Definition of surface-to-air in US English:

surface-to-air

adjective

  • attributive (of a missile) designed to be fired from the ground or a vessel at an aircraft.

    • ‘When we then learned from the local news bulletins that defence systems such as surface-to-air missiles now encircle the city, many residents felt positively unsafe.’
    • ‘Witnesses said the helicopter appeared to have been hit by a surface-to-air missile and exploded on hitting the ground.’
    • ‘A US defence official said the land-based surface-to-air missile was fired from the Crimean region of Ukraine.’
    • ‘The two men are suspected of trying to smuggle into this country shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles designed to shoot down aircraft.’
    • ‘They still have some aircraft hidden and they still have some surface-to-air missiles of relatively short range that are there.’
    • ‘Several companies were showing details of systems that can be installed on civilian aircraft to confuse surface-to-air missiles.’
    • ‘There are stepped-up air patrols, surface-to-air missiles at critical points, and tougher security checks for travelers.’
    • ‘A Western diplomatic source said Nigeria already had a supply of Soviet surface-to-air missiles, but that they were in a poor state of repair.’
    • ‘The US armed them, taught them how to fire surface-to-air missiles and dressed their wounds.’
    • ‘On Saturday, insurgents hit a civilian cargo plane with a surface-to-air missile, but the aircraft landed safely.’
    • ‘Most of his attacks on US and British aircraft, however, come from surface-to-air missile sites on the ground, rather than from his airforce.’
    • ‘Two naturalized U.S. citizens were indicted yesterday in a scheme to smuggle surface-to-air missiles into this country.’
    • ‘The Soviet-made surface-to-air missiles were fired from fields eight miles away.’
    • ‘They also fired both surface-to-air missiles and surface-to-surface missiles.’
    • ‘Well, the vulnerability of commercial aircraft to surface-to-air missiles has been demonstrated.’
    • ‘There was a potential threat from surface-to-air missiles and of attack while on the ground, which required a precise tactical operation.’
    • ‘They stay above 5,000 feet, to avoid the threat of shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles and small arms fire.’
    • ‘The Americans claimed they had destroyed surface-to-air missile batteries and levelled terrorist training facilities around the city.’
    • ‘To fire a surface-to-air missile, it takes a little bit of expertise.’
    • ‘The same day, a shoulder-launched, surface-to-air missile was fired at a US aircraft, but missed.’

Pronunciation

surface-to-air

/ˈˌsərfəs tə ˈɛ(ə)r//ˈˌsərfəs tə ˈe(ə)r/