We hear about no-fly zones all the time but what exactly are they? And how are they enforced?
A no-fly zone is a relatively new term and only came about during the 1990s after the Persian Gulf War. Since then, it has been used time and again in places like Bosnia, Syria, and Libya.
The basic premise behind it is to deny an adversary the use of an air space through aggressive air patrolling and monitoring via air-defense capable units at sea, if possible.
The purpose of the no-fly zone is two-fold. The main objective is to control the use of an air space by requiring adversaries to request permission to fly through it. If an adversary does not get permission and flies through, it can be subject to lethal force.
The second mission of a no-fly zone is to monitor the movements of adversaries’ ground and anti-air defense forces uninhibited. By tracking troop movements, the coalition can see if the enemy is preparing for any sort of attack or is hardening defenses to resist the no-fly zone, allowing the force maintaining the no-fly zone to beat them to the punch when necessary and strike first.