Aviation, or air transport, refers to the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as balloons and airships. Aviation began in the 18th century with the development of the hot air balloon, an apparatus capable of atmospheric displacement through buoyancy; some of the most significant advancements in aviation technology came with the controlled gliding flying of Otto Lilienthal in 1896. Since that time, aviation has been technologically revolutionized by the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world; the word aviation was coined by the French writer and former naval officer Gabriel La Landelle in 1863. He derived the term from the verb avier, itself derived from the Latin word avis and the suffix -ation. There are early legends of human flight such as the stories of Icarus in Greek myth and Jamshid and Shah Kay Kāvus in Persian myth.
Somewhat more credible claims of short-distance human flights appear, such as the flying automaton of Archytas of Tarentum, the winged flights of Abbas ibn Firnas, Eilmer of Malmesbury, the hot-air Passarola of Bartholomeu Lourenço de Gusmão. The modern age of aviation began with the first untethered human lighter-than-air flight on November 21, 1783, of a hot air balloon designed by the Montgolfier brothers; the practicality of balloons was limited. It was recognized that a steerable, or dirigible, balloon was required. Jean-Pierre Blanchard flew the first human-powered dirigible in 1784 and crossed the English Channel in one in 1785. Rigid airships became the first aircraft to transport passengers and cargo over great distances; the best known aircraft of this type were manufactured by the German Zeppelin company. The most successful Zeppelin was the Graf Zeppelin, it flew over one million miles, including an around-the-world flight in August 1929. However, the dominance of the Zeppelins over the airplanes of that period, which had a range of only a few hundred miles, was diminishing as airplane design advanced.
The "Golden Age" of the airships ended on May 6, 1937 when the Hindenburg caught fire, killing 36 people. The cause of the Hindenburg accident was blamed on the use of hydrogen instead of helium as the lift gas. An internal investigation by the manufacturer revealed that the coating used in the material covering the frame was flammable and allowed static electricity to build up in the airship. Changes to the coating formulation reduced the risk of further Hindenburg type accidents. Although there have been periodic initiatives to revive their use, airships have seen only niche application since that time. In 1799, Sir George Cayley set forth the concept of the modern airplane as a fixed-wing flying machine with separate systems for lift and control. Early dirigible developments included machine-powered propulsion, rigid frames and improved speed and maneuverability There are many competing claims for the earliest powered, heavier-than-air flight; the first recorded powered flight was carried out by Clément Ader on October 9, 1890 in his bat-winged self-propelled fixed-wing aircraft, the Ader Éole.
It was the first manned, heavier-than-air flight of a significant distance but insignificant altitude from level ground. Seven years on 14 October 1897, Ader's Avion III was tested without success in front of two officials from the French War ministry; the report on the trials was not publicized until 1910. In November 1906 Ader claimed to have made a successful flight on 14 October 1897, achieving an "uninterrupted flight" of around 300 metres. Although believed at the time, these claims were discredited; the Wright brothers made the first successful powered and sustained airplane flight on December 17, 1903, a feat made possible by their invention of three-axis control. Only a decade at the start of World War I, heavier-than-air powered aircraft had become practical for reconnaissance, artillery spotting, attacks against ground positions. Aircraft began to transport people and cargo as designs grew more reliable; the Wright brothers took aloft the first passenger, Charles Furnas, one of their mechanics, on May 14, 1908.
During the 1920s and 1930s great progress was made in the field of aviation, including the first transatlantic flight of Alcock and Brown in 1919, Charles Lindbergh's solo transatlantic flight in 1927, Charles Kingsford Smith's transpacific flight the following year. One of the most successful designs of this period was the Douglas DC-3, which became the first airliner to be profitable carrying passengers starting the modern era of passenger airline service. By the beginning of World War II, many towns and cities had built airports, there were numerous qualified pilots available; the war brought many innovations to aviation, including the first jet aircraft and the first liquid-fueled rockets. After World War II in North America, there was a boom in general aviation, both private and commercial, as thousands of pilots were released from military service and many inexpensive war-surplus transport and training aircraft became available. Manufacturers such as Cessna and Beechcraft expanded production to provide light aircraft for the new middle-class market.
Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation, single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft developed for the United States Air Force. The result of the USAF's Advanced Tactical Fighter program, the aircraft was designed as an air superiority fighter, but has ground attack, electronic warfare, signal intelligence capabilities; the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, built most of the F-22's airframe and weapons systems and conducted final assembly, while Boeing provided the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, training systems. The aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 before it formally entered service in December 2005 as the F-22A. After a protracted development and despite operational issues, the USAF considered the F-22 critical to its tactical air power; when the aircraft was introduced, the USAF stated that it was unmatched by any known or projected fighter. The F-22's combination of stealth, aerodynamic performance, situational awareness gives the aircraft unprecedented air combat capabilities.
The high cost of the aircraft, a lack of clear air-to-air missions due to delays in Russian and Chinese fighter programs, a ban on exports, development of the more versatile F-35 led to the end of F-22 production. A final procurement tally of 187 operational production aircraft was established in 2009, the last F-22 was delivered to the USAF in 2012. In 1981, the U. S. Air Force identified a requirement for an Advanced Tactical Fighter to replace the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon. Code named "Senior Sky", this air superiority fighter program was influenced by the emerging worldwide threats, including development and proliferation of Soviet Su-27 "Flanker"- and MiG-29 "Fulcrum"-class fighter aircraft, it would take advantage of the new technologies in fighter design on the horizon, including composite materials, lightweight alloys, advanced flight control systems, more powerful propulsion systems, stealth technology. The request for proposals was issued in September 1985. Of the seven bidding companies and Northrop were selected on 31 October 1986.
Lockheed teamed with Boeing and General Dynamics while Northrop teamed with McDonnell Douglas, the two teams undertook a 50-month demonstration/validation phase, culminating in the flight test of two technology demonstrator prototypes, the YF-22 and the YF-23 respectively. The program was managed by the Advanced Tactical Fighter Systems Program Office located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; each team produced one for each of the two engine options. The Lockheed-led team employed thrust vectoring nozzles on YF-22 for enhanced maneuverability in dogfights. Efforts to control the ATF's weight and cost drove out certain requirements during development. Side-looking radars were deleted, the dedicated infra-red search and track system was downgraded from multi-color to single color and deleted as well; however and cooling provisions were retained to allow for future addition of these components. The ejection seat requirement was downgraded from a fresh design to the existing McDonnell Douglas ACES II.
After the flight test demonstration/validation of the prototypes, on 23 April 1991, Secretary of the USAF Donald Rice announced the YF-22 as the winner of the ATF competition. The YF-23 design was considered faster, while the YF-22 was more maneuverable; the aviation press speculated that the Lockheed-led team's design was more adaptable to the U. S. Navy's Navalized Advanced Tactical Fighter, but by 1992, the Navy had abandoned NATF. While the overall shapes are similar, the F-22 would have several notable differences from the YF-22; the swept-back angle of the leading edge was decreased from 48° to 42°, while the vertical stabilizers were shifted rearward and decreased in area by 20%. To improve pilot visibility, the canopy was moved forward 7 inches, the engine intakes moved rearward 14 inches; the shapes of the wing and stabilator trailing edges were refined to improve aerodynamics and stealth characteristics. Increasing weight during development caused slight reductions in maneuver performance.
Prime contractor Lockheed Martin Aeronautics manufactured the majority of the airframe and performed final assembly at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia. F-22 production supported over 1,000 subcontractors and suppliers from 46 states and up to 95,000 jobs, which increased Congressional support. Production spanned 15 years at a peak rate of two airplanes per month; the first F-22, an Engineering. Manufacturing and Development aircraft with tail number 4001, was unveiled at Marietta, Georgia, on 9 April 1997, first flew on 7 September 1997. In 2006, the F-22 development team won the Collier Trophy, American aviation's most prestigious award. Due to the aircraft's advanced nature, contractors have been targeted by cyberattacks and technology theft; the USAF envisioned ordering 750 ATFs at a total program cost of $44.3 billion and procurement cost of $26.2 billion in fiscal year 1985 dollars, with production beginning in 1994. The 1990 Major Aircraft Review led by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney reduced this to 648 aircraft beginning in 1996.
