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DACT. Dissimilar air combat training (DACT)
They even have a name for it. DACT. Dissimilar air combat training. Combat pilots of the fighter variety practicing aerial warfare, "dogfighting" in the traditional manner, air superiority, an attempt to "shoot down" the adversary, a simulation, and exercise, training.
"air superiority . . . That degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea and air forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force."
This is not an American piloted F-15 practicing aerial combat against another American piloted F-15.
This is not an American piloted F-16 practicing aerial combat against another American piloted F-15.
Air combat of the Red Flag or Top Gun variety as seen on television or in the movies.
Quite often the "aggressor" flying a combat warplane that either resembles or has been modified to resemble an "enemy", usually of the Soviet/Russian variety.
"Its [Red Flag] objective was to develop, refine and teach aerial dogfight tactics and techniques to selected fleet air crews, using the concept of Dissimilar Air Combat Training. DACT uses stand-in aircraft to realistically replicate expected threat aircraft"
Air Force Doctrine, tactics, methods and means all being put to an almost real-world use, as close to actual combat as you can get without the shooting having started!
"RED FLAG is an advanced aerial combat training exercise . . . air crew[s] from the United States Air Force (USAF) and other U.S. military branches and allies take part in the exercises"
"The Red Flag exercises . . . are very realistic aerial war games. The purpose is to train pilots from the U.S., NATO and other allied countries for real combat situations. This includes the use of 'enemy' hardware"
"The United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (SFTI program), more popularly known as TOPGUN, is the modern-day evolution of the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School"
It should be understood that these DACT exercises are NOT a free-for-all melee' but are stage-managed and choreographed to a large degree. "Frindlies" quite often placed deliberately in a disadvatageous position to test their mettle and skills.
DACT now carried one step further, quite often with surprising results.
DACT with dissimilar aircraft of foreign manufacture such as the Eurofighter - - piloted by NATO combat aviators "dueling" with American fighter "jocks" flying F-15 and F-16.
Doctrines, tactics, methods and means of aerial warfare, "dogfighting" at variance with what American combat pilots are accustomed to. The results again surprising and sometimes very disconcerting from the American standpoint.
Consider DACT results for the Eurofighter Typhoon [English]:
"2005, a trainer Eurofighter T1 was reported to have had a chance encounter the previous year with two U.S. Air Force F-15Es over the Lake District in the north of England. The encounter became a mock dogfight with the Eurofighter allegedly emerging 'victorious'."
"2005 Singapore evaluation, the Typhoon won all three combat tests, including one in which a single Typhoon defeated three RSAF F-16s"
"2007, the Indian Air Force fielded the Su-30MKI [Russian Sukhoi] . . . with Royal Air Force's Typhoon. This was the first time that the two jets had taken part in such an exercise . . . During the exercise, the RAF pilots candidly admitted that the Su-30MKI displayed maneuvering superior to that of the Typhoon . . . The IAF pilots on their part were also visibly impressed by the Typhoon's agility in the air"
[results NOT made public!]
"2010, during a DACT exercises over the Canary Islands involving USAF and Spanish Air Force units, two Spanish Typhoon engaged 8 F-15Cs from Lakenheath, UK. 7 F-15s were "downed" while one managed to escape, with no loses for the Typhoons"
What normally can only be found out as real-world during actual warfare can be tested at least to some extent during peace-time? DACT results can be considered valid as best can be determined without someone dying!