Yhea... In my current game I've found air units to be much more useful, though I still do have problems with some of the ranges in the unit database... Some fighters that should be much more capable of stand-off ground support (without using manufactured missiles) have ranges that force them to take ground fire (for instance, if anyone can explain to my why the F-35A has a smaller soft/hard attack range than the F-35B or C then I'd like to hear it... It's not like they even use different munitions...).
It'd require new features being added to the game, but I'd also love it if some air units had the ability to conduct SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defences) missions, preferably connected to a few SEAD technologies. These units would target only AA units, engaging them at range (perhaps a different range than the soft or hard attack). This could represent the ability to launch munitions like the AGM-88 HARM, which has a range of 90+ km. This is particularly crucial for fighters whose soft/hard attack range seems to be based on the range of ATG missiles like the AGM-65 which, due to their guidance being an IR seeker, have a range of less than 30km. That way you could knock out long-range air defense units at range without getting your air force slaughtered (which is exactly what would happen in both the game and IRL if you tried to knock out a modern nation's air defenses with IR ATG missiles...).
We should be able to suppress/destroy AA units from long range, then let the other fighters swoop in and kill some tanks from a smaller range.
It'd be super cool if we made it akin to an "escort" mission, so that you select a SEAD mission, then select a friendly fighter to SEAD for
. That way if fighter squadron B is doing an air patrol near the front lines, fighter squadron A would hang out nearby, ready to pounce on any AA that shoots at fighter squadron B...