.10.8.1 1ump Back. II it becomes necessary to add power beIore jettisoning the
chute, the aircraIt may decelerate or even try to back up because the large chute acts
like a thrust reverser. II this occurs and the aircraIt starts to back up, jettison the chute.
Applying the brakes beIore jettison in this situation may cause the aircraIt to sit on its
tail, damaging the wing tips. The nose may then Iall through with enough Iorce to
overstress the nose gear.
4.1.10.8.2 Stowing the Handle. AIter jettisoning the chute, hold the handle with the
leIt hand, push the release button with the right hand, and slowly return the handle to
the stowed position to keep it Irom springing back against the instrument panel.
4.1.10.8.3 Hung Chute. Do not turn oII the runway with the chute attached as it may
become entangled in the rudder/stub Iins, causing major damage. II the chute will not
release, an alternate method to attempt jettison is to push the button and move the
handle into the stowed position. II this still does not jettison the chute, stop straight
ahead and call Ior assistance. II there is any question as to the status oI the chute, do not
move the aircraIt until it is resolved or directed to move by the supervisor oI Ilying
(SOF) or tower controllers. Major damage to the aircraIt can result by taxiing with a
hung chute.
4.1.10.9 Radios. Clear oII the runway with ground, ensure there are no conIlicts, and
contact Operations with the maintenance code. Operations may also have inIormation on
hangar changes Ior parking.
4.1.11 Shutdown Procedures.
4.1.11.1 NAV Data. From time to time, maintenance may request data collection to track
the INS perIormance. Maintenance may want to know the total time in NAV, the alignment
error (RER) value, or how much driIt there was in the system. BeIore shutdown, note the
INS RER value and time in NAV by pressing INDX, MAINT, INS, and then right arrow
three pages on the CDNU and note the time in NAV. Next, right arrow two pages (to page
6). The RER Ior the current Ilight is the value next to Ilight number one. Another place to
Iind RER and time in NAV data all on one page is to look on the ALIGN STAT page on the
CMDI.
4.1.11.2 INS Drift. Check the amount oI driIt in the INS by track changing to destination
point 00, the alignment point, which should be the same as the parking. On the leIt CMDI
the driIt in range and bearing is available.
4.1.11.3 Canopy. Open canopy beIore engine shutdown to prevent excessive drain on the
aircraIt main battery. Check that all loose items are stowed prior to opening the canopy.
4.1.11.4 EPU Ground Test. The Ilight control surIaces will move during the EPU ground
test, so the Ilight controls should be clear beIore initiating this test. Look Ior the Iollowing
lights on the test: the Iloodlights on the rear canopy bulkhead will illuminate, AUX GEN
will illuminate continuously, EMER HYD will illuminate and indicate normal pressure,
APU MODE SEQ lights will illuminate Ior approximately 5 seconds, and the Iloodlights
will illuminate again when the test is stopped.
4.1.11.5 Battery. Ensure the battery is turned oII.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-27
4.2 Aircraft Handling.
4.2.1 Engine response. Engine response is excellent Ior a Ian engine. When power is
reduced, the engine inlet spillage causes duct rumble and considerable drag. The aircraIt can
be slowed down Iairly rapidly considering there are no speed brakes.
4.2.2 Pitch Response. With the gear down or the AR door open, the pitch response is
sluggish compared to the Ieel when in a clean conIiguration. This reduction in Ilight control
gains optimizes the responses in the air reIueling, approach, and landing phases.
4.2.3 Roll Response. In the clean conIiguration roll response is crisp, but is decidedly slower
with the gear down or the AR door open due to the reduction in gains.
4.2.4 Yaw Response. Yaw response is good, but the aircraIt can Ieel loose in turbulence.
Adverse yaw is almost unnoticeable in a normal turn, but can build considerably with large
roll inputs. Instantaneous turn rate is very good, but because oI the highly swept delta shape,
induced drag increases rapidly. ThereIore, in high G turns, the airspeed decreases very quickly.
4.3 Instruments.
4.3.1 Basic Instruments. The F-117 has one oI the most sophisticated avionics systems in the
Air Force inventory, but the cockpit layout, the night environment, and even the displays
themselves can induce spatial disorientation very quickly. The pilot has enough inIormation to
Ily the most precise instrument work ever, but it must be used properly to be eIIective and saIe.
In Iact, so much inIormation is available Irom so many sources, it must be correctly prioritized
to not become overwhelming. Good, precise instrument Ilying is the goal and to achieve it
F-117 pilots must have solid cross-checks and Ily smart.
4.3.1.1 Set Parameters. Establish an attitude/power setting that should result in the
desired perIormance. Adjust the attitude/power, iI necessary.
4.3.1.2 Trim. Trim oII the control pressures.
4.3.1.3 Cross-Check. Cross-check the perIormance instruments to conIirm desired
perIormance.
4.3.1.4 Information Management. II F-117 pilots try to use all the inIormation available
Irom all the displays in the cockpit, it could be overwhelming. The pilot must be able to
decide what is needing during each phase oI the Ilight, and how to set up the cockpit. The
Iollowing is a list oI the displays and inIormation available, with suggestions (where
applicable) on how and when to use them.
4.3.1.4.1 Power. Regardless oI whether core RPM, Iuel Ilow, or EGT is used to
determine the power setting, they are all presented digitally in the F-117A. This means
the pilot must Iocus on the gages longer to see the inIormation, slowing the
cross-check slightly. Also, Ian engine characteristics may require the pilot to make
more engine adjustments than the pilot may be used to, which will bring these readouts
into one`s cross-check more oIten. Know the power setting, airspeed, pitch angle, and
descent/climb rate desired Ior each phase oI Ilight and strive Ior precision.
4.3.1.4.2 VSD. This is a primary attitude indicator Ior pitch and bank inIormation. This
is presented electronically on a CMDI. The VSD should be displayed on the leIt
4-28 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
CMDI. This will allow rapid cross-check with the main ADI should disorientation
become a Iactor.
4.3.1.4.3 Main ADI. This is the secondary source oI pitch and bank inIormation on a
normal basis, but is the primary source when recovering Irom an unusual attitude. It is
located on the leIt side oI the instrument panel, just leIt oI and below the leIt CMDI. It
may react slowly and precess when the AHRS is driving it.
4.3.1.4.4 Standby ADI. This is the emergency source oI pitch and bank inIormation. It
is very small, low on the right side oI the instrument panel, and diIIicult to see. It is also
on the opposite side oI the cockpit Irom the steam gages (e.g., standby altimeter and
airspeed), making Ior a diIIicult cross-check. One technique to help highlight the
standby ADI at night is to set the utility light so that it shines on it.
4.3.1.4.5 HUD. This is a secondary source oI attitude inIormation under normal
conditions, but should not be used Ior unusual attitude recoveries unless it is the only
working attitude reIerence in the aircraIt. It is good Ior level Ilight and stable climbs
and descents, but its Iield oI view is too small Ior use in maneuvers using large
amounts oI pitch and roll, which makes HUD inIormation very dynamic and diIIicult
to interpret.
4.3.1.5 Performance Instruments. VSD calibrated airspeed is the primary airspeed
reIerence. HUD calibrated airspeed is the secondary airspeed reIerence. SD calibrated
airspeed repeats the VSD/HUD. It is used to cross-check airspeed during weapons
delivery. II recording through the IRADS, make sure the airspeed on the SD indicates what
is required because there is some variance between the VSD and HUD.
4.3.1.5.1 Standby Airspeed Indicator. This is the normal round gage low on the leIt
side oI the instrument panel. It is indicated airspeed and indicates 20 to 50 knots slower
(depending on altitude) than the VSD/HUD KCAS (i.e., standby airspeed reads about
200 KIAS when the VSD/HUD reads 250 KCAS). Correction Iactors are in the Dash 1
checklist.
4.3.1.5.2 HSD True Airspeed. This is in the upper leIt corner oI the display. It is used
primarily to ensure suIIicient airspeed Ior weapons delivery (i.e., enough Ior proper
GBU guidance). It is also good Ior calculating turn radii Ior instruments work.
4.3.1.5.3 Ground Speed. This is Iound in the upper leIt oI the HSD, VSD and HUD
displays. It is also shown on the CDNU with GT/GS selected and on the SD. It is used
primarily Ior tactical navigation and timing.
4.3.1.5.4 VSD/HUD/SD Mach Number. This is used to monitor aircraIt mach.
4.3.1.5.5 AOA (Gage/VSD/HUD). This is an excellent airspeed reIerence when on
Iinal approach. It is presented on a gage above the leIt CMDI as a thermometer-type
display in the upper leIt corner oI the VSD display and as a bracket appearing on the
HUD. The aural tone associated with AOA is: above 7, low interrupted tone; 9.1 to 9.8,
steady medium pitch on speed tone; 9.9 to 11.7, high pitched interrupted tone (the
volume cannot be adjusted), above 11.7 high pitched continuous tone.
4.3.1.6 Vertical Velocity. The VSD vertical velocity indicator (VVI) is the primary source
oI vertical velocity inIormation. It is presented as a scale in the upper right-hand corner oI
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-29
each display with a moving arrow and digital readout. It presents instantaneous
inIormation and reacts with no lag. It may take awhile to get used to. HUD VVI is a
backup to the VSD. The standby VVI is a secondary source oI vertical velocity
inIormation. It is the normal analog steam gage on the upper leIt oI the instrument panel.
Some use it as the primary reIerence.
4.3.1.7 Altitude. VSD altitude is the primary source oI altitude inIormation. It has digital
readout to tens oI Ieet. II vertical velocity exceeds 2,400 Ipm, altitude is displayed to the
nearest 100 Ieet. HUD altitude is the backup to VSD altitude. The standby altimeter is the
steam gage on the lower leIt side oI the instrument panel. In the reset mode it repeats the
altitude displayed on the CMDI. In STANDBY, or when electrical power has Iailed, it
reads signiIicantly lower than actual altitude (e.g., it says 4,500 Ieet when altitude is really
5,000 Ieet). Correction Iigures in the Dash 1 checklist must be used to determine actual
altitude. II the correction Iactor is not applied, the aircraIt will be higher than indicated,
which is saIe, but it may not be possible to break out on an instrument approach iI using
uncorrected inIormation.
4.3.1.8 Heading. HSD heading is the primary source oI heading inIormation. It is
electronically displayed on the CMDI. The HSD should be displayed on the right CMDI.
VSD/HUD heading is a secondary source oI heading inIormation. At the top oI each
display is a digital readout, accurate to 1 degree, and a 60-degree moving heading scale.
The standby HSI is a secondary source oI heading inIormation. Under normal
circumstances, the heading source is the INS heading. However, in the case oI INS or dual
generator Iailure, the AHRS provides backup heading inIormation. The VSD/HSD/HUD
driIt corrected heading caret shows the magnetic heading to steer to Ily a speciIied course.
There is no whiskey compass in the aircraIt.
4.3.1.9 Turn and Slip Indicator. The normal needle and ball indicator is under the right
CMDI. One needle width indicates a 4-minute, 360 turn.
4.3.1.10 Head-Up Display. The primary purpose oI the HUD is to make the transition
to/Irom instrument/visual conditions much easier. It is excellent Ior increasing visual
lookout, reducing scanning oI cockpit instruments, and easing transition to visual
reIerences during landing. While the HUD has all the inIormation needed to Ily a precision
approach, it should be used like any other instrument. Find a place Ior it in the cross-check,
and continue to back it up with inIormation displayed on the CMDIs. Exclusive use oI the
HUD may lead to varying degrees oI disorientation, mainly due to its small Iield oI view.
Because oI its limitations, it should only be used when situational awareness and
conditions allow.
4.3.1.10.1 Misinterpretation. Large excursions in pitch and roll are diIIicult to
interpret quickly in the HUD. ThereIore, the HUD will not be used Ior any oI the
Iollowing unless it is the only attitude reIerence operating: recovery Irom spatial
disorientation, unusual attitude recoveries, and executing lost wingman procedures.
4-30 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
4.3.1.10.2 Advantage. The only advantage the HUD has over the VSD is that, while it
shows the same inIormation as the VSD, it displays it over the actual terrain. Normally
this concerns the Ilight path marker and where the aircraIt is going during landing or
during MEA Ilight when terrain clearance may be questionable.
4.3.2 Instrument Cross-Check. Basic instrument Ilying involves a thorough, regular
cross-check oI all perIormance and control instruments. This normally involves the spoked
wheel type oI scan, with the attitude indicator at the center, and the other instruments around
it. This is impossible in the F-117 due to the physical position oI the instruments.
4.3.2.1 Where to Look. F-117 pilots have to consciously think about the cross-check,
rather than just doing it. The main attitude reIerence, the VSD, is oIIset Irom the center oI
the aircraIt, on the leIt CMDI. The main heading reIerence, the HSD, is oIIset equally Iar
on the right side (the CMDIs are about 20 inches apart.) The engine instruments are even
Iarther to the right, and the needle and ball are under the right CMDI. Essentially, cranium
movement is required to do a proper cross-check. This is not only unusual, requiring more
thought and work, but can also induce spatial disorientation.
4.3.2.2 Digital versus Analog. Thought is required in the cross-check to ensure one is
properly interpreting the instruments. The many digital indications give the impression oI
a lot oI swimming numbers. Because the cross-check is spread out and intensive, it can
easily lead to channeled attention on one oI the instruments, again increasing the chances
oI spatial disorientation or development oI an unusual attitude.
4.3.2.3 Moving Map. The moving map display on the right CMDI can also be used to
increase situational awareness. The standby HSI can be used to get HSI inIormation. The
moving map can be an aid Ior course guidance, headings, airspace, diverts, weather, and so
Iorth. II the INS Iails, the moving map display will be erratic due to the GPS update
Irequency.
4.3.3 Basic Instrument Approach Procedures.
4.3.3.1 Precision Approach. An ILS approach may be selected and Ilown in a couple oI
ways.
4.3.3.1.1 ILS PRE. When ILS is initially selected, ILS PRE will be displayed on the
DEP. The aircraIt will continue to Iollow the current navigation steering mode selected
(e.g., MAN HDG) until the localizer is captured. The Ilight management system
(FMS) will then command a 35-degree bank intercept via the bank steering bar. The
FMS, however, will not command a turn until within 5 degrees oI the localizer. This
can lead to a signiIicant overshoot oI the ILS localizer course, especially when the
intercept angle is great, as in an arc to Iinal. II the FMS is not coupled (hand Ilying),
realize that the bank steering bar may indicate a turn prior to the course deviation
indicator (CDI) moving. Use a lead radial or start the turn to Iinal as indicated by the
bank steering bar to reduce the overshoot oI the localizer. Be aware that iI coupled on
radar downwind with ILS selected, the aircraIt may suddenly turn inbound on an ILS
sidelobe. A good technique in this situation is to wait to select ILS until established on
base leg.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-31
4.3.3.1.2 TACAN and ILS PRE. To reduce the aIIect oI FMS overshoots, the TACAN
and ILS may both be preselected. The FMS will command a 30-degree bank intercept
to the TACAN Iinal. Once the ILS localizer is intercepted, the FMS steering will revert
to the localizer, again Ilying a 35-degree bank turn, but by then the intercept angle is
reduced and the overshoot eIIects are minimized. A potential problem with this method
occurs when the TACAN and ILS Iinal courses diIIer by a signiIicant amount. II the
TACAN course is not within 5.5 degrees oI the ILS localizer, the ILS course will not be
intercepted. This is especially true Ior ILS approaches published by Holloman AFB,
where the ILS Iinal approach course may be intercepted Irom an arc and the TACAN
Iinal courses are not close to the ILS courses.
4.3.3.1.3 Glide Path. Glide Path inIormation will not be reliable until the nose gear is
extended, so know what altitude is required and whether intercepting glideslope Irom
above or below.
4.3.3.1.4 ILS Data. There are three places to monitor ILS inIormation. The raw ILS
inIormation on the CMDIs (HSD/VSD) should be the primary and most reliable source
oI data. Use the HUD ILS steering bars Ior basic trend corrections. Glance at the
AHRS (HSI/ADI) to ensure backup data is accurate.
4.3.3.1.5 PAR. With the deactivation oI most PAR systems, chances oI Ilying one are
low. However, these procedures are perIormed in the simulator. Normal radar pattern
speed is 250 KCAS. II the pattern is tight, consider lowering the landing gear on base
(a good rule oI thumb is 14 DME). AIter lowering the gear, 190 to 220 KCAS is a good
maneuvering airspeed until established on Iinal. When conIigured, straight and level,
set throttles at approximately 91 to 93 percent to hold approach speed. When told to
begin descent, lower the nose and set the vertical velocity symbol at the glideslope
(e.g., 2.5 to 3 degrees). Retard the throttles to approximately 82 to 84 percent
(assuming on-speed at the start oI the descent). As a rule oI thumb, do not exceed 1,500
Ipm rate oI descent to recapture the glide path Irom above. II well below the glide path,
level oII rather than climb back to glideslope. Use the table in the back oI the approach
book to determine the appropriate VVI to maintain glideslope or use the Iollowing
rules oI thumb: 2.5 degrees ground speed divided by 2, times 10 minus 100 or 3
degrees ground speed divided by 2, times 10.
4.3.3.2 TACAN Approach. This approach can be Ilown coupled all the way to the missed
approach point (MAP). However, very close monitoring is strongly recommended Ior
coupled Ilying between the FAF and MAP, even in day, VFR. The descent Irom FAF
altitude to the MDA is steep since the autothrottle will pull the throttles to idle and make a
disconcerting dive to attain the MDA set in the DEP. A 10 degree dive is not unusual. In
turbulent or hot weather, the power addition at level oII can be slow enough to be eye
watering. A better technique is to hand Ily the plane to the MDA, then set the MDA in the
DEP. Another technique is to initially set an altitude higher than MDA in the DEP, which
at least helps iI the airplane overshoots the altitude on level oII. (This technique may also
be too much work, given time Irom FAF to MAP versus DEP key punches required.)
