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the_demongod

Air to Air missiles, and why they need to change

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Not going to sugar coat it, I hate air to air missiles in this game. It has nothing to do with how they perform in terms of doing their job (following and killing targets), because I think they do this fine.

What I hate is the utter lack of diversity behavior wise. All the AA missiles could be swapped out for each other and it wouldn't make much of a difference.

For this thread, I will be comparing the ASRAAM and Zephyr missiles, both found on the A-143 Buzzard (AA).

This is because they are different types of missiles, both AA, and are found on the same vehicle (making testing, etc easier).

You'll also notice that most of my changes are to the Zephyr. This is because the ASRAAM behaves basically how it is supposed to.

The ASRAAM is labeled "AA SRange," and the Zephyr is labeled "AA LRange." Based on the appearance of the missiles, we can assume a few things:

  • The ASRAAM is a heat seeking (IR) missile. We know this because the tip of the missile has a small transparent glass shield, required for an IR seeker head to be able to "see" the enemy jet's exhaust.
  • For this same reason, we can assume that the Zephyr is not a heat seeking missile, due to the lack of this feature. And because most non heat-seeking missiles are radar guided, we can assume that this is the case.
  • In theory, the Zephyr should be faster and therefore less maneuverable, because a larger missile has a larger exhaust nozzle, meaning more exhaust escapes at once. Conversely, the ASRAAM should be slower and therefore more maneuverable.
  • Because the Zephyr is larger, we can also expect it to have a larger warhead, and the for ASRAAM to have a smaller one. This means that the Zephyr should do more damage than the ASRAAM.

A quick look at the config files for M_Air_AA (ASRAAM) and M_Zephyr (Zephyr) reveals the actual stats: (in order they were found in the CfgAmmo files)

Note: I am not very experienced with config, so if anybody spots any errors or misinterpretations please point them out for me.

CM Immunity

ASRAAM: cmImmunity = 0.9;

Zephyr: cmImmunnity = 0.9;

I find this interesting, because the Zephyr is a radar guided missile it should not be spoofed by flares at all. But that's a different issue; adding a chaff animation to the flare animation (so that it looks like both are being popped at once) would fix this issue (sort of).

Fuse distance:

ASRAAM: fuseDistance = 500;

Zephyr: fuseDistance = 50;

It would appear as if the Zephyr requires much closer proximity to be detonated.

[FRL] Myke has pointed out that this is actually the minimum arming distance of the missile, similar to how a grenade launcher grenade doesn't explode if it lands too near the shooter. Thanks mate!

Hit

ASRAAM: hit = 200;

Zephyr: hit = 100;

The Zephyr only does half as much damage for some reason. However, due to its close fuse distance requirement, I assume it must be more accurate and probably comparable in damage when these things are factored into consideration.

Indirect Hit:

ASRAAM: indirectHit = 85;

Zephyr: indirectHit = 50;

Again, the Zephyr does less damage than the ASRAAM for some reason.

Indirect Hit range:

ASRAAM: indirectHitRange = 10;

Zephyr: indirectHitRange = 8;

I assume this designates the outer limit of the indirect damage in meters. Again, the Zephyr seems to have a smaller, weaker blast

Init Time:

ASRAAM: initTime = 0;

Zephyr: initTime = 0.25;

This is actually what we want to see. This means that the ASRAAM's motor starts instantly upon firing, allowing it to be following the target from the very start. This means the Zephyr waits 0.25 seconds before starting its motor. Not sure if this means it drops down slightly before starting its motor, but it would be nice to see this value increased for the Zephyr (would add to the idea of not being able to be used in close ranges as effectively). If it would drop a little before firing, that would also happen to look badass :).

IR Lock:

ASRAAM: irLock = 1;

Zephyr: irLock = 1;

This confuses me, because the Zephyr is obviously not an IR missile. This may have something to do with whether or not it will be distracted by flares.

Once again saved by [FRL] Myke, this is actually just a value that dictates whether or not the missile can lock onto an IR target.

Maneuverability:

ASRAAM: maneuvrability = 27;

Zephyr: maneuvrability = 24;

As was expected, the Zephyr is less maneuverable, probably because of its size and speed.

Max speed:

ASRAAM: maxSpeed = 828;

Zephyr: maxSpeed = 850;

As we expected, the Zephyr is faster. But only a tiny bit faster. This speed is in meters per second.

Thrust:

ASRAAM: thrust = 240;

Zephyr: thrust = 385;

I assume this value has to do with the fact that its larger size requires more thrust. It is quite a bit more though.

