Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Lance E. Champagne, PhD


Advancements in modern IADS have bolstered A2AD environments and subsequently degraded the advantages that the Air Force once held, prompting a call to reform the nature of warfare in order to challenge these threats. A solution is weapon swarming technology, which has the ability to overwhelm IADS by engagement of a large numbers of low-cost, but lethal air assets that have autonomous functionalities. This research proposes the application of a four dimensional framework for autonomy to a swarm of cruise missiles. A virtual A2AD environment of two opposing forces is constructed using the AFSIM, wherein a manned bomber seeks to penetrate into an enemy IADS. The manned bomber will then release a swarm of autonomous cruise missiles in order to compete within the battle space. Analysis of the experimental results show that autonomy is significant at a 95% level of confidence towards all measures of effectiveness. The ability for intra-swarm communication provides the largest benefit to both offensive and defensive performance of the swarm, most notably with 51.9% increase in the swarm’s capacity to detect and destroy new threats.

AFIT Designator



A 12-month embargo was observed.

Approved for public release. Case number on file.