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Are Dogfights Over?

Posted by Jolly on December 12, 2011


Is the day of the dogfight over?  The picture above is a great shot of an ACM
engagement between F-14s and F-16s with words "Train As You Fight" burned into the photo.  That's what we've always done the past, trained as we fight and fight as we trained.  Now, UAVs can shoot down aircraft with Beyond Visual Range (BVR) weapons and F-22s have the ability to call "Fox 3, BFM this bitch."  Maybe the dogfight is a thing of the past?fox3.jpg

The argument always comes up as we move from one generation of fighter to the next.  It's an argument as old as the Fighter itself.  We thought the day of the dogfight was over in Vietnam, so a gun was not added to the F-4 Phantom in the original design.  We were wrong.  Some of our "visionaries" think there is no need to jump in the phone booth with a MiG and conduct mortal combat with a gun.  They're wrong too.  The Gun has always been the most reliable weapon on any fighter.  It's got no minimum range, can't be defeated electronically, and is a blast to employ! 

This video is a great clip featuring interviews with Boots Blesse and Robin Olds.  I don't know who the Elmer Fud sounding dude is in the front end.  He does make some good points but he needs to stick to hunting wabits and leave the flying of fighters to guys like Boots and Robin.  It's the same old lessons learned from our military planners in the past, just different players and airplane designs.  The fighter pilots planning and writing requirements for the F-22 and F-35 had to fight to keep the gun on both jets.  Go figure, we never seem to learn from history and hope that technology will save our bacon in the next war.

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Posted by Jolly on
This from P38 Bob:

If you want to live to fight another day they are
Posted by RonMoore on
This is the most basic truth of fighter tactics: when someone's genius develops game changing technology (radar, IR, EO, Stealth), every dumb ass fighter pilot's job is to find a way to get inside it, gather up their "invisible" aircraft in a phone booth and stomp them like grapes. When your rules of how the war will go (press the wish you were dead button at 100 miles and head home to the bar) are impacted by the fog of war, your magic in the bay of your magic F-22 ain't gonna be worth a shit against that gomer who's in gun range and parked at your 6. There has never been and will never be, an invincible weapon or weapon system.
Want a glimpse of the future? Look at the past. Never, ever, leave home without a hot gun and the proven ability to use it. If you want to live to fight another day, you damn well better know how to win the fight you didnt choose but have to win to survive.
Posted by DuckPerry on
"your magic F-22 ain't gonna be worth a shit against that gomer who's in gun range and parked at your 6".

This becomes an interesting statement w/the F-22. We 'old farts' assume that 1. Our plane must be (realively) pointed at the bandit to shoot at it.
2. Missile don't shoot behind us/backwards. NOT as valid assumtion anymore.

The ole quip: "A MIG at 6 is better than no MIG at all" brings on a whole new meaning w/5th gen fighters.
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