Weapon Lock System:

ASRAAM: weaponLockSystem = "2+16";

Zephyr: weaponLockSystem = "2+16";

Finally we can see for real what the tracking systems of these weapons are according to the config.

Oddly enough, they are both "2," or Infrared (heat seeking). Not entirely sure what the "16" is, can't find that anywhere. Anybody know?

This probably explains why there is no warning on the radar while you are being targeted by the Zephyr: the game considers it IR, not radar guided (it would say "8").

Big thanks to PuFu who told me about this CfgAmmo config reference, which allowed me to add a bunch of new config comparisons above.

So interestingly enough, the Zephyr does significantly less damage than its little brother. I would have to test this in game to see how they actually compare, because I don't remember the damage being so different.

Yes, the values aren't identical. But they aren't that different either.

This brings me to my first "wish":

Create a bigger gap performance-wise with the missiles.

Yes, I have experienced situations where an ASRAAM missile was able to make a turn and a Zephyr was not. But it would be nice to see this difference accentuated more. Make it have a very low probability of impacting a target in a close range dogfight situation (for instance, a range where guns would make an easy kill). The missile's first stage of flight (first 50m or so) shouldn't even allow it to really turn, this is where the missile is still getting up to speed.

The next thing comes along with the last one perfectly: make the Zephyr faster. Now we have balanced out the Zephyr's poor turning speed. At long ranges, it will truly be superior to the ASRAAM because it will give the target less time to react, and will be able to reach targets that are far away before it runs out of fuel (I am actually not sure if these missiles self-destruct like the RPG-42, it would be an interesting thing to test).

Finally I'm getting to the interesting part: the act of locking.

This is actually the most important part, because it changes how the pilot will interact with these missiles.

In real life, heatseeking missiles do not "lock" in the sense we are used to. The seeker head of an IR missile is an array of heat-detecting sensors. When a hot object is picked up by the sensors, the gimbal supporting the seeker head moves the seeker head so that the hot object is in the center of the array. The missile is then fired. Every cycle made by the onboard computer, it re-checks the sensors. If the object has moved off center, the computer tells the gimbal to re-center the object. Simultaneously, the fins of the missile steer the missile to attempt to keep the gimbal pointing straight (and therefore causing the target to be directly ahead). By repeating this process very rapidly, the missile steers itself towards the target.

And that's it. That's how a heat seeking missile works, basically.

Notice there was no mention of "locking," or "targeting." Just simple "acquiring" by means of a simple program.

Here is a video of how IR missile are launched from an A-10

The circle represents the seeker head's line of sight.

There is no fancy targeting. The pilot has "uncaged" the seeker head, basically allowing it to wander around its field of view, searching for an IR hotspot. When it finds one, it stays on it via the process I described earlier.

Despite the fact that there is even less input from the pilot, this is a much more interesting process. Tab locking is a very repetitive and mindless action that is used for every single locking weapon in this game. Arma 2's FIM-92 Stinger actually accurately represented this process, but for some reason this functionality didn't make it over to A3.

Here is the same process observed in an SU-25: http://youtu.be/RWdIm5Q6t28?t=1m36s

In this aircraft the seeker head is fixed forward, so the pilot must point his plane to a place where the missile can see a target. This would be a much more development-friendly solution, requiring only for Arma 2's stinger functionality to be spliced into the jets, and to set a limited zone where the target has to be placed. All the HUD needs is a ring, like we've already got.

Now we're going to move on to the Zephyr.

The Zephyr is a radar guided missile. It could easily stay the way it is, and be considered an Active Radar Missile, like the AMRAAM in real life. This means that it carries its own radar and autonomously tracks a target, making it totally fire and forget.

But that's not interesting.

And I know you might be saying,

But the_Demongod, that's stupid because it's the future and this is a sim! - You, (maybe)

No it's not. It's a game that tries to replicate reality more than other games do. If there was 100% invincible body armor invented, would we put that in game? No! it wouldn't be fun for anybody.

With radar missiles, we can have an interesting game mechanic: Let's assume the Zephyr is a Semi-Active Radar Homing missile. And if you're too lazy to click the link and read, that basically means that the missile tracks a target by listening for another radar's radar waves bouncing off of it. This external radar could be a large array on the ground (such as in the case of long range SAM batteries), or it could be the plane's radar for all I know.

The interesting part is when you consider that the radar probably can't focus on more than one thing at once. See where this is going?

Now our missile is no longer fire and forget. You can't even fire more than one at once.

