The main tasks and joint force application of the Hungarian Air Force

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1 AARMS Vol. 7, No. 4 (2008) SECURITY The main tasks and joint force application of the Hungarian Air Force ZOLTÁN OROSZ Hungarian Defence Forces, Budapest, Hungary The tasks and joint force application of the Hungarian Air Force, as a service, is educable and systemizable by the tasks of the Hungarian Defence Forces, our national tasks taken up within the allied system and the NATO documents concerning aerial operations. The air force can carry out its tasks either within or outside the territory of the Republic of Hungary. Operations outside Hungary may be within or without NATO territory. Its operations can be carried out in time of peace and in states of emergency. These operations include tactical, attack or defence operations, allied aerial operations against ground based forces and tasks of home defence according to decision. Introduction The Constitution of the Republic of Hungary does not, while the laws on home defence, on the Hungarian Defence Forces and on air traffic assign tasks for the air force in part. As a result, the basic function and the primary tasks of the Hungarian Air Force derive from the ones set for the Hungarian Defence Forces, extrapolated basic function and tasks. By 40/A.. (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Hungary: the basic duties of the Hungarian Defence Forces are military home defence and fulfilling collective defence tasks deriving from international contracts. As a result the constitutional functions of the Hungarian Defence Forces are: military home defence and fulfilling collective defence tasks deriving from international contracts. By 70.. (1) of the law considering home defence and the Hungarian Defence Forces, in order to fulfil the constitutional duty the basic tasks of the Hungarian Defence Forces, and the Hungarian Air Force as a part of it, are: defending the liberty of the Republic of Hungary, its territory, its airspace, its population and its material goods against an external attack by the use of arms. fulfilling other military duties deriving from allied and international contracts especially tasks of collective defence, peace support and humanitarian tasks. In concert with the constitutional function of the Hungarian Defence Forces the basic functions of the air force are: fulfilling the tasks falling on the air force from home defence and collective defence defined by international contracts. Received: January 15, 2009 Address for correspondence: ZOLTÁN OROSZ

2 The classification of the missions of the air force by area, operations, time periods can be extrapolated from the basic function and is determinant for the basic defence tasks falling on the air force. Classification of the possible missions and tasks of the air force Because of current laws, resources and future decisions, the Hungarian Air Force can operate within or outside the territory of the Republic of Hungary. Operations outside the Republic of Hungary can happen within or outside NATO territory. According to legal approval and the available resources the air force can take part in strategic, offensive, defensive operations and in allied air operations against land based forces. The operations can be carried out during times of peace and periods other than peace, such as preventive defence situations and state of emergency. Basic tasks The basic tasks deriving from the basic function of the air force are tasks of home defence and can be classified by the collective defence needs. The air force is responsible for the military supervision of the national airspace, defending the sovereignty and integrity of the airspace and supporting ground forces. Because of the strategic significance and its available abilities the national air force has to concentrate on keeping up the invulnerability of the airspace and maintaining the necessary level of control over it. Contributing to the tasks of collective defence involve inspection of designated NATO airspace, defending its integrity and participating in allied air and joint force operations. These tasks are carried out by national forces integrated into the NATO air defence system. Peace and periods other than peace Peacetime task of the fighter units of the air force is Air Policing. Protection against aerial terrorist attacks is the challenge of today and the future, to which NATINADS (NATO Integrated Air Defence System) might be the direct answer. The air force is prepared and participates in military operations especially in RENEGADE operations according to NATO s concept of the fight against terrorism and the national expectations. For the fight against terrorism and the prevention of an unexpected attack, the assignment of national air attack and air defence forces furthermore keeping them under national supervision is essential. With the necessary arrangements and with the 686 AARMS 7(4) (2008)

3 upkeeping of the necessary forces and abilities, the inspection of no fly zones, the protection of very important installations and happenings must be taken care of. Air force tasks during periods other than peace can be very diverse and complex, operations depending on the situation might include the whole range of the tasks. The national, allied or coalitional operations are carried out by the assigned national forces. Main operational tasks The operational tasks of the Hungarian Air Force are executed as a component of the joint grouping of the Hungarian Defence Forces, its air defence tasks are executed as part of NATINADS and participates in handling warlike conflicts within the country. In the case of an attack against the country (Alliance) its tasks are fulfilled as part of the national joint force grouping under national leadership, its airspace defence is done by NATO operational and tactical leadership, then it participates in the provision of the attack with the new coming allied troops, under allied leadership. Hungarian Air Force also participates in the joint force and aerial operations of the Alliance outside home territory. These operations can be: Operations against enemy air forces for attaining and maintaining the necessary level of control of airspace favourable aerial situation, aerial supremacy. Depending on the goals these operations can be offensive or defensive. Offensive air operations include the destruction, straddling and restraining of the enemy aerial combat potential. It is aimed at providing for the free movement of friendly troops while blocking the same ability of the enemy. Defensive air operations, or air defence, take place during response to an enemy attack and it includes all the means which ensure the decreasing of the effectiveness of the enemy attack. It aims at maintaining the necessary level of control of the airspace to ensure the safeguarding of joint forces. The aim of aerial operations against ground forces is the destruction and straddling of the opposing party. It can be offensive aerial support for the ground forces or direct support fire. The means of operation can be aerial straddling which aims at the destruction of enemy forces not directly being in contact with friendly forces or direct aerial support which aims at the destruction of enemy forces directly being in contact with friendly forces. Executing strategic air operations might happen on strategic or operational levels and their planning is basically done by considering political aspects. These operations aim at targets related to enemy strategic centres or other supporting infrastructures. AARMS 7(4) (2008) 687

