The force maintaining the aerial blockade may be deployed at a distance determined by military requirements.
- There has always been general agreement that, when judging the effectiveness of an aerial blockade (whether naval or aerial), technological developments are to be taken into account. In view of the evolution of modern weapons, surveillance and communications technology, it is no longer necessary for the Blockading force to be deployed in close vicinity to the blockaded area. The traditional concept of “close blockade” has been replaced by the concept of “long-distance blockade”. Therefore, the Blockading force may be deployed at a distance beyond the range of the enemy’s coastal or other defence systems.
- If the aerial blockade is enforced by military aircraft, the aircraft in question will usually be deployed at some distance (e.g., on aircraft carriers, or on the ground in a safe area). This is not necessarily prejudicial to the effectiveness of the aerial blockade, provided that the conditions of Rule 151 and Rule 154 are complied with. The test of an effective aerial blockade is not the distance of the Blockading force from the blockaded area, but whether there is a reasonable risk that access to and exit from the blockaded area will in fact be prevented. This will be the case if the Blockading Party is in a position to detect an attempted breach of the aerial blockade (e.g., by long-range surveillance, including UAVs) and to react by communicating the relevant information (in real time) to the forces entrusted with the enforcement of the aerial blockade which, for their part, must be capable of reaching the aircraft engaged in a breach in due time. Hence, even long-distance aerial blockades covering a considerable area will remain effective if the Blockading force disposes of the necessary means of surveillance, communication and force projection.
Categories: Section V: Aerial Blockade