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Jester or Seat hop for combat?


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Hi guys, 

For reference, I am playing the " hot start " version of the F14 campaign.


ive browsed a bit through the forum ( on my lunch break right now ) and ive seen a few interesting responses but nothing conclusive for what im actually looking for. I jumped in the F14 last night and tried to play the first mission, and the issue I had was actually locking onto the fighters/bombers that end up incoming halfway through the mission.

Ive instructed Jester to use TWS on both Auto/Manual, as I wanted to get some phoenix kills ( i was still 40+nm out and at 40k ).
But i never heard a response from Jester on the matter. Ive read both the manuals ( Both HB and Chucks guides ), and whats left out in both of those manuals ( as well as the " training " missions ), is exactly how I should be using Jester in a combat situation.

Ive seen that STT mode seems to work from what ive seen on a few other posts, I will try that again tonight, but what I actually wanted to know was relevent to the TWS and Jester as a whole in combat.

My questions are:

1. Do you use Jester for combat, if so, what steps do you do to make sure he is performing optimally ( talking long to mid range, short range is obviously all pilot )

2. If you dont use Jester, do you use Jester to " set up " the settings you want while your flying, thus making a " Seat hop " more efficent for you to track/locate/lock targets yourself?

Definitely very overwhelming coming from the F18 and the FC3 modules.

Thanks for any help/advice.

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Posted (edited)

I don't hop around. Jester does many things without asking automatically. It depends on the situation and what you want to do. Here's what I usually tell Jester in full SP mission:

- set datalink to AWACS/ship if available

- change waypoints

- use RWS if I want wider and more reliable picture

- use TWS-Auto to get back to it

- set TID ground stabilised for 15s just to get SA on what's behind my back sometimes (datalink of course)

- change TID range if I want anything other than default 100nm

- change antenna elevation for set distance and alt if needed

- STT lock target ahead when needed

- set A2G armament

- jettison bags before merge

- set his radio to ATC/AWACS/my flight or whoever is needed for comms

- silent the radar before tanker or landing due to SOP

I might have forgot sth but it's either rare or not important. So it's really not that much.

 

I don't use LANTIRN - Jester can't use it for now - so you have to either change seats or use pilot LANTIRN mod for that.


Edited by draconus

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Ok great,

so are there any bugs I should know about? Using my same example, I turned to face the bomber/fighter sweep coming from the north in mission one, asked jester to turn on TWS to Auto, then when I got no response I asked him to turn on the TWS to manual, expecting him to start telling me he had a radar lock, yet nothing.

Did I miss something? Following the guides im pretty sure I had everything turned on, yet I managed to close and just ended up swapping to AIM9 because I was about to merge lol...

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1 hour ago, M4ND4L0R3 said:

I asked him to turn on the TWS to manual, expecting him to start telling me he had a radar lock, yet nothing.

 

TWS doesn't 'lock' things, so waiting for one is counter productive. 

 

Jester searches with a +/-40 degree 8 bar scan on a 100 mile scope. Generally speaking if he finds something with ~80 miles, he will automatically switch to a +/-20 degree 4 bar TWS-Auto scan. Your cue that this has occurred is that on the TID the search cone will shrink from 80 degrees to 40 degrees, and any detected contacts will gain a velocity vector. A thing to keep in mind is when he does this, he keeps the scan centered, so if the contact was >20 degrees from your own heading, you might need to maneuver slightly to put the contact back in the scan volume. 

 

In TWS with any weapon by the AIM-54 selected, you'll get a velocity vector, and a number on the left of the track that is representative of their altitude in 10,000 foot increments starting at -5000 feet (the manual explains this). With AIM-54 selected, the radar will start evaluating contacts and assigning a shot order, which will appear as a number to the right of the track. Your first missile will go to the track with a 1 to the right of it, the second to the one with a 2, so on so forth for the number of Phoenixes you have on board. When you see that number, and the missile is in range, you should see HOT TRIGGER illuminate on your ACM panel, at this point you're good to shoot. Once the AIM-54 leaves the rail the number on the left will change from the altitude block to a estimated Time To Impact TTI. You need to keep the track within view of the radar until the missile goes active, signaled by the number flashing, which depending upon a couple of factors will happen sometime around TTI=30 or less. Jester uses TWS-Auto by default, but once you fire the radar will be forced into TWS-Auto regardless, which should slew the radar to keep the track within the scan volume, affording you a limited ability to maneuver (though also keep in mind aggressive maneuver will affect the radar's ability to hold the track).

