oversight

Operation Desert Storm: Evaluation of the Air Campaign

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-06-12.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                   United States General Accounting Office

GAO                Report to the Ranking Minority Member,
                   Committee on Commerce, House of
                   Representatives


June 1997
                   OPERATION DESERT
                   STORM
                   Evaluation of the Air
                   Campaign




GAO/NSIAD-97-134
      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      National Security and
      International Affairs Division

      B-276599

      June 12, 1997

      The Honorable John 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 July 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 July 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.



      Page 1                                GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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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.



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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.


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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, Jr.
Assistant Comptroller General




Page 4                     GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
Page 5   GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
Contents



Letter                                                                                                1


Original Letter                                                                                      14


Appendix I                                                                                           44
                        Scope                                                                        44
Scope and               Methodology                                                                  45
Methodology             Strengths and Limitations                                                    58

Appendix II                                                                                          60
                        Operating Conditions: Time, Environment, and Enemy Capability                60
The Use of Aircraft     Air-to-Ground Weapon Systems: Planned Versus Actual Use                      64
and Munitions in the    Combat Operations Support                                                    82
                        Aircraft Survivability                                                       92
Air Campaign            Summary                                                                     107

Appendix III                                                                                        110
                        Effectiveness Data Availability                                             111
Aircraft and Munition   Associations Between Weapon Systems and Outcomes                            112
Effectiveness in        Target Accuracy and Effectiveness as a Function of Aircraft and             118
                          Munition Type
Desert Storm            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                                                                                         162
                        Cost and Performance of Aircraft                                            162
Cost and Performance    Cost and Effectiveness of Munitions                                         177
of the Aircraft and     Summary                                                                     192
Munitions in Desert
Storm




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Appendix V                                                                                         194
                         Desert Storm Campaign Objectives                                          194
Operation Desert         Discussion                                                                200
Storm Objectives         Summary                                                                   203

Appendix VI                                                                                        205
                         Evidence on IADS Capabilities                                             205
Basic Structure of the
Iraqi Integrated Air
Defense System
Appendix VII                                                                                       207

Pre-Desert Storm
Missions and Actual
Use
Appendix VIII                                                                                      210
                         WOE Platform Comparisons                                                  210
Weight of Effort and     TOE Platform Comparisons                                                  217
Type of Effort
Analysis
Appendix IX                                                                                        221
                         Radar                                                                     221
Target Sensor            Electro-optical                                                           221
Technologies             Infrared                                                                  221
                         Other Sensor Systems                                                      221

Appendix X                                                                                         223
                         Reconnaissance Platforms                                                  223
Combat Support           Surveillance Platforms                                                    223
Platforms                Electronic Combat Platforms                                               223
                         ABCCC                                                                     224




                         Page 7                    GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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Appendix XI                                                                                        225

The Experience of
F-16s and F-117s at
the Baghdad Nuclear
Research Facility
Appendix XII                                                                                       227

Comments From the
Department of
Defense
Appendix XIII                                                                                      233

Major Contributors to
This Report
Glossary                                                                                           234


Tables                  Table 1: Manufacturers’ Statements About Product Performance                26
                          Compared to Our Findings
                        Table I.1: Twelve Strategic Target Categories in the Desert Storm           45
                          Air Campaign
                        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                52
                          Measures
                        Table I.5: Examples of Phase III BDA and Our FS or NFS                      57
                          Assessments
                        Table II.1: Air-to-Ground Combat Mission Categories Attributed              65
                          to Selected Aircraft Before Desert Storm Versus Those Actually
                          Performed
                        Table II.2: Number and Percent of Coalition “Shooter” Aircraft              75
                        Table II.3: Coverage of Strategic Target Categories, by Aircraft            77
                          Type
                        Table II.4: BE-Numbered Targets Assigned Exclusively to One                 78
                          Type of Aircraft




                        Page 8                     GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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Table II.5: Official Public Descriptions of the Prewar and Desert           79
  Storm Capabilities of Air-to-Ground Aircraft Sensors
Table II.6: Percent of Total Known Refueling Events for Selected            84
  Air-to-Ground Platforms
Table II.7: Type of Coalition Aircraft Lost or Damaged and                  94
  Attributed Cause
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            113
  Not Fully Successful by Platform
Table III.2: Number of FS and NFS Targets by Platform and                  114
  Target Type
Table III.3: Average Guided and Unguided Tonnage Per BE by                 117
  Outcome by Category
Table III.4: F-117 and F-111F Strike Results on 49 Common                  119
  Targets
Table III.5: F-117 and F-111F Strike Results on 22 Common                  120
  Targets With GBU-10 and GBU-12 LGBs
Table III.6: Outcomes for Targets Attacked With Only MK-84                 121
  Unguided Bombs
Table III.7: Outcomes for Targets Attacked With Only MK-84s                121
  Delivered by F-16s and F/A-18s
Table III.8: List of DMPIs and Identifying Information                     123
Table III.9: Reported F-117 Hits Lacking Corroborating Support             128
  or in Conflict With Other Available Data
Table III.10: Examples of Remarks Indicating Nonsupporting                 129
  Video
Table III.11: Examples of Remarks in Conflict With Reported Hits           130
Table III.12: Failures That Prevented Bombs From Being Dropped             132
  on F-117 Primary Strikes
Table III.13: 37th TFW Data on Bombs Dropped by F-117s During              134
  the First 24 Hours
Table III.14: F-117 Hit Rate on Strategic Integrated Air Defense           136
  Targets on the First Night
Table III.15: TLAM Performance in Desert Storm                             142
Table III.16: Manufacturers’ Statements About Product                      144
  Performance Compared to GAO Findings
Table III.17: Targets Categorized as Fully Successfully Destroyed          149
  and Not Fully Successfully Destroyed
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              166
            Storm Air-to-Ground Aircraft and TLAM
          Table IV.2: Desert Shield and Desert Storm Air-Related Ordnance             178
            Expenditures by U.S. Forces
          Table IV.3: Relative Strengths and Limitations of Guided and                179
            Unguided Munitions in Desert Storm
          Table IV.4: Unit Cost and Expenditure of Selected Guided and                181
            Unguided Munitions in Desert Storm
          Table IV.5: Number and Cost of Munitions Expended by Target                 183
            Category and Success Rating
          Table IV.6: Munition Costs Associated With Successfully and Not             186
            Fully Successfully Destroyed Targets
          Table IV.7: Number and Cost of Munitions Used in Naval Air                  189
            Attacks on 13 Bridges in Desert Storm
          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             201
            Thunder Plan to January 15, 1991
          Table V.4: Number and Percent of Inventory of U.S.                          203
            Air-to-Ground Aircraft Deployed to Desert Storm
          Table XI.1: Number of Days, Total Aircraft, and Total Bombs                 225
            Employed Against the Baghdad Nuclear Research Center During
            Desert Storm

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             124
            Targets
          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              212
            KBX Targets
          Figure VIII.3: Bombs Delivered, by Platform                                 213




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Figure VIII.4: Bombs Delivered, by Platform, Excluding KBX                 214
  Targets
Figure VIII.5: Bomb Tonnage Delivered, by Platform                         215
Figure VIII.6: Bomb Tonnage Delivered, by Platform, Excluding              216
  KBX Targets
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,                    220
  Excluding KBX Targets

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
C2           command and control
C3, 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


Page 11                    GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
Contents




CW         continuous wave
D-day      first day of Operation Desert Storm (17 January 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
JCS        Joint Chiefs of Staff
JEWC       Joint Electronic Warfare Center
JMEM       Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual
JMO        joint maritime operations
JSTARS     Joint 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


Page 12                  GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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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




Page 13                  GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
             United States
GAO          General Accounting Office
             Washington, D.C. 20548

             Program Evaluation and
             Methodology Division

             B-260509

             July 2, 1996

             The Honorable David Pryor
             Committee on Governmental Affairs
             United States Senate

             The Honorable John 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


             Operation Desert Storm was primarily a sustained 43-day air campaign by
Background   the United States and its allies against Iraq between January 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.



             Page 14                               GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
                     B-260509




                     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 Japan 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


                     To respond to your questions about the effectiveness of the air campaign;
Objectives, Scope,   the performance of individual weapon systems; the accuracy of contractor
Methodology          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, July 26, 1988); Live Fire Testing: Evaluating DOD’s Programs
                     (GAO/PEMD-87-17, Aug. 17, 1987); and How Well Do the Military Services Perform Jointly in Combat?
                     DOD’s Joint Test and Evaluation Program Provides Few Credible Answers (GAO/PEMD-84-3, Feb. 22,
                     1984).



                     Page 15                             GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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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 (C3); 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); John 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).



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                   B-260509




                   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, Joint Chiefs of Staff
                   (JCS), 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


                   The best available data did not permit us to either (1) make a
Data Limitations   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


                   Air power clearly achieved many of Desert Storm’s objectives but fell
Results in Brief   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       In general, the actual use of aircraft and weapon systems in the conflict
Used as Designed                  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 C3, 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   The aircraft casualty rate (that is, aircraft DOD identified as lost to Iraqi
by Tactics                        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            While higher altitude deliveries clearly reduced aircraft casualties, they
Munitions Revealed Strengths   also caused target location and identification problems for guided
and Weaknesses                 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    Despite data limitations in some instances, sufficient data were generated
Effectiveness Measures   to permit a limited analysis of the relative effectiveness of aircraft and
Developed                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   As requested, we analyzed numerous Desert Storm performance claims
Claims Overstated         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
General Dynamics        “No matter what the [F-16] mission,           The F-16’s delivery of guided munitions, such as Maverick,
                        air-to-air, air-to-ground. No matter what the was impaired and sometimes made impossible by clouds,
                        weather, day or night.”                       haze, humidity, smoke, and dust. Only less accurate unguided
                                                                      munitions could be employed in adverse weather using radar.
Grumman                 “A-6s . . . [were] detecting, identifying,          The A-6E FLIR’s ability to detect and identify targets was
                        tracking, and destroying targets in any             limited by clouds, haze, humidity, smoke, and dust; the laser
                        weather, day or night.”                             designator’s ability to track targets was similarly limited.a Only
                                                                            less accurate unguided munitions could be employed in
                                                                            adverse weather using radar.
Lockheed                “During the first night, 30 F-117s struck 37        On the first night, 21 of the 37 targets to which F-117s were
                        high-value targets, inflicting damage that          tasked were reported hit; of these, the F-117s missed
                        collapsed Saddam Hussein’s air defense              40 percent of their air defense targets. BDA on 11 of the F-117
                        system and all but eliminated Iraq’s ability        strategic air defense targets confirmed only 2 complete kills.
                        to wage coordinated war.”                           Numerous aircraft, other than the F-117, were involved in
                                                                            suppressing the Iraqi IADS, which did not show a marked
                                                                            falloff in aircraft kills until day five.
Martin Marietta         Aircraft with LANTIRN can “locate and               The LANTIRN can be employed below clouds and weather;
                        attack targets at night and under other             however, its ability to find and designate targets through
                        conditions of poor visibility using low-level,      clouds, haze, smoke, dust, and humidity ranged from limited
                        high speed tactics.”b                               to no capability at all.
McDonnell Douglas       TLAMs “can be launched . . . in any                 The TLAM’s weather limitation occurs not so much at the
                        weather.”                                           launch point but in the target area where the optical
                                                                            [DELETED].
Northrop                The ALQ-135 “proved itself by jamming               [DELETED]
                        enemy threat radars”; and was able “to
                        function in virtually any hostile
                        environment.”
Texas Instruments       “TI Paveway III: one target, one bomb.”             Of a selected sample of 20 targets attacked by F-117s and
                                                                            F-111Fs with GBU-24s and GBU-27s, no single aimpoint was
                                                                            struck by only 1 LGB—the average was 4, the maximum 10.
                                           a
                                            Forward-looking infrared (FLIR).
                                           b
                                               Low-altitude navigation and targeting infrared for night (LANTIRN).



