The ability of unmanned aerial vehicles to execute intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting and strike missions creates a trade-space decision for naval aviation programmatic decision makers. In the military's current fiscal climate, manned and unmanned aircraft compete for limited funding. This study takes a simulation approach using the simulation modeling framework based on intelligent objects (SIMIO) environment to model a fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft anti-surface warfare expanded kill chain. It tests and analyzes multiple manned and unmanned aircraft configurations. In the evaluation of unclassified concepts of operation and use of unclassified data sources, results indicate that aircraft attrition due to hostile weapon engagements is the dominant factor in the determination of concept of operation efficiency. Based on the operational environment, low cost and less capable unmanned aircraft provide an alternative to the increased survivability of manned aircraft or more capable and higher cost unmanned aircraft. We provide quantifiable metrics that enable the efficient and effective selection of aircraft to execute fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft anti-surface warfare kill chains.
Nussbaum, Daniel A. Atkinson, Michael P.
Naval Postgraduate School
Master of Science in Operations Research
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.