I’ve flown a couple of ‘fast missions’ with a combat load on the Huey to just throw me in a random spot and test a few things. Full disclosure - I kept full labels on, which obviously makes a massive difference.
Anyway, as part of those adventures I ended up in a situation where I had the opportunity to engage a Shilka situated next to a patch of forest, perhaps 100m x 100m size. I dropped NOE below the Shilka’s LOS, behind the trees, got some airspeed going and popped up from above the trees with the rockets ready.
(due to the undulating terrain, I had to turn TacView ground off, which is why the graphics look a bit off)
Surprisingly, it worked. Importantly, the Shilka doesn’t start to turn its turret until he has LOS (although it is immediate from when he does) and I had time to plant a few rockets on him. Ideally there wouldn’t be a trio of T-72B’s 1500 ft away but I did scrape away with a couple of non-lethal hits in this instance.
This lead me to think that while a radar-tracking AAA is pretty much impossible to kill in an open terrain situation, perhaps I can use the now-collidable trees (and other ground obstacles) and my ever-observant door gunners / co-pilot to my advantage against them.
Enter the SPAAG-hunt scenario. A town with half a dozen Shilkas dotted in (I added in a few Iglas too but that’s a story for a different time). Mission-design wise I made the mission so I know they are there but the labels are off and I have no way of knowing exactly where…or spotting them before they fire.
This is what the opening scene looked like. There are actually 23mm rounds in the air already but impossible to see from the still screenshot.
Upon spotting the tracers, I enter into a tight positive-G descent. This needs to be aggressive as the Shilka tracks really well.
In the dive, tracers visible near the left windscreen wiper. Distance to Shilka circa 1.5nm.
Duck down low. Here’s where the discoveries begin.
The gunners and co-pilot on return fire / free fire ROE will fire in the exact direction of the Shilka, even though there are buildings between us and no LOS.
So while the Shilka’s turret currently isn’t tracking us (no LOS), the gunners are tracking it and firing, ignoring the obstacles. I can use this ‘feature’ as a compass of sorts to get closer - just align my direction to where the crew is firing.
Hi Shilka - here, have a knife between the shoulderblades:
Unlike tanks, the Shilka is a glass cannon - a good short burst from the minigun or a rocket will destroy it quickly. So if you can get close, you actually have a chance to come out as the winner in a 1-to-1 situation.
This warrants more investigation.