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Found 55 results

  1. Never in the field of Human conflict have so many hampered, limited and controlled so few as in the air campaign in North Vietnam. (Churchill + HW Baldwin) Note - These articles are a compacted summary of a rather large topic and cannot include every detail. The Muppet Show that was Lyndon B Johnson, Robert McNamara, and friends demonstrating how they didn’t have a clue when running Rolling Thunder from the White House was certainly almost criminal if not treasonous. However, the lack of understanding didn’t stop there because the SAC dominated US Air Force was also trying to run things from afar leading to some very strange policy decisions for those in the field. Air to Air Training in Vietnam To fight and use guns A-A you need to be trained in the first place, if you wish to become experienced that is. If you remember the pilot comments from Part 1 you may have noticed the ones from the USAF seemed to include comments regarding poor training and back seat drivers……. USAF training Not wanting to fight a long war with the same group of pilots the USAF set up a policy that would rotate the available pilots. USAF policy was thus to fly a tour which was 1 year in South Vietnam, or 100 missions over North Vietnam. Unfortunately, the war went on longer than expected and basically, the USAF had problems getting enough pilots to fill the roles. One great way [or not] around this was to lower standards and send through pilots that may have been washed out pre-war. Part of policy was to produce “universal pilots” that could in theory fly any aircraft, so yes transport pilots who perhaps never had the aptitude to fly fighters now transitioning to fighters and being sent to Vietnam. The Replacement Training Units (RTUs) produced pilots poorly trained in A-A because of the USAFs corporate beliefs that ACM among inexperienced pilots would lead to accidents. USAF culture at the time was obsessed with flying safety. [Dying in combat due to lack of basic training was not on the Health & Safety spreadsheet perhaps!] Another problem was the time it took to train A-A didn’t quite fit in with the time they wanted to spend training a pilot before sending them into combat (fixed at 6 months at one point). By 1967, 200 pilots a month were entering training, however the quality had deteriorated to a point where they were having problems completing the landing/take off part let alone the rest! To add to the mess the USAF had too many Navigators and not enough Pilots. So, what did they do? That’s right they started sticking 2 pilots in each F-4 as policy. The ‘genius’ idea being that the pilot in the back would learn the systems then move to the front seat. In reality it seems the pilot in the back was a waste of a pilot that was not trained properly or interested in learning the radar systems. This and other factors lead to the two-man crew being anything but an effective team in combat!! F-4s and F-105s around a KC-135 (USAF) US Navy Training Unlike the USAF the USN couldn’t lower the bar /standards to get more pilots because they had to be able to land on a carrier, and it was decided early whether they were fighter or heavy. Because of this USN pilot tours were typically longer than USAF ones (over 100 missions up North) and pilots would fly 2 combat cruises every 14 months by policy from 1967 to ensure there was some rest period. Unlike the USAF, the Navy used highly trained, and dedicated RIOs (Radar Intercept Officers) in the back seat, that funnily enough worked a lot better. F-4Bs from VF-111 Sundowners (US Navy) How Rolling Thunder changed air to air training (or not) USAF Decided the poor performance during Rolling Thunder was more related to technical issues, and actually reduced air-to-air training after 1968 if you could believe something so ridiculous [the 2 pilot F-4 policy was at least rescinded!]. Although it was recognised by most it needed to change urgently, the internal politics and policies meant that was not happening. Real change only happened after 1972 with the change in high level staff and attitudes leading to the creation of programs like Red Flag. F-4C-23-MC 1966 (USAF) US Navy After the dismal F-4 air-to-air results the USN decided its F-4 pilots had not been adequately trained properly. Being ‘fleet defense’, training was based on using missiles and they had even abolished the Fleet Air Gunnery Unit in that time. Thus, air-to-air combat skills had deteriorated. [note: this didn’t apply to the well-trained F-8 crews of course that had far better results] This lead in 1969 to the creation of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) to get the Navy F-4 crews back to speed. The Navy also improved the technical side - they didn’t have ‘Combat Tree’, but had significantly better AIM-9 versions such as the D/G/H. F-4J from VF-114 (US Navy) How did the different attitudes to training work out for the USAF? During Linebacker 1 & 2 the US Navy kill ratio against MiGs was 6-1 and the USAFs was 2-1 however the kill ratios don’t include all the factors e.g. USAF F-4D/Es had Combat Tree, flew different Route Packs etc. So, to illustrate how inept USAF training really was at the end of US involvement in the war. In August / Sept 1972 a group of USN F-8 pilots spent a few weeks at Udorn RTAFB flying A-A training (or DACT) against USAF F-4 crews of the premier USAF MiG killing wing. The well-trained F-8 pilots [who had been used to dueling with USN F-4 Top Gun pilots] embarrassed the USAF F-4 crews, and were appalled at the tactics, training and lack of skill from a supposed A-A unit. An F-8 pilot said,” The contest between the F-4 and F-8s was so uneven at first we were ashamed by the disparity. The sight that remains in my mind is a chilling one for any number of MiG pilots must have identical views. The pitiful sight of four super fighters [USAF F-4s] in front of you all tucked in finger four, pulling a level turn. An atoll fired anywhere in parameters would be the proverbial mosquito in a nudist colony and wouldn’t know where to begin.” (Clashes by ex USAF F-4 veteran Michel III) The USN F-8 pilots felt the USAF crews needed basic instruction, not just training missions! Also consider that some of the USAF pilots were instructors or graduates of the USAF Fighter Weapons School, that was still preaching obsolete useless tactics and was resistant to change. This only confirmed what the USAF pilots already knew (they were so far behind). The USN report when sent to PACAF was dismissed by some as inter-service bias it seems. This next account sums things up perfectly: In 1974 the Air Force reassigned me from an overseas assignment in England to Nellis. When I arrived, I had over 1,200 hours in the F–4, including 365 combat hours. I had never flown a dissimilar air combat sortie(DACT). I had never carried a training AIM–9 and had not even seen one since my combat tour four years earlier. I had never used a gun camera. The only tactical formation I had flown was Fluid Four/Fighting Wing. I had never intercepted a target at low altitude. In other words, I was a typical F–4 pilot with a combat tour. (CR Anderegg - who went on to fly the vastly superior F-15 along with some actual A-A training!) F-4Bs of VF-114 (US Navy) The not so mysterious case of the VPAF Aces The first batch of VPAF (Vietnamese Peoples Air Force) pilots were sent in 1956 to China and were being trained on MiG-17s by 1960 in both China but primarily in the Soviet Union. The MiG-17 had no missiles initially and thus air combat employing guns had to be taught, so training included things like dogfighting. Drop outs were high with only around 20% of the pilots passing by the mid-1960s (the rest becoming ground technicians). This was lower than other Soviet ally nation pilots who typically had a better baseline education and had often already flown aircraft. [some of the Vietnamese had literally never seen an aircraft before] Over North Vietnam the MiGs became part of an Integrated Air Defence system (IADS) and had to fit around the AAA and later SAM defenses flying in restricted areas and altitudes and often tied to the GCI (Ground Control Intercept) stations. The VPAF were also consistently changing tactics that the pilots had to adapt to. However, the MiG pilots mostly had only one primary role and that was air-to- air combat. Being outnumbered but often having better situational awareness they often fought ambush “hit and run” tactics in small numbers. [this was smart!] What we can deduce is: They didn’t fly a 100-mission tour then go home, they had to fight until death. Fighting for their home land probably meant motivation and dedication were not an issue. [Unlike the US, the VPAF were fighting a ‘total war’] If they were shot down and survived then they were still on home turf. With the experience and training some of these pilots were no doubt very skilled flyers. So, for example out of 18 VPAF MiG-21 pilots given official Ace status, 16 of them were shot down and some of them were shot down 3 times! MiG-21MF Fishbed with AA-1s and AA-2s (Wikipedia) Let’s do the myth and mystery of Colonel Tomb Prior to better information the ‘13 kill ace, Colonel Tomb’ was apparently shot down and killed on 10 May 1972 in a famous (and very close) 1 v 1 MiG-17F v F-4J dogfight against US Navy Top Gun Graduates Randy Cunningham/Willie Driscoll. Willie Driscoll in a 2018 podcast describes how capable he thought the pilot was. [but still also thinks he had 13 kills to his name]. Showtime 100 downs a MiG-17 (dogfighthistory.be) In 2007 A document called On Watch was declassified and released by Freedom of Information by the National Security Agency (NSA). In the section “Comrade Toon Flies the unfriendly skies”, it seems that NSA SIGINT analysts were able to unlock the MiG pilots callsign system and had identified an ace who flew out of Phuc Yen called “Toon”. Head of the Seventh Air Force General Momyer wanted him out of the skies and it is said became obsessed with getting rid of him. It states: “The SIGINT detachment alerted Momyer’s HQ whenever Toon was scheduled to fly a mission, and Momyer would send his planes aloft to hunt down the Red Baron of North Vietnam.” It seems that Toon was quite adept at avoiding these aircraft and one dark night [no date] after taking off from Vinh (South NVN) in a MiG-21 and avoiding the US fighters he intercepted a flight of B-52s and fired 2 missiles. One failed but the other lodged into the wing of a B-52 and didn’t detonate. Despite this the B-52s, following standard procedure ditched their ordnance and so he had a mission kill anyway. It states they were never able to catch him (or perhaps it meant "them" ?). Trying to match this up...........In 1971 MiG-21 Ace Dinh Ton appears to be the only Ace [6 claims / 4 match up] involved in intercepting B-52s from South NVN. On the 4th October he took off from Dong Hoi (near Vinh), but was unable to fire on the B-52s because of the Escorting F-4s. On the 20th November Hoang Bieu took off from Vinh [MiG-21] as a diversion and another pilot (Vu Dinh Rang) was able to fire two R-3S Atolls [from his MiG-21] at a B-52 and one of the missiles hit and damaged the bomber. This was the first successful intercept of a B-52 according to the VPAF [ USAFs "War Above The Clouds" does mention a Missile fired from a MiG at B-52s on the 20th November during Commando Hunt VII - causing the mission to be called off ] So, although it looks like there really was an ace called Toon I do wonder if they were able to see everything and not still tracking different pilots. If [big if] the real Toon was Dinh Ton, then he was eventually shot down on 11 Sept 1972 in a MiG-21U by a VMFA-333 F-4J (Lasseter/Cummings) Both Ton and the backseat IP ejected safely. No VPAF pilot claimed more than 9 kills, the 13 number most likely came from VPAF MiGs photographed and sent to the media at the time including May 1968 a photo of MiG-21PFV (4326) with 13 red stars (kills) on its nose and MiG-17 (3020). In reality the 13 kills were the sum of those claimed by several different flyers of that Jet. MiG-17 Fresco (warbirdsresourcegroup.org) So, who did Driscoll / Cunningham shoot down then on the 10th May? Four MiG-17s were scrambled to intercept the raid on the Hai Duong Railway yard that Showtime 100 (Cunningham/Driscoll) was covering. Pilots Do Hang, Tran Van Kiem, Nguyen Van Tho were 923rd regiment MiG-17 pilots hit by missiles on that date but nothing conclusive describing a prolonged 1v1 fight. (Hang and Kiem were both killed) There were J-6s (Chinese MiG-19s) also in combat that day (925th regiment) but over different areas. Only Le Duc Oanh was shot down on the 10th being hit by a missile and ejected (later died of injuries) but not described as a prolonged 1v1 dogfight. Le Van Tuong was the other fatality when he overran the runway and turned over. No MiG-19/J-6s claims were made by the US on the 10th despite one being shot down - they were probably (understandably) misidentified as MiG-17s it seems by US pilots in the heat of combat. Shenyang J-6 / MiG-19S Farmer (vnmilitaria.com) When it comes to A-A guns over Vietnam let us not forget The F-8 Crusader Unlike the USN F-4 pilots the F-8 community was well trained in traditional BFM/ACM from the start and could make use of the 4 cannon in its nose providing they didn’t fire them under high G loading that caused them to Jam! (Leading one pilot to describe the guns as very unreliable under High G loading). This training served them well and by the end of Rolling Thunder the stats would suggest they did well compared to the F-4 units, which of course was replacing the F-8s at that time. Out of the 19 A-A kill claims, 3 were with the gun. F-8E (Seaforces.com) The F-105 Thunderchief In somewhat of a paradox the USAF F-105 had the most encounters over Vietnam with MiGs and racked up about 26 MiG-17 kills (out of 140 gun engagements) with its M61A1 Gatling Gun. Some F-105 pilots had complained of poor A-A training in Red Baron. Jack Broughton described a different community with many old heads from Korea who knew their A-A anyway (considered themselves fighter jocks) and trainees were taught when they came to theatre. Some probable reasons for the gun kills include: The F-105 often didn’t carry AIM-9Bs due to available pylons or sometimes lack of availability. The AIM-9B was inferior to the AIM-9D used by the F-8. The M61A1 was far more reliable than the F-8s (MK-12) guns, only failing in about 12 percent of firing passes Being ‘All Aspect’ the gun was easier to employ over the restrictive AIM-9B envelope. F-105D - king of the Brrrt (Global Aviation Resource) Guns on modern fighters (the F-35A) The last US A-A (manned) gun kill was in Feb 1991 when an A-10A shot down an Iraqi Mi-8 Helicopter. There is also a 1992 video of a FAV F-16A gunning down an OV-10E in a Venezuelan coup. But who cares really because guns have been used in all the low-key wars since then. In fact, jets including the F-14/16/15/18/Harrier have all used guns to strafe enemy personnel and equipment on a very regular basis. So, as we see just in 1963 with the F-4E, the requirement for a gun for Air to Ground is just as strong now as it was then. Let’s look at why the USAF may have put an internal gun on the F-35A, according to a 2007 paper by Colonel Charles Moore who was so adamant the F-35A needed a gun that he writes: Regardless of the opinions of the USMC, USN or (F-35) Joint Program Office, the USAF must not become dismayed or discouraged by the difficulties in achieving the capabilities it has determined it required. Within the air to air and air to ground environments, the gun has proven to be a reliable and irreplaceable weapon. Even if Lockheed [Martin] declares it will not be able to fully meet the requirements and specifications the USAF desires, disallowing requirement relief sends a strong message that the capabilities offered by the gun are not negotiable. Important these are “Arguments For” only (there are probably very valid arguments against) and quite a few things can change in 11 years! His arguments include: On A-A use A-A missiles do not have a 100% PK, especially against advanced adversaries. Its limited missile supply could be exhausted quickly if faced by a significant number of low tech adversaries. The F-35 may not be able to egress from all adversaries based on its slower speeds and may need to stay and fight. When defending other assets, it may need to stand and fight regardless. Gun employment is less reliant on on-board systems working such as radar. All the modern tech in the world cannot protect an aircraft from the oldest weapon in A-A combat [when in range]. The Gun is simple, efficient, effective and always available. On Gun Pods It is seldom known when you will need a gun system so carrying it only when needed is not practical. Risk of RCS (Radar Cross Section) increase. Risk of having performance issues like the previous gun pods e.g. GAU 5 (Pave Claw) or SUU16/23 Additional logistics required. On A-G use Despite being poor in power compared to PGMs and IAMs, the gun will remain after those have been expended and can be used if called upon. This happened many time in Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Can be used where PGM/IAMs are too powerful and can be prohibited or ill-advised such as urban situations. Can be used on moving targets. Gun considered the only true multi role weapon to be carried. Can be used to supress (rather than kill) and provide just a warning. Sometimes offers a quicker reaction time because of less setup over other ordnance. Less dependent on targeting sensors so can be used in event of failures with those. F-35A Lightning II - gun is port side (USAF) Sources Clashes (M.L.Michel III, 1997) Naval Institute Press Thud Ridge (J.M.Broughton, 1969) Crecy Publishing F-105 Thunderchief MiG Killers of the Vietnam War (P.Davies, 2014) Osprey Publishing F-8 Crusader Units of the Vietnam War (P. Mersky, 1998) Osprey Publishing MiG-21 Units of the Vietnam War (I.Toperczer, 2001) Osprey Publishing MiG-17 and MiG-19 Units of the Vietnam War (I.Toperczer, 2001) Osprey Publishing MiG-21 Aces of the Vietnam War (I.Toperczer, 2017) Osprey Publishing MiG-17 and MiG-19 Aces of the Vietnam War (I.Toperczer, 2017) Osprey Publishing USAF McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II (P.Davies, 2013) Osprey Publishing USN McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II (P.Davies, 2016) Osprey Publishing US Navy F-4 Phantom II MiG Killers 1972 -73 (B.Elward & P.Davies, 2002) Osprey Publishing US Navy F-4 Phantom II MiG Killers 1965 -70 (B.Elward & P.Davies, 2001) Osprey Publishing USAF F-4 Phantom II MiG Killers 1972 -73 (P.Davies, 2005) Osprey Publishing USAF F-4 Phantom II MiG Killers 1965 -68 (P.Davies, 2004) Osprey Publishing The Revolt of the Majors: How the Air Force changed after Vietnam (M.L.Michell III) RED BARON Project Volume I - III (1969) Weapon Systems Evaluation Group (WSEG) The Need for a Permanent Gun System on the F-35 JSF (Colonel C.Moore, 2007) Air Force Fellows Air University, Maxwell AF Base SIERRA HOTEL (C. R.ANDEREGG, 2001) Air Force History and Museums Program Research Study of radar reliability and its impact on life-cycle costs for the APQ-113. 114, -120 and -144 radars (1973). Technical report by General Electric under contract to the USAF. McDonnell F-4E Phantom II (Baugher J, 2002) online ON WATCH Profiles from the National Security Agencys past 40 years (1984) National Security Agency War from above the clouds (Head WP, 2002) Air University Press Maxwell AFB Information on F-4E radar range from Forum entry by ex F-4 flyer Walt BJ (Bjorneby, Walter) Willie Driscoll interview from Podcast Episode 009 “Vietnam Ace” (V.Aiello, 2018 ) http://fighterpilotpodcast.com/ Title photo credit USAF
