Antiaircraft defense, method of protection from attack by enemy aircraft or missiles, involving early detection and interference and destruction. Radar is an early detector but can be foiled if the enemy confuses the radar by dropping metal strips called chaff. Interference with incoming missiles is accomplished with chaff, decoys, and electronic jamming devices. Radar is also used in coordination with guns or missiles on ships or on the ground to destroy the attackers. Some antiaircraft missiles use homing devices attracted to heat from enemy planes, guiding the missiles to the target.
See also: Radar.