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F14 weapons employment range


Lantirn
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Hello to all here.

 

I am a new F14 driver and I have a good experience mostly in the F16 and it’s radar systems and weapons. I find very interesting to learn the 70s technology of the cat but for now I feel really fine leaving the RIO stuff to jester. Assigning him tasks is a big relief when solo flying that jet and using the TID repeater with some commands about the antenna, range, lock and unlock you can sanitize well the area with his help. All good all nice. 
 

It seems I struggle to find important info about the F14 A-A weapons employment zone ranges. Not talking about heaters like AIM9 variants since these are used also today. I am talking BVR, about the Phoenix and the sparrow. 
 

I only know that they are semi active(except the PH terminal active phase) and that PH is long ranged and SP is medium-short ranged.

 

I know that targets speed, aspect, altitude difference, maneuvering, RCS and many other factors can affect your firing envelope and it’s hard to say a just a number.
 

If it’s easier I am looking to find some numbers like the minimum abort range  (MAR) from the enemy fighter that carries a Phoenix or a sparrow so I can use these numbers for my shooting assuming a similar same type BVR fight. A good range that a Phoenix and the sparrow will be statistically lethal shooting a fighter unless he very aggressively maneuvers with beaming and dragging maneuvers. 
 

Dont really care about real and Wikipedia specifications, these advertising numbers are usually with optimum shots and shooting at unaware targets. Dont care if it’s only DCS related, if it works it’s ok for me. 
 

Would love to hear your advises here and hints about your firing routine as well as cues for achieving firing solution and when you think that the firing solution is well worthy firing. 
 

Cherrs to all! 

"Any of you boys seen an aircraft carrier around here?"

F-14 ACTION - FULL ACTION

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For the phoenixes (assuming a mediocre energy state, let's say mach 1 angels 25, and a hot-ish bandit at similar altitude), if i want a reasonable PK, i like firing them at about 50nm-60nm for the AIM-54 Mk.60, and about 50-40nm for AIM-50C Mk.47. (I don't really use the A Mk.47, but i'd take 5 miles off of the C, cause weaker motor)
However, at higher alts and mach numbers (M 1.2-1.3, Angels 40-45), you can easily fire an 80nm Mk.60 or 60-70nm 54C, and suprise the hell out of an unsuspecting/inexperienced player.
Chasing shots are usually effective up to 25-20nm at higher alts, and 10-5 at lower alts. It does highly depend on the speed of the target.

Phoenixes are reasonably effective down to 5-ish miles range, at which point they have little time to accelerate. They will still work in a pinch, but an AIM-7, or an AIM-9 would be better that close

Sparrows are a vastly different animal
They are generally regarded as a sidearm to your phoenix. You don't really want to go up against other rifles with a handgun, but it reaches a bit further than the knife-ish AIM-9
In head on shots (again assuming mach 1 angels 25) you can expect a sparrow when you launch it at about 10-15nm, however, the sparrow, being a slow missile, is exceptionally bad at hitting maneuvering stuff after the motor burns out, which often drives me to fire at 7-5nm. Those shots hit, almost every time (assuming i keep the lock and don't die)
You can get far more range out of a sparrow, but with a far lower PK.
Many people will prefer AIM-9's over AIM-7's, and just fire head on at up to 5nm. If the enemy doesn't see it coming, it can be surprisingly effective.

Keep in mind, you can get much longer ranges form these missiles in perfect conditions
In testing, launching at angles 45 mach 1.5, i managed to get a 120nm kill on a hot Tu-95 cruising at angels 35 with a Mk.60. The missile could reach further, but the radar couldnt.
I once got a sparrow kill when firing it at a hot MiG-15 from 40nm (Mach 1.2, Angels 40). He did not maneuver, and was just flying towards me at angels 25, so don't expect that range to work most of the time.

TL;DR: General ranges with ok-ish PK
Phoenixes at about 40-60nm
Sparrows at about 5-10nm

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F-14, F-15C, F-16C, F/A-18C, M-2000C, A-10C, A-10C II, AV-8B N/A, MiG-29, Su-33, MiG-21 Bis, F-5E, P-51D, Ka-50, Mi-8, Sa 342, UH-1H, Combined Arms

 

Maps and others:

Persian Gulf, Syria, Normandy, WWII Assets, NS 430 + Mi-8 NS 430

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Posted (edited)

It sounds like a little bit of self-promotion, but I have a youtube tutorial video on the specifics of tomcat missiles if you would want to check it out. It's here if you want to watch it. I have information like practical range capabilities of all the missiles depending on altitude and all that. Video

 


Edited by Prez
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Thanks for your replies both! 

