The historical-comparative analysis of armed conflicts that took place all over the world unequivocally indicates the strategic significance of air and AD operations. Modern aircraft and aviation ordnance, with exponential technological development, have reached such a level that they play a decisive role in achieving the goal of combat operations and thus the nations. Specifically, not only do air and AD operations, i.e. forces that carry out operations, influence the outcome of contemporary armed conflicts, but , at the same time, they also change the basic characteristics of armed conflicts, with particular emphasis on asymmetry and non-linearity, which are new characteristics of contemporary and hybrid armed conflicts. In these armed conflicts, it is particularly important to achieve, i.e. to maintain dominance in the air space during the first phase of air force and AD operations. This is where AD forces have the key role for the side that carries out AD operations.
It is also essentially obligatory to highlight that contemporary, asymmetric and terrorist threats often attempt to use the air space to achieve the desired surprise and shock effect. These terrorist operations are interesting for prospective subjects of terrorism because they are typical of being sudden, ephemeral and causing devastating penalty, which brings terror in the target group as aimed by the terrorist group. An example of a way of conduct and effects that these terrorist air operations can cause is 11 September 2001 terrorist attack in the United States. This has resulted in significant changes in security culture and new enhanced measures that were taken at airports and in aircrafts around the world, before, during and after the realisation of flight.
Taking into consideration the aforementioned facts, there have been some changes in how the place and role of AD force is to be understood, as the bearer of the implementation of the air space control and protection.
Conceptual Definition of an AD Force/System
AD is the result of the development of science, technology and technological solutions for carrying out aviation operations. In fact, it is an example of dialectical unity and struggle of opposites that have imposed a need, on the one hand, for continuous innovation of technological solutions in the field of military aviation, as well as tactics of the air force engagement, but on the other hand, for continual improvement of the organisation and functioning of AD.
With the development of military thought, the standpoint of what AD should essentially comprise of has changed. In the period after the Second World War, when the expansion of the development of air and AD forces took place, it was clearly highlighted that AD is an essential component of combat operations. According to this point of view, AD was placed in the same logical level with anti-armour combat, infantry operations and other essential activities of combat operations.
These viewpoints have changed substantially with time. The qualitative shift in the importance of AD is the result of rapid development of means for reconnaissance and offensive operations from the air space. Nowadays, which of the warring parties will gain advantage in the initial period of the armed conflict (or in the armed conflict as a whole) depends largely on the readiness of AD and success of their operations against the air operations of the adversary.
Bearing in mind the experience related to the use of aviation resources for achieving asymmetric threats, AD forces have an important role, not only in the Armed Forces and defence system, but also in preserving the security of the country as a whole. AD forces are engaged in peace to continuously monitor and prevent violations of the air space, thereby realising the tasks of: deterring from aggression by air, preventing surprises by aviation operations of potential enemies, as well as creating conditions for neutralising asymmetric threats that had already taken place from the air space.
According to a logical definition, AD force/ system is a relatively autonomous subsystem of defence force/ system, and is at the same time the organisational entity of Air Force and AD, which includes a set of measures, activities in defensive operations of Air Force and AD forces with the goal of protecting the air space, territory, groups of the Armed Forces and other defence forces, the most important civilian and military facilities, population and material resources of the country from reconnaissance and operations from the air space. Thus, an AD force/ system may be considered as a force/ system composed of a set of forces, trained by its subsystems, deployed on land, sea or air according to predetermined principles and prepared for the realisation of control and protection of the air space and facilities from all forms of threats to aviation on the territory.
Understanding the Prospects of the Development of an AD Force/ System
To improved the state of AD forces/system of any nation it necessary to be realised through organisational changes, which would include: a change of the role, objectives and tasks of the AD force/ system; a change in the human factor (achieving fundamental and operational knowledge at the level necessary for transfer of knowledge in order to adopt new technologies); a change in the material-technical factor (to equip command force with modern command-information system; forces in charge of the air space control with modern radar-computer equipment; forces in charge of anti-aircraft operations with modern multipurpose combat aircraft and missile system for AD); a transfer of technology on the basis of changes in technological solutions and necessary knowledge of human factors (in order to improve not only AD system, but also the situation in the defence industry through acquiring knowledge about new technological solutions and the acceptance of modern technology); a change of the organisational structure.
Bearing in mind that the AD force is an organisational system, it must also achieve its overall singular and collective role of defence force. In accordance with the tendencies of the development of AD systems in the world, after organisational changes were made, the basic role of modeled future AD system is to manage air traffic and regulate air traffic over the territory of the nation, as well as to control and protect the air space, territory and facilities of strategic importance of the nation from any form of threat to aviation. Basic tasks of modeled AD force are as follows:
- Deterring the enemy from endangering the security of the nation’s air space;
- Air traffic control over the territory of the nation, as well as over the territory of other countries in accordance with international and interstate agreements;
- Air surveillance and reporting on the situation in the air space;
- Protection and prevention of violations of the air space of the nation, as well as the air space of other countries in accordance with international and interstate agreements;
- Protection of the territory, population, material goods and natural resources of the nation from aviation threats;
- Taking anti-aircraft protection measures and procedures for the reduction and elimination of consequences of operations from the air space and
- Participation in regional systems for keeping the air space security in accordance with international agreements.
Objectives of the Development of an AD Force/ System
The overall objective of the organisational changes in the AD force/ system of the nation is to improve its capabilities to ensure the rational use of resources and to achieve effects that are consistent with its role, which is manifested through air traffic management, control and protection of the air space and territory against all forms of threats. Specific objectives come from the overall objective and their implementation is a prerequisite for the implementation of the overall objective. The specific objectives of the development of the air defence system are: improving effectiveness and efficiency, long-term financial sustainability, improving flexibility, shortening response time and ensuring interoperability.