Finally, the same technique Ior setting airspeed mentioned Ior ILS applies to TACAN
approaches as well.
4-32 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
4.3.3.3 Backup Approaches. During training and possible emergency procedures,
CMDI-out approaches will be Ilown. Remember, the standby airspeed indicator reads low,
so apply the corrections Irom the Dash 1 checklist. When practicing these approaches,
leave the HSI select switch in BUS and use the DEP to select approach steering modes. II
the DEP Iails, select TACAN or ILS on the AUX NAV panel, as desired, so the HSI
displays the correct CDI displacement.
4.3.4 Instrument Approach Autopilot Use. AP/AT instrument work is a two-edged sword.
AP/AT capabilities can ease instrument burden and comIortably deliver the aircraIt on-speed,
on-altitude to some point on an approach. However, one can easily be lulled into complacency
or distracted. The Iollowing are some considerations Ior AP/AT use.
4.3.4.1 Scan. Keep the instrument scan going! Since the autopilot is doing all the work, it
is easy to become complacent.
4.3.4.2 DEP Flying. Do not just Ily the DEP! One can become preoccupied with DEP key
punching and Iorget about Ilying the plane.
4.3.4.3 Approach to IAF and/or Holding. Set altitude and desired speed in ALT and
SPD on the DEP. Holding procedures mentioned above still apply. Selecting ILS, TACAN,
or MAN HDG will provide command steering with a maximum oI 30 degrees oI bank. For
holding, use TACAN steering to the holding Iix and then use MAN HDG Ior the outbound
leg. There is a chance that the aircraIt will turn in the wrong direction when turning to the
outbound heading. One technique is to set the present heading in the MAN HDG course
just prior to reaching the Iix. When at the holding Iix, manually change the heading using
the heading set knob on the AUX NAV panel, being sure to turn the knob in the correct
direction oI turn. At the turn-in point, reselect TACAN to the Iix.
4.3.4.4 Penetration. The descent altitude and penetration speed can be set in the DEP. Use
caution when entering data into the DEP and stay ahead oI the aircraIt by presetting values.
Also, remember that all autothrottle descents use idle.
4.3.4.5 Intercepting Final. As you approach the Iinal approach course, recouple ILS
and/or TACAN. The Dash 1 states that the autopilot may make a poor capture oI the ILS
approach course iI the intercept angle is 90 degrees. As mentioned beIore, this situation
exists at Holloman when intercepting the ILS Irom the arc. There are several techniques
that may help avoid the problem. Figure out a lead radial and then use MAN HDG or
Heading Select knob to start the lead turn. Have the autopilot intercept the TACAN course
Irom the arc, then switch to ILS somewhere during the turn or aIterwards. However, due to
TACAN and ILS course diIIerences, ILS course capture still may not occur iI the TACAN
course is closer to one`s position than the ILS course. Finally, hand Ily the intercept turn
until on course, then recouple.
4.3.4.6 Engagement Limits. The autopilot should be disengaged prior to landing.
Approaching DH or MDA is a good point to deselect autopilot Ior landing or go-around.
4.3.4.7 Fully Coupled ILS. The F-117 is capable oI Iully-coupled ILS approaches. It will
maintain the course and, when approaching the glide path, automatically switch Irom
altitude hold to GSL and start down the glideslope.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-33
4.3.4.8 Speed. Although 9.5 AOA is the proper Iinal approach speed, the autothrottle is
slow to respond to wind gusts or turbulence. In such cases, the AOA aural warning steady
tone will Irequently come on when the plane overshoots 9.5. Setting 9.0 AOA is one
technique oI eliminating this nuisance while still Ilying reasonably close to the planned
AOA. The approach AOA Ior gusty or turbulent winds is 8 degrees.
4.3.4.9 Missed Approach. The missed approach should be hand Ilown. In the immediate
action, low-altitude environment oI a missed approach, playing keypunch on the DEP is
highly inappropriate. The pilot-activated aircraIt recovery system (PAARS) VKRXOG QRW be
used Ior missed approach/go-around. Advance the throttles to maximum and raise the nose
to takeoII attitude (8 to 10 pitch attitude or 5degree pitch line even with the airspeed and
altitude boxes in the HUD) and retract the gear with two positive climb indications. The
minimum rate oI climb should be around 500 to 800 Ipm or the climb gradient iI
published. Once established with the climb gradient at 220 to 250 KCAS, reduce the
throttle to 90 to 92 percent. A common error is to accelerate through 250 KCAS.
4.4 Spatial Disorientation. Spatial disorientation may have been the primary cause in three Iatal
F-117 accidents. All occurred on dark, moonless nights, over sparsely populated, unlit terrain.
Investigation Iindings indicate that when recovery procedures were attempted, they were too late.
Better training on night hazards, visual and sensory illusions, and unusual attitudes may have
allowed the pilot oI each aircraIt to recognize the situation beIore it became unrecoverable. There
are two types oI spatial disorientation.
4.4.1 Type I Unrecognized Spatial Disorientation. Thi s i s t he maj or t ype oI spat i al
disorientation and the routine cause is loss oI situational awareness. This is usually caused by
lack oI visual cues, which leads to disorientation. Experience shows this type may go totally
unrecognized, especially iI busy, pressed, stressed, preoccupied, or distracted.
4.4.2 Type II Classic Spatial Disorientation. This is overt and Iully recognized by the pilot.
It involves a sensory conIlict, usually induced by a visual or vestibular illusion. What the pilot
sees outside, or Ieels with the body, conIlicts with the aircraIt instruments. Symptoms Irom
this vary Irom mild to incapacitation, depending on the extent oI the illusion.
4.4.2.1 Focal Mode. This mode operates independently and answers the question, What is
the eye (the pilot) looking at? This is the mode used when looking at targets, reading
instruments and displays, and essentially provides the brain with detailed inIormation.
The Iocal mode can keep the pilot oriented but requires good lighting, good visual acuity,
and active thought. It is the mode we use in the F-117 to maintain orientation.
4.4.2.2 Ambient Mode. This mode answers the question, Where am I (the pilot) in space?
This is a subconscious Iunction, which analyzes hearing, peripheral vision, muscle sense,
and balance, and can be easily deceived. When the visual part oI this mode (peripheral
vision) is lost, disorientation occurs quickly. UnIortunately, this is the mode most pilots
are used to using, as it is Iast, automatic, and requires no conscious attention.
4.4.3 How It Relates to the F-117 Because oI the lack oI cues in the F-117 and night
operations, pilots depend on the Iocal mode Ior orientation. II Iorced Ior some reason to leave
the Iocal mode (e.g., distraction or getting busy), subconsciously pilots return to the ambient
mode, which is deIicient in the F-117 and can lead to disorientation. Humans cannot tolerate
4-34 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
the sensation oI getting disoriented. They will seek to orient themselves with whatever cues
are available, and accept them with Iew questions. Without adequate visual cues, the ambient
mode takes over, and creates a powerIul expectation oI orientation that may not be consistent
with what is really happening. In a high stress state, we revert to a more Iirmly established,
primitive, Iight or Ilight behavior pattern. We pay more attention to vestibular (inner ear)
signals than instruments display. We lose (Iorget) recently acquired skills. Under severe stress
pilots may lose the ability to interpret instruments. BeIore the ambient mode becomes
overwhelming, work to get back to the Iocal mode as soon as possible. Do this by returning to
the basic Ilight instrument inIormation or disorientation will result (usually in less than 60
seconds when straight and levelless in a turn).
4.4.4 Unusual Attitudes and Spatial Disorientation. Unus ual at t i t udes and s pat i al
disorientation go hand-in-hand. In Iact, many oI the situations that cause unusual attitudes can
also cause spatial disorientation. Usually, spatial disorientation is caused by lack oI adequate
attention to aircraIt attitude.
4.4.4.1 Spatial Disorientation Accidents. Normal F-117 Ilying operations occur in the
Ilight regimes where this is most prevalentnight/IMC. Spatial disorientation is the cause
oI approximately 9 percent oI all Class A accidents. Between 1976 and 1997 there were 81
spatial disorientation mishaps in Iighters, with 52 oI them Ilown into the ground.
Sixty-seven Iighter aircrew members died due to spatial disorientation during this time
period. The survivors reported not recognizing their situation until they were too low to
attempt recovery, or they recognized their unusual attitude but were unable to make
appropriate control inputs.
4.4.4.2 F-117 Spatial Disorientation. II an unusual attitude is not recognized early, the
disorientation experienced and the accompanying degradation oI Ilying skills become so
intense the probability oI saIe recovery is very low. Hence, the need Ior early recognition
or prevention oI unusual attitudes. During takeoII roll at night, F-117 pilots are at risk oI
developing spatial disorientation. F-117 pilots have decreased visual inputs due to the lack
oI deIinable horizon, poor Iorward cockpit visibility, and most F-117 Ilying is conducted
over sparsely populated terrain with little or no ground lighting. The takeoII leg is
especially deceiving. Rolling down a Iairly well lit runway, rotating, and climbing out over
absolutely black, desert terrain can make the transition to instruments diIIicult. As a result,
most takeoIIs will be instrument takeoIIs, even in good weather. There are no cues to
indicate airspeed Irom engine RPM sounds, air rushing over the canopy, or airIrame
rumble/buIIet. Interior noise is essentially unchanged Irom takeoII to landing, regardless
oI airspeed or angle oI attack.
4.4.5 Unusual Attitudes. Night and/or IMC are the situations when pilots are most likely to
experience an unusual attitude. Though every aircraIt has its pitIalls, the F-117 and the
mission it perIorms seems to provide a disproportionate share oI opportunities Ior unusual
attitudes. The SD is very bright and can ruin night vision. The picture it presents is oIten not
the same as aircraIt Ilight path, but instead represents the point where the FLIR/DLIR is cued.
Even when TM is selected, the picture gives no sense oI depth and is distorted by
magniIication. For any or all oI the above reasons, the SD should be turned down when outside
or other reIerence is essential (i.e., approach and landing). When SD reIerence is essential, as
in weapons delivery, try to scan all available SD inIormation at set intervals during the attack.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-35
The SD provides airspeed, altitude, autopilot and, with the Ilight attitude awareness display
(FAAD), even attitude inIormation. In spite oI all this inIormation, it is easy to become
channelized in target search and tracking and disregard it. There may be times when the pilot
has to turn and look down at the CDNU or concentrate on the right CMDI to glean inIormation
Irom the Edit Page. A couple oI examples are checking winds (CDNU) or projected time over
a point (EDIT). Cranium movement associated with looking down at the CDNU display can
lead to a case oI the leans. One can Iixate on sorting out Edit Page inIormation. It becomes
important to plan moves so tasks are completed eIIiciently without inducing vertigo or
sacriIicing instrument scan.
4.4.5.1 Night Tanker. Night tanker rendezvous are Iull oI opportunities where channelized
attention can occur. Once visual on the tanker, staying visual is important, but Ily the
aircraIt. II hand Ilying and not reIerencing the instruments, altitude, attitude, and airspeed
can vary widely. To aid the tanker rendezvous, it is possible to reIerence the autopilot in
pitch and maneuver without worrying as much about altitude control. Consider reIerencing
an airspeed. A technique is to use control stick steering. This involves leaving the
autothrottle and autopilot on and reIerenced and bumping oII the roll autopilot. This allows
steering at less than 50 degrees (autopilot) and gives the wingman more consideration
while staying in a separate altitude block.
4.4.5.2 Multi-Ship. II doing a 20-second trail departure, there is the added problem oI
trying to keep lead in sight as well as the tanker. As a wingman, it is easier to keep
everything in perspective when lead is not allowed to get too Iar away. Distance and
closure rates on the F-117 are diIIicult enough to judge during the daylight, let alone a
moonless night. Consider pre-brieIing set airspeeds and changes, and have the wingman
Ily a trail position low enough to see both wing tip lights and the rotating beacon.
4.4.5.3 Weapons Delivery. On the target run success or Iailure boils down to actions taken
over a very Iew seconds. Switches Ior weapons delivery are located in literally every
quadrant oI the cockpit. Set initial switch settings early and have a well-thought-out plan
Ior quickly checking them. Some people use 3-3-3, others use a Z across the cockpit to
ensure they touch each applicable area. The SD contains a wealth oI inIormation on the
screen including altitude, attitude, airspeed, and autopilot status, but becomes diIIicult to
internalize when the search Ior a tough desired mean point oI impact becomes paramount.
Try to keep a cross-check going. In Iact, when migration into the SD starts, physically push
yourselI back in the seat and watch what happens; it may be easier to pick up switch errors,
landmarks may appear that were not visible through the soda straw, and the radio may be
audible again.
4.4.6 Prevention. Recognize the threat. Think about spatial disorientation when planning and
studying the mission, weather, terrain, and maneuvers. Set up the cockpit with the VSD on the
leIt side next to the ADI to quickly compare the most accurate instruments. Set lighting to read
instruments at all times, but not so bright that it reIlects oII the canopy and prevents Irom
seeing outside. The moving map may increase situational awareness. Anticipate. Realize it
will probably happen and maintain a good instrument cross-check. Believe the instruments.
Review the position oI the PAARS button on the stick.
4-36 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
4.4.7 Unusual Attitude Recoveries. In order to initiate actions that may save the aircraIt, the
situation must be analyzed instantly.
4.4.7.1 Recognize. Recognize the unusual attitude, conIirm it using all instruments, and
use the main ADI as the primary reIerence Ior recovery.
4.4.7.2 Manual Recovery. II disoriented at night, get control oI the aircraIt, then
concentrate on getting the gyros straight. Concentrate on the instruments, EXW QRW WKH
+8'. II still having trouble, Ily straight and level Ior 30 to 60 seconds and concentrate on
the ADI. Use the autopilot. Start a good cross-check and do not Iixate on any one
instrument. Manual recovery by a pilot who has properly determined the situation will
probably be quicker than using PAARS. The multicolored VSD display allows a simple
snap reIerence to determine attitude: Lots oI brown means nose low, lots oI blue means
nose high. The VSD will always show at least 10 degrees oI sky or dirt regardless oI the
aircraIt attitude. This happens as the aircraIt passes approximately 20 degrees nose high or
low and the horizon line disappears. The ladders on the VSD are not proportional (i.e., 40
degrees nose low looks the same as 70 degrees nose low). For pitch angles above 45, the
Dash 1 recommends applying max power, unloading to reduce AOA below 10, rolling the
aircraIt as required to inverted, and pulling the nose below the horizon. In either case,
complete the recovery when the nose is below the horizon and the airspeed is increasing
above 200 KCAS. One oI the prime dangers oI a nose high unusual attitude is the
corresponding airspeed loss and its eIIect on F-117 Ilight. The Iollowing are some Dash 1
warnings and cautions (Ior Iurther reIerence see Dash 1, section VI).
:$51,1*  Do not use HUD as the primary reIerence Ior recovery Irom an unusual attitude
unless it is the only attitude instrument available.
4.4.7.2.1 Power. Even at max power, airspeed bleed oII can be as Iast as 30 KCAS per
second in nose high situations. It can be Iaster with high load Iactors and low power
settings.
4.4.7.2.2 Airspeed. AOA and sideslip inIormation to the FLCC is inaccurate below
125 KCAS, so iI AOA limits are exceeded or very large sideslip angles are attained
below 125 KCAS, control can be lost and ensuing recovery will be very unlikely. A
minimum oI 140 KCAS provides a saIety margin.
4.4.7.2.3 AOA. Negative AOA. Monitor AOA during any negative G maneuver at
low speeds (less than approximately 200 KCAS) where a large negative AOA could be
attained. Attempt to maintain AOA more positive than negative 8. Otherwise an
uncontrolled pitch down can occur with recovery very unlikely. Positive AOA limits
are 14 gear down and 12 gear up. The FLCC AOA limiter works as long as airspeed is
greater than 125 KCAS. As mentioned, 140 KCAS is a good saIety margin speed.
4.4.7.3 PAARS Recovery. II unable to positively determine (i.e., when experiencing
serious disorientation, conIusion, and vertigo), use PAARS. Know the PAARS button
location coldsounds Iunny, but liIe may depend upon how quickly and accurately the
button is depressed. Hitting PAARS does not release the need to regain control oI the
situation. Pilot recognition and recovery Irom a situation will probably provide the most
expeditious recovery oI both the aircraIt and internal gyros, but iI mentally incapacitated
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-37
or just not sure, use the PAARS button. PAARS will recover the airplane Irom most
unusual attitudes, but depending on severity, can command some aggressive maneuvering
and will probably aggravate the disorientation problem. Concentrate on what PAARS is
doing, note the predicted recovery altitude and consider ejection iI it is close. Let PAARS
Ily until sure oI bearings, then concentrate on a good cross-check and consider bringing the
aircraIt home. The PAARS can only command ¹3.4G to -0.8G. The PAARS is deactivated
with the air reIueling door open and less than 45 degrees oI bank, pitch less than 25
degrees nose up or pitch less than 20 degrees nose low. This prevents the possibility oI
inadvertently activating the PAARS during air reIueling. Also, iI the aircraIt gear down,
the PAARS is deactivated with less than 20 degrees oI bank, 15 degrees nose up or 10
degrees nose low. These prevent PAARS activation during landing.
4.4.8 Illusions. Illusions are possible in the F-117 Ilying environment.
4.4.8.1 Oculogravic Illusion. This is the apparent movement and Ialse localization oI
visual targets (e.g., ground lights or stars) caused by aircraIt acceleration or deceleration.
On acceleration, pilots may notice an apparent change in nose attitude (upward movement)
and displacement oI objects in the visual Iield oI view. The opposite may occur on
deceleration. Normally, this is easily suppressed by good external visual cues. Dark nights
and the black hole eIIect eliminate those cues and the danger occurs when Ialse corrections
are made without checking the instruments.
