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Point-defence (or point-defense; see spelling differences) is the defence of a single object or a limited area, e.g. a ship, building or an airfield, now usually against air attacks and guided missiles. Point-defence weapons have a smaller range in contrast to area-defence systems and are placed near or on the object to be protected.

Point-defence may include:

  • short-ranged interceptor aircraft
  • Close-in weapon systems on ships
  • land-based short-ranged anti-aircraft guns or surface-to-air missile systems
  • Active protection systems on tanks or other armoured fighting vehicles

Coastal artillery to protect harbours is similar conceptually, but is generally not classified as point-defence. Similarly, passive systems— electronic countermeasures, decoys, chaff, flares, barrage balloons—are not considered point-defence.