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Dodging SAM missiles in the A-10?


starsky396
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I have read pretty much every thread on SAM avoidance and have a pretty good idea on the topic, but 90% of the time I still get taken down. Is there any strategy that I could use to dodge the SAMS and be able to depend on the technique? I specifically have trouble dodging radar threats, as heat guided missiles are easy as long as I see the missile.

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So not avoiding the launch but defeating one already in flight? I may be wrong but I think the A-10 lacks the speed to get a sam on the wing and then break inside it's turning circle. I usually just dive turn and use countermeasures.

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I have read pretty much every thread on SAM avoidance and have a pretty good idea on the topic, but 90% of the time I still get taken down. Is there any strategy that I could use to dodge the SAMS and be able to depend on the technique? I specifically have trouble dodging radar threats, as heat guided missiles are easy as long as I see the missile.

 

Here is just about the most dangerous SHORAD system you will face In-SIM, the 9M331:

 

eMCEI-FhSUc

 

If you can dodge him then you're good to go. With larger systems just put them on your 3/9 line at launch and keep them there, alternatively extend. Less aggressive maneuvering is required as they'll take longer to get to you but the above principle as per the vid also finds applicability.

 

Hope that helps.

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The 476th youtube channel has some excellent Jink demonstrations that can be utilised effectively to spoof missiles.

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Right now I am still having trouble defeating a SA-9, yet alone a SA-15. I know all the technical stuff behind how to defeat one, but once I actually have to the techniques never work.

 

Do what I do in the vid and you'll never get hit. As simple as that.

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Evaluate what you're saying when you're "diving straight down."

 

I'm no subject expert but one thing you're going to do for sure if you dive straight down is increase the number of potential threats that you have- particularly in the IR category that you won't have any notification of until launch. If you start up at 15000 feet confronting an SA-8 for example... or even a newer SA19 and are unable to avoid a launch- diving "straight down" now puts you in the envelope of the SA13... (which you wouldn't necessarily know was there)... and if you continue your dive when the 13 launches then you get into the killzone of the 9... and if you keep heading down the 18... and if you keep heading down then AAA... and if you keep heading down you've got the ground. ;)

 

The other point to make is that people go in with the standard "blitzfire" loadout, filling every hardpoint with high drag munitions and a belly full of fuel and then complain that they can't maneuver fast enough to evade a missile.

 

So while we can all sit here and say the aircraft isn't the fastest in the inventory and is a missile magnet, a big part of missile evasion is in preserving what maneuverability you have by not overburdening the aircraft.

 

 

That video viper posted is excellent and while it takes some juice balloons to play that game of chicken with a SAM launcher- we are advantaged by the fact that the crew on the SAM isn't drawing us well within his kill zone- they're launching at max range... so as long as you can launch immediately after he does and make a hard turn... you really do limit your exposure to other threats.


Edited by ENO

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Do what I do in the vid and you'll never get hit. As simple as that.

 

No, it's not as simple as that.

 

If the SA-15 was smarter and didn't turn it's radar on until you were within it's no escape zone, you could do exactly as you did and still be killed. The scenario in your video is very controlled with a known threat that gives itself away immediately, and there are no other threats around that might punish you for flying at low altitude.

 

No SAM defense is 100% effective. The only way to make a defensive maneuver as close to 100% effective as possible is to adopt conservative tactics like never overflying an unsanitised area, respecting a threat's position within the RWR threat rings, flying with a minimum/maximum altitude floor/ceiling, flying with smaller payloads that reduce drag and energy bleed when maneuver to defend, and so on, such that any SAM that even gets a chance to launch at you will be a low-probability shot that should be defeated by beaming or extending.

 

The reason most people get shot down (including myself) is because they either don't respect or ignore the things I listed above, or because they were too aggressive and pressed in a situation that was unduly hazardous.

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If the SA-15 was smarter and didn't turn it's radar on until you were within it's no escape zone, you could do exactly as you did and still be killed.

 

In its current form, AI doesn't "lure" people in... which is one reason why it is, in fact, that simple.

 

I don't think TORs and radar guided missiles can be controlled in that manner by the CA folks- so if we're talking about working within the restrictions of the AI, then the Viper vid remains pertinent.

 

The scenario in your video is very controlled with a known threat that gives itself away immediately, and there are no other threats around that might punish you for flying at low altitude.

 

 

Two points about this- I don't recall that he drops that much altitude and secondly even if he's in a SAM infested environment, these systems are going to be showing up on his RWR- again assuming we're dealing with general AI which we are in most cases. In some cases there are exotic trigger schemes plotted by crafty mission makers but more often than not the SAMs are put in place and function in a rather mundane fashion.

 

Even if you pick at the external threat, pick at it in the above demonstrated fashion, 180 back the way you came (safe territory) then resume your advance on the NEXT priority target. And repeat as necessary.

 

Even if you have a pocket of threats in one spot, if you engage the closest one first then he's going to be the first to launch. They may be close enough that they all launch on you prior to you launching on them.