4.4.8.2 Somatogyral Illusion. During a prolonged maneuver at a constant angular speed
(i.e., a sustained roll or turn), the semicircular canals give correct inIormation only during
the Iirst Iew seconds oI the maneuver. Again, visual cues normally compensate Ior this. At
night, as soon as recovery is started Irom the maneuver, the resulting angular acceleration
gives the sensation oI a turn in the opposite direction. Although recovery is correct, the
Ieeling is rolling in the opposite direction and wanting to make an inappropriate control
movement to counteract the illusion, leading to even more conIusion. Nystagmus
(uncontrollable eye movements relating to the stimulation oI the semicircular canals) can
aggravate the situation by making the instruments harder to read.
4.4.8.3 Differential Illusion. This is an erroneous perception oI aircraIt attitude in a
sustained turn due to seat oI the pants G sensations. A 30-degree bank level turn can Ieel
the same as a 60-degree bank descending turn because the G exerted on the body in both
turns is the same. Correct aircraIt attitude can only be determined by reIerence to the
instruments.
4.5 Abnormal Procedures. As with other aircraIt, the basic priority order oI aviate, navigate,
communicate still applies. Maintain aircraIt control Iirst and accomplish any boldIace procedures.
II any anomaly or system problem develops, request oII Irequency and discuss the problem with
the Ilight lead or wingman. II the SOF is not F-117 qualiIied, brieIly describe the problem and
request that squadron ops come up on the SOF Irequency or channel 14 Ior assistance.
4.5.1 Aborts. II aborting a takeoII, especially at high speeds, retard the throttles to idle,
deploy the chute, and be prepared to lower the hook. Check your airspeed approaching the
5,000 Ieet remaining marker. On a dry runway, iI greater than 155 knots or iI there is any doubt
about stopping beIore the end oI the runway, begin maximum braking and lower the hook.
Square up with the cable as near the center as possible and release the brakes Ior the
4-38 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
engagement. Use power to control rollback, not the brakes, as the aircraIt might sit on its tail.
In any case, iI the ability to stop in the available runway is in question, do not hesitate to use
the hook. The decision to abort must consider many Iactors: aircraIt malIunction, pressure
altitude, temperature, runway length, cables, aircraIt speed, max abort with chute, and so Iorth.
An inoperative Iuel gage (in test) or NWS light at 150 knots would not be cause to abort. Think
about the malIunction beIore deciding to abort. One technique is to abort Ior engines, Ilight
controls, or Iire. Check Ior hot brakes any time aborting above 100 knots. Design engineers
provided the data in the table below. (See Table 4.3, Aborts.) The numbers in this table are
based on a standard day at 4,500 Ieet MSL, no wind, 3-second reaction time, throttles in idle,
and max braking.
Table 4.3 Aborts.
4.5.2 Possible Loss of Aircraft Zone.  II  an  engine  Iails  on  takeoII,  it  is  imperative  to
accomplish the boldIace immediately; this aircraIt is very underpowered compared to other
Iighters. Accelerate through the possible loss oI aircraIt zone (PLAZ) beIore accomplishing
any other steps; use the Ilat area over the remaining runway to Ily level and build up speed as
much as possible beIore starting the climb. II the airplane touches down, use the remaining
runway to accelerate. Keep the AOA below 10 and retract the gear as soon as possible aIter
takeoII, once saIely airborne. II the aircraIt is settling back to earth, do not raise the gear. A
slight bank (5 degrees) into the good engine with rudder to zero the beta, will provide the best
acceleration. 
4.5.2.1 Weapons 1ettison.  Weapons jettison oI a 2,000-pound weapon will reduce the
single-engine  climb  speed  by  approximately  9  knots,  and  the  results  are  immediate.
Opening a weapons bay door in the Iirst Iew seconds Iollowing an engine Iailure will
momentarily  increase  sideslip  and  may  complicate  aircraIt  control.  Be  prepared  Ior
momentary yaw and roll deviations as a weapons bay door opens. 
Airspeed at 5,500 Feet 
Remaining Action
· 125 KCAS Action without chute—max braking should stop the aircraIt 
with approximately 1,000 Ieet remaining with no brake 
Iires—dry runway.
· 165 KCAS Action with chute—max braking should stop the aircraIt 
with approximately 1,000 Ieet remaining with no brake 
Iires—dry runway
· 115 KCAS Action with chute—max braking should stop the aircraIt 
with approximately 1,000 Ieet remaining with no brake 
Iires—wet runway
OVERALL NOTE:
*The above numbers and criteria were developed Ior a 45,000-pound aircraIt (F-117 typical 
takeoII gross weight).
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 4-39
4.5.2.2 Fuel Dumping.  Fuel dumping will also reduce the gross weight and lower the
single-engine climb speed. However, it will take longer to dump 2,000 pounds oI Iuel than
it would to jettison a weapon.
4.5.2.3 Additional Procedures.  AIter any close-in obstacles are cleared, using no more
than 10 degrees AOA, level oII and accelerate to the single-engine climb speed. While
maintaining the single-engine climb speed, climb to a saIe altitude (1,000 Ieet AGL
minimum) and then level oII and accelerate (220 KCAS minimum). Climb and maneuver
as required at no more than 7 degrees AOA. Fly the pattern at 250 KCAS, iI possible, and
never go below 220 KCAS until conIigured and intercepting the glide path. One technique
is to hold 250 KCAS until gear are lowered. Another technique is to hold 250 KCAS on
downwind, 240 KCAS on base, and 230 KCAS on Iinal until gear are lowered. 
4.5.2.4 Intercepting the Normal Glide Path.  Just prior to intercepting normal glide path
(at approx 6 DME), lower the gear and Ily a 7-degree AOA (maximum) approach as you
start down. Be aware that the aircraIt is close to 7-degrees AOA when the top oI the bank
steering bar in the HUD touches the bottom oI the Big E reIerence. Also, the low intensity
aural tones start at 7 degrees AOA. The 5,600 Ioot pattern is Ior training purposes and ATC
restrictions. Consider a wider pattern and longer Iinal. Flying with a slight bank (at approx
5 degrees) into the good engine is a technique to hold heading or to which good engine side
rudder can be added. Ball is another technique to hold heading. Bank angle while Ilying
the pattern is important. There is no maximum bank angle, but a rule oI thumb is as
airspeed increases above 220 KCAS, bank angle can increase above 30 degrees. Do not try
using 45 to 60 degrees oI bank near 220 KCAS or the aircraIt’s speed will drop below 220
KCAS.
4.5.2.5 Approach Considerations.  A Iew notes about the approach are in order. Be
careIul about attempting level Ilight, single-engine, and gear down. This can be diIIicult,
perhaps  even  dangerous,  on  summer  days  at  Holloman  AFB.  Also,  iI  attempting  a
single-engine ILS in night/actual instrument conditions, glideslope inIormation does not
appear until the gear is lowered. A technique Ior the single-engine approach to runway 16
only is to be at 7,000 Ieet MSL (3,000 Ieet AGL) at 11 DME (the 7/11 technique). This
puts the aircraIt close to the ILS glide path beIore lowering the gear. Yaw auto-trim will be
eIIective with the gear up but must be zeroed out aIter lowering the gear. Use rudder to
correct excessive yaw, and release the pressure while reducing power. Once landing is
assured (approximately over the approach lights), start slowing to 9.5 degrees AOA. Be
careIul about holding too much airspeed until landing. Remember, iI the drag chute Iails to
deploy, it is going to be extremely diIIicult to stop the aircraIt iI Ilying a Iaster than
7-degree AOA approach. 
4.5.3 No Radio.   II in day Iormation, the aircraIt with the good radio should be given the lead.
The pilot with the good radio should request clearance to the initial approach Iix (IAF) and
inIorm the controlling agency oI the situation. The Ilight will hold until the F-117A has less
than 7,000 pounds oI Iuel remaining. The aircraIt with no radio (NORDO) will then Ily a
9.5-degree visual straight-in and land with the chute. II the chase is NORDO, the chase will
then do a closed pattern to a Iull stop. II single-ship, comply with the IFG.
4-40 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
4.5.4 Fuel Malfunctions. Fuel indicator malIunctions, Iuel transIer problems, and Iuel leaks
can occur with limited warnings to the pilot. A good technique is to Ily with Iuselage total
(FUS TOT) selected on the Iuel indicator so side-to-side imbalances will be easily
recognizable. Look Ior proper Ieed and balance on each Iuel check. At times (e.g., steep turns),
the FUEL IND light on the annunciator panel will illuminate, and the indicator will show a
BIT light. The system is either doing a BIT or showing a strange reading (e.g., all zeroes).
Usually the abnormality will go away by itselI, but you can clear it by simply doing a Iuel
indicator BIT test. II that does not clear it, monitor balance, Iollow the checklist, and abort the
mission iI necessary. Fuel transIer problems most oIten appear to be trapped Iuel at Iirst, and
then are recognized as slow Ieeding tanks. Check the Iuel dump circuit breakers. II the L
FUEL DUMP or R FUEL DUMP circuit breaker is popped, Iuel sequencing may be abnormal.
Whether the Iuel is trapped, or just slow to Ieed, the best course is to determine usable Iuel
remaining, monitor the Ieed and balance, and determine whether to abort the mission. Fuel
imbalance may result Irom asymmetrical Iuel loading, one engine having a higher Iuel usage,
unequal engine demand Ilow Irom tank to engine, or a Iuel leak on one side. One technique to
correct the imbalance is to increase the high side Iuel Ilow by twice the imbalance. For
example, the leIt side has 4,000 pounds oI Iuel and the right side has 3,600 pounds oI Iuel. Set
the leIt side Iuel Ilow to 800 pounds/hour more than the right side. Using this technique, iI the
imbalance gets worse, immediately suspect a Iuel leak. Remember, iI the autothrottles are
engaged, as they move the Iuel Ilow imbalance may not remain constant.
4.5.5 Inertial Navigation System Malfunctions. The INS Alert indicates a hard INS system
Iailure. Accomplish the INS Iailure checklist in the Dash 1 checklist. CK INS alert usually
appears iI the INS estimated driIt rate exceeds 0.7 NM/HR. Do not do an air alignment as long
as the INS is accepting GPS updates. The Kalman Iilter assumes the INS will only driIt at a
speciIied rate. II the INS is actually driIting Iaster than anticipated, the GPS updates
eventually Iall outside the acceptable window. Kalman assumes the GPS is in error and rejects
the update. An air alignment may be necessary. The use oI INS/GPS mode aIter an air
alignment masks the accuracy oI the alignment. II GPS aiding is subsequently lost, the driIt
rate will probably be high. Consequently, the use oI air alignments should be kept to a
minimum; do not do it unless it is absolutely needed. An air alignment can only be
accomplished with a State 5 GPS. Follow the steps in the cold start air alignment checklist
with the Iollowing considerations:
· Turn the INS OFF Ior approximately 30 seconds (to permit a complete INS shutdown)
beIore cycling it back ON. It is very important to remain straight and level Ior the Iirst 30
seconds (1 minute recommended) oI the alignment.
· Maneuvering the aircraIt greatly reduces required alignment time. The optimum
maneuvering seems to be about 30 degrees oI bank Ior 30 degrees either side oI the initial
heading. However, normal maneuvering can be accomplished aIter the initial straight and
level period.
· Air alignments conducted with no maneuvering will take signiIicantly longer to
perIorm.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 5-1
CHAPTER 5
AIR-TO-SURFACE
5.1 General. Precision surIace attack is the primary mission oI the F-117. With its long-range
low observable (LO) design, and precision bombing capability, the F-117 oIIers the component
commander the ability to strike high-value, high-priority targets in almost any threat environment.
This chapter presents the Iundamentals oI surIace attack planning and execution as they relate to
two employment arenas: the controlled range (i.e., dropping practice ordnance Irom 'canned¨
delivery patterns) and uncontrolled range or airspace (i.e., conducting tactical employment with
live or simulated weapons).
5.2 Mission Planning. Although this volume oIIers extensive inIormation on the basics to
properly employ the F-117, reIer to AFTTP 3-1, Volume 18, 7DFWLFDO (PSOR\PHQW²) (Ior
tactics); AFI 11-2F-117, Volume 3, )²2SHUDWLRQDO  3URFHGXUHV; and AFI 11-214, $LU
2SHUDWLRQV 5XOHV DQG 3URFHGXUHV (Ior regulations); and the appropriate Dash 34 TO (Ior hardware
and soItware speciIics). Items common to surIace attack sorties may include:
· Mission objectives.
· Threats.
· Weather.
· Terrain.
· Ordnance load.
· Weapons employment data.
· Tactical deception.
· Formations.
· Fuel.
· Communications.
· Support Iorces.
· TakeoII and landing data.
· AircraIt weapons delivery history.
· Ordnance preIlight.
5.2.1 Mission Planning. Whether planning a continuation training (CT) sortie or an actual
combat mission, the objective is to inIlict damage on the assigned target. Total or 100 percent
destruction is usually desired but may be diIIicult to achieve depending on resources or
weapons availability. When planning the mission, the task is to achieve the highest level oI
damage with the weapons provided. Factors to consider include the Iollowing:
· Targetlocation, size, composition, coordinates, and imagery.
· Threatslocation, type, numbers, status, and capability.
5-2 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
· Air tasking order (ATO) restrictions, special instructions (SPINS), and rules oI
engagement (ROE).
· Weatherday, night, IMC, haze, dust, humidity, snow, and illumination.
· Force compositionIlight size and support assets.
· Weaponsprecision guided, cluster, or general purpose (GP); numbers; Iuzes and
options; and JMEM air-to-surIace weaponeering system (JAWS) considerations.
· Deliverytarget acquisition versus exposure, weapons accuracy, and eIIectiveness.
5.2.2 Planning Delivery Parameters. Determine mission ordnance and select the best attack
proIile; next, determine the minimum release altitude (MRA). Dud bombs, Iragging an
aircraIt, or ground impact can result Irom poor planning. The selection oI minimum acceptable
release altitude Ior the F-117 is based on Iour considerations: Iuze arm, saIe escape, saIe
separation, and weapons eIIects.
5.2.2.1 Fuze Arm. The release must be high enough to ensure the TOF is suIIicient to
allow Ior Iuze arming prior to weapon impact.
5.2.2.2 Safe Escape. SaIe escape is the lowest release altitude where the probability oI
selI-inIlicted damage is less than 0.1 percent or 1:1,000.
5.2.2.3 Safe Separation. Fuze arm times must allow suIIicient weapon separation Irom
the aircraIt such that iI the Iuze Iunctions at arm time, the aircraIt has less than 0.1 percent
probability oI Irag damage.
5.2.2.4 Weapons Effects. Release altitude may be dictated by required speciIic weapons
aIIects.
5.2.3 Minimum Release Altitude. There are several options available to help compute
weapons delivery parameters. Each Iighter squadron has a mission planning system (MPS)
and a computer with conventional weapons delivery system (CWDS) soItware capable oI
computing weapons delivery parameters. Operation oI these computers is relatively easy to
learn. Although the computer provides minimum release altitudes (MRA), it is still necessary
to learn to calculate the minimum saIe release altitude Ior the applicable Iuze, munitions, and
delivery. By using the Dash 34 charts and tables, all necessary values can be manually
calculated. There will always be times when the computer or pilot aid is not available. All
pilots need to know how to manually calculate delivery parameters.
5.2.4 Mission Briefing. AIter all planning is complete, ensure enough copies oI mission
materials are available Ior each Ilight member (e.g., line-up card, Form 70, photo pack,
coordination card, and weapons card) and start the mission brieIing. BrieI as much as possible
as 'standard¨ and concentrate on the 'meat¨ oI the missionthe target attack. Do not slight
items such as tanker procedures or en route navigation, but realize that minor errors or
conIusion in these phases probably will have less oI an impact on the overall success oI the
mission than a dry pass on the target. Ensure all Ilight members are clear on their
responsibilities beIore they step to their aircraIt. At a minimum, be prepared with the
Iollowing:
· Note minimum altimeter settings, and absolute humidity.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 5-3
· Check notices to airmen (NOTAMS) Ior all potential divert airIields.
· Review the emergency procedures and weapon oI the day and be ready to discuss both
in detail.
5.2.5 Prior to Step. ReIer to OG OI 10-1, Ior weapons delivery responsibilities, procedures
release parameter requirements, and scoring criteria. Extensive mission preparation is required
Ior a successIul SA ride. Seemingly minor details can determine success or Iailure. One digit
mistyped on a target coordinate can make something that appeared relatively simple,
impossible.
5.2.5.1 AF Form 70 Study. This was extensively discussed in Chapter 4, 'AircraIt Basics
and Instruments.¨ However, a Iew items rate detailed attention.
5.2.5.1.1 Record Targets. Check to see which deliveries are record/non-record/
non-counter. This is not really a Iactor in initial qualiIication training (IQT)/mission
qualiIication training (MQT), but will be important later.
5.2.5.1.2 Ordnance. Check type oI ordnance and whether ordnance is to be dropped.
Remember to ensure proper ordnance codes are set in the weapons loading panel
(WLP) and stores management display (SMD). The WLP should always match the
ordnance. The exception is the travel pod which will show blank.
5.2.5.1.3 Leg Time/Speed. Check leg time/speed to get an idea how busy each target
run will be. Speed can also be important because some weapons require a minimum
speed Ior release.
5.2.5.1.4 Type of Delivery. For syllabus and AFI 11-2F-117, Volume 1, ,QVWUXPHQW
)OLJKW 3URFHGXUHV purposes, determine iI instructor pilot (IP)/mission lead expects
DLIR-only, OIIset, Dual Door, or CMDI deliveries.
5.2.5.1.5 Heading and Altitude Changes. These can reduce leg time and/or increase
workload on the target run.
5.2.5.2 Photo Pack Study. 'Study the target photos as iI your reputation depends on it,
because it does.¨ An overstatement perhaps, but Iormal training unit (FTU) weapons
qualiIication, MQT Checkride, Ops Squadron hit rate, and success against Little Kim, or
whomever else wants to take on the US, depends upon a pilot`s ability to hit the target.
