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ArmA 3 Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: Tutorial

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  • [GUIDE] ArmA 3 Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: Tutorial

    Overview:
    UAV's/UGV's are used for long-range reconnaissance up to or farther than 12 kilometers, CAS, fire support and ammunition transport (UGV).

    All these vehicles have three menus of parameters for automatic actions: Type, Behavior and Altitude. Type assigns it to support, loiter, land etc. Behavior assigns its Rules of Engagement.
    Requirements: At least 3km object view distance for long-range recon and safe CAS in most scenarios

    1. Introduction

    First off, grab a UAV Terminal. With this, you can directly connect to a friendly unmanned vehicle or hack an enemy one. You can also connect to friendly drones by scrolling and selecting UAV Terminal, where you see all available drones which you can right click on and connect to. The terminal also works as a GPS replacing it but being slightly heavier. To start off, avoid using automatic takeoff and landing! Glitches can occur where it travels north on its own with no way of changing after.

    For communications, you can hear anyone near your drone in direct but can only speak in direct near your character, not the drone.

    With the UGV, you can select and deselect automated controls, with it on you can be in the turret and drive at the same time but not when it is off.

    In Controls > Common you can set AV Camera which allows you to view in the bottom left corner what your drone’s turret is pointed at.

    Last of all the aircraft radar. This is your best friend and not only for drones but manned fixed-wing aircrafts and rotary gunships too. If you’re traveling east and you see a radar target one line to the right of your own drone on the radar, then you know it is approximately one kilometer away to the south. On the edge of the radar the target can be at or beyond two kilometers away.
    Target descriptions are:
    Gray: Engine off (Priority)
    Green: Ally
    Orange: Unknown/Civilian
    Red: Enemy
    Square: Ground vehicle
    Triangle: Flying vehicle (flying cars included…)



    2. UAV Recon & CAS Step-by-step

    Disclaimer: I am not responsible if following keybind suggestions are not default or are bad choices

    2.1. Check Settings > Controls > Weapons and make sure Lock Target + Reveal Target is set to T and Next target + Next target (in vehicle) is set to R - which should be default controls, you can also change them if you wish
    2.2. Shift+LMB to reset all WP’s and set a new one or Ctrl+LMB for mutliple waypoints and waypoint the area you want the UAV to move to or be located at doing various tasks, then right click the first waypoint and choose following (all following waypoints will follow this new set configuration):
    Behavior: Never fire (does not auto-attack, useful for ATGM UAV's so your ground forces won't ask you why six tanks just got destroyed!)
    Type: Loiter (Set to max distance, 1500m, to avoid over-turning)
    Altitude: 2000m
    Change this around as you become more proficient, these distances requires an object view distance of over 3 kilometers for recon and targeting with the laser while targeting when flying (using the ATGM/GBU) only requires regular view distance (so that radar targets appear to lock-on)

    UAV ATGM:
    2.3. Press R or T to lock-on while flying and then fire once locked (If settings are set). Will lock-on to both vehicles and lasers – the lock will say Laser Target or the vehicle’s full name

    UAV GBU (both self-bombing and given target):
    2.3. Check Weapon Settings again for "Lock UAV Turret" where default should be Ctrl+T
    2.4. In step 2 you configured a waypoint to circle the task area allowing you to be in the gunner seat. Aim on your target and press Ctrl+T, you should no longer be able to move the turret. Press again to release. Lock again and then press LMB to lase, you're now ready to take over flying and press R or T to lock-on and drop the bomb at any distance, direction, altitude and speed of your choosing. Locks on lasers only

    Can’t lock-on when flying even though GBU’s/ATGM’s are selected? Then you just made my typical mistake – you have to scroll and select Manual fire, this goes for most vehicles like the gunships where the pilot does not control most guns normally


    Here is a video if you want to see how a UAV run would be like during tasking (no speech):



    One less obvious thing to look for in the video is the aircraft’s radar. The enemy vehicle shows as a gray square and will show outside of my visibility range for objects, why? Because the vehicle has its engine turned off and the radar is based on terrain view distance, not object. Lock-on will work on radar targets outside of visible range

