National Air Defense

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

National Air Defense


(in Russian, Antiaircraft Defense Forces of the Country), one of the basic and most maneuverable combat arms of antiaircraft defense. It consists of fighter aviation and detachments of utility aviation. The purpose of fighter aircraft is to destroy enemy air assault weapons (airplanes, winged missiles, automatic free balloons, and the like) in both forward and close support air defense coverage of troops, areas, and installations. Combat missions of fighter aircraft are planned in cooperation with other antiaircraft defense forces and means, alongside air force fighter aircraft. Some of the fighter aircraft units are organic to large antiaircraft defense units.

The first fighter aviation detachments working in antiaircraft defense under the Soviet army were set up in 1918 for the defense of Moscow, Petrograd, Kronstadt, and Tula. Prior to the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War and at the beginning of the war, all fighter aircraft units formed part of the air force, with some of them set aside for the antiaircraft defense of important installations in the country. In January 1942, this part of the fighter aircraft fleet was incorporated into the Antiaircraft Defense Forces of the Country and became an independent combat arm. The antiaircraft defense force was equipped with high performance fighter aircraft carrying powerful rifle and cannon armament (MiG-1, MiG-3, Iak-1, Iak-7, Iak-9, LaGG-3, La-5, La-7, and others). Jet fighters were put into service after the Great Patriotic War.

The most important combat characteristics of fighter aviation are high maneuverability, high fire power capabilities, and the ability to bring down airborne targets in daytime and nighttime fighting under a variety of weather conditions at distances well forward of the installation being covered. The basic principles underlying combat employment of fighter aircraft are fast maneuverability, massing of forces in the main operational axes, and the ability to respond in an unexpected way. The basic combat technique of fighter aviation is interception of airborne targets either from ground alert or from air alert while patrolling. Independent target search is resorted to in individual cases. Fighters can be committed in combat singly, in pairs, as flight sections, or in squadrons. Radio electronic equipment and systems are used to control fighter aircraft and guide them to the target.

Utility aviation is designed to support the operation of fighter aircraft and to aid antiaircraft missiles and radio electronics units of the Antiaircraft Defense Forces of the Country. Utility aviation consists of detached aviation subunits outfitted with transport planes, special purpose planes, communications airplanes, and helicopters.


Voiska protivovozdushnoi oborony strany. Moscow, 1960.
Voiska protivovozdushnoi oborony strany: Istoricheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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