Finding the target involves knowing it and its surroundings. Though target study is
important, there are probably as many techniques to photo study as there are pilots in the
wing. The Iollowing paragraphs will attempt to provide an overview oI the more important
points as well as a brieI look at diIIerent methods.
5.2.5.2.1 IRADS Factors. When looking at the photos, remember that the inIrared
acquisition/designation system (IRADS) sees the target as a Iunction oI IR emissivity,
not as a Iunction oI the eye. Volumes can be, and have been, written about IR target
signatures. The Iollowing is a general discussion.
5.2.5.2.1.1 Day versus Night. Sunshine may heat asphalt and tile/tar shingle
rooItops to where they stand out like beacons, or Ilood the picture, on the sensor
display (SD). Any structure Iacing the sun, particularly in the aIternoon, should be
highly visible in the IRADS. AIter sunset, sun-heated items will start to cool.
5-4 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
5.2.5.2.1.2 Time of Day or Night. In the mornings, roads and rooItops will not
stand out as well as in the aIternoon. RooItops may still appear hot at night when
surrounding Ieatures have cooled because the structures on which they rest have
interior heating. At night, roads may cool to a point where they show colder than their
surroundings.
5.2.5.2.1.3 Thermal Crossover. At some point in the above cycle, usually twice a
day, the target will be the same temperature as its surroundings. IR sensors cannot
distinguish between two objects oI the same temperature. The good thing is that
the entire target usually does not experience thermal crossover at the same time.
Having a good idea oI what to expect beIore you step may mean the diIIerence
between a hit and a miss.
5.2.5.2.1.4 Types of Structures. Factories and reIineries will normally show hot.
A structure`s appearance will depend on whether it is heated. The age oI the photo
may be another Iactor. Man-made structures and the surrounding terrain may have
changed signiIicantly since the photo was taken.
5.2.5.2.1.5 Season. Summer days Ieature a maximum IR return. Winters are
opposite; so much so, that Ieatures expected to show do not unless heated somehow
(by sun or interior). Also remember that deciduous trees that show on a summer
photo may disappear along with their leaves in the winter. And snow on the ground
deIinitely changes the way the ground looks as compared to the photo.
5.2.5.2.1.6 Dirt Targets. Unlike cultural targets (structures), dirt targets such as the
bombing circle and tactical bombing layout at Red Rio are highly dependent on
how the ground is plowed and on environmental Iactors.
5.2.5.2.1.7 Vegetation. Vegetation generally shows cool. It can also mask a
not-so-warm target iI it sits among trees.
5.2.5.2.2 Weather.
5.2.5.2.2.1 Absolute Humidity. Hazy, high humidity days can reduce IR vision to
the point where an entire target area may not show until late. The weather shop can
Iorecast the absolute humidity Ior the target area and also run a tactical decision aid
(TDA) to help in determining when to expect acquisition oI the target. Absolute
humidity can range Irom less than one gram per cubic meter (g/m
3
) in extremely
dry climates to over 20 g/m
3
in coastal regions. Clouds are oIten a by-product oI
high humidity and are a deIinite target-area consideration.
5.2.5.2.2.2 Wind. Wind may reduce a target`s contrast by dissipating the heat and
bringing everything to a more uniIorm temperature.
5.2.5.2.2.3 Temperature. The IRADS is optimized Ior nighttime use when IR
returns are expected to be lower. II a daytime attack is necessary, IR returns are
much higher with the increased temperatures. The result is targets that tend to
'balloon out¨ and lose distinctive edges because excessive energy is overwhelming
the sensors. Lower gains will be required.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 5-5
5.2.5.2.3 Relationships. Even more important is establishing spatial relationships
between various Ieatures in the photos. Look Ior big Ieatures to lead to other Ieatures,
which will lead to the target. Some ideas and techniques Iollow.
5.2.5.2.3.1 Structures. One technique Iavored by many pilots is to pick a set
number oI i t ems I or each si ze r ange. For exampl e, pi ck t hr ee bi g
structures/landmarks that can be relied upon to appearIreeway overpasses,
runways, shopping centers, Iootball Iields, mountains, or lakes. From these work
into three smaller Ieatures that are closer to the target. These are usually taxiways,
roads, big buildings, block patterns, or Iields. Finally, choose small items that are
usually close to the target. These are adjacent structures with distinctive shapes:
revetments, block shape, and so Iorth. Admittedly, not all targets lend themselves
to this procedure. The target may be the big building or the runway or there may
not be enough Ieatures to reIerence.
5.2.5.2.3.2 Cross Referencing. The above technique (or variations, based upon
how many and what size Ieatures are used) allows a cross-reIerence with other
Ieatures to Iind the target. This can be especially important when anticipating a
late target area appearance due to weather or bad coordinates. It also helps when
the target`s IR appearance is indistinct and needs something to cross reIerence in
order to establish its exact position. To cross reIerence, count things like blocks,
houses, revetments, and so Iorth or establish the target`s (or another point`s)
position by correlating the relative position oI other distinct points.
5.2.5.2.3.3 Think 3-D. When looking at the photos, look Ior anything that stands
out Irom its surroundings: a distinct street pattern or a uniquely shaped/positioned
landmark such as a building in a Iield or a Iield among buildings. From these
distinct, asymmetrical points, work the spatial relationship techniques mentioned
above. One caution on choosing itemscertain items that appear distinct on the
photo may not show well. Streets and runways perpendicular to the run-in will not
show until late. Bends in roads are highly exaggerated in the IRADS at oblique
look angles. Buildings that appear Ilat in the picture may actually be multi-story.
Remember, the photos are normally taken Irom directly above the target. During
run in, perpendicular streets will be obscured by the initial Ilat sight angle. For
multi-storied buildings or other vertically developed landmarks, one clue to their
true nature is to look Ior shadows in the photos. Look Ior positional relationships
such as what part oI town the target is in and terrain Ieatures Ior dirt targets.
Working big to small, having at least three ways to Iind the target, and using units
oI measure are all good techniques.
5.2.5.2.4 Highlighting/Memory. Many pilots use markers to embellish Ieatures and
relationships. Some use diIIerent colors to signiIy streets versus buildings or to accent
terrain Ieatures, and so Iorth. The choice is techniquewhatever is needed to Iind the
target. Consider just two reminders using markers. Make sure they are erasable and, as
mentioned beIore with AF Forms 70, that the colors do not blend with night lighting.
Simple memory may be the best tool. There may be too many targets and too little
preparation time to memorize every Ieature/relationship on a Ilight. However, try to
remember a Iew key items; picture them in your mind, especially on the blow-up
photo. This will help when task saturated or the target shows late and there is
insuIIicient time to consult the photo pack.
5-6 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
5.2.5.2.5 Overall. The Iactors above and numerous others, can interact to create
surprises. The bottom line is the pilot must look at the photos and think through how
the Ieatures on the photo might show during the mission.
5.3 Ground Operations.
5.3.1 Weapons Preflight. Conduct weapons preIlight IAW Dash 34, Dash 34 checklist, and
applicable phase and IP brieIings.
5.3.1.1 Cockpit Operations.
5.3.1.1.1 Edit Page. This is covered in Chapter 4, 'AircraIt Basics and Instruments.¨
5.3.1.1.2 SMD. Make sure the correct weapons conIiguration is showing. II dropping a
laser-guided bomb (LGB), check the laser code. II there is a mismatch in either oI the
above, call the weapons troops.
5.3.1.1.3 IRADS Checks. This is covered in Chapter 4, 'AircraIt Basics and
Instruments.¨
5.3.2 End of Runway Check. This is the last chance Ior maintenance to catch any major
issues with the aircraIt. It is also a good time to organize the cockpit and prepare Ior target
attacks.
5.4 Surface Attack Administrative.
5.4.1 Stealth Check. Accomplish the stealth check IAW 49 FW IFG, F-117 Annex.
5.4.1.1 Range Operations.
5.4.1.1.1 Conventional Range.
5.4.1.1.1.1 Purpose. The advantages oI weapons deliveries on a conventional
range include scoring capability, easier target acquisition, and canned delivery
patterns which Iacilitate orderly, repetitive weapons delivery practice with up to
Iour aircraIt on the range simultaneously. Conventional ranges are useIul Ior initial
qualiIication and practice oI basic delivery patterns. Some conventional ranges
allow live weapons and have tactical target arrays.
5.4.1.1.1.2 Mission Preparation. During mission preparation Ior a Ilight to a
conventional range, review the Iollowing items at a minimum:
· Range layout oI targets, towers, run-in lines, restricted areas, and
surrounding terrain.
· Airspace and run-in heading restrictions.
· Holding, entry, and departure procedures.
· Direction and altitude oI radar and visual patterns.
· Radio Irequencies.
· Target locations and elevations.
· Ordnance and arming restrictions.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 5-7
· Laser Iiring procedures.
· Weapons delivery parameters/ballistics.
· Range winds, sun angle, and tactical decision aids (TDA) at range time.
· Weather/minimums Ior planned deliveries.
· Weapons training requirements.
· Review AFI 11-214, $LUFUHZ  DQG  :HDSRQV  'LUHFWRU  3URFHGXUHV  IRU  $LU
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5.4.1.1.1.3 Range Entry. II early and other traIIic is still working the range, plan
to enter the published range holding pattern. Do not interIere with the working
Ilight's radio calls. Check in with the controlling agency and receive all applicable
range restrictions and altimeter setting. A spacer pass may be used to enter a
conventional range and establish spacing Ior the basic range attack pattern. See
Figure 5.1, Sample Basic Range Attack Pattern, Ior an example oI a basic range
attack pattern and radio comm. The minimum release altitude (MRA) should be
consistent with saIe escape and Iuze arming, and the weapon delivery minimum
altitudes established in AFI 11-2F-117, Volume 1, F-117$LUFUHZ 7UDLQLQJ, and
AFI 11-214, $LUFUHZ DQG :HDSRQV 'LUHFWRU 3URFHGXUHV IRU $LU 2SHUDWLRQV.
5.4.1.1.1.4 Range Exit. Lead normally calls 'LAST PASS¨ on downwind and also
adds this to the call on Iinal. Following the last pass, lead climbs to departure
altitude while slowing to rejoin airspeed. Departure procedures vary according to
range. For the last pass, Ily a normal pattern and delivery. AIter completing the
pass, initiate the departure turn and establish a visual on all preceding aircraIt. Turn
the master arm and laser switches to saIe, and announce the number oI aircraIt in
sight. II there is no visual contact on all preceding aircraIt, state so immediately. Do
not begin or continue a turn until visual contact or until assured it is saIe to do so.
To assist in acquiring the visual, lead calls with the Ilight's altitude, heading, and
position relative to the range. With all preceding aircraIt in sight, establish join-up
airspeed and rejoin to the brieIed Iormation. II ordnance expenditure is not
conIirmed while on the range by the pilot or RCO, a visual conIirmation (bomb
check/battle damage check) is required. A battle damage check is a visual
conIirmation oI bomb expenditure. On the F-117, opening the weapons bay doors
via the combat jettison switch may be required to visually check Ior hung
ordnance. The checking pilot visually inspects Ior hung ordnance, missing panels,
Iluid leaks, and battle damage. Use caution when Ilying chase and avoid Ilying
directly under and behind the aircraIt suspected oI hung ordnance. Battle damage
checks are not perIormed on the F-117 at night. II hung ordnance is suspected and
visual conIirmation is not Ieasible, Iollow local hung ordnance procedures.
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5.4.1.1.1.5 Completion of Range Work. PerIorm the armament saIety check in
the F-117 In-Flight Guide Annex immediately aIter Iinishing weapons delivery on
the range. This is especially important iI the route continues Irom the range and
camera attacks occur later along the route. AFI 11-2F-117, ,QVWUXPHQW  )OLJKW
3URFHGXUHV, Volume 3, Local Supplement, Iorbids a camera attack to be perIormed
on a point immediately Iollowing weapons delivery on the range. The armament
saIety check is as Iollows:
· MASTER ARM switch SAFE.
· LASERSTBY or OFF.
· FLIR/DLIRSTBY or IR.
· SMD Iuze arming optionSAFE.
· STR Modedeselect LVL and select an appropriate steering mode.
· TM/SRCHselected.
· HATF/SHAFTA checkcomplete.
5.4.1.1.2 Stay Ahead of the 1et. OIten weapons delivery on the range is the last point
on the route beIore return to base (RTB). Be careIul about getting rushed in the
transition Irom weapons delivery to the approach. This situation was discussed in
Chapter 4, 'AircraIt Basics and Instruments,¨ but warrants Iurther review. Control the
pacing during this transition by slowing down and/or taking a turn in holding. This
allows Ior completion oI destealth, in-Ilight report, and armament saIety checks while
preparing Ior the approach.
5.4.1.1.3 Range Chase. Flying chase on range presents new challenges and
responsibilities Ior the instructor/evaluator. Be close enough to monitor the students`
perIormance and still maintain visual with the weapons bay doors and weapons
release.
5.4.1.1.4 Deconfliction. Who`s got the hammer? Lacking a range control oIIicer
(RCO), the Iirst IP on an uncontrolled range becomes the RCO. The controlling IP
descends to the lowest altitude Ior F-117 weapons delivery, 11,400 Ieet MSL Ior Red
Rio and 12,000 Ieet MSL Ior McGregor. As other aircraIt join the range, the
controlling IP will assign higher altitudes. When the controlling IP departs the range,
he hands oII control responsibility to the next lowest aircraIt in the stack. The new
controlling IP then descends to the lowest altitude in the stack and directs others to
descend as appropriate. All pilots need to be aware oI other aircraIt in the pattern and
deconIlict on the radio to avoid conIlicts.
5.4.1.1.5 Abnormal Procedures. Whenever an imminent dangerous situation is
observed, make a directive radio transmission to stop it. Any Ilight member can initiate
a knock-it-oII, at which time involved participants cease maneuvering, climbiI
necessaryto an altitude where terrain avoidance is not a Iactor (1,000 Ieet AGL
minimum), and acknowledge with individual call signs. AIter a knock-it-oII call,
tactical maneuvering resumes only aIter clearance Irom the Ilight lead. Circumstances
surrounding airborne malIunctions vary considerably. All require adherence to proper
procedures and good judgment. Weapons malIunctions Iall into three basic categories:
inadvertent release, unintentional release, and Iailure to release.
5-10 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
5.4.1.1.5.1 Inadvertent Release. An inadvertent release occurs when ordnance,
suspension equipment, or an aircraIt part is jettisoned, Iired, or released without
pilot input. II an inadvertent release occurs, the pilot should take a mark point oI
the impact area, note switch settings, and then ensure all armament switches are
saIe. Any remaining ordnance presents a carriage and landing hazard. The
ordnance should be expended or jettisoned in a suitable area iI practical. II
conditions do not permit jettison oI the remaining ordnance, pilots should consider
themselves hung. Return to base Iollowing the appropriate local guidance Ior hung
ordnance. Switch positions at the time oI inadvertent release and the impact point
should be provided to weapons and saIety personnel aIter landing.
5.4.1.1.5.2 Unintentional Release. The release or jettison oI a weapon or
suspension equipment through pilot error is considered an unintentional release.
An unintentional release does not require the mission to be aborted iI the ordnance
impacted on the range complex. II an object is dropped oII the range complex,
'SaIe¨ all switches and RTB. Mark the impact point and report the incident through
local procedures as soon as possible.
5.4.1.1.5.3 Failure to Release. Ordnance that does not release when all appropriate
switches are selected and the pilot attempts a release is considered hung ordnance.
When wings-level on downwind, recheck the SMD and armament switches; make
corrections as necessary. Do not become so engrossed in manipulating switches
that pattern parameters are exceeded. Continue to Ily the appropriate pattern
executing dry passes (iI required). II another attempt is made and no release occurs,
combat jettison mode should be considered.
5.4.1.1.6 Lost Sight Procedures. Although not necessarily an emergency procedure,
a 'Blind¨ situation can rapidly deteriorate to a serious problem iI some pilots do not
adhere to a speciIic set oI procedures. II sight oI or SA on the aircraIt in Iront is lost,
immediately call 'BLIND.¨ The proceeding aircraIt should come back with a position
call based oII the target. Once visual again, call 'VISUAL,¨ or iI SA reveals it is saIe,
call 'CONTINUE.¨ Until the 'BLIND¨ call is resolved, all other aircraIt will remain
high and dry. II not able Iind the proceeding aircraIt, transmit position and altitude, and
the Ilight lead will be directive.
5.4.1.1.7 No Radio (NORDO). In case oI radio Iailure on the range, continue in the
pattern but remain high and dry. Signal the RCO or other aircraIt by Ilying past the
tower rocking the wings. Continue in the pattern, remaining high and dry and rocking
wings on Iinal until the Ilight lead either rejoins the Ilight in sequence and recovers or
directs a Ilight member to escort the NORDO aircraIt to a recovery base as brieIed. II
other diIIiculties occur in addition to radio Iailure, turn opposite the direction oI traIIic
and proceed as the emergency dictates. This signals the RCO to advise other Ilight
members oI the pilot`s diIIiculty so they can provide assistance. The Ilight lead
designates an aircraIt to accompany the aircraIt in distress, or iI the Ilight lead has the
emergency, the deputy Ilight lead designates a chase aircraIt (as brieIed).
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 5-11
5.4.1.2 Uncontrolled Range or Airspace.
5.4.1.2.1 Introduction. Uncontrolled ranges and airspace oIIer target arrays and
tactics options to simulate the actual battleIield, and may include live weapons
deliveries. This section approaches the planning and execution oI an air-to-ground
(A/G) mission Irom a combat perspective. Every mission on an uncontrolled range,
even when dropping BDU-33s, should be approached as though all the targets, threats,
and weapons are live. With the exception oI a short discussion oI applicable training
rules on uncontrolled ranges, these sections address weaponeering, tactics planning,
ballistics computations, and live ordnance considerations as they apply to the combat
A/G mission.
