Re: SkippyBing Remember battlecrusiers?
"....I was thinking more of the basic employment of the fighter, which the RAF had to relearn during the Battle of Britain having come up with a range of frankly barking tactics during the 20s and 30s....." Again, wrong. The Fighting Area attack tactics had been designed as part of the RAF's groundbreaking interceptor premise - in the requirement F.9/26 of 1926 the RAF were the first airforce to envision a fast-climbing fighter under ground control, courtesy of radio, as the means of intercepting unescorted bombers, rather than the wasteful practice of fighter patrols. The British built the best aerial defence system of its day, especially when the integrated control and observer system had radar added to it, but it was designed for attacking unescorted bombers. The problem was no-one anticipated that the Frogs would fold faster than week-old lettuce and let the Germans put fighter bases within escorting range of the UK mainland, so interceptor tactics were still designed for shooting down bombers. When the German bombers weren't around the RAF still managed to shoot down plenty of German fighters because the RAF pilots still practiced plenty of dogfighting. Indeed, historians have sifted the records and put the BoB score as 1,887 German aircraft destroyed for 1,547 RAF aircraft (including RAF bombers), so it looks like the RAF did better, despite the Area Attack tactics. You should try reading beyond the headlines.
"......So yes, they had to relearn basic fighter manoeuvre , hence Top Gun and the USAF Aggressor program....." Headlines again. The USAF's F-100 Super Sabres had no problems dogfighting MiGs (scored 3-0 in the first USAF engagement with MiGs) because they had plenty of practice, it was only the Phantom jocks whose training had neglected dogfighting. The USAF had not "forgotten" dogfighting, they simply had not trained all their pilots thoroughly in it. Similarly, the USN's F-8 Crusader jocks had no problems, having the best kill ratio of any Yank fighter in the War (19:3). The only US pilots that needed retraining were the F-4 interceptor pilots that had been trained intensively on SAR Sparrow missile intercepts. A lot of the fuss around Top Gun is marketing as it is used as a revenue generator by the USN selling training to foreign airforces, just as the RAF sells their training program.
".....Thanks I did wonder what all that equipment hanging of the front of my helicopter was for.....". Ah, a slow-moving groundhugging blenderdriver, no wonder you got it wrong.
".....As I said, the basics are the same it's the speed and range that's increased, including the detection range....." Still very, very wrong. The WW1 pilot had to relie on the Eyeball Mk1, and had only very limited communication with even his wingman (hand signals only) and virtually none with the ground (AA pointer shells at best). When he engaged he usually fired a single or pair of rifle-calibre machineguns at 50-100m. The F-15s over Iraq sometimes never even saw the Iraqi MiGs they shot down. Now imagine a pilotless drone, guided into position by a remote AWACs, not having to do any tight turning because it can pop a target with an AMRAAM over the horizon in cloud in the middle of the night. The ability to dash into the target zone at Mach 6 will only lessen the chances of the enemy even being able to think of avoiding the drone. Bit of a change since WW1.
".....Going back to the US kills in Vietnam, they may have claimed ~200 kills but they did lose almost 10 times that....." The majority of US aircraft lost in Vietnam were to SAMs, AAA and ground fire. Even with the initial problems of being trained primarily for missile intercept, and with the constraint of no BVR engagements, the Phantom still managed a 3:1 kill ratio in air combat over Vietnam (and that includes bomb-laden F-4s jumped by MiGs). The Israelis managed between 5:1 and 15:1 with Phantoms throughout their use as a frontline fighter, but mainly because they had a much more favourable tactical environment and also because they did not have any BVR restrictions. See how a little research before tryping helps?