• Military Thought
  • 2005-09-30MTH-No. 003
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AIR FORCE AND AIR DEFENSE TROOPS IN THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR AND IN CONTEMPORARY MILITARY OPERATIONS

Author: A. A. NOGOVITSYN

Dear Readers!

In this issue we complete publication of the main contributions made at the Conference "The Lessons and Conclusions of the Great Patriotic War and the Prospects for the Development of Modern Military Science and Military Art" organized by the Academy of Military Sciences.*

Col. Gen. A. A. NOGOVITSYN

Deputy Chief Commander of the Air Force

Throughout its history mankind has repeatedly adjusted and re-adjusted the forms and methods of armed struggle, its content and role. At all times, however, there was a single type of weapons the mass use of which determined the nature of wars and the role played by any single sphere of armed struggle. An analysis of recent wars and armed conflicts has convincingly testified that fighting in the air-and-space sphere is gradually moving to the fore as the sphere on which the course and results of armed struggle depend. The forces of air attacks and the troops (forces) of air (space-air) defense as a means of struggle against such forces have become the main components of the opposing troop formations in contemporary wars.

On 2 October 2003, speaking at the meeting of top commanders of the Armed Forces the Defense Minister of the RF put this idea into a nutshell by saying: "The air component used by the industrially developed states has become the main striking force in conflicts today. Those who are still convinced that today, just as in World War II, tank strikes will bring victory are living in the past. An enemy will not arrive by a tank-it will come by an airplane or will deliver strikes by air. "

This was partially true during the Great Patriotic War of 1941 - 1945 that began with masseed air strikes against key facilities on Soviet territory. We have


* For the beginning, see: Military Thought, No. 2, 2005.

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