Data Inadequate for                        The data compiled on campaign inputs (that is, use of weapon systems)
Comprehensive Aircraft and                 and outcomes (that is, battle damage assessments) did not permit a
Weapon System Comparisons                  comprehensive effectiveness comparison of aircraft and weapon systems.
or Validation of Some Claims               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       Data limitations did not permit a systematic comparison of weapon system
and Performance                 cost and performance; where data were available, our analysis results
                                either were ambiguous or revealed no consistent trends.

Performance of High-Cost        The cost of aircraft was not consistently associated with performance for
Compared to Low-Cost Aircraft   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 C3, 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   In Desert Storm, 92 percent of the munitions expended were unguided. On
Unguided Munitions             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   Air power was clearly instrumental to the success of Desert Storm, yet air
Objectives by Air Power   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 C3 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   The mix of available aircraft types enabled the United States and the
and Type of Effort Expended      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    Intelligence shortfalls led to an inefficient use of guided and unguided
Met                             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   The capabilities of target location and acquisition sensors were critical to
Inhibited Effectiveness         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      The kinds of constraints encountered in Desert Storm do not appear to
Anticipate the BDA Limitations   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    Desert Storm demonstrated that many newer systems incorporating
of Advanced Technologies         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     The relevance of the air campaign in Desert Storm to likely future
Limits Lessons Learned        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   The terrain and climate in Iraq and Kuwait were generally conducive to the
and Kuwait                    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,   The success of the air campaign is also attributable, in part, to the
Train, and Prepare Forces     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         Contrary to widespread prewar and postwar claims, the Iraqi IADS was not
Overstated or Poorly Employed   “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   Given the overwhelming nature of the coalition’s quantitative and
Emphasis on Survivability       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   A number of lessons cannot be drawn directly from Desert Storm because
System Performance         systems were not stressed in ways that could be considered likely and
Dimensions Not Tested      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.


                           Operation Desert Storm was a highly successful and decisive military
Conclusions                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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                  B-260509




                  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


                  Desert Storm established a paradigm for asymmetrical post-Cold War
Recommendations   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, June 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.


                  The Department of Defense partially concurred with each of our three
Agency Comments   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.

DODalso 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.




Joseph F. Delfico
Acting Assistant Comptroller General




Page 42                    GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
Page 43   GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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.


             In this report, we assess the effectiveness of various U.S. and allied air
Scope        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   Abbreviation      Target category
Campaign                             C3                Command, control, and communication facilities
                                     ELE               Electrical facilities
                                     GOB               Ground order of battle (Iraqi ground forces in the Kuwait theater of
                                                       operations, including the Republican Guard)a
                                     GVC               Government centers
                                     LOC               Lines of communication
                                     MIB               Military industrial base facilities
                                     NAV               Naval facilities
                                     NBC               Nuclear, biological, and chemical facilities
                                     OCA               Offensive counterair installations
                                     OIL               Oil refining, storage, and distribution facilities
                                     SAM               Surface-to-air missile installations
                                     SCU               Scud missile facilities
                                     a
                                     In our database, GOB 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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                                                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 Intelligence Agency                                             Langley, Va.
Defense Intelligence Agency                                             Washington, D.C.
Department of Air Force, Headquarters                                   Washington, D.C.
Embassy of the United Kingdom                                           Washington, D.C.
Foreign Science and Technology Center                                   Charlottesville, Va.
Grumman Corporation                                                     Bethpage, N.Y.
Gulf War Air Power Survey (research site)                               Arlington, Va.
Institute for Defense Analyses                                          Alexandria, Va.
Lockheed Advanced Development Corporation                               Burbank, Calif.
McDonnell Douglas Corporation                                           St. Louis, Mo.
Naval A-6E Unit                                                         Oceana Naval Air Station, Va.
Naval F/A-18 Unit                                                       Cecil Naval Air Station , Fla.
Navy Operational Intelligence Center, Strike Projection                 Suitland, Md.
Evaluation and Anti-Air Research (SPEAR) Department
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations                                 Washington, D.C.
Office of the Secretary of Defense                                      Washington, D.C.
Rand Corporation                                                        Santa Monica, Calif.
Securities and Exchange Commission                                      Washington, D.C.
Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center                 Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
Texas Instruments                                                       Dallas, Tex.
U.N. Information 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                                      MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
U.S. Space Command                                                      Cheyenne Mountain 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.Mex.
57th Test Group                                                         Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
363rd Fighter Wing                                                      Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.
926th Fighter Wing (reserve)                                            New Orleans Naval Air Station, La.




                                                Page 47                     GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
                    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
                                       Government control (GVC)           Government control centers
                                                                          Government bodies, general
                                                                          Government ministries and administrative bodies,
                                                                          nonmilitary, general
                                                                          Government 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              Offensive air command control headquarters and
                                       communications (C3)                schools
                                                                          Air defense headquarters
                                                                          Telecommunications
                                                                          Electronic warfare
                                                                          Space systems
                                                                          Missile headquarters, surface-to-surface
                                                                          National, combined and joint commands
                                                                          Naval headquarters and staff activities
                                       Surface-to-air missiles (SAM)      Missile 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.



                                       Page 49                               GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




Target category                  Target type
Offensive counterair (OCA)       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         Atomic energy feed and moderator materials
chemical (NBC)                   production
                                 Chemical and biological production and storage
                                 Atomic energy-associated facilities production and
                                 storage
                                 Basic and applied nuclear research and development,
                                 general
Military industrial base (MIB)   Basic processing and equipment production
                                 End products (chiefly civilian)
                                 Technical research, development and testing, nonnuclear
                                 Covered storage facilities, general
                                 Material (chiefly military)
                                 Industrial production centers
                                 Defense logistics agencies
Scuds (SCU)                      Guided missile and space system production and
                                 assembly
                                 Fixed missile facility, general
                                 Fixed, surface-to-surface missile sites
                                 Offensive missile support facilities
                                 Medium-range surface-to-surface launch control facilities
                                 Fixed positions for mobile missile launchers
                                 Tactical missile troops field position
Naval (NAV)                      Mineable areas
                                 Maritime 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 POL and related products, pipelines, and storage facilities
(POL)
Lines of communication           Highway and railway transportation
(LOC)
                                 Inland water transportation
                                                                                  (continued)




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Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




Target category                    Target type
Ground order of battle             Military troop installations
(GOB)a
                                   Ground force material and storage depots
                                   Fortifications and defense systems

a
In our database, GOB 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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                                     Appendix I
                                     Scope and Methodology




Table I.4: Definition of Composite
Variables for WOE and TOE Measures   Measure                      Variable
                                     WOE                          Quantity of BE numbers to which platforms were tasked
                                                                  Quantity of strikes that platforms conducted
                                                                  Quantity of bombs that platforms delivered
                                                                  Quantity of bomb tonnage that platforms delivered
                                     TOE                          Quantity of bombs that were guided bombs
                                                                  Quantity of bombs that were unguided bombs
                                                                  Quantity of bomb tonnage that was guided
                                                                  Quantity of bomb tonnage that was unguided
                                     Other                        Quantity 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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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.: Joint Intelligence Survey Team, Jan. 1992).



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                                   Appendix I
                                   Scope and Methodology




Our Determinations of Target       We used phase III reports on fixed strategic targets to determine the
Success                            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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                                            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
    3
C                  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                   Installation 70 percent operational; switchyard must be       NFS
                                                 destroyed
LOC                Highway bridge                Direct hit, bridge nonoperational; traffic rerouted           FS
                   Highway bridge                Bridge still operable; no damage                              NFS
NBC                Munitions storage             All bunkers out of operation; restrike: no                    FS
                   Chemical warfare              Laboratory intact; restrike: yes                              NFS
                   production and storage
OCA                Airfield                      Limited operations possible; restrike: no—unless flight       FS
                                                 operations resume
                   Airfield                      50 percent hardened aircraft shelters intact; airfield        NFS
                                                 operational; restrike: yes

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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                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 July 1992 and December 1995 in
                accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.


                This analysis of campaign, aircraft, and munitions use and effectiveness
Strengths and   benefited from our use of the most comprehensive strike and BDA data
Limitations     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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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.



Page 59                               GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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?


                             In this section, we review the operating conditions in Desert Storm with
Operating Conditions:        the object of distilling the lessons that can be learned for the future.
Time, Environment,
and Enemy Capability
A 6-Month Planning and       Following the Iraqi seizure of Kuwait, U.S. forces had nearly 6 months to
Deployment Period            plan the air campaign and to deploy massive forces, many to existing



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                         The Use of Aircraft and Munitions in the Air
                         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   The vast, flat, open terrain of the KTO and Iraq was considerably more
and Air Power            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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                    The Use of Aircraft and Munitions in the Air
                    Campaign




                    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   On paper, Iraq’s air defense system appeared to be formidable to many
Capabilities        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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                        The Use of Aircraft and Munitions in the Air
                        Campaign




                        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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                            Appendix II
                            The Use of Aircraft and Munitions in the Air
                            Campaign




                            The second major evaluation subquestion concerns the prewar capabilities
Air-to-Ground Weapon        of air-to-ground aircraft, munitions, and sensors; their stated prewar
Systems: Planned            missions; and their actual use in Desert Storm.3 In this section, we discuss
Versus Actual Use           (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   We compared official Air Force and Navy descriptions of the types of
Missions Versus Desert      combat missions for which their respective air-to-ground aircraft were
Storm Use                   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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                                         Appendix II
                                         The Use of Aircraft and Munitions in the Air
                                         Campaign




Table II.1: Air-to-Ground Combat Mission Categories Attributed to Selected Aircraft Before Desert Storm Versus Those
Actually Performeda
                              AIb             CASc            SEADd             OCAe              DCAf       SCAP and JMOg
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            Xh           N
                                                                                                                                    i
F-111F                       X       X           N         N          X           X         X       X         N       N            X            N
F-15E                        X       X           N         N          X           X         X       X          X      N            X            N
                                                                                                                        j
A-6E                         X       X           X          X         X           X         X       X         N       N            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                         Xk      X           X          X         X           X         N       X          X      N            Xl           N
B-52                         X       X           X         N          X           X         X       X         N       N            X            N
GR-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 JMO capability to attack naval targets at sea is described as “minimal.” It 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. Only 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 MCM 3-1 vol. III.
                                         l
                                             The A-10’s JMO capability was described as limited.




