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Old 01-15-2019, 06:11 PM   #2
TLTeo's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 218

I'm not sure how to tie this back into DCS where realistically, maps are so small that range isn't that big of a deal, but I feel like you are over-simplifying things to an extent. This is an interesting conversation though so I'll chip in.

I don't think the air superiority vs interceptor difference really works without considering other factors. In the case of ww2 aircraft, they were designed at a time when the general consesus was "the bomber will always get through", and so of course fighter design would focus on preventing that from happening over escorting said bombers. The Zero and P51 are kind of freak accidents: the Zero was one of the very few ww2 fighters designed from the ground up as a long range escort fighter, and the P-51 was initially not designed for long range nor high altitude missions.

In the Cold War era you are also disregarding the need to contain aircraft cost, which was the driving force behind the design of the F5 and F104 (which btw, contrary to popular belief was designed as a cheap daytime tactical fighter, not as an interceptor as that role went to the Vodoo/Delta Dagger/Delta Dart). Similarly, the Mig29 was designed as a relatively cheap and affordable tactical fighter to be combined with the more expensive Su27, not strictly as a point-defense interceptor.

If anything, many of these (relatively) modern tactical fighters to me are an extension of how the Soviet fighters operated in WW2, ie field many cheap easily produced aircraft, stay close to the battle lines, focus on tactical objective rather than strategic ones. In that sense, the way we fly in DCS is probably not too different from the aircraft's intended use.

Even with the range of an F15 or Flanker, strategic bombers like the Bear/Blinder/Backfire/Stratofortress/Lancer/Spirit greatly outrange tactical aircraft like the jets we fly in DCS, so I don't think even in this day and age one can expect bombers to be escorted on their targets (at least in a Russia vs Nato scenario, it obviously gets different if the target is in Iraq or Yogoslavia). In that sense things haven't really changed, it's just that people are either a) hoping to overpowered whichever defenses may be present ro b) trying to be smarter at getting the bomber through.
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