 

Things to keep in mind is that the AWG-9 is specifically designed that you can only shoot a single missile at any track in TWS. The AWG-9 is also rather old, and is liable to lose track of the target if the target maneuvers aggressively or enters the doppler notch. This has occurred when an 'X' appears over your track, when this occurs the radar will continue to guess the position of the target based on last known information until it finds the target again, or more likely the track is timed out or 'forgotten' by the radar. If you don't have a missile in the air, this will happen after 8 seconds. If you do have a missile in the air, this will occur after 180 seconds or after TTI, whichever occurs first. 

 

The Phoenix can also be shot in STT, in which case it's behavior is determined by which mode of STT you are using. If using PDSTT, the Phoenix acts like a giant SARH missile such as the Sparrow, R-27 or 530D. You will need to keep the target locked for the entire duration of the missile's flight. If using PSTT, the radar is unable to guide the missile, and will give it pre-launch steering instructions at which point the missile will immediately go active after launch and is effectively on its own. STT can be entered either from TWS or RWS. Jester will by default use PDSTT, but you can ask him to switch to PSTT. 

 

Sparrows can be shot in either PDSTT or STT, it behaves the same in both cases. 

 

 

 

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Thank you for the excellent information.

Yes i have been reading chucks manual fairly often this week ( hour ride to/from work via subway ), so its possible I was just unaware the ACM should light up when I have a " soft lock ", and I guess was expecting some kind of verbal confirmation from Jester that I did have a soft/hard lock.

Im going to put a few hours into the F14 this week and will come back if I have any other questions. i just feel a little " blind " in the pilot seat, as you said the AWG is fairly old, being restricted to HUD info only is something im getting used to.

Thanks again.

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On 6/8/2021 at 2:12 PM, M4ND4L0R3 said:

"whats left out in both of those manuals ( as well as the " training " missions ), is exactly how I should be using Jester in a combat situation."

I

 

This. Would be great if there was a dedicated, detailed tutorial - anywhere - on how to maximise Jester's potential. Sure, there's the occasional forum or reddit post, but after two years, there still isn't detailed information on how to best use him, which would be so useful for front-seaters who don't want to learn the back seat too. 

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On 6/10/2021 at 1:49 PM, GunSlingerAUS said:

 

This. Would be great if there was a dedicated, detailed tutorial - anywhere - on how to maximise Jester's potential. Sure, there's the occasional forum or reddit post, but after two years, there still isn't detailed information on how to best use him, which would be so useful for front-seaters who don't want to learn the back seat too. 

 

Right?

Like im all for learning the backseat, I have another mate who wants to buy the module so im sure I will be riding shotgun while he gets the ropes, but actually knowing how to implement Jester would be great without deep diving on the forums.

I tried again the other night using jester on manual TWS and SST modes on the first mission.

Again, ( Flight mode AA, Missile seeker cooling activated, ACM on, Master on, Radar TWS MAN, Radar range 100nm, ), I didnt get any sort of call outs for locks, soft or hard. I also was looking at the DDI/TID infront of me and COULD see the range bar, but there was no target indicator/velocity  indicator on the HUD. But I was already within 20nm by the time this started working, I ended up using boresight mode to shoot down most of the bombers.

still not working too great on BVR, mr jester ( at least in my experience )

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@M4ND4L0R3 SW COOL is for AIM-9. MSL PREP is for AIM-7 and 54. You turn both during fence in once in a flight. ACM is for BFM only. When you open the ACM cover you make all your Phoenixes to be active at the moment of shot and none of the TWS magic will work for them.