By 1997, funding instability had further cut the total to 339, again reduced to 277 by 2003. In 2004, the Department of Defense further reduced this to 183 operational aircraft, despite the USAF's preference for 381. A multi-year procurement plan was implemented in 2006 to save $15 billion, program's total cost projected to be $62 billion for 183 F-22s distributed
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters. The fifth-generation combat aircraft is designed to perform ground-attack and air-superiority missions, it has three main models: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing variant, the F-35C carrier-based catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery variant. The F-35 descends from the Lockheed Martin X-35, the winning design of the Joint Strike Fighter program, it is built by Lockheed Martin and many subcontractors, including Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, BAE Systems. The United States principally funds F-35 development, with additional funding from other NATO members and close U. S. allies, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Norway, the Netherlands, Turkey. These funders receive subcontracts to manufacture components for the aircraft. Several other countries are considering ordering, the aircraft; as the largest and most expensive military program, the F-35 is the subject of much scrutiny and criticism in the U.
S. and in other countries. In 2013 and 2014, critics argued that the plane was "plagued with design flaws", with many blaming the procurement process in which Lockheed was allowed "to design and produce the F-35 all at the same time," instead of identifying and fixing "defects before firing up its production line". By 2014, the program was "$163 billion over budget seven years behind schedule". Critics contend that the program's high sunk costs and political momentum make it "too big to kill"; the F-35 first flew on 15 December 2006. In July 2015, the United States Marines declared its first squadron of F-35B fighters ready for deployment. However, the DOD-based durability testing indicated the service life of early-production F-35B aircraft is well under the expected 8,000 flight hours, may be as low as 2,100 flight hours. Lot 9 and aircraft include design changes but service life testing has yet to occur; the U. S. Air Force declared its first squadron of F-35As ready for deployment in August 2016.
The U. S. Navy declared its first F-35Cs ready in February 2019. In 2018, the F-35 made its combat debut with the Israeli Air Force; the U. S. plans to buy 2,663 F-35s, which will provide the bulk of the crewed tactical airpower of the U. S. Air Force and Marine Corps in coming decades. Deliveries of the F-35 for the U. S. military are scheduled until 2037 with a projected service life up to 2070. F-35 development started in 1992 with the origins of the Joint Strike Fighter program and is to culminate in full production in 2018; the X-35 first flew on 24 October 2000 and the F-35A on 15 December 2006. The F-35 was developed to replace most US fighter jets with variants of one design common to all branches of the military, it was developed in co-operation with a number of foreign partners, unlike the F-22 Raptor, intended to be available for export. Three variants were designed: the F-35A, the F-35B, the F-35C. Despite being intended to share most of their parts to reduce costs and improve maintenance logistics, by 2017, the design commonality was only 20%.
The program received considerable criticism for cost overruns during development and for the total projected cost of the program over the lifetime of the jets. By 2017, the program was expected over its lifetime to cost $406.5 billion for acquisition of the jets and $1.1 trillion for operations and maintenance. A number of design deficiencies were alleged, such as carrying a small internal payload, inferior performance to the aircraft being replaced the F-16, the lack of safety in relying on a single engine, flaws were noted such as vulnerability of the fuel tank to fire and the propensity for transonic roll-off; the possible obsolescence of stealth technology was criticized. The single-engined F-35 resembles the larger twin-engined Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, drawing design elements from its sibling; the exhaust duct design was inspired by the General Dynamics Model 200, proposed for a 1972 supersonic VTOL fighter requirement for the Sea Control Ship. Although several experimental designs have been developed since the 1960s, such as the unsuccessful Rockwell XFV-12, the F-35B is to be the first operational supersonic STOVL stealth fighter.
