Armour Collection B11B203 US Navy McDonnell Douglas F/A-18B Hornet Strike Fighter - United States Navy Fighter Weapons School "Top Gun" (1:48 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The F/A-18 Hornet is the true multi-role aircraft. It can vault from a carrier deck, bomb a target and stay to dogfight even the best enemy aircraft without missing a beat. It's the Navy's first modern-era jet intended for double duty against air- and ground-based adversaries. Armed to the hilt with Sparrow and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, an internal cannon, and laser-guided bombs, this modern warbird was an outstanding performer in Operation Desert Storm. Strapped into a digital cockpit described as a cross between Star Wars and a video game, pilots of the F/A-18 Hornet take on the ultimate aviation job: blasting this single-seat, high-performance jet off the deck of a carrier, dropping bombs, and firing air-to-ground ordnance. Offering unmatched agility, the Hornet is the choice aircraft of the US Navy's elite Blue Angels aerobatic team.
Pictured here is a gorgeous 1:48 scale diecast replica of a US Navy F/A-18 Hornet used during the Top Gun exercises. Sold Out!
Historical Account: "Top Gun" - TOPGUN is the popular name of the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) program. SFTI is the modern-day evolution of the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School and carries out the same specialized fighter training as NFWS had from 1969 until 1996, when it was merged into the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at NAS Fallon, Nevada.
TOPGUN initially operated the A-4 Skyhawk and borrowed USAF T-38 Talons to simulate the flying characteristics of the MiG-17 and MiG-21 respectively. The school also made use of Marine-crewed A-6 Intruders and nearby USAF F-106 aircraft when available. Later, the T-38 was replaced by the F-5E Tiger.
During the halt in the bombing campaign against North Vietnam (in force from 1968 until the early 1970's), TOPGUN established itself as a center of excellence in fighter doctrine, tactics and training. By the time aerial activity over the North was resumed, every Navy squadron had its share of TOPGUN graduates. According to the US, the results were dramatic as the Navy kill-to-loss ratio or exchange rate against the North Vietnamese Air Force (NVAF) MiGs soared to over 20:1 before ultimately settling at 12.5:1.
The success of the U.S. Navy fighter crews vindicated the fledging DACT school's existence and led to TOPGUN becoming a separate, fully funded command in itself, with its own permanently assigned aviation, staffing and infrastructural assets. Successful TOPGUN graduates who scored air-to-air kills over North Vietnam and returned to instruct included "Mugs" McKeown and Jack Ensch, and the first U.S. aces of the Vietnam War, Randy "Duke" Cunningham and Willie Driscoll.
Meanwhile the USAF did not see much dramatic improvement from its fighter crews over Vietnam. It was after that war's end that they adopted a similar type of training program of their own using dedicated Aggressor squadrons. This program would later become known as Red Flag at the US Air Force Fighter Weapons School. (courtesy: Wikipedia)