4 Air support operations are those aerial operations which promote the success of combat air operations. These include aerial reconnaissance, surveillance, aerial transport, electronic warfare, aerial refuelling and search-and-rescue. 1. Offensive aerial operations The basic factor for the success of aerial offensive operations is the straddling of enemy air defence, its elimination by electronic jamming or physical destruction. Clearing of the airspace aims at the search and destruction of enemy aircraft by tactical aircraft in a particular airspace or air route. Protective escort is done by tactical aircraft to safeguard any other aircraft during a mission. Escort can be direct or indirect. Attacking enemy airfields and infrastructure concentrates on the destruction of airfields (runways, taxiways, ammunition and fuel depositaries, parking aircraft, facilities), command, control, communication and logistic facilities. 2. Air defence operations Two basic types of air defence are known in NATO. Territory defence includes the defence of airspace over a particular geographic area or zone with the use of fighter aeroplanes and anti-aircraft missiles. Spot defence means the protection of geographic points, installations (bridges, airfields, commands, power plants) against aerial attacks by fighter aeroplanes, armed attack and training aeroplanes and short range anti-aircraft weapons. NATINADS was established on the territory of European allies in order to maintain the integrity and the necessary level of control over their airspace. Air defence operations outside NATO territory are done by the Allied Joint Force Air Defence System. Air defence systems are made up of NATO Air Defence Ground Environment (NADGE), the active weapons systems and the integrated systems of different support forces. NADGE is the integrated system of different sensors, command and control networks, weapons guidance networks and communication networks. From an other aspect it comprises the Aerial Surveillance and Control System (ASACS) and the communication network. The main tasks of defensive air operations or air defence arise during the operations of the active air defence, ASACS, fighter aeroplanes and Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD). The main functions of ASACS in air defence are: target spotting and identification, diagnosis, informing and weapon control. The main task of weapon systems are engagement and to fight air defence battles. 688 AARMS 7(4) (2008)

5 Peace time tasks of fighter aeroplanes are Air Policing and RENEGADE operations. Fighters in crisis and conflict situations execute Combat Air Patrol (CAP) within the Fighter Engagement Zone (FEZ) and Fighter Area of Responsibility (FAOR). Operations of mixed fighter forces are to increase war efficiency by synchronized acts of battle and communication. Protection of high value aircraft include protecting aerial command and control, aerial refuelling, electronic warfare aircraft. Ground based air defence protect specific geographic sights, airspaces, installations (bridges, airfields, commands, power plants) and ground troops against an aerial attack. Passive air defence means those actions made in order to minimize the efficiency of enemy aerial activities. Basically it includes deception, division, and the installations of defence. It involves the installation of equipment, the usage of bunkers and hardened aircraft shelters, the quick repairing of runways, the usage of underground plants and ammunition depositaries, camouflage and the accommodation of very important personnel and equipment. 3. Aerial operations against ground forces These operations provide offensive aerial support for ground forces. One type is aerial straddling which target at the ground forces not directly in contact with friendly troops but have a direct effect on their operations. This requires joint force coordination but continuous arrangement and the direct control of the execution is not necessary. Another type is close air support which gives fire support for engaging friendly forces. It destroys and straddles those targets which can not be reached by ground based weapons. Close air support must be integrated with the fire and manoeuvres of supported forces. Execution requires joint force planning, continuous coordination and the control of the supporting aircraft. Joint planning and synchronized usage is done by the Air Operations Control Centre (AOCC), Air Liaison Officers (ALO), the Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) and the Forward Air Controllers (FAC). AOCC is the basic mediator between the ground forces command and the Air Operations Centre (AOC). 4. Support air operations These contribute to the efficiency of aerial combat operations and increase the applicability of weapon systems. Aerial reconnaissance and surveillance means the gathering of information concerning the strength and movement of the opposing party from the air by visual, electronic or other means. It also involves the systematic inspection of airspace parts AARMS 7(4) (2008) 689