Acquisition deputy to the assistant secretary of the Air Force, Lt. Gen. Mark D. "Shack" Shackelford, has said that the F-35 is designed to be America's "premier surface-to-air missile killer and is uniquely equipped for this mission with cutting-edge processing power, synthetic aperture radar integration techniques, advanced target recognition". Lockheed Martin states the F-35 is intended to have close- and long-range air-to-air capability second only to that of the F-22 Raptor. Lockheed Martin has said that the F-35 has the advantage over the F-22 in basing flexibility and "advanced sensors and information fusion". Lockheed Martin has suggested that the F-35 could replace the USAF's F-15C/D fighters in the air-superiority role and the F-15E Strike Eagle in the ground-attack role; some improvements over current-generation fighter aircraft include: Durable, low-maintenance stealth technology, using structural fiber mat instead of the high-maintenance coatings of legacy stealth platforms Integrated avionics and sensor fusion that combine information from off- and on-board sensors to increase the pilot's situational awareness and improve target identification and weapon delivery, to relay information to other command and control nodes High-speed data networking including IEEE 1394b and Fibre Channel (Fibre Ch
An air show, is a public event where aircraft are exhibited. They include aerobatics demonstrations, without they are called "static air shows" with aircraft parked on the ground; the largest air show measured by number of exhibitors and size of exhibit space is Le Bourget followed by Farnborough, while Dubai air show and Singapore Air Show are both claiming the third place. The largest air show or fly-in by number of participating airplanes is EAA AirVenture Oshkosh known as "Oshkosh" after its location in Wisconsin, with 10,000 airplanes participating each year; the biggest military airshow in the world is the Royal International Air Tattoo, at RAF Fairford in England. Some airshows are held as a business venture or as a trade event where aircraft and other services are promoted to potential customers. Many air shows are held in support of national or military charities. Military air firms organise air shows at military airfields as a public relations exercise to thank the local community, promote military careers and raise the profile of the military.
Air "seasons" vary around the world. The United States enjoys a long season that runs from March to November, covering the spring and fall seasons. Other countries have much shorter seasons. In Japan air shows are events held at Japan Self-Defense Forces bases throughout the year; the European season starts in late April or Early May and is over by mid October. The Middle East and New Zealand hold their events between January and March. However, for many acts, the "off-season" does not mean a period of inactivity; the type of displays seen at an are constrained by a number of factors, including the weather and visibility. Most aviation authorities now publish rules and guidance on minimum display heights and criteria for differing conditions. In addition to the weather and organizers must consider local airspace restrictions. Most exhibitors will plan "full," "rolling" and "flat" display for varying weather and airspace conditions; the types of shows vary greatly. Some are large scale military events with large flying displays and ground exhibitions while others held at small local airstrips can feature just one or two hours of flying with just a few stalls on the ground.
Air Displays can be held during day or night with the latter becoming popular. Shows don't always take place over airfields; the first public international airshow, at which many types of aircraft were displayed and flown, was the Grande Semaine d'Aviation de la Champagne, held Aug. 22-29, 1909 in Reims. This had been preceded by what may have been the first gathering of enthusiasts, June 28-July 19 of the same year at the airfield at La Brayelle, near Douai. Before the Second World War, air shows were associated with long distance air races lasting many days and covering thousands of miles. While the Reno Air Races keep this tradition alive, most air shows today feature a series of aerial demos of short duration. Most air shows feature warbirds and demonstrations of modern military aircraft, many air shows offer a variety of other aeronautical attractions as well, such as wing-walking, radio-controlled aircraft, water/slurry drops from firefighting aircraft, simulated helicopter rescues and sky diving.
Specialist aerobatic aircraft have powerful piston engines, light weight and big control surfaces, making them capable of high roll rates and accelerations. A skilled pilot will be able to climb vertically, perform tight turns, tumble his aircraft end-over-end and perform manoeuvres during loops. Larger airshows can be headlined by military jet demonstration teams. In the United States, those are the U. S. Navy Blue Angels and USAF Thunderbirds; the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will headline many airshows in the United States. Many airshows in the United Kingdom are headlined by the RAF's Red Arrows. Solo military jet demos known as tactical demo, feature one aircraft a strike fighter or an advanced trainer; the demonstration focuses on the capabilities of modern aircraft used in combat operations. The display will demonstrate the aircraft's short rolls, fast speeds, slow approach speeds, as well as their ability to make tight turns, to climb and their ability to be controlled at a large range of speeds.
