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Clarification reg. datalink targets


Fred00
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I have just recently started learning the F-16C, and one thing I don't get. If I have non-datalink targets on my radar, I can enter TWS and choose system targets (all, or pick those I want). However, if I'm having datalink targets which are also painted by my own radar (solid red triangle targets) I can not assign system targets. If I TMS up with the cursor over a target it is immediately bugged. If I TMS right, the closest target is bugged, but further presses do not cycle targets. Is this correct behavior? That is, targets can only be assigned as system targets if only my own radar sees them.

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2 hours ago, Fred00 said:

I have just recently started learning the F-16C, and one thing I don't get. If I have non-datalink targets on my radar, I can enter TWS and choose system targets (all, or pick those I want). However, if I'm having datalink targets which are also painted by my own radar (solid red triangle targets) I can not assign system targets. If I TMS up with the cursor over a target it is immediately bugged. If I TMS right, the closest target is bugged, but further presses do not cycle targets. Is this correct behavior? That is, targets can only be assigned as system targets if only my own radar sees them.

I'm a little out of training with regards to the FCR. so I can't really help you much with the problem, but if your radar sees a target it will behave exactly the same regardless of datalink. I'd make a bug report if I were you. Include a track file.

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2 hours ago, SpaceMonkey037 said:

I'm a little out of training with regards to the FCR. so I can't really help you much with the problem, but if your radar sees a target it will behave exactly the same regardless of datalink. I'd make a bug report if I were you. Include a track file.

Then we get the following problem of symbology:

 

When NOT using datalink: TWS track files have solid symbols. System files have hollow symbols.

 

When using datalink: Targets that are only from datalink have hollow symbols. Targets that are also painted by own radar have solid symbols.

 

Accounting for the above, it's clear that system files must have a separate symbol/designation when datalink is involved, since the hollow symbols are already used for another purpose.


Edited by Fred00
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Just now, Fred00 said:

Then we get the following problem of symbology:

 

When NOT using datalink: TWS track files have solid symbols. System files have hollow symbols.

 

When using datalink: Targets that are only from datalink have hollow symbols. Targets that are also painted by own radar have solid symbols.

 

Accounting for the above, it's clear that system files must have a separate symbol/designation when datalink is involved, since the hollow symbols are alread "taken".

oo.. I remember now, yeah, that's not a bug. It's just how the datalink targets are shown as system targets. It's just a UI thing, and does not have a functional feature for the locks. It's intended from what I know.

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Okay, so then it's a question whether datalink targets are shown as track files or system files. It seems to me that datalink contacts are shown as track files only, and TMS up is immediately bugging the target, skipping the system file completely. If datalink contacts were actually system files we should be able to cycle between them like we can with regular system files (not using datalink).

 

That is what's confusing, and it's not explained in the manual. Should we just accept that the concept of system files are not used with datalink supported radar contacts? It would be great to have it confirmed.

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The question itself is somewhat confusing but I think you misunderstood the difference between Datalink and your own radar contacts.

 

Hallow datalink targets are reference only.  You can't lock them unless you point your own radar towards it and make it solid.

 

Hallow datalink target is datalink target your radar isn't seeing.

Solid datalink target is datalink target your radar also sees.

White hallow target is unknown trackfile from your own radar.

White solid target is unknown correlated target from your own radar.

 

Bottom line is that the targets must be correlated by your own radar in order to lock.

 

5 minutes ago, Taz1004 said:

The question itself is somewhat confusing but I think you misunderstood the difference between Datalink and your own radar contacts.

 

Hallow datalink targets are reference only.  You can't lock them unless you point your own radar towards it and make it solid.

 

Hallow red target is datalink target your radar isn't seeing.

Solid red target is datalink target your radar also sees.

White hallow target is unknown target your own radar is tracking.

White solid target is unknown correlated target from your own radar.

