Air-To-Air Tactics & Combat Formations

Discussion in 'Air Warfare' started by Manticore, Jan 17, 2011.

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  1. Chogy
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    Chogy PROFESSIONAL

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    If you don't think, you are dead. ACM isn't raw force, it is a dance like ballet combined with brutal physical forces and violence. The most aggressive-minded person in the world would be utterly clueless without training, and 95/100 average people tossed into a back seat would be catatonic, vomiting, and unconscious through most of these maneuvers.

    Pilots are required to lift weights and stay fit, but with anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise makes you more susceptible to G loss of consciousness. Most have some permanent muscular and skeletal damage after a few years. It's a rough business.
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  2. Abu Zolfiqar
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    Abu Zolfiqar First Line of Offence

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    i really dig the wall and ladder formations :)
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  3. Manticore
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    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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    Air to Air Tactics

    In World War 2, pilots, German, Oswald Boelke developed seven basic rules of air combat in some of the most enduring is currently admonitions surprise the enemy and to gain improper advantage Boelke to the offering of a quick flight. Eschewing "jump - eagle patrol," he believed that aircraft should attack in pairs with the same support and cooperation and there is a greater chance to succeed from the enemy.

    Then the pilot Jastas training by Dicta Boelke, a set of techniques for air-combat. Boelke developed both the attack and tactical Dicta policies such as maintaining the advantages before you find a fire, using the Sun to blind the enemy then to dive and go for a kill. And Boelke formulated strategies for squadron attack he suggested - between four and six of the aircraft is required for air attacks and will not install one. During the fight, and technical notions Boelke was highly recognized in both lines during World War II. In the tactical level. Basic air combat against the enemy, consisting mostly of decision or not. Possible attack by closing maneuver, shoot and escape if the attack was unsuccessful. More preparation is needed both to reengage or to prevent attacks and survive. Allowance for the increase. Plenty of speed acquisition targets and the accuracy of the tenets of these weapons just as valid today as in 1914, and during the history of 1918. Air combat in the first major battle.

    By World War II. Despite the explosive skills used in air to air combat, air-combat experience in Pacific and in Europe is different from Word War I, according to many stories and theories by many Ace Pilots in WWII, speed and maneuverability are keys to win the dog-fight,

    This is a good theory by ww2aircraft.net sa BombTaxi his advice is Oswald Boelke.

    I think as a starting point. Well as 'Dicta Boelcke' developed by these Oswald Boelcke, seems to be the first true professional fighter and the fact that now more than 90 years ago, these are useful. Even when playing other players online;

    1.Try security on hand before you attack and go for a kill. If possible, the sun behind you.

    2.Always make the first move in attacking.

    3.Only fire when you are at close range, when your opponent correctly in your landscape.

    4.You should try to keep your eyes focus to the target.

    5.In any type of tactic is necessary to attack an opponent from behind.

    6.If the opponent is at your range, you do not try to dive around and attack.

    7.When your are lock down by your enemies never forget your own escape.

    8.Tip for squadrons: in principle, be better to attack in six or four. Avoid second plane. Attack each opponent.

    This is another good recommendation.
    Dogfight and Aerial Combat Tactics - Facts and Talk
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  4. Manticore
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    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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    The Bracket

    The Bracket intercept is intended to envelop or "squeeze" the target formation from both sides after a front quarter merge. In many instances, a Bracket maneuver will be initiated from a full head on or "High Aspect" merge.

    ntry into a Bracket maneuver is initiated with an offset turn meant to bracket the bandit formation. This offset turn should be initiated about 20 miles out (this is assuming the use of AIM-120's as a long-range missile). Maintain contact with your wingman. Make sure you know where he is.

    You must bracket early enough to get around on the flank of the bandit formation. Thus your initiation of the Bracket Maneuver will vary in distance dependant upon the size of the bandit formation. Ideally, you want to start your Bracket outside of visual range. An important point here is the visual range for the Bandit getting a "Tally" on you...not necessarily you getting the "Tally" on him. If you're "flying" a large airplane like an F-15 "Eagle" or F-14 "Tomcat", then you must Bracket farther out than if you're "flying" a F-16 "Falcon" or MiG-21 "Fishbed". Maintain contact with your wingman. Make sure you know where he is.

    At about 10 to 15 NM, you should begin the acquisition phase of targeting. It is imperative that you call your target. As an example:

    Crash and Rhino are heading N-to-S toward a bandit 2-ship. Crash is on the left side of the formation. Rhino, his wingman, is deployed on the right side. As Lead, Crash says, "Crash has the East man...Rhino take the west man." Rhino acknowledges, "Two."

    Use terminology that will not leave any doubt as to your target. To take the time and effort to maneuver into position only to have both aircraft launch on the same target is futile. You can not afford to waste a missile on an already destroyed aircraft. Also be careful not to "cross lock', or lock onto the target on opposite side of the formation while your wingman locks onto the target on YOUR side of the formation. This will cause an early collapse of the formation. Constant communication is key here. Confirm your wingman's location.

    At about 12 to 8 NM, you would turn into the bandit formation for a Pure Pursuit. It is at this time that you will most susceptible to detection. Again, confirm Wingman location. The next phase of the intercept will require close contact and possible support.

