Aggressor Falcons

F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 64th Aggressor Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., line the flightline at Eielson AFB, Alaska, on Tuesday, April 18, 2006, for Red Flag – Alaska. The exercise, formerly known as Cope Thunder, provides joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support and large-force employment training in a simulated combat environment. Red Flag – Alaska runs through May 5. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Justin Weaver)

See: Cope Thunder exercise now Red Flag – Alaska. (Image from af.mil)

Comments

  1. Well, they could use F-22s… …but nobody would ever beat them. Kinda pointless eh? I think there are some Viper pilots who would not agree with you that the MiG-29 is inherently superior to the F-16. I heard about one who got to fly a MiG-29, tried to execute a roll exactly like he normally does in his F-16, and it departed in the middle of it! As for the MiG-30, about all that’s good at is going relatively fast in a straight line. Not exactly what I would call a great dogfighter.

  2. Well, how well a group of aircraft do against another group of aircraft in a training exercise doesn’t really depend on the aircraft themselves so much as the pilots, their support and the degree of co-ordination and communication. Plus it wasn’t really a red vs. blue type exercise, there were lots of mixed exercises and one-on-many type scenarios. It’s not like a football game where you can tell that one side was better than the other because it scored more points. There are a number of reasons why we western countries don’t buy aircraft like the MiG-29 despite its cheapness. One of those is that the airframe life is quite low, which severely limits the amount of time pilots can spend on training flights, which limits their proficiency. (I don’t know if the Russians have solved their airframe life problems but they used to be ridiculously low compared to western aircraft in the past).

  3. Ah yes, I found the article where F-16 pilots got to fly a MiG-29 and told of their experiences. The bit I mentioned before is this:

    ‘I also tried to do a 250-knot loop,’ McCoy recalled. ‘I went to mil power and stabilized. As I went nose high, I asked for afterburner. I had to hamfist the airplane a little as I approached the top of the loop. I was still in afterburner at about 15,000 feet and the jet lost control. The nose started slicing left and right. I let go of the stick and the airplane righted itself and went down. It couldn’t finish the loop. In the F-16, we can complete an entire loop at 250 knots.’

  4. I am old enough to remember when it wasn’t difficult to compare fighters. Ours kicked ass and theirs sucked. It was elegantly simple in those days. Today they use smoke and mirrors to try to hide the fact that our out-of-control procurement system specializes in paying more for less. Who would have ever believed a Soviet fighter would out perform ours in aerodynamics? What world we live in. Anyway, thanks for the link. It was interesting reading.

  5. Heh heh, Honestly I’m indifferent to America. No offense, but its complacency like this and the feeling that something is wrong with a world where Russian fighters are better than the Americans, brings a bad name to Americans.. Portraying them as a self serving and inward looking lot with a holier than thou attitude… Oh and its not Soviet anymore… If you’re thinking F22s will save your pride, lookup the Berkut S-37… Soviet fighters are cheap, I agree, but a better alternative when compared with, say the expensive F-14 for example… Try to see things from a global perspective, instead of saying God bless America, try saying God bless this earth.. Peace will prevail… No I’m not Russian nor am I a hippie.. Cheers