 


Edited by Taz1004
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22 minutes ago, Fred00 said:

Okay, so then it's a question whether datalink targets are shown as track files or system files. It seems to me that datalink contacts are shown as track files only, and TMS up is immediately bugging the target, skipping the system file completely. If datalink contacts were actually system files we should be able to cycle between them like we can with regular system files (not using datalink).

 

That is what's confusing, and it's not explained in the manual. Should we just accept that the concept of system files are not used with datalink supported radar contacts? It would be great to have it confirmed.

nono, there is no actual difference in the locking procedure between the two, only UI differences.

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Reading the manual again, I think there is mistake in the manual and I think I understand what the OP is confused about.

 

Information on page 142, 143 versus information on page 161.  Regarding white solid and hallow squre being track target vs system target.  It was my understanding that the information on page 142, 143 should be reversed?  That hallow is track targets and solid is system target?  As indicated on page 161?

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28 minutes ago, Taz1004 said:

Reading the manual again, I think there is mistake in the manual and I think I understand what the OP is confused about.

 

Information on page 142, 143 versus information on page 161.  Regarding white solid and hallow squre being track target vs system target.  It was my understanding that the information on page 142, 143 should be reversed?  That hallow is track targets and solid is system target?  As indicated on page 161?

All information found in the DCS F-16 manual should be considered incorrect and should not be used to construct feedback on how a system should function. The flight manuals are the only manuals that should serve this purpose.


Edited by SpaceMonkey037
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1 hour ago, SpaceMonkey037 said:

nono, there is no actual difference in the locking procedure between the two, only UI differences.

The problem is that right now there is actually a difference in the locking procedure. Non-datalink correlated contacts are turned into system tracks with the first press on the TMS. On the second press they are locked.

 

However, datalink correlated targets are locked directly with the first press on the TMS. This indicates that either the "system track level" is skipped for those contacts, or that all datalink correlated targets are per definition already system targets. In the case of the latter, why are the datalink correlated targets not switchable by TMS right?

1 hour ago, Taz1004 said:

The question itself is somewhat confusing but I think you misunderstood the difference between Datalink and your own radar contacts.

 

Hallow datalink targets are reference only.  You can't lock them unless you point your own radar towards it and make it solid.

 

Hallow datalink target is datalink target your radar isn't seeing.

Solid datalink target is datalink target your radar also sees.

White hallow target is unknown trackfile from your own radar.

White solid target is unknown correlated target from your own radar.

 

Bottom line is that the targets must be correlated by your own radar in order to lock.

 

 

 

No, I understand all that. See problem description just above this quote.


Edited by Fred00
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4 minutes ago, Fred00 said:

However, datalink correlated targets are locked directly with the first press on the TMS.

 

Not based on the last mission I flew.  I had to press TMS twice on red solid datalink targets to lock and launch.

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5 minutes ago, Fred00 said:

The problem is that right now there is actually a difference in the locking procedure. Non-datalink correlated contacts are turned into system tracks with the first press on the TMS. On the second press they are locked.

 

However, datalink correlated targets are locked directly with the first press on the TMS. This indicates that either the "system track level" is skipped for those contacts, or that all datalink correlated targets are per definition already system targets. In the case of the latter, why are the datalink correlated targets not switchable by TMS right?

 

 

Are you 100% sure you haven't already made the datalink targets system targets? Perhaps drop all system targets and try again?

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I will test again when the kids have gone to bed. I'm using the instant action mission "Fighter intercept" to test this btw.

 

8 minutes ago, Taz1004 said:

 

Not based on the last mission I flew.  I had to press TMS twice on red solid datalink targets to lock and launch.

Okay, but how is it shown that the target is made a system target after the first press? For non-datalink correlated targets you get an hollow symbol, but clearly that's not the case for datalink correlated targets. Just wondering what I should look for?


Edited by Fred00
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7 minutes ago, Fred00 said:

Okay, but how is it shown that the target is made a system target after the first press? For non-datalink correlated targets you get an hollow symbol, but clearly that's not the case for datalink correlated targets. Just wondering what I should look for?

