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Trying to figure out the capabilities of the ATFLIR for Air to Air combat if radar is off. Can missiles be fired similarly to how a SU-33 can fire without its radar on and using the optical sensor? I would assume yes, it can fire at least a Fox 2 as all you need is the direction of the target to slew the heat seeker head and don't need ranging. But can you also fire a Fox 3 using the laser for ranging to tell it where to fly until going pit-bull? 

 

This is a fierce ongoing debate in our squadron, and I can't seem to find anything online to help answer this. 

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I don't see how this cannot be tested right now with Litening. For the Fox2 you are right, same principle as when shooting with HMCS over the shoulder where your radar cannot see. But for Fox3, that is an interesting question. Again, can be tested right now, no need to wait for ATFLIR since you can already lock targets with the Litening pod.

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8 minutes ago, Qiou87 said:

I don't see how this cannot be tested right now with Litening. For the Fox2 you are right, same principle as when shooting with HMCS over the shoulder where your radar cannot see. But for Fox3, that is an interesting question. Again, can be tested right now, no need to wait for ATFLIR since you can already lock targets with the Litening pod.

 

You cannot acquire a target with the litening pod unless you slew to them with radar, and even so you cannot get a track on them with the litening. The ATFLIR seems to have more advanced A-A capability. 

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5 minutes ago, mlawson1217 said:

 

You cannot acquire a target with the litening pod unless you slew to them with radar, and even so you cannot get a track on them with the litening. The ATFLIR seems to have more advanced A-A capability. 

Ah ok, didn't know that. Based on Wags' video I thought it was a similar process, acquire the target with the radar then lock it in the pod to have a secondary optical track. In that case if the radar track is lost (or radar turned off) the pod is still locked onto the target, I was curious if it was still possible to fire Fox3 in that instance.

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You can definitely acquire A-A target with Litening and without using radar.

Related to AMRAAM, if there is no L&S designated, it will be in Visual mode and you can of course launch it in Visual mode. Missile's own radar will become active and will target the first contact it finds, no matter where Litening is locked to.

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Is this how the system is actually set up or a DCSism?

 

I wouldn't shoot a 120 from pod data only as the ability to get range is iffy beyond the laser reflection threshold (which will be quite short) and there will be no closure information which would make the missile more susceptible to countermeasures - however it should be able to at least feed an angle and angle rate to the missile.


Edited by GGTharos
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I can't say anything about missiles, but as far as AA capability goes, I wonder if we'll see ATFLIR's 'autotrack' (is that what it's called?) feature, as seen in this fairly famous video.

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25 minutes ago, GGTharos said:

Is this how the system is actually set up or a DCSism?

 

I wouldn't shoot a 120 from pod data only as the ability to get range is iffy beyond the radar reflection threshold (which will be quite short) and there will be no closure information which would make the missile more susceptible to countermeasures - however it should be able to at least feed an angle and angle rate to the missile.

 

 

And angle rate = range and range/time is closure... Of course, you actually have to have some meaningful understanding of how to measure very small angles very precisely for this to be in any way useful. The main issue is that DCS of course doesn't model "innacuracy" in any meaninful way for sensors or missiles. Which are major real world problems, and why modes like TWS are seldom used IRL for targeting missiles, due the much greater inacuracy.

 

Of course DCS doesn't actually model angle rate ranging right now in any meaningful way as we all know very well from the ongoing multi year Harrier ARBS dumpster fire. 

 

Then again, DCS doesn't model many of the sensor correlation techniques the hornet uses either. 


Edited by Harlikwin
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You could probably line up the ADL with the pod designation and maddog it within like 5nm but I don't see how the pod would feed the missile enough data to actually guide it. It's just a totally different system. Th A-A mode isn't really meant for searching and is by no means an IRST. Sure, if you visually spot contrails you can point the pod to it and get e better, zommed look at the flying object but that's about it.


Edited by Skysurfer
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You cannot acquire a target with the litening pod unless you slew to them with radar, and even so you cannot get a track on them with the litening. The ATFLIR seems to have more advanced A-A capability. 
You can absolutely track an A/A target without setting up L&S, with the LITENING right now. You just need to point the pod at it and transition to PTRK with the SCS. It'll work, if you are close enough for the pod to be able to track.

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2 hours ago, Northstar98 said:

I can't say anything about missiles, but as far as AA capability goes, I wonder if we'll see ATFLIR's 'autotrack' (is that what it's called?) feature, as seen in this fairly famous video.

 

The target was scooped up fairly quick in 'AUTO' track. I could definitely live with that feature.

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4 hours ago, mlawson1217 said:

But can you also fire a Fox 3 using the laser for ranging to tell it where to fly until going pit-bull? 

The AMRAAM datalink uses the radar antenna as its transmitter, so if the radar is literally off then the WCS has no way of communicating anything to the missile post-launch. 

 

If you want to launch with the radar operating but not tracking, I have no idea if that would work or not. I'm not sure what use it would be, as any target that's close enough to be acquired visually with your eyes and the FLIR is going to be close enough that the missile will go active off the rail or very shortly thereafter. Going STT from HACQ right before launching the missile isn't likely to give your target more than a few seconds of additional warning. And even then, selecting the target as L&S in TWS would look the same as a radar on no-track launch to your target, so I really can't think of any reason to do this. 

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