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Geary

A2A Missile Use in Vietnam ?

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I have a couple of questions regarding A2A missiles in Vietnam I'm hoping those of you with more knowledge can help me answer.  My limited research hasn't turned up much and much of what I found was contradictory or didn't come close to answering these questions.

 

1.  I've seen a few references to MiG-17s carrying A2A missiles in Vietnam, but by default this game doesn't allow for those in SF2V.  I surmise the North Vietnamese Air Force didn't have the resources in missile quantity that the US/Allied forces had.  And the problem with adding missiles to the MiG-17 is that they are almost always there.  Don't know how realistic that is.  And if they did carry them, which MiG-17 models carried them?

 

2.  While flying a couple of missions in other planes, I've come across A-4s carrying just A2A missiles.  I didn't check the mission parameters in the mission editor so I lost the opportunity to check what their missions were.  The game allows them CAP as secondary missions in their data.ini files.  Did A-4s carry A2A in Vietnam?  And if so, about how often?

 

 

TIA,

 

 

Geary

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MiG-17s with AA-2s - I dont have anything conclusive on that - Yefim Gordons book mentions MiG-17Fs used them from 68 - but a better source only has cannon kills and no mention of Atolls being used (even the last kill in 1972 was cannons only) and there are no photos from operational bases in Nam carrying them. Add to the potential confusion between the J-6s that arrived in 71.

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I remember in the Gun Kills of Vietnam episode of Dogfights that the Navy Skyraider pilot they were interviewing described being fired on by AAM's as his first indication that Mig's were in the area before visually sighting Mig-17's. It was implied but not stated that they were the one that launched the missiles.  

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MiG-17 did not carry R-3S missiles, and only a late version PF which carried RS1-US (AA-1) but this version never went out to export. Same for MiG-19PF. They had a testbed aircraft (or two) to test the R-3S (K-13) but not serial aircraft. MiG-17 was used exclusively with cannon, R-3S was carrier by MiG-21 variants.

 

HOWEVER, MiG-19 (J-6) chinese version could carry the R-3S missile, but it was a late variant. Some even had both radar AND cannon armament.

 

Osprey book about the MiG-17 units in Vietnam is a 100% reliable source, if you have it.


I remember in the Gun Kills of Vietnam episode of Dogfights that the Navy Skyraider pilot they were interviewing described being fired on by AAM's as his first indication that Mig's were in the area before visually sighting Mig-17's. It was implied but not stated that they were the one that launched the missiles.  

 

They used MiG-17 and MiG-21 in cooperation... 17s were usually bait, or low level harassing unit.. MiG-21s attacked with radars off from behind and from altitude.

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The minimum launch speed of the R-3S missile (Atoll) was relativly high, so that the MiG-17 would have been able to use this missile only at a very small part of their flight envelope.

If i remember correctly the minimum launch speed at low level was around 700 - 750 km/h (kph). In the most dogfights the MiG-17 was much slower and under this conditions the missile would not hit the target.

Thatswhy the MiG-17F was not armed with Atoll missiles. It would have been a waste.

Edited by Gepard

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I remember in the Gun Kills of Vietnam episode of Dogfights that the Navy Skyraider pilot they were interviewing described being fired on by AAM's as his first indication that Mig's were in the area before visually sighting Mig-17's. It was implied but not stated that they were the one that launched the missiles.  

 

I have the series - but you have to wonder whether they were drop tanks coming down (Besides there being a MiG-21 about) - because firing down at that altitude with those missiles surely would be futile against ground radiation.

 

Typically the encounter is in the US Navy A-1 Units Skyraider book with accounts from Greathouse and Hartman - but they don't mention the missiles. 

 

But of course if it was a MiG-21 - then the first operational MiG-21F-13s were not supposed to be up until Feb 66 (this was June 65, 90 miles south of Hanoi)

 

Johnson says they look like SAMs in Dogfights - they most likely could have been.

Edited by MigBuster

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Duke Cunningham reported once encountering a MiG-17 armed with Atolls.