Why would you instist on using TWS manual? Unless you're experienced RIO and know what you do you normally don't use it much if at all.

There is no call outs for any sort of "soft locks" - no such thing. When you are in TWS mode and have Phoenix selected - you get target selected with shooting order number on the right, they start flashing when in range - all done automatically by the WCS, not by Jester.

There are confirmations though if you request STT lock. Only in STT you get target closure rate, diamond and range on the HUD.

 

Take on this first:

http://www.heatblur.se/F-14Manual/weapons.html#air-to-air-weapons


Edited by draconus

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Everything Draconus said ☝️.

 

Let's try something else. Here's a video of an extremely simple TWS Phoenix shot. 

 


To start: the basics. We're in air to air master mode, our missiles are prepped (light is on and the status bar is white with a checkered flag over the selected missile). ACM guard is down, as draconus mentioned, the ACM guard is a shortcut to configure the aircraft for a dogfight, and in a dogfight you don't want 1,000lbs of Phoenix weighing you down, or so the thinking went. Flipping that up makes it so the phoenix completely ignores your radar, and flies straight off the aircraft with its radar active. That's a no-no unless you absolutely need it. 

Jester starts off the engagement in RWS. At 11 seconds you can see my target, an Su-30 at 100 miles, appear on the screen, and we select a phoenix and flip the master arm. At 1:04, the target has approached close enough that Jester makes his switch to TWS. As discussed, you can tell by the narrowing of the scan area, and the appearance of a velocity vector on the TID. Other things to note: You notice an inverted T on the VDI and the HUD. This is your steering cue, you center this to achieve what the computer things is optimal lead for a missile shot. You do not get a HUD target indicator diamond in TWS like you would in STT. Another thing to note is the line on the left hand side of the VDI. This is your dynamic launch zone. The horizontal line to the left of the vertical line is the current range to first track to be fired upon. The top horizontal bar on the right side of the bar is the RMax, or maximum range the weapons system thinks the AIM-54 can hit a target at. The system is pretty dumb, and you should take this range with a healthy grain of salt. The lower right hand bar is RMin, or the minimum range the missile can expect to maneuver and hit a target. You will have generally gotten rid of your Phoenixes by then. 

 

Also note on the TID the altitude indicator on the left hand side of the target track (he's at 33,000 feet, so the altitude indicator is 3, indicating he is between 25,000 and 35,000, and the shoot number on the right hand side of the track. When the target track starts flashing, with no missile in the air this indicates the target is within RMax. At this point the HOT TRIG light on the ACM panel is also illuminated, but the sun is bright enough it's hard to discern. We can shoot at any time. I had my audio muted because of work, but there will be no jester audio for locks, hard or soft. TWS doesn't lock things. TWS tracks things. STT locks things, and we're not doing that right now. 

 

At 1:58 we shoot. The weapons count decrements, the shoot number on the right of the track transitions to the TTI timer, and we lose the DLZ because there is no other track to shoot upon, and the AWG-9 will only guide a single AIM-54 to any track in TWS. Now all we need to do is keep the target in between the lines. At 2:18 we start a slight turn just to illustrate that TWS auto will slew the radar to keep the scan centered on the track as best it can. 

 

At 3:35 the TTI counter begins flashing. This is our cue that the AWG-9 has sent the active signal to the missile, the missile is now using it's own radar, and theoretically we can turn around and run away at this juncture. We won't, this is an unarmed Su-30, but it is an option. At 3:56 the TTI counter reaches 0, and at 4:00 we can visually confirm the missile hits the target. The TTI counter is just an estimate, so there will generally be some discrepancy between when it hits zero, and when the missile actually reaches the target. The more the target maneuvers, the greater the discrepancy will be.  

 

At 4:11 the radar considers the missile timed out, but since we're still tracking enough of the wreckage, the radar reinserts it into the shoot queue, and we could theoretically kill it some more. (also note the return of the DLZ on the VDI). 
 


Edited by near_blind
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