  2. Ahh that old familiar tale you say - of course, in the late 1960s the F-4 Phantom II finally had a gun installed, which meant that everything was better, magical unicorns danced around the sky and the Vietnamese MiGs would fall from the sky in droves! Okay so that didn’t quite happen….......what did? Note - These articles are a compacted summary of a rather massive topic and will discuss the F-4 and Guns in Vietnam mostly ignoring missiles. Vietnam will be used instead of SEA. And USN includes the US Marines for simplicity. Very different F-4s and Air Forces (USAF v USN) Firstly, with different equipment, ideas and ways of doing things the United States pretty much had different Air Forces in the US Navy (USN) and the US Air Force (USAF), so it is important to draw a big red line between them with a quick summary: US Navy F-4 Versions in Vietnam F-4B (F4H-1) – Second F-4 version but first major production version of the F-4. F-4J - Improved F-4B Major Differences compared to the USAF Air to Air Refueling with Drogue and Basket Use of AIM-9B/D/G/H versions of Sidewinder only as Short Range Missile. Never fitted Guns, not even pods (outside of a brief trial with the GAU-4) Internal ECM equipment. Different Radars (AN/APQ-72, -59 & AWG-10 Pulse Doppler) Had no flight controls in the back seat In 1972 preferred used of AIM-9G/H Sidewinder over AIM-7E-2 Sparrow Used more flexible Loose Deuce A-A formation tactics Carrier and land based (Marines) USN F-4J refueling drogue and chute style (USN) USAF F-4 Versions in Vietnam F-4C (F-110A) – Based on the F-4B with USAF changes. F-4D – Improved F-4C. F-4E – This is the (only) F-4 with the internal Gun. Major Differences compared to the US Navy Air to Air Refueling with Boom Used AIM-9B/E/J versions of Sidewinder Used AIM-4D Falcon for periods over the AIM-9 on F-4D/E External Podded ECM equipment Different Radars (AN/APQ-100, -109 & -120 ) Use of Gun Pods (SUU-16 & SUU-23) Had some flight controls in the back seat In 1972 preferred use of AIM-7E-2 Sparrow over AIM-9 / AIM-4 Insisted on sticking to the obsolete / useless fluid four (Welded Wing) A-A formation tactics right to the end. USAF F-4 nears the boom of a KC-135 in 1967 (USAF) Why no gun on the F-4 to start with? On the 18th September 1947 the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) became the USAF and with the limited budget constraints after WWII, Strategic Air Command (SAC) was seen as security priority and was thus given the major funding over the Tactical Air Forces (TAF). SAC culture dominated the USAF in the early years along with its doctrine of strategic nuclear bombing with massive manned bombers. Tactical Fighters (F-100/F-101 etc) under this emphasis on SAC now had two roles: Defend against enemy bombers as interceptors. (Air Defence Command / ADC) Low level delivery of tactical Nukes. (Tactical Air Forces / TAF) Apparently, Korea never happened because by the late 1950s bombing a target in a fighter within 750ft was more then good enough (with a Nuclear weapon) so not only conventional Air to Air training went out the window but also conventional bombing! One Air Force general noted about this period, General (Curtiss) LeMay had deliberately loaded the Air Staff with bomber guys, who were not well acquainted with things like air superiority or air-to-air combat, and who wanted to destroy enemy aircraft on their airfields. In 1957, LeMay actually tried to eliminate the TAF, but the possibility of the Army developing its tactical air support arm overrode this idea, and later that year LeMay reluctantly gave the TAF more funds to keep its mission from being turned over to the Army. Who needs fighters anyway? - the B-36 Peacemaker takes its toddler son for a walk in 1948 (USAF) Some of this thinking was perhaps driving the US Navy with their F4 program in the 1950s. The USN had a requirement to intercept Soviet bombers attacking the fleet above 50,000ft out of the range of gun armed fighters and thus from 1956 the AIM-7 Sparrow III was to be the primary weapon with a gun as secondary. By 1957 however the gun was deleted from the design because the new AIM-9 Sidewinder was to be the secondary weapon. The USAF took on the F-4 as part of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s drive to get the services to use standard equipment with commonality. He was also interested in the conventional side of things and saw both the A-G potential as well as the A-A potential and thus the USAF received the F-4C (originally designated F-110A). (Note: yes this was potentially one of the few things McNamara did that wasn’t a complete catastrophe!) Of course, the F-4 wasn’t the only aircraft of its time without an internal gun (another reason seen given is that pilots would never have closed to gun range to take down a bomber carrying Nukes.) Some other Interceptors of the era born with no internal Gun: F-102 Delta Dagger F-106 Delta Dart (Some later got a gun under project Six Shooter from around 1969) Su-9/11 Fishpot Tu-128 Fiddler Su-15 Flagon MiG-25 Foxbat Some Interceptors that had the gun removed: Lightning Fmk3 CF-104 Starfighter (Early) A gun was later incorporated MiG-17PFU Fresco MiG-19PM Farmer MiG-21PF/PFV/PFS/PFM/FL (PFV and PFM used by the VPAF in Vietnam along with the gun armed F-13 and MF) F-102A Delta Dagger interceptors (USAF) Getting a gun on the F-4E McDonnell first proposed an internal gun for the F-4 in 1961 however it wasn’t until a potential limited war in Vietnam looked likely in 1963 that this was taken more seriously by the military for Ground Attack / strafing. By 1965 combat experience determined that a gun was a requirement and it was trialed in the F-4, and thus the F-4E was born with a nose job and new APQ-120 Radar: This shows the 22 modules (Line Replaceable Units / LRUs) required for the APQ-120 radar Adding the gun solved all the problems yes? The original gun muzzle caused a few problems. Firstly gas ingestion into the engine inlets caused engine flameouts and secondly it made a loud whistling noise that apparently notified the enemy troops (and their Dogs presumably ) long before the F-4 got there. The muzzle had to be redesigned and the later F-4Es have a longer gun muzzle under the nose. Also not shown in the diagram above, the gun assembly and ammo drum took up a lot of space in the nose and the dish/antenna size was reduced. The Westinghouse APQ-120 was an early ‘Solid State’ radar (derived from the APQ-109) and being Solid State must have helped in reducing the obvious vibration issue when you have a massive Gatling gun sitting next to 1960s electronics! Despite this it still exceeded the reliability requirements and was similar in that regards to the F-4D radar that had no gun in the nose. Ex F-4 flyer Walt BJ stated that the APQ-120 in the F-4E had about 20-25% less range over the APQ-109 in the F-4D. Didn’t the F-4E just wipe the floor now it had a gun? During Operation Linebacker I & II (1972/73): The USAF F-4E had 22 claims in 25 (known) engagements including 7 gun kills The USAF F-4D had 27 claims in 30 (known) engagements with no gun kills So firstly, if you add an internal gun but still don’t train anyone to use it then despite any figures nothing really changes. Secondly the missiles and radars had improved since 1965 regarding close in capability and so the Gun was starting to look very secondary by now. Considering the extra effort required for guns in skill, fuel, risk of collision, and making themselves more vulnerable, a missile would be the priority weapon regardless of the USAF training issues. What about the gun pods? Stop gap measures meant some squads using the 20mm SUU-16 and SUU-23 Gatling gun pods on the F-4C and D respectively – however despite some success these were somewhat inaccurate and the extra drag had a noticeable effect on range. Looking happy to be here - SUU-23 Gun pod on the center line station of an F-4 (Clive Camm) Some championed the Gun pod such as Korean war ace Col Frederik “Boots” Blesse after it became a useful strafing tool for South Vietnam sorties. USAF Col Robin Olds was a tad less enthusiastic: The gun pod wasn’t so much a speed penalty as an object of increased drag and fuel consumption. But that wasn’t my objection to the gun pod, I refused to carry it for 3 basic reasons; It took the place of five or six 750 lb bombs. Only my older and more experienced fighter pilots had ever been trained in aerial gunnery, to say nothing of air-to-air fighting. There were perhaps a dozen of them in the 8th TFW. I had no intention of giving any of my young pilots the temptation to go charging off to engage MiG-17s with a gun. They would have been eaten alive. Instead they fought MiGs the way I taught them and did so with notable success. The US Navy briefly trialed the 20mm MK4 (GAU-4) Gatling gun pod but this was determined to be useless in operation with