Military Aviation > Air Power



hello:) what i s being taught in the Top Gun academy?
our squadron flew lots of times with american planes and I was always interested in what is taught in that academy but the pilots didn't give ( or they did not wanted to give me ) normal answers...enlight me with your knowledge:)

F-111 C/C:
TOPGUN was designed to school the US Navy's fighter pilots in air combat since that 'skill' had gone away with the advent of air-to-air missiles. Pilots were relying on missiles instead of air combat tactics and had lost the skill of dogfighting. This proved very evident in the losses during Vietnam. In fact fighter planes were being developed without guns! So the Navy started TOPGUN and their courses include ACM (air combat manuevering) and DACT (dissimilar aircraft combat training) where they fly against "adversaries" using different aircraft and tactics (A-4s and F-5s were used extensively as the 'bad guys' but since have been replaced with F-16Ns and they were using ex-IAF KFIRs now called F-21s but I'm not sure if they are still using them). USAF has similar training in their Red Flag excercises. Here's a good site that has more info:

I don't have any details at hand. Top Gun academy makes experienced pilots into Training Officers and giving them latest tactical doctrine to bring back to the operational squadron. Now including air-to-ground training too. They also teach the Air Intercept Controllers. And they give pre-deployment training, updating the crews with the latest threat intel.

The F-21s were retired a long time ago and actually they were USMC and not used for USN Top Gun at the time but for USMC BFM and advanced courses. The US Kfirs you might still see are owned by a company that provides threat simulation on contract, being the enemy on ACMI ranges or in naval exercises. The USN and USMC still operate the F-5 with their aggressor squadrons, they are used for BFM (basic fighter maneuvres) and  Integrated and Advanced Training Phases exercises. Top Gun trains these instructors as well as providing the academics for the large-scale exercises. The agressors used for the Top Gun course are nowadays F/A-18A Hornets, the F-16Ns were phased out. They also used F-14s for a while. The non-delivered Pakistani F-16A/B were taken on, but a few years ago the USN was told to return them when the embargo was lifted. Pakistan did get second-hand F-16s, but the USN was reluctant to give up their F-16s, so I am not sure what happened. Anyway, Hornet is the principle aircraft now.

And yeah, there's lots of sites, I always wonder about the up-to-dateness though.

F-111 C/C:
Thanks webmaster. I guess I've 'out of the game' too long.


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