Resurrect the ‘Outer-Air’ Battle

The AMRAAM is no longer good enough to counter China’s antiship cruise missiles and growing naval warfare capabilities.

Between the 1980s and ᾿90s, much of the fighter/air wing antiair warfare training focused on fighting the “outer-air” battle against a Soviet Union threat. The strategy was to have F-14 Tomcats armed with Phoenix and Sparrow missiles sitting on the threat’s weapon release line, thus forcing enemy units to fight through our F-14s to reach a launch point—i.e., “It’s easier to shoot the archer than his arrows.” This meant keeping long-range fighters armed with long-range missiles fueled and on station for relatively long periods.

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