technical difficulties and also meant the preferred configuration of center line drop tank only could not be carried. The not so successful MK4 (GAU-4) gun pod at China Lake (Dave Woolsey) Did the Navy not want an internal or any gun? For the primary purpose of fleet air defense, ‘missiles only’ it seems was deemed adequate. When in combat over Vietnam some Navy pilots wanted it and others didn’t. The gun pod was not persevered with and even an offer of free SUU-16/23 pods from the USAF was turned down on one occasion. We can deduce that if you reshaped the F-4J nose like the F-4E then you also have to reduce the radar dish size and forfeit range which might not be the best idea regarding fleet defense. Simply plonking in the APQ-120 with less range and no useful lookdown/shootdown capability was probably not going to win USN favour. Even spending the money on a modified APG-59/AWG-10 still gets you reduced range at the end of it. The APG-59/AWG-10 in the F-4J had some good lookdown techniques (for its time) and was considered superior. However even without the gun the F-4B/J Phantom avionics suffered from heavy carrier landings: I had a USN F4J pilot in my back seat one night gunship escort mission (can't for the life of me remember why) and he marvelled at the radar pickup. I asked him why he thought it was so good when he was flying the J model. He told me after about 4 'standard' carrier landings the radar wasn't so hot anymore. (Walt BJ) So, what did the Pilots say about Guns, Training, and Back Seat Drivers During the Vietnam conflict a Secret project (Red Baron) took place which compiled every A-A engagement fought. As part of that the aircrews were interviewed where available, giving quite a mixed view. 3 April 1965 F-4B USN front seat pilot (with 1000 hours) There is a need for a close in weapon as a backup on any mission……………….Guns would also be useful as an air-ground weapon (stopping a truck convoy, for example) 10 July 1965 USAF F-4C front seat pilot Gun not necessary; it will get people into trouble. Would like capability to fire all missiles on the F-4 with Centreline Tank on. Less minimum range for missiles instead of guns…….Because lack of ACT at time of event, did not know how to manoeuvre the F-4 as well as he could later after some experience. 6 Oct 1965 USN F-4B front seat pilot Fighter needs guns or short range missile……………..Turning and acceleration rate of MiG-17 was impressive. The MiG leader was aggressive and a good fighter pilot. 23 April 1966 USAF F-4C front seat pilot Improve the performance of the AAM and the gun will not be needed…………Training safety restrictions severely limited air-combat-tactics training prior to deployment to the combat area. 23 April 1966 USAF F-4C front seat pilot The need for a F-4 gun is overstated, although it would be of value if it could be obtained without hurting current radar and other system performance. If you are in a position to fire guns, you have made some mistake. Why after a mistake would a gun solve all problems. Also having a gun would require proficiency at firing, extra training etc. Have enough problems staying proficient in current systems. If the F-4 had guns, we would have lost a lot more, since once a gun dual starts the F-4 is at a disadvantage against the MiG. 23 April 1966 USAF F-4C front seat pilot Felt that he had very poor air-combat-tactics background. Prior background was bomber and other multi-engine. Transition to F-4 oriented toward upgrading a qualified fighter pilot rather than training a pilot with no fighter background. 25 April 1966 USAF F-4C back seat pilot Gun is not particularly desirable, if the performance of the aircraft is degraded by an external installation. Also, one might make the mistake of getting into a turning battle if a gun was available 25 April 1966 USAF F-4C back seat pilot Capability of the F-4 is being wasted by having a pilot in the back seat. The pilot is not adequately trained as a radar observer. Need a radar expert in the back seat. The pilot back seaters main goal is to be upgraded to the front seat rather than master the radar. 26 April 1966 USAF F-4C front pilot It is a fallacy to say that you can bring the F-4C home and land it solely from the back seat. You’ve got to blow the gear down and then there is no antiskid system; there is no drag chute handle; there is no fuel gauges or switches; you may be limited to using internal fuel; you can’t dump fuel or jettison tanks. A gun would be nice in an F-4C as long as it was clearly understood it was only a weapon of last resort. Soviet fighters are more capable than US aircraft inside gun range. 29 April 1966 USAF F-4C back seat pilot It was not necessary to have a pilot in the back seat of the F-4 except during night A-G missions when a pilot may more capably advise the aircraft commander. Actually, a radar officer would be more interested in the back-seat operation than a pilot would be. 29 April 1966 USAF F-4C front seat pilot It would be undesirable and possibly fatal for an F-4 to use a gun in fighting with a MiG because the MiG is built to fight with guns and the F-4 is not. 30 April 1966 USAF F-4C front seat pilot Training was not really adequate for this engagement, didn’t know what the back should do in a hassle such as this. 14 June 1966 USN front seat pilot Guns would be most useful for the ResCAP role but not particularly valuable in the air to air role. An F-4B from VF-111 Sundowners giving it some - just because (USN) The F-4 Phantom II Dogfighter? As we know the F-4 was not particularly the most agile fighter in theatre and turning at a slower speed was a bit of a problem. However, US fighters had seldom been the best turners in previous conflicts such as WWII (think F-6F Hellcat V Zero) ……power and speed could make up for it and were often better attributes to have. In 1966 the US Navy flew “Project Plan” flying the F-4B against a series of fighters to determine how good it was in an Air Superiority role. It concluded that contrary to what F-4 pilots thought the F-4 was the best air to air fighter in the world (including the F-8), if the F-4 stayed fast. To fly the F-4 however in BFM/ACM you needed to have training and a lot of experience (like most jets of this era). One particular characteristic of the hard-winged F-4 was “Adverse Yaw” at slower speeds where the pilot had to make the turn using rudder pedals instead of the stick. If the stick was used the chances of departing were very high – somewhat fatal in combat. Now stick a pilot in the cockpit with little training and you can see that in the heat of battle adverse yaw becomes quite serious (not just A-A but avoiding SAMs etc). Of course, pilots just simply avoided going anywhere near adverse yaw if they could however that meant they could never max perform the jet if they needed to in every situation. Adverse Yaw was all but eliminated by adding leading edge slats to the F-4E with the 556 "Rivet Haste" Mod late 1972. Too late to have any real relevance for Vietnam though. In Part 2 we look at the very different training aspects of the USN/USAF/VPAF, the F-105 / F-8 paradox and the myth / legend of Colonel Tomb.
  3. View File SF2 TA-4F Vietnam FastFACs - Revamp SF2 TA-4F Skyhawk "Vietnam FastFACs" - Revamp ============================================= *** SF2V required for the A-4F Cockpit, that is used here. Tested in full 5-merged installation *** This is a revamp of Wrenchs Update of 331Killerbees TA-4F FastFAC-Pack. ;) Skins have been redone in greater resolution with more details. Decals are new (although original Decals are still there). Some bits of the plane are removed by ini-edit and exchanged by FakePilot-Addons to add more details and get rid of the shadow-issue caused by the outer wing pylons. 5 new Droptanks are added (2x 150gal, 2x300gal, 1x400gal). BuNos are always correct for the squadron and many are also correct for the plane, although sources and pictures are very rare. H&MS-11 comes in 3 variations (CAG, Large Stripe + Bunny on Tail and Small Stripe without Bunny) that were used side by side as it seems H&MS-12 has CAG-Bird H&MS-13 has 2 Skins - The one from the original pack was used after Vietnam, but I redid it and included it. The one used in Vietnam has no special markings and a different Tailcode-style. I only found 1 pic as reference, so maybe other variation are possible too. Installation ============ 1. unzip to a temporary folder 2. open "Put_Content_In_Your_MOD folder" and do as you were told, if asked to overwrite, say 'yes' :P 3. enjoy! If the Squadron is missing in the loadout screen, you should add the following lines in the squadronlist.ini ("<mod>\pilotdata"-folder) with XXX changed to the next free numbers: [SquadronXXX] Name=HMS11 DisplayName=H&MS-11 'Playboys' Nation=USMC [SquadronXXX] Name=HMS12 DisplayName=H&MS-11 'Outlaws' Nation=USMC [SquadronXXX] Name=HMS13 DisplayName=H&MS-13 Nation=USMC Credits ======= - Thirdwire and TK for a great game and nice models. - Fracture for the TA-4 Model - FastCargo for the Fakepilot - 331Killerbee and Wrench for the Original and re-released Pack - Alejandro for Escapac-Seat - OldDiego for Pilotmodels - Nyghtfall - Updates in this Pack (Skins, Decals, Ini- and 3D-Work of Tanks, Pylons and Addons) Thanks ====== - cocas for help learning 3D-stuff - Coupi for testing - all modders at CombatAce for their work and inspiration P.S. ==== If you have any problems with this skin or have suggestions and hints, feel free to PM me. 14_01_2018 Submitter Nyghtfall Submitted 01/14/2018 Category A-4  
  4. SF2 TA-4F Vietnam FastFACs - Revamp