    3. Behaviors

    UAV & UGV:
    *Will follow last given waypoint parameters, default parameter for RoE is Always engage but will be Never engage if you have set the last waypoint as such
    UAV:
    *Altitude priority is: Given altitude and then current altitude, so if you fly up to 5427m it will not ascend or descend unless you tell it otherwise. This way, you can fly at 1400m even if you can’t set that altitude in the altitude parameter
    *A glitch can appear where the UAV is slightly underground and blows up when you try to connect to it. To fix this you can try push it lightly with a vehicle
    *Automated take offs and landings with the UAV is not recommended as it can glitch the UAV’s crew and make it less useable, you can mess around and try this
    UGV:
    *Tends to follow the right side of the roads if there are any when given waypoints
    *May in some locations of the map hit a rock or a bridge and lose a tyre during waypoints
    Statics:
    *Will do automated fire on any spotted targets if an operator is not using it when automated is turned on

    4. Armaments

    These drones are available for all three sides consisting of Blufor, Opfor and Independent but only for the three main factions of these (NATO, CSAT, AAF)

    UGV & UGV RCWS: Max speed of 46 kph, Max off-road speed of 41 kph, Inventory capacity of 50 kg (100 30Rnd magazines), 1 seat in UGV
    UGV RCWS: 500x2 .50 caliber rounds, 200 40mm rounds
    UAV (Greyhawk): 0.5x, 2.5x and 8.7x camera with night and thermal visions, Top speed 370 kph +/-
    UAV GBU: 2x GBU-12
    UAV ATGM: 6x ATGM
    AR-2 Darter: Small quadrotor copter, 0.5x, 2.5x and 8.7x zoom, Top speed 85 kph +/-
    Mk30A (static): 500x2 .50 caliber rounds, disassembles into two carryable backpacks
    Mk32A (static): 40x4 40mm rounds, disassembles into two carryable backpacks
    Remote Designator (backpack – Marksman DLC item): 2x-20x zoom

    ---------------------------------------------------
    Questions? PM me.
    Last edited by Xorilliz; 09-08-2015, 05:24 AM. Reason: armament corrections
    - Current ArmA Pathfinder

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  • #2
    Re: ArmA 3 Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: Tutorial

    Nice. Thanks for the write up and the hard work Xor.

    Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

    "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

    Friend of |TG| Chief

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    • #3
      Re: ArmA 3 Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: Tutorial

      Great stuff. I spent a few hours by myself on the server and then some time with you as well. I'm getting the hang of it I think so that's good. The tricky part for me is taking over the pilot seat to release the GBU's. If the optics are pointing right at the target when I hit T I can't see if they are locked on or not. i was dipping the nose to point the optics at the target and this led to descending too low and then getting shot down.

      Do any of the heavy mobile Artillery vehicles carry laser guided munitions? Now that would be awesome. I was at base operating a small drone over the target while Sparrow operated the Scorchor. I didn't realize it but he said that piece can reach any part of the island...Now that is some fire power right there.
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      |TG-1st|Grunt
      ARMA Admin (retired)
      Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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      • #4
        Re: ArmA 3 Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: Tutorial

        Originally posted by Grunt 70 View Post
        Do any of the heavy mobile Artillery vehicles carry laser guided munitions? Now that would be awesome. I was at base operating a small drone over the target while Sparrow operated the Scorchor. I didn't realize it but he said that piece can reach any part of the island...Now that is some fire power right there.
        The Scorchor actually DOES have LaserGuided munitions. If the artillery gunner gets the shot within the 100m grid the shell will drift to the laser designated target. Works fair well when you really need to hit one specific building!

