Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Strategies and Catalog

In dcs the ai doesn’t know until the missile goes active (unless you shoot a sparrow) what a player can do is based on range and aspect, assume you have been targeted, until the bandit proves otherwise.

This is where knowing your threat comes in, could that 29 on my rwr be a su-27? MiG-29? Or j-11? Based on rwr indications you won’t be able to tell.

So either be super conservative and assume it’s the most dangerous combo with the possibility of active missiles, or you know what’s in the scenario.

If they have active missiles it comes down to are you at a range they could have shot you at? If so were you in the view of their radar and did you show a nails or spike? If the answer is yes, assume they have shot at you and abort accordingly.


Would you say that BVR is less about getting the kill than a close in dogfight?

Like in infantry terms it’s more similar to having mortar teams try to hit each other while doing a shoot-and-scoot vs. two patrols facing off in the streets.

The idea is to distrust the enemy, so you can exploit a mistake, close for the kill or have him retreat due to pressure or running out of a resource.

I find the mistakes root in pushing too hard for, or expecting that every BVR engagement should result in a kill.

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It’s a balance of survivability vs lethality.

You want to maximize the use of your weapons while not getting shot in the face yourself.

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Initially, we were going to have @Wes and @fearlessfrog act as the shooters while I would be the bait. I was in a F-14 with 2xAIM-54, 3xAIM-7, and 2xAIM-9. Since I had ECM and a lot more chaff as well as speed, I felt it was better that I run into indian country to stir up fighters. Frog had some trouble and had to drop out, so that left Wes as the only shooter. In the initial engagement, one Fulcrum ended up going after Wes and the other flew west, toward the carrier group (likely taking an interest in the S-3). I came around and put a Phoenix into the west one, who had turned his attention to me by the time I turned around. Wes’ target had managed to evade his AMRAAMs so I came around and locked him up over Gali, then launched a Sparrow at him which went true.

The second wave we did the same trick, with Wes staying behind and me testing defenses. It took about 6-7 minutes for the Fulcrums to come up, by which point I had almost formed up with Wes (I put a 2 minute time limit for being over hostile territory). Wes went for the closer target and once again another had turned west to engage the S-3, which I locked up. I used a Phoenix again at about 35-40nmi in STT, but at about 10nmi I lost lock and the hostile went into my notch. I reacquired once and fired a Sparrow, then lost lock and couldn’t regain. I acquired again shortly after, fired a Sidewinder which went stupid, but by the time I had visual, I saw the bandit flying around near the water and then he flew right into the drink.

At this point, Wes’ target had turned cold from his AMRAAM shots and he had to break off, so I flew back up along the coast and locked up the target, who had now turned around and was pursuing Wes as he flew north. I got to about 10nmi and fired a flanking Sparrow shot. The bandit was starting to go defensive by this point from friendly Hawk launches and at about 4nmi I cycled to Sidewinder, but shortly afterward my Sparrow caught up with him and blew off his left wing.

While the intent was for me to play the bait, the situation changed on the fly to give me better shot potential on most of the hostiles. A combination of speed, chaff, and ECM I believe is why the Fulcrums ignored me and either went toward the S-3 or for Wes.

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