Tailored Air Superiority

The enhanced capabilities of adversaries’ air defense systems are changing the way the Air Force plans to gain air superiority in future conflicts, Air Combat Command’s vice chief, Maj. Gen. Jerry Harris, told lawmakers Saturday. Harris spoke before the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee during a field hearing at the National Museum of the US Air Force, according to an ACC release. In the future, he said, the service will focus on obtaining air superiority at mission-specific times and places rather than continuously over entire theatres, according to his prepared statement. “It is becoming too problematic and expensive to dominate a near-peer’s densely populated Integrated Air Defense Systems,” he said in his written testimony. In the recently released “Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan,” the service concluded “air superiority is only needed for the time and over the geographic area required to enable joint operations.” Harris likened the mission-specific approach to turning the lights off when leaving the room and said it would save money. But the air superiority report noted a variety of capabilities will be needed to meet the Air Force’s variety of missions.