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                           Appendix II
                           The Use of Aircraft and Munitions in the Air
                           Campaign




                           Sources: USAF TAC MCM 3-1 vols. III, V, VI, XIII, XVII, XIX (Secret), NAVAIR Tactical Manuals for
                           the F-18 and A-6 (Confidential), official descriptions of the GR-1 from the Ministry of Defense of
                           the United Kingdom, and GWAPS, 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   Our second evaluation subquestion further concerns whether the Desert
Munitions Use              Storm data revealed particular patterns of aircraft and munitions usage, on

                           5
                            Although Navy aircraft performed SCAP and JMO 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   Many strategic targets were assigned basic encyclopedia numbers in the
Assignments                   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 C3—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 Aircrafta

Number of targets
350
                                                                                                                   GR1
                                                                                                                   FA18
300
                                                                                                                   F16
                                                                                                                   F15E
250                                                                                                                F117
                                                                                                                   F111F
                                                                                                                   B52
200                                                                                                                A6E


150


100


 50


  0
       CCC      ELE    GVC    KBX     LOC      MIB      NAV      NBC     OCA       OIL     SAM      SCU
                                              Target category



                                            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 C3 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




                                                                             27.5%                                     33.1%




                                           72.5%                                            66.9%

                                                           A6E                                          B52




                                          99.6%                                0.4%      100.0%




                                                          F111F                                         F117


                                                       5.8%




                                                                     94.2%

                                                          F15E



                                               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   The 2.5 percent DOD cited as representing the percentage of F-117s in the
Aircraft Comparisons     “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 (Kuwait)                                                             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 Kingdom)                                                  12          0.6
                                    Mirage (United Arab Emirates)                                            64          3.4
                                    Mirage 2000 (France)                                                     12          0.6
                                    Mirage F-1 (France)                                                      12          0.6
                                    Mirage F-1 (Qatar)                                                       12          0.6
                                    Mirage F-1 (Kuwait)                                                      15          0.8
                                    Strikemaster (Saudi Arabia)                                              32          1.7
                                    Tornado F3 (United Kingdom)                                              53          2.8
                                    Tornado ADV (Italy)                                                       9          0.5
                                    Tornado ADV (Saudi Arabia)                                               48          2.6
                                    Total                                                                 1,875       100.0
                                    Source: DOD title V report, 1991.




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Comparisons of Target    Contrary to DOD claims, the F-117 represented approximately 16 percent of
Assignments              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     One of the prominent claims the Air Force made for the F-117 in
Assignments Throughout   comparing it to other bombers was that it, alone, attacked targets in all
the War                  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 January 16,
                         1991, to 2300 Zulu on January 17, 1991.



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Table II.3: Coverage of Strategic Target Categories, by Aircraft Type
                                                      Target category                                                   Categories
                     3
Aircraft         C       ELE    GVC     KBX      LOC        MIB       NAV       NBC       OCA      OIL     SAM   SCU   Total Percent
                                    a                                       a
F-15E             X        X               X         X          X                   X        X        X      X     X     10          83
F-117             X        X       X       X         X          X         X         X        X        X      X     X     12       100
                                                                            a
F-16              X        X       X       X         X          X                   X        X        X      X     X     11          92
                            a                                               a                          a
F-111F            X                X       X         X          X                   X        X               X     X       9         75
                                    a
F/A-18            X        X               X         X          X         X         X        X        X      X     X     11          92
                                    a
A-6E              X        X               X         X          X         X         X        X        X      X     X     11          92
                                    a                                       a                                a
B-52              X        X               X         X          X                   X        X        X            X       9         75
                            a       a                                       a         a                      a
GR-1              X                        X         X          X                            X        X            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 C3, 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
                 3
Aircraft       C     ELE     GVC      LOC        MIB       NAV       NBC       OCA       OIL    SAM        SCU Unknown     Total Percenta
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
GR-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                 Here we address how the claimed prewar aircraft target acquisition
Capabilities Versus Desert                capabilities compared to those experienced in Desert Storm. The
Storm Capabilities                        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                     Various sensor systems were used in Desert Storm to search for, detect,
Deployed in Desert Storm                  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
                                                        Prewar description of                 Our findings on Desert Storm actual
Aircraft          Target search and detection sensor target-sensing capability                capability
F-117          Infrared (FLIR and DLIR)a                    Night only;b weather is “a constraint   Clear weather only; flew exclusively at
                                                            not imposed by technology limitations”c night
F-15E          Infrared (LANTIRN)                           Day and night; “adverse weather”            All weather only with unguided
               radar                                                                                    bombs; clear weather only for guided
                                                                                                        munitions; flew almost only at night
F-111F         Infrared (Pave Tack)                         Day and night; “poor weather”               All weather only with unguided
               radar                                                                                    bombs; clear weather only for guided
                                                                                                        munitions; flew almost only at night
A-6E           Infrared (TRAM)d                             Day and night; “all weather”                All weather only with unguided
               radar                                                                                    bombs; clear weather only for guided
                                                                                                        munitions; flew day and night
F-16           Infrared, electro-optical (LANTIRN)          Day and night; “under the weather”          Clear weather only (Maverick); all
               and IR and EO (Maverick),e and radar         (LANTIRN); “adverse weather”                weather only with unguided bombs;
                                                            (Maverick)                                  flew day and night
F/A-18f        Infrared (FLIR) radar; electro-optical       Day and night and adverse weather           All weather only with unguided
               (Walleye)                                    capability not prominently stated           bombs; clear weather only for Walleye
                                                                                                        and FLIR pod; flew day and night
A-10           Infrared and electro-optical (Maverick) Day and night capable; “adverse                  Clear weather only for guided
                                                       weather” (Maverick)                              (Maverick) and unguided munitions;
                                                                                                        flew day and night
B-52           Radar                                        Day and night and weather capability        All weather only with unguided
                                                            not prominently stated                      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 LANTIRN navigation pods but no targeting pods.
                                              f
                                              See Naval Aviation: The Navy Is Taking Actions to Improve the Combat Capabilities of Its Tactical
                                              Aircraft (GAO/NSIAD-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    Although desert environments are widely believed to exhibit relatively
Conditions on Target   nonhazy, dry weather providing uninhibited visibility, there was actually
Sensor Performance     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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                          offensive began—they were easy to find and not difficult to distinguish
                          from friendly forces.

                          [DELETED]

Performance of Infrared   Pilots generally reported that certain target sensors and bombing systems
Sensors                   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. John 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, Joint 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.



                          A realistic evaluation of the performance of combat aircraft in Desert
Combat Operations         Storm involves acknowledgment of the nature and magnitude of their
Support                   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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                               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 JSTARS (Joint 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        Platform                                                                                       Percenta
Air-to-Ground Platforms              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
                                                                                                                                                b
                                     F-117
                                     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        In-flight refueling is a normal, routine part of air operations and not one
Complications              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   The U.S. air order of battle (AOB) during the third week of the air campaign
Support                    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   Combat air patrol (CAP), escort missions, and SEAD are types of
Missions                 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

Number of missions                                              Number of missions
1,000                                                           1,000
                                                887
                     812   830
                                                                               805
  800                                                             800
                                          735                                                        730   722
              708                   710                                                        691               697
                                                                                        681

  600                                                             600


  400                                                             400


  200                                                             200


    0                                                                 0
                               CAP                                                               SEAD


Number of missions
1,000


  800

                     622
  600         588


                           409      425
  400                                     339


  200                                           142


    0
                               Escort


         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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                           defense system did not, unfortunately, eliminate its many component
                           parts. (This is discussed further in app. VI.)


Aircraft Maintenance       The range of combat-related support encompasses some understanding of
Personnel                  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   Shortly after Desert Storm, Air Force Gen. John M. Loh told the Congress
F-117 Was Understated      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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                                              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”



                           STANDARD PACKAGE                PRECISION BOMBS             PRECISION AND STEALTH
           Bomb Droppers
           Air Escort
           Suppression

           Air Defense
            of Enemy
           Tankers




   Procurement cost &           $6.5B                           $5.5B                          $1.5B
   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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                                   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            In addition to its low observable features, the F-117 achieves stealthy flight
Operating Procedures               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   A significant claim made by the Air Force is that because of stealth, F-117s
Desert Storm                       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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                              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   In contrast to the Air Force illustration to the Congress that F-117s require
Aircraft                      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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                         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.


                         The percentage of aircraft lost and damaged in Desert Storm was very
Aircraft Survivability   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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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                                                Radar
                                         Aircraft                                    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
                                                                                                                                   a
                                         F/A-18 lost                                      0             0         0               2                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
                                                      b
                                         GR-1 lost                                        4             1         2               2                9
                                         GR-1 damagedb                                    1             0         0               0                1
                                                       c
                                         Other lost                                       2             6         3               2               13
                                         Other damagedc                                   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 lostd                                       0             0         0 [DELETED] [DELETED]
                                         a
                                         One loss was attributed by GWAPS to a MIG-25; the second was stated as unknown.
                                         b
                                             GR-1 data in this table include aircraft from the United Kingdom, Italy, and Saudi Arabia.
                                         c
                                          These rows include AC-130, EF-111, F-4G, F-14, F-15C, AV-8B, OV-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 Iraqi air defenses.
                                         d
                                          TLAM losses are based on a study by Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) and DIA that found that
                                         of the 230 TLAM Cs and D-Is, an estimated [DELETED] did not arrive at their target areas. An
                                         additional 30 TLAM Cs with airburst mode warheads and 22 D-IIs could not be assessed. If the hit
                                         rate for these 52 TLAMS is assumed to be the same as for the 230 assessable TLAM Cs and D-Is,
                                         then an additional [DELETED] TLAMS 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: GWAPS, vol. V, pt. I (Secret), pp. 670-81.