 

 

I wonder what year that was because his kills are all 1972 - which is when J-6s were about so anecdotal evidence could have got them confused. There is a NV photo of a J-6 in the Osprey book with an AA-2 launch rail at least!

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I have the Dogfight series, too and as much as I love watching them, I have noticed their narration and video don't always coincide and sometimes make no sense at all.

 

Guess for the time being I'll leave the A2A off the MiG-17s.  Besides I have them on in my What-If Vietnam 1957 and Korea 1957 installs.

 

Thanks for the help on the MiG-17s.

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I have the Dogfight series, too and as much as I love watching them, I have noticed their narration and video don't always coincide and sometimes make no sense at all.

 

Guess for the time being I'll leave the A2A off the MiG-17s.  Besides I have them on in my What-If Vietnam 1957 and Korea 1957 installs.

 

Thanks for the help on the MiG-17s.

 

Yeah go with whatever - TK uses the osprey books - hence no missiles

 

Although you get a good graphical representation with Dogfights - you have to say its unlikely to be the exact object placement from a pilots memory in the heat of battle under stress. I've no doubt that Clint Johnson saw objects at some point - and the Dogfights pilot narration normally adds up for me................but anyway

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But it needs to be mentioned, they used non guided rocket pods also, in A2A.... ORO or UB-16 maybe? and those could be placed on MiG-17 aswell. Can remember when, but in the early years I think.

Edited by Snailman

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Duke Cunningham also hunted down and slayed the infamous Col. Tomb..........

 

NO MiG-17s in Vietnam with Atolls.

 

Only MiG-17 version ever operationally fitted with Atolls was the Cuban MiG-17AS.

 

End of transmission.

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Duke Cunningham also hunted down and slayed the infamous Col. Tomb..........

 

 

 

Good point - would need to check but I think Dogfights mentions Colonel Tomb - but to be fare to it - it was before Istvan Toperczer went over to Vietnam and got the records and actual pilot names.

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Dogfights mentions Col. Tomb because Duke mentioned Col. Tomb. There is also evidence that Duke was actually shot down by a MiG-21.  Instead of the SA-2 that was officially "reported." It would be bad USN PR to have the first Ace shot down during his Ace making engagement. If the truth is, that Duke and Willy had a hell of a fight with three MiG-17s and eventually got popped by a MiG-21 how would that be a bad thing? Instead the Navy invented the fact that their Ace killed "The Infamous Col. Tomb" then was hit by a SAM. Propaganda at it's finest. Istvan is a hell of a researcher and his work is invaluable.

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Dogfights mentions Col. Tomb because Duke mentioned Col. Tomb. There is also evidence that Duke was actually shot down by a MiG-21.  Instead of the SA-2 that was officially "reported." It would be bad USN PR to have the first Ace shot down during his Ace making engagement. If the truth is, that Duke and Willy had a hell of a fight with three MiG-17s and eventually got popped by a MiG-21 how would that be a bad thing? Instead the Navy invented the fact that their Ace killed "The Infamous Col. Tomb" then was hit by a SAM. Propaganda at it's finest. Istvan is a hell of a researcher and his work is invaluable.

excellent point-a lot of reality here. There are Navy pilots in the area who agree that Duke because their RWR gear did not indicate a SAM site in the area. Whether "colonel Tomb or Toon" actually existed as a single person is a hot topic. "Scream of Eagles" does a good job of describing this as does "One Day in a Long War."

Edited by turkeydriver

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It was a general "habit" in those years to report R-3S missile kills as SAM or AAA hits. As you see in Pista Toperczer's book, the VPAF missile kills were almost always misreported.. I can't believe they did not realize the existence of AAMs for such a long time.. I guess it was intentional, but why.

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The notion that they where being "hunted by the VPAF" is probably the stupidest thing I have ever heard. The authors must be drinking the "Duke Kool-aid." The VPAF had no idea who these guys where. They where not on some reign of terror against the VPAF. Why did Steve Ritchie not have bounty? That is really silly. You don't single out one jet, that you cannot even ID the occupants of anyway, on a flak suppression mission and send your entire airforce after it. OMG. That is just plain stupid. Let me clarify that the source is making a stupid statement not you Turkeydriver. So don't get POed at me.

