Conducting a well-planned IPB is fundamental to the execution of the ADA mission. It is essential that the Patriot battalion and battery commanders be able to understand enemy air and ground operations and how the terrain will affect enemy operations. By evaluating this information, various possible enemy COAs can be developed and war-gamed. This will provide commanders, at all levels, a better picture of the battlefield and enable them to plan and place assets to obtain maximum firepower in the right place at the right time.
IPB in support of AD operations is a quantified, step-by-step process that examines enemy air and ground activity, and identifies gaps in intelligence holdings. This recess will allow the commander and his staff to direct his collection assets to enable them to visualize the battlefield and understand the enemy's intentions. Preparation and continuous updates of aerial IPB are fundamental to the execution of the AD mission on the modern battlefield.
The breakup of the former Soviet Union has caused the Army to shift its focus from Soviet doctrine to other regional threats. With the current lack of doctrine to plan against, the IPB process will provide continuous input toward building that doctrine.
FM 34-130 is the manual that explains the IPB process. This appendix will describe the process as it applies to Patriot operations. IPB allows the commander and the intelligence staff to predict where and when the enemy will strike, and what assets he will use. The modem battlefield is viewed in three dimensions: width, depth, and airspace. This airspace, or aerial dimension, is the most dynamic and fast paced of the three dimensions. The Patriot battalion and battery commanders must consider all the aspects of air operations and must be aware of the capabilities of all air threats, to include ballistic and aerodynamic (cruise) missiles; multimission UAVs; and RW and FW aircraft. The S2 should rely heavily on input from the air defense and aviation officers while integrating air aspects into the IPB process.
The IPB process has four steps:
As air IPB is conducted from a different perspective than that of ground IPB, the terrain and weather have correspondingly different effects on air operations. The primary air threats that Patriot commanders must carefully evaluate are: TBMs, CMs, and FW aircraft. Secondary consideration must be given to UAVs and RW aircraft.
The air battlefield, like the ground, includes an AO, battle space, and an area of interest (AI).
The air AO is the area where the commander is assigned responsibility and authority for military operations. It is identical to the ground in width and depth, and extends vertically up to the maximum altitude of threat aircraft and missile systems.
Battle space is a physical volume that expands or contracts in relation to the ability to find and engage the enemy. It includes the breadth, depth, and height in which the commander positions and moves assets over time. Battle space is not assigned by a higher commander and can extend beyond the commander's AO.
The AI is the geographic area from which information and intelligence are required to facilitate planning or successful conduct of the command's operation. Because the commander and staff need time to process information and to plan and synchronize operations, the commander's AI is generally larger than the AO or battle space. Due to the great distances that aircraft and missiles can rapidly cover, the air AI will extend vertically and horizontally to cover the maximum service ceilings and ranges of threat air systems. These include missile and delivery systems, plus known or suspected threat airfields, forward arming and refueling points (FARPs), and missile sites.
The nature of airspace does not eliminate the need for terrain analysis. Air IPB focuses on the impact of geographic factors on the ability of threat air to approach, find, and engage a target. Analysis of the terrain for air IPB follows the same principles as ground analysis, and uses the military aspects of terrain.
This relates to the influence of terrain on reconnaissance and target acquisition. In the IPB context, observation relates to optical and electronic line-of-sight (LOS). Many air and battlefield operating systems require LOS to effectively find and engage targets. These systems include radios, radars, jammers, direct-fire weapons, and airborne-ground observers. Fields of fire relate to the terrain effects on weapon systems. Battlefield airspace must be analyzed with regard to routes which provide the best protection for air threats entering the target area, and those which provide the best fields of fire once they reach the target area.
Cover and concealment have slightly different applications with respect to air systems. There are several tactics and techniques which fall into the context of cover and concealment and are defined as follows:
Obstacles are broken down into three primary types:
Of particular interest are obstacles and terrain which restrict lateral movement within an AA and movement corridor; canalizing movement or restricting evasive action. Additionally, terrain may stop the employment of certain air threat systems in that it exceeds the system's maximum operating ceiling.