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Relative Effectiveness of   The system perceived before Desert Storm as most threatening—radar
Iraqi Threat Systems        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 Joint Electronic Warfare
Center (JEWC), Proud Flame Predictive Analysis for Iraq (Secret), San Antonio, September 1990, p. 28.



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Figure II.5: Combat Aircraft Casualties From Radar SAMs


Number of casualties
5




4




3




2




1




0
    1    3    5        7   9   11   13   15   17 19 21 23 25 27                 29    31     33   35   37   39   41   43
                                               ATODAY (day of campaign)




                                              Note: Air tasking order day (ATODAY).




                                              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

Number of casualties
20




15




10




 5




 0
     1    3    5       7   9   11   13   15    17 19 21 23 25 27               29    31      33   35   37   39   41   43
                                                ATODAY (day of campaign)




                                              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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                          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 January 31 and thereafter. After January 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 casualty
                                    Aircraft                     Total casualties          Total strikes                    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
                                                                                                           a
                                    O/A-10                                        20                8,640                               0.0023
                                    F-16                                            7              11,698                               0.0006
                                    F/A-18                                        10                4,551                               0.0022
                                    B-52                                            5               1,706                               0.0029
                                    GR-1                                          10                1,317                               0.0076
                                    Total                                         65b              37,243                               0.0017
                                    a
                                     Precise A-10 strike data were not available. GWAPS recorded 8,640 A-10 sorties. Given the
                                    definition of a strike, the number of A-10 strikes may have been larger than the number of
                                    bombing sorties. If 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          Other ways to compare Desert Storm aircraft casualty rates put the F-117’s
Night Attacks                       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
                                                                                      a               a          a                a
                                         F-117
                                                                                      a               a          a
                                         F-111F                                                                                   3
                                                                                      a               a                           a
                                         F-15E                                                                  2
                                                                                                                                  a
                                         A-6E                                       2                 1         1
                                                                                                                 a                a
                                         O/A-10                                     6                12
                                                                                                                 a                a
                                         F-16                                       3                 3
                                                                                      a                          a
                                         B-52                                                         2                           1
                                                                                                      a                           a
                                         F/A-18                                     1                           1
                                                                                                      a                           a
                                         GR-1                                       3                           4
                                                                                                      a
                                         Other                                     11                           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                           Because no F-117s were lost or damaged in Desert Storm, they have been
Concentrations                        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
                                      Mosul/Kirkuk                             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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                                         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, GWAPS Files, GWAP, vol. IV,
                                         pt. I: Weapons, Tactics, and Training Report (unclassified), p. 12.




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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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                                       Appendix II
                                       The Use of Aircraft and Munitions in the Air
                                       Campaign




Figure II.8: AAA Deployment in Iraqa




                                       [FIGURE DELETED]

                                       a
                                        Does not include IR SAMs and AAA deployed to Iraqi army and Republican Guard forces in the
                                       field.


                                       Source: GWAPS, vol. II, pt. I: Operations Report (Secret), p. 82.


Aircraft Risked Over                   Given the distribution of defenses throughout the Baghdad region, the
Downtown                               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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                             The Use of Aircraft and Munitions in the Air
                             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    Two additional factors are notable about aircraft survivability from
Survivability                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   The fact that the optically aimed AAA and IR SAMs remained lethal
Camouflage                   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: January 1992, p. 12.



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          The Use of Aircraft and Munitions in the Air
          Campaign




          In this appendix, we addressed questions concerning pre-Desert Storm
Summary   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 C3, GVC, NBC



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The Use of Aircraft and Munitions in the Air
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(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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The Use of Aircraft and Munitions in the Air
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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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Appendix III

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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                     Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
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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?


                     Our first subquestion is concerned with the reliability of the data available
Effectiveness Data   to assess and compare the effects of the weapon systems used in Desert
Availability         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
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                           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.


                           Our second subquestion is concerned with whether the degree to which
Associations Between       target objectives were met varied by type of aircraft or munition used. The
Weapon Systems and         available data reveal associations of greater and lesser success against
Outcomes                   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    Data on the number of munitions, aircraft, and TLAMs used against certain
of Aircraft and Munition   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 Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual are based in part on visual,
                           manual system accuracies achieved in prior combat dating as far back as World War II. (JMEM, ch. 1,
                           p. 1-24, change 4.)



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                                       Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
                                       Desert Storm




                                       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   Platform                                                        FS            NFS       FS:NFS ratio
Fully Successful by Platform           A-6E                                                             37             34                 1.1:1
                                                                                                          a               a                       a
                                       A-10
                                       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
                                       GR-1                                                             21             17                 1.2:1
                                       TLAM                                                             18             16                 1.1:1
                                                b
                                       Total                                                          190             167                 1.1:1
                                       a
                                           No data available.
                                       b
                                        Individual 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
                                      C3                ELE                   GVC                LOC                MIB
Platform                           FS      NFS         FS       NFS          FS        NFS      FS      NFS        FS      NFS
                                                                                   a     a
A-6E                                 9        6          4          0                            9         1         3        7
                                                                                   a     a
B-52                                 0        4          3          3                            0         2         8       18
                                                          a          a
F-111F                               4        0                               0          0      11         3         5        3
F-117                              49        36          0          1         9         11      21         4         9       17
                                                                                   a     a
F-15E                                3        6          1          0                            8         1         0        2
F-16                               19        10          4          2         3          3       3         1       10        16
                                                                                   a     a
F/A-18                               6        9          3          0                            7         5         3        8
                                                          a          a             a     a
GR-1                                 0        0                                                  7         3         2        3
TLAM                                 6        1          2          6         7          3       0         0         1        0
   b
All                                63        43         11        10         12         11      28        12       17        33




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                             Aircraft and Munition Effectiveness in
                             Desert Storm




           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
            a      a                                                                          a           a
B-52                    1          1        10            2          2           3                                   1        2
            a      a                                                   a           a
F-111F                  5          1        15            6                                  0           0           1        0
F-117       0      1   14          5        13            6          0           1           5           4           2        1
            a      a
F-15E                   1          0        12            6          0           1           0           1           3       12
            a      a
F-16                    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
                        a          a                                                          a           a
GR-1        0      0                        10            6          1           5                                   1        0
TLAM        0      0    0          3          1           1          1           2           0           0           0        0
   b
All         3     10   15          5        22          12           4          12          10           4           5       15
                             a
                             No records of platform tasked against target type in Missions database.
                             b
                              Individual 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 C3 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   Another way in which the Desert Storm databases permit comparison of
Outcomes             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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Table III.3: Average Guided and Unguided Tonnage Per BE by Outcome by Category
                                            Fully successful                                       Not fully successful
                                   Average tons                      Unguided-             Average tons                        Unguided-
Target                           Unguided          Guided             to-guided          Unguided          Guided               to-guided
C3                                      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
GVC                                     6.7          11.2                  0.6:1                 4.4            9.5                  0.5:1
LOC                                     8.5           7.6                  1.1:1                18.4            6.1                  3.0:1
MIB                                   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
OCA                                   152.6          43.9                  3.5:1               106.7           36.0                  3.0:1
OIL                                   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                  A widespread image from Desert Storm was that of a single target being
Type, and Outcomes                      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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                       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.


                       Although the Desert Storm input and BDA data do not permit a
Target Accuracy and    comprehensive aircraft-by-aircraft or munition-by-munition comparison of
Effectiveness as a     effectiveness, it is possible to compare and examine the effects of selected
Function of Aircraft   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
and Munition Type      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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                                          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 Targetsa
                                                                                                                        Strikes where target
                                     Laser-guided                Number of            Total  Average bombs                was reported hit
Aircraft                             bombs dropped                 strikes         dropped dropped per strike             Number        Percent
F-111F                               GBU-10                               422              93                     2.1          357             85
                                     GBU-12
                                     GBU-15
                                     GBU-24A/B
                                     GBU-28
F-117                                GBU-10                               456            517                      1.1          363             80
                                     GBU-12
                                     GBU-27
                                          a
                                           For this table, a strike is defined as one aircraft attacking one target where one or more bombs
                                          were dropped. More than one bomb can be delivered on the same target. More 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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                                         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               We compared the F-117 and F-111F target hit rates when using precisely
Hit Rates With Same Type                 the same munitions on the same targets by analyzing only strikes for
of LGB                                   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
                                Laser-guided                Number of             Total  Average bombs                    reported hit
Aircraft                        bombs dropped                 strikes          dropped dropped per strike              Number          Percent
F-111F                          GBU-10                               130             285                      2.2            123              95
                                GBU-12
F-117                           GBU-10                               212             271                      1.3            167              79
                                GBU-12

                                         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                To examine whether the type of aircraft used was related to the
Type With Unguided                       effectiveness of unguided bombs, we compared damage to targets
Bombs                                    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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                                      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                                                 Targets successfully
Bombs                                                                Targets           destroyed
                                      Aircraft                      attacked        Number          Percent           Categories struck
                                      F-111E                                 1               0              0         MIB
                                      F-15E                                  3               1             33         C3, LOC
                                      F-16                                  34             18              53         C3, ELE, GVC,
                                                                                                                      LOC, MIB, NBC,
                                                                                                                      OIL, SCU
                                      F/A-18                                 7               3             43         C3, LOC, MIB, OIL
                                      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                                               Targets successfully
by F-16s and F/A-18s                                                 Targets           destroyed
                                      Aircraft                      attacked        Number          Percent           Categories struck
                                      F-16                                  23             12              52         C3, LOC, MIB, OIL
                                      F/A-18                                 7               3             43         C3, LOC, MIB, OIL




                                      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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               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.


               Videotapes of LGBs precisely traveling down ventilator shafts and
LGB Accuracy   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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Table III.8: List of DMPIs and
Identifying Information          Number               Target name                     DMPI 1                             ATODAYa
                                 1                    North Taji command bunker Fac 2                                          3
                                 2                    Karbala depot, ammo             E bnkr (1) N.                           17
                                                      storage
                                 3                    Samarra CW facility             Bnk 1                                   20
                                 4                    Samarra CW facility             Bnk 4                                   20
                                 5                    Tallil airfield                 Bnk 38 D116                             23
                                 6                    Iraqi AF hdq, Baghdad           Bnk 5 OSP4                              33
                                 7                    Iraqi intel hdq, Ku 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                   Kuwait City                     Radar Site                              29
                                 17                   Al Qaim Mine                    Mine entrance                           32
                                 18                   Az Zubayr Radcom                Antenna                                 33
                                 19                   Al Qaim phosphate plant         Earth covered bnkr                      33
                                 20                   Ar Rumaylah Afld                Bridge S. end                           36
                                 a
                                 ATODAY is the air tasking order day, the day of the war on which the strike occurred.

