Essay about Modern Air Warfare Of Enemy Air Defenses

1661 Words Nov 30th, 2016 7 Pages
In modern air warfare without effective Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses U.S. air power is far less lethal. The Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) is a mission that came to be in the war in Vietnam. With the creation of modern Integrated Air Defense Systems (IAD), U.S. Air power could be loses its effectiveness while still maintaining Air Superiority. While enemy fighters may have not been a threat during most missions the possibility of being shot down by a Surface to Air Missile (SAM) was high. The Vietnamese IAD proved to be effective and lessening the effects of U.S. strike missions. With losses mounting the U.S. Air Force created the Wild Weasels to fly the SEAD mission. With the U.S. Air Force developing the SEAD doctrine during the war, strike packages became more effective and losses were reduced. After the War the doctrine was refined and changes made. When SEAD was once again used in the Gulf War is lauded as a complete success with the Iraqi IAD becoming ineffective within days of the start of the Air war. The campaign in the first Gulf War is seen as the pinnacle of success in the SEAD mission, and since the Gulf War over thirty-six years ago not much has changed in SEAD doctrine. With air defense technology making IADs more lethal and with near peers such as China and Russia using A2/AD (Anti Access Area Denial) as the man part of their defense against a modern air force the SEAD community could find itself lagging behind. This could be costly…

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