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        • #5
          Re: ArmA 3 Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: Tutorial

          Originally posted by Grunt 70 View Post
          The tricky part for me is taking over the pilot seat to release the GBU's. If the optics are pointing right at the target when I hit T I can't see if they are locked on or not. i was dipping the nose to point the optics at the target and this led to descending too low and then getting shot down.
          I use R (Next vehicle) when I lock-on which locks on to anything within like 30 degree arc of view to all sides, if this is what you mean... I wasn't sure. You can see me doing that in the embedded YT video where I keep my target on the bottom of the screen

          Originally posted by Grunt 70 View Post
          Do any of the heavy mobile Artillery vehicles carry laser guided munitions? Now that would be awesome. I was at base operating a small drone over the target while Sparrow operated the Scorchor. I didn't realize it but he said that piece can reach any part of the island...Now that is some fire power right there.
          It has Laser Guided munitions but last time I checked they don't work, neither does its Guided rounds - or at least they were so unreliable I never bothered with them. Laser Guided rounds do work on mortars very well on the other hand when I tried...
          one thing to note on the artillery is, sure it has up to what I think is 21 kilometers range or even more but it will probably have 400-500 meters dispersion and 2-3 minutes travel time at that point

          edit: apparently me and noy has got different opinions... there's only one way to find out now Grunt - test it :)
          - Current ArmA Pathfinder

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          • #6
            Re: ArmA 3 Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: Tutorial

            I'm gonna set up a test map tonight and give it a try.

            Mortars are laser guided? that's something I hadn't even thought of. I was working as a spotter with another gunner on the mortar a few nights ago and we were having difficulty with the dispersion. The mark was correct on the map but the rounds were splashing in and around the target. it was armor...no one dismounted but I think we knocked the gun out.

            So...I'm really thinking that operating the equipment is only half the equation. Finding and using the right protocol for when and where to deploy is equally if not more important I think.

            Last night we had a round of Insurgency going. Only the small drone is available but I grabbed that and deployed it even though I had slotted in as a grenedier. I reported in my load out to the Sl to his approval and off we went. Insurgency isn't the right mission I'm thinking. Ground troops move fast and it seemed they were typically engaged about the time I was sending the intel up the line. A couple of times I sent reports of large enemy groups and I think that was helpful but in the end the two groups would've met no matter what. Maybe I prevented a wipe ?? who knows.

            But I didn't do the best on radio protocol. Contact seemed urgent a number of times and I sent the intel up the chain at times with urgency and without proper procedure. But only when it seemed the enemy and friendlies were about to be in imminent contact. After some time went by I could sense my reports were more of a hinderence than a help and I slowed down the intel transmissions going up the chain. Ya...a mission with mostly soft targets doesn't seem to benefit as much as a mission with hard targets like armor or fortified bunkers.


            After the mission I asked a couple of players if the intel was helpful. They said for the most part yes but the breakdown in radio procedure fouled up sequence. I was stepping on others radio calls and this hurt the team more than it helped. I had switched to command channel and we had only 3 others in the lead, Experiment, Dimi and Connor. I figured with so fewer people on that channel it was okay to loosen the protocol to get the intel out in a manner that fit the speed of the battle. What I can see now is that those guys were also dealing with chatter on group and direct while I was sitting out of the way with no other transmissions to hear but my own.

            I like the idea of being embedded with a squad of ground soldiers but this means tasking the SL with the decision of where and when to deploy a drone. Dimi was happy to have it on board but asked to keep it grounded until we needed intel up front. That seems like the right approach on a squad level. On Platoon or Company level I think sending the drone up as a matter of course, getting it on station and then communicating with the squad leaders or platoon leaders is the right approach.

            But how do you send the intel up in a timely manner when it's happening fast. You know how it can be on the radio at times. SL is busy or under fire or...whatever...half the time you give your call sign and it doesn't get answered right away. With intel sometimes changing on a minute by minute basis that's very difficult to balance.

            I can see now there is a big difference between operating as an independent unit and operating as a squad member with a deployable asset. My only fear is, and it's not really a fear but just a consideration, is the Squad leaders or platoon leaders may not call for the drone's intel simply because they aren't used to using it or their squad members using it. Many have told me they've never piloted the drones and even though I like to fly I only started using them a month ago. Honestly I think it's an underused asset.

