Military aviation

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**Historical Development of Military Aviation**
– First military uses of aviation involving lighter-than-air balloons in 1794
– Lighter-than-air aircraft used in the American Civil War
– Recognition of heavier-than-air aircraft for military applications in the early 1900s
– Specialized roles in military aviation expanding rapidly by the end of World War I
– Incremental improvements in aircraft technology between major world wars
– Introduction of jet engines, radar, and missiles during World War II

**Military Aviation Categories and Roles**
– Airborne Early Warning providing advance enemy activity warning
– Bombers carrying large bomb payloads sacrificing speed for payload
– Experimental aircraft testing advanced concepts with telemetered data
– Fighters ensuring air superiority with speed and maneuverability
– Forward Air Control directing close air support aircraft for target accuracy
– Ground attack aircraft contributing decisively during Blitzkrieg
– Allies using rocket-equipped fighters to immobilize German divisions
– Carrier aviation playing a major role in World War II

**Post World War II Developments in Military Aviation**
– Cold War spurring the development of military aviation
– Helicopters becoming indispensable in military aviation
– Korean War and Vietnam War testing new aircraft designs
– Advances in electronics expanding roles of aircraft
– 1980s marked by stealth technology and countermeasures

**Significance of Military Aviation in Modern Warfare**
Military aviation forces often the first line of defense or attack
– Effective military aviation forces proving decisive in recent conflicts
Military aviation crucial in conflicts like the Gulf War
– Different countries using military aviation for various purposes
– Modern warfare heavily relying on military aviation capabilities

**Military Aviation Branches and Operations**
– Air Forces responsible for aerial warfare and various functions like air defense, strategic bombing, and intelligence gathering
– Conducting space-based operations like reconnaissance
– Providing close air support for ground troops
– Managing battlespace and offering services to civil government agencies
– Other branches like Naval aviation and army aviation utilized by armed forces
– Different branches having specialized aircraft for unique missions and the importance of cooperation for joint operations.

Military aviation (Wikipedia)

Military aviation comprises military aircraft and other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling aerial warfare, including national airlift (air cargo) capacity to provide logistical supply to forces stationed in a war theater or along a front. Airpower includes the national means of conducting such warfare, including the intersection of transport and warcraft. Military aircraft include bombers, fighters, transports, trainer aircraft, and reconnaissance aircraft.

A squadron of USAF C-17A transports on an air drop operation
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