Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

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Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by manwiththemachinegun » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:37 pm

Aside from the obvious reason (realism doesn't sell robot toys), why would Federation, and other factions for that matter, stop using air superiority fighters or heavy bombers? In the Gundam film trilogy, and 8th MS to an extent, you had Core Boosters performing reasonably well in combat, and Dopps at one point nearly overwhelmed White Base with their numbers. Sure, Mobile Suits have versatility and firepower, but ditching an entire class of fighting machine seems rather shortsighted. Granted, later transforming Mobile Suits seem to combine the two, but that still doesn't explain why you don't see dedicated air to air or air to ground craft in huge numbers.

So, other than merchandising and plot armor, why aren't massed air or space craft used in UC anymore?

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by battletech » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:17 pm

I think it has to do with the whole problem of no radar. Basically the mobile suit is a high tech way of stepping back to a time before radar was used. That's the reason I thought of because I was wondering the same thing. Lot of smart people on here so a good explanations should be coming
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Raikoh » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:37 pm

I think that with the radar issues that Minovsky particles bring to the table, it amplifies the strengths of Mobile Suits as well as the faults of planes. If you watch the Gouf Custom's debut scene in 08th MS Team, you see that it can jump to the Core Booster's firing range and take it out with one slice. A GM Ground Type also shot down a Core Booster with a single shot, so there's the issue of them being incredibly fragile. Plus, you know, as planes their movement is more linear and predictable than a humanoid's, they can't exactly turn on a dime. Add to it that they have a limited range of firing (only in a straight line below them for dropping bombs or a straight line ahead for firing inbuilt machineguns, really) compared to a Mobile Suit's free range of movement and the Mobile Suit just seems like a more logical choice.

However, they do have the benefits of still being good against non-Mobile Suit corps and if the 08th scene is of any indication, they're really cheap to make (the sky was completely covered with Core Boosters). I think it's not so much that they aren't being used, just that the audience doesn't see them being used. Jets are less practical since Mobile Suits are more versatile and have overall higher specs, but bombers have been used before, such as the Gaw.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by manwiththemachinegun » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:54 am

Good explanation, but I'd like to hear some more possible theories. In a total war situation like the OYW was, there's no reason why total saturation bombing of an area which held mobile suits wouldn't be an option. Norris was a freakish ace with a custom suit, it's not like anyone else on that Zeon garrison was pulling similar maneuvers. And, as already pointed out, Norris didn't even made a dent in that formation. A whopping TWO planes out a formation of more than a hundred. And that's only one wave. And as we see, the bombing is effective against the non hardened targets at the base.

Federation ace Amy Bauer (flying what looks like U.C. version of an F-22) blows up a Dom in a high speed strafing run in Blue Destiny, so I have to believe that a lack of radar isn't an issue for these pilots. Against a better model, the best she can manage is ditching her plane and ramming it, but as we all know, "custom" Mobile Suits cheat in regards to their durability (that dreaded plot armor). I'm looking at the average day in, day out type situation. If a simple fighter can take out a late model MS, why NOT use hordes of them? Or gunships? Or bombers flying beyond visual range?

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Zeonista » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:09 pm

Amy Bauer wishes she was at the stick of a F-22 Raptor. :P Raikoh has neatly summed up the situation at a glance. The One Year War changed the battlefield conditions to the detriment of conventional weapons and their use. In the One Year War even the early Zeon & EFF MS could compete against jet fighters Earthside. In space the issue had already been decided to the point where aside from Core Boosters no fighters are seen during the final space battles.

The Minovsky jamming effect stripped EFF atmospheric fighters of their chief ability which we know of currently, to wit a medium-altitude platform for launching guided munitions at ground targets, beyond the reach of low-caliber flak, and able to evade the medium-caliber flak and have a decent chance of evading heat-seeking SA missiles. Modern air forces have all followed the example of the United States Air Force, which had learned from bitter experience in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam that ground attack missions were a greater destroyer of fighter aircraft than enemy fighters. The Luftwaffe & Red Air Force had developed slower-moving armored attack aircraft which could be durable tank-busters in the face of everything the enemy could throw at them on short notice. At one point the USAF had a similar aircraft, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, which is the model for an anti-MS aircraft. However, the EFF seems to have followed the recent lead of the USAF and decided they had no use for a slow mover that was a durable cannon & missile platform. :roll: So it was up to the thin-skinned fat movers to go down on the deck at subsonic speeds, giving up their chief protection of speed & maneuverability against armored targets that were not as blind & slow to react as tanks.

