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I this question Why would a fighter drop fuel into a drone? it was essentially asked if the SU-27 has the capability to deliberately dump fuel in a controlled manner. My question is if other current military aircraft (of any country) has the ability to do a controlled fuel dump, and if so, under what operational situations would this be considered a valid and useful military tactic?

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    $\begingroup$ The F1-11 could certainly dump fuel, and did so as an airshow trick when the pilot would ignite the dumped fuel with the afterburners. See m.youtube.com/watch?v=WpPEdOMSIgQ Fuel dumping can have uses for controlling landing weight. I can't think why else one would use it. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ Highly related: this and other past answers to a related question -- aviation.stackexchange.com/a/47997/34686 $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 19:56

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Really the only time that’s used is just to reduce the weight of the aircraft in order to recover, i.e. reduce the weight to at or below the maximum landing weight of the airplane in order to land safely, just as is done on jetliners or other aircraft for normal or emergency operations. Similar results can also be achieved by jettisoning ordnance from the aircraft, including external fuel tanks, but this procedure would be frowned upon during peacetime operations, and especially over populated areas. It’s simply easier to reduce weight by dumping excess fuel.

There is no other useful or military tactic associated with dumping fuel like that. What you saw on that video was not some standard military tactic or interception procedure. It was two Russian pilots hotdogging (and they have a VERY bad reputation for doing this during routine intercepts over international waters) and paid a high price for it. I don’t know what the extent of damage to the SU-27 that collided with the drone was, but the pilot was probably darn lucky that he didn’t get killed in that circus stunt.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well, the ONE useful use of fuel dumping with a military jet was the RAAF F-111C at the closing ceremonies of the Sydney Olympics. Not an actual "military" use, though. More an airshow thing. $\endgroup$
    – WPNSGuy
    Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ I don’t know if you would call that a military procedure, per se. More like an airshow demonstration procedure. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ Highly related: this and other past answers to a related question -- aviation.stackexchange.com/a/47997/34686 $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 19:56

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