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AIR FORCES: The Next Generation

Recomended on the Royal Air Force Chief of Staff Reading list - Air Chief Marshall Sir Mike Wigston KCB CBE ADC


The challenge for all air not to 'do more with less', but to 'do better with what we have'.  This book is replete with examples...

Group Captain James R. Beldon MBE, Director of Defence Studies (RAF)


...a detailed and well-rounded insight into 14 of the world's major air doesn't take long for a reader to start drawing comparisons...  The Wavell Room


The use of air power, like any other military force, is now becoming increasingly complicated. Missions are changing: an increase in intrastate wars, the use of air assets against terrorism, and delpoyment of air forces to conduct military operations other than war, coupled with budgetary and personnel pressures, continue to affect a nation’s ability to maintain competency in the aeronautical sphere of operations. Further, the number and type of actors deploying air power have changed, as has the technology. Each forward-thinking air force needs to consider potential threat scenarios that are futuristic and require some degree of planning. This volume contains data on 14 nations and their attempts to modernize, mobilize and keep ahead of their adversaries. Knowledge of other nations’ current force structure, doctrine and threat environment, how their budgetary pressures are affecting their acquisition decisions and whether they intend to seek interoperability provides valid and relevant information for your own aerospace capability program.


Vital reading for defense and national security thinkers. Air Forces:  The Next Generation lays bare the drivers of air power development, a process where military capability and strategy often take a back seat to financial, cultural, and political realities. A careful read of this global air power analysis brings home the complexity of modernization planning and the challenge of matching integrated technologies to required capabilities. Whether your interests focus on major international players or regional powers, this look at air power modernization will enhance your understanding of national decision making and the future of military force development.  

Colonel Thomas McCarthy, PhD, USAF, Professor of Aerospace Studies


This collection of contemporaneous views of 14 air forces from around the world not only esplains the reasons for their development and structure but also is forward leaning and identifies their future challenges and constraints. Each well-respected author highlights the uniqueness of the air force under consideration, and they find the thread that applies to all air forces, namely budgets and personnel. This book will make a valuable contribution to the professional library of air power scholars and enthusiasts.

Group Captain Andrew Gilbert, Director Air Power Development Centre, Royal Australian Air Force


392 Pages   I   Size 234 x 156 mm   I   Publication 20th January 2020   

Paperback ISBN: 978 1 912440 08 5

AIR FORCES: The Next Generation

  • Notes on Contributors

    Foreword  Lt. Gen Steven L. Kwast, USAF

    INTRODUCTION: Dr Amit Gupta

    1 UNITED STATES: Air Power Interventionism in a New Era

    Dr Ron Gurantz

    2 CHINA: The Quest for a Modern Air Force

    Professor Xiaoming Zhang

    3 RUSSIA: Modernizing Air and Space Capabilities

    Associate Professor Lars Peder Haga

    4 FRANCE: Light at the End of the Tunnel?

    Professor Guillaume de Syon

    5 UNITED KINGDOM: The Thin Blue Line

    Professor Peter W. Gray (RAF ret)

    6 ITALY: At One Hundred, and Beyond

    Mr Gregory Alegi

    7 GERMANY: The Future of the Luftwaffe

    Mr Richard Shimooka

    8 INDIA: Missions, Technologies, and Constraints

    Dr Amit Gupta

    9 AUSTRALIA: A Uniquely Strategic Environment

    WGCDR Pete Wooding (RAAF)

    10 PAKISTAN: Overcoming Strategic Constraints

    Dr Sharad Joshi

    11 INDONESIA: Small Air Force, Big Nation

    Dr Adhi Priamarizki and Tiola Javadi

    12 TAIWAN: The Strait Challenge

    Dr Wu Shang-su

    13 KENYA: Niche from the Start

    Dr Donovan C. Chau

    14 BRAZIL: Control, Defend, Integrate

    Lt. Col. Luís E. P. Celles Cordeiro (BAF)

    CONCLUSION: Group Captain (RAF) James R. Beldon MBE


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