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Nordeen, Lon O. Air Warfare in the Missile Age.

Nordeen, Lon O. Air Warfare in the Missile Age, 2nd Ed. Smithsonian Institution Press, 750 Ninth St. NW, Washington, DC 20560-0950. 2002. 337 pp. Ill. $42.95.

First published in 1985, this well-researched book has been updated and expanded to include newly disclosed material and conflicts in the Balkans, Southeast Asia and Afghanistan. A foreword by retired Air Force colonel and best-selling author and historian Walter J. Boyne introduces this new edition. The chronological narrative describes the many world conflicts that have involved major air campaigns using aerial missiles beginning with Vietnam. Brief but knowledgeable descriptions of daily sequences and aircraft and systems follow.

Early Southeast Asia action includes North Vietnamese surface-to-air missiles and antiaircraft artillery capabilities, which required development of defensive ECM and specialized aircraft like the USAF EB-66, F-100 and F-105 and the Navy's EKA-3B, EA-1F and EF-10. The new edition also gives the names of pilots and aces from less publicized groups, such as the North Vietnamese and Israelis. The author details action and developments in such exotic conflicts as the India-Pakistan war in 1965 and 1971, the Arab-Israeli confrontations and the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988.

The fact-filled chapters on the Arab-Israeli wars from 1967 to 1973 list each side's order of battle and operations. New material since the first edition includes the Soviet and American action in Afghanistan. Details on USSR operations in the 1980s and a preliminary description of the U.S. campaign after 11 September round out the coverage.

A short but well-done chapter on the Falklands War of 1982 between Great Britain and Argentina provides details on the first modern missile war of the late 20th century. There is also a detailed first-time account of the Iran-Iraq War. However, there is a conflict in this chapter between the text and the photograph of a Mirage F.1. The author says in the narrative that the aircraft that attacked Stark (FFG 31) in 1987 was a Falcon bizjet fitted with an F.1's radar, but the photo caption declares that a Mirage was the actual striker.

Throughout this expansive book the style of ranks and aircraft designations is inconsistent. The A-3 is called "a light bomber" (p. 37), but as one of the largest aircraft to ever operate from a carrier, the A-3 was definitely the Navy's heavy bomber for more than a decade.

Most photos are generic, but a few from the author's collection are very good and combine with the maps to complement the text.

The book's new material moves to the 1991 Gulf War with a good assessment of the action and a few interesting pictures. This section describes the ongoing conflict with Iraq, including details of the four-day campaign in December 1998 known as Operation Desert Fox.

Several appendices detailing technical aspects and historical considerations finish this welcome account and ready reference.

By Cdr. Peter B. Mersky, USNR (Ret.)
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Author:Mersky, Peter B.
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2003
Words:479
Previous Article:Carroll, Ward. Punk's Wing.
Next Article:Hobson, Chris. Vietnam Air Losses: United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps Fixed-Wing Aircraft Losses in Southeast Asia 1961-1973.
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