    Your initial shot would happen about now. Things happen very fast now. At 8 NM at a closure rate of 1200 or so knots, you will be "in his chili" almost immediately … or the bandit will be in yours. Now is the time you and your wingman must really watch out for each other. You are into short-range missile range now and if you didn't hit or kill your target, he is coming around on you now for his chance.

    Go to short range. Lets assume that both aircraft missed their targets. Follow through your the flight path that will take you through the bandits formation. This is often called "Blow Through," as in a directive call from lead to the formation to "blow through" so that slow speed "knife fights" don't develop. Stay fast and regroup on the other side of the bandits' formation. They should be jinking and trying to come around to shoot back. Lock onto the bandit that is turning to the outside. If both bandits break in the same direction, there are very good odds that one of your flight will have a low aspect, high Pk shot on at least one of the bandits. At this point you are into close combat. I will address that later.

    Executed well, you should have a shot at the bandits while denying them a shot at you. All of this assumes that the bandits cooperate and fly their designated flight path.

    http://dc192.***********/img/YSbeFKYa/0.8748907637500916/FIGURE1.jpg
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  5. Manticore
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    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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    Bandit Counters

    The 3 most common defenses to the Bracket are to maneuver away, a Wide Split or an Offset maneuver.

    Maneuver Away
    If the bandits turn away from the intercept, collapse the bracket and convert the intercept into a single side offset intercept. It is virtual suicide to continue a bracket in this event since it will force one of your flight in front of the bandits. Lead Pursuit may speed you shot parameters in this event.

    Wide Split
    If the bandits split wide, or the formation is wide to begin with, this could lead to a potential Bracket situation against your flight. As lead, the easiest counter here is to position you on the outside of the bandits. This will most likely leave your wingman with bandits at 10 and 2 o'clock in a bracketed situation. You will be required to protect the much more vulnerable fighter in this scenario. You may also attempt an Inside Out maneuver in this situation. This will be discussed later in detail. Care must be taken when trying this; it could result in leaving both aircraft in a very vulnerable position.

    http://dc192.***********/img/DAZ64qah/0.4578608412165288/FIGURE2.jpg


    Offset
    A third less likely used tactic to counter a bracket is the Bandit Offset. In this maneuver, the bandits will attempt to counter a bracket by off setting to one side and out numbering on of your flight. As soon as this is detected, you must determine the target. This is the "HOT" fighter (targeted or in a really bad position to allow it to be targeted soon). The other fighter, "COLD" (this fighter is not engaged and usually in a position to come into the fight in a rather advantageous position … if he can get there fast enough), must take immediate action to compromise the bandits plans. Become aggressive and get into the fight. Once you have evened the odds again, you will be able to reanalyze the situation and determine another plan of attack. In the offset situation, it is very possible for the "COLD" aircraft to get in for a 6 shot on at least 1 of the bandits.


    http://dc192.***********/img/LxDEwlPU/0.20962112829443302/FIGURE3.jpg


    Advantages to the Bracket Intercept are:
    a) Multi-axis entry. Complication of the bandits visual acquisition on both attacking fighter.

    Any bandit reaction once the closure phase of the bracket begins will provide turning room to at least one attacking fighter that will lead to weapons parameters. At least 1-attacking unit should see enough of a bandit profile to VID if required (not as critical in a game setting, but vital in actual air combat ("Unless of course you only require EID like Desert Storm.", Major Robey Price USAFR))

    Allows a "switch" option in the event the bandits attempt an Inside Out counter.

    Disadvantages:
    a) A wide split is easily detected by enemy radar.
    b) Wingman to wingman visual contact is difficult to maintain.
    c) A bandit Split or Drag counter can force drastic plan corrections at close range (inside 15 to 20 NM)
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  6. Manticore
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    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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    The Single Side Offset Intercept

    The single side Offset Intercept can begin at virtually any distance beyond 15 NM. The object here is to get outside of the enemy radar cone and prevent them from detecting your flight until you have launched on them within high Pk (Probability of Kill) parameters. This maneuver has become increasingly difficult as radar becomes better and the introduction of JSTARS/AWACS style information availability.

    "But the positive aspect is maintaining formation integrity and isolating the threat to one side. Plus you can get a good altitude split in your formation and still do an excellent SSO Intercept." Major Robey Price USAFR

    a) At the call from the wing leader, the flight will put the bandit contacts at a 20 to 55 degree offset (the more altitude difference between you and the bandits, the less off set required).

    http://dc192.***********/img/kS7Y2sUM/0.5287498969439217/FIGURE4.jpg

    "In the F-16 we did "no lock" intercepts such as you're describing using 30 to 40 degrees of offset. Hold the contact there until 10 miles then go pure pursuit (look through the HUD for the Tally)." Major Robey Price USAFR