            Lets get some of you squad leaders and platoon leaders in here to give direction on how you want to use this asset so next time I and others using the UAV can be more effective and useful instead of wondering if we are just hindering the operation. Sometimes, in ARMA, it's just better to keep it simple and the UAV gear adds a layer of complexity I think some SL's may not want when they are leading. Is the UAV gear (and I'm only thinking airborne drones here) worth the effort for you and your squad leading. How do you want to see it deployed?

            Looking forward to your answers. Thanks.
            sigpic
            |TG-1st|Grunt
            ARMA Admin (retired)
            Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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            • #7
              Re: ArmA 3 Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: Tutorial

              Grunt yesterday was unfortunate as my team was under brutal assault and I was down for the majority of it while they tried to hold the enemy off so when you tried radio me I couldn't respond, I would recommend doing what you did and asking in command for the person you or trying to relay the Intel to of its very urgent it might be best to do a quick message in the chat for example " Connor you have a 8 man team appraching from the south" then if I feel like I need more Intel I can ask you for details if needed, I check the chat constantly as I prefer to use it unless voice is needed, I for one think that the Intel you gave us last night helped a lot and it's good to see you enjoy using these UAV's so I encourage you stick with it and we can all work together to refine a system that allows for quick yet not to interfearing communication among the UAV operator and Team Leaders,

              Thanks,

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              • #8
                Re: ArmA 3 Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: Tutorial

                Well I knew you guys were battling it out and eventually I knew you were down. Instead of unfortunate I see it as a normal course of battle though. That happens and will happen again. I could see the other squadmates hunkering down trying to suppress with returning fire.

                That was a lesson for me. The UAV was deployed in the left rear instead of middle center. That was a tactical blunder. A better deployment would've given you more notice. Also...the other teams had enemies in front too. Alot was happening at once and I didn't recognize which firefight was the most critical. It was a strong advance on your tem on the enemies part though. The platoon deployment didn't lend itself to an easy reinforcement so your team may have struggled even with a better deployed drone.
                sigpic
                |TG-1st|Grunt
                ARMA Admin (retired)
                Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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                • #9
                  Re: ArmA 3 Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: Tutorial

                  I suggest that the FO and the gunner be in their own group with the FO as lead. That way you have a dedicated channel for your indirect fire team. You have a direct line to command through commmand channel and direct as well.
                  |TG-189th| Unkl
                  ArmA 3 Game Officer
                  Dean of Tactical Gamer University
                  189th Infantry Brigade Member
                  SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN
                  "We quickly advance in the opposite direction and take cover in a house on the SW side of town." - BadStache

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                  • #10
                    Re: ArmA 3 Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: Tutorial

                    Originally posted by Grunt 70 View Post
                    Mortars are laser guided? that's something I hadn't even thought of.
                    Only when you put in a code into the mortar as the mission editor/zeus where you want to add specific rounds (guided, laser guided, so on...) you can even load a mortar with 1 million rounds if you want to.
                    By default they have 8x4 HE, 8x1 smoke, 8x1 flare

                    Originally posted by Unkl View Post
                    I suggest that the FO and the gunner be in their own group with the FO as lead. That way you have a dedicated channel for your indirect fire team. You have a direct line to command through commmand channel and direct as well.
                    maybe TS whisper or a different channel for the FO/gunner to follow the group comms too is better? I dont know, thats just my preference since with real radios it would be like that
                    - Current ArmA Pathfinder

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                    • #11
                      Re: ArmA 3 Unmanned Aerial and Ground Vehicles: Tutorial

                      I love me some UAV operators. When it is with somebody proficient it does wonders to support infantry. I also tried some of this guide myself and was able to finally self bomb with the CAS UAV UGB. What I have noticed is that players are intrigued by UAVs. They want that role and they want to carry that UAV quad-rotor backpack. Often times when the showtime comes and I ask for the usage, they fumble and lose their UAV within seconds. Hopefully this guide will get a few more UAV operators in our community. Coz, I love me some UAV operators.

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