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Post-WW2 Military and Naval Aviation Please use this forum to discuss Military and Naval Aviation after the Second World War.

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  #11  
Old 26th August 2012, 03:16
steve51 steve51 is offline
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Re: U.S. aircraft in Vietnam appear to have been extremely vulnerable to AAA

Bill Walker,
Everywhere I looked there were slightly different numbers, but some good numbers would be 1737 losses to hostile fire and 514 operational for the USAF.
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  #12  
Old 2nd October 2012, 21:59
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Re: U.S. aircraft in Vietnam appear to have been extremely vulnerable to AAA

One has to look carefully at the various missions before drawing conclusions about vulnearbilty to AAA. The Thuds were dominantly in RP6 with arguably the most intensly concentrated AAA (small arms up to 23mm plus mostly radar tracking 37, 57 and 125 mm) and Sam's, as well as MiG's - all coordinated by BARLOCK radar system. The BARLOCK and gun laying and Fan Song Radar nets around the Sam sites created a hellacious interlocking defense capability.

The introduction of Weasels had a dramatic effect on both loss rates and target bombing effectiveness. The fast movers in the South (F-100's, some A4's, some F-4's) were subjected to lesser AAA (and less sophisticated) than around Hanoi.

Steve was right about the overall per sortie loss rates but the preponderance of the high percentage losses were F-105s before the Weasels came to play in 1967.
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  #13  
Old 9th October 2012, 11:38
Brian Bines Brian Bines is offline
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Re: U.S. aircraft in Vietnam appear to have been extremely vulnerable to AAA

If I remember right there was a TV programme in which a vet. said that low level attacks were often made on targets in valleys such as bridges with a narrow approach. He said everybody who had any weapon was just told to fire upwards at attacking aircraft which had to fly through this barrage accounting for many losses.
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  #14  
Old 10th October 2012, 02:58
steve51 steve51 is offline
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Re: U.S. aircraft in Vietnam appear to have been extremely vulnerable to AAA

Another aspect of the tactical environment that I've noticed in my reading is that, in the south, pilots would make up to five passes on a target. That sort of thing was foolish in WW2 but common in Vietnam. Still, the loss rate per sortie was much lower than in WW2 or Korea.
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Old 8th December 2012, 13:50
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Re: U.S. aircraft in Vietnam appear to have been extremely vulnerable to AAA

IIRC Republic had put some hardening or fire suppression system in F-105 but because USAF wanted to cut down the unit price they were dropped out during production. Not the first or last time when peace time economics became very costly during wartime.

Juha
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Old 8th December 2012, 18:57
John Beaman John Beaman is offline
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Re: U.S. aircraft in Vietnam appear to have been extremely vulnerable to AAA

Remember, also that the F-105 was designed as a tactical nuclear bomber, not a sustained iron bombing machine, hence infrastructure systems for a different concept.

The A-1 was designed in WWII as a tactical support machine and soldiered on long after it should have.

The F-4, in spite of upgrade attempts was designed as a Navy fleet intercepter for Soviet bombers, not a tactical bomber or even a dogfighter.

Mr. Johnson's war forced many planes into roles they were never conceived for or designed for. US pilots did an incredible job making them work, anyway.
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