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FAC (A) Improvements in v1.0.4

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  • FAC (A) Improvements in v1.0.4

    We're nearing completion of v1.0.4 and as a little taster of what to expect here's a note on the improvements to the Airborne Forward Air Controller feature.

    The Airborne Forward Air Controller - FAC (A), has a pivitol role in helping direct aircraft towards ground targets. They were used extensively in Vietnam and more recently in the Gulf War conflicts. The FAC (A) flies ahead of a Close Air Support flight. It picks out ground targets and provides bearing and range. In addition, the FAC can launch "Willie Pete" White Phosphorous rockets which mark the target for visual identification.

    The FAC feature was always present in Allied Force. But v1.0.4, will see a radical improvement in the way it works. It is more functional, more responsive and much more interesting to fly.

    Up until now, the FAC would only guide you to the primary ground target. If the primary target did not exist, or one was not assigned to it, attacking aircraft were left without a target to go for. Now, the FAC will attempt to find the primary target but if it was destroyed or a primary target not identified, then the FAC will go hunting along its waypoints to spot and find you a target.

    Lead Pursuit engineer Mike Laskey explains: "Sometimes too when AI fighters would check in with the FAC, after a few seconds they would call "Winchester, Request Relief" then they'd pick a target and attack. This has been corrected. AI fighters will check in and wait a few minutes. If the FAC does not assign a target within that time frame, the AI fighter will call in to the FAC with the request "Send me your targets". If after another short period nothing is heard, then they will hunt around for their own targets and attack."

    "The AI will now have the correct logic to properly launch marker rockets at targets. In the past, the A-10 would launch all its rockets in one pass instead of just one at the particular target, and in fact the F-16 when flying FAC missions would not be kitted out with marker rockets at all. Both these issues have been corrected so that targets are marked by the AI FAC aircraft."

    Mike says: "We revised the logic so that the AI FAC will only launch marker rockets whilst the FAC has fighters checked in. If no fighters are checked in, then the FAC preserves its rockets, flies along its waypoints finding targets and waiting for fighters to check in."

    The AI FAC will also fire a rocket at the nearest unit in the target battalion, to avoid overflying and getting shot down. Smoke has now been introduced for these rockets to clearly mark the target both day and night.

    Maximum enjoyment can be had in multiplayer mode with a human FAC directing AI and human-flown On-Call CAS missions. Players can fly the role of the FAC, launch smoke rockets into the target and use the FAC commands to audibly describe target positons to his AI and player-piloted allies.

    During the mission, the AI FAC, when it runs out of rockets, will remain in the target area and continue to call targets. It will return home when either all the fighters have checked out, of when fuel is low.

    Mike adds: "Improvements are not just limited to the FAC. CAS, BAI and On-Call CAS flights have had their logic enhanced. Before they tended to attack the first target they came across. Now they will ignore ground opportunities until they reach the target area, and then start hunting as normal for the rest of the mission.

    There used to be an issue too where AI fighters would continue to speak to the FAC after the FAC had checked out. This is now corrected. The FAC when it leaves the area will send out a "checked-out" message to all the fighters it is directing so that the AI fighters know they're on their own. Those aircraft will then perform their own decision making about target selection and perform their own attack profiles as normal.

    We have also created a new user guide for using the FAC in v.1.0.4. It can be downloaded here for advanced reading:


  • #2
    Re: FAC (A) Improvements in v1.0.4

    I think this change alone will have a dramatic affect on how our ground attack missions go. I can't wait to try it!

    Thanks Threep!
    New to TG?


    • #3
      Re: FAC (A) Improvements in v1.0.4

      Wow! This sounds awesome!!

      In the pursuit of... something.




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