    Version 1.0.0

    106 downloads

    SF2 TA-4F Skyhawk "Vietnam FastFACs" - Revamp ============================================= *** SF2V required for the A-4F Cockpit, that is used here. Tested in full 5-merged installation *** This is a revamp of Wrenchs Update of 331Killerbees TA-4F FastFAC-Pack. ;) Skins have been redone in greater resolution with more details. Decals are new (although original Decals are still there). Some bits of the plane are removed by ini-edit and exchanged by FakePilot-Addons to add more details and get rid of the shadow-issue caused by the outer wing pylons. 5 new Droptanks are added (2x 150gal, 2x300gal, 1x400gal). BuNos are always correct for the squadron and many are also correct for the plane, although sources and pictures are very rare. H&MS-11 comes in 3 variations (CAG, Large Stripe + Bunny on Tail and Small Stripe without Bunny) that were used side by side as it seems H&MS-12 has CAG-Bird H&MS-13 has 2 Skins - The one from the original pack was used after Vietnam, but I redid it and included it. The one used in Vietnam has no special markings and a different Tailcode-style. I only found 1 pic as reference, so maybe other variation are possible too. Installation ============ 1. unzip to a temporary folder 2. open "Put_Content_In_Your_MOD folder" and do as you were told, if asked to overwrite, say 'yes' :P 3. enjoy! If the Squadron is missing in the loadout screen, you should add the following lines in the squadronlist.ini ("<mod>\pilotdata"-folder) with XXX changed to the next free numbers: [SquadronXXX] Name=HMS11 DisplayName=H&MS-11 'Playboys' Nation=USMC [SquadronXXX] Name=HMS12 DisplayName=H&MS-11 'Outlaws' Nation=USMC [SquadronXXX] Name=HMS13 DisplayName=H&MS-13 Nation=USMC Credits ======= - Thirdwire and TK for a great game and nice models. - Fracture for the TA-4 Model - FastCargo for the Fakepilot - 331Killerbee and Wrench for the Original and re-released Pack - Alejandro for Escapac-Seat - OldDiego for Pilotmodels - Nyghtfall - Updates in this Pack (Skins, Decals, Ini- and 3D-Work of Tanks, Pylons and Addons) Thanks ====== - cocas for help learning 3D-stuff - Coupi for testing - all modders at CombatAce for their work and inspiration P.S. ==== If you have any problems with this skin or have suggestions and hints, feel free to PM me. 14_01_2018
  5. I was on youtube when my searching brought me around to this video and I thought I would share it.
  6. Khe Sanh Airbase Vietnam

    Hi guys does anyone know how to get rid of jungle trying to lay an airfield I have managed to get the airfield to show in location but it will not lay with terrain correctly as terrain a bit hilly and jungle over runway and everywhere need to clear area of jungle and trees Running SP1 Cheers flightdude
  7. File Name: VMGR-152 Hi-Viz skin for KC-130F File Submitter: Kulbit80 File Submitted: 02 June 2017 File Category: C-130 Vietnam era, Hi-Viz, VMGR-152 squadron skin for KC-130F by Dels. New decals: 17 real numbers. New specular & bump maps included. Also new data.ini included with some changes like hide three antennas & auto deploy refuel drogue. To install: put object folder from this pack into your mod object folder and let it overwrite. Thanks to Dels for model and templates. Enjoy. Kulbit80 Click here to download this file
  8. VMGR-152 Hi-Viz skin for KC-130F

    Version

    71 downloads

    Vietnam era, Hi-Viz, VMGR-152 squadron skin for KC-130F by Dels. New decals: 17 real numbers. New specular & bump maps included. Also new data.ini included with some changes like hide three antennas & auto deploy refuel drogue. To install: put object folder from this pack into your mod object folder and let it overwrite. Thanks to Dels for model and templates. Enjoy. Kulbit80
  9. File Name: Template for TW A-1H+J Skyraiders File Submitter: Nyghtfall File Submitted: 05 March 2017 File Category: Skin Templates HiRes - Template for Thirdwire's A-1H/J Skyraiders ================================================== These are templates for Thirdwire's A-1H/J Skyraiders. * Multilayered .PSD format * Resolution of 4096x4096 * 4 camouflages - SEA in 3 variations + USN gray/white * Markings for USAF/VNAF and USN planes Layers are named to reflect the usage on the different versions of the plane/user. I also added decals + placement-infos for the propeller. Feel free to use them - That way it is possible to use different markings on front- and backside just like the real planes had. Rework of the template for other Skyraider-versions in planned, there's no ETA though. Tested in Photoshop only. Credits ======= - Thirdwire and TK for a great game, models and the skins I used. - Wrench - original Skyraider-templates - me - new templates, decals Thanks ====== - mue for his great LODViewer, which was a big help while creating the camos and placing stuff! - all modders at CombatAce for their work and inspiration! P.S. ==== If you have any problems with this template or have suggestions and hints, feel free to PM me. 05_03_2017 Click here to download this file
  10. Version 1.0

    63 downloads

    HiRes - Template for Thirdwire's A-1H/J Skyraiders ================================================== These are templates for Thirdwire's A-1H/J Skyraiders. * Multilayered .PSD format * Resolution of 4096x4096 * 4 camouflages - SEA in 3 variations + USN gray/white * Markings for USAF/VNAF and USN planes Layers are named to reflect the usage on the different versions of the plane/user. I also added decals + placement-infos for the propeller. Feel free to use them - That way it is possible to use different markings on front- and backside just like the real planes had. Rework of the template for other Skyraider-versions in planned, there's no ETA though. Tested in Photoshop only. Credits ======= - Thirdwire and TK for a great game, models and the skins I used. - Wrench - original Skyraider-templates - me - new templates, decals Thanks ====== - mue for his great LODViewer, which was a big help while creating the camos and placing stuff! - all modders at CombatAce for their work and inspiration! P.S. ==== If you have any problems with this template or have suggestions and hints, feel free to PM me. 05_03_2017
  11. File Name: 100 MiG-17F north vietnamese style camos File Submitter: Gepard File Submitted: 04 February 2017 File Category: MiG-17 Click here to download this file
  12. Version

    93 downloads

  13. File Name: SF2 Alternate Desktop Icons File Submitter: viper63a File Submitted: 20 October 2016 File Category: Other SF2 Desktop Icons Tired of those ugly green stock icons? Well you can replace them with these... Forgot to mention, one icon (ODS) is from the ODS Pack... Enjoy! Click here to download this file
  14. SF2 Alternate Desktop Icons

    Version v1.1

    180 downloads

    SF2 Desktop Icons Tired of those ugly green stock icons? Well you can replace them with these... Forgot to mention, one icon (ODS) is from the ODS Pack... Enjoy!
  15. File Name: 'Rivet Haste’ F-4E USAF pack add-on File Submitter: dtmdragon File Submitted: 19 June 2016 File Category: F-4 F-4E project ‘Rivet Haste’ add-on for ravenclaw_007 and Co’s F-4E USAF pack 2.0 2.0 Updates/ corrections - Corrected tail tip color from green to red/ orange. - Added historicly correct small serial numbers to tail fin - Big thanks to mppd for the color reference photos (I could only find a single black & white one) and historical serial numbers. Included: - F-4E_72 ‘Rivet Haste’ You must have ravenclaw_007 and Co’s F-4E USAF pack installed for weapons & effects etc: http://combatace.com/files/file/13932-f-4e-usaf-pack/ Animation / Function - Canopy - Hook - Air Refuel - Gun Vent ______________ automatic when gun is fired or as soon as the landing gear is deployed - Brake Chute____________ works with the Air Brake below 150kts Features of the ‘Rivet Haste’ F-4E: - Slatted wings. The Rivet Haste F-4 were the only Phantoms in the Vietnam conflict to have slatted wings. - MIDAS4 gun port. - TISEO - APR-35/36 RHAW - Assigned to the 555th TFW but operated as a separate flight from the rest of the squadrons non Rivet Haste Phantoms. - Operated without any tail codes or serial numbers. Aircraft had RRRRibit in yellow on the tail fin along with a green tailfin tip. Hangar and Loading screens are in 1920 x 1080 , optional 1024 x 768 Hangar and Loading screens are included in a separate folder Installation: - Drop all files into your mod folder the way they are setup in this pack and overwrite if ask to - If you are unsure about the way how mods are installed, check the knowledge base at CombatAce! Credits: - ravenclaw_007 - original model by TW , BPAO , Crab_02 - cockpits from TW - Decals for the 34TFS , 469TFS and the original Templates from Sundowner - Skins for the 57th FIS made by Soulfreak - TISEO made by Crusader - Testpilots , EricJ , Slartibartfast , JAT81500 , Dast24 , Centurion1 , Ianh755 , GodsLt - new updated model , textures and weapons by ravenclaw_007 - mppd Enjoy, Dan. Background on the Rivet Haste project: With the soft (slatted) wing, the pinkie switch (basically the very first HOTAS), and the TISEO modifications for the F-4E, the USAF realized it had the tools to make its fighter pilots more lethal. In the late summer of 1972, the Rivet Haste program was established. Rivet Haste would be the Air Force's acknowledgement that years of substandard training and poor doctrine had to be reversed. Rivet Haste combined the slatted wing, TISEO, and 556 mod of the F-4E and teamed them up with handpicked crews with combat experience over Vietnam. They were assembled at Nellis AFB and here the key of Rivet Haste would take place- intensive training with the new F-4Es against the secret MiG force that Air Force flew out of Tonopah north of Las Vegas. Each Rivet Haste crew were paired up to stay together through training to deployment for combat- this allowed the pilot and his WSO to develop their own system of coordination in the cockpit and carry that to combat. Six pilots and six WSOs were in each Rivet Haste group and each pilot/WSO would fly at least three missions against the MiGs at Tonopah. Each month, a new group of six pilots and six WSOs were assigned to Rivet Haste. Crews assigned to Rivet Haste saw it as a quantum leap in air combat training that the USAF had never had before. Unfortunately they arrived in Vietnam to late to score any air-to air-kills and only flew a handful of Linebacker II missions before the end of the war. Click here to download this file
  16. 'Rivet Haste’ F-4E USAF pack add-on

    Version 2.0

    234 downloads

    F-4E project ‘Rivet Haste’ add-on for ravenclaw_007 and Co’s F-4E USAF pack 2.0 2.0 Updates/ corrections - Corrected tail tip color from green to red/ orange. - Added historicly correct small serial numbers to tail fin - Big thanks to mppd for the color reference photos (I could only find a single black & white one) and historical serial numbers. Included: - F-4E_72 ‘Rivet Haste’ You must have ravenclaw_007 and Co’s F-4E USAF pack installed for weapons & effects etc: http://combatace.com/files/file/13932-f-4e-usaf-pack/ Animation / Function - Canopy - Hook - Air Refuel - Gun Vent ______________ automatic when gun is fired or as soon as the landing gear is deployed - Brake Chute____________ works with the Air Brake below 150kts Features of the ‘Rivet Haste’ F-4E: - Slatted wings. The Rivet Haste F-4 were the only Phantoms in the Vietnam conflict to have slatted wings. - MIDAS4 gun port. - TISEO - APR-35/36 RHAW - Assigned to the 555th TFW but operated as a separate flight from the rest of the squadrons non Rivet Haste Phantoms. - Operated without any tail codes or serial numbers. Aircraft had RRRRibit in yellow on the tail fin along with a green tailfin tip. Hangar and Loading screens are in 1920 x 1080 , optional 1024 x 768 Hangar and Loading screens are included in a separate folder Installation: - Drop all files into your mod folder the way they are setup in this pack and overwrite if ask to - If you are unsure about the way how mods are installed, check the knowledge base at CombatAce! Credits: - ravenclaw_007 - original model by TW , BPAO , Crab_02 - cockpits from TW - Decals for the 34TFS , 469TFS and the original Templates from Sundowner - Skins for the 57th FIS made by Soulfreak - TISEO made by Crusader - Testpilots , EricJ , Slartibartfast , JAT81500 , Dast24 , Centurion1 , Ianh755 , GodsLt - new updated model , textures and weapons by ravenclaw_007 - mppd Enjoy, Dan. Background on the Rivet Haste project: With the soft (slatted) wing, the pinkie switch (basically the very first HOTAS), and the TISEO modifications for the F-4E, the USAF realized it had the tools to make its fighter pilots more lethal. In the late summer of 1972, the Rivet Haste program was established. Rivet Haste would be the Air Force's acknowledgement that years of substandard training and poor doctrine had to be reversed. Rivet Haste combined the slatted wing, TISEO, and 556 mod of the F-4E and teamed them up with handpicked crews with combat experience over Vietnam. They were assembled at Nellis AFB and here the key of Rivet Haste would take place- intensive training with the new F-4Es against the secret MiG force that Air Force flew out of Tonopah north of Las Vegas. Each Rivet Haste crew were paired up to stay together through training to deployment for combat- this allowed the pilot and his WSO to develop their own system of coordination in the cockpit and carry that to combat. Six pilots and six WSOs were in each Rivet Haste group and each pilot/WSO would fly at least three missions against the MiGs at Tonopah. Each month, a new group of six pilots and six WSOs were assigned to Rivet Haste. Crews assigned to Rivet Haste saw it as a quantum leap in air combat training that the USAF had never had before. Unfortunately they arrived in Vietnam to late to score any air-to air-kills and only flew a handful of Linebacker II missions before the end of the war.
  17. File Name: SF2 F-104C 1965 Vietnam Pack File Submitter: viper63a File Submitted: 22 December 2015 File Category: F-104 SF2 F-104C Vietnam Pack By Viper63a ------------------------------------------------------------------ BOTH SF2E AND DLC28 ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS MOD! ------------------------------------------------------------------ This pack WILL NOT replace stock F-104s, but it may conflict with any other F-104 mod you may have installed - SO BACK UP unless you crave drama! SF2 Europe needs to be merged with your Vietnam install and DLc28 is REQUIRED, REALLY. If you don't have these, this mod will not work for you. ------------------------------------------------------------------ This pack contains a small sub-set of the "SF2 C/N/R/F-104A/B/C/D/F/G/J/S Starfighter Super Pack" (see link below). Separated it for users who did not want to install the full F-104 Super Pack just to get the Vietnam era F-104s. You don't need the full pack to use this Vietnam Pack. http://combatace.com/files/file/15938-sf2-cnrf-104abcdfgjs-starfighter-super-pack/ I take NO CREDIT for the work contained in this pack. I made some of them better (All new skins, decals...etc), but I was not the creator. I don't do what I do NOT to take credit, but to give it and appreciate the other contributors who make Combatace a great site for SF2. So here is my humble contribution to the collective. Thank you all for your mod packs! ------------------------------------------------------------------ This pack includes F-104D (circa 1965) Vietnam era skins, new pilots, hanger, loading, loadout, decals and everything else you need to start flying the F-104s for Vietnam... F-104C_65 ------------------------------------------------------------ Installation: ------------------------------------------------------------ As always, I recommend that you back up your mod folder before you install any new mod...just in case. * To install, simply unzip and copy the contents of the "To_Mod_Folder" folder to your StrikeFighter2 mod folder and Overwrite (if needed). My StrikeFighter2 mod on Win97 64-bit was..(yours may be different)... C:\Users\<your_id>\Saved Games\Thirdwire\StrikeFighter2 Vietnam... Original "Readmes" are in the Extra folder with some other goodies... Enjoy! =Viper= ------------------------------------------------------------ Credits: Used alot, parts or refereneced the packs below... ------------------------------------------------------------ Classified Mission Mod (Version 1.1) - FastCargo http://combatace.com/files/file/11458-classified-mission-mod-version-11/ ------------------------------------------------------------ Thirdwire F-104A/C Pack 1 - MigBuster http://combatace.com/files/file/15243-thirdwire-f-104ac-pack-1/ 3rd Wire for the F-104 Models and pits Skins / new Decals & Flight Model changes: MiGbuster IR Sensor: Spillone Cockpit grey repaint files: Ordway Templates based on previous work: Paulopanz/Spillone/Soulfreak/Ianapa Other decals and previous ini edits: WRENCH & USAFMTL Dave Fake pilot mod: FastCargo ------------------------------------------------------------ SF2 DLC #28: F-104A Starfighter, Pakistani Air Force - Wrench SF2 DLC #28: F-104A Starfighter Skins Pak, Part 2 - Wrench SF2 DLC #28: F-104C (61) Starfighter Skins/Ini Pak, Part 1 - Wrench SF2 DLC #28: F-104C (66) Starfighter Skins/Ini Pak, Part 2 - Wrench http://combatace.com/files/file/14664-sf2-dlc-28-f-104a-starfighter-pakistani-air-force/ http://combatace.com/files/file/14671-sf2-dlc-28-f-104a-starfighter-skins-pak-part-2/ http://combatace.com/files/file/14674-sf2-dlc-28-f-104c-61-starfighter-skinsini-pak-part-1/ http://combatace.com/files/file/14675-sf2-dlc-28-f-104c-66-starfighter-skinsini-pak-part-2/ ------------------------------------------------------------ I referenced so many packs, I am sure I missed someone, please forgive and let me know so I can properly credit you. Thanks and Enjoy! Viper63a Click here to download this file
  18. SF2 F-104C 1965 Vietnam Pack