                                 Source: Missions 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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Figure III.1: Paveway III LGBs Delivered Against Selected Point Targets

Number of LGBs
12



10



 8



 6



 4



 2



 0
       1    2    3     4    5    6     7    8     9     10  11       12    13     14    15     16    17     18    19     20
                                                         DMPI




                                           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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                      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.


                      The Air Force has written that
F-117 Effectiveness
Claims                “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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                          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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                          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   During the war, mission videos of F-117 bomb releases were reviewed
F-117 Hits                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 (Jan. 9, 1992).
                          23
                            GWAPS, vol. IV, pt. I (Secret), p. 44; vol. II, pt. II (Secret), p. 392.



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Table III.9: Reported F-117 Hits
Lacking Corroborating Support or in   F-117 hits                                                                     Number          Percent
Conflict With Other Available Data    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                             69                4.1
                                           recorded
                                           Hits with conflicting remarks                                                    49                2.9
                                      Total reports of hits lacking corroborating support or in conflict                   574
                                      with other available data
                                           Reported F-117 hits without corroborating video or in                           535a              31.9
                                           conflict with other available data
                                           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               The distance by which the bomb missed the aimpoint was recorded in the
Distance Data                         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                 In 96 instances, hits were credited despite the absence of a video record of
Documenting Video                     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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                                    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            In 69 instances, the video recorded during a mission—from which hits and
Problems or Where Bomb              misses are determined—was of poor quality or failed to record bomb
Impacts Were Not Recorded           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       Gimbal, 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      In 49 cases, credited hits were accompanied by remarks indicating that the
Remarks                             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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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         One 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                One of the primary reasons that reported hits are apparently in conflict
Bomb Hits in Desert Storm              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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                        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   An aircraft’s bombing accuracy or bomb hit rate is one of two essential
Release                 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 Joint 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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                                        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       Final disposition                                                             Number         Percent
Primary Strikesa                        Total primary strikes tasked                                                     2,271          100.0
                                             Weather aborts                                                                412            18.1
                                             Air aborts                                                                    140             6.2
                                             Ground 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
                                        DMPI 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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F-117 Effectiveness on the     Lockheed, the primary contractor for the F-117, claimed after the war that
First Night of the Air
                               “During the first 24 hours [of the air campaign], 30 F-117s struck 37 high value targets,
Campaign                       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 Joint 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 C3 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      We examined the F-117 database to evaluate whether it supported the
Aimpoints on the First Night   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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                                          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
                                                   Bombs          AC                                                            Hits with data
Target               Category           DMPIs      tasked      tasked          Hits                 Misses       No drops           problemsa
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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                                          Bombs              AC                                                       Hits with data
Target       Category        DMPIs        tasked          tasked             Hits        Misses       No drops            problemsa
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
GG           [DELETED]             2             2               2               2              0               0                 1
HH           [DELETED]             1             1               1               0              0               1                 0
II           [DELETED]             1             1               1               0              0               1                 0
JJ           [DELETED]             2             2               1               2              0               0                 1
KK           [DELETED]             1             1               1               0              1               0                 0
                                                                  b
Total                             57            60                             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 DMPI.

                              Source: 37th TFW Desert Storm and Missions databases.




F-117 First-Night Hit Rate    A key claim made for the F-117s is that their effectiveness in destroying
on IADS Targets               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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Table III.14: F-117 Hit Rate on Strategic Integrated Air Defense Targets on the First Night
                                                         Number                                                    Battle damage assessmenta

                            Bombs       Aircraft                                     No       Hits with data                Success
Target            DMPIs     tasked       tasked           Hits     Misses         drops          problemsb          Yes         No             Ic   Dayd
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
GG                     2           2              2           2           0             0                    1                    X                    3
HH                     1           1              1           0           0             1                    0
II                     1           1              1           0           0             1                    0
JJ                     2           2              1           2           0             0                    1                    X                    2
Total                 24         27          17e            17            5             5                    7          2         8            1
                                             a
                                             Assessment of first phase III report issued on target.
                                             b
                                                 Reported hits that lack corroborating support or are in conflict with other available data.
                                             c
                                             Phase III assessment inconclusive.
                                             d
                                                 Day of Desert Storm on which first DIA 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 Missions 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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                     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 C2 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   Related to the claim for F-117 effectiveness against IADS targets is a
Downtown Baghdad     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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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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                     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.


                     Extensive analysis of BDA imagery and other data on the effectiveness of
TLAM Effectiveness   Tomahawk land-attack missiles by the Center for Naval Analyses has
Claims               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 Joint 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
                       Joint 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 JCS 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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                       Desert Storm




Number of TLAMs        During Desert Storm, a TLAM mission was loaded 307 times into a
Launched and Type of   particular missile for launch from a Navy ship or submarine.41 Of those
Targets                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 C3 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    TLAM  launches occurred overwhelmingly in the first 3 days of the war. Of
Period                 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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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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                                    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
                                    Missile/mission pairs             307      [DELETED]a            [DELETED]          [DELETED]
                                    Successful launches               282      [DELETED]             [DELETED]          [DELETED]
                                                                          b                          b
                                    Transition to cruise flight                [DELETED]                                [DELETED]
                                                              c           b                          b
                                    Arrived in target area                     [DELETED]                                [DELETED]
                                    No shows at targetd                   b
                                                                               [DELETED]             b
                                                                                                                        [DELETED]
                                                                          b                          b
                                    Hit or damaged target                      [DELETED]                                [DELETED]
                                    a
                                    Excludes 10 TLAMs with “temporary problems” from base used to calculate percentages.
                                    b
                                        Data not available.
                                    c
                                     Excludes 30 TLAMs 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 TLAMs. For further details, see CNA/DIA, TLAM Performance During Desert
                                    Storm (Secret), March 1994, pp. 2-3.
                                    d
                                      An additional [DELETED] TLAMs 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/DIA, vol. 1 (Secret), March 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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                        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.


                        We assessed the accuracy of statements made by various U.S.
Weapon System           manufacturers about the performance of their products that played a
Manufacturers’ Claims   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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                                         Desert Storm




Table III.16: Manufacturers’ Statements About Product Performance Compared to GAO Findings
Manufacturer          Product      Statement                                  Finding
General Dynamics   F-16         “No matter what the mission, air-to-air,              The F-16’s delivery of precision air-to-ground
                                air-to-ground. No matter what the weather, day        munitions, such as Maverick, was impaired, and
                                or night. The F-16 is the premier dogfighter.”a       sometimes made impossible, by clouds, haze,
                                                                                      humidity, smoke, and dust. Only less accurate
                                                                                      unguided munitions could be employed in
                                                                                      adverse weather using radar.
Grumman            A-6E         “A-6s . . . [were] detecting, identifying, tracking, The A-6E FLIR’s ability to detect and identify
                                and destroying targets in any weather, day or        targets was limited by clouds, haze, humidity,
                                night.”b                                             smoke, and dust; the laser designator’s ability to
                                                                                     track targets was similarly limited. Only 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         Other types of aircraft frequently attacked
                                downtown Baghdad.”c                                   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          On the first night, 21 of the 37 high-value targets
                                high-value targets, inflicting damage that            to which F-117s were tasked were reported hit;
                                collapsed Saddam Hussein’s air defense                of these, the F-117s missed 40 percent of their
                                system and all but eliminated Iraq’s ability to       strategic air defense targets. BDA on 11 of the
                                wage coordinated war.”d                               F-117 SAD targets confirmed only 2 complete
                                                                                      kills. Numerous aircraft, other than the F-117,
                                                                                      were involved in suppressing the Iraqi IADS,
                                                                                      which did not show a marked falloff in aircraft
                                                                                      kills until day 5.
                                “On Day 1 of the war, only 36 Stealth Fighters        The 2.5-percent claim is based on a
                                (less than 2.5% of the coalition’s tactical assets)   comparison of the F-117s to all deployed
                                were in the Gulf theater, yet they attacked 31%       aircraft, including those incapable of dropping
                                of the 17 January targets.”d                          bombs. The F-117s represented 32 percent of
                                                                                      U.S. aircraft capable of delivering LGBs 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      Other 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.
Martin Marietta    LANTIRN      Can “locate and attack targets at night and           LANTIRN can be employed below clouds and
                                under other conditions of poor visibility using       weather; however, its ability to find and
                                low-level, high speed tactics.”e                      designate targets through clouds, haze, smoke,
                                                                                      dust, and humidity ranges from limited to no
                                                                                      capacity at all.
                                                                                                                             (continued)


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Manufacturer        Product        Statement                                                Finding
McDonnell Douglas   F-15E          An “all weather” attack aircraft.f                       The ability of the F-15E using LANTIRN 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. Only less accurate unguided
                                                                                            munitions could be employed in adverse
                                                                                            weather using radar.
                    TLAM C/D       “Can be launched . . . in any weather.”g                 TLAM’s weather limitation occurs not so much at
                    cruise missile                                                          the launch point but in the target area where the
                                                                                            optical [DELETED].
                                   “Incredible accuracy”; “one of the most accurate From [DELETED] percent of the TLAMs reached
                                   weapons in the world today.”g                    their intended aimpoints, with only [DELETED]
                                                                                    percent actually hitting the target. It is
                                                                                    impossible to assess actual damage incurred
                                                                                    only by TLAMs.
Northrop            ALQ-135        “Proved itself by jamming enemy threat radars”; [DELETED]
                    jammer for     was able “to function in virtually any hostile
                    F-15E          environment.”a
Texas Instruments   Paveway      “Employable” in “poor weather/visibility”                  Clouds, smoke, dust, and haze impose serious
                    guidance for conditions.h                                               limitations on laser guidance by disrupting laser
                    LGBs                                                                    beam.
                                   “TI Paveway III: one target, one bomb.”a                 Our analysis of a selected sample of targets
                                                                                            found that no single aimpoint was struck by one
                                                                                            LGB—the average was 4, the maximum was 10.
                                   “LGBs accounted for only 5% of the total                 Data were not compiled that would permit a
                                   ordnance. But Paveway accounted for nearly               determination of what percentage of targets
                                   50%” of targets destroyed.a                              were destroyed by any munition type.

