Secrecy News

Intelligence for Air and Missile Defense

A new U.S. Army manual addresses the challenges of intelligence support for air and missile defense programs.

“A large number of adversary countries possess or are trying to acquire TBMs [tactical ballistic missiles] and Advanced Air Breathing Threats (ABTs) (i.e. Fixed-Wing (FW) aircraft, Rotary-Wing (RW) aircraft, Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), Anti-Radiation Missiles (ARMs), and Cruise Missiles (CMs)), for prestige and/or military purposes,” the Army manual stated.

“These aerial and TBM threats have the potential to give the adversary a military advantage against the United States (US) and multinational forces. The threat the adversary presents is a complex, multi-dimensional, intelligence problem.”

To meet this emerging threat, the Army prescribes an Air and Missile Defense (AMD) Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) process, as outlined in the manual. See Air and Missile Defense Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield, ATP 3-01.16, March 31, 2016.

“AMD IPB identifies facts and assumptions about the battlefield environment and the air and missile defense threat. AMD IPB determines enemy air and missile defense courses of action (COAs), their associated branches and sequels, and describes the operating environment for air and missile defense operations. This supports commander and staff planning and the development of friendly COAs.”

“Applied properly, AMD IPB provides for the timely and effective neutralization and/or destruction of the aerial and TBM threat, while minimizing the requirement for friendly AMD assets. ”

Air and missile defense systems may be vulnerable to attack through cyberspace, the Army manual noted, so consideration should be given to “what mitigations can be put into effect to limit or negate the effects of an attempted cyber-attack on the AMD system.”