Air superiority

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As air superiority of the degree of is military control of the airspace over a defined area and within a certain time period referred to allows the own operations without substantial exposure possibility of an opponent.

Complete control of an airspace is known as air domination or total air superiority .

If air superiority cannot be achieved while at the same time an opponent is unable to achieve this goal, this condition is referred to as a favorable air situation .

Traditionally, in the event of war, attempts have been made to achieve superiority in the air by destroying enemy aircraft , airfields, air defense positions , command systems and the associated communication systems. Achieving and maintaining air superiority has been an essential task for air forces at the beginning of an armed conflict since World War II .

At the end of World War II, the Allies had air superiority over Germany. This superiority enabled their bombers to attack German cities and severely affect the transport infrastructure and fuel supply without suffering high losses themselves. Even more important was the support of the advancing troops by aircraft operating at low altitudes. These performed at the same time air reconnaissance and combat against ground targets.

In 1967, during the Six Day War , Israel achieved total air superiority over Egypt , Jordan and Syria through the pre-emptive strike of June 5, 1967 , and despite the numerical inferiority of its ground troops, it was able to achieve its military goals within a few days with minor losses.

In the Vietnam War, on the other hand, the US suffered a military and political defeat despite its air superiority.

In the Iraq War (March 20 to May 1, 2003) the so-called Coalition of the Willing had total air superiority, as did the Second Gulf War (from August 1990 after the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq).

See also