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  • Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

    Lasing Targets: The SOFLAM and You
    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YDfxeK_W4U[/media]
    The SOFLAM is the single binocular in the game capable of laser-desginating targets, or "lasing" for short. What this does is marks the target with an infra-red beam that allows aircraft (Jets and Attack Choppers) to drop laser-designated ordinance on a target. It is only available in two kits: the Officer kit and the Special Operations kit. The officer kit, when being used by a squad leader or commander, has the added feature of being able to announce when a target is being lased (optional) by using the T-Key CommoRose to say "Marking target!" On both kits, the SOFLAM is found by pressing your "7" key, with the exception of the BiMing map, which replaces all binoculars with night-vision goggles.

    Up to now, lasing a target was thought to be a very complex proceedure, having to request close air support through the commander, have it approved, then use your commorose to laser designate the target. This is not true. You dont even have to use your T-Key CommoRose to do it.

    Simply pull out your SOFLAM, zoom in on the desired target (which can be anything from enemy aircraft, tanks, APCs, vehicles, buildings, or even the ground) and click your fire key like you were shooting a gun (but DO NOT HOLD IT DOWN! Think of it like a gun on single-shot). You will then see a green square appear where you designated, but keep in mind that this is only visible with the SOFLAM or from Aircraft. Normal infantry, armor, transports, etc will not be able to see the laser.

    Any target you lase will be active for approximately 13-15 seconds before you have to re-designate the target, so make sure you are coordinating your target designation with your air cover.

    To lase a static (non-moving) target, it is simply point and click with the SOFLAM as I said earlier. To lase a moving target, you have to lead the target (aim in its path) and lase a spot on the ground that the target will drive through. If done correctly, when the target (i.e. a tank or APC) drives through the mark, the laser will lock on to the target and move with it. The same goes for aircraft. However, the life-span of the laser designation is still the same 13-15 second window, so you must make sure you have planes/helos inbound before you lase a target.

    Once you understand how to laser designate a target, it is a simple matter of coordinating this with the air support. Timing and comms become tricky if you want to ensure your target gets bombed. So you essentially have 2 approaches:

    [1] Designate a target when you think air support is going to be in the area (check map) and hope they drop a bomb or missile...maybe you get one, maybe you don't. The only sure-fire way to get a target bombed with this method is to be in communication with your pilots over TS or VOIP.

    [2] Request Close Air Support (CAS for short) thru the CO (squad leader only, using T-Key commorose). If the CO approves, he will dispatch the air asset to your target, which is now shown on the map by a CAS marker (four yellow arrows). Keep your eye on the map and when the Aircraft is within 15 seconds range, laser designate the target. This gets your target killed, which is a thing of beauty if done correctly.

    Ordinance Dropping:
    For aircraft to drop ordinance on the laser designated target, planes must be between 500m and 700m altitude over the target (not 500m-700m over sea level! if a tank is on a hill thats 100m high, you must be between 600m and 800m by your altimeter, so make sure your teammates tell you how high the target is!) and helicopters can fire laser-designated ordinance from any altitude, but unlike planes who can fire-and-forget, the laser designation must remain LOCKED in the gunners crosshairs until the target is hit.

    A note on helicopters: Helicopter gunners have TWO "laser" weapons. One is the laser-guided missiles (activated by pressing the "3" key), which is used the same way a TOW missile is (fire and hold down the fire button while moving your camera around to guide the missile) and the other is the laser-designated missiles (activated by pressing your "4" key), which require troops on the ground to lase a target and the gunner to lock on to the laser before it can be fired accurately. If you fire a laser designated missile at a target that has not been lased, it WILL NOT EXPLODE. However, you can fire the laser-guided missiles and steer them yourself if there is no infantry around to lase the target.

    So go out and have fun with your new knowledge guys! Remember: communication is key! if your pilots dont know where to look for a target, they cant hit it. If the ground troops dont know the plane is coming, they dont know when to lase a target.

    Many thanks to all the guys who helped me put this together!

  • #2
    Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

    Very nice!
    Skud


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    • #3
      Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

      The manual definitely needed some clarification, so thanks for putting this together Ferris.

      I think one point to emphasize (because I've seen many people that were confused by this) is that 1) Requesting Air Support, and 2) using the T commrose to say "Marking Target" are just tools for communication. They are important, but they don't actually help the bomb find the target.

      I may be repeating a little of what Ferris wrote above, but here's how the whole scenario plays out:

      1. SL or Special Forces uses commrose to request air support at a target location (tank, APC, flag zone, etc.). That starts off the chain of events by telling the commander (without having to use VOIP) that you are requesting a gunship or jet to bomb a target.

      2. CO right clicks to accept the request and four yellow arrows are displayed on the map.

      3. The CO then picks an appropriate air squad and places an attack order on the CAS symbol.

      4. The gunship or jet then advises the CO if they're able to accept the order or if there will be a delay (they need to re-arm, already engaged in air-to-air, etc.)

      5. When the gunship or jet begins to set-up for the bombing run the CO needs to tell the squad on the ground to stand by to laser the target. Don't risk sticking your neck out until you know the gunship or jet can accept the order.

