Air Defense

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While the air defense mission traditionally emphasized defense against aircraft, the distinction between air and missile defense has blurred as states field new varieties of cruise missiles, loitering munitions, and hypersonic weapons. Capable of maneuvering within the atmosphere, these missiles present a categorically different challenge from ballistic missiles and require distinct systems to detect and engage.

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Missile Defense Project, "Air Defense," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 3, 2021, last modified May 20, 2021,