Development of Cold War Technology
When thinking of Jets, of course the related engines came to mind. Progresses made there were immenses, and soon allowed to reach Mach 2, before the end of the sixties, and through research in the seventies, up to Mach 7, not counting aerospace speeds. But this was also about the development of missiles, smart bombs, and electronics, from radars to countermeasure and other systems that are taken for granted today.
Development of the Jet engines
From ww2 turbines to thrust vectoring.
The very first jet was 1912 Henri Coanda turbine. It is still not known with certaintly if it flew, but it is certainly the birth of jet propulsion. Strangely, WW1 and the interwar missed Jet power, which would reveal itself in WW2, with the effect of technology being accelerated by the goal: To win at all costs. By 1943 it was clear for everybody that jet propulsion would gave fighters mastery of the skies and a race went on, won by the Germans, hands off. But the Americans after the war were the first to reach Mach I, and also Mach II, Mach III and well beyond, with the rest of the world trying to catch up. Afterburners and statoreaction, even nuclear power were also tested as well as various air intakes which often help to date the designs. Some concepts became standards. But jet engines would only improve incrementally on the long run. The very end of the cold war saw thrust vectoring being tested, first step towards the fourth generation ultra-agile aicrafts of the next decade.
Development of Missiles
Modern weaponry, missiles and smart bombs.
Air to air missiles were also a German invention in the end of WW2. These were a very improved version of their R4M rocket, launched from the revolutionary Me 262. Unguided rocketry was not new. The first Le Prieur and other models were excellent balloon-busters in WW1. The R4M was an unguided rocket used operationally, however German engineers designed in 1944 the Ruhrstahl-Kramer RK 344, the first wire guided, air-to-air missile. Wire-guided missiles would stay in service at least on ground AFVs for years, but in aviation, with the new speeds involved, new systems had to be found. Two "schools", or autonomous guiding systems were developed, infra-red or radar-guided. Also gradual improvements over decades ended with the perfect "fire and forget" system we know today. Aouside air-to-air combat, ground combat also benefited from these developments, with anti-tank missiles, and guided or "smart" bombs.
Development of Electronics
From radars to counter-measures.
There would be no modern dogfights without air-to-air missiles, and therefore without radars. Prior to the invention of navigational and search radars, either active or passive systems, planes flew only by clear weather, and by dayfor best results. But electronics enabled the "all-time, all-weather interceptor", and a whole range of electronic systems were invented and perfected over the years, ultimately giving borth to the term "avionics" (contraction of "aviation" and "electronics"). And as the cold war was a race, there were constant upgraded in detection, but also in jamming the opponent by various ways. Since radar range differred, some aicrafts were tailored deliberately to cover huge areas and serve entire air fleets over a theater of operations. The last step was the introduction of satellites and GPS, both for navigation and control & command. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acronyms_and_abbreviations_in_avionics - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Aircraft_radars