Armour Collection B11E772 USMC General Dynamics F-16H Fighting Falcon Fighter - United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, NAS Fallon, Nevada (1:48 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Even at the ripe old age of 20, the F-16 Falcon remains a fast and potent favorite among fighter pilots, and one of the best fighters in its class. Designed originally as a no-frills, single-engine "hot rod", the addition of improved radar and weaponry have made the Falcon a super, lightweight jet. Used mainly as a bomber, the Fighting Falcon can also turn-and-burn with unbridled fury when provoked. It is also one of the first operational fly-by-wire aircraft; its flight controls being electronically operated and computer controlled. A 20mm cannon, Maverick missiles, and laser-guided bombs make the F-16 a potent multi-role fighter. However, it's light weight, speed and agility make it the choice of the US Air Force's Thunderbirds aerobatic team.
Pictured here is a gorgeous 1:48 scale diecast replica of a USMC F-16H Falcon assigned to the US Naval Fighter Weapons School. Sold Out!
Release Date: June 2008
Historical Account: "TOPGUN" - The United States Navy Fighter Weapons School was established on March 3rd, 1969 at NAS Miramar, California after a United States Navy study (sometimes referred to as the "Ault Report") directed by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) at less than desired performance of fighter aircraft, aircrews and weapons. The head of the study group, CAPT Frank Ault recommended that a graduate-level school be established to train fleet fighter pilots in air combat tactics to improve the relatively poor air combat performance of Navy aircrews over Vietnam.
The school was initially formed and placed under the control of Miramar-based fighter squadron VF-121 "Pacemakers", an F-4 Phantom Replacement Air Group (RAG) unit responsible for providing type-qualified air and maintenance crews to first-line units of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet. It received relatively scant funding and resources and built its syllabus from scratch, while borrowing aircraft from its parent unit as well as other units to support the practical aspects of their operations.
Its objective was to develop, refine and teach Air Combat Maneuvering tactics and techniques to selected fleet air crews, using stand-in aircraft that could realistically replicate the nimble Russian-designed fighters that they were most likely to oppose in combat. At that time the threat aircraft were in the form of the transonic MiG-17 'Fresco' and the supersonic MiG-21 'Fishbed'. This teaching concept is known in military aviation parlance as DACT, or Dissimilar Air Combat Training, and presently is widely used in air arms the world over.
Air crews selected to attend the TOPGUN course were usually considered to be the best that their units could offer. Upon graduating they would then return to their parent fleet units to relay what they have learned to their fellow squadron mates, in essence becoming instructors themselves. Such personnel are known as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).
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.