    Version Version 1

    233 downloads

    SF2 F-104C Vietnam Pack By Viper63a ------------------------------------------------------------------ BOTH SF2E AND DLC28 ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS MOD! ------------------------------------------------------------------ This pack WILL NOT replace stock F-104s, but it may conflict with any other F-104 mod you may have installed - SO BACK UP unless you crave drama! SF2 Europe needs to be merged with your Vietnam install and DLc28 is REQUIRED, REALLY. If you don't have these, this mod will not work for you. ------------------------------------------------------------------ This pack contains a small sub-set of the "SF2 C/N/R/F-104A/B/C/D/F/G/J/S Starfighter Super Pack" (see link below). Separated it for users who did not want to install the full F-104 Super Pack just to get the Vietnam era F-104s. You don't need the full pack to use this Vietnam Pack. http://combatace.com/files/file/15938-sf2-cnrf-104abcdfgjs-starfighter-super-pack/ I take NO CREDIT for the work contained in this pack. I made some of them better (All new skins, decals...etc), but I was not the creator. I don't do what I do NOT to take credit, but to give it and appreciate the other contributors who make Combatace a great site for SF2. So here is my humble contribution to the collective. Thank you all for your mod packs! ------------------------------------------------------------------ This pack includes F-104D (circa 1965) Vietnam era skins, new pilots, hanger, loading, loadout, decals and everything else you need to start flying the F-104s for Vietnam... F-104C_65 ------------------------------------------------------------ Installation: ------------------------------------------------------------ As always, I recommend that you back up your mod folder before you install any new mod...just in case. * To install, simply unzip and copy the contents of the "To_Mod_Folder" folder to your StrikeFighter2 mod folder and Overwrite (if needed). My StrikeFighter2 mod on Win97 64-bit was..(yours may be different)... C:\Users\<your_id>\Saved Games\Thirdwire\StrikeFighter2 Vietnam... Original "Readmes" are in the Extra folder with some other goodies... Enjoy! =Viper= ------------------------------------------------------------ Credits: Used alot, parts or refereneced the packs below... ------------------------------------------------------------ Classified Mission Mod (Version 1.1) - FastCargo http://combatace.com/files/file/11458-classified-mission-mod-version-11/ ------------------------------------------------------------ Thirdwire F-104A/C Pack 1 - MigBuster http://combatace.com/files/file/15243-thirdwire-f-104ac-pack-1/ 3rd Wire for the F-104 Models and pits Skins / new Decals & Flight Model changes: MiGbuster IR Sensor: Spillone Cockpit grey repaint files: Ordway Templates based on previous work: Paulopanz/Spillone/Soulfreak/Ianapa Other decals and previous ini edits: WRENCH & USAFMTL Dave Fake pilot mod: FastCargo ------------------------------------------------------------ SF2 DLC #28: F-104A Starfighter, Pakistani Air Force - Wrench SF2 DLC #28: F-104A Starfighter Skins Pak, Part 2 - Wrench SF2 DLC #28: F-104C (61) Starfighter Skins/Ini Pak, Part 1 - Wrench SF2 DLC #28: F-104C (66) Starfighter Skins/Ini Pak, Part 2 - Wrench http://combatace.com/files/file/14664-sf2-dlc-28-f-104a-starfighter-pakistani-air-force/ http://combatace.com/files/file/14671-sf2-dlc-28-f-104a-starfighter-skins-pak-part-2/ http://combatace.com/files/file/14674-sf2-dlc-28-f-104c-61-starfighter-skinsini-pak-part-1/ http://combatace.com/files/file/14675-sf2-dlc-28-f-104c-66-starfighter-skinsini-pak-part-2/ ------------------------------------------------------------ I referenced so many packs, I am sure I missed someone, please forgive and let me know so I can properly credit you. Thanks and Enjoy! Viper63a
  19. img00007

    © all copyrights reserved

  20. img00003

    © all copyrights reserved

  21. A short film on the VMFA-323's role in the Vietnam War and a short history on the build up of Da Nang Air Base durin the height of American involvement in the war.
  22. File Name: UH-1B, D & E of YAP for SF2V File Submitter: FANATIC MODDER File Submitted: 13 October 2015 File Category: UH-1 UH-1B, D & E of YAP for SF2V v0.1 by FANATIC MODDER I converted the YAP data.ini of - UH-1B Gunship - UH-1B Heavy Hog - UH-1D - UH-1E for use in the sf2. More in detail, - I modified the powerplant lines so it doesn't crash anymore. Furthermore, more realistic feel, closer to a real helicopter. Accurate power data. - Gunner animation now more realistic. The UH-1E right gunner is finally moving. - The Helo_Destroyed.LOD line is added. I am sure most you have this LOD added.. Why v0.1? LOTs of things are needed to be done if we can say that they be upgraded to proper sf2 standards. The FM still needs a lot of tuning, since empty masses are wrong, as are aerodynamic Coef etc. They can go up to 250 km/h top speed but don't be fooled, it's not because of excess power... Be in mind that these are NOT complete add-on, just corrected data.ini for sf2 use. You need to go the Yankee air pirate webpage to donwload them. The -B/D models are part of the basic pack, however if you want the -E you need to download exp pack 3 or helipack 1. The way they are they may be not perfect for playing a campaign with them, however are more than adequate as AI additions to vietnam missions/campaigns. The credit go to - YAP for the complete model - Yakarov79 for his help to make them sf2 compatible. Click here to download this file
  23. UH-1B, D & E of YAP for SF2V

    Version v0.1

    322 downloads

    UH-1B, D & E of YAP for SF2V v0.1 by FANATIC MODDER I converted the YAP data.ini of - UH-1B Gunship - UH-1B Heavy Hog - UH-1D - UH-1E for use in the sf2. More in detail, - I modified the powerplant lines so it doesn't crash anymore. Furthermore, more realistic feel, closer to a real helicopter. Accurate power data. - Gunner animation now more realistic. The UH-1E right gunner is finally moving. - The Helo_Destroyed.LOD line is added. I am sure most you have this LOD added.. Why v0.1? LOTs of things are needed to be done if we can say that they be upgraded to proper sf2 standards. The FM still needs a lot of tuning, since empty masses are wrong, as are aerodynamic Coef etc. They can go up to 250 km/h top speed but don't be fooled, it's not because of excess power... Be in mind that these are NOT complete add-on, just corrected data.ini for sf2 use. You need to go the Yankee air pirate webpage to donwload them. The -B/D models are part of the basic pack, however if you want the -E you need to download exp pack 3 or helipack 1. The way they are they may be not perfect for playing a campaign with them, however are more than adequate as AI additions to vietnam missions/campaigns. The credit go to - YAP for the complete model - Yakarov79 for his help to make them sf2 compatible.
  24. File Name: F-4 Phantom II in Royal New Zealand Air Force service ('What If') File Submitter: dtmdragon File Submitted: 11 September 2015 File Category: What If Hangar F-4 Phantom II in Royal New Zealand Air Force service ('What If') Background (factual): In mid 1964 Operational Requirement No. 5/Air called for a tactical combat aircraft to replace the Canberra. Specifically a long range aircraft with the primary role of counter-air/interdiction and secondary roles of close air support and air defense. In June 1965 The Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Morrison was quoted as wanting 18 F-111 aircraft for the RNZAF at a cost of £1.5 million per aircraft. The public and media supported the idea but the Chief of Defense Staff (who was a Naval Officer) and the acting Prime Minister publicly opposed the purchase. In August 1965 the Chiefs of Staff Committee rejected the idea of acquiring long-range interdiction aircraft and in September agreed that close air support should be the primary role of the new combat aircraft. In December came Air Staff Requirement No. 12 with the following requirements of the new combat aircraft: - Ability to provide effective air support to ground forces. - Highly reliable and robust - Self defense capability to evade or counter supersonic interceptors and surface-to-air missiles. - Long range. - Ability to operate closely with American and Australian forces. By May 1966 the RNZAF had finished evaluating six candidate aircraft: - F-4C Phantom II - A-7A Corsair II - Mirage IIIO - F-5A Freedom Fighter - F-104G Starfighter - A-4E Skyhawk In August 1966 the RNZAF officially asked the government to purchase 16 F-4 Phantoms at a total cost of £19 million. Now remember AVM Morrison making it known he wanted the F-111? He would later go on to admit he never wanted the F-111 he had wanted the F-4 all along but given the cost of the F-4 he wanted to make it look more attractive (cost wise) by putting it next to the F-111. The minister of Defense then announced the final stage of the evaluation had been reached and a decision was a few weeks away. The purchase of the F-4 seemed to be all but done... BUT the Treasury department now intervened and recommended purchasing the F-5! The RNZAF High Command was furious! But ultimately powerless to halt the path to purchasing the A-4 Skyhwak that had just begun. Over the next year the RNZAF, Cabinet Defense Committee, Treasury, the Finance Minister and the Chief of Defense wrangled over purchasing the F-4 or an alternative (F-5 or A-4). Then at the end of 1967 the New Zealand Currency was devalued and a squadron of F-4 Phantoms was now instantly out of New Zealand’s price range. It was either 11 Phantoms or 16 Skyhawks. So the Skyhawk it was. So if the Treasury Department hadn't intervened in the procurement process towards the end of 1966 it seems entirely likely that New Zealand would have placed and order for the F-4 Phantom II at the end of that year! And so I give you the F-4D Phantom II in RNZAF Service 1969 to 2002. I chose the F-4D as when the order would have likely been placed in late 1966/ early 1967 the F-4D was the current USAF production model as the first of the F-4E models were only just being built as part of the USAF F-4D contract. The RNZAF F-4D models are built to the same standard as the last USAF F-4D coming off the production line in the late 60's. However like the A-4K in real life they are 'fitted for but not with' ECM/ RHAW equipment. This means the wiring, sensors and cockpit RHAW display are installed but the actual 'black box' control units are not. The reason for this (as in real life with the A-4K) was not an economy measure as most references state (including the Third Wire manual) but because the equipment was in such demand by US forces for use in Vietnam. So the aircraft were delivered without them but with the intention of fitting them at a latter date. However that day simply never came and this is possibly where the additional cost of purchasing/ installing them played a part in it not happening. The Kiwi F-4D Phantoms are capable of caring the full range of the USAF Phantom arsenal including first generation smart weapons. However only the Mk 82/83/84 series bombs and unguided rockets are used by the RNZAF. For the air-to-air role the SUU-23/A gunpod, AIM-7E and AIM-9E are chosen with the AIM-4 Falcons performance in Vietnam causing the RNZAF to steer well clear of it. Four separate Aircraft: F-4D Phantom II RNZAF - Initial aircraft delivered in 1969 fitted for but not with ECM/ RHAW equipment. F-4D Phantom II (72) RNZAF - By 1973 the redundant RHAW display has been removed from the cockpit as well as the empty IRST pod under the nose that was to house the RHAW gear. F-4D Phantom II (78) RNZAF - Second hand attrition aircraft from USAF stocks delivered in 1985 in preparation for the project Kahu upgrade of the fleet. F-4D Phantom II (88) Kahu RNZAF - In 1986 a comprehensive $140 million upgrade program is undertaken. Known as project 'Kahu' the heart of the upgrade is replacing the old AN/APG-109 radar with the modern AN/APG-66(NZ) multi-mode radar. The cockpit is modernized with glass displays, HOTAS and a Ferranti wide-angle HUD. Survivability in increased with the ALR-66 RWR and ALE-40 countermeasure dispensers. The MIL-STD 1553B databus and Litton Industries LN-93 inertial navigation system are also installed. The airframes and engines are completely stripped down and given a life extension with almost all of the aircraft wiring replaced. A smoke abatement system is added along with low voltage formation lights. The aircraft also receive armament upgrades including the capability to fire AIM-9L, AIM-7M, AGM-65B/G and GBU-10 Paveway II laser-guided bombs. The old F-4 Phantom external center drop tanks are also replaced by the F-15 600 gallon HPC tanks as on USAF Phantoms. By the end of 1991 all New Zealand and ex USAF Phantoms have been upgraded to the 'Kahu' standard. More sceen shots and the full 'what if' story here: http://combatace.com/topic/86994-f-4-phantom-ii-in-royal-new-zealand-air-force-service/ Requirments: you will need one of the SF2 games with the F-4D as well the Third Wire DLC A-4K Skyhawk for the decals. Bonus: Included in a separate folder is a RNZAF F-4D for use with the SF2V Air & Ground War Expansion Pack. This is the Kiwi F-4D fitted with the required ECM and stores for operations in the Vietnam War. Credits: - comrad - Sundowner - Dave - eburger68 - Malibu43 - ravenclaw_007 - Bunyap - Chaser617 Released under CombatAce Fair-Use terms. Enjoy! Dan (dtmdragon) Click here to download this file
  25. Version 1.0