5.4.1.2.2 Uncontrolled Range. Most uncontrolled or tactical ranges have a simulated
airIield with typically associated surIace-to-air missile (SAM)/antiaircraIt artillery
(AAA) deIenses. Some ranges have televised optical scoring system (TOSS) available.
ReIer to the appropriate range regulation supplement Ior detailed inIormation about the
range the pilots plan to attack, including radio Irequencies, restrictions, target
coordinates, and target depictions and descriptions.
5.4.1.2.3 Airspace. The F-117 is unique in that the bulk oI peacetime CT training
occurs outside oI MOAs or special-use airspace. Simulated target attacks are routinely
conducted in airspace controlled by the air route traIIic control center (ARTCC) or
radar approach control (RAPCON). This oIIers valuable training on target sets that
vary Irom large cities to rural areas. The Iollowing are some considerations Ior
conducting CT training outside special-use airspace:
5.4.1.2.3.1 Rules. Training outside special-use airspace is conducted IAW Iederal
aviation regulations and the $LUPDQ¶V ,QIRUPDWLRQ 0DQXDO rules and is usually
under control oI ARTCC or RAPCON. Even though conducting military training,
aircraIt are still subject to these rules. Unauthorized deviations may result in a
violation or worse, lead to a mishap. Prioritization is important. Complying with
controller instructions always takes precedence over simulated target attacks.
5.4.1.2.3.2 Weapons. Always know what is loaded in the weapons bay. Never
arm the Master Arm or Iire the laser outside oI special-use airspace. Do not be the
pilot who has an unintentional release oII-range while attacking a shopping mall.
5.4.1.2.3.3 Clearing. Visually clear when operating in any airspace. However,
when Ilying under visual Ilight rules (VFR) rules, the primary responsibility Ior
aircraIt deconIliction rests with the pilot. A simulated attack with the IRADS
requires a lot oI attention inside the cockpit. Use discretion and good judgment
when conducting simulated attacks in this environment.
5.5 Weapons Delivery.
5.5.1 Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System. When memory point track
(MPT) or automatic video tracking (AVT) is selected, the system will automatically inhibit
GPS updating in the inertial navigation system (INS)/global positioning system (GPS) mode.
II MPT or AVT is maintained Ior more than three minutes, the CMDIs will display a circle
around the aircraIt symbol on the MAP display and indicate INS/GPS in yellow. Bombing is
not aIIected with these indications but once the attack is complete, select RETURN to enable
GPS inputs to the INS.
5-12 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
5.5.2 Global Positioning System. II operating in the GPS only mode, do not attempt
weapons delivery using MPT or AVT, especially when delivering weapons with tight roll
angle restrictions. When the IRADS is Ieeding autopilot steering, the aircraIt can establish
and maintain a constant bank angle oI 5 degrees or less as time to go (TTG) approaches zero.
Precise target tracking is very diIIicult and results in a signiIicantly increased workload.
However, with good coordinates, tracking should require minimal slewing. Depending on the
munitions, ROE, system health, and accuracy oI target coordinates and elevation, consider
dropping 'blind¨ bombs in cued point without laser ranging.
5.5.3 Weapons Switchology. For normal range delivery, the Iollowing switches must be
correctly positioned in order to accomplish weapons delivery.
5.5.3.1 Select Attack Mode. This will always be level attack (LVL). Remember, iI
subsequently selecting a navigation mode, LVL will be deselected. When LVL is selected,
the right CMDI automatically shiIts to SMD.
5.5.3.2 VTR. ConIirm on with IRADS video source selected.
5.5.3.3 SMD. Check appropriate weapon and set Iuzing (remember to switch back to HSD
or MAP).
5.5.3.4 Master Arm-ARM. Make sure the 'X¨ is removed Irom the weapon ID on the
CMDIs.
5.5.3.5 FLIR/DLIR-IR/LSR, IR/LSR. Polarity and automatic ALG/gray scale set as
desired.
5.5.3.6 FLLASER-AUTO or MAN. Make appropriate selection.
5.5.3.7 MPT/AVT. Since usually setting switches somewhat Iar Irom the target, an AVT
lock may be neither desirable nor Ieasible early in the run. However, iI the tracker is
erratic, an early AVT lock in the general target area may stabilize the tracker. This gets
more into technique, but MPT is usually set at the same time as the other switches. With
the long range oI the laser, the MPT can be used as a consent switch when looking Ior laser
ranging. This will reduce erratic and sometimes invalid range inIormation.
5.5.3.8 Narrow Field of View (NFOV) for IRADS Field-of-View. Make appropriate
selection.
5.5.3.9 Sensor Display. The SD provides a check that everything is set properly. RDY in
the upper leIt-hand corner indicates proper switches. This indicates the weapon has been
armed, Master Arm is in ARM, and the FLIR/DLIR and LASER are set Ior laser operation.
Below the RDY there should be an 'N¨ Ior narrow FOV. Below the 'N¨ should be 'CUED
M¨, which indicates FLIR/DLIR is in cued point tracking mode with MPT set or it could
simply say 'CUED¨ with coordinates on the bottom oI the SD. In the upper center oI the
SD should be an 'A¨ or 'M,¨ depending on the type oI laser setting.
5.5.3.10 Track Ranging versus Laser Ranging. Prior to release, select either track
ranging (TR) or laser ranging (LR). This is spelled out in OG OI 10-1 and AFI 11-2F-117,
Volume 3, and Local Supplement. Check these Ior other release restrictions.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 5-13
5.5.3.11 Pickle. Press and hold the pickle button at TTG÷10 until a release indication
appears. Pickle should be no later than TTG÷3 seconds remaining. Although valid releases
have occurred with less time than this, there are no guarantees. II the doors begin to open
and the pickle button is not depressed, get on it immediately. It may allow a bomb release.
A zero (0) will appear in the SD next to RDY when the pickle button is depressed. Hold the
button through TTG ÷ 0.
5.5.4 Basic Weapons Delivery Technique. As mentioned beIore with photo pack study,
there are probably as many diIIerent techniques Ior executing an attack run as there are pilots
in the wing. This section will discuss the basic technique, Irom which spring several
variations. Nearly all oI the techniques share two Ieatures: a switchology check conducted
early on in the bomb run and some sort oI pacing Irom that point until bomb impact.
Remember that this is a technique and weapons delivery checklists exist in the 49 FW F-117
In-Ilight Guide Annex.
5.5.4.1 Switches and Pacing. Whatever the method oI initially setting the switches Ior the
attack, pilots normally accomplish it at around a TTG oI two to three minutes and Irom
that point conduct a time-related series oI tasks paced through weapon impact. The switch
settings shown in the time blocks below give a base line to develop pacing techniques.
Level and gain settings adjacent to the time blocks are suggested starting points Ior tuning
a cultural target. For dirt targets, more gain may be required. (See Figure 5.2, Tuning
Example.)
5.5.4.1.1 TTG ÷ 2+30 (at the IP). Set the switches as Iollows:
· LVL ATKselected.
· VTR recorderconIirm RCRD (should already be running).
· SMDweapon selected.
· Fuze option (Nose/Tail).
· Lase time.
· FLIR/DLIRIR/LSR, IR/LSR.
· LASERAUTO or MAN.
· MASTER ARMARM.
· IRADSNFOV.
· Cued point.
· MPT selected.
5.5.4.1.2 TTG ÷ 2+00. AIter setting the weapons switches, conIirm that the autopilot
is appropriately set and that it is properly coupled (i.e., three Cs). Check that the timing
is good.
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 5-15
5.5.4.1.2.1 Looking at the Overall Photo. Work level/gain and polarities as
necessary to set the picture up. Polarity is usually something that remains set
throughout the run, but sometimes a change is required Ior IR conditions or can be
useIul in breaking out the target. Level and gain may not be such a player iI using
ALG. However, continually tweaking the picture through the run is a must, and
normally requires experience to master.
5.5.4.1.2.2 Work the Picture. In the meantime, working the picture can be done on
a mechanical time versus task basis (i.e., every 15 seconds), but should evolve into
a continuous, almost habitual process. Otherwise, as the range decreases and aspect
changes, the picture can Ilood or distort, destroying the chance Ior an AVT lock (iI
used) and maybe even the ability to discern the target.
5.5.4.1.3 TTG ÷ 1+30. When the target area becomes more distinct, check the oIIsets
and/or cross-reIerence the three big points Irom the overall photo to ensure the cursors
are in the correct general area. Be careIul about hunting Ior the target by slewing at
long range. II slewing is Iruitless or SA is lost on what the system is looking at, hit
return to center cursors and reset MPT. This is also a good time to double check speed
and altitude on the SD; particularly iI using manual throttle control.
5.5.4.1.4 TTG ÷ 1+00. Review switch set-up. ConIirm LVL ATK, VTR RCDR ON,
NFOV, Cued MPT, autopilot coupled with three Cs, and check the SD. Checking the
speed can also be used as a reminder to disconnect autothrottles, especially when in the
TOT mode. The autothrottle mode has a tendency to cycle the throttles during the time
to impact (TTI) phase oI the run, which can throw oII target tracking. Using the
medium photo, continue to reIine the aimpoint by reIerencing the intermediate Ieatures
that are closer to the target or oIIsets in case oI a no-/late-show target.
5.5.4.1.5 TTG ÷ 0+30. Study the blow-up photo. This a good time to Iinal check
speed, altitude, and autopilot status, as well as to deselect oIIsets and start
concentrating on target identiIication. This may involve sneaking another peek at the
photos. As mentioned beIore, the best time to study the photos is back at the squadron
beIore stepping. But a quick cross-check oI the photos is still a good idea, perhaps
every 30 seconds or so down to about TTG ÷ 30 or 15 seconds. II weather problems,
bad coordinates, or lack oI study opportunity dictate another look at them, then so be it;
whatever it takes to hit the target. Use the detailed Ieatures identiIied in the blow-up
photo to place the cursors on the exact DMPI.
5.5.4.1.6 No Sight Offense. A 'No-Sight¨ oIIense should be considered iI the target
(or oIIset) is unrecognizable at this point. These steps will cue the IRADS to the point
where the INS/GPS thinks the target is located. This is useIul iI there has been a lot oI
cursor slewing. Select RETURN, MPT, WFOV then NFOV. Look Ior the large, then
intermediate, and then Iine Ieatures to identiIy the target or oIIsets. Consider adjusting
the polarity and using ALG iI necessary to get a usable picture.
5.5.4.1.6.1 WFOV. BeIore discussing end-game pacing, consider wide FOV. Some
pacing techniques include staying in NFOV aIter the TTG ÷ 1 minute switch
check. But in certain cases, such as a late target appearance, or high CD attacks,
WFOV might gain/regain target area awareness and check Ior clear weather.
5-16 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
5.5.4.1.6.2 Remembering NFOV Check. In order to remember the NFOV check,
one technique is to keep a Iinger resting on the FOV button until change back.
Another technique is to use WFOV Ior large slews to prevent incremental banks
and numerous IRADS gimbals.
5.5.4.1.7 TTG ÷ 0+15. At approximately TTG ÷ 15 seconds, no longer attempt an
AVT lock. This is to keep the cursors Irom running oII at the last second. Recheck that
the autopilot is still coupled with three Cs. No later than TTG ÷ 0¹10 seconds, get on
the pickle button and hold it until weapons release. Look Ior the '0¨ next to the ready
indication on the SD. Check the SD Ior laser ranging. II not, squeeze the trigger to
manually lase. Hold the pickle button through weapons release as indicated on the
CMDIs and TTG changes to TTI, or when the weapon leaves the aircraIt.
5.5.4.1.8 TTI ÷ 0+15. AIter release, conIirm that the weapon bay door light is out and
return the Master Arm switch to SAFE. II the weapon is hung, the doors will stay open
until Master Arm is saIed. This is the last opportunity to work level/gain, recheck the
photos, or attempt another AVT lock, as the situation dictates. The most important
thing, however, is to get the cursor stabilized on the target. By TTI ÷ 0¹15, accept what
tuning is set and concentrate strictly on tracking and killing the target.
5.5.4.1.9 TTI ÷ 0+00 (~Splash¨). AIter weapons impact, reset the switches as Iollows:
· IRADS in SRCH or TM.
· Deselect LVL ATK.
· Turn VTR OFF.
· ConIirm appropriate track change by running a HATF or SHAFTA check.
· SaIe all weapons switches.
5.5.5 Working the IRADS. DiIIerent use oI the IRADS Ieatures gives rise to various
techniques and opinions, some oI which are listed below.
5.5.5.1 INS/GPS. The Iull-up system, when used against mensurated target coordinates, is
extremely accurate. In these conditions, it is typical to release within hit criteria without
slewing. However, iI the target coordinates are not accurate, it is very easy to mistake the
lack oI accuracy as a system problemor at least get slightly conIused because the target
did not appear directly under the cursor. Do not let target identiIication skills atrophy.
5.5.5.1.1 Polarity. Generally, white hot gives a more realistic picture in day, while
black hot works better at night. Obviously, this can vary with conditions and the target
IR characteristics.
5.5.5.1.2 Example. With dirt targets, the opposite polarity may yield a better image.
Keep in mind, iI experiencing diIIiculty identiIying any prominent Ieatures, try
switching polarity. Something indistinct in one polarity may be a standout in the
opposite polarity.
5.5.5.2 ALG/MLG (Gray Scales). As mentioned beIore, ALG may make the job easier on
the target run, since in this mode only the level has to be adjusted. It may not be a player iI
there are IR returns in the target area, which can skew the gain and ruin the picture. Also,
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 5-17
working in MLG can be a busy process, requiring experience to master. The advantage is
that the gain is also controlled to best meet the IR situation. MLG helps prevent screen
washout during simultaneous attacks, a common occurrence during combat. Think oI the
level Iunction as picture brightness, while gain can be considered an IR return enhancer.
Good initial MLG (gray scales) settings are roughly one-halI level and one-third gain Ior
cultural targets (developed areas), and one-halI level and gain Ior dirt targets (Red
Rio/Centennial). High-humidity may require much higher initial gain settings. In order to
retain good picture quality, as the slant range decreases, gain is normally reduced, and
possibly level as well. Humid situations normally require large reductions Irom the initial
settings to those at weapons impact. Generally, iI inside oI TTG 0¹45 and still not able to
discern any distinct Ieature, consider increasing the gain to break out something. Once a
prominent Ieature is identiIied, retune the screen or select ALG to optimize the image on
the SD.
5.5.5.3 Weather Considerations. Be prepared to avoid lazing when clouds are under the
IRADS cursor. Either delay MPT until a clear line oI sight to the target, or consider using
manual lazing. II dropping an actual LGB and choose to delay MPT, note that MPT will
automatically select at TTG ÷ 0¹00. Also note that manual lazing Ior GBU-27 deliveries
will cause reduced weapon perIormance and is not recommended. Know the rules oI
engagement and apply correct principles.
5.5.5.4 AVT/MPT and Other Tracking Variants. In paragraph 4.1.7.2, IRADS System
Check, a technique was oIIered to set the AVT container to its smallest size. This will set
the AVT to lock targets oI most any size, whereas time would be wasted shrinking a larger
AVT container to lock a small target. The IRADS ground check can also help get a Ieel Ior
slewing the cursors and the AVT lock capability oI the particular jet.
5.5.5.5 AVT. Be careIul about attempting AVT locks within 15 seconds oI release or
impact. II the locking gates run away, the target could be missed. Once an AVT lock is
achieved, a good technique is to work level and gain to make sure it maintains the lock. For
locking a light target on dark background, run the level down and increase gain to magniIy
the intensity oI the target return in relation to its surroundings. For locking a dark target,
run the level and gain up to increase surrounding brightness while enhancing the dark
return. Two other considerations about AVT merit discussion. Ensure that whatever is
locked will remain visible throughout the entire target run and secondly, give consider
tactical Iactors (i.e., explosions and smoke) that may break the AVT lock.
5.5.5.6 MPT. The biggest consideration in using MPT is tied to the technique used to track
the target. Given the small allowable tracking errors Ior some targets, a smooth, steady
hand/Iinger(s) on the slew and designate button is a must! Smooth and steady also applies
to 'AVT mash.¨ Some pilots place one Iinger in the center oI the button Ior tracking; others
use their Iingers to lightly grasp the outside rim oI the button. Tracking with laser ranging
is generally more stable.
5.5.5.7 Tracking Variants. Both techniques involve AVT locks. One is reIined point track
(RPT) which combines the considerations Ior AVT and MPT. In RPT, the target cannot be
AVT locked, but something nearby has suIIicient deIinition. Lock the highly deIined return
and slew the cursors to track the target. Make sure the other return will stay locked and
5-18 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
remain in the IRADS NFOV while applying MPT-style tracking to the target. The
advantage oI this technique is that AVT track ranging provides more stable cursor tracking.
Finally, there is a tracking technique used by many pilots who are unable or unwilling to
use AVT, and perhaps do not trust MPT tracking. One 'mashes¨ the slew and designate
button to cause the AVT locking container to appear (assumes it is at smallest size) and
tracks the target. This technique makes the tracker sensitive to any movement on the slew
and designate button (the slew rates are the same as an AVT lock).
5.5.5.8 Other Weapons Deliveries. OG OI 10-1 contains the hit criteria Ior various
weapons deliveries used by the F-117 in CT training.
5.5.5.8.1 Offset Delivery. This is a delivery designed Ior a target with a weak,
indistinct target return or possibly obscured Irom the IRADS. The pilot tracks a more
distinct oIIset until release and then switches to tracking the target through impact.
Normal ROE Ior training attacks is to not select target direct until aIter TTG ÷ 0 (i.e.,
be in oIIset at release). Study the target and its immediate surroundings well, in case
the oIIset tracking does not put the cursors exactly on the target aIter going target
direct.