When you fire your missile at the target, you must stay locked on the whole time, or the missile will stop tracking. Now we have counter-balanced the Zephyr's previous OPness at long range: one pilot can't spam them and end up killing an entire fighter squadron before anybody sees each other.

We could even throw some other things into the mix. For example, lets say that aircraft flying below 10-15 meters above ground level are difficult to be locked, or not able to be locked at all (ground interference messes with the radar reflection). Now helicopters have a means of defence against a missile that otherwise travels so fast they would be helpless to it.

Another alternative would be to make the Zephyr Active Radar but model it in the way SUBS17 modeled it which is basically to require the pilot to hold lock after launch until the missile becomes active (tracking the target on its own) and only then can the pilot release the lock. This makes for a more forgiving mechanic, and is a good compromise between realism (in 2035 there will not be SARH missiles) and game mechanic.

Now that I've explained those few things, I can continue with some other changes:

Because the Zephyr requires a constant lock, it should be a much more accurate missile, with a higher straight-flight kill probability.

However, because it is a much faster missile, it would be much easier to dodge IF proper evasive maneuvers are taken. Because it is a fast moving missile, this maneuver would require a very precisely timed and very violent break turn. If done too early, the missile just shifts its aim a few degrees and then proceeds to obliterate your aircraft with a violent fragmentation explosion right in front of you. If done too late, the missile still hits very near your aircraft (although you may have avoided a direct hit), and explodes right below you (potentially ripping your wings off).

But then again, while you are being targeted, massive amounts of radar waves are being thrown at you, and your jet can pick those up. As a result, you would see the long-forgotten yellow flashing section of your radar, indicating the direction the lock originates from (remember that guys?).

Conversely, the ASRAAM should be a lower probability kill missile. As it is currently, its proximity fuse should detonate from further away, making it a less deadly missile. Enough to damage the ailerons on one side maybe, and punch a few little holes in the fuel tank and airframe, but not anywhere near the total destruction dished out by the big Zephyrs.

And that's it. Now the two AtA missiles are very distinct, specialized missiles that require the pilot to carefully assess the situation, range, speed, target, terrain, etc. before selecting a weapon.

A quick recap:

Make the Zephyr faster and less maneuverable. The ASRAAM is fine in this respect as is.

Make the Zephyr require a tab lock, and require this tab lock to be kept as long as the missile is in flight. This also makes the missile not fire and forget, essentially killing two birds with one stone. A player can fire two missiles, but only one should track at a time (should both be able to track the target? Maybe, but I don't like this idea. It would again be too spammy).

Make the ASRAAM target like a real IR missile. All we need is a simple circle reticle like we have now. Just make the missile auto-target any air targets within its range (should be ~1-2 km, no more), and instead of showing an ugly white diamond and square, just make a low buzzing sound pitch up to a high buzzing sound, to indicate status of target acquisition.

When a target is locked with Zephyrs, it should be warned of the lock, as it would be in real life (via the flashing yellow sector of the radar). ASRAAMs shouldn't cause this. In fact, if we were replicating reality they wouldn't show up at all on radar.

Make it so that the Zephyr is a higher probability kill missile, but because it is less maneuverable, it should be easier to dodge.

Make the ASRAAM the opposite of this, make it less damaging, but much harder to escape due to its ability to follow you closely and accurately.

And there you have it. We have now completely overhauled how missiles are used in air to air combat in Arma 3. It wasn't a massive change, but it was a fundamental one which made a huge impact, and these are the best kinds of changes.

For those of you who have made it this far, thank you very much for taking so much time to listen to what I have to say, it means a lot to me, and I know it was kind of long winded. Please reply and drop any feedback, information, critique, interesting links, your opinion, any anything else of the sort.

I hope at least one of you BI developers found some time to read over this, even if you don't plan on changing anything. I know you guys really have your plates full with all the upcoming DLCs, Bootcamp/Fatigue, life, etc, but it really means a lot to see you guys around on the forums, so that we know that you guys really are listening.

I would be happy to include anybody else's suggestions above, just tell me and I'll put it up there.

Also please take the time to read and/or upvote these related tickets:

Remove tab-locking ability for IR missiles: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=19066

Remove fire and forget capability for Radar guided missiles: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=19065

Cheers,

the_Demongod

UPDATE: Found a good page on weapon locking on the BIki. Link

Also updated my We Need Worse Weapon Systems thread with information about how replacing the current radar with a Radar Warning Receiver could greatly improve gameplay. Give it a read if you're interested.