 

Again, this is a bit of a ridiculous debate because a lot of it is based on proving or disproving a tactic intended for AI threats with an aircraft we all know isn't ideal for the task.

 

Viper demonstrates that it is a TOOL in the toolbox... not the answer to NEVER being shot down.


Edited by ENO

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Keep your speed up. If your nose gets pointed up and you lose speed then you are just asking for it.

 

Come in with a bit of down angle - 4° will do it. You can get in close enough to fire that Mav, but don't hang around after (SA-15s).

 

Once you are ready to exit stage right, I like to turn away - quickly - but don't lose speed - and continue to reduce altitude - if you can find cover, great, if not then bank the plane left and right in turns that go about 4-5 seconds. Up and down banking is OK, too, but don't lose the speed.

 

The reason for the banking is to get the missile to bleed off energy. After 4 or so turns of your a/c, the missile is going to lose its energy to keep up with your banking. But don't rely on the RWR going silent - the missile can still be after you so don't get complacent.

 

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That's a very mechanistic, gamey way of looking at things. Figuring out and exploiting predictable AI logic is no substitute for sound tactics realistically applied and for a thorough understanding of how all the variables fit together.

 

What happens if and when the SAM logic changes, which it should? People would use that technique and then wonder why they keep dying. It's like those who figure out how to defeat incoming air-to-air missiles by performing barrel rolls at exactly the right moment - that sort of game logic crutch will ulimately hurt you in the end as the sim progressaively becomes more realistic.

 

So, I reiterate that the statement " (do) what I do in the vid and you'll never get hit" is misleading, albeit trivially true in that exact scenario.


Edited by Crescendo
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Viper demonstrates that it is a TOOL in the toolbox... not the answer to NEVER being shot down.

 

Sure, so don't say "you'll never get hit". My point is that no qualifications or caveats were offered with that video to address its inherent weaknesses (one specific mission editor scenario, no other threats, predictable AI etc.) - it was just do 'this' and you'll be untouchable.

 

Some may dismiss me as nitpicking and arguing semantics, but in the context of the original post, I don't think I am.

 

The OP asked about reliable techniques to dodge SAMs. But what does he mean by "dodge"? Does he mean defeating a missile purely kinematically at or near maximum range (in which case the video will do)? Or does he mean defeating a high-energy missile that will intercept his aircraft even if he turns and runs or beams? Or is he asking how to avoid being shot at in the first place?

 

By providing an answer only to the first instance (and an answer that relies on predictable AI logic), we gloss over the complexity of the issue to the detriment of those who don't yet possess the knowledge and experience to know otherwise.

 

I'm not disputing the usefulness of the video. I'm only saying that it should be put in its proper context.

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That's a very mechanistic, gamey way of looking at things. Figuring out and exploiting predictable AI logic is no substitute for sound tactics realistically applied and for a thorough understanding of how all the variables fit together.

 

 

 

 

Okay, well you've criticized my technique so I will return the favour since all of a sudden this is a thread about comparing the validity of personal opinions on a subject in which I'm quite certain few if any of us are experts in real life-

 

(Deleted, but it did feel good to write it out)

 

The OP came in with a question- we're ALL providing answers that accommodate our style of play. He can choose one. It may be yours but equally it may be mine, or crew's or vipers or any other contributor.

 

You come in here and slam ours while insisting that yours is beyond reproach.

 

THAT'S the part I'm dismissing.

 

As far as exploring AI weaknesses to perform a task the Hog wasn't designed for nor excel at- "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't winnin'."

 

You want to fly like you're doing it for real- be my guest. I'm going to take it to my level, OP can take it to his.

 

And while I'm on the topic I'll ask this as well:

 

If you imagine yourself in "the real world" facing an opponent- in any capacity- and you knew what the opponent's weak spot was, would you pretend it wasn't there just to give him a fair chance to kick the crap out of you?


Edited by ENO

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I'm sure most will agree by the time it's that near you it's too late. We simply don't have the energy to make significant moves at the last second-

 

I guess my bigger issue here now star is why are you getting launched on so much? I can't watch the track from here but I'm going to guess you spend too much time walking the garden path to destruction- possibly without knowing any better.

 

Getting clubbed like a baby seal is no fun especially when it can take you 20 minutes just to get in the air as you learn the startup routine...

 

Also I think you need to expand a bit on your level of game comprehension- the threat types and your familiarity with the different warnings you're getting on your RWR...

 

There are ENORMOUS benefits to seeing the launch and, actually, being able to eyeball the missile as it comes in at you. Quite often I find that I see the launch plume and then it's a second or two before I see the RWR go off. In addition, your RWR will change its orientation as you maneuver so while you may think you're putting it on your 3-9 it may not be as far off as you think.

 

Anyway, I look forward to someone interpreting your track for you and giving some feedback- maybe then we can start pointing you in the right direction.

