Effective attacks in the salvo combat model: salvo sizes and quantities of targets
Armstrong, Michael J.
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This article considers two related questions of tactics in the context of the salvo model for naval missile combat. For a given set of targets, how many missiles should be fired to produce an effective attack? For a given available salvo size, how many enemy targets should be fired at? In the deterministic version of the model I derive a simple optimality relationship between the number of missiles to fire and the number of targets to engage. In the stochastic model I employ the expected loss inflicted and the probability of enemy elimination as the main performance measures, and use these to derive salvo sizes that are in some sense “optimal”. I find that the offensive firepower needed for an effective attack depends not only on a target’s total strength but also on the relative balance between its active defensive power and passive staying power.