Edited by the_Demongod

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Nice one! I'd love to see some real differences in the AtA missiles and this sounds like a really good suggestion, forcing the player to actually think before blasting away, is the target too far/close, is the target moving sideways too fast for the Zephyr to be able to steer in on it, will the target have time to drop flares and so on.

Signed.

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yeah... all the tab locking things is what makes ArmA unbalanced in multiplayer (or at least make everything that could use tab lock OP)...

this is what i really want to see in the future... it shouldn't be uber realistic like in DCS, but it should make the whole process of acquiring and locking a target a little more interesting and challenging

but when it's done, it shouldn't be stopped with AA... there are several other missiles which Need better lock mechanics (Maverick, Titan, DAGR ...)

grz

PS: thx for your work :-)

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thanks for the read :)

I know other missile systems are in need of overhaul, but as a flying enthusiast this one was the most important to me. It was also the simplest system to fix; only a few tweaks are needed for the AtA missiles to work really great as I have described.

As great as it would be to see a DCS level of complexity in arma, it really wouldn't fit the game very well, would be too hard to learn, etc. I tried to tailor my suggestions to create a great flying experience, not just to make it realistic and stuff.

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Good post! Unfortunately, I don't think there's much chance of it being implemented by BIS, but I do hope that they'll at least consider it.

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I (and probably everybody else) really appreciate your work! Its really interesting to read and even if it will never be implemented, its still informative and maybe a great resource for modders!

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Ambitious, i like it. Touches on a lot of things that exist, and how it can be improved upon, and this could boost immersion and feel of game play. Great idea's here.

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Not sure if i got wrong with what you mean or if you got something wrong:

Fuse distance:

ASRAAM: fuseDistance = 500;

Zephyr: fuseDistance = 50;

It would appear as if the Zephyr requires much closer proximity to be detonated.

For me it sounds like you mean that fuseDistance defines the range to the target to detonate the warhead. That's not what fuseDistance does. It defines the required missile travelling distance for the warhead become active. So for the ASRAAM, the missile wont explode if the travelling distance to the target was shorter than 500m.

You might observer the work of this parameters on some grenade launchers. If you shoot too short, the projectile will just be stuck in the ground without exploding.

If i got you wrong, please excuse and disregard this post.

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Hey guys, thanks for all the comments. I'm glad you guys like my ideas. Feel free to add your own and I would be happy to mention them above.

good post. There are issues with some config entries in your comparison though. Have a look here:

https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/CfgAmmo_Config_Reference

Thanks for the resource, I was looking for something like this but didn't come up with anything.

hey, but there may be a fighter DLC in future :-)

I thought the same thing, I would love to have a Jet DLC.

Myke;2737126']Not sure if i got wrong with what you mean or if you got something wrong:

For me it sounds like you mean that fuseDistance defines the range to the target to detonate the warhead. That's not what fuseDistance does. It defines the required missile travelling distance for the warhead become active. So for the ASRAAM' date=' the missile wont explode if the travelling distance to the target was shorter than 500m.

You might observer the work of this parameters on some grenade launchers. If you shoot too short, the projectile will just be stuck in the ground without exploding.

If i got you wrong, please excuse and disregard this post.[/quote']

Ahhhh that makes a lot more sense, I totally know what you mean with grenade launchers. Updated in the OP.

Cheers guys

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Hey guys, thanks for all the comments. I'm glad you guys like my ideas. Feel free to add your own and I would be happy to mention them above.

Thanks for the resource, I was looking for something like this but didn't come up with anything.

I thought the same thing, I would love to have a Jet DLC.

Ahhhh that makes a lot more sense, I totally know what you mean with grenade launchers. Updated in the OP.

Cheers guys

You're welcome.

If my infos aren't outdated, maybe i can solve another one:

IR Lock:

ASRAAM: irLock = 1;

Zephyr: irLock = 1;

This confuses me, because the Zephyr is obviously not an IR missile. This may have something to do with whether or not it will be distracted by flares.

This is indeed confusing since it has nothing to do with the actual targetting system (either radar or IR). BI differs between 3 possible target categories which could be locked by guided munitions: ground targets (vehicles), air targets and laser targets. Ground targets excludes single units and i think this is hardcoded and not part of any config. I might be wrong here, someone please correct me if i am. So in configs you can find irLock (locks on ground targets), airLock (locks on air targets) and laserLock (locks on laser designators and IR strobes). Those can be combined to create a missile that can lock on ground and laser targets, if desired.

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Myke;2737334']You're welcome.