5.5.5.8.2 DLIR Only. The DLIR delivery is designed to compensate Ior an
inoperative FLIR. To simulate, bring FLIR to STBY. A generally accepted technique is
to select WFOV until target area is acquired, then switch to NFOV. As the target run
continues, remember to keep the DLIR slewed to its upper limit until reaching the
target. The TTG readout will not be accurate until cursors are on the target. A
technique to aid in knowing when the DLIR cursor is cued to the target is to use the
HUD and watch the IRADS cursor as it moves towards the destination container.
Another technique is to select MAP and watch the IRADS cursor marker move up the
target track until it reaches the destination symbol. Another technique is to select an
oIIset aimpoint (OAP) that is short oI the target. The cursor symbology will be 'Iat¨
with thick lines. When the cursor symbology changes to normal 'thin¨ lines, the OAP
should be in the IRADS FOV. There will not be a RDY indication on the SD during an
actual delivery with the FLIR in STBY.
5.5.5.8.3 CMDI Only. This is a delivery designed to compensate Ior an inoperative
SD. Switch to electro-optical (EO) on the leIt CMDI mode switch and use the CMDI
brightness (BRT) and contrast (CONT) switches to set the picture. Use ALG/gray
scales in the same manner as with the SD. The EO display on the CMDI should be
crisp and well deIined, showing the same inIormation as the SD (only smaller).
5.5.5.8.4 Dual Door. This delivery releases two bombs on the same attack. Remember
to complete the 'Big U¨ to set up Ior dual door (Station-Fuze-Fuze-Station). The Iirst
weapon selected will be the last to release and the Iirst to impact! AIter setting both
stations, select either Iirst bomb (1ST BMB) or STICK CTR and minimum spacing
IAW the Dash 34 and wing weapons directives. Keep an eye on max dual door delivery
airspeeds; they may be less than single delivery speeds. Most pilots use 40 to 70 Ieet
(see squadron standards) stick center Ior dual door BDU-33 deliveries. A common
error is to not containerize stick center. There will be an RDY indication and the doors
will open, but no weapon will be released. Switchology should be no diIIerent Irom
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 5-19
other releases. There are several notes about minimum speeds, minimum indications,
and other restrictions required Ior dual door delivery in AFI 11-2F-117, Volume 3,
Local Supplement, and wing weapons directives. (See Figure 5.3, Dual Door SMD
Example.)
5.5.5.8.5 Camera Attacks. Camera attacks are intentional dry passes. Certain ROEs
exist in AFI 11-2F-117, Volume 3, Local Supplement, AFI 11-214, $LU 2SHUDWLRQV
5XOHV DQG 3URFHGXUHV and in wing weapons policy publications to ensure saIety
during either on- or oII-range attacks. These rules also provide hit/miss Ieedback
criteria Ior training, Ilight evaluations, or turkey shoot purposes. Consult these
documents Ior latest requirements. Generally, a camera attack requires the VTR on in
IRADS, LVL selected, and MPT/AVT setall beIore TTG ÷ 0¹00. There are also
distance criteria Ior the cursors in relation to the target. As a saIety precaution, Ior
oII-range attacks, the Master Arm will always be saIe and the laser oII (among other
restrictions).
5.5.5.9 Night Weapons Operations. During night weapons attacks, the procedures used
IP to target are no diIIerent than daytime operations. However, because limited light may
have an aIIect adverse aIIect on photo review and pacing. II possible, devote extra time to
review the target photos prior to the IP, and on Iinal when necessary.
5.5.5.9.1 Switchology. Normal weapons switchology should not change Irom day
habit patterns. Make sure that switches can be operated and conIirmed by Ieel or that
lighting is set Ior quick visual conIirmation. Cross-check the Ilight instruments oIten to
ensure autopilot operation, airspeed, altitude, and correct steering.
5.5.5.9.2 Channelized Attention and Task Saturation. These problems tend to occur
more easily at night, so be aware.
5.6 Malfunctions. II something goes wrong with the autopilot, IRADS, INS, or aircraIt at night,
Ily the aircraIt Iirst and work the system or aircraIt problem only aIter absolutely sure that aircraIt
control will not be compromised.
5.6.1 Infrared Acquisition/Designation System Malfunctions.
5.6.1.1 IRADS Alert. An IRADS alert, accompanied by a FLIR/DLIR alert on the SD
may or may not imply a serious problem. Punch oII the alert. II it returns, check the STAT
page Ior any Iault codes beIore punching it oII again. The IRADS alert can be a result oI
many things: a Iailure to cool properly, a Iailure to stow properly, a servo malIunction, and
so Iorth. The best indication oI the IRADS Iunctional ability is probably the IRADS
picture itselI.
5.6.1.2 Serious Malfunctions. II the IRADS is malIunctioning to the point where the
FLIR and/or the DLIR cannot be used, try re-initializing it. This involves turning both
FLIR and DLIR to OFF Ior approximately 30 seconds and then bringing FLIR/DLIR to IR.
Re-initialization may take up to two and a halI minutes, so consider the impact on updates
and weapons deliveries. Consider accomplishing a selI-test while airborne to help
maintenance identiIy and Iix the problem. Remember the selI-test takes 4 to 5 minutes.
5-20 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
Figure 5.3 Dual Door SMD Example.
Dual Door SMD Example
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 5-21
5.6.2 Laser Malfunctions.
5.6.2.1 Low Power (LOPWR). II a LOPWR alert appears, check the ranging indicator to
ensure the system is still getting laser ranging (LR). Keep an eye on this during the attack
run.
5.6.2.2 Laser. A LASER discrete means the laser is inoperative. This can have a serious
impact on weapons delivery eIIectiveness. Consult AFI 11-2F-117, Volume 3, Local
Supplement, and wing weapons directives Ior Iurther details on weapons delivery in these
situations.
5.6.3 Hung Bomb. Follow hung bomb guidance in the F-117 In-Ilight Guide Annex.
5.7 Update Procedures.
5.7.1 Inertial Navigation System. The navigational accuracy oI the GPS system is
outstanding. The INS takes advantage oI this by using GPS position and velocities to update
itselI through the Kalman Iilter while in the INS/GPS mode. These updates occur
automatically about Iour times a minute with a State 5 GPS and once a minute with State 3 or
BARO. Note that in INS/GPS mode, the present position oI the aircraIt is based only upon the
INS. ThereIore, iI the GPS aiding becomes unavailable, the INS will driIt normally starting
Irom the position oI its last update. As soon as a suIIiciently accurate GPS signal is regained,
Kalman Iilter updates to the INS automatically restart. Although the only certain way to judge
INS accuracy is with a ground checkpoint, INS accuracy can also be estimated by using the
INS to GPS comparison on the STAT page. A military coded GPS is so accurate that the INS
to GPS distance can be viewed as a very close approximation oI the actual INS accuracy. This
value is typically less than 20 Ieet with a State 5 GPS aiding a properly aligned INS.
5.7.2 Global Positioning System. With the system in INS/GPS, there should be no
requirement Ior any updates. However, iI operating in INS only mode, consider perIorming an
update. The procedures are given in the Dash 1. Again, only use these procedures iI the GPS
Iails.
127(  Common errorsmake sure the update point coordinates and elevation are reliable!
PerIorming updates on points with unreliable inIormation will only complicate the problem.
5.7.3 Update Considerations and Techniques.
5.7.3.1 LR versus TR. Unless on a weapons range that allows laser use, do not use laser
ranging Ior updates on local training routes. This problem is partially overcome by using
an AVT lock on the update point. This gives TR, which, though not as good as LR, is much
better than estimated ranging (ER). For this reason, and the Iact that their coordinates and
elevations are usually very accurate, TACAN stations are the local update points oI choice.
The TACAN station 'disc¨ provides a nice AVT-lockable single point.
5.7.3.2 Bearing, Range, Altitude (BRA). AIter initiating an AVT lock on the update
point, push SNSR on the HSD or Map Display. The Iollowing three values will appear in
the upper leIt corner: bearing in degrees Irom INS prediction, range in tenths oI a mile,
altitude in plus or minus Ieet.
5-22 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
5.7.3.3 Opinion. Opinions vary on what BRA values are considered good Ior accepting an
update. Note the Iollowing opinions:
· Some say anything greater than 0.1 NM range or 100 Ieet altitude.
· Others say greater than 0.3 NM range or 300 Ieet altitude.
· Another consideration Ior accepting the update may be that at a previous point with
known good coordinates and elevation, the IRADS cursor was nowhere near the
target and/or the IRADS tracker was jumpy due to an apparent altitude error.
· Finally, others say, accept any TACAN or nav Iacility with highly reliable and
precise coordinates; it does not matter that the error is small because it is right.
127(   Avoid a common error. II 'B,¨ 'R,¨ and 'A¨ data read all zeroes, check to be sure the
oIIset switch is centered.
5.7.3.4 Straight and Level. To Iurther ensure the update is valid, the aircraIt needs to be
straight and level with the correct local altimeter set. Updates can be taken Irom any INS
nav mode (e.g., DEST, HNAV, or LVL ATK), but most pilots preIer LVL ATK because it
Ilies over the target and auto sequences once past the target (approximately 8 to 10
seconds). This will prevent the IRADS Irom gimbaling during the update. II another mode
is chosen, make sure overIly (OV) is set in Edit Page to avoid turning short oI the update.
5.7.3.5 Hold and Lock. Take and maintain the AVT lock and ensure TR is showing on the
SD range readout! Although AVT is the preIerred update tracking mode, MPT can be used
Ior updates iI there are no lockable update points and an update is needed to correct serious
INS driIt. AIter accepting the update by pressing ENTER, delay breaking the AVT lock or
MPT Ior 3 seconds so the system can have time to decipher all the data and update the
position.
5.7.3.6 Minimize Slant Range. II the conditions mentioned above are met, wait until
roughly 5 seconds TTI remaining and push ENTER to accept the update. Another good
'accept time¨ is when DLIR Seeker Cross is roughly approaching the 90-degree point on
the 'condom.¨ This ensures the closest, best ranging sample.
127(  Be sure to accomplish all oI these steps beIore overIlying the point, or the system will not
auto sequence.
5.7.3.7 Rejecting the Update. II the update is not wanted, then push HSD or MAP CLR.
Another technique is to push F-7 on the CDNU. The INS page will appear. Push BIAS
(another page change). Push BIAS again (page change). Push ZERO. This returns the
system to the condition it was in prior to the bad update.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 6-1
CHAPTER 6
AIR REFUELING
6.1 Ground Operations. VeriIy with the crew chieI the operation oI the air reIueling (AR) door
and AR light intensity. ConIirm the AR status lights located on the canopy. II the AR door check
is accomplished during FCS BIT checks, the reduced gains will cause a test Iailure. Set air-to-air
TACAN to pre-brieIed channel to get ranging, iI possible.
6.2 Tanker Rejoin.
6.2.1 Air Refueling Initial Point.
6.2.1.1 VMC. Depart the ARIP in station keeping at night and route or station keeping
during the day.
6.2.1.2 IMC. In IMC have the wingman maintain 1,000 Ieet altitude separation and 1 NM
air-to-air TACAN. Consider splitting the wingman at the ARIP to hold or maintain trail
Iormation.
6.2.1.3 Airspeed/Comm. Standard F-117 airspeed Irom the ARIP to the tanker is 330
KCAS. Call departing the IP with altitude: 'BOOMER 11, HOBO 01, ARIP INBOUND,
FL220.¨ Listen Ior the tanker`s altitude and a 'CLEARED DOWN TRACK¨ or
something to that eIIect. Query iI unsure oI clearance.
6.2.2 Emissions Control 1. Normal AR upgrade is accomplished using emissions control
(EMCON) 1 procedures, which are essentially all emitters on and every radio call ever heard
in an air reIueling track.
6.2.2.1 Tasks. The Iollowing is a list oI tasks applicable to the F-117:
· 15-minute call.
· Air-to-air TACAN set 15 minutes prior to ARCT.
· HalIway through turn call Irom tanker.
6.2.2.2 Mandatory Boom Transmissions. The Iollowing are mandatory boom
transmissions:
· Pre-contact.
· Clear receiver to contact.
· Contact/disconnect.
· Verbal corrections.
· Advise receiver to return to pre-contact Ior checklist or equipment considerations.
6.2.2.3 Mandatory Receiver Transmissions (post 15 minutes out call). The Iollowing
are mandatory receiver transmissions:
· Visual contact established/lost to include overrun.
· 1-mile closure transmission.
6-2 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
· Pre-contact.
· Contact/disconnect.
· NotiIy boom operator prior to initiating manual/emergency boom latching
procedure.
6.2.2.4 Post Air Refueling Report. Provide tail numbers oI receiving aircraIt and request
Ior end oI air reIueling clearance. NotiIy the tanker oI any abnormalities experienced
during reIueling.
6.2.3 Emissions Control 2. On normal continuation training sorties, EMCON 2 is the
standard; however, it requires some pre-coordination. EMCON 2 requires only two radio
transmissions. The Iirst call comes Irom the receivers approaching the IP: 'BOOMER 61,
HOBO 01, FLIGHT IP INBOUND AT FL220, NOSE COLD.¨ Tanker responds with altitude.
The second call is made by the boomer as the receivers approach pre-contact: 'HOBO 01,
BOOMER 61, RADIO CHECK.¨ Receivers respond with their numbers: 'HOBO 01, LOUD
AND CLEAR, HOBO 02, LOUD AND CLEAR.¨ Prior coordination will dictate how the end
AR request is conIirmed. The only other extraneous call that may be required, iI not previously
coordinated, will be the tail number oI each receiver as well as required oII load.
6.2.4 Finding the Tanker. There are several tools available, such as the Iollowing, to assist
with the tanker rendezvous:
· Use autopilot altitude hold to maintain vertical separation until visual.
· Use autothrottle to maintain consistent airspeed. To make it easier on the wingman,
consider pre-brieIing airspeed change increments (e.g., 30 KCAS). In this example, the
wingman would know the Ilight is accelerating to either 360 or 390.
· Depending on the track and entry angle, consider using CRS LINE or CRS SEL iI Ilying
the 'black line¨ Ior the tanker track is desired.
· Use MAP to check ownship position relative to the black line between ARIP and ARCP.
· Select tanker A/A TACAN. Monitor distance and closure on the tanker. KC-10s have
the capability to provide bearing in addition to range. Check the HSI Ior bearing to the
tanker. This will veriIy INS steering and give a common reIerence to coordinate with the
tanker.
6.2.5 Tanker Rendezvous. Level oII and cruise to the ARIP at the pre-brieIed airspeed.
Lead should call passing the ARIP, accelerate to 330 KCAS and change the air-to-air TACAN
to the Y channel. The wingman will turn the TACAN to STBY. A possible technique is Ior
lead to call airspeed changes oI greater than 20 KCAS and heading changes greater than 20
degrees to help the wingman maintain SA. The wingman should position on the outside oI the
tanker track to more easily monitor lead and visually acquire the tanker.
6.2.5.1 Point Parallel. The tanker should start the turn at 21 NM when at 26 degrees
oIIset. A KC-10 will turn 2 to 6 NM earlier than this range because it uses 25 degrees oI
bank and oIIsets Iarther (11.5 NM). II this works as advertised, the Ilight should wind up 1
to 3 NM behind the tanker. The tanker will be at 275 KCAS (KC-135) or 280 KCAS
(KC-10) until pushed up halI way through the turn and it has accelerated to 300 KCAS.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 6-3
Use the tanker`s relative position on the canopy (lead or lag pursuit) to control closure with
the tanker. See Figure 6.1, Endgame Geometry, Ior visual reIerences.
Figure 6.1 Endgame Geometry.
Endgame Ceometry
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6.2.5.2 Fighter Turn On. II the tanker has receivers on the boom the Ilight will be
required to do a Iighter turn on. Entry into the track and airspeeds remain the same as point
parallel. For this rejoin KC-10s ability to provide bearing and range is very helpIul Ior SA.
Most pilots start the turn towards the tanker at 16 to 18 miles using 30 degrees oI bank.
This allows a great deal oI Ireedom to adjust geometry throughout the turn.
6.2.5.3 Undershoot. Push it up immediately aIter recognizing the Ilight will roll out well
behind the tanker. Thrust and available Iuel are limited, so make the call early iI required.
Avoid premature push it up calls in order to preclude a tail chase with the tanker. Consider
directing the tanker crew to continue their turn Ior a turning rejoin iI they roll out too Iar in
Iront. To help the wingman, consider brieIing preplanned airspeed increments (e.g., 30
KCAS would mean changing airspeeds Irom 330 to 360 or 360 to 390). It is easier to
maintain Ilight integrity iI the wingman has an idea what airspeed lead is Ilying.
6.2.5.4 Overshoot. Slow down immediately aIter recognizing a possible overshoot, but
maintain a saIe airspeed. The F-117 at a high altitude (greater than FL 250) and slow
airspeed (less than 250 K) does not handle well and does not regain airspeed easily. Slow
to 290 KCAS minimum. Request the tanker to push it up iI necessary or direct overrun
procedures. The natural tendency is to get slow as the throttles come back to control V
c
and bleed energy as the Ilight maneuvers. It is no Iun to successIully BFM your way into a
position behind the tanker`s 3/9 line, only to realize you can`t accelerate Irom 240 KCAS
back to reIueling airspeed.
6.2.5.5 S-Turns. One technique to avoid slowing excessively is to use S-turns. These can
be disorienting because the canopy design will not allow maintaining visual while turning
away. The degree oI S-turn is dependent on the distance in Iront oI the tanker. One
technique is to turn 45 degrees away Irom the tanker then turn 90 degrees back to keep
Irom doing multiple turns in the track. Consider limiting angle oI bank to assist the
wingman in maintaining visual. Another technique is to have both the receiver and the
tanker do a 180-degree turn, pick up a visual on the tanker and then use the normal rejoin
or undershoot technique as appropriate.