With the MInovsky jamming effect we have consigned radar & TV guided missiles to gather dust in bunkers. JDAM & cruise missiles which could use GPS technology had been offset by the ZMF, which had caused satellites to be destroyed or captured. (Launching a new satellite for recon & targeting would result in an orbital battle to control it, so the EFF pilots shouldn't have hoped for it.) So ground attack by jet aircraft had largely devolved to the early 1960s, using autocannons, unguided rockets & bombs, and short-range IR-guided missiles against a space-age anthropomorphic war machine that carried heavier armament, the same level of sensors, and was able to react to aerial attack at approximately the same rate as the attacking aircraft. Dopp pilots would have fared no better against EFF MS types, as depicted in the anime.

This entire situation as described above exists before MS capable of sustained flight and using beam rifles came into general use! When that began to happen after 0083, fighter craft rapidly fell by the wayside.

Edit 1: Tomino never described use of laser-guided munitions in his stories, and following stories never picked up this omission to my immediate recollection. These ought to have been possible, but the steady-contact laser beam might have in turn been detected by the targeted MS. A sudden thruster jump or side-step might break the target link, to the detriment of the attack, and possible subsequent demise of the targeting laser unit.

Edit 2: The Shuddering Mountain episodes showed the ZMF Asian Front at its terminus, when the EFF had the overwhelming advantage, the Zeon controlled territory had shrunk to a point easily concentrated against, and it was clear to all but a Zeon mad scientist that it was time to evacuate. It's a situation where EFF fighters could attack en masse with some confidence, and there were too few Zeon MS to help the flack emplacements make the aerial attack pay for its temerity. Packard Norris' stunt with his heat serpent cable was not just to show off, but to encourage the Core Boosters to keep their distance and drop their bombs from a higher altitude, with a higher miss %.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by manwiththemachinegun » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:55 pm

That's about as detailed an answer as I could expect. I still think it's odd that it took so long for "fighter modes" to be reintroduced to mobile suits, but as far as transforming robots go, I love the concept of Macross' Valkyries which are fighters first, robots second, instead of Gundam which is robot first, fighter second.

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by RGM-79 GM » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:38 pm

Technically they didn't completely get rid off them. There are some in episode 4 of Unicorn. As they are Saberfish, IIRC, most likely they stopped developing new fighters and possibly stopped production of them. They were also likely relegated to rear line or support roles.

I really wouldn't say OYW MS could compete against the fighters just that the fighters didn't have access to their main weapons, long range guided missiles. Forcing them to get in close to enemy MS and use their cannons which were useless against MS armor or dumb fire their missiles. IIRC the EFF Air force was really the only thing that could effectively fight back against Zeon ground forces.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by toysdream » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:37 pm

The disappearance of aircraft isn't really very convincing. Both space and air fighters seem to have been pretty effective during the One Year War - or at least cost-effective, if not the best use of pilots' lives. Space fighters have the liability that they run out of fuel pretty quickly, since they can't do AMBAC maneuvering, but the opposite should be true in the atmosphere - planes can use their wings for aerial maneuvering, whereas mobile suits and their support craft only have their engines. In a "real" scenario I wouldn't put money on a base jabber-riding mobile suit versus a conventional fighter plane.

Supposedly, the most effective Federation aircraft against ground-based mobile suits was the Mongoose, which is basically a knockoff of the A-10 Thunderbolt II. It's possible that they did away with it in the Universal Century for the same stupid reasons they phased it out in the real world - ego, politics, military vanity...

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Zeonista » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:15 am

A MS on a base jabber no longer needs air support to keep from being diverted from its destination by the need to deal with aerial attacks. A quartet of Feddie fighters might not be able to stop a MS platoon, but they could definitely slow it down, On a base jabber or wave rider platform, the speed and added thrust would be useful. The real threat from a Nemo or Rick Dias on a base jabber would be the beam rifles, I keep forgetting the Mongoose, which apparently puts me in good company over at Sunrise. :) The desire to get rid of the Thunderbolt II, beloved "Warthog" of the ground-pounders, is a special kind of stupid, and rather short-sighted. The Air Force "fighter mafia" hates the plane, and has tried to retire it 3 times in almost as many decades. Given the planned sequester cuts, the decision may be final this time. I can imagine that after GMs got introduced and the ZMF on Earth was reduced to scattered bands of remnants, the decision was made to toss them and move on.

manwiththemachinegun: The introduction of the transforming MS was not to make a new iteration of the jet fighter or space fighter, but to give select MS enhanced air travel speed without needing a base jabber.