    81 downloads

    F-4 Phantom II in Royal New Zealand Air Force service ('What If') Background (factual): In mid 1964 Operational Requirement No. 5/Air called for a tactical combat aircraft to replace the Canberra. Specifically a long range aircraft with the primary role of counter-air/interdiction and secondary roles of close air support and air defense. In June 1965 The Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Morrison was quoted as wanting 18 F-111 aircraft for the RNZAF at a cost of £1.5 million per aircraft. The public and media supported the idea but the Chief of Defense Staff (who was a Naval Officer) and the acting Prime Minister publicly opposed the purchase. In August 1965 the Chiefs of Staff Committee rejected the idea of acquiring long-range interdiction aircraft and in September agreed that close air support should be the primary role of the new combat aircraft. In December came Air Staff Requirement No. 12 with the following requirements of the new combat aircraft: - Ability to provide effective air support to ground forces. - Highly reliable and robust - Self defense capability to evade or counter supersonic interceptors and surface-to-air missiles. - Long range. - Ability to operate closely with American and Australian forces. By May 1966 the RNZAF had finished evaluating six candidate aircraft: - F-4C Phantom II - A-7A Corsair II - Mirage IIIO - F-5A Freedom Fighter - F-104G Starfighter - A-4E Skyhawk In August 1966 the RNZAF officially asked the government to purchase 16 F-4 Phantoms at a total cost of £19 million. Now remember AVM Morrison making it known he wanted the F-111? He would later go on to admit he never wanted the F-111 he had wanted the F-4 all along but given the cost of the F-4 he wanted to make it look more attractive (cost wise) by putting it next to the F-111. The minister of Defense then announced the final stage of the evaluation had been reached and a decision was a few weeks away. The purchase of the F-4 seemed to be all but done... BUT the Treasury department now intervened and recommended purchasing the F-5! The RNZAF High Command was furious! But ultimately powerless to halt the path to purchasing the A-4 Skyhwak that had just begun. Over the next year the RNZAF, Cabinet Defense Committee, Treasury, the Finance Minister and the Chief of Defense wrangled over purchasing the F-4 or an alternative (F-5 or A-4). Then at the end of 1967 the New Zealand Currency was devalued and a squadron of F-4 Phantoms was now instantly out of New Zealand’s price range. It was either 11 Phantoms or 16 Skyhawks. So the Skyhawk it was. So if the Treasury Department hadn't intervened in the procurement process towards the end of 1966 it seems entirely likely that New Zealand would have placed and order for the F-4 Phantom II at the end of that year! And so I give you the F-4D Phantom II in RNZAF Service 1969 to 2002. I chose the F-4D as when the order would have likely been placed in late 1966/ early 1967 the F-4D was the current USAF production model as the first of the F-4E models were only just being built as part of the USAF F-4D contract. The RNZAF F-4D models are built to the same standard as the last USAF F-4D coming off the production line in the late 60's. However like the A-4K in real life they are 'fitted for but not with' ECM/ RHAW equipment. This means the wiring, sensors and cockpit RHAW display are installed but the actual 'black box' control units are not. The reason for this (as in real life with the A-4K) was not an economy measure as most references state (including the Third Wire manual) but because the equipment was in such demand by US forces for use in Vietnam. So the aircraft were delivered without them but with the intention of fitting them at a latter date. However that day simply never came and this is possibly where the additional cost of purchasing/ installing them played a part in it not happening. The Kiwi F-4D Phantoms are capable of caring the full range of the USAF Phantom arsenal including first generation smart weapons. However only the Mk 82/83/84 series bombs and unguided rockets are used by the RNZAF. For the air-to-air role the SUU-23/A gunpod, AIM-7E and AIM-9E are chosen with the AIM-4 Falcons performance in Vietnam causing the RNZAF to steer well clear of it. Four separate Aircraft: F-4D Phantom II RNZAF - Initial aircraft delivered in 1969 fitted for but not with ECM/ RHAW equipment. F-4D Phantom II (72) RNZAF - By 1973 the redundant RHAW display has been removed from the cockpit as well as the empty IRST pod under the nose that was to house the RHAW gear. F-4D Phantom II (78) RNZAF - Second hand attrition aircraft from USAF stocks delivered in 1985 in preparation for the project Kahu upgrade of the fleet. F-4D Phantom II (88) Kahu RNZAF - In 1986 a comprehensive $140 million upgrade program is undertaken. Known as project 'Kahu' the heart of the upgrade is replacing the old AN/APG-109 radar with the modern AN/APG-66(NZ) multi-mode radar. The cockpit is modernized with glass displays, HOTAS and a Ferranti wide-angle HUD. Survivability in increased with the ALR-66 RWR and ALE-40 countermeasure dispensers. The MIL-STD 1553B databus and Litton Industries LN-93 inertial navigation system are also installed. The airframes and engines are completely stripped down and given a life extension with almost all of the aircraft wiring replaced. A smoke abatement system is added along with low voltage formation lights. The aircraft also receive armament upgrades including the capability to fire AIM-9L, AIM-7M, AGM-65B/G and GBU-10 Paveway II laser-guided bombs. The old F-4 Phantom external center drop tanks are also replaced by the F-15 600 gallon HPC tanks as on USAF Phantoms. By the end of 1991 all New Zealand and ex USAF Phantoms have been upgraded to the 'Kahu' standard. More sceen shots and the full 'what if' story here: http://combatace.com/topic/86994-f-4-phantom-ii-in-royal-new-zealand-air-force-service/ Requirments: you will need one of the SF2 games with the F-4D as well the Third Wire DLC A-4K Skyhawk for the decals. Bonus: Included in a separate folder is a RNZAF F-4D for use with the SF2V Air & Ground War Expansion Pack. This is the Kiwi F-4D fitted with the required ECM and stores for operations in the Vietnam War. Credits: - comrad - Sundowner - Dave - eburger68 - Malibu43 - ravenclaw_007 - Bunyap - Chaser617 Released under CombatAce Fair-Use terms. Enjoy! Dan (dtmdragon)
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