    If you have already obtained a passive lock, you may pull to the higher end of this scale. Do not actually lock onto any of the bandits at this time, as this will alert them of your presence. You may wish to "sample". "SAMPLING" is very short radar locks to ascertain altitude and airspeed (closure). The outside aircraft should set the angle to prevent exceeding the radar gimbal limits. It is recommended that the lead take the inside position even if this requires a cross over maneuver. Flight lead could take the outside position, which would give him better control over off set angle, however

    b) During this phase, a separation of 5000 feet or so should be affected between your element and the bandits. This allows turning room and introduces more decisions for the bandits to make as well and make you more difficult to spot. You should also determine targets for each fighter. Based on the formation and the likely formations available to the bandits, the inside fighter should most likely take the lead bandit while the outside aircraft takes the trailing bandit.
    c) The outside fighter will actually pull ahead of the 3/9 line of the inside aircraft. Do not reduce power to maintain a "line abreast" formation. Neither should the inside fighter power up. As the break into pure pursuit is made, the fighter will naturally come back into position.

    d) At 8 to 12 NM, pure pursuit should be initiated … turn into the bandits. Put the bandits on the nose, look through the HUD to get a Tally. By this point, you should have decided who will attack what bandit. The Bandit will be on your nose and your merge will be in the 3/9 line area of the bandit. Exactly how far back will depend on closure speed and how late you break into Pure Pursuit. You want to make your merge behind the 3/9 line. This should give you the advantage of first shot. (In SU-27 version 1.5, it is very difficult to hold a lock on a bandit that is "BEAMING" you - showing you his 3/9 line. A Low Aspect merge, rear quarter, is desirable in this situation.)

    Read more: A2A Wingman Tactics (www.combatsim.com)
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  7. Manticore
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    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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    Counters to the Offset Intercept.

    The Offset Intercept is very flexible for countering bandit maneuvers. Normally if the bandits Drag or Flank, the intercept may continue by simply checking further into an Offset.

    The most difficult counter to the Offset to defend against is the Wide Pincer Maneuver. Basically a wide split maneuver, a pretty solid defense is to have the inside fighter follow the farthest bandit to a Pure Pursuit. This could leave the fighter vulnerable to attack from the near bandit. It is therefore critical that the outside attacking fighter "center the dot" on the near bandit for a minimum time intercept.

    An alternate counter for this is a Wide Split for the intercepting fighter to attack the near bandit. If there is a 10NM spread between the bandits, this would give you 30 seconds or so to "double team" the near bandit and get the kill so you could then turn on the second bandit at 2 to 1 odds. This can even be turned into a feint, so that the inside fighter maintains his lock on the far bandit as he heads for the near bandit. Once the other fighter launches at the near bandit, the inside fighter turns on the incoming bandit. This must be a clean break.

    http://dc192.***********/img/1nuf24Ig/0.16169092810146446/FIGURE5.jpg
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  8. Manticore
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    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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    Bandits that turn into the Single Side Offset attack may be countered by moving into a visual bracket. Which if you already have the proper altitude split works very easily.

    http://dc192.***********/img/e5zqqQfD/0.3030399008758089/FIGURE6.jpg


    Advantages to the Single Sided Offset Intercept are:

    Outside wingman can visually support inside wingman.
    Quick and easy response to bandit maneuvers.

    Disadvantages of the Single Side Offset Intercept maneuver are:

    Single axis entry. Defensive reaction by bandits negates positional advantages. Bandits will have easier time of locating interceptors, both visually and by RADAR. Inside wingman may be forced into trail at pure pursuit ranges. (Just behind other aircraft in combat range). Inside wingman can not visually support outside wingman. ("The reason I want #2 on the outside clearing my 6, while looking in my direction for the Tally on the bandit." Major Robey Price USAFR)

    Read more: A2A Wingman Tactics (www.combatsim.com)
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  9. Manticore
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    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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  10. Aamir Hussain
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    Aamir Hussain PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    ANTIBODY:

    Thanks for the information. Most of us who are not familliar with what it takes to shoot down a plane can start from here.

    My question is; what is the difference between the "Finger Four" and the "Route" formation?

    THX
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  11. Last Hope
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    Last Hope PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Wow, great stuff.
    Appriciatable!

    For the first time, Defence is seen in Pakistan Defence Forum.

    From where did you find this?
    And, out of these all, which one is the most powerful and blocking formation?
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  12. rockstarIN
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    rockstarIN SENIOR MEMBER

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    In BVR fight too the formation follow?
  13. Manticore
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    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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    sir, im not a military person myself , im just an enthusiast ,but over the years, ive seen some stickies in other forums , and ive made relatively similar topics here aswell--i.e fighter designs, interviews, paf airshows , updates [jf17 info pool] etc-- ive been updating them over the years

    i google to get the info-- e.g i just saw tactics betwwen a bvr fighter vs helicopter etc

    i hope the military professionals take over these threads from here onwards:agree:

    however its a pity , that these threads arnt popular among the members , rather speculative threads get most of the views

    on a side notes, some of these threads of mine are now being copied 'as such' on other forums!
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  14. Manticore
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    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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    for descriptive posts,you can click on the links below

    for pictorial posts ,quote my post, to find the original links!
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  15. Aamir Hussain
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    Aamir Hussain PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Thanks ANTIBODY -- I understand where you are coming from . Good effort.

    BTW the Finger Four formation was a Luftwaffe invention later adopted by all.