                                            a
                                                From a company advertisement in Aviation Week and Space Technology, (1991).
                                            b
                                                Grumman Annual Report, 1991, p. 12.
                                            c
                                                Lockheed briefing for GAO.
                                            d
                                                From Lockheed Horizons, “We Own the Night,” Issue 30 (1992), p. 55, 57.
                                            e
                                                Martin Marietta, 10-K Report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, 1992, p. 14.
                                            f
                                            McDonnell-Douglas, “Performance of MCAIR Combat Aircraft in Operation Desert Storm,”
                                            brochure.
                                            g
                                                McDonnell-Douglas, “Tomahawk: A Total Weapon System,” brochure.
                                            h
                                                Texas Instruments, “Paveway III: Laser-Guided 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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                        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.


                        Over the 38 days preceding the ground campaign, approximately 37,500
Air Campaign            strikes were conducted against Iraqi forces in kill box areas, targeting
Effectiveness Against   tanks, armored personnel carriers (APC), and other tactical vehicles.
Mobile Targets          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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                            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.


                            To what extent were each of the strategic objectives of the air campaign
Air Campaign                met? We addressed this subquestion in two parts. First, we reviewed the
Effectiveness in            available outcome data for each category of strategic targets as possible
Achieving Strategic         indicators of the campaign’s effectiveness in destroying different
                            categories of targets. Second, we reviewed the available data and literature
Objectives                  on the aggregate effectiveness of the campaign in meeting each of the
                            strategic objectives.


Outcome Data by Strategic   The effectiveness of aircraft and munitions in the aggregate varied among
Target Category             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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Table III.17: Targets Categorized as Fully Successfully Destroyed and Not Fully Successfully Destroyed
                                                                                               Number        Percent
Target category                                                    Number FS Percent FS            NFS          NFS        Total
C3                                                                           73          57           55          43        128
ELE                                                                          13          57           10          43         23
GVC                                                                          13          52           12          48         25
                                                                                   a       a            a           a          a
KBX
LOC                                                                          35          67           17          33         52
MIB                                                                          18          31           40          69         58
NAV                                                                           4          29           10          71         14
NBC                                                                          16          76            5          24         21
OCA                                                                          24          65           13          35         37
OIL                                                                           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                                The Desert Storm air campaign had larger goals than simply damaging
Effectiveness in Achieving                  individual target. For example, it is one thing to destroy a dozen bridges; it
Key Objectives                              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
IADS and airfields        Air supremacy “attained.”                                   Coalition rapidly achieved complete control of Iraqi
                                                                                      and KTO airspace, almost uncontested by Iraqi
                          IADS “fragmented” within hours; medium- and                 aircraft.
                          high-altitude sanctuary created; however, AAA and
                          IR SAMs remained a threat to the end.                       IADS fragmented over first few days, but
                                                                                      autonomous SAM and AAA sites and IR SAMs
                          Iraqi air force “decimated.”                                remained serious threats.

                                                                                      Integrated threat overstated; autonomous threat
                                                                                      understated.

                                                                                      290 of 724 fixed-wing Iraqi aircraft destroyed, 121
                                                                                      escaped to Iran, and remainder not hit; 43 percent
                                                                                      of air force intact and in Iraq 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               Leadership forced to “move often,” reducing C3;          52 percent of leadership and 57 percent of C3
command, control, and        telecommunications facilities destroyed but were         targets were successfully destroyed or damaged.
communications               often repaired.
                                                                                      Despite hits on C3 nodes, Saddam was able to
                             Redundant and alternative communication facilities       communicate with and direct Iraqi forces.
                             “were difficult to destroy.”

                             Much of command structure was “degraded.”
Oil and electricity          80 percent of oil-refining capacity “damaged.”           Data support title V report’s assessment.

                             National electric power grid “eventually collapsed.”

                             Early disruption of primary sources negatively
                             affected entire war industry capabilities.
Scuds                        Scud facility damage “less than previously thought.”     No known destruction of mobile Scud launcher.

                             Launches reduced after day 11, with some increase        Scud launches seemingly temporarily suppressed
                             in last week and occasional large salvos.                but end-of-war launches suggest large reserve may
                                                                                      still exist.
                             No destruction of mobile launchers confirmed; they
                             were difficult to find.                                  Scud hunt level of effort overstated.

                                                                                      No correlation between rate of launches and
                                                                                      anti-Scud sorties.
Nuclear, biological, and     Nuclear facility destruction “was incomplete”;           76 percent of known NBC targets fully successfully
chemical                     damage to “known” nuclear facilities was                 destroyed.
                             “substantial”; however, nuclear program “did not
                             suffer as serious a setback as desired.”         While known nuclear sites were severely or
                                                                              moderately damaged, overall program was virtually
                             Chemical warfare program was “seriously damaged; intact because only less than 15 percent of the
                             75 percent of production capability destroyed.”  facilities were known and, therefore, attacked.

                             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.
Railroads and bridges        Three-quarters of bridges to KTO destroyed; major        67 percent of LOC targets fully successfully
(lines-of-communication)     food shortages for frontline forces; lines of            destroyed.
                             communication in KTO effectively interdicted.
                                                                                      Iraqi ground forces experienced some shortages
                                                                                      but, overall, remained adequately supplied up to
                                                                                      ground war start.
Republican Guard and         Iraqi forces’ overall combat effectiveness “reduced      Frontline troops and equipment apparently hit hard,
other ground forces in the   dramatically,” “significantly degraded”; “not every      but morale apparently very low before the air
KTO                          Republican Guard division was hit equally hard.”         campaign.

                             Those south of Basrah “received less damage.”            Static tactics of Iraqi ground forces aided targeting.

                             RG forces overall less damaged than frontline forces. Some RG heavy armor divisions escaped with large
                                                                                   inventory.



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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 January 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.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,       The effectiveness of the air war against the Iraqi “national command
Control, and Communications   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 C3 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 C3 category and
                              52 percent of the GVC were—the fact that C3 could be and was maintained
                              through radios meant that C3 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 C3 were disrupted by
                              strategic air attack.”



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                        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 January 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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                           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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                         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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                                 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   Assessments differ about the extent to which the effectiveness of the Iraqi
the Republican Guard             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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“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, Joint 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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          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.


          Many claims of Desert Storm effectiveness show a pattern of
Summary   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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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   This measure was derived by dividing total sorties for each aircraft under
Per Day                        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     This performance measure presents the type and number of munitions
and Unguided Munitions         delivered, by aircraft type, on all target categories.
Delivered

Total Tonnage and Average      This performance measure compares each aircraft’s delivery of munitions,
Tonnage Per Day Per Aircraft   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   Using the data discussed in appendix III, we compared the various aircraft
and Not Fully Successfully      on the overall ratio of targets they attacked that were, or were not,
Destroyed                       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
                                                               Combat sortie
                                                                          Rate of lost and        Munitions delivered
                             Cost                    Average per day damaged aircraft         Number      Number
Platform    Total program unit costa            Sortieb                per aircraft           per sortie          guided        unguided         Ratio
                    e
F-117       $111.2                               $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 LANTIRN                $11.5                          1.0                 0.0009         1,669           14,089           1:8
            $46.5 with 2 LANTIRN pods
A-6E        $39.3                                $27.8                          1.1                 0.0031          623            17,588          1:28
F-16        $18.9 without LANTIRN                        $5.9                   1.2                 0.0006          159            38,438        1:242
            $22.6 with 1 LANTIRN pod
F/A-18      $35.9                                $17.2                          1.2                 0.0022          368            11,179          1:30
GR-1        $32 - $57.3f                                    g
                                                                                0.9                 0.0076          497             1,346           1:3
                                                            g                       h                                                      g           g
A-10        $11.8                                                               1.4                 0.0023         4,801
                    j                                       g                                                             k
B-52        $163.8                                                              0.6                 0.0029           36            71,885      1:1,196
                                                                                    g                    l                                             i
TLAM        $2.85                              $2,855.0                                      [DELETED]              297                  0



                        Munitions delivered                                                                         Predominant
                           Total   Tonnage per                                                                      target                     FS:NFS
Platform                tonnage aircraft per day                Strike conditions                                   categoriesc                  ratiod
F-117                      1,990              1.10              Night only; no weather capability                   C3, LOC, MIB,                 1.4:1
                                                                                                                    NBC, OCA
F-111F                     2,004              0.71              Night only; limited by weather                      KBX, LOC, OCA                 3.2:1
F-15E                      5,593              2.71              Mostly night; very few day missions; limited by     KBX, OCA, SCU                 1.0:1
                                                                weather
A-6E                       5,715              1.16              Mostly night; some day; limited by weather          KBX, NAV                      1.1:1
F-16                     20,866               1.93              Mostly day; some night; limited by weather          KBX, OCA                      1.5:1
                                                                                                                     3
F/A-18                     5,513              0.74              Day and night; limited by weather                   C , KBX, OCA                  0.8:1
GR-1                       1,090              0.38              Day and night; limited by weather                   KBX, OCA, OIL                 1.2:1
                               g                     g                                                                                                 g
A-10                                                            Mostly day; some night; no weather capability       KBX
B-52                     25,422               8.69              Mostly night; some day; no weather limitation       KBX, MIB                      0.7:1
                                                 m                                                                   3
TLAM                        144               3.30              Day and night; limited by weather                   C , ELE, GVC,                 1.1:1
                                                                                                                    NBC, SCU

                                                                                                                              (Table notes on next page)




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Appendix IV
Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
Munitions in Desert Storm




a
    In millions of fiscal 1994 dollars.
b
 In thousands of fiscal 1994 dollars. Generic 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 III and summarized in table III.1.
e
 Lockheed data expressed in “then-year” dollars. DOD 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
 Includes $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 IV.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 CALCMs (conventional variants of the air-launched cruise missile).
l
TLAM losses are based on a study by CNA/DIA 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 TLAMs 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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                            Appendix IV
                            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   To facilitate comparative assessment of the aircraft, we examined the
Limitations of Aircraft     extent to which the data above, in combination with data discussed in
Types                       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   Stealth was one of many options used to achieve portions of what was
Aircraft                    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   In its October 1993 “Bottom-Up Review,” DOD expressed a strong
Aircraft                       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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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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                                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   It is often asserted that, on average, the more that something costs—such
Cost and Performance            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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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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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: C3, KBX, OCA, SAM, and SCU.



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                               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   The Navy’s TLAM cruise missile is substantially different from the aircraft
to 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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                   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.