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Type in anger and you will make the greatest post you will ever regret.

 

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Jinking is just going to make your demise more flamboyant....You're flying a Hippopotamus, not a Cheetah. I'll have a looksee a wee bitty later and let you know.

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As others said, my survival rate went way up after I learned only to take 2 mavs (1 for each wing) and 2-4 bombs max. This loadout with 50-65% fuel and a lot of threads don't seem that impossible anymore. Don't be too scared with that jettison stores button, he is a life saver!

 

Also make yourself a missions with different sams and just fly in there and practice evading. Diving behind a mountain is the most fool proof way, but as Eno described so well, there may be lots of more trouble waiting below.. :D


Edited by ApoNOOB
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As others said, my survival rate went way up after I learned only to take 2 mavs (1 for each wing) and 2-4 bombs max.

 

And keep in mind that you'll be MUCH more sluggish with 4 CBUs than you might be with 4 GBU-38s.

 

 

I'm looking through "Warthog" and "A-10s over Kosovo" right now to figure out if it was in fact 1 or 2 Mavs per wing with the 4 slicks (or 2 CBUs)... I can't for the life of me find it.

 

But yes- there was definitely a reason that was a standard loadout.

 

Don't forget to master jettison stores. Maneuvering/turning in/running like a scalded cat is a lot easier if you're not a flying freight train.

 

Love it.

 

Interesting note, however- is that I didn't read a lot of guys dumping and running to evade missiles- though they did typically when they were damaged. I suspect this had something to do with the fact that in reality a thousand pounds of missiles and 2 thousand pounds of bombs really isn't that heavy- especially if you're at half a tank of go go juice.


Edited by ENO

"ENO"

Type in anger and you will make the greatest post you will ever regret.

 

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You don't want to put yourself in the position to "dodge" missiles, you want to outsmart them. Try and stay just out of range, and use your own weapons (mavericks, vikhrs) to kill them first. Use valleys and mountainous terrain if available to avoid them. In the 25t, use the IR jammer and continuous flare/chaff release. If worst comes to worst, your maneuvering will depend on the specific missile you face. At long ranges, it's easy, just maneuver yourself in such a way that the missile runs out of kinetic energy before hitting you. Above all: do NOT fly in a straight line. But don't maneuver so hard that you run yourself out of airspeed, which also makes you easy for a SAM to hit. There are so many different factors involved that this isn't something you can learn from a forum. Just be smart, and think about things from the missile's point of view.

 

Every situation is different, you should adjust your response to a SAM depending on circumstances like the type of SAM, your airspeed and altitude, terrain, distance from SAM, etc.


Edited by Night

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And keep in mind that you'll be MUCH more sluggish with 4 CBUs than you might be with 4 GBU-38s.

 

 

I'm looking through "Warthog" and "A-10s over Kosovo" right now to figure out if it was in fact 1 or 2 Mavs per wing with the 4 slicks (or 4 CBUs)... I can't for the life of me find it.

 

But yes- there was definitely a reason that was a standard loadout.

 

 

 

Love it.

 

Interesting note, however- is that I didn't read a lot of guys dumping and running to evade missiles- though they did typically when they were damaged. I suspect this had something to do with the fact that in reality a thousand pounds of missiles and 2 thousand pounds of bombs really isn't that heavy- especially if you're at half a tank of go go juice.

 

The typical loads in Kosovo were 2 Mavs, 4 Mk-82 (airburst) and 2 rocket pods.

FAC(A)'s had 2 pods with WP instead of the HE rockets.

When taking CBU's, they only had 2 of them. 2 CBU's have about the same weight/drag as 4 Mk-82s.

All of them had ECM and 2 sidewinders.

dUJOta.jpg

 

 

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OK I watched your track and with all due respect, well, what did you expect?

 

Your flying in that track is like jumping into a bath with your cat in your arms and then wondering why you got scratched, if you lucky, that is. Do it with my cat and you'll be disembowelled! You dodge the first launch somewhat less-than-elegantly and even more so the second. What are you then doing turning into the SAM, porpoising as you go? I think you eventually get tagged at 200 knots on a crest of one of your porpoises IIRC. To make matters worse, you closed to within 5km before the SAM finally got a hold of you.

 

You cannot ask us how to avoid SAM systems and then fly like that.

 

After all that, best advice that I can give you would be, the moment you get spiked (RWR Warning), is to turn tail and run. Once your RWR goes silent, turn back, search for him and shoot him from afar. Probably better to get your wingman to shoot him first though.

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That's easy - look at the altitude they had to loiter at - 29000'. They also mention drag and fuel loads, it's really, really easy to conclude they were hauling 1 mav/wing. I believe they make a mention to a standard payload in there as well, but it's been a long time since I read that book.

 

I'm looking through "Warthog" and "A-10s over Kosovo" right now to figure out if it was in fact 1 or 2 Mavs per wing with the 4 slicks (or 2 CBUs)... I can't for the life of me find it.

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