6.2.5.6 Orientation. Develop a good cross-check oI the attitude instruments and autopilot.
Most pilots will use control stick steering so the Ilight can maneuver, but still rely on the
autopilot to maintain altitude and airspeed. This is Iine as long as the autopilot stays
engaged while rolling. Use the moving map to help in visualize ownship position in the
tanker track, particularly when dodging weather (assuming the tanker track waypoints are
entered in the INS).
6.2.5.7 The Last Mile. Approaching 2 NM in trail, begin to decrease towards 320 KCAS.
The lack oI speed brakes does not present any major problems. Overtake oI 20 knots can
be easily controlled with power reduction.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 6-5
6.2.5.8 Approaching Pre-Contact. Lead will normally go directly to the pre-contact
position and the wingman will rejoin to the observation position. Subsequent Ilights to the
tanker will stay 1 NM trail and 1,000 Ieet below the tanker until the Ilight in Iront has
departed. With the AR door open, the diminished authority in pitch and roll gains makes
the aircraIt more diIIicult to maneuver. For this reason, a good technique is to delay
opening the AR door until approaching the pre-contact position.
6.2.6 Pre-Refueling Checks. Complete pre-contact AR checks. LETS will cover the major
checks. It stands Ior lightsas required, emittersIFF and radar altimeter, TACANreceive
only, slipwayIFR door open.
6.3 Observation Position. Line up the wing tips oI the tanker. This will put the aircraIt Iar
enough Iorward and high enough to stay out oI the receiver`s way. See Figure 6.2, KC-135
Observation Position, and Figure 6.3, KC-10 Observation Position.
6.4 Pre-Contact Position. The pre-contact position is 50 Ieet or approximately one ship length
behind the boom. The boom is about 30 Ieet long in the pre-contact conIiguration so visualize a
little less than two boom lengths. Avoid the tendency to get too low and too Iar back in the
pre-contact position. See Figure 6.4, Pre-Contact Position.
Figure 6.2 KC-135 Observation Position.
KC-135 Observation Position
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Figure 6.3 KC-10 Observation Position.
6.4.1 Aircraft Handling. AircraIt control and handling qualities with the AR FCS gains are
good Ior maneuvering in the pre-contact position. Adequate power is available to maintain and
adjust position.
6.4.2 Lighting and Switches. Double check switches while approaching the tanker or
stabilized in the pre-contact position. Techniques vary and some lighting is optional, but as a
reIerence, ensure the Iollowing is done:
· Recheck the APEX light rheostat position (it should have been set on the ground) and
dim the navigation and Iuselage lights. Most boom operators preIer dim Iuselage lights
and bright navigation lights; also turn oII the anti-collision light.
· Select either FUS ONLY or ALL depending on required oII-load.
· The green AR status lights are diIIicult to see in daylight.
· Ensure autopilot is not engaged.
· Push in the intercom button and adjust the volume Iull up.
· Know the aircraIt`s complete tail number.
KC-1ô Observation Position
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Figure 6.4 Pre-Contact Position.
Pre-Contact Position
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6-8 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
6.5 Contact Position. 
6.5.1 Transition.  As with most Iighters, small, positive corrections will allow Ior the most
eIIicient reIueling. The aircraIt may yaw slightly when moving Irom the pre-contact to the
contact position, due to the downwash Irom the tanker. Because oI the relative position oI the
seating height and the reIueling receptacle, many pilots have a tendency to drop low when
approaching the boom. To prevent this, set the end oI the boom on the top oI the HUD as the
aircraIt continues Iorward. As the aircraIt closes to within 10 Ieet or so, the boomer should
swing the boom out oI the way. Continue to close and maintain elevation relative to the tanker.
6.5.2 Aluminum Overcast. Director lights are operated manually until contact and can be
anywhere Irom nonexistent to continuous depending on the skill oI the boomer. Be patient and
maintain good Iormation relative to the entire tanker (not the boom) while watching Ior
corrections Irom the director lights. There are no mirrors and no visibility out the top oI the
canopy like other Iighters. Once under the boom, look at the entire belly oI the tanker and
maintain that reIerence. One technique Ior the KC-135 is to place the tanker’s inboard engine
pods in the center oI the quarter panels as a position reIerence. Another technique is to place
the top oI the HUD combining glass on the Iorward portion oI the tanker’s director lights. On
a KC-10 it may Ieel that the aircraIt is too Iar Iorward. (See Figure 6.5, Contact Position.) It is
diIIicult to Ieel contact with the boom, trust the lights and Iight the tendency to drop low. Note
that KC-10 director lights are trend lights while KC-135 director lights are directive. (See
Figure 6.6, Director Lights.)
6.6  On the Boom.
6.6.1 Power.  As the aircraIt takes on Iuel and enters turns, anticipate the need Ior more power.
At high altitude and high gross weights, reIueling can be especially challenging. Avoid large
power corrections. 
6.6.2 Fuel rates. A KC-10 pumps at 3,000 pounds per minute with both pumps operating.
The KC-135 will pump at 2,300 pounds per minute. Note starting Iuel prior to contact. Check
it again aIter disconnect and ensure Ilight plan Iuel matches current oII-load. II less than a Iull
load oI Iuel is needed, consider using the Bingo bug to alert when the aircraIt has received the
desired amount oI Iuel. 
6.7 Post Refueling Procedures. 
6.7.1 Post Refueling Checks.  Do not Iorget the checklist. Running the LETS check will
accomplish the major items beIore leaving the tanker: lights, emitters, TACAN, slipway.
Regardless, do not Iorget the air reIueling door! Check gas and total received.
6.7.2 Flight Rejoin.  AIter reIueling, rejoin as brieIed. The Ilight will normally depart the
tanker track at least 1,000 Ieet above the reIueling altitude to the AR exit point. Be careIul not
to slow too much iI heavily weighted and climbing out oI a reIueling track.
6.7.3 Steerpoint.   It is a good idea to have the INS already set up Ior steering to the desired
destination prior to the tanker rejoin.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 6-9
Figure 6.5 Contact Position.
Contact Position
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Figure 6.6 Director Lights.
6.7.4 Departing. Depart Irom the tanker track IAW the Ilight brieIing and/or ATC`s
end-oI-AR clearance. Remain cognizant oI the position oI other aircraIt while departing the
tanker and maneuver to provide at least three minutes separation on the navigation route.
Delay descent to the preplanned initial route altitude until positive separation Irom other Ilight
members is assured.
6.8 Abnormal Procedures.
6.8.1 Blind. II IMC conditions are encountered or the wingman loses visual with lead Iollow
the procedures described below.
6.8.1.1 Prior to the ARIP. During the climb, lead will call all turns, rollout headings, and
each 5,000 Ieet until level oII. II still IMC at level oII, the wingman will be cleared to hold
at the ARIP and coordinate a new rendezvous time with the controlling agency.
6.8.1.2 Beyond the ARIP. The wingman will inIorm lead, slow 10 KCAS, and ensure
1,000 Ieet altitude separation. Lead will clear two to proceed to the ARIP to hold and
coordinate a new rendezvous time with the controlling agency. Sometimes this is not
practical Ior Iuel, one-way track, and so Iorth. Use SA and have a good plan.
6.8.2 Fuel Imbalance. A small amount oI Iuel may Ilow into the wing tanks. Sometimes the
Iuel system will ignore this, resulting in trapped Iuel. Other times, it will Ieed very slowly,
resembling trapped Iuel. In either case, analyze the distribution and monitor as required.
6.8.3 Spatial Disorientation. The departure Irom the tanker track can be disconcerting and
spatial disorientation is a deIinite concern. As soon as possible aIter joining or approaching the
tanker, set up the nav mode and exit point, timing, and anticipated altitude. This will give
maximum SA when it comes time to exit. II experiencing spatial D, Ily straight and level with
the autopilot engaged, recheck instruments, and once oriented, continue toward the push point.
PAARS is an option Ior spatial D, but will not work in all conIigurations (i.e., with the AR
door open).
Director Lights
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 6-11
6.8.4 Fuel Spray. Continuous Iuel spray Irom the receptacle is not normal, but probably the
most common air reIueling malIunction. Disconnect immediately aIter the boomer or
wingman reports Iuel spray. Attempt another contact, but iI the spray continues, discontinue
reIueling. Write up the problem in the 781 aIter landing. Flying slightly high on the boom may
stop the spray iI reIueling is necessary Ior saIe recovery.
6.8.5 Breakaway. II a breakaway is initiated while in the pre-contact or contact position, it is
possible to lose sight oI the tanker in the top oI the canopy. Execute the procedures Iound in
1F-117A-6CL-1.
6-12 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 7-1
CHAPTER 7
LOW-ALTITUDE OPERATIONS
7.1 Introduction. The F-117 is able to conduct low-altitude ingress and egress, preIerably at
night, in visual meteorological conditions (VMC). Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC)
remain Ieasible, but consider avoiding areas oI thunderstorms, hail, snow, and other severe
weather. Although the global positioning satellite/inertial navigation system (GPS/INS), Iully
coupled autopilot system and inIrared acquisition and designation system (IRADS) and night
vision goggles (NVG) give reliable low-level capability, crew proIiciency is the most critical
aspect oI low-altitude operations. This chapter discusses the Iollowing low-altitude topics:
awareness and considerations, low-altitude basics, route abort procedures, navigation techniques,
mission planning, and employment considerations.
7.2 Additional References. In addition to local base and host nation instructions, the low-altitude
reIerences shown in Table 7.1, Low-Altitude ReIerences, will be helpIul.
Table 7.1 Low-Altitude References.
7.3 Awareness and Considerations.
7.3.1 Altitude. The proper altitude to Ily will depend on many Iactors such as threat, weather,
terrain, HHQ restrictions, Iuel constraints, and weapons employment and/or eIIects
considerations. As a general rule, Ilights should only be planned as low as necessary to
perIorm the mission. At some altitude, even with a Iully coupled autopilot, pilots cease
perIorming any other mission tasks except terrain avoidance. Employment altitudes as low as
1,000-Ioot minimum en route altitude (MEA) within a 5-NM corridor allow adequate time to
perIorm mission tasks and maintain situational awareness. Figure 7.1, Radar Line oI Sight to
Airborne Targets Irom SurIace Emitters, illustrates some physical limitations oI threat systems
Ior use in planning ingress/egress altitudes.
7.3.2 Airspeed. Higher airspeeds decrease the time exposed to a speciIic threat, but increase
Iuel consumption and turn radius which can complicate target acquisition and tracking.
Reference Title Notes
AFTTP 3-1.18 7DFWLFDO (PSOR\PHQW )$ Outlines capabilities oI threat
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planning guidelines.
AFI 11-2F117V3 )$ 2SHUDWLRQV 3URFHGXUHV Directs low-altitude operations
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Outlines training rules Ior
low-altitude operations.
7-2 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
Figure 7.1 Radar Line of Sight to Airborne Targets from Surface Emitters.
Radar Line of Sight to Airborne 1argets from Surface Emitters
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AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 7-3
7.3.3 Turns. Routes planned in the low-altitude environment may not Iollow typical F-117
ingress/egress tactics. Turns should be planned to avoid terrain, restricted areas, lines oI
communication, and threats.
7.3.4 Route/Form 70 Study. A thorough study oI altitudes and terrain Ieatures along the
planned route oI Ilight and comparison to Form 70 calculations is critical to maintaining
situational awareness. Study the route thoroughly; know how every major point appears, both
visually and in the IR spectrum. For checkpoints, analyze the weather eIIects (e.g., smoke,
haze, and dust). Consider selecting checkpoints that are more visible to the sides oI the
aircraIt. Analyze the time oI year Ior seasonal changes oI both visual checkpoints and IR
returns. Review the altitude, restrictions, headings, and timing. Geographic Ieatures oI the
route must receive special attention.
7.3.5 Autopilot. Understanding the idiosyncrasies oI the F-117 autopilot system, with respect
to airspeed/altitude change hierarchies and turn sequencing logic will prevent 'surprises.¨
7.3.6 Threats and Terrain. Low altitude operations can enhance tactical surprise and can
signiIicantly degrade threat A-A and A-G system capabilities, especially in mountainous
terrain. Over relatively Ilat terrain, threats have better low-altitude capabilities.
7.4 Low-Altitude Basics. F-117 operations in the low-altitude environment are highly dependent
on autopilot use along detailed mission planned routes. This does not alleviate the pilot Irom
understanding basic principles.
7.4.1 Altitude Reference. The horizon and ground objects near the aircraIt can serve as an
altitude reIerence. AircraIt 'altitude¨ alerts provide aural Ieedback oI deviations below
planned MEA along a route leg. In addition, the radar altimeter can assist in validating
altitude.
7.4.2 Low-Altitude Hazards. Be keenly and constantly aware oI low-altitude hazards.
7.4.2.1 Visibility Restrictions. The F-117 canopy is by design restrictive to good
visibility. Visual illusions Irom canopy reIlections can Iurther hamper the situation.
Terrain illusions due to shadows and low sun angles are normally not a Iactor during
nighttime operations.
7.4.2.2 Subtle Terrain Elevation Changes. MEA inIormation is only as good as the
digitized terrain elevation data (DTED) loaded into the Air Force mission support system
(AFMSS), which is not CHUMed. Constantly clear Ior 'NEAR¨ rocks and then 'FAR¨
rocks through any means available (e.g., IRADS or NVGs).
7.4.2.3 Task Saturation/Fixation. A solid cross-check cannot be over-emphasized.
Appropriate task prioritization during diIIerent phases oI Ilight (e.g., ingress, target area,
and egress) is necessary to ensure aircraIt systems (i.e., 3 Cs) are Iunctioning correctly.
7.4.3 Insidious Descent. One oI the most dangerous aspects oI low-altitude Ilight is
insidious, unplanned descent into terrain. An active autopilot cross-check to avoid
'uncoupled¨ situations and the Iollowing data should help to understand the attention required
Ior low-altitude operations.
7-4 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
7.4.3.1 Wings-Level Shallow Dive. In wings-level Ilight at 1,000 Ieet, iI the aircraIt is in
a 2-degree dive at 500 knots true airspeed (KTAS), time to ground impact (TTI) is 35
seconds. A 5-degree dive, reduces TTI to 7 seconds. Recovery must be initiated within the
Iirst Iew seconds to avoid hitting the ground. Table 7.2, Time-to-Impact (seconds) in a
Wings-Level Dive, shows additional examples.
Table 7.2 Time-to-Impact (seconds) in a Wings-Level Dive.
7.4.3.2 Level Turn. The TTI Ior overbank in a level turn is the same as the 0-G
wings-level bunt with an added bank angle calculation which magniIies the vertical
component. However, there is a distinct diIIerence between the 90-degree bank and the
0-G wings-level bunt. It is extremely diIIicult to perceive that one is descending when
experiencing 4, 5, or 6 Gs. ThereIore, the pilot`s ability to catch an error by any means
other than visual is hampered. The most signiIicant diIIerence is the bank angle sensitivity.
Even very small bank angle deviations oI 5 degrees or 10 degrees dramatically reduce
time-to-impact Ior turns when compared to straight and level time-to-impact at the same
AGL. Once 90 degrees is exceeded you are 'pulling¨ toward the ground. A 10-degree
overbank is considered the 'typical¨ deviation. Table 7.3, Time-to-Impact, 'Level¨ Turn,
lists the time-to-impact Ior several turns ranging Irom 2 to 6 Gs. The Iirst bank angle is
required Ior a level turn and the second bank angle, in parentheses, includes the 10-degree
overbank. The table illustrates the importance oI controlling the bank angle and G
combination. This table also shows the eIIects oI the acceleration toward the ground as the
bank angle and G increase. With a 10-degree overbank, the time-to-impact values are
essentially the same Ior any turn oI 3 Gs or more.
7.4.3.3 Comparison. Provided in Table 7.4, Wings-Level versus Level Turn, is a more
useIul side-by-side comparison Ior deviations Irom straight and level Ilight and level turns
by comparing the actual time-to-impact along with the point oI recovery. This comparison
shows the relative saIety oI straight and level Ilight while showing the increased danger oI
turning maneuvers.
7.4.4 Ground Probability of Kill. 'Terra Firma¨ is the number one threat at low altitude, and
its probability oI kill (P
k
) is very close to 1.0.
Altitude
(feet)
Dive Angle (degrees)
1 2 3 4 5
100 7.0 3.5 2.3 1.4 0.7
300 21.0 10.5 6.9 4.2 2.1
500 35.0 17.5 11.5 7.0 3.5
1,000 70.0 35.0 23.0 14.0 7.0
2,000 140.0 70.0 46.0 28.0 14.0
OVERALL NOTE:
* Impact times calculated at 500 KTAS; double AGL, then double TTI; double Ilight path angle
(FPA), then halve TTI; double KTAS, then halve TTI.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 7-5
Table 7.3 Time-to-Impact (seconds) in a Level Turn.
Table 7.4 Wings-Level versus Level Turn.
7.4.5 Ridgeline Crossings. Crossing ridgelines in high threat areas can highlight aircraIt to
threats, both ground and air. F-117 OFP constraints do not permit more than one preplanned
altitude change per leg. The 'climb early¨ capability oI the autopilot must be careIully planned
Ior to avoid simulation errors during route computing. Typical ridge crossings utilizing
perpendicular, parallel, and saddle type procedures are not perIormed. NVG experience may
allow Ior these types oI proIiles in Iuture operations.
