Early in the movie, in the first scene in Miramar, Jester is explaining the origins of Fighter Weapons School. He says something like:
“During Korea, we shot down twelve of their jets for every one of ours. During Vietnam, that ratio fell to 3-1. Our pilots were too dependant on missiles. Top Gun was created to teach ACM: Air Combat Maneuvering. Dogfighting. By the end of Vietnam, it was back up to 12-1.”
Yes, yes, all well and good. Well, what’s been bugging me is that it seems Fighter Weapons School, aka TOPGUN, is a waste of time. Because fresh from graduation, and in their first dogfight after learning the skills of dogfighting intending to reduce dependence on missiles, Maverick and Iceman splash four MiG-28’s (fictional planes, btw) by using exclusively missiles. They don’t fire their guns a single time. Five missiles fired, four hits (one miss). Uh, guys? Remember dogfighting skills? Meanwhile, the “bad guy” pilots are using guns and some great flight maneuvers (the “hit the brakes he’ll fly right by” notwithstanding). And the message is: that’s a good way to lose a dogfight!