 

Snail, reason is an AAM kill equals air to air victory for the enemy. Which means bad press.

Edited by CrazyhorseB34

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What ever dude. They did not know Randy Cunningham from Richie Cunningham. The whole "bounty on my head" thesis is an age old way to make war stories sound better. The VPAF were way too busy on 10 MAY 72 to voice analyse the hundreds of jets and callsigns in the air that day. Besides he had only shot down two jets months before that. There where a lot of guys in theater hotter than that that day. (Bob Lodge comes to mind, and there is no evidence that he was hunted. In fact the dumbass that shot him down crashed his jet on landing and died.) I explicitly made it clear that I was not discrediting you, but discrediting your source. Uncalled for my ass. Show me proof, other than Department of the Navy propaganda books. Show me the interview with the VPAF voice expert who can tell a Missouri accent from an Idaho accent. KOOL AID! He was lucky enough to be the right person at the right time when the Navy needed a hero. The engagement on 10 MAY 72 was enough for him to go down in history without the bullshit Col. Tomb story and the "phantom SAM" hit. The moral of the story is.... The first casualty of war is the truth. You are an adult. You should know better.

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Snail, reason is an AAM kill equals air to air victory for the enemy. Which means bad press.

 

Sure, but you have to consider that pilots often really did not know what hit them or their comrades. When a GCI guided, supersonic MiG-21 closes in from the ground, fires its IR missiles and heads back to the ground clutter, there is the chance that it never was spotted or detected. The US pilots then must have concluded it was a SAM.

Of course, they as much as their superiors liked the notion better being shot by SAM, rather than by one of the dreadfully outnumbered MiGs.

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Snail, reason is an AAM kill equals air to air victory for the enemy. Which means bad press.

 

Sure, but you have to consider that pilots often really did not know what hit them or their comrades. When a GCI guided, supersonic MiG-21 closes in from the ground, fires its IR missiles and heads back to the ground clutter, there is the chance that it never was spotted or detected. The US pilots then must have concluded it was a SAM.

Of course, they as much as their superiors liked the notion better being shot by SAM, rather than by one of the dreadfully outnumbered MiGs.

 

Well said Gents... I agree 100%. 

 

On the margin of Atoll missiles, I'm a bit frustrated how hard to get at least historical results with it ingame... I tried a lot of things. Basic problem is that the target almost always spots the incoming missile and even the slightest maneuver guarantees a miss for you... (basically all Rear60 missiles are next to useless because of this)

So a nice double kill with both Atolls (descibed in the Osprey book) is completely impossible(

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Sure, but you have to consider that pilots often really did not know what hit them or their comrades. When a GCI guided, supersonic MiG-21 closes in from the ground, fires its IR missiles and heads back to the ground clutter, there is the chance that it never was spotted or detected. The US pilots then must have concluded it was a SAM.

Of course, they as much as their superiors liked the notion better being shot by SAM, rather than by one of the dreadfully outnumbered MiGs.

Exactly.

 

The whole bounty-stuff is pure BS. It doesn't make the least amout of sense to spend pointless effort into killing an individual (who might get killed anway, once his/ her luck runs out - there's thousands of examples of just that happening to "aces"), while letting down the cover of other valuable parts of one's infrastructure/ defenses.

 

On topic: There probably was the odd A-4 with Sidewinders over Vietnam. Pretty much depends on myriads of factors (mission, availability of escort-fighters, weather, enemy forces, etc). It was not a common load-out, though. Missiles were generally "uncool" with the crews, as you couldn't drop them on secondary targets/ targets of opportunity - which was especially painful with Shrikes! Missiles compromised the amount of fuel brought back to the ship - especially with the later (heavier) Skyhawks: Their max- trap-weight was unchanged since the early versions, while the empty-weight increased all the time a new version was produced (a reason why the A-4M would almost never deploy from a carrier - mission aside!).

Edited by Toryu

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