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Synopsis

Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this unique book advocates equipping at least a portion of the U.S. flagged commercial airliner fleet with a missile defensive system in light of American dependence on the civil reserve air fleet and contract aircraft, combined with a significant threat from MANPADS.

The methodology is to investigate the US government's use of commercial aircraft and specifically, the civil reserve air fleet (CRAF), during contingency operations. I will present an overview of the CRAF, the number of aircraft participating, and strategic plans for use in a major theater war. Next, I'll discuss usage since 2001, examining current policies, delivery methodologies, and operating environment. Following, I'll examine future concepts of operation and potential enemy strategies to defeat those concepts.

Next is a careful examination of the terrorist threat to include proliferation of shoulder-fired weapons and a historical review of attacks on commercial aircraft. I will present possible information warfare effects on public confidence of a commercial airliner shoot-down. A description of friendly countermeasures follows.

Recommendations will focus on the required force structure of commercial aircraft equipped with missile defensive systems. The driving factors are cargo/passenger throughput and cost. Costs examined include unit cost, operating cost, and funding sources. Consideration of insurability and crew training is also necessary.

The civil reserve air fleet is both a program and a contract. As a program, the CRAF represents the number and capability of aircraft available for mobilization to augment the US military's organic airlift fleet. As a contract, CRAF represents contract guarantees for a "fixed buy" of projected DoD commercial business over the coming year and increased competitiveness for an "expansion buy" to fill the gap between fixed buy and actual needs.

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