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I tried searching for this, but couldn't find anything.  I noticed that the altitude range between the radar cursors doesn't change with the pitch of the jet (I'm running the latest stable version).  For example, if I point the nose up 30 degrees, the altitude range between the cursors 20 miles away stays the same as if I were flying level.  It seems to only be linked to the aircraft's altitude.


I've never flown an F16 so I don't know how it really is, I always just assumed that radar elevation was with respect to the aircraft itself and not the aircraft's position in the environment, but I'm sure someone here can correct me if this assumption is wrong.

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I had the same question a few months ago and was told that the radar antenna compensates for your pitch. That actually makes sense, image you are maneuvering while trying to keep tracks on some targets, e.g. to guide a missile. Now imagine you would have to manage the radar elevation along with your actual flying and still keeping tracks of the targets - quite a work load which could easily result in a wasted missile

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Yes, basically every modern RADAR (including the APG-68(V)5 of the F-16CM) is effectively horizon stabilised. When you adjust the RADAR antenna elevation (which is a knob or wheel on the throttle nearly all of the time), you're doing so in relation to the horizon - obviously within the gimbal limits of the antenna.


So if you have a 1 bar scan centred around 0° elevation, the RADAR will essentially scan across the horizon (as determined by aircraft instruments) regardless of aircraft attitude. 

Edited by Northstar98

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Search modes (e.g. RWS) that are meant to detect objects at long range usually have the radar stabilized to the horizon, not only in pitch but also in roll. The reason for this is that it disconnects the searched volume from the attitude of the aircraft. So the pilot can easily visualize the searched volume and possible hits as well as doesn't have to adjust the radar with attitude changes like Donglr already explained. In some submodes even azimuth is disconnected from the aircraft attiude (not implemented yet in the Hornet).


In modes (ACM modes) where the pilot is meant to already see the target, the radar is actually referencing the aircraft's attitude. That way the pilots doesn't have to manipulate the radar but can keep looking at the target and change the aircraft attitude (maneuver) to aquire a track.

Edited by RED
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