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Air to air Combat in AWACS Tactical Simulator

Guest Darkness

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Guest Darkness

Next weekend I´m going to upload a new post in the blog of the AWACS Tactical Simulator development. But for now I would like to share it with you in order to know your opinion. Thanks in advance.


Remember: AWACS Tactical Simulator will be the best tactical simulator of an AWACS for iPad and Mac. And the only one :D


P.D.: remember: this is the english forum. So english is allowed, not spanish. Be careful, I can be writing in english, but the baneator button is still active :xd:






Defensive actions in air to air combat


There are few things more stressing than being in a plane while a missile is behind you and looking for your tail, or nose. The sound “incoming missile” is a nightmare for every fighter pilot. If you want to feel it, you don´t necessary need to be a real pilot, but a virtual pilot in a good air combat simulator like Lock On: Flaming Cliffs or DCS: A-10C. In any case, people think missiles are gods, that they never fail. That´s not true; they fail, and if old, they fail very much. Modern missiles are much more accurate, but they are far from perfect. And, you, as a pilot in a combat simulator, can avoid the incoming missile with some techniques and tools at your disposal. Maybe you´d die anyway, but it´s good to know how to avoid that disturbing missile following you and live another day with your family and friends.


But here you´re no longer a combat pilot, you give orders to them, help them, but you´re not flying the plane. So, the last hope to survive remains in the skills of the pilot. You, at the end, can see how he survives, or dies in a big explosion that marks the end.


What we´re going to explain here is translated into the AWACS Tactical Simulator, so keep in mind all this stuff can help you understand what´s happening when in air to air combat.


RWR and eyes, when you know something is happening.


People don´t usually know, but 80% of the aircraft that had been shot down by another aircraft in last wars didn´t know they were in danger. They didn´t even see the other aircraft coming for them. Today, with RWR, there is a chance to know that someone is being watched, and tracked (if radar is on). Modern radars are very powerful, and they can detect aircraft that are very far away. But, they need to radiate a signal, and that signal can be read by one important tool: the RWR.


The RWR is an acronym for Radar Warning Receiver. In it´s simplest form, it can detect a radar source, it´s position (more or less) and distance (more or less). Modern RWR systems are complete digital computers that can say what type of enemy aircraft is illuminating our friendly plane. The enemy radar sends the radar light to our plane, and the RWR beeps. Then the pilot says “Spike!” letting know other pilots and the AWACS that he/she has been spotted. If a ground radar is emmiting the signal then the word is “Mud spike!”. Some aircraft are linked so they can share their RWR signals. Whatever air or ground, or naval, the pilot must know he is probably being watched. Not all the planes carry RWR systems. Then the only way to let the pilot know that he/she is being tracked is by telling him/her. Civilian aircraft and big airplanes usually don´t carry RWR systems. But the important thing here is that they must be defended at all costs. Normally a big plane is a primary target for enemy fighters.


BVR, when the distance is the key, and evasive maneuvers.


If you have seen Top Gun, you can think that air combat (dogfight) develops at short distances. You can almost touch your enemy. That was true in Second World War. But in today air combats the BVR is responsible for many aircraft being shot down. BVR is yet another acronym, meaning Beyond Visual Range. Aircraft can carry BVR missiles, and these missiles are very poweful and with a long range. These are the AIM-120 AMRAAM, the R-27, or the R-77. You´ll see that many combats in the simulator finish long before planes can contact one another.


Being far from your threat is good for you. If the enemy missile is far it needs time and fuel to target you. The most usual then is to put distance between you and the missile (evade). Just go to a 90-110º angle and the missile will have to fly long and turn high left or right. If you go up then the missile will have to ascend too. All this makes the missile lose power and speed. The missile can then fail and will destroy itself. If missile is radar guided, you can turn on ECM. ECM is, yes, another acronym for Electronic Counter Measures, and it can block the radar waves so the enemy missile can´t lock on you. It´s similar to those tools used to avoid mobile phones work in an area. If missile is IR (Infrared) guided, then be careful not to go to afterburn.


Evasive maneuvers puts the pilot at disavantage because he can´t follow his enemy while evading, but chances are better that the incoming missile will fail. Some pilots, sometimes, don´t evade, and try just to disturb the incoming missile with chaff, flare and ECM, while in pursuit of his enemy. You will see that your own pilots usually (not always) prefer to evade, while enemy fighters prefer to stand against your pilots, but sometimes they can evade too.


Dogfight: when you can see your enemy eyes.


Well, dogfight is not Top Gun fight with Maverick pushing the brake in the air to win a victory, you can be sure of that. But you can take the idea. If near, then this tip is good, but you must complement it with chaff and flares. Chaff are little aluminium papers that can jam the enemy missile if radar guided. If IR, then flares is the answer. In any case, you must always try to defeat the incoming enemy missile by making it lose its speed and power. But remember: while the pilot is in a defensive state, the oponent is in offensive mode. It´s up to the pilot to avoid the missile. And you? You can give him/her orders to leave (escape window) if you don´t see any chances of winning, or send other flight groups to help. The escape window is a concept where the pilot knows at every moment how to escape from the combat. This window can open or close, so he must be very careful.


One last word: the plane is not the plane: is the group.


You should remember that, when seeing the image of the aircraft in the simulator, it is not one aircraft (unless you create the group with one aircraft, not very clever if I must say). So, when a missile shots down one aircraft, the group remains until all the aircraft in the group have been shot down. Of course, losing one aircraft makes the other group more powerful, so you should think when to withdraw. The enemy tends to fight until the end. Their orders are clear: destroy your flight groups no matter the cost. So this is the type of enemy you should know you´ll encounter in the air. They are tough. But this can be its weakness too.


You´ll see all this questions modelled into the simulator. Soon we´ll release the first videos from the alpha version to explain all this in detail.


Another day we´ll talk about air to ground combat. AAA and SAMs will be you best friends.


The AWTSIM Team.

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Guest Darkness

Keep up the good work guys¡¡


This game is the only reason I´m craving for any IOS/Mac device.


Thank you Shango, I´ve been presenting an alpha to some persons today and they were quite impressed. We hope to translate the hard work of an AWACS to the screen, and we think we´re on the right way to make it real ;)

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