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  • SAM Question and RWR

    I was in a sweep mission recently when I was suddenly downed by a SAM. I learned during debrief that I was downed by an SA-10. I had the 10 site on my RWR but it was not an immediate threat, meaning that it was on the outer perimeter of the RWR and it certainly didn't have a diamond around it. So I knew the SA-10 site was out there but I wasn't too concerned about it.

    Question: Should I always get a launch indication from my RWR when a radar-guided SAM is heading my way? From my recent experience I would think no. But I'm just a little confused because I thought I would always get some sort of warning, at least with radar-guided missles.

    And why wasn't the 10 site considered a priority by my RWR. I had no other threats on the RWR except for the AI at my 6 who was painting me.

  • #2
    Re: SAM Question and RWR

    Originally posted by BigDuke16
    I was in a sweep mission recently when I was suddenly downed by a SAM. I learned during debrief that I was downed by an SA-10. I had the 10 site on my RWR but it was not an immediate threat, meaning that it was on the outer perimeter of the RWR and it certainly didn't have a diamond around it. So I knew the SA-10 site was out there but I wasn't too concerned about it.

    Question: Should I always get a launch indication from my RWR when a radar-guided SAM is heading my way? From my recent experience I would think no. But I'm just a little confused because I thought I would always get some sort of warning, at least with radar-guided missles.

    And why wasn't the 10 site considered a priority by my RWR. I had no other threats on the RWR except for the AI at my 6 who was painting me.
    Avoid SAM10s like you would the clap. They kill every time, and no launch warning that I can discern. I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong here.

    n.

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    • #3
      Re: SAM Question and RWR

      The Manual has a very good section on how the AI fight. Suffice it to say that the radar you see may not be in the same location that the missile fires from! The range of the SA-10 is 50 miles, so even trying to get close for a HARM shot is not recommended as the Flap Lid radar will burn through your ECM before you get a shot off. The best plan is to use terrain masking at low altitude and beaming. There is no launch warning according to the Tactical Reference.
      New to TG?

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      • #4
        Re: SAM Question and RWR

        Here you would use the brevity call "padlocked". This would mean that you are not taking your eyes off the target and the rest of the wing must take over the responsibilities of checking radar contacts. Whoever is padlocked will be looking for a launch and if s/he calls out, be prepared to go defensive.

        It's easy to get lazy in the pit, especially when you only have a virtual life to look after. One way to use the padlock view is to keep switching from normal view to padlock, again and again. This way each time you switchback to padlock you will pick up on the most dangerous threat.

        Any SAM launches you see close by should be called out and with a break (left/right). There isn't enough time to call out who so if you here this call, dump CM's and turn hard. Program your CM's to a setting that drops both chaff and flare if you are unsure what SAMs are operating in the area. Failure to do so usually results in a plane shot down.
        Jex.

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        • #5
          Re: SAM Question and RWR

          Thanks for the tips. I have another question related to the sweep mission I was first describing. My sweep waypoints took me very close to this SA-10 site. What options did I have to deal with this threat?

          I normally move waypoints around to avoid such threats but didn't in this case. My waypoints 3, 4, and 5 (the main legs of the sweep) basically made a loop around this SAM site. If I were to move the waypoints away from the threat then I would have had to move them very far. And I'm not sure how that would have affected the result of my sweep mission, which is why I didn't touch them.

          If this had been some sort of strike mission then I would have flown NOE past the site (and moved waypoints too) but I didn't think I could have flown NOE on a sweep mission and have been effective. Is that correct?

          Lastly, my wingy and I each took some HARMS but neither of us were able to take out the site. I hit two separate radar sites but my wingy hit something else.

          Is there anything I could have done to avoid such a threat or have I covered the main points?

          And I'm not getting into visually watching for SAM launches while flying into the threat area. That tactic is more apparent to me now (thanks jex) so I will definitely be doing more of that.

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          • #6
            Re: SAM Question and RWR

            I think you covered your options - fly NOE, fly around the site, or try to take it out - it's risky but it can be done. Here's how. Stay just outside the SA-10's threat circle, maintaining a perpendicular course (beaming the SAM). Be as high as you can manage (at least 30,000), as slow as you can manage. Say two Hail Marys, then turn into the SAM site. Keep high and slow. As soon as the bugger paints you and you're within range, go magnum, punch your burner, turn 180 degrees, descend and get the hell out of there. If he hasn't already launched, he will. Don't try and beam the missile. Hit the deck FAST, pump out the chaff and run away, masking yourself with available terrain. The missile should run out of energy before it can reach you, and with some luck you'll have killed the SAM radar with your HARM.
            Last edited by TG_PolishBoogieman; 12-07-2005, 09:10 PM.
            [volun]

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            • #7
              Re: SAM Question and RWR

              Right on, Polish!!! I don't know if you're a genius or a madman. Flying slow and right into a SAM site? Now that is really living on the edge. I can't wait to try that tactic because it sounds very exciting (in a scary way). The key must obviously be that you don't end up too far inside the SAM's threat circle.

              I'm sure you'll see me posting if I'm able to pull that tactic off. Thanks again.

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              • #8
                Re: SAM Question and RWR

                Yup, that's the key. You're playing chicken with the SAM site operator. It's a real rush, especially if the SAM site launches at you before you are in HARM range. Do you turn and run, or hang in there a few more seconds to get a better chance of a kill? Then you're zipping along at 700 knots and 100 feet, padlocking the missile over your shoulder and praying that it runs out of steam!
                [volun]

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                • #9
                  Re: SAM Question and RWR

                  Fighter Sweeps are basically to penetrate enemy airspace and knock down whatever is up. With this in mind, your waypoins can be changed as it's not massively important that you follow them precisely as you are going to engage any contacts that you come across which will take you off your WP line anyway.

                  Always avoid SAM's when you're A-A. If you have to go defensive you're loosing any advantage you had. If enemy aircraft show up whilst you're dodging SAM's, you'll then be dodging their missiles.

                  Also watch enemy AC as they like to drag you over active SAM sites.
                  Jex.

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