I’ve been building my own opinions on when it’s best used, but unsure if whether this is a good practice either IRL or in DCS. Flying the Red Flag 16-2 missions, the most common scenario places the player in the lead of a 4 ship tasked with flying a sweep ahead of striking aircraft, then do a reset CAP covering the strike egress. I’ve been telling my flight to go hot just before the FEBA, then music on shortly after fence-in. But that usually ends up stirring up a pissed off hornet’s nest that results in the loss of 1 or 2 aircraft from my flight.
If I stay music off and don’t press too deep in the target area, there seems to be a lot less interest in our flight, even if we are chucking AIM-120s at bandits. One thing that has been curious or contrary to at least the Dan Hampton books are that the CJs are throwing their HARMs rather early and at a distance, when I expected them getting down and dirty (There goes another poor Iraqi using his cell phone.). At least the Hornets don’t mind pressing their SEAD targets aggressively.
Anyway, what I’m thinking is that if the whole package uses ECM then my flight would less stick out like a Christmas tree in Mecca. But I could be wrong.
What’s current thinking on the best use of ECM? Seems like that is a pretty common item on fence-in checklists.
One more question please. The mission designers always have us flying 420 KIAS for CAP, 480 KIAS sweep ingress, 520-600 KIAS sweep egress in an altitude block of 25K - 29K. I’m usually holding the flight to 27K due to the contrail level being > 28K. But 480 - 600 KIAS KIAS really sucks fuel. If I stay on that schedule will be joker long before the VUL is complete. There are two tankers on station, but man I hate risking that after a mission completed message: I guess that I either have to man up and learn how to use the tanker or come off station ahead of my VUL time. Which is the question, can AI refuel?
So obviously meeting VUL times is important, but once you’ve actually established your CAP station and are orbiting, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about air speed, and will probably be fine going to a more conservative speed if fuel is becoming a problem.
To answer your question, yes, your AI should be able to refuel. should. AI in DCS are always a crap shoot.
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it will effect the range at which AI SAMs are able to engage you.
Agreed. It looks like they head in the general direction of the transmitter, then pick a target after burn through.
So I read a mission briefing again and found the following:
From the southern sweep at SP9, and if able (missiles and gas remaining), reset to an east-west CAP (SP9 & 10) over Quartzite. There, we will form the most south-westerly of three CAP orbits to cover the strikers as they egress east. Our CAP orbit is BE 093/21.
I had apparently missed the missiles and gas remaining qualifier. Important, because if we make our push time and airspeed requirements, we most definitely will be the first flight to fence-in, probably expending both missiles and fuel engaged in - well you know - sweeping.
If the briefing map shows +40 VUL. Does that mean to be on station push + 40 mins, or stay in the CAP for 40 mins?
Regardless,on that one we were able to CAP for about 15 mins before Joker. And that was with one in the bag from the sweep. Felt good to get everyone home and tack one on the board. Last mission the flight had two kills but two MIA from our flight, which is not very satisfying