Manoeuvres include aileron rolls, barrel rolls, hesitation rolls, Cuban-8s, tight turns, high-alpha flight, a high-speed pass, double Immelmans, touch-and-gos. Tactical demos may include simulated bomb drops, sometimes with pyrotechnics on the ground for effect. Aircraft with special characteristics that give them unique capabilities will display those in their demos. An F-22 pilot may hover his jet in the air with the nose pointed straight up, a Harrier or Osprey pilot may perform a vertical landing or vertical takeoff, so on. Air shows may present some risk to aviators. Accidents have occurred, sometimes with a large loss of life, such as the 1988 disaster at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and the 2002 air show crash at Sknyliv, Ukraine; because of these accidents, the various aviation authorities around the world have set rules and guidance for those running and participating in air displays. For example, after the breakup of an
Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base is a United States Air Force installation in southern Nevada with military schools and more squadrons than any other USAF base. Nellis hosts air combat exercises such as Exercise Red Flag and close air support exercises such as Green Flag-West flown in "Military Operations Area airspace", associated with the nearby Nevada Test and Training Range; the base has the Combined Air and Space Operations Center-Nellis. The Nellis AFB mission of advanced combat training for composite strike forces is conducted in conjunction with air and grounds units of the Army, Marine Corps and allied forces; the base supports operations at the nearby Creech Air Force Base, the Tonopah Test Range and the Nevada National Security Site. Nellis ground systems for range operations include the Computer and Computed Subsystem used to receive microwave signals from the NTTR Ground-Based Stations of the Tracking and Communications Subsystem for presentation on Nellis' Display and Debrief SubSystem. Units 53d Test and Evaluation Group, including the 422d Test and Evaluation Squadron 57th Wing, including the 57th Adversary Tactics Group, the Thunderbirds Squadron, the Weapons & Rescue Schools, & the Maintenance/Munitions Officers School 99th Air Base Wing 505th Operations Group 926th Group Air Expeditionary Force Battle Lab Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence Nevada Test and Training Range Nellis AFB covers about 11,300 acres in the northeast corner of the Las Vegas Valley, an alluvial basin in the Basin and Range Province.
Since World War II, Nellis has had areas added, such as Area II in 1969, but still has about 7,000 acres of undeveloped space. One World War II runway has been removed; the base has 3 areas. The United States Geological Survey names five different locations for the base: "Nellis Air Force Base", the airfield, the post office, a Community College of Southern Nevada campus, the census-designated place. Nellis Area I has the airfield and shopping facilities, dormitories/temporary lodging, some family housing, "and most of the command and support structures", e.g. Suter Hall for Red Flag. Nellis Area II northeast of the main base "at the foot of Sunrise Mountain" has the Nellis Gun Club, the 820th Red Horse Squadron. Nellis Area III is west of the main base with family housing and industrial areas, the Mike O'Callaghan Federal Hospital, Area III includes a 23.4 acres munitions response area which had World War II storage for small arms ammunition and chemical bombs and that now includes 2 remaining World War II buildings, 5 modern igloos, & the RV storage.
The Nellis Air Force Base CDP is a 3.1 sq mi region defined by the United States Census Bureau as of the 2010 United States Census. The CDP area includes military family housing and lodging as for aircrew temporary quarters during Red Flag exercises; the CDP residents include a portion of the Nellis work force of ~12,000 military and civilian personnel. As of the census of 2000, there were 8,896 people, 2,873 households, 2,146 families residing in the CDP. Population density was 2,895.9 people per square mile. There were 3,040 housing units at an average density of 989.6/sq mi. The gender ratio was 4813 males to 4083 females; the median age was 24 years, distribution by age group was 33.4% under the age of 18, 19.7% from 18 to 24, 38.5% from 25 to 44, 7.1% from 45 to 64, 1.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The racial makeup of the base was 68.5% White, 14.3% African American, 1.4% Native American, 5.0% Asian, 0.7% Pacific Islander, 4.9% from other races, 5.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.7% of the population.
