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Why Russia needs an Aerospace Force?

Editor: Zhang Dan 丨CCTV.com

06-26-2015 15:31 BJT

By Han Xudong, strategic teaching & research department, National Defense University

On June 16, Russia announced that it had formed a new aerospace force, integrating its original air force and aerospace defense force. Before that, a military officer said the artillery and missile force including the Iskander missile -- which can break through the European anti-missile system -- would probably join the aerospace force. Such an aerospace force is different not only from the original air force but also from the original space defense force: It's a brand new type of service. This is a new thing not only to the development of air forces worldwide, but also in the formation of services. How should we address this new service?

In fact, the formation of the Russian Aerospace Force resulted from US military pressure. Since Russia declared completion of its military reforms in 2008, the Russian armed forces have consisted of three services -- army, navy and air force -- and three independent arms: the strategic missile force, space defense force and airborne force under the direct leadership and direction of its military headquarters. It is not hard to see that within the Russian armed forces, the functional difference between air and space was atmospheric space and outer space.

But due to US military actions in recent years, Russia has had to recombine and build military forces. The US is exerting military pressure on Russia mainly in two fields: Firstly, the US is building a worldwide battlefield strike force. Secondly, the US is exploiting the Ukraine crisis as an opportunity to compress Russia’s strategic security space in Europe by exerting continuous military pressure. The US is deploying heavy weapons such as an anti-missile system within the territories of Eastern European NATO members. The integrated US air and space force poses a great threat to Russian security. Russia therefore had no choice but to respond in the traditional way and pay the US back in kind. That is to say Russia formed an aerospace force to resist aerospace pressure from the US.

The aerospace force will be developed into a service with a leading strategic position and role. In the history of humanity in the era of dynastic supremacy, the army held the primary strategic position and function. In the era of colonial expansion, the navy held a primary strategic status and role. In the nuclear era of struggle for hegemony between the US and the former Soviet Union, the strategic missile force held the primary strategic position and function.

In the global information era, the aerospace force may occupy prime position and play the predominant role because in such an era, wars and military activities are launched on the basis of aerospace force support. Without aerospace force backing, it is impossible for any country to implement national defense and military activities. With regard to the relationship between the services, the support of the aerospace force is necessary for all army and navy activities. Thus it can be seen that construction of an aerospace force is essential to national defense and future military construction.

The Russian formation of an aerospace force opens a new era for development of aerospace forces. Even if the US works hard at integrating atmospheric space and outer space and researches construction of an aerospace force, it has not officially declared its own formation of an aerospace force. Russia this time has taken the lead among countries in its construction of an aerospace force. This probably focuses the attention of countries across the world to the concept of an aerospace force. Following Russia, the US will likely declare formation of its own aerospace force. Subsequently more countries will restructure and build aerospace forces. A new military era of integrated air and space is coming.

 

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

 

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