Key terrain is any locality or area in which the control will afford a marked tactical advantage to either combatant. In air analysis, this consists of terrain features which canalize or constrain air threat systems, plus terrain with an elevation higher than the maximum ceiling of air threat systems. Additionally, areas that can be used for airfields, LZ/DZs, or FARPs need to be considered as key terrain, since these areas could be used to support friendly or threat air operations that may be targeted against the Patriot site or the defended asset.
Air avenues of approach (AAOAs) are evaluated using some of the same criteria as for ground. A good AAOA into its target area will permit maneuver while providing terrain masking from surface-to-air weapon systems. A twisted arrow will be used to denote AAOAs. Red arrows will represent threat avenues and blue will represent friendly avenues. Ensure that each AAOA is numbered.
Some common AAOAs are--
Factors which should be used to determine AAOAs are--
The different types of air threats and their flying characteristics are as follows:
Always begin at the threat operating base (airstrip and launch sites) and work toward what you believe is the enemy objective. This allows a look at the big picture. When determining air avenues, do not stop at the edge of the commander's battle space. An air avenue may look good on the map, but there could be a mountain or an urban area which could discourage the use of that avenue.
Air avenues support maneuver and are used to achieve ground objectives or to support theater and national objectives. Air avenues also provide freedom to maneuver while using air assets. Does the avenue--
Air avenues provide protection for the air system and pilot. Does the avenue provide--
Do the air system and pilot have the capabilities to perform contour flying at night, in all weather conditions and ranges?
Air operations are especially susceptible to the effects of weather. Weather analysis for air operations considers the same factors as ground operations. Theses factors are--
Threat evaluation for air IPB consists of a detailed study of enemy air capabilities, organization, and doctrine. The following steps should be used when evaluating the threat:
Collecting and analyzing doctrinal threat data should determine the following:
Analyzing threat air capabilities should determine the capabilities of the threat systems in terms of--
These include standoff jammers, ground-based jammers, or reconnaissance/chaff-laying UAVs or aircraft. Will these degrade friendly AD systems? Does the enemy have antiradiation missiles?
Can pilots fly at night or perform contour flying? During peacetime did pilots conduct the type of mission they are expected to conduct during war? What are the types and capabilities of threat ordnance? Each type of ordnance should be evaluated for the following:
Target value evaluation should determine what targets are to be labeled as high-value targets (HVTs). HVTs are assets the enemy or friendly commander has deemed as important for the successful accomplishment of his mission. HVTs are determined by operational necessity and weapon system capability.
It is important to continuously update air threat operational data (for example, known launch sites, targets, and launching and firing times) to present a clear picture of the current threat situation. Current threat operational data will need to be analyzed against historical data so a pattern of locations for operating bases or launch areas can be determined. Analyzing missile impact area and firing times will give indicators of threat force operations and objectives. Once threat locations, operations, and objectives are understood, steps can be taken to defeat the enemy by readjusting target planning or relocating Patriot assets.
Determining air threat COAs, as with ground, relates the enemy's air, counterair, air defense, and airborne and air assault doctrines with the effects of weather and terrain to determine how the enemy will employ their assets. This is accomplished through the development of the situation, event, and decision support templates. The process of developing these templates is covered in FM 34-130.
The situation template integrates air attack profiles with terrain, focusing on specific air avenues of approach or mobility corridors. This is done to determine which avenues are the most capable of supporting specific attack techniques, profiles, or the most direct routes to DZ and LZs to ensure survivability.
The event template depicts points (NAIs) where you expect to see certain activities of tactical significance and is used to confirm or deny an enemy COA. In air IPB, these NAIs are based on the terrain constraints on air approach routes to potential targets and analysis of the enemy's attack profiles. Examples of NAIs include DZ and LZs, FARPs, forward staging areas, and aerial choke points.
The decision support template (DST) is based on the situation and event templates. The DST does not dictate decisions to the commander, but rather identifies when and where decisions may be required. It is a graphic picture of the intelligence estimate combined with the operation plan and should depict--
Air TAIs and DPs are determined in the same manner as ground operation. However, due to the high speeds of air systems, DPs must be placed significantly farther in advance of the TAIs.