 

BonerCat thanks a lot for the heads up! Great info man!

 

Prez great job there, very informative, you got a subscriber!

 

Will get back here for feedback if I come up with something!

"Any of you boys seen an aircraft carrier around here?"

F-14 ACTION - FULL ACTION

INTEL i7 6700, 32GB DDR4, NVIDIA GTX1060 3GB, SCARLETT SOLO AUDIO, YAMAHA HS7 MONITORS, SHURE SM57, THRUSTMASTER HOTAS COUGAR FSSB R2 MOD, NATURALPOINT TRACK IR4

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Just a small note, the numbers for employment will be different if you fight against AI when compared when fighting against humans online. Generally, high/medium energy shots at medium-high altitudes against humans are in order of 50 nautical miles for hot targets. However, because of the AI omniscience, those shots should be taken in the 35-40 nautical mile range or less.

Also, never take any Sparrows that are not MH, as the other models go stupid every time due to self-protection jamming (a bug).

Current modules:

FC3, Mirage 2000C, Harrier AV-8B NA, F-5, AJS-37 Viggen, F-14B, Combined Arms, F/A-18C, F-16C, MiG-19P, F-86, FW-190A, Spitfire Mk IX, UH-1 Huey, Su-25, P-51PD, Caucasus map, Nevada map, Persian Gulf map......ah yes, forgot the Super Carrier! Shows you how often i fly these days....

 

Modules in waiting: F-14A, MiG-23, F-4U, F-8, Falklands Map

 

 

Wish list: South East Asia map, F-4J/N, A-6, F-15A/C, Su-27, Sea Harrier FRS.1, Mirage III, MiG-17.

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22 minutes ago, Skysurfer said:

I've hit stuff at 70-80nm. Really depends on RCS, closure and altitude + how well (if even) someone defends. Realistically within 35 is a good sweetspot.

Concur with this.  35 is usually where I'll launch an AIM-54 against a fighter, but depending on RCS, Vc, and altitudes, you can reach out and touch someone.  The longest range kill I've got (I had a human RIO for it) was 100NM against an AI bomber on a PvE server about a year ago.  Type was a Tu-22, it was traveling extremely fast at high altitude, we got to about 1.6M at 35-40,000-ish and lobbed it just to see if it would work.  We were both surprised with the result, but it can happen under the right circumstances.  Given the countdown and relative velocities, we probably could have launched a few miles further, but I'm not sure how much further.

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6 hours ago, captain_dalan said:

Just a small note, the numbers for employment will be different if you fight against AI when compared when fighting against humans online. Generally, high/medium energy shots at medium-high altitudes against humans are in order of 50 nautical miles for hot targets. However, because of the AI omniscience, those shots should be taken in the 35-40 nautical mile range or less.
 


On your last point about AI omniscience, that was actually fixed last patch. They now no longer evade/chaff until the missile actually goes active (I'm speaking strictly about TWS shots). I'm consistently making hits on AI fighters at 50+nm when firing in TWS. 

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1 hour ago, Kondor77 said:


On your last point about AI omniscience, that was actually fixed last patch. They now no longer evade/chaff until the missile actually goes active (I'm speaking strictly about TWS shots). I'm consistently making hits on AI fighters at 50+nm when firing in TWS. 

Ooh nice! I didn't know that. And i haven't actually done any flying this week. Now i know what to do for the weekend! Thanks mate!

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Current modules:

FC3, Mirage 2000C, Harrier AV-8B NA, F-5, AJS-37 Viggen, F-14B, Combined Arms, F/A-18C, F-16C, MiG-19P, F-86, FW-190A, Spitfire Mk IX, UH-1 Huey, Su-25, P-51PD, Caucasus map, Nevada map, Persian Gulf map......ah yes, forgot the Super Carrier! Shows you how often i fly these days....