                   A review of the cost and use of the air-to-ground munitions in Desert
Cost and           Storm supplements the foregoing assessment of aircraft to examine what
Effectiveness of   aircraft-munition combinations may have been the most effective in the air
Munitions          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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Table IV.2: Desert Shield and Desert
Storm Air-Related Ordnance                                                                                  Number                 Costa
Expenditures by U.S. Forces            Bombs and noncruise missiles
                                       Unguided bombs                                                       210,004                $432.0
                                       Guided 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
                                       TLAMs                                                                     297               $861.3
                                       CALCMs                                                                      35                52.5
                                       Total                                                                     332               $913.8
                                       Total bombs and missiles                                             227,165            $2,704.0
                                       a
                                       In millions of fiscal 1990 dollars.

                                       Source: GWAPS, vol. v, pt. I (Secret), pp. 581-82, and DOD 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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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. LGBs, Mavericks, and         High unit cost; cost ratio of LGBs to unguided
                            other guided munitions were much more expensive         unitary bombs ranged up to 48:1; for Mavericks,
                            than unguided munitions.                                164:1.
Survivability               Varying amounts of standoff capability avoided          Standoff capability did not negate defenses not at
                            defenses collocated with the target. LGB and other      the target. [DELETED]
                            guided munition use permitted medium- and
                            high-altitude releases while retaining accuracy, thus
                            reducing aircraft vulnerability to AAA and IR SAMs.
Operating characteristics   Night-capable, clear weather (except for most EO        Adverse weather, clouds, smoke, dust, haze, and
                            guidance systems); some correctable accuracy            humidity either eliminated or seriously restricted
                            degradation from high winds.                            employment. Sometimes required precise
                                                                                    intelligence and more demanding mission planning.
Effectiveness               Sometimes highly accurate even from high altitudes, “One target, one bomb” is an inappropriate and
                            even against point targets; lower likelihood of     illusive characterization of LGB effectiveness; no
                            collateral damage.                                  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      No cost disadvantages identified.
                            used but only 16 percent of munitions cost.
Survivability               Permitted higher pilot situation awareness and more     Little or no standoff capability from defenses at
                            ready ability to maneuver to evade threats.             target except for use at high altitude, which severely
                                                                                    degraded accuracy.
Operating characteristics   Exploited radar bombing systems impervious to           Nonradar unguided bombing systems had virtually
                            weather but only for missions requiring limited         as many limitations from weather, smoke, dust, and
                            accuracy.                                               so on as guided munition sensors; accuracy
                                                                                    seriously degraded by winds, especially when used
                                                                                    at medium-to-high altitude.
Effectiveness               Of all munitions used, 92 percent were unguided;        Not accurate from medium-to-high altitude against
                            unguided munition use was an essential part of the      point targets. Higher likelihood of collateral damage;
                            air campaign, especially against area targets and       no consistent relationship between use of unguided
                            ground forces.                                          munitions and targets that were successfully
                                                                                    destroyed.

Weighted Average Munition                     We analyzed and compared the munitions used in Desert Storm,
Costs                                         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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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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Table IV.4: Unit Cost and Expenditure
of Selected Guided and Unguided                                                            Number                                 Average
Munitions in Desert Storma              Munition                         Unit cost       expended               Total cost       unit costb
                                        Unguided unitary
                                        MK-82LD                               $498            69,701         $34,711,098
                                        MK-82HD                              1,100             7,952           8,747,200
                                        MK-83                                1,000            19,018          19,018,000
                                        MK-84GP                              1,871             9,578          17,920,438
                                        MK-84HD                              2,874             2,611           7,504,014
                                        M-117                                  253            43,435          10,989,055
                                        Subtotal                                             152,295         $98,889,805                  $649
                                        Unguided cluster
                                        CBU-52/58/71                         2,159             7,831         $38,497,129
                                        CBU-87                              13,941            10,035         139,897,935
                                        CBU-89                              39,963             1,105          44,159,115
                                        CBU-72                               3,800               254             965,200
                                        CBU-78                              39,963               209           8,352,267
                                        MK-20                                3,449            27,987          96,527,163
                                        Subtotal                                              57,421        $328,398,809             $5,719
                                        Laser guided
                                        GBU-10                            $22,000              2,637         $58,014,000
                                        GBU-12                              9,000              4,493          40,437,000
                                        GBU-16                            150,000                219          32,850,000
                                        GBU-24                             65,000                284          18,460,000
                                        GBU-24/109                          5,000                897          76,245,000
                                        GBU-27                             75,539                739          55,823,321
                                        GBU-28                            100,000                  2             200,000
                                        Subtotal                                               9,271        $282,029,321           $30,421
                                        IR GBU-15                        $227,600                71          $16,159,600          $227,600
                                        IR and EO Maverick
                                        AGM-65B                           $64,100              1,673        $107,239,300
                                        AGM-65C                           110,000                  5             550,000
                                        AGM-65D                           111,000              3,405         377,955,000
                                        AGM-65E                           101,000                 36           3,636,000
                                        AGM-65G                           269,000                177          47,613,000
                                        Subtotal                                               5,255        $536,993,300          $102,187
                                        Walleye II
                                        AGM-62B                           $70,000               133            $9,310,000          $70,000
                                        Total                                                224,446      $1,271,680,835
                                        a
                                        In 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: GWAPS, 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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                           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   The data available permit us to calculate the munition costs to attack the
Targets                    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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Table IV.5: Number and Cost of Munitions Expended by Target Category and Success Rating
                       Number of        Munitions      Munitions                    Total BE                         Total cost
Target Rating                BEsa        expended         per BE      NFS:FS          targets                          per BEb          NFS:FS
C3     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
GVC    FS                     10               139                 13.9            0.90                   21                 186            1.91
       NFS                    11               133                 12.1                                                      356
LOC    FS                     28               605                 21.6            2.47                   40                 300            1.01
       NFS                    12               641                 53.4                                                      302
MIB    FS                     17              4,814              283.2             1.11                   50               1,590            0.69
       NFS                    33             10,378              314.5                                                     1,091
OCA    FS                     22              7,682              349.0             0.73                   34               4,661            0.95
       NFS                    12              3,059              254.9                                                     4,445
OIL    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 LGB was equivalent to the
                                         GBU-10, the most common U.S. LGB.



                                         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
Successfully Destroyed Targets                                                                                   Unguided
                                                                    Number          PGMs      PGM cost           munitions         Unguided
                                        Target                      of BEsa        per BE      per BEb             per BE        cost per BEb
                                        C3                                 62          3.5        $160.4                12.2              $29.6
                                        ELE                                10          2.0         307.3               127.8               83.4
                                        GVC                                10          5.9         167.3                  8.0              19.0
                                        LOC                                28          6.2         261.7                15.0               38.3
                                        MIB                                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
                                        OCA                                22         51.9       3,498.4               297.0            1,162.6
                                        OIL                                  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
                                                                                                                 Unguided
                                                                    Number          PGMs      PGM cost           munitions         Unguided
                                        Target                      of BEsa        per BE      per BEb             per BE        cost per BEb
                                        C3                                 43          3.8        $254.4                34.0              $45.8
                                        ELE                                  4         0.5           11.0              248.5              107.9
                                        GVC                                11          7.7         345.2                  4.4              10.4
                                        LOC                                12         10.7         281.4                42.7               20.3
                                        MIB                                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
                                        OCA                                12         39.7       3,355.6               215.3            1,089.6
                                        OIL                                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 LGB was equivalent to the
                                        GBU-10, the most common U.S. LGB.




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                          Cost and Performance of the Aircraft and
                          Munitions in Desert Storm




Pilot’s Views on Guided   With regard to the effectiveness of individual munitions, the Desert Storm
Versus Unguided           data do not permit a comprehensive comparison, since the effects of one
Munitions                 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
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                     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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                                         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                                                                      Average            Total cost
13 Bridges in Desert Storm                                                              Spans          munitions per            per span
                                         Munition type     Number          Costa      dropped          span dropped             dropped
                                         Walleye                   8   $560,000 [DELETED]                  [DELETED]           [DELETED]
                                         LGB                      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
                                         GBU-10 to $150,000 for the MK-83 LGB. The range in costs for unguided munitions was from
                                         $498 for the MK-82 to $1,871 for the MK-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                      Using the Missions database and the phase III BDA messages, we
Analysis                                 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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                                           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                   Guided          Cost of guided                Unguided       Cost of unguided           Cost of bridges
attacked                              munitions            munitionsa                 munitions            munitionsb                 attackedc
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 GBU-10, with a unit cost of $22,000.
                                           b
                                            This assumes that the unguided munition used was the MK-84 GP, 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 IV.7 and IV.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 III databases; thus, costs include strikes before, during, and after the initial successful
                                           attack. Second, the criteria for success are different. In the CNA study, the criterion was “span
                                           dropped.” In our interpretation of DIA’s phase III messages, the criterion was that the mission
                                           objective was met, which often equated with the absence of a restrike recommendation. In
                                           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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                            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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          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.


          In this appendix, we found that each type of aircraft and munition under
Summary   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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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.




Page 193                         GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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 January 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.


                          On the eve of the offensive campaign, the commander in chief of the
Desert Storm              Central Command issued his operational order (OPORD) to U.S. and
Campaign Objectives       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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                     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                                                                      Phase II:
                                                                         Phase I:    Kuwait theater        Phase III:       Phase IV:
                                                                     strategic air    of operations       battlefield         ground
                                  Theater objective                    campaign      air supremacy       preparation        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
                                  Guard                                         X                                    X             X
                                  Liberate Kuwait City                                                                             X
                                  Source: CENTCOM operations plan, December 16, 1990, p. 10.




Potential Effectiveness of        Air power was intended to be used in all four phases but clearly would
Air Power                         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
                                   Integrated air defense and           Early air superiority
                                   airfields
                                                                           Suppress medium- and high-air defenses throughout
                                                                           Iraq
                                                                           Contain and destroy Iraqi air force
                                   Naval targets                        Attain sea control—permit allied naval operations in
                                                                        northern Persian Gulf
                                   Leadership,                          Pressure and disrupt governmental functioning
                                   telecommunications, and C3
                                                                        Isolate Saddam Hussein from Iraqi people and forces in
                                                                        the KTO
                                   Electricity and oil                  Shut down national grid—minimize long-term damage

                                                                        Cut flow of fuels and lubricants to Iraqi 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 KTO—prevent retreat of Iraqi forces
                                   RG and other ground forces           Destroy the Republican Guard
                                   in the KTO
                                                                        Reduce combat effectiveness of remaining units by 50
                                                                        percent by G-day (start of the ground war)
                                   Source: Analysis of GWAPS, vol. II, pt. II (Secret), p. 353, table 25.