RGM-79 GM: Do not sell MS sensors short! Any Zaku on Earth could acquire targets at visual ranges exceeding 6000 meters, across a 180-degree field of vision. That's eagle-eyed vision compared to any tank, and the mono-eye was set at many times the height of a tank as well. Fore-warned was fore-armed, and any MS could quickly stride out of a strafing run's path with a few seconds' warning, while simultaneously aiming a weapon. Now, I do not wish to say that the fighter craft on either side were made useless against MS, but they were ultimately made obsolescent. The EFF fighter jocks who stayed with fighters instead of transferring to GM units ultimately had to develop the courage to plunge down on Zeon MS and hold their course & fire to make it count, knowing full well that only a single 90mm or 120mm shell, or a flailing giant fist, was required to wreck their craft completely. And that was not even counting the local terrain hazards arbitrarily arrayed against an aircraft swiftly moving through the area. There were some tactical solutions available to a squadron or wing commander with the ability to use many aircraft, but the typical 3-4 plane element moving against a Zeon formation guarded by MS would have to be careful and plan ahead, and then go for broke on the attack run.
Last edited by Zeonista on Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by toysdream » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:32 am

Where these kinds of discussions tend to lose me, though, is that people seldom seem to consider the tactical objectives of the participants. (In other words, what is The Thing That They're Trying To Do?) If you're thinking of this as a video-game bout, with a Zaku over here in the red corner and a jet fighter over there in the blue corner, and you want to see which would win in a head-to-head duel, then that's a very different problem from trying to win an actual war.

What are aircraft used for in the real world? (Why don't we just use tanks for everything?) An aircraft has longer range, can get to the combat zone much quicker, and an attack or bomber type can bombard enemy ground forces from a considerable distance overhead. (Not necessarily a safe distance, but well out of arm's reach.)

Your standard-issue jet fighter is designed to shoot down other aircraft, so it's not so relevant to mobile suit combat but should work nicely against those lumbering Dodais and Base Jabbers. When it comes to mobile suits, one of the most useful things an attack plane or helicopter can do is avoid them - mobile suits are pretty slow, and so expensive that the enemy can't deploy a lot of them, so your aircraft can do all kinds of damage to the vast number of places their mobile suits ain't at. :-)

If we were applying real-world logic, rather than anime entertainment value, the first thing you'd do when the enemy sends a team of mobile suits your way on Base Jabbers would be to scramble an entire wing of interceptors (which would probably cost only a fraction as much) and shoot down all their support craft. Then you have a bunch of busted mobile suits hobbling around on the ground, so you can pick them off at your leisure. So it's probably best not to think about this stuff too much.

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Zeonista » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:53 am

The reason why MS inevitably show up as a UC versus weapon is that they are the weapon that makes the difference. If there were no MS, the One Year War would be another iteration of Red Storm Rising & Team Yankee. But there they are, with Mister Minovsky enforcing the turn back to a contest of personal wills instead of a contest of guided & semi-guided munitions. Fighter craft would naturally play their part in hitting rear-echelon targets, but if the Zeon MS would be observed on the move, the best way to hamper the MS would be to send a squadron at them. Even if half the fighters got shot down, it might be worth it to keep the Zeon giants away from the columns of T-61s & APCs exploiting a gap in the ZMF lines. With some luck a couple MS might be damaged or destroyed, eroding the Zeon strength before they initiate combat. That incidentally, is exactly what RAF & USAAF fighter-bombers were able to do to many Wehrmacht counterattacks in WW II. The vaunted panzers spent much time & fuel dodging repeated air strikes, to the detriment of their stated objective of slowing or stopping Allied ground troops.

