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Fighter Tactics, Old and New

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  • Fighter Tactics, Old and New

    I've been thinking lately about how air combat has evolved since the time someone first strapped a gun to the nose of a biplane to today, with AMRAAMs and 30mm death guns in the hull of modern fighters. I was wondering: How relevant is energy fighting in today's dogfights? Pretty much all modern jet fighters / interceptors have comparable engines, that is, they're ridiculously powerful. 2,000 feet of altitude advantage doesn't seem like much when you're in something like a super hornet that can leap that distance in seconds, vs prop fighters of old that would need to pull out of a steep climb to match that rate. Plus there's the fact that you probably won't see much of the enemy up close if they stick you with a missile from multiple miles away...

    Anyone know?

  • #2
    Re: Fighter Tactics, Old and New

    Considering the upgrading of existing planes (the F15 in the US for instance) and looking at new planes (the various reports of the F35 losing to gen. 3 & 4 jets in dogfights), I believe you're right in the belief that speed and agility improvements are becoming less and less relevant, while EW and improvements of stealth (cap-)abilities are becoming more and more important. No need to outmaneuver/outrun the enemy, if they can't see/find you in the first place.

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    • #3
      Re: Fighter Tactics, Old and New

      I think it's a tactic that should not be forgotten. I forget when, but during a Red Flag exercise the Indian Air Force's MiG-21Bison's jammer (Israeli made) was so powerful, it completely voided the F-15Cs BVR advantage. That's a 1970s fighter with a quick upgrade that brought a modern Gen 4 fighter down to its level. I would compare that situation to the Vietnam War when pilots heavily relied on what they found out were unreliable missiles (which have also vastly advanced).

      Now I know in DCS the jammers aren't quite up to real life standards, but I can see them getting there eventually. It's most certainly a skill that should be retained.

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