BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERING THEORY
As a future NFO, the VT-86 student is preparing to embark on the final facet of training before
receiving his Wings of Gold. No other phase of aviation places greater demands on the
aircrew/aircraft combination than Basic Fighter Maneuvering (BFM). The skills required in
BFM (situational awareness, crew coordination, lookout doctrine, performance of complex
procedures under stress, etc.) are common to every tactical aircraft in the fleet. For these
reasons, both Strike and Strike Fighter students will be exposed to BFM in VT-86. Whether you
are a future WSO, RIO, COTAC, NAV, or ECMO, you will find this final portion of the T-2C
syllabus the most enjoyable and rewarding flying to date.
901. DEFINITION OF BFM
BFM is one aircraft vs. one aircraft (1v1) air-to-air combat training specifically developed for the
purpose of gaining proficiency in solving range, angle, and closure problems in order to achieve
a positional advantage and either employ a weapon yourself or deny an opponent an opportunity
to employ theirs. For our purposes, we will consider only rear-quarter weapons as we engage a
902. PURPOSE OF LEARNING BFM
Today's technology enables air-to-air combat to occur well beyond visual range. Strike Fighter
students in VT-86 are trained in the principles and procedures in this regime of combat. The
T-2C BFM syllabus is designed to expose all students to 1v1 basic air-to-air combat within
visual range. Previous radar training becomes irrelevant in this combat arena, popularly known
as "dogfighting". Because of this, all VT-86 students start at the same level in BFM.
In every major conflict since World War I, aircraft have been used to destroy other aircraft. At
the close of each conflict, there were assurances made that close-in air combat was obsolete and
doomed to the history books. Since then, the names, weapons, combat areas, and aircraft have
all changed, but air combat has not vanished. Technological advances and new weapons have
expanded the nature of air combat and have placed greater demands on combat aircrew.
Although current techniques and specific functions may be different, the basic tactics of 1v1 air
combat remain unchanged. The aircrew must still analyze their own skills, aircraft, and
weapons, and weigh them against those of their adversary in order to employ each to its
903. PHILOSOPHY OF TRAINING
Procedural knowledge of Basic Fighter Maneuvers (BFM) and situational awareness in the three-
dimensional BFM environment is the key to success.
BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERING (BFM) THEORY 9-1