Base Jabbers & Dodais may not be mighty in terms of strict aerial performance, but you're still missing the point that they simplify the ability of the MS pilot to operate in the air, and give them a stable aerial gun platform, which would be advantage enough. A fighter strike against flying MS on jabbers would be tasked to try to get them to bail off the platforms & rely on their own fuel for aerial flight, and break up the formation into a less coherent structure. Then once that happens, the fighters would leave the combat and let their allied MS encounter the enemy formation.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by manwiththemachinegun » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:42 am

Sure MS are the super stars, but like you said it makes sense to include a cheap air force as part of a combine arms attack rather than a, "Only an MS can kill an MS" mindset. It's not like either side is concerned about casualties! :lol:

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Brave Fencer Kirby » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:21 am

toysdream wrote:If we were applying real-world logic, rather than anime entertainment value, the first thing you'd do when the enemy sends a team of mobile suits your way on Base Jabbers would be to scramble an entire wing of interceptors (which would probably cost only a fraction as much) and shoot down all their support craft. Then you have a bunch of busted mobile suits hobbling around on the ground, so you can pick them off at your leisure. So it's probably best not to think about this stuff too much.
Even more than Base Jabbers and the like, I wonder what a fighter wing would do to a monstrosity like the a Gaw. Sure, Gaw have turrets and stuff to defend themselves, but that didn't work particularly well with WWII's heavy bombers, so I don't see why it would be very effective in Gundam. (Of course, Gaws also had Dopp escort, but Dopps... well, Dopps look like something someone used to designing space fighters would come up with if asked to make an atmospheric craft.)

While we're talking about "technology that isn't used nearly as often as it should be", artillery would massacre mobile suits, but I don't think we've ever seen any type of fire support that didn't come from a shoulder-mounted MS cannon.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Zeonista » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:07 am

The Gaws were protected by their own bulk, like flying sauropods. :) Prolonged attacks would be required to shoot down one, which could make things dicey, if only because it gave the defensive gunners more chances, The "flying fortress" concept was not useless; the Luftwaffe expended a lot of time and effort trying to find ways to knock down heavy bombers. (And Luftwaffe fighters converted to bomber-killers were weighted down in combat with Allied escort fighters.) The Imperial Japanese Army & Naval Air Force didn't even have a fighter capable of doing the job in 1941, and they didn't get any for another 3 years...when those heavy bombers began appearing over Japanese cities. An even better model of success was the Short Sunderland flying boat, which was designed for long-distance patrols into German controlled coastal airspace. It was rarely shot down due to its durable size and multiple gun emplacements. Gaws could also carry their own escort with them, a pair of Dopps, Not so easy to line up an attack on the big giants with the Mighty Ducks on your tail, eh? :)

manwiththemachinegun: Having detailed the problems inherent in the scenario of fighters versus MS at length, well, if fighters are available, might as well deploy them in some useful fashion! Non-deployed aircraft sitting idle in their hangers, or taken or destroyed on the ground are pretty useless, MS or no MS.

I was a little disappointed that the third MS IGLOO series did not feature an episode concerning a EFF fighter pilot. Having done "the PBI episode" and "the PBT episode", it would have been great to see the closest thing to a MS pilot in action against the Zeon forces, sort of like a Feddy version of Area 88. It wouldn't have been that much of a stretch for design & execution, either. The whole shinigami thing really undercut the "man versus machine" vibe that had made the first two series gritty war drama. :roll:
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Raikoh » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:58 am

toysdream wrote:If we were applying real-world logic, rather than anime entertainment value, the first thing you'd do when the enemy sends a team of mobile suits your way on Base Jabbers would be to scramble an entire wing of interceptors (which would probably cost only a fraction as much) and shoot down all their support craft. Then you have a bunch of busted mobile suits hobbling around on the ground, so you can pick them off at your leisure. So it's probably best not to think about this stuff too much.
That would only work for so long, since you know that they'd start utilizing anti-aircraft weaponry. Also consider the psychological impact of incurring these losses. If you're sending out wave after wave of planes and just covering the sky in them, they could easily get tagged, even with Spray and Pray. I think that would basically turn the battle into "Gundam Stalingrad," where the winning side ends up with a lot more casualties. And you know the propaganda machine would be all over that.
Brave Fencer Kirby wrote:While we're talking about "technology that isn't used nearly as often as it should be", artillery would massacre mobile suits, but I don't think we've ever seen any type of fire support that didn't come from a shoulder-mounted MS cannon.
Actually, IGLOO had two cases of "Artillery vs. Mobile Suits", in both cases the MS in question being Zaku II. Those pesky Minovsky particles made it so that in both cases (original IGLOO episode 2; and Gravity Front episode 1) the artillery had to rely on line of sight. In both cases, the MS has a better line of sight due to its advanced sensors and high field of view.

It was shown that even the Zaku II was agile enough to perform evasive maneuvers and dodge artillery shells, which is why in IGLOO 2 it took an entire regiment pummeling a Zaku repeatedly to take even a single one out because a single shot was fired too early. In that same episode, the second Zaku killed the entire platoon. Hildolfr had some better luck, being able to take out a Zaku with a single shot of its cannon (and managing to take out six Zakus by itself), but in that case it needed an Ace behind the wheel, since the Zaku still could dodge its shots once they were aware of the Hildolfr's presence, and as soon as they got up close they had a massive advantage.

