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troops (units of all sizes) transported to the enemy rear by air to carry on combat operations. De-pending on the combat missions assigned, the fighting strength, and the depth of the drop, the airborne force may be tactical, operational, or strategic. Tactical airborne forces ordinarily employ motorized rifle subunits and units landed in the enemy rear from helicopters to assist advancing troops in breaking through the defense, destroying tactical nuclear weapons and control posts, capturing and holding bridges and crossings, and performing other missions. Operational and strategic airborne forces consist of airborne units of various sizes, sometimes including motorized rifle troops in their composition. They are landed in the enemy zone of the interior to take important military and economic regions, create chaos in state and military control, and destroy means of nuclear attack and very important military objectives.
By the various methods of landing, airborne may be classified as parachute, landing, and combined (parachute-landing). In a parachute landing all personnel, combat materiel, armament, and supplies are dropped on parachutes and multicanopy parachute systems. The party may be dropped at any place, day or night, right on an object or near it. The members of the airborne force deliver fire on the enemy while in the air. The airborne landing force is un-loaded from aircraft that land at captured airfields or air-strips in the enemy rear. In the combined landing, personnel and light weaponry are dropped on parachutes, whereas the heavy combat matériel and teams (crews) for it are un-loaded from aircraft at airfields captured by the parachutists.
IA. P. SAMOILENKO