 

Modules in waiting: F-14A, MiG-23, F-4U, F-8, Falklands Map

 

 

Wish list: South East Asia map, F-4J/N, A-6, F-15A/C, Su-27, Sea Harrier FRS.1, Mirage III, MiG-17.

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Prior to the latest hotfix patch I was still seeing psychic chaff deployment, and I haven't looked seriously at the current patch.  I doubt it has changed, though.

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In actual state of Phoenix physics to get a good pkill i use those ranges 


AIM-54A MK60
Below 15k FT = 15NM / Target at same altitude 
                         20NM/ Target flying higher 
-------------------------------------------------
15/25k FT   =     20NM / Target at same altitude
                         30NM/ Target flying higher
-------------------------------------------------
25K FT+ = (check target aspect) at this altitudes you can try some long shots like 40nm

To achieve a good pkill on long shots you need to be fast and high.

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On 6/11/2021 at 4:11 PM, Biggus said:

Prior to the latest hotfix patch I was still seeing psychic chaff deployment, and I haven't looked seriously at the current patch.  I doubt it has changed, though.

Confirmed, the AI will drop chaff as if there's no tomorrow a soon you squeeze that launch button, so...... yeah......don't launch much further then 30NM, or you risk your missile falling prey to RNG. Bellow screenshots are from a 50NM launch:
 

Screen_210612_214241.jpg

Screen_210612_214233.jpg

Screen_210612_214253.jpg

Screen_210612_214255.jpg

Screen_210612_214257.jpg

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Current modules:

FC3, Mirage 2000C, Harrier AV-8B NA, F-5, AJS-37 Viggen, F-14B, Combined Arms, F/A-18C, F-16C, MiG-19P, F-86, FW-190A, Spitfire Mk IX, UH-1 Huey, Su-25, P-51PD, Caucasus map, Nevada map, Persian Gulf map......ah yes, forgot the Super Carrier! Shows you how often i fly these days....

 

Modules in waiting: F-14A, MiG-23, F-4U, F-8, Falklands Map

 

 

Wish list: South East Asia map, F-4J/N, A-6, F-15A/C, Su-27, Sea Harrier FRS.1, Mirage III, MiG-17.

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On 6/13/2021 at 8:07 PM, veenee said:

hopefully we are not going to wait years for it to be changed

I don't think it's getting changed at all. Some people apparently love it and defend (advocate) it as a feature. Even among the officials and moderators.

Current modules:

FC3, Mirage 2000C, Harrier AV-8B NA, F-5, AJS-37 Viggen, F-14B, Combined Arms, F/A-18C, F-16C, MiG-19P, F-86, FW-190A, Spitfire Mk IX, UH-1 Huey, Su-25, P-51PD, Caucasus map, Nevada map, Persian Gulf map......ah yes, forgot the Super Carrier! Shows you how often i fly these days....

 

Modules in waiting: F-14A, MiG-23, F-4U, F-8, Falklands Map

 

 

Wish list: South East Asia map, F-4J/N, A-6, F-15A/C, Su-27, Sea Harrier FRS.1, Mirage III, MiG-17.

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9 minutes ago, captain_dalan said:

I don't think it's getting changed at all. Some people apparently love it and defend (advocate) it as a feature. Even among the officials and moderators.

It will be changed/fixed as AI is constant WIP. Current implementation (flying straight and chaffing) is probably omission and doesn't make sense.

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I very much doubt it's an omission.  It's the compromise from prior behavior.  There have been many bug reports over the years and ED have said repeatedly that it was a non-issue.  And it certainly was a non-issue with the old short legged 120s.  The behavior was that at 50% of a missile's maximum range, the AI would maneuver and deploy chaff in order to defend a "possible" inbound shot.  They would only do that if a missile had been fired, but with the older 120 behavior by the time that 50% distance was reached, you were nearly within visual range anyway and some maneuvering would be expected.

 

The 54 made the problem more obvious to people flying the Tomcat, but it wasn't until around the time that ED started tuning chaff resistance that they seem to have started to accept the idea that maybe there is an issue after all.

 

I'd expect that there will probably be some more tuning to this behavior but this is probably intentional.

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  • 2 weeks later...
34 minutes ago, VFGiPJP said:

when the RIO calls out the range info, does he mean nm instead of actual "miles"?

Yes. Always nm in military aviation.

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