In an effort to diversify our mega-threads, lets use this topic to talk about air-ground tactics in DCS.
The following examples discuss some tactics for attacking a defended targets with bombs. In this case an ammo storage site covered by two SA-8 radar guided SAM, two ZSU-23-4 Shilka radar guided AAA and two SA-18 MANPADS. These tactics are generic to all fast jets but work especially well with the Hornet due to the excellent avionics support.
First lets look at a classic Pop-Up attack. This is flown with a CCIP bomb profile but with the waypoint designated as target. A target designation will override CCIP with the AUTO mode, which provides excellent steering cues towards the target. Just seconds from doping the bombs, the designation is cancelled with the undesignated button, which reverts the system to CCIP. The bombs are then dropped using regular CCIP.
Note the excellent cover provided by the ground clutter of the new Caucasus map. Even though the terrain is flat, the approach is flown completely shielded by the vegetation. The pop-up to attack with bombs unmasks the jet to the air defenses but is flown in a way to minimize exposure. Older radar-guided systems such as SA-6, SA-8 or Shilka AAA cannot acquire a target during the time of the pop-up, provided that the jet was not tracked during the approach. Note though that more modern systems such as SA-11, SA-15 or Tunguska have reaction times of under 10 seconds and will be able to engage pop-up targets.
If conditions do not allow to visually acquire your target, the attack can also be flown completely in AUTO:
If the target is defended so heavily that overflying it is unfeasible, bombs can be tossed with the AUTO from some distance:
Judging the time to pull-up currently requires some trial and error. I am under the impression that the Hornet should eventually have some queuing for the maximum range where a toss is successful. Tossing bombs will considerably reduce your accuracy. Once the burst-height of the Mk-20 Rockeyes works correctly, I guess tossing salvos of CBUs should be a viable tactic against soft targets.
Finally, let´s look how the AI is doing attacking the same target:
Unfortunately the AI fails utterly against defended targets. Even when in formation with the (human) leader it flies at over 300ft AGL, which puts it in to plain view of any air defenses, nullifying any reaction time advantage. Then when given the order to attack at 10 NM, the AI climbs to 1000 ft and approaches the target at 550 kts in level flight. Which of course leads to it being blown out of the sky easily. Unfortunately the AI is completely useless in threat situations.