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Weapons, Antiaircraft

For almost as long as aircraft have been in the air, there has been a need to shoot them down. Unlike ground forces, however, aircraft operate in the air and at high speeds. Because aircraft are capable of moving in all three dimensions, targeting them is extremely difficult. The first antiaircraft weapons were guns fired into the air. As antiaircraft weapons developed, militaries developed smaller caliber guns with high rates of fire, and larger artillery guns designed to create airbursts to damage or destroy enemy planes with shrapnel. The development of guided missiles following the Second World War provided armies with the means to destroy jet-equipped aircraft, which could operate at higher altitudes and at much higher speeds.

Antiaircraft Guns During the World Wars

World War ...

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