Also the Vietnamese had the same problems as the US.
Lack of training, the Soviets taught them how to fly and little less.
And even the little operational training they got was flawed by the same basic assumptions that shaped US thinking.
Missiles are the thing, everything else is obsolete. The soviets thought the same.
And even during the low points of US training the average Phantom driver still had a lot more flying hours than the average Vietnamese MiG pilot.
And once in country, operational training for the Vietnamese was very difficult as there was always some sort of US activity and there was almost never any time without alerts. So often the only times they flew was on operations.
And they pretty much had the same weapons problems as the US:
The R-3S (AA-2 Atoll) was a copy of the AIM-9B and had exactly the same problems as the AIM-9B.
Improved R-13S came later but they were probably on par with US sidewinders of the time.
And most of the MiG-21s the Vietnamese used had no gun either.
The early MiG-21F-13 had a 30mm cannon, but only 30 rounds for it.
The all-weather MiG variants mostly used over Vietnam like the PF and PFMs had no gun.
As far as I know, 23mm gun pods only became available to the Vietnamese after the war.
This is exactly the point i was trying to make Perhaps it was lost in translation that i was asking a rhetorical question. I don't see how they could have had different tactics and how they could have relied less on ground control when they didn't have anything else.Vietnamese MiGs served almost exclusively for point defense. They had neither the radar or fuel range to do anything else, and until the USAF/USN got their act together, they were pretty effective at breaking up raids. To a VNAF pilot, making a US fighter/bomber drop its bombs in order to dogfight is as good as killing that plane - most of the MiG sorties were over before they began anyways. A few passes on US strike packages with surprise on their side (hard to do, with Red Crown warnings and EC-121 support for the US aviators) and then scoot like hell back home to fight another day. The Vietnamese never had a big amount of MiGs, and when they did force the issue and stay to dogfight the result wasn't always assured.
x2 My point was that the so called "rubish" soviet tactics were pretty good for the time and probably the best the North Vietnamese could afford. To expect the kind of situational awareness and decision making capabilities that a modern day pilot has from a 60s/70s era North Vietnamese pilot is not realistic. And as you pointed out it is not necessary to shoot down an enemy airplane to achieve victory. Forcing the enemy to abort his mission my dumping his payload was (and believe it still is) considered a victory.Regarding the situation, the tactics the Vietnamese used were probably the best they could do.
It was designed to knock down big slow bombers. Killing a highly maneuverable Mig-19 was just more than it was capable of.