Improving effectiveness and efficiency. Can’t be easily determined. Bearing in mind the specific organisation and functioning of the AD force, the acceptable definition of effectiveness is that it is the degree of capability to accomplish defined objectives and tasks at a given time and under concrete conditions of the operational environment. The effectiveness is directly related to the function of the objective, i.e., achieving an optimal end state in accordance with the specified criteria.
The ratio between the efficiency and effectiveness of the AD force/ system can be ascertained from the table 1. A significant contribution to understanding the difference between the concepts of organisational efficiency and effectiveness was given by Drucker’s interpretation. In his opinion, efficiency means “to do things right” and it is measured by the ratio between effects and costs (spent resources) required to achieve them, whereas effectiveness means “to do right things” and it is expressed by the degree of fulfilled objectives.
|LOW EFFICIENCY||HIGH EFFICIENCY|
|HIGH EFFECTIVENESS||Objectives and tasks of AD force are properly defined and implemented, but resources are not used well.
AD force fulfills its role, but the functioning is expensive.
|Objectives and tasks of AD force are properly defined and implemented and resources are adequately used.
AD force fulfills its role and the price of functioning is acceptable.
|LOW EFFECTIVENESS||Objectives and tasks of AD force are not properly defined or they are not implemented and resources are not used well.
AD force does not fulfill its role and maintenance is very expensive.
|Objectives and tasks of AD force are not properly defined or they are not implemented and resources are adequately used.
AD force does not fulfill its role. Resources are properly used, but the achieved effects are not adequate.
Table 1 – The ratio between efficiency and effectiveness of an AD force
In the broadest sense, the improvement of organisational efficiency of the AD force is in proportion to the improvement of capabilities in the implementation of activities that begin with detecting the aircraft – security threats in the air space and end with their neutralisation or disabling of reconnaissance and other threatening activities from the air space. The more successful the implementation of these activities is, regardless of the conditions, the higher organisational efficiency of the AD force is.
Long-term financial sustainability of the defence system is the possibility of executing constitutional role with available financial resources within a specified period of time that is not shorter than 20 years. Long-term financial sustainability of AD force is reflected in the ratio between costs generated by the use of resources of the AD force and income from the reimbursement of the provision of the air navigation services (enabled by the AD force).
The costs generated by the use of resources of AD force may relate to the use of movable property and facilities (operational costs) and the acquisition of movable property and construction of facilities (investment costs), while income from the reimbursement of air navigation services provision is realised by air traffic control.
In order to determine the ratio between costs and income, the cost analysis of the AD force and the projection of income from the reimbursement of long-term air navigation services provision may be conducted.
Improving flexibility is the result of the fact that AD force and systems operate in an extremely dynamic and changeable conditions of the operational environment. Flexibility is the capability of the AD system of the nation to timely seize new opportunities for success, i.e. to avoid or minimize to the maximum effect the impact of unexpected adverse circumstances using as little resources as possible (in order to adapt). Improving flexibility is achieved through the improvement of internal and external flexibility by the modeled AD force and systems.
Improving external flexibility is achieved by increasing interoperability and adopting international obligations in air traffic management, control and protection of the air space (either independently or in coordination with the task force of the AD forces in the region) in accordance with interstate and international agreements.
Through qualitative, proactive, organisational changes in technology of forces and organisational structure of the AD force, the internal flexibility of the AD force can be significantly improved.
Shortening response time is necessary due to the dynamism of threat and the counter contemporary air and AD operations. The term response time means the required time interval necessary for establishing the readiness of the AD forces to launch operations and implement tasks in the concrete conditions of the operational environment.
Shortening response time in the modelled AD force can be achieved by: timely processing and distribution of data on the situation in the air space to defined users; situation analysis, operational decision-making and implementation of activities related to the process of executive command and fire control in real time; minimising the response time (transferring into the highest level of preparedness) of forces in charge of anti-aircraft operations.
Ensuring inter-operability is the result of the following tasks: air traffic management, control and protection of the air space of neighbouring countries, as well as participation in regional systems for keeping the air space security in accordance with international agreements. Inter-operability means the capability of the AD force to participate with relevant task forces of neighboring countries in the realisation of joint operations in accordance with international agreements. Interoperability is expressed through: compatibility, interchangeability and commonality.
Organisational changes and the establishment of the new AD systems will ensure the inter-operability in the following areas: operational standardisation – through development and establishment of standards related to future actions and procedures in air traffic management, control and protection of the air space of neighbouring countries and participation in regional systems for keeping the air space security in compliance with international agreements; material standardisation – provided by the implementation of the characteristics of material technical factors among forces of the modelled AD force, which is essentially fully compatible with the means and weapons systems in the region; administrative standardisation – through development and establishment of standards related to terminology that is applied to the material plan, which is achieved through the acquisition of the necessary fundamental and operational knowledge by the human factor in the modelled AD force.
The expansion of science and technology influences the changes in all spheres of life. It has also left an indubitable impact on the defence strategies and systems, as well as its organisational sub-structures like the AD forces. With the exponential progress of civil aviation, the AD force of the nation is bound to be turned into a crucial component of national security strategy, whereas the way of performing tasks of the air space control and protection significantly affects the security of the nation. In addition to that, the main role of the Air Force and the Air Defence in contemporary armed conflicts determines the critical importance of the AD forces.
Based on the aforementioned facts, it can be concluded that it is necessary, keeping in view the future long-term period, to pay special attention to organisational changes in the AD forces, especially in the domain of material resources, i.e. weapons and equipment systems in accordance with modern air and AD technological solutions. Such organisational changes need to be clearly defined with precise content and aim, as well as harmonised with security and economic needs and financial capacities of the nation.