There were 2,873 households out of which 52.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.5% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 25.3% were non-families. Of all households 17.9% were made up of individuals and 1.1% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.36. 2000 census median incomes were $33,118, $34,307, $25,551, & $19,210. About 10.0% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 16.1% of those age 65 or over. "Nellis AFB complex" refers to a group of southern Nevada military areas that are predominantly USAF and Bureau of Land Management areas outside of the base. The complex's land areas include Nellis AFB, the USAF Nevada Test and Training Range, the active portion of the Small Arms Range Annex north of the base, the annex's Formerly Used Defense Site of 5,775 acres, 13 BLM areas of 5.7 acres each leased for Patriot Radar/Communications Exercises, other BLM sites "under Military Operations Area airspace".
Nellis AFB leases space at the former Las Vegas AFS, environmental sites of the Tonopah Bombing Range are monitored by the EPA. Additional Formerly Used Defense Sites associated with the area's military operations are the Nye County Areas A, G, H, & I. After World War I, Nevada and other western
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces, one of the seven American uniformed services. Formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U. S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947, it is the youngest branch of the U. S. Armed Forces, the fourth in order of precedence; the USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, command and control; the U. S. Air Force is a military service branch organized within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the Air Force, through the Department of the Air Force, is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force, who reports to the Secretary of Defense, is appointed by the President with Senate confirmation.
The highest-ranking military officer in the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who exercises supervision over Air Force units and serves as one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Air Force components are assigned, as directed by the Secretary of Defense, to the combatant commands, neither the Secretary of the Air Force nor the Chief of Staff of the Air Force have operational command authority over them. Along with conducting independent air and space operations, the U. S. Air Force provides air support for land and naval forces and aids in the recovery of troops in the field; as of 2017, the service operates more than 5,369 military aircraft, 406 ICBMs and 170 military satellites. It has a $161 billion budget and is the second largest service branch, with 318,415 active duty airmen, 140,169 civilian personnel, 69,200 reserve airmen, 105,700 Air National Guard airmen. According to the National Security Act of 1947, which created the USAF: In general, the United States Air Force shall include aviation forces both combat and service not otherwise assigned.
It shall be organized and equipped for prompt and sustained offensive and defensive air operations. The Air Force shall be responsible for the preparation of the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except as otherwise assigned and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force to meet the needs of war. §8062 of Title 10 US Code defines the purpose of the USAF as: to preserve the peace and security, provide for the defense, of the United States, the Territories and possessions, any areas occupied by the United States. The stated mission of the USAF today is to "fly and win...in air and cyberspace". "The United States Air Force will be a trusted and reliable joint partner with our sister services known for integrity in all of our activities, including supporting the joint mission first and foremost. We will provide compelling air and cyber capabilities for use by the combatant commanders. We will excel as stewards of all Air Force resources in service to the American people, while providing precise and reliable Global Vigilance and Power for the nation".
The five core missions of the Air Force have not changed since the Air Force became independent in 1947, but they have evolved, are now articulated as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, command and control. The purpose of all of these core missions is to provide, what the Air Force states as, global vigilance, global reach, global power. Air superiority is "that degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force". Offensive Counterair is defined as "offensive operations to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize enemy aircraft, launch platforms, their supporting structures and systems both before and after launch, but as close to their source as possible". OCA is the preferred method of countering air and missile threats since it attempts to defeat the enemy closer to its source and enjoys the initiative.
OCA comprises attack operations, sweep and suppression/destruction of enemy air defense. Defensive Counter air is defined as "all the defensive measures designed to detect, identify and destroy or negate enemy forces attempting to penetrate or attack through friendly airspace". A major goal of DCA operations, in concert with OCA operations, is to provide an area from which forces can operate, secure from air and missile threats; the DCA mission comprises both passive defense measures. Active defense is "the employment of limited offensive action and counterattacks to deny a contested area or position to the enemy", it includes both ballistic missile defense and air-breathing threat defense, encompasses point defense, area defense, high-value airborne asset defense. Passive defense is "measures taken to reduce the probability of and to minimize the effects of damage caused by hostile action without the intention of taking the initiative", it includes warning.