Accession Number:



From The South Atlantic War of 1982 to the South China Sea in the 21st Century: An Assessment of the Past and Future in Amphibious Air Operations

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Research Paper]

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The air operation in the South Atlantic War is a valuable case study in modern amphibious operations and provides insights that are applicable to a potential U.S. China conflict in the South China Sea. The similarities to the Falkland Islands War and a potential China-U.S. conflict in the South China Sea are uncanny. Long lines of communication, Anti-AccessArea Denial capabilities, disproportionate air forces, and amphibious operations would all play a large role in a U.S. response to the seizure of an island in the South China Sea. Concepts such as exploiting exclusive use time, stretching the air defense, balancing pressure and reserve forces, and preparing the air environment for the execution of, or defense of, the amphibious assault permeated the air operations of the South Atlantic War. These lessons can reasonably be applied to both the U.S. and China in the South China Sea. The U.S. pivot to the Pacific has placed greater emphasis on the region and demands military professionals reevaluate historical case studies in the context of the region. The air war over the Falklands provides several compelling lessons that remain relevant today particularly in a potential China-U.S. conflict in the South China Sea.


Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]