 

From what I remember they will be filled it, just like a radar + datalink contact. Not hollow.

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27 minutes ago, Fred00 said:

Okay, but how is it shown that the target is made a system target after the first press? For non-datalink correlated targets you get an hollow symbol, but clearly that's not the case for datalink correlated targets. Just wondering what I should look for?

 

 

Actual symbol wise, none.  What I use to tell is that the Azimuth will automatically change to A2 and 3 bars in TWS mode.

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26 minutes ago, SpaceMonkey037 said:

From what I remember they will be filled it, just like a radar + datalink contact. Not hollow.

When using datalink a hollow symbol will just indicate that the target is only seen through datalink and not with your own radar. A solid symbol indicates that your own radar has also picked up the target. Solid vs hollow seem to have no connection to track vs system file.

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19 minutes ago, Fred00 said:

 datalink correlated targets are locked directly with the first press on the TMS. This indicates that either the "system track level" is skipped for those contacts, or that all datalink correlated targets are per definition already system targets. In the case of the latter, why are the datalink correlated targets not switchable by TMS right?

 

I find correlated tank tracks are not locked with first press. It depends on what you mean by "locked" TWS bugged or STT. I'm using MIDs on/off to investigate each step of the way.

 

From TWS with only tank tracks, TMS forward presses gives:

  1. Elevate contact to tank track (if required)
  2. Elevate tank track to system track and snaps cursor to track
  3. Designate system track as bug
  4. Enter STT

From previous STT state pressing TMS aft gives:

  1. Bugged track
  2. System track (snappable)
  3. Tank track
  4. Contacts (all tracks)
  5. RWS (if no tracks)

The only differences I find between MIDS-on and system track and MIDS-on and tank track is that tank track is not snappable while system track is snappable. When snapped TWS will go into A2 B3 scan regardless of previous AzBar settings. The symbols can't be differentiated visually but they can be told apart. Snappable = system. Not snappable = tank.

F16MIDSTWS.trk

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8 minutes ago, Taz1004 said:

 

Actual symbol wise, none.  What I use to tell is that the Azimuth will automatically change to A2 and 3 bars in TWS mode.

You are correct. I just tested again. Two TMS presses are indeed required to lock the target. Also, as you point out, after the first press nothing actually show that the target is now a system target, apart from A2 and 3 bars. This means that it is not practical (or even possible?) to mark several system targets when datalink is involved, because you will not be able to tell which are system targets anyway.

 

It's nice that this behavior is confirmed, although the difference in meaning when it comes to hollow/solid tracks depending on whether datalink is used or not is a bit confusing.

5 minutes ago, Frederf said:

I find correlated tank tracks are not locked with first press. It depends on what you mean by "locked" TWS bugged or STT. I'm using MIDs on/off to investigate each step of the way.

 

From TWS with only tank tracks, TMS forward presses gives:

  1. Elevate contact to tank track (if required)
  2. Elevate tank track to system track and snaps cursor to track
  3. Designate system track as bug
  4. Enter STT

From previous STT state pressing TMS aft gives:

  1. Bugged track
  2. System track (snappable)
  3. Tank track
  4. Contacts (all tracks)
  5. RWS (if no tracks)

The only differences I find between MIDS-on and system track and MIDS-on and tank track is that tank track is not snappable while system track is snappable. When snapped TWS will go into A2 B3 scan regardless of previous AzBar settings. The symbols can't be differentiated visually but they can be told apart. Snappable = system. Not snappable = tank.

F16MIDSTWS.trk 38.46 kB · 1 download

Yes, this is correct. Thanks for the clarification. This behavior is not very clear in the manual I think. Or am I not reading it good enough? 🙂 Maybe the radar will be discussed more thoroughly when the manual is finished for release state.

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1 minute ago, Fred00 said:

When using datalink a hollow symbol will just indicate that the target is only seen through datalink and not with your own radar. A solid symbol indicates that your own radar has also picked up the target. Solid vs hollow seem to have no connection to track vs system file.

