1. How it is now For a player-used AA to be a deterrent is not enough, and an erroneous approach at its core. So let's assume a player, codename "Joey", noticed enemy air. He decided to be a great guy and pull AA. Then he proceeded to deter enemy air. Let's say Joey succeeded: he forced enemy air to leave. Happily, Joey switches back to ground gear. One minute later enemy air returns just to blow the Joey up. Distressed, Joey pulls AA again, and deters air again. Joey is smarter now. He waits a couple of minutes for enemy air to return. Then another couple of minutes. Short while later Joey realizes he just wasted 15 minutes of his game time doing nothing useful or interesting, just waiting for enemy air to show up. If Joey abandons his AA deterrent duties, he's taking a risk that enemy air will return to make his life miserable again. If Joey remains on standby and patiently awaits for enemy air to return, he's taking a risk that enemy air won't return, and he'll waste his time. If AA is to be a deterrent only, then it requires that a player has always AA on stand by. Even if we would imagine a theoretical situation, where players would receive exp just for sitting in AA turret and waiting for enemy air to show up, this activity would still be boring and poor gaming experience. 2. Stronger AA solves the problem? So far we've established that using a deterrent for players isn't fun, and an ineffective way to both combat air and spend time. What if players could have stronger, more reliable air-killer equipment? Nobody likes pulling a Skygaurd just so he can make enemy air leave, to return a minute later and blow up everything. Or not return. If Joey could pull AA to kill enemy aircraft, he could rest easy, as he would know for certain, that at least this aircraft won't return any time soon. However, if AA was that strong, that would make life of air pilots as much as miserable as they're making lives of ground troops. While I think that stronger, reliable air-killers would've solved the problem for us ground troops, I don't think that entirely invalidating air game is the right way to go. We must consider other options. 3. What other options then? One possible solution is to make AA equipment refundable. So if Joey pulled a Skyguard and deterred enemy air, he can drive it to any vehicle pad and deconstruct it and get a refund on acquisition timer and resources spent. That solves part of the problem - where Joey pulls AA equipment just to find themselves with nothing to do five minutes later. But the other part of the problem remains: Joey has to remain on standby to prevent further air attacks. Sitting around and doing nothing is not kind of experience players look for in FPS. What if the task of being on standby was deferred to "artificial intelligence"? 4. Possibilities for AI-controlled AA 1. Engineer-constructed unmanned flak turrets, that automatically fire on enemy aircraft within certain range. These could require an occasional resupply of ammo, have or not have a restriction to one deployed turret at the time, many possibilities for tweaking. The main function of these turrets is to be a always-on-standby air deterrent. By themselves they aren't enough to do serious damage, but strengthen the player controlled AA just enough to become a serious threat to enemy air. 2. Additional AI in usual Phalanx flak turrets. When player isn't using one of the turrets, it automatically defers the control to AI. It's not as accurate as some of the better shooters, and has limited range, but, again, enough to convince enemy air to leave.