7.5 Route Abort Procedures.
7.5.1 General. There are several situations which require the crew to terminate the low level,
such as an aircraIt emergency or a systems malIunction. The ground is the biggest threat at
low altitude and avoiding it is the number one priority. When distracted by an emergency or
task saturation dictates, the only correct response is 'CLIMBING TO COPE.¨
7.5.2 Aborting the Low-Altitude Arena.
7.5.2.1 Misplaced Priorities. Although the route abort concept sounds like basic common
sense, it is easy to misplace priorities when operating at low level. With experience, you
become quite comIortable in the low-altitude environment. When the situation Iorces you
Bank Angle/~G¨ Required (degrees)
Altitude
(feet)
60

Degrees/2
G(70

degrees)
71

Degrees/3
G(81degrees)
75

Degrees/4
G(85

degrees)
78

Degrees/5
G(88

degrees)
80

Degrees/6
G(90

degrees)
100 4.4 2.7 2.6 2.5 2.5
300 7.7 4.7 4.5 4.3 4.3
500 9.9 6.1 5.8 5.7 5.6
1,000 14.3 10.8 9.6 9.5 9.5
2,000 21.6 17.2 16.8 16.7 16.7
OVERALL NOTE:
* The numeric values in parentheses are Ior the 10-degree overbank.
Time to Impact/Last Chance Recovery (seconds)
Altitude
(feet)
Straight and Level Level Turn
(-1 degree FPA) (+10 degrees overbank)
100 7.0/5.5 2.6/1.3
300 21.0/19.5 4.5/2.3
500 35.0/33.5 5.8/2.9
OVERALL NOTE:
* Chart is comparing TTI Ior deviations Irom wings level Ilight versus deviations Irom overbank
in turns. Additionally, last chance recovery times are shown.
7-6 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
to divert attention Irom the task oI ground avoidance Ior more than the normal cross-check
time, abort!
7.5.2.2 Execution. Once the decision is made, roll to a wings-level attitude, pull the nose
smoothly to ¹15 degrees, climb in Mil power and climb to the brieIed minimum saIe
altitude (MSA)/route abort altitude (RAA).
7.5.2.3 Pilot Activated Automatic Recovery System (PAARS). Even though this mode
does ensure terrain separation, it can be an eIIective tool iI spatially disoriented and a
climb away Irom the ground is desired.
7.5.2.4 Controlled Abort Procedure. Do not make a bad situation worse by executing an
overly aggressive route abort, leading to spatial disorientation and possible loss oI aircraIt
control. II you Iind yourselI climbing above the saIe altitude, smoothly unload to descend
to the proper altitude. A large negative-G maneuver at night can be extremely disorienting.
As in all aircraIt emergencies, maintain aircraIt control. Controlled airspace, clouds, and
route restrictions are all consideration Iactors when aborting a route, but only aIter a
controlled level oII at the MSA/RAA. Additionally, iI conditions permit the autopilot may
be used to aid in execution oI an abort. II the route abort is permanent Ior that sortie,
coordinate with other Ilight members and air traIIic control (ATC) to ensure deconIliction.
7.6 Low-Altitude Mission Planning.
7.6.1 Mission Objective. The mission objective (target, desired level oI damage, etc.) has a
signiIicant impact on the attack plan. A requirement Ior a speciIic attack axis may dictate the
desired routing to the target. Plan the attack Iirst and then pick an initial point (IP) that allows
you to achieve your desired run-in heading. Then plan the route to get to the IP and egress
Irom the target, remember work Irom the target backwards.
7.6.2 Threats. Enemy threats are perhaps the greatest Iactor in low-level route selection.
Avoid the threat when possible, and when necessary to Ily through threat envelopes, plan the
route to degrade the threat's capabilities. Current intelligence on the location and movements
oI enemy units is essential.
7.6.3 Terrain. Where possible, use terrain Ieatures to mask the aircraIt Irom threats and
provide tactical surprise in the target area.
7.6.4 Air Force Mission Support System Considerations.
7.6.4.1 MEA Calculation. AFMSS uses DTED inIormation to calculate the MEA along a
route. The MEA altitude and route width can be manipulated to the desired parameters;
however, the corridor width cannot be reduced below an OFP constraint oI 1 NM. In order
to optimize operations in mountainous terrain, shorter leg lengths are required.
7.6.4.2 Chart Update Manual (CHUM). CHUM is not provided in AFMSS. Routes must
be manually cross-checked on charts or loaded into the portable Ilight planning system
(PFPS) Ior electronic-CHUM evaluation.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 7-7
7.6.4.3 Digital Maps (DMAP). Ensure the elevation bands used Ior creation oI the digital
data cartridge (DDC) maps are scaled Ior the local area terrain. The DDC load should
include scales and areas oI coverage that mirror the DDC paper maps (PMAP).
7.6.5 Route and Turn Point Selection. All turn points should be visually or IR signiIicant.
Obviously, that is not always possible but search Ior such points. Avoid towns and lines oI
communication (LOC), since these are oIten sites oI threats. When searching Ior turn points,
make note oI other signiIicant points, potentially to the sides oI the aircraIt, which may be used
Ior pilotage checkpoints or updates.
7.6.6 Multi-Ship Deconfliction. Multi-ship operations in the low-altitude environment will
require increased attention to deconIliction issues. Tactical employment can be enhanced with
NVGs.
7.6.7 Update/Offset Points. Plan Ior several update points along the low level. ReIerence the
Form 70 Ior preplanned updates. Choose a point reasonably close to the target area to
minimize subsequent driIt errors. Additionally, OAP selection needs to consider IRADS Iield
oI regard limitations. Selecting OAPs along the route oI Ilight, 3 to 4 NM short oI the target is
a technique which can provide conIidence in system accuracy or allow adequate time to
compensate Ior system driIt prior to weapons release.
7.6.8 Chart Selection. II required, whenever possible, use a 1:50,000 scale chart oI the target
area Ior attack planning. For the low-level route, either joint operations graphic (JOG)
(1:250,000) or tactical pilotage chart (TPC) (1:500,000) scale charts are appropriate. Be sure
to update the CHUM. A new tower along the route oI Ilight is not only a hazard; it may cause
a pilotage error iI the checkpoint Ior that leg also happens to be a tower.
7.7 Navigation. There are multiple means by which navigation may be conducted. F-117 tactics,
survivability and weapons employment generally require 4-D coupling oI navigation systems,
with the capability to manipulate each as required Ior mission accomplishment and
time-over-target management.
7.7.1 Computer Assisted Navigation. Due to the strict nature oI F-117 mission planning and
deconIliction, this is the primary means oI maintaining course and timing requirements in the
F-117. INS, GPS and INS/GPS modes may be relied upon to provide autopilot navigation once
it is proven reliable. HNAV, VNAV and SNAV/TOT Iunctions may be reIerenced, but must be
cross-checked with expected perIormance to ensure proper steerpoints, altitudes, speeds and
timing are maintained.
7.7.2 Visually Assisted Navigation. Map reading or 'pilotage¨ is a less relied upon method
oI navigation. Maps used in close conjunction with Form 70 data or annotated with applicable
data can be extremely useIul. Caution must be taken to avoid too much detail so as to avoid
Iixation.
7.7.2.1 Color Multi-Display Indicator (CMDI). The moving map display can be used as
a general reIerence. The smaller the scale the more detailed inIormation available. Terrain
elevation awareness is optimized by selecting DMAP, FN1 and BGD3 on the MAP page oI
the CMDI. This colors map terrain 'red,¨ that is higher than a selected DTED.
7-8 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
7.7.2.2 Overall Mission Portrayal (OMP). Navigating using a typical map becomes
unmanageable at night with lower cockpit lighting. This 'stick map¨ depiction oI the route
plan provides another basic reIerence to maintain general SA on mission status.
7.7.2.3 ~Stick Maps.¨ Other than the OMP a 'stick map¨ can be a hand drawn route
depiction on a line-up card showing prominent terrain Ieatures, LOCs, time lines, and the
route oI Ilight. Stick Iigure maps can vary widely, but the minimum items normally
included are signiIicant points, obstacles, minimum altitudes, and required cockpit tasks.
Label heading and elapsed time beside each route segment; in addition, add time at each
turn point, Iuel, and MSA/RAA Ior that route segment. Additional annotations might
include tactical inIormation such as enemy deIenses or Iorward line oI own troops
(FLOT), and so Iorth.
7.7.3 Dead Reckoning. Dead reckoning (DR) is a basic method Ior navigation and is based
on Ilying a precise heading, at a precise airspeed, Ior a precise amount oI time. With F-117
avionics, DR is not required as a primary method oI navigation, but on-board systems provide
suIIicient data to perIorm this method as an emergency backup.
7.8 Employment Considerations.
7.8.1 Attack Timeline. Pilots must be prepared Ior compressed target attack pacing. IR
conditions and IRADS interpretation may delay target acquisition until late in the timeline.
7.8.2 Infrared Acquisition and Designation System. The l ow- al t i t ude envi r onment
produces much higher LOS rates than medium altitude attacks. Memory Point Track provides
adequate slew rates to permit tracking as low as 1,000 Ieet AGL. Automatic Video Track mode
can provide a more stable track, but may not be Ieasible due to podium eIIects. IRADS
lookback angles and laser occluded regions need to be reIerenced to ensure end-game
guidance capability.
7.8.3 Low-Altitude Formations.
7.8.3.1 Non-NVG Formations. Typical F-117 Trail and Station Keeping Iormations can
be Ilown, but are not optimal Ior low-altitude employment. Individual route deconIliction
plans must be considered during most phases oI mission execution.
7.8.3.2 NVG Formations. F-117 NVG Fluid is the preIerred low-altitude Iormation. (See
Chapter 8, 'Night and Adverse Weather Operations.¨) As a ROT, wingman should stack
200 to 500 Ieet above lead when operating below a 5,000-Ioot MEA.
7.8.3.3 Position Latitude. Formation positions are usually not rigid, which allows the
wingman latitude to close up spacing Ior weather or terrain clearance. However, the
wingman should always know exactly what is expected and the limits oI maneuvering.
Flight leaders are responsible to speciIically control the wingman's Iormation position.
Consideration should be given to a route abort and/or Ilight split up iI conditions do not
Iacilitate Iormation operations.
7.8.4 Low-Altitude Weapons Employment. Low-altitude employment will shrink launch
acceptability regions and decreases weapon times oI Iall. CareIul consideration in the
weaponeering process needs to be given to weapon eIIects, Iuze arm time, saIe separation, saIe
escape and weapon Iragmentation deconIliction. For Iurther inIormation reIer to AFTTP
3-1.18, 7DFWLFDO (PSOR\PHQW²).
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 8-1
CHAPTER 8
NIGHT AND ADVERSE WEATHER OPERATIONS
8.1 Introduction. The inIormation in this chapter, combined with a thorough knowledge oI
appropriate sections oI AFI 11-2F-117, Volume 3, F-117 and local procedures, will prepare pilots
Ior saIe and eIIective night Ilying.
8.2 Night Ground Ops. It is important to have the cockpit set up to minimize Iumbling in the
dark. Photos can be clipped to the G-suit, placed on the leIt or right side, or in the pubs bag. LiIe
support can provide a small Ilashlight to attach to the Ilight suit or harness. Have a large Ilashlight
in the pubs bag. Do not hang equipment around the neck.
8.2.1 Lighting and Filters. Set the cockpit lights to 12 to 1 o`clock and install the CMDI/DEP
night or night vision goggle (NVG) Iilters beIore engine start. The Iilters are leIt/right speciIic.
The NVG CMDI Iilters are not leIt/right speciIic.
8.2.1.1 DEP Filter. The most important Iilter is the DEP Iilter. At night, without it, the
DEP cannot be dimmed suIIiciently enough to avoid distraction. II it is missing, get a
replacement.
8.2.1.2 Utility and Apex Light. Place the utility light as desired. Some set it on the peanut
ADI, others the engine instruments.
8.2.1.3 Adjust to the Darkness. AIter the post-start checks are completed, have the crew
chieI extinguish the hangar lights in order to begin adjusting to the darkness.
8.3 Night Taxi. The F-117 is extremely diIIicult to see at night. Keep the taxi light on in the
arming area until absolutely sure oI not hitting anything (not wanting to blind the arming crew is
not justiIication Ior insuIIicient lighting). When the quick check crew is under the jet, turn the
rotating beacon oII. Turn the HUD, CMDIs, and Ilight instrument lights back up. They should be
bright enough to be read at a glance. This is a good time to review the photo pack and check the
IRADS picture, but ensure the SD is turned down until well aIter getting airborne. Put the warning
and caution lights to BRIGHT (iI desired) and turn the radar altimeter on. Seeing obstructions
while taxiing is obviously more diIIicult at night. Bright cockpit lighting reIlecting oII the Ilat
canopy glass will make the problem even worse. To minimize these eIIects, consider the
Iollowing:
· Prior to taxi turn down the HUD and SDa bright SD will be very distracting and will
degrade night vision.
· Turn down the CMDIs to the point where they are readable but do not reIlect oII the
windows.
· Put the warning/caution lights to DIM (iI desired) and lower the other lights to reduce
reIlections.
· Flash the taxi (not landing) light once when ready to taxi.
· Flash the taxi light or turn on the beacon iI the crew chieI is needed back on the headset.
· Keep the speed low and watch Ior people and vehicles ahead.
· Keep the nose wheel on the centerline to ensure wing tip clearance.
· II wing walkers are needed, coordinate through squadron ops.
8-2 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
8.4 Night Takeoff.
8.4.1 Lights. When cleared Ior takeoII, turn on the taxi light and rotating beacon leaving the
arming area. Dim the cockpit light to provide the desired balance between night vision and
ability to quickly interpret the instruments. Do not dim the engine instruments so that they are
unreadable. Do turn the brightness down on the IRADS SD (aIter quickly checking it to ensure
the runway is clear oI any large objects) and select TM/SRCH and WFOV.
8.4.2 Cockpit Review. Review the boldIace items Ior takeoII and the positions oI the drag
chute handle (touch), the hook switchlight (do not touch), and the ejection handles. Review the
position oI the standby instruments, run-up the engines, check takeoII trim, and release brakes.
8.4.3 Lift off. Be prepared to transition rapidly to instruments aIter liIt oII due to the lack oI
lights oII the end oI the runway. The runway lights reIlect oII the canopy giving a 'Star Wars
eIIect,¨ and then abruptly disappear in the darkness. This can be very disorienting. The 'black
hole¨ eIIect at night requires close monitoring oI all instruments during the takeoII and
departure.
8.4.4 Climb. Climb using the climb schedule and engage the autopilot when desired above
1,000 Ieet AGL. Remember, the autothrottle will hold whatever KCAS it saw when it was
engaged. Enter the airspeed iI something else is desired. II becoming severely disoriented,
consider transitioning instrument reIerence to the AHRS gages (i.e., round dials and ADIs) or
use the PAARS button.
8.4.5 Departure. Climb at 300 KCAS until level oII. Above 10K perIorm a Tech Order Climb
IAW the F117-1. II the aircraIt slows while climbing, it is very diIIicult to regain airspeed.
Accelerate to cruise speed aIter leveling oII.
8.5 Night Formations. Available night Iormations are Station Keeping and Trail. (See Chapter 6,
'Air ReIueling¨ and Chapter 9, 'Night Systems: Night Vision Goggles And IRADS.¨)
8.5.1 Night Vision Goggles Formations. NVG Iormations are modiIications oI Trail and
Station Keeping, which allow the wingmen to swing the 180-degree arc behind the Ilight lead
in azimuth while still maintaining the DME limits. (See Figure 8.1, Trail, and Figure 8.2,
Station Keeping.) For more inIormation on NVG speciIic tactical Iormations, see AFTTP
3-1.18, 7DFWLFDO (PSOR\PHQW²).
8.5.2 Night Vision Goggle Lead Considerations. NVG wingmen own the Ilight lead`s
external lighting. The halo eIIect oI the non-compatible external lights can adversely aIIect
wingmen`s ability to quickly assess closure rates and aspect angles. Wingmen should be
brieIed to adjust leads nav lights, apex light, and Iuselage lights as required Ior current
environmental conditions. Leads should extinguish their rotating beacon as soon as wingmen
as established in an ATC standard Iormation. More than one adjustment per Ilight might be
necessary as illumination levels can change through out the course oI a mission. At least one
anti collision beacon must be on within standard Iormations.
8.6 Night Approaches. Once visual on Iinal, begin to transition to a visual approach with the
HUD. Uncage the Ilight path marker (iI caged) to monitor driIt, and set the intensity versus the
runway lights.
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 8-3
Figure 8.1 Trail.
1rail
81&/$66,),('
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1
0

 
1
0
8-4 AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004
Figure 8.2 Station Keeping.
Station Keeping
81&/$66,),('
 /RZ

 
1
0

 
1
0
AFTTP 3-3.18, 21 December 2004 8-5
8.6.1 Double Checks. ReconIirm the location oI the drag chute handle and the hook
switchlight. II disoriented or not Ilying as precisely as desired, break oII the approach early.
The radar altimeter should be used on approaches to help maintain SA.
8.6.2 HUD Setup. Declutter the HUD, iI desired. II the HUD is Iairly dim, the symbology
may Iade away as the intensity oI the runway environment increases. Turn it up early as the
Ilare is not the time to be adjusting the HUD.
8.7 After Landing At Night. Use the same procedures as during the day. Watch Ior chutes. Be
careIul not to overcrowd the side oI the runway. Be ready to Iind chutes anywhere. II there is a
problem with chutes on the runway, tell the tower.
8.7.1 Taxi Back. AIter clearing the runway, keep taxi speed below 25 knots. Switch Irom
landing lights to the taxi light. Turn the rotating beacon oII upon entering the hangar. Also
extinguish the taxi light when sure the path is clear and it comes to bear on the crew chieI`s
retinas. For blackout recoveries, the crew chieI should have a Ilashlight on the ground
illuminating the taxi stripe.
8.7.2 Cockpit Clean Up. It is especially easy to Iorget things in the cockpit at night. It is also
easier to miss aIter-landing checks because the switches may not stand out. An extra sweep
around the cockpit with a Ilashlight prior to taxi back and aIter shut down may save some
embarrassment.
8.8 Weather. Locally, the primary weather problem comes with summer thunderstorms.
Thunderstorms are an obvious threat, bu