6 and surface regions. These can be done by Airborbe Warning and Control Systems (AWACS), tactical (reconnaissance) aircraft or Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV). AWACS systems also support early warning and weapon control. Air transport operations increase flexibility and mobility, make quick installation, relocation, enduring applicability and evacuation possible. Operational, tactical, logistical air transport are differentiated but transporting airborne units, special forces and the wounded are also related. Electronic warfare is a vital part of modern warfare. It includes the detection of energy radiations and defining its nature, electronic defence and counter activities. Aerial refuelling aims at lengthening the patrol time and range of tactical and support aircraft. Either in peace or in a crisis situation, for the ideal application of tactical aircraft it must be considered even in FAORs, CAPs and no fly zones. An aerial search and rescue operation means the application of helicopters or aeroplanes with special crews and equipment for the search and rescue of crews who are in an emergency situation. Search and Rescue (SAR) and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) are differentiated. 5. Joint force support operations The air force by its offensive and defensive operations for achieving the necessary level of control over the airspace makes ground based operations of joint forces including ground based forces safer and more efficient, furthermore ensures free movement for friendly troops while restraining the enemy s. It provides close air support, aerial straddling and support fire for the operations of ground forces. To achieve joint force goals support which can be done in various ways and provides for the application of different services in a temporary joint groups is required. These aerial operations can be: Aerial mobility operations The concept of these operations is to provide increased mobility for ground forces by the use of helicopters. These operations make it possible for the commander to react quickly according to the situation on the battlefield. This also contributes to the overtaking of control from the enemy and the freedom of movement. Transportation of troops, material, and military equipment This means the widest range of helicopter usage, which includes all sorts of transport operations from the most complex aerial mobility operations to single transport tasks. Operations for aiding special forces; aerial assault and surprise Transport helicopters can be used for overrunning and surprising enemy targets 690 AARMS 7(4) (2008)

7 most effectively. The aim of these operations can be diverse (e.g., the destruction of an enemy landing zone, anti-aircraft missile site, or radar station). What is common in them is that the special forces get to the battle zone and then infiltrate and execute their task by the help of helicopters. Reconnaissance and battlefield surveillance Direct gathering of information which is not necessarily connected to the momentary activities of the enemy. E.g. aerial surveillance of roads, areas, zones, aerial photography, chemical and radiation detection furthermore the surveillance of sites and airways. Reconnaissance helicopters might ensure the observation of areas difficult of access or which are not occupied by ground forces. Control of fire Control of fire made either for the artillery or close air support aircraft aboard a helicopter follows the same principles as those made from a ground based station or by forward air controllers. Command and control from an aerial control unit: Commanding is made easier when the commander and its staff are mobile and are able to directly overlook the battlefield. The helicopter can provide this mobility as an aerial control unit when the necessary communication equipment is installed aboard it. Aerial mining Helicopters can be used for the laying of mines especially on areas where it can not be done by other means. Advantage of aerial mining is agility, mobility, effectiveness and flexibility provided by helicopters. Electronic warfare Different containers and blocks of electronic warfare can be mounted on helicopters. In order to increase the chance for survival any helicopter can be equipped with these of course. Search and rescue Search and rescue involves any operation which aims at saving the lives of those who got into trouble both on land and at sea. International contracts obligate the nations to maintain a constant, 24-hour SAR service. Combat search and rescue This service provides for the rescue of the survived members of the aircrew of downed aircraft during military operations. This is a temporary combat group with a pair of helicopters as its core having special forces on board whose task is to extract the downed crew. AARMS 7(4) (2008) 691

8 Logistic support Helicopters can be widely used in the role of logistic support where, because of geographical features, regular supplying is not possible on the ground. Evacuation of the wounded This is very important because thus the wounded are granted a chance for survival, furthermore the loss of experienced soldiers is reduced and the thought that the wounded are treated is morally beneficial for fighting spirit. Because the number of helicopters available is usually never enough, MEDEVAC tasks can be combined with the transport of personnel and material. Thus the helicopters which do logistic transport may carry the wounded on their way back. Humanitarian aids Helicopters can also be widely used in non-military operations as well. These can be humanitarian aids organised by international humanitarian organisations, e.g., supplying food and medicine. A nation may direct its military transport helicopters to a particular area to provide help as a tangible sign of solidarity. This also includes the use of helicopters in the event of a natural catastrophe like earthquakes, flood, and the elimination of the results of harsh winter conditions. Summary The tasks and joint force application of the Hungarian Air Force, as a service, is educable and systemizable by the tasks of the Hungarian Defence Forces, our national tasks taken up within the allied system and the NATO documents concerning aerial operations. The air force can carry out its tasks either within or outside the territory of the Republic of Hungary. Operations outside Hungary may be within or without NATO territory. Its operations can be carried out in time of peace and in states of emergency. These operations include tactical, attack or defence operations, allied aerial operations against ground based forces and tasks of home defence according to decision. Bibliography The Hungarian Constitution Hungarian Air Force Doctrine; HuAF Command Veszprém Hungarian Defence Forces Joint Doctrine, MOD 2007 Budapest Law on National Defence and Hungarian Defence Forces (2004. CV.) 692 AARMS 7(4) (2008)

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