The Struggle for Air Superiority: The Air War over the Middle East (1967-1982) as a Case Study

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The goal of this article is to examine the aerial campaigns between Israel and the Arab states (with an emphasis on Egypt and Syria). A discussion of the operational history of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) between the years 1967 and 1982 will be used to analyze an additional chapter in the historical struggle to gain air superiority, while also highlighting the importance of gaining air superiority and maintaining it over armies that rely on a ground-based air defense (GBAD) to prevent it. A further goal is to examine the formation and implementation of the various strategies applied by the belligerents in their confrontations and the system of learning lessons and applying them from one campaign to another. For example, beginning in 1969, the air war in the Middle East turned into a lethal encounter between American and Soviet technologies and served as an important operational laboratory for both superpowers. This trend continues today, and therefore an analysis of the history of the air wars in the Middle East can provide insights and lessons for those that are currently operating against advanced and dense GBAD systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-97
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of European, Middle Eastern, & African Affairs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


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