THUNDER is in the Air Force Standard Analysis Toolkit (AFSAT) suite of models and is a two-sided, theater-level campaign simulation.  It has an extensive representation of air, land, and naval systems combined in a joint environment and simulates realistic geographic, environmental, and meteorological conditions.  THUNDER provides analysts a tool to gain insights into the full range of potential outcomes of a military campaign and in turn provide decision-makers with quantitatively based results for various alternatives and course of actions.  It is a stochastic data-driven model that supports Monte Carlo simulation and statistical inference.  Scenarios, force structure, terrain, and weapon systems are described in input data.  Significant elements and effectiveness data, including surface-to-air, air-to-air, and air-to-ground methodologies, are developed using an Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) Combat Effectiveness & Vulnerability Analysis Branch (EZJA) pedigree process that incorporates calibrated lower-level results obtained using other AFSAT models (e.g., ESAMS, SUPPRESSOR, and BRAWLER).  THUNDER’s ground war combat results were derived from deterministic play of Center for Army Analysis (CAA)-supplied data using the attrition calibration (ATCAL) process.

THUNDER’s primary objective is to support senior decision-makers in the policy, acquisition, and operational communities when they consider issues involving the utility and effectiveness of air and space power in a joint warfighting context.  Support for these customers usually requires a high degree of responsiveness in terms of analytical focus and turn-around time for results.  AFLCMC/EZJA is the model manger and performs model development and maintenance.  Thunder has an established Configuration Control Board (CCB) to approve model development activities.

THUNDER enables users to:

  • Analyze the capabilities and impact of air and space systems operating in a joint battle space involving U.S., allied, and threat forces and their relative contributions to theater-level outcomes.
  • Explore issues of readiness, modernization, force structure, and sustainability.
  • Compare alternative courses of action.
  • Provide insights into future military strategies and evolving operational concepts.

Acceptance Level:

  • Very high.  THUNDER is the Air Force’s most used theater-level analytical campaign simulation for analyses of alternatives (AoAs) and other acquisition studies.

Page Distribution Statement:

Distribution Statement A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

Model Distribution Statement:

DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT D. Distribution limited to DOD and DOD contractors; Critical Technology, November 2008. Other requests shall be referred to AFLCMC/EZJA, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433-7210.

WARNING – This document contains technical data whose export is restricted by the Arms Export Control Act (Title 22, U.S.C., Sec 2751, et. seq.) or the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended, Title 50, U.S.C., App. 2401 et. seq. Violations of these export laws are subject to severe criminal penalties. Disseminate in accordance with provisions of DoD Directive 5230.25.