If my infos aren't outdated' date=' maybe i can solve another one:

This is indeed confusing since it has nothing to do with the actual targetting system (either radar or IR). BI differs between 3 possible target categories which could be locked by guided munitions: ground targets (vehicles), air targets and laser targets. Ground targets excludes single units and i think this is hardcoded and not part of any config. I might be wrong here, someone please correct me if i am. So in configs you can find irLock (locks on ground targets), airLock (locks on air targets) and laserLock (locks on laser designators and IR strobes). Those can be combined to create a missile that can lock on ground and laser targets, if desired.[/quote']

Saved again :) updated the OP. Thanks.

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Everything that puts some "work" on fighting gameplay without going to far, is a nice addition IMO.

I like it.

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Everything that puts some "work" on fighting gameplay without going to far, is a nice addition IMO.

I like it.

Thanks, you should take a look at this thread, I think you'll like it then.

Cheers

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An interesting and thought-provoking thread, the_Demongod.

The rather simplistic nature of planes and aircombat in these games has long been a bug bear of mine, albeit with the acknowledgement that these games have an infantry focus.

The additions you suggest seem very reasonable to me and, on the config side at least, would be very easy to implement. I'm all for anything that gives the player more options, more decisions to make as to how to defeat the enemy or how to not be defeated. As with your description of manouevering to avoid a missile, this would add a lot to the game in that it would be an actual skill you could practice and improve upon.

One of the arguments against BIS giving much attention to air-to-air combat has always been that the maps are too small to represent it in anything like a believable manner, although that's changing with the size of Altis. Personally I'd like to see Altis set in the middle of a 90km x 90km map, so we'd have more room to move for air/naval warfare.

One problem I see with the idea of SARH missiles is that as they're all but gone from NATO forces now, I don't think they fit in a 2035 world.

Ideally vehicles could have a proper radar simulated on an actual part of the model, a la the current PIP screens, but that would add a whole new layer of complexity (and workload) for what is a pretty niche corner of the game. Of course once radars are added, there's RWRs, jammers, other ECM etc etc etc.

As a bit of a guess, nearly all of this could be accomplished if dialogs were able to run in PIP windows.

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actually, what's really annoying, as soon as vehicles get included to PVP battles, it's getting really boring for infantery, cause it's way to easy to find and fight the enemy for those who use vehicles.

i'm not asking for a realistic locking System, but the tab-lock must be replaced by a more sophisticated one:

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An interesting and thought-provoking thread, the_Demongod.

The rather simplistic nature of planes and aircombat in these games has long been a bug bear of mine, albeit with the acknowledgement that these games have an infantry focus.

The additions you suggest seem very reasonable to me and, on the config side at least, would be very easy to implement. I'm all for anything that gives the player more options, more decisions to make as to how to defeat the enemy or how to not be defeated. As with your description of manouevering to avoid a missile, this would add a lot to the game in that it would be an actual skill you could practice and improve upon.

One of the arguments against BIS giving much attention to air-to-air combat has always been that the maps are too small to represent it in anything like a believable manner, although that's changing with the size of Altis. Personally I'd like to see Altis set in the middle of a 90km x 90km map, so we'd have more room to move for air/naval warfare.

One problem I see with the idea of SARH missiles is that as they're all but gone from NATO forces now, I don't think they fit in a 2035 world.

Ideally vehicles could have a proper radar simulated on an actual part of the model, a la the current PIP screens, but that would add a whole new layer of complexity (and workload) for what is a pretty niche corner of the game. Of course once radars are added, there's RWRs, jammers, other ECM etc etc etc.

As a bit of a guess, nearly all of this could be accomplished if dialogs were able to run in PIP windows.

Yeah, I know what you mean. The issue is that even if you *do* have a 90km^2 map, view distance limits the range of engagement, and BVR isn't even possible because anything outside your view distance isn't lockable.

The issue with SARH is whether to choose reality, or create a good game mechanic. SARH missiles like the AIM-7 Sparrow have been phased out, but SARH makes for a better game mechanic. An alternative could be to find some other limitation related to locking with Active Radar missiles that exists in real life (to make them less spammable and distinctly different from heat seekers).

actually, what's really annoying, as soon as vehicles get included to PVP battles, it's getting really boring for infantery, cause it's way to easy to find and fight the enemy for those who use vehicles.

i'm not asking for a realistic locking System, but the tab-lock must be replaced by a more sophisticated one:

If they're being spotted because they can be tab locked, play on Veteran or above. The players won't be able to lock with the cannon, and none of the other weapons lock onto infantry.

