Air-To-Air Tactics & Combat Formations

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

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  1. truthseeker2010

    truthseeker2010 FULL MEMBER

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    All this stuff can really help the students of CCS(Combat Commanders School) do their home work in a more comfortable manner!
  2. Manticore

    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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  3. truthseeker2010

    truthseeker2010 FULL MEMBER

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    whats the difference between fingertip and route formation.... just the distance between aircraft.
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  4. Manticore

    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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  5. Manticore

    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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    Loose Deuce - is the "tag team" style of fighting, where one fighter is "in" on the bogie. His job is to maneuver for a shot, and failing this, to bleed the enemy's energy or force him into a disadvantageous position. He then calls, "Out" and disengages, hopefully up, to conserver energy for the next pass, if needed. The other pilot, formerly the "out" or "perch" pilot can then dive in and engage the bogie while the other pilot climbs to regain energy, regain SA and perform the duties of the perch. The idea is usually for only one plane to be committed at one time; the other, on the perch, is there to ensure the SA for the entire pair and to watch the 6 of the "in" pilot, who can concentrate his full attention on shooting the bogie.The planes continue alternating positions until the bogie is killed or the overall tactical situation changes. At that point, it usually becomes necessary for the pair to either escape or get away from the action to regain their SA...and then onto the next victim. <top>

    Double Attack - is a derivative of Loose Deuce. There are still the "in" and "out" pilots, but the "out" pilot is more actively involved in the attack, not just waiting on the perch until the engaged pilot calls him down. This approach demands very close contact, and is not recommended if voice comms are not working properly. JