TIL during the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese military had a sophisticated air force and anti-air defense system which destroyed 10,000 US aircraft (including 3,744 planes and 5,607 helicopters) and 1,018 South Vietnamese aircraft. The North Vietnamese only lost 170 aircraft.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_losses_of_the_Vietnam_War

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Written by whatilearned

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  1. Something I learned from following this article was how early we had UAVs–I hadn’t even known we were operating them in Vietnam!

    Here is some history on US drone use in Vietnam: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_unmanned_aerial_vehicles#Vietnam_War:_Reconnaissance_drones

    The Israeli Tadiran Mastiff was particularly interesting: “It first flew in 1973. It featured a data-link system and miniaturized electronics that fed live and high-resolution video coverage of the targeted area to operators. It is thus seen by some as the first modern surveillance UAV. The combination of its long flight endurance of over 7 hours and real-time video streaming gave Israeli forces unprecedented depth of coverage, speed of information delivery and on-station surveillance time.”

  2. American planes were constantly flying over enemy territory. NV planes were mostly for self defense over their own territory. So considering the huge difference in use and sheer numbers, it’s expected the US lost a far greater number of planes.

  3. The loss of aircraft by the US occurred over both S Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia as well as N Vietnam. N Vietnamese planes ever flew south of the DMZ which accounts for such low aircraft losses. Over N Vietnam, most US aircraft losses were as a result of the high density SAM sites in N Vietnam.

  4. Also helped that the USAF strike planners were dumb or lazy or both

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    Dont remember which linebacker it was, probably 2 USAF sent in B-52’s to bomb hanoi (I think), they went in lost some planes

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    So they were sent in again next day, did the planers change the route, nope, did they change anything at all about the strikes. Nope straight copy and paste. But now the NVA had moved its all guns and missiles to the best location to intercept the bombers and made a real mess of them. So much so that B-52’s were virtually banned from flying over NV again because the strategic bomber forces could not sustain the losses and they close to being unable to a nuclear deterent

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aShr8VCCAOM

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    Also note this is how the Yugoslavs managed to shoot down an F-117. They just kept using the a same flight plan eventually they got lucky and shot it down

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