Swarm of drones and directed energy, the American technological duo to overcome the denial of access

Between the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 2010s, the Western air forces, and the United States in particular, were certain that they could impose their superiority in the air on any other power, to the point of engaging major campaigns without ever needing to deploy troops on the ground, as in Kosovo in 1999 during Operation Allied Force, or in Libya in 2011 during Operation Harmattan for France and Unified Protector for the UN. But the gradual arrival of new anti-aircraft defense systems, such as the S-400 (2007) et the S-350 (2019) in Russia, and the HQ-9B (2007) and HQ-16 (2012) in China, and the improvement of the effectiveness of integrated multilayer air defenses, have deeply eroded these certainties, to the point of now talking about denial of access, i.e. systems capable of preventing entry into airspace on their own, but also naval, protected.

The initial response to this major threat to the Western air forces, which alone today carry over 75% of Western firepower, was summed up in one characteristic, stealth, which was widely emphasized for almost 15 years. 35 years to promote the commercial success of Lockheed's FXNUMX. But the increasingly rapid arrival of detection systems designed to counter this characteristic, like low-frequency radars, passive radars, or multistatism, have largely eroded the aura of invincibility of the F35, which also faces other maintenance and budget constraints, and of which certain characteristics are evident. disabilities, like its small radius of action. At the same time, Moscow and Beijing, but also their allies, have deployed dense and effective anti-aircraft defense networks, against which the air forces in Europe or the Pacific have little solution, if not is the heavy use of electronic warfare aircraft like the EA-18G Growler.

Since its entry into service, the Russian long-range anti-aircraft system S-400 has worried NATO and the West, by its ability to complement the multi-layered air defense of the Russian armies, and to deny access to a vast airspace.

With each Shield, its Lance

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