Artillery is a lot less reliable than, say, a GM, and you only need to train one pilot for the Mobile Suit as opposed to an entire squad (or for the Hildolfr, you need someone specially trained for tanks whereas if you have something like the Gelgoog Cannon, anyone who can pilot a Mobile Suit can use it). I think that some of it might have to do with that in terms of manpower, Mobile Suits are established to be more efficient. They don't need to rely on Aces (though they certainly help), specially trained squads (which would only be useful on Earth, and in a defensive use), or human wave tactics.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Brave Fencer Kirby » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:24 pm

Raikoh wrote:Actually, IGLOO had two cases of "Artillery vs. Mobile Suits", in both cases the MS in question being Zaku II. Those pesky Minovsky particles made it so that in both cases (original IGLOO episode 2; and Gravity Front episode 1) the artillery had to rely on line of sight. In both cases, the MS has a better line of sight due to its advanced sensors and high field of view.

It was shown that even the Zaku II was agile enough to perform evasive maneuvers and dodge artillery shells,
I liked it better when I thought Gundam didn't bother with artillery because they would totally show up those silly giant robots. Apparently the MS Igloo writers think that artillery didn't exist before radio, and that artillery shells are slow enough to dodge. ....yeah.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by domtropen » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:07 pm

Funny looking it is, but in its universe Dopp is quite a capable aircraft. A Zaku when active [and not pilot by stupid pilot] is not slow either. For MS vs whatever it is often the battle of who detect who first.

IIRC is it mentioned before that a Zaku II cost as much as about 5,000 cars? If a car is about $20,000 a Zaku II would cost at about 8-10 Warthogs?

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Zeonista » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:44 pm

Raikoh wrote:
toysdream wrote:If we were applying real-world logic, rather than anime entertainment value, the first thing you'd do when the enemy sends a team of mobile suits your way on Base Jabbers would be to scramble an entire wing of interceptors (which would probably cost only a fraction as much) and shoot down all their support craft. Then you have a bunch of busted mobile suits hobbling around on the ground, so you can pick them off at your leisure. So it's probably best not to think about this stuff too much.
That would only work for so long, since you know that they'd start utilizing anti-aircraft weaponry. Also consider the psychological impact of incurring these losses. If you're sending out wave after wave of planes and just covering the sky in them, they could easily get tagged, even with Spray and Pray. I think that would basically turn the battle into "Gundam Stalingrad," where the winning side ends up with a lot more casualties. And you know the propaganda machine would be all over that.
Here you articulate what I have often felt about the "numbers = decisive advantage" of OYW discussion, especially when concerning conventional forces flung against the ZMF like so many Russian brigades. Superior numbers of any type can have a positive advantage, but there must be effective use of the numerically superior force, especially if it is believed that the enemy has a technological advantage. If there is no effective use, then there is every reason to believe the numerically greater force will only take discouraging losses with no change on the strategic balance. (There are so many examples of this truth in modern warfare as to be not worth listing here.) I may be a Zeonista, but it strikes me that expending a fighter squadron or tank battalion to destroy a platoon of Zakus is a bad bargain. Multiply that cost to defeat a MS battalion by such expenditure, and a second MS battalion with attached conventional forces will take the contested Federation territory because there is no longer an EFF force of sufficient capability to prevent it.

Edit: And while I'm at it....

Then there is the theme in the Universal Century of continuing the theme of re-discovering mobile mechanized warfare, or "the blitzkrieg". General Guderian and his successors have proved that a numerically inferior force using machines for fat movement and decisive combat against selected weak points of the enemy formations, with air support isolating the battlefield in the attackers' favor, can make fools out of enemy army formations many times their size. Claiming that it is impossible for a Zeon mobile division to speed along half a continent, with MS charging to guard the flanks of the spearhead or reduce particularly tough obstacles with Gaws & Dopps hammering targets in advance, is to merely to repeat the similar claims of French generals in 1940, Russian generals in 1941-42, Egyptian & Syrian generals in 1967, and Iraqi generals in 2003. It is useless for an EFF general to claim that a MS force "can't do that" when they jog through artillery fire, dodge strafing runs, and shoot at tanks' turret tops & engine decks. Theycan do it, they have done it, and they are currently doing it to his third or fourth defensive position. It's time to get creative, or cede 1,000 square kilometers to gain a firm defensive perimeter, and start working on building GMs.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by RGM-79 GM » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:35 pm

Wanting to get rid of the A-10 is stupid but I think trying to replace it with the F-35 is even worse as it isn't armed or armored for cas.