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             Appendix V
             Operation Desert Storm Objectives




             Table V.2 shows that some target sets were intended to be destroyed
Discussion   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                             Instant
January 15, 1991a                          Target category          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
                                                                               b             b          c            c
                                           SCU                                                                                 16              43
                                           GVC                                5             15        15          32           31              33
                                               3
                                           C                                19              26        27          26           30              59
                                           ELE                              10              14        18          16           16              17
                                           OIL                                6             8         10           7           12              12
                                           LOC                                3             12        12          28           28              33
                                           OCA                                7             13        27          28           28              31
                                           NAV                                1             4          6           4             4             19
                                           MIB                              15              41        43          44           38              62
                                                                               b             d          d            d
                                           RG                                                                                  12              37
                                                                                                        b            b
                                           Breach                             0             0                                    0              6
                                                                                                        b            b
                                           SAM                                0             0                                    0             43
                                           Total                            84           174         218        238           262          476
                                           a
                                            Instant Thunder was the initial air campaign plan prepared by Air Force planners only days after
                                           the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
                                           b
                                               Not available.
                                           c
                                               Scuds included in NBC category.
                                           d
                                               Republican Guard included in MIB category.

                                           Source: GWAPS, 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   As noted above, only the first 2 to 3 days of the strategic air campaign
Planned             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 January 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            There was very substantial variation in the proportion of U.S. air-to-ground
Conflict                            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                                                                               Number deployed
Aircraft Deployed to Desert Storm                                          Number               Total U.S.       as percent of
                                    Aircraft                              deployed        inventory (1990)      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: DOD’s title V report, vol. III, 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.


                                    In this appendix, we identified the KTO objectives: (1) attack Iraqi
Summary                             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



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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.




Page 204                        GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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                      Despite the numerous components of the IADS, its actual operating
Limited Number of Threats                    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.



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                             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         [DELETED]
System Easy to Disrupt
IADS Design Was Known        Another advantage that the coalition had in attacking the IADS is that all
in Detail to U.S.            internal designs of the KARI computer system that controlled it
Intelligence                 [DELETED].4 [DELETED]

Iraqi SAMs Were Old or       Some key Iraqi antiair weapons were either quite old, well understood by
Limited in Capability        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/Jalibah, H-2 and H-3 airfields, and Mosul/Kirkuk. [DELETED]


AAA Guns Were Not            While linked to the IADS, AAA guns were mostly unguided and used in
Radar-Guided                 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   With a substantial portion of the Iraqi air force destroyed, inactive, or
to Play a Role               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.



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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, C3, 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.




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         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 C3, 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, July 7, 1993), for more information on F/A-18 limitations in Desert Storm.



         Page 208                              GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
                        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 JP233 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.



                        Page 209                               GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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.


                Collectively, military industrial base, offensive counterair and kill box
WOE Platform    target sets received most of the weight of effort from the air-to-ground
Comparisons     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 C3, 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.




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                                            Appendix VIII
                                            Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis




Figure VIII.1: Target Category Strikes, by Platform

Number of strikes

                                                                                                              GR1
                                                                                                              FA18
15,000
                                                                                                              F16
                                                                                                              F15E
                                                                                                              F117
                                                                                                              F111F
                                                                                                              B52
10,000                                                                                                        A6E




 5,000




     0
          CCC       ELE   GVC     KBX    LOC      MIB     NAV     NBC    OCA      OIL      SAM   SCU
                                                Target category




                                            Figure VIII.2 depicts strike data for the selected platforms against the
                                            target categories, excluding KBX targets.




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                                           Appendix VIII
                                           Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis




Figure VIII.2: Target Category Strikes, by Platform, Excluding KBX Targets


Number of strikes
2,500
                                                                                                            GR1
                                                                                                            FA18
                                                                                                            F16
2,000                                                                                                       F15E
                                                                                                            F117
                                                                                                            F111F
                                                                                                            B52
1,500
                                                                                                            A6E


1,000




 500




   0
         CCC        ELE   GVC     LOC      MIB     NAV      NBC      OCA       OIL        SAM   SCU
                                              Target category




                                           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.




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                                              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 C3 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

Number of bombs
100,000
                                                                                                               GR1
                                                                                                               FA18
                                                                                                               F16
 80,000                                                                                                        F15E
                                                                                                               F117
                                                                                                               F111F
                                                                                                               B52
 60,000
                                                                                                               A6E


 40,000




 20,000




      0
           CCC    ELE     GVC    KBX     LOC        MIB     NAV     NBC     OCA     OIL      SAM   SCU
                                                  Target category




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                                          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

Number of bombs
20,000
                                                                                                           GR1
                                                                                                           FA18
                                                                                                           F16
                                                                                                           F15E
15,000
                                                                                                           F117
                                                                                                           F111F
                                                                                                           B52
                                                                                                           A6E
10,000




 5,000




    0
          CCC     ELE     GVC     LOC     MIB     NAV      NBC       OCA      OIL        SAM   SCU
                                             Target category




                                          Page 214                          GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
                                          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

Bomb tonnage
40,000
                                                                                                            GR1
                                                                                                            FA18
                                                                                                            F16
                                                                                                            F15E
30,000
                                                                                                            F117
                                                                                                            F111F
                                                                                                            B52
                                                                                                            A6E
20,000




10,000




    0
          CCC    ELE    GVC     KBX    LOC     MIB     NAV     NBC     OCA      OIL      SAM   SCU
                                             Target category




                                          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.)




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                                         Appendix VIII
                                         Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis




Figure VIII.6: Bomb Tonnage Delivered, by Platform, Excluding KBX Targets

Bomb tonnage
8,000
                                                                                                          GR1
7,000                                                                                                     FA18
                                                                                                          F16
                                                                                                          F15E
6,000
                                                                                                          F117
                                                                                                          F111F
5,000                                                                                                     B52
                                                                                                          A6E
4,000


3,000


2,000


1,000


   0
         CCC     ELE     GVC     LOC     MIB     NAV      NBC      OCA       OIL        SAM   SCU
                                            Target category




                                         Figure VIII.6 shows that the F-16 delivered more bomb tonnage on C3 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
                                         C3, 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




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               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.


               The type of effort measures indicate the quantity of guided and unguided
TOE Platform   bomb tonnage delivered by the selected air-to-ground platforms.
Comparisons    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 C3, 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.




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                                          Appendix VIII
                                          Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis




Figure VIII.7: PGM Tonnage Delivered, by Platform

Bomb tonnage

                                                                                                            GR1
                                                                                                            FA18
                                                                                                            F16
1,000
                                                                                                            F15E
                                                                                                            F117
                                                                                                            F111F
                                                                                                            B52
                                                                                                            A6E



 500




   0
         CCC    ELE    GVC     KBX    LOC      MIB     NAV     NBC     OCA      OIL      SAM   SCU
                                             Target category




                                          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.




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                                          Appendix VIII
                                          Weight of Effort and Type of Effort Analysis




Figure VIII.8: Unguided Tonnage Delivered, by Platform

Bomb tonnage
40,000
                                                                                                            GR1
35,000                                                                                                      FA18
                                                                                                            F16
                                                                                                            F15E
30,000
                                                                                                            F117
                                                                                                            F111F
25,000                                                                                                      B52
                                                                                                            A6E
20,000


15,000


10,000


 5,000


    0
          CCC    ELE     GVC    KBX    LOC     MIB     NAV     NBC     OCA      OIL      SAM   SCU
                                             Target category




                                          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.




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                                          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 C3, 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

Bomb Tonnage
8,000
                                                                                                           GR1
7,000                                                                                                      FA18
                                                                                                           F16
                                                                                                           F15E
6,000
                                                                                                           F117
                                                                                                           F111F
5,000                                                                                                      B52
                                                                                                           A6E
4,000


3,000


2,000


1,000


   0
         CCC     ELE     GVC     LOC      MIB    NAV      NBC       OCA       OIL        SAM   SCU
                                            Target Category




                                          Page 220                          GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
Appendix IX

Target Sensor Technologies


                       Radar systems vary from older, low-resolution ground-mapping radars on
Radar                  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 systems exist as a sensor on munitions, such as the EO
Electro-optical        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.


                       Imaging infrared systems are sometimes integral to the aircraft (Pave
Infrared               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 using the technologies discussed above were
Other Sensor Systems   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



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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.




Page 222                     GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
Appendix X

Combat Support Platforms


                    [DELETED] reconnaissance platforms, including TR-1As, U-2s, RF-4Cs,
Reconnaissance      RC-135s, and S-3A/Bs were deployed to the Persian Gulf theater.
Platforms           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.


                    There were approximately [DELETED] airborne surveillance and control
Surveillance        platforms, comprised of E-8 JSTARS, E-3 AWACS, E-2C Hawkeye, and U.S.
Platforms           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 (JSTARS).
                    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 JSTARS, which flew its first operational
                    mission in Desert Storm. JSTARS collected intelligence on the movement of
                    Iraqi ground forces in the KTO and other parts of the theater where ground
                    troops were situated. [DELETED]


                    Platforms that conducted electronic combat missions or electronic
Electronic Combat   warfare in a combat-support role included EF-111s, EC-135s, EC-130s, and
Platforms           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,



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        Appendix X
        Combat Support Platforms




        they facilitated the ability of primary strike aircraft to conduct attacks on
        targets.


        EC-130Es served as airborne battlefield command, control, and
ABCCC   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.




        Page 224                     GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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                                                                                         Total
Against the Baghdad Nuclear               Aircraft              Air campaign days of attack                           Aircraft     Bombs
Research Center During Desert Storm
                                          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: Our analysis of the 37th TFW Desert Storm and Missions databases.




                                          1
                                           DOD 1992 appropriations hearings (Apr. 30, 1991), p. 490.



                                          Page 225                              GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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.




Page 226                         GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
Appendix XII

Comments From the Department of Defense


Note: GAO comments
supplementing those in the
report text appear at the
end of this appendix.




                             Page 227   GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
Appendix XII
Comments From the Department of Defense




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Appendix XII
Comments From the Department of Defense




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Appendix XII
Comments From the Department of Defense




Page 230                      GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
                   Appendix XII
                   Comments From the Department of Defense




                   The following are GAO’s comments on the DOD’s letter dated March 28,
                   1996.


                   1. The acquisition of new precision-guided munitions may well provide
GAO Comments       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.




                   Page 231                      GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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.




Page 232                      GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
Appendix XIII

Major Contributors to This Report


                        Kwai-Cheung Chan
Program Evaluation      Winslow T. Wheeler
and Methodology         Jonathan R. Tumin
Division, Washington,   Jeffrey K. Harris
                        Carolyn M. Copper
D.C.




                        Page 233             GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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.




                           Page 234                     GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
                         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)          Page 235                      GAO/NSIAD-97-134 Operation Desert Storm Air Campaign
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