Please try to keep the topic on track, this thread is about Air to Air missiles, and has nothing to do with infantry. If you are interested in issues with locking, etc. please read this thread: http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?178508-We-need-worse-weapon-systems

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and BVR isn't even possible because anything outside your view distance isn't lockable.

Lock distance is part of the planes config (irScanRangeMax) and is not related to view distance.

:EDITH:

Back in ArmA 2 i've successfully experimented with BVR ranges of 40+km.

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Myke;2738132']Lock distance is part of the planes config (irScanRangeMax) and is not related to view distance.

:EDITH:

Back in ArmA 2 i've successfully experimented with BVR ranges of 40+km.

That's interesting, I never considered that it would be tied to the plane. If there is irScanRangeMax, does that only apply to heat seekers?

Would be cool if we limited ASRAAM's range to like 1.5-2km, and allowed SARH missiles to go much further.

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ArmA does not make any difference for seekers. A missile can either lock or not. It doesn't differ between radar seekers or heat seekers. In fact, this difference doesn't exist in ArmA. BI missed a huge oportunity to improve this aspect from ArmA 2 to ArmA 3.

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Myke;2738179']ArmA does not make any difference for seekers. A missile can either lock or not. It doesn't differ between radar seekers or heat seekers. In fact' date=' this difference doesn't exist in ArmA. BI missed a huge oportunity to improve this aspect from ArmA 2 to ArmA 3.[/quote']

That's quite interesting. How would this distinction be made? Aren't lock ranges and other differences (between IR/Radar) defined for each missile in the config?

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Yeah, I know what you mean. The issue is that even if you *do* have a 90km^2 map, view distance limits the range of engagement, and BVR isn't even possible because anything outside your view distance isn't lockable.

The issue with SARH is whether to choose reality, or create a good game mechanic. SARH missiles like the AIM-7 Sparrow have been phased out, but SARH makes for a better game mechanic. An alternative could be to find some other limitation related to locking with Active Radar missiles that exists in real life (to make them less spammable and distinctly different from heat seekers).

If they're being spotted because they can be tab locked, play on Veteran or above. The players won't be able to lock with the cannon, and none of the other weapons lock onto infantry.

Please try to keep the topic on track, this thread is about Air to Air missiles, and has nothing to do with infantry. If you are interested in issues with locking, etc. please read this thread: http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?178508-We-need-worse-weapon-systems

After reading your original post I like the idea of more detailed A/A weapons but first a couple of observations. 1 heat seekers in some aircraft have more than one mode so you have caged(locked on by radar and the IR seeker is looking at that location). Uncaged that's where the seeker is searching for the tgt(heat source). And you have boresight which is where the missile only locks onto the tgt inside the circle in the HUD. For A/A dogfight modes there is in modern fighters submodes such as vertical scan, boresight etc. And these submodes allow the pilot to have better options in the dogfight in some situations. The other thing is modern fighters such as Superhornet, SU27 etc have helmet mounted sights so the pilot has a sight on his helmet that he can place on the tgt outside the seekers limits in the HUD but off boresight. These missiles such as Aim9X and R73 have 90 degrees and 67degrees off boresight capability while the Python has 180 degrees in other words a futuristic heat seeker can hit tgts behind you IRL.(current versions of the Aim9X and R73 no doubt will eventually have newer versions with the same capability.

For radar launched missiles they do not use semi active homing now days(Aim7) but more likely active radar homing missiles such as the Aim 120 AMRAAM and R77. These missiles work the same now for the start when they are launched the radar on the missile does not go active until they are within range for the missiles seeker. So in the HUD when you launch them you still are required to keep a lock until the timer has counted off the seconds until the missile has gone "Pitbull"(active). These missiles also have a submode which is called HOJ (home on jam) which is where the missile homes in on Electronic jamming by enemy aircraft. In the electronic warfare side of things the ECM jamming decreases the distance that is required to achieve burnthrough which is where the radar has penetrated the ECM noise and returned a positive location of the jamming aircrafts location. For radars themselves there are submodes including RWS,STT, TWS, Dogfight etc. With them comes different scanning zones of the radars search pattern that help the pilot locate enemy aircraft. BTW it doesn't matter if its a IR or radar guided missile both can easily shoot down an aircraft IRL, just because the IR missile has a smaller explosive charge does not mean that it would not destroy an aircraft if hit in the right location so damage modelling for the devs would be a complex issue but adds a lot to a sim if done the right way.

Edited by SUBS17
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