Sensor wise the Zaku II was one of the worst. Last I checked the Zakus sensors are well under 6000m.

They weren't really obsolete, the Feddie aircraft were really the only effective units against Zeon ground forces. Your average MS pilot wouldn't be looking up for aircraft, so saying they could see them beforehand isn't really that meaningful. Add the fact that an MS would be easier to spot than a fighter would be and in terms of spotting it would basically even out.

Local terrain? Even in MSG the fighters, the aircraft in general actually, tended to stay well over the ground terrain other than mountains. Even when aircraft were flying close to the ground they were still well over pretty much all terrain other than mountains. Now I'm not trying to say that it is easy to fight MS in aircraft, but foot slogging MS have a distinct disadvantage on earth.

domtropen, I'm pretty sure the reason Zeon never really got control of the air was in part due to the Dopp generally sucking against Feddie fighters. Even the core fighters seemed to be superior to Dopps.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:06 am

RGM-79 GM wrote:domtropen, I'm pretty sure the reason Zeon never really got control of the air was in part due to the Dopp generally sucking against Feddie fighters. Even the core fighters seemed to be superior to Dopps.
Actually, we are told that its the other way around, according to some of the articles from Mark's site:

-The EFAF was mainly equipped with outdated fighters that were outperformed by the Dopp.

On the other hand, the Federation Forces' many years of aircraft development history proved counterproductive, and their fighters seemed very much like relics of the age of radar and missiles that preceded the use of Minovsky particles.

-The Dopp itself was designed using Zeon's knowledge of spacecraft which made them more maneuverable than any old EFAF fighter. However, this came with the downside of a short operating range/time for the Dopp, which also led them to rely on the Gaws for extending their operational range, restricting their usefulness.

Dopp: An atmospheric fighter plane. It used apogee motors like those of a mobile suit to increase its maneuverability. Its small size, with an overall length of 9.2 meters and an overall width of 12.1 meters, was also a result of this emphasis on maneuverability.

-The Core Fighter, and specifically the Core Boosters, were considered state of the art fighters, whose only downside was low number of units produced during the war.

Core Fighter: A high-performance general-purpose fighter developed during the One Year War. Originally an escape capsule included in the mobile suits developed under Operation V in order to protect the pilot, it was upgraded so that it could function as a fighter. This machine was developed by a specially organized staff that transcended the barriers between military branches. At first the RGM-79 was also intended to use the core block system, and it was to function as a support fighter. But this idea was rejected due to production problems and, since the factories were devoted to mobile suit production, few units were produced. It was equipped with four 25mm machine guns and two internal missile launchers, heavy armament for a small craft. It was also adapted for use under Minovsky particle interference, and employed optical circuitry for its computer and all other electronic systems.

Core Booster: A booster for the Core Fighter, developed using functional and design data from the G-Fighter. It used nuclear thermal rockets and was equipped with two mega particle cannons. The completion of this machine marked the birth of a weapon which could truly be called a general-purpose fighter.


So basically, in a head-to-head battle:

Core Fighter/Core Booster > Dopp > EFAF old fighters

However, as proven after the OYW, the most powerful and efficient aerial units turned out to be MS using SFS, though this concept would not be fully embraced during the war, and much like the Core Booster, it would produce good results, but hardly enough to affect the overall situation. There's also the fact that initial Dodai YS was not meant to carry MS at first, and it would only be until later when more refined models with specific purposes would be developed, and almost undoubtedly, in even fewer numbers:

-Dodai II (08th MS Team): a model that was stripped of weaponry in order to focus on speed and maneuverability.
-Dodai GA (MSV-R): a more versatile model equipped with both anti-air and anti-ground missile launchers.

All that being said, it seems that in the end Zeon simply decided to push the Dom over the use of SFS:

A serious problem remained with the deployment of both the Zaku and the Gouf under gravity. Mobile suits normally moved by walking or through the use of tanks. However, deployment using these methods proved too slow. There were plans to combine the Gouf with the Dodai YS, or to give the Gouf itself flight capabilities, but this problem was not finally resolved until the completion of the MS-09 Dom.

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