Scale, Scope, Speed & Survivability: Winning the Kill Chain Competition

Arlington, VA | May 3, 2023 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Scale, Scope, Speed & Survivability: Winning the Kill Chain Competition by Heather Penney, Senior Resident Fellow at the Mitchell Institute.

 In this report, Penney explains how the “kill chain” is an enduring framework for the process of securing battlespace effects. Often, this means putting a bomb or missile on target, all while the adversary is attempting to do the same against U.S. forces. Winning this kill chain competition matters.

Due to the rapid advance and proliferation of technology in an era of peer competition, the dominance of U.S. kill chains is eroding. This report proposes four principles—scale, scope, speed, and survivability—to successfully guide Air Force efforts as they develop capabilities and operational concepts that can successfully deter and, if necessary, prevail against the People’s Liberation Army. This policy paper helps lay out key considerations necessary for understanding how to build kill chains that can win now and into the future.

The Mitchell Institute Policy Papers is a series presenting new thinking and policy proposals to respond to the emerging security and aerospace power challenges of the 21st century. These papers are written for lawmakers and their staffs, policy professionals, business and industry, academics, journalists, and the informed public.

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Image: U.S. Air Force photo

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