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TOPGUN Program Aircraft

Aviation History | United States Navy

The advanced TOP GUN aviator program was formed in the late 1960s following the disastrous results of Operation Rolling Thunder over Vietnam.

The United States Navy's TOPGUN program began as the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (USNFWS) on March 3rd, 1969 and, from its humble beginnings, grew to become the preeminent combat aviator training program in the West. Considerable losses by American combat aircraft incurred over the skies of Vietnam during the war's 'Operation Rolling Thunder' initiative pushed both the United States Air Force and USN to seek a solution with the USN steering towards more advanced air-crew training focusing on Air Combat Maneuvering (ACM). The result was the establishment of the USNFWS at Naval Air Station Miramar in California in March of 1969.

As the Cold War progressed, so too did the program which eventually introduced more advanced fighter platforms such as the classic Grumman F-14 Tomcat. The end of the Cold War in 1991, in turn, signaled an evolution in the TOPGUN program which, in 1996, led to it becoming merged into the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) at Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada where it continues today. The current school operates F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets as well as F-16A/B Fighting Falcons.

There are a total of [ 8 ] TOPGUN Program Aircraft entries in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator.

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Picture of the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F/A-18 Hornet
Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F/A-18 Hornet
Multirole Carrier-based Strike Fighter Aircraft
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Picture of the CONVAIR F-106 Delta Dart
CONVAIR F-106 Delta Dart
Single-Seat, Single-Engine Supersonic Interceptor Aircraft
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Picture of the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
Light Attack Multirole Carrierborne Fighter Aircraft
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Picture of the Grumman A-6 Intruder
Grumman A-6 Intruder
Carrierborne All-Weather Heavy Strike Aircraft
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Picture of the Grumman F-14 Tomcat
Grumman F-14 Tomcat
Swing-Wing, Carrierborne Fleet Defense Fighter
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Picture of the Lockheed Martin F-16  Fighting Falcon
Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
Lightweight Multirole 4th Generation Fighter
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Picture of the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter / Tiger / Tiger II
Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter / Tiger / Tiger II
Single-Seat Lightweight Multirole Aircraft
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Picture of the Northrop T-38 Talon
Northrop T-38 Talon
Supersonic Jet-Powered Advanced Training Aircraft
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