Air Defence is generally defined as the means, techniques, and organizations devoted to preventing or minimizing the effects of attack by enemy aircraft or guided missiles. Alternately, it includes all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action. These include ground-and air-based weapon systems, associated sensor systems, command and control arrangements and passive measures.
With the main threat being the aircraft in the early years, the arrangements in United Kingdom to counter the air threat were called ‘anti- aircraft’ and generally referred to as AA. Even as Royal Air Force raised a new command – Air Defence of Great Britain (ADGB) in 1925, the term AA remained in common use well into the 1950’s.
As the Air Forces with their aircraft and sensors were the main component of the overall Air Defence system, the anti-aircraft artillery was the Cinderella service and remained overshadowed by the more glamorous Air Force. Over the years, AAA however proved its mettle and emerged as a more effective and lethal component of Air Defence System.
Ground based air defence weapons (GBADWS) have caused more attrition on enemy air forces than their Air Force counterparts. More aircraft, and helicopters, have been shot down by GBADWS than by the adversary’s air force. In recent years, especially in asymmetric wars, GBADWS have been the only service to cause attrition on the enemy air.
While the surface to air missiles have been seen as the more lethal component of GBADWS, an analysis over the years would show that the AA guns have proved to be more lethal and effective, though the fascination with the missiles endures.
This site is just to present the many facets of air defence artillery and showcase the contribution of air defence gunners.