Air defence is defined by NATO as "all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action."[1] They include ground-and air-based weapon systems, associated sensor systems, command and control arrangements and passive measures (e.g. barrage balloons). It may be used to protect naval, ground, and air forces in any location. However, for most countries the main effort has tended to be 'homeland defence'. NATO refers to airborne air defence as counter-air and naval air defence as anti-aircraft warfare. Missile defence is an extension of air defence as are initiatives to adapt air defence to the task of intercepting any projectile in flight.

In some countries, such as Britain and Germany during the Second World War, the Soviet Union and NATO's Allied Command Europe, ground based air defence and air defence aircraft have been under integrated command and control. However, while overall air defence may be for homeland defence including military facilities, forces in the field, wherever they are, invariably deploy their own air defence capability if there is an air threat. A surface-based air defence capability can also be deployed offensively to deny the use of airspace to an opponent.

Until the 1950s, guns firing ballistic munitions ranging from 20 mm to 150 mm were the standard weapon; guided missiles then became dominant, except at the very shortest ranges.

The essence of air defence is to detect hostile aircraft and destroy them. The critical issue is to hit a target moving in three-dimensional space; an attack must not only match these three coordinates, but must do so at the time the target is at that position. This means that projectiles either have to be guided to hit the target, or aimed at the predicted position of the target at the time the projectile reaches it, taking into account speed and direction of both the target and the projectile.
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Post comment Comments  (60 - 70 of 104)
agostinho Nov 2 2010, 6:16am says:

I once read on a book that in Vietnam war, 91% of US aircraft losses were due to manually aimed AA :p

+2 votes     reply to comment
Mr_F1sh Nov 29 2010, 2:11am replied:

damn the Vietnamese where good at shoot aircraft....

+2 votes     reply to comment
agostinho Dec 8 2010, 9:01am replied:

I think it was mostly luck.

+3 votes     reply to comment
PathfinderGI Dec 31 2010, 12:15pm replied:

Indeed, the sheer amount of AA guns against one target.
One Gunner is bound to get lucky & hit.

It's a typical tactic seen many times in war & common sense, use multiple AA guns.

+1 vote     reply to comment
maikan09 Sep 14 2010, 6:39am says:


0 votes     reply to comment
GriffinZ Aug 14 2010, 11:54am says:

Here is a sales video of the Bofors 40mm 3GP round, it's an all around proximity fused armour percing shrapnel round. With it you don't need more then one type of Ammo!
Look at how one round shreads the rotor of a Helicopter.

+1 vote     reply to comment
GriffinZ Aug 11 2010, 6:49pm says:

I don't hate aircraft D: I love aircraft and flak cannons, and rockets a bit, but they can be boring.

+2 votes     reply to comment
OnlySolus Aug 6 2010, 4:44am says:

I like aircraft but I like ANTI aircraft more, win group joining :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
UncleAnkle Jul 27 2010, 12:27pm says:

"Look out, a storm of mustang is coming!"

MY FLAK!! WHERE IS MY FLAK?? Give me 88mm's bullets!

+1 vote     reply to comment
raumboo-not-english Jun 18 2010, 8:15am says:

+4 votes     reply to comment
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