I am fully aware. Badly formulated on my end. What I meant to say is that there is no visual difference between a system target with datalink data and a tank target with datalink data.

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12 minutes ago, Frederf said:

From TWS with only tank tracks, TMS forward presses gives:

  1. Elevate contact to tank track (if required)
  2. Elevate tank track to system track and snaps cursor to track
  3. Designate system track as bug
  4. Enter STT

 

You know, I think this explains why TWS wont switch to some targets when cycling with TMS right.  I've had this happen many times.

They're just tank tracks and not system track.  And you can't tell the difference because the symbol is identical.


Edited by Taz1004
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You can tell behaviorally but not visually. If they snap then they are system. If you can't snap they are tank. If you accidentally elevate a system to a bug then you simply TMS aft once and you're back where you started.

 

Yeah, DL hollow/solid being uncorrelated/correlated and tracks hollow/solid being tank/system is confusing. I really think there should be a symbol difference between tank-correlated and system-correlated, different size solid marks or something. I don't think you're supposed to use tank/system as a tactical aid though. You want as many system as possible but are limited to the 10 limit of the radar.

 

If you want to use steppable to help control your engagement I think that's best done using RWS-SAM (TTS or MTS) which we don't have implemented yet in DCS.


Edited by Frederf
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Am 7.2.2021 um 20:33 schrieb Taz1004:

 

You know, I think this explains why TWS wont switch to some targets when cycling with TMS right.  I've had this happen many times.

They're just tank tracks and not system track.  And you can't tell the difference because the symbol is identical.

 

You are doing nothing wrong, it just doesn't work at all at the current stage. 

TMS right in TWS is broken and will only cycle through some tracks, but not all of them most of the time. 

And TTS is not implemented yet. 

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If it helps.... The F-16 employment manual tells you (as a technique) to filter out the datalink contacts from AWACS prior to targeting. There's a little memory aid for targeting technique, but it involves using the datalink contacts for SA, then filtering them out once you have the picture, then locking your assigned target group.

Dances

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Dances, PhD

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59 minutes ago, Frederf said:

That's interesting. What's the preferred method of filtering? I've been turning MIDS off but I'm sure that's not ideal.

So, this can be achieved by going COMM switch outboard for less than 0.5 seconds (The COMM switch is the four way hat on the throttle). This will make the FCR display go into the NONE filter that will remove all datalink tracks. You can also go COMM switch inboard to cycle between ALL, FTR+, and TGTS. These are other filters that filter out less things, but NONE is the only filter that removes fighter tracks (the enemy datalink tracks).

You definitely do not want to turn off MIDS as that would stop you from transmitting your own position, effectively making you a bogey (Not a good time). 
 

 

2 hours ago, TheBigTatanka said:

If it helps.... The F-16 employment manual tells you (as a technique) to filter out the datalink contacts from AWACS prior to targeting. There's a little memory aid for targeting technique, but it involves using the datalink contacts for SA, then filtering them out once you have the picture, then locking your assigned target group.


I feel like this explanation is lacking an explanation. The reason for why you would like to turn off datalink tracks before acquiring a target is because datalink isn't perfect, things will be off, sometimes by a lot. For example, if you're flying in a four ship against another 4 ship in line-a-breast (spread out wide), and you have awacs on your side. You will see the four targets from your own radar, AWACS, and your three wingmen, and you will also see what targets that your wingmen are targeting. These often lead to four targets cluttering up your entire screen and looking like 15 targets plus a bunch of lines from datalink... you get it, it's cluttered. For this reason when acquiring your target (especially when targeting a specific target in a group) you want to go COMM switch outboard short to declutter, lock onto the correct target, and then go COMM switch outboard short again to regain datalink tracks as you always want your datalink tracks on to maintain SA (situational awareness).

 

In short only declutter to acquire a target so that you don't reduce your SA.


Edited by SpaceMonkey037
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