Using C4I to Enhance the Effectiveness of Air Operations
Advanced C4I offers the means to achieve greatly improved effectiveness in carrying out most of the challenging tasks in air operations. The single integrated air picture is critical to improving the effectiveness of the air and missile defense missions. Creating a single integrated air picture (SIAP) is a significant technical challenge, given the extremely short time lines against which the air assets must operate.
The United States has been striving for a single integrated air picture since 1969 when the Tactical Air Control System/Tactical Air Defense System program was launched. Subsequent developments have yielded capabilities that allow the creation and maintenance of a single integrated air picture, but these systems still have clear deficiencies in such areas as integration and the ability to share information with potential coalition partners.
Today the problem has become even more challenging with
increased concerns about ballistic missiles and stealthy cruise missiles.
Engaging targets that are mobile or relocatable or that have short dwell times
is another challenging air task that could be improved through rapid
assessment of target changes and feedback to the attacking units. The use of
advanced sensor technology and the fusion of data from applicable sensors of
each of the services could help the further development of a single integrated
air picture. This advanced C4I capability would also enhance the effectiveness
of precision guided weapons against fixed targets by providing timely and
precise target location information. Box
1.5 describes how networked sensors can improve air defense.