      6. Gunship or jet should advise CO when they are about 10-13 seconds out.

      7. CO tells ground troop (SL or Special Forces) to laser the target. After lasering, please ensure that a green square is displayed on the target location. If the square isn't there, then the bomb run will not work. If the square is in the wrong place, then the bomb will miss its target. Remember, if you can't get a laser on target then tell the CO so he can wave off the gunship or jet. Jets only get two 500lb JDAMS so don't waste them on a badly lased target.

      8. The last part of the procedure is to report back to the CO if the bomb hit or missed.

      With a little practice, this procedure can be done in less than a minute with amazing success. Also remember that the 500lb JDAMs don't have to be used on vehicles. If you are overlooking a flag zone with a whole squad of infantry, you can laser a point on the ground near the squad and the bomb will likely take them all out.




      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

        Can someone clarify the altitude and distance from target ranges?
        Ferris wrote that the pilot must drop the bombs at 500m to 700m altitude. (compensate for hills)

        Does the pilot also have to drop the bomb at a certain range over the target? For instance suppose I drop my bomb at roughly 589m high and 234m from the target marker designating the target. Will it hit or am I too close to the target to begin with?

        Does the pilot have to hear the "I got lock" announcement before deploying the bomb?

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        • #5
          Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

          Thanks for the guys
          doYouEvenLuftwaffe

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          • #6
            Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

            That I cannot help you with XCannon as I dont fly much. However, we do have some very good pilots here who can probably answer the question.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

              Although it was said by the devs to be at that specific altitude, I've found that as long as you are above 500 meters above ground minimum, the bomb will hit the target. I usually drop mine at about 1000ish and it works perfect for me. And no, you do not wait for a "I've got lock" sound before you drop. Just try to release somewhere around 600m from target, but no less than 500m. I know you sometimes get the "I've got lock" just as you pass over the target, ignore it..
              Murderous

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              • #8
                Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

                bump
                Murderous

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                • #9
                  Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

                  omg.... nice job Ferris!!!! This tuto is AWESOME !
                  Play Tactical Gamer Only

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                  • #10
                    Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

                    With Rat_Bastard and Fuzzhead leading the charge, and us lowly SL's spotting, USMC dominated tonight on Kashkan tonight. Thanks to your video and tutoral no Opfor armor, AA, CO truck, moped, ground troop, or random lasered bush went on living. Final score was 521-0.
                    doYouEvenLuftwaffe

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                    • #11
                      Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

                      Great video.

                      Don't the 500m bombs only work with the commander las marker that he can drop anywhere?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

                        Originally posted by Human Shield View Post
                        Great video.

                        Don't the 500m bombs only work with the commander las marker that he can drop anywhere?
                        Only the CO can mark a location for the 500lb JDAM by not being at the location itself. This is done on the CO map by right clicking and selecting "Target Coordinates", which will place the four red arrows on a location. The target will remain for 30 seconds and allows a jet to drop a bomb on it.

                        However, if you have someone there that can laser the target area, then you're bound to get a better result because it will hit exactly where you want it.




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                        • #13
                          Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

                          The bomb that you saw in the video was the standard bombs on the eurofighter, piloted in the video by nardini. We didnt drop any JDAMs for filming, figured it would have been a bit overkill for a simple demonstration. :)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

                            I was SL a week or so ago and the commander had me try to lase a target for the JDAM from the door of a helicopter. We weren't successful. Not altogether sure I was doing everything correctly (nice post guys, thanks), but I wanted to ask if this was possible or not? Was it me, or is it just not possible?

                            Snarlin


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                            • #15
                              Re: Laser Designation Tutorial/Instructions

                              It's nothing compared to Ferris's :) but here's what I gathered:

                              General:
                              The main difference with piloting jets is that the Eurofighter turns much slower than the F-16/Migs of 0.6. I didn’t get a chance to try the J-10, but from what I’ve heard they handle relatively the same. Taxiing is also more difficult, as if you push all the way down on the joystick your jet bobbles and could fall off the runway, spelling doom for you and your aircraft. You need to be especially careful since the runways on Qinling just drop off on the side and don’t have the nice slope like on Kashan.

                              Use of Bombs:
                              Since jets now have bombs, you’ll need a SL/comm/spec ops to paint a target for you. Once the laze the target you have between 13 and 15 seconds to release the bomb. You must also be somewhere between 450-650 meters in altitude or the bombs won’t go off. I found most of my hits were from around 550-600 meters in altitude, and make sure you can take your shot and let it drop before the timer on the painter expires, otherwise your bomb might not hit the target. It doesn’t have to be a direct hit either, the blast radius is much higher than before.

                              AA:
                              AA is deadly now, but you have plenty of flares to compensate. There’s no more locking tone, so once you hear the lock the enemy is clear to fire and shove a missile through your tailpipe. Staying low helped allot when dealing with the mobile anti-air, but dealing with enemy jets are probably a different story. I didn’t have a chance to dogfight anyone so I can’t tell you how that will go.

                              Runway:
                              I found it much more difficult to land and take off than on Kashan. You have to maneuver through the runway to take off, and the Eurofighter seems rather wobbly while you’re taxiing. One slip and you’re over the side of the runway, which means certain death even if you’re at a crawl. Be wary of the boxes by where the jet spawns as well, tap those and you’ll be likely to explode.
                              The runway is also much easier to destroy than before. About ten rounds from the Eurofighter’s guns would destroy a section of runway, so one quick pass will leave the enemy unable to land or take off without repairs.

                              I didn't join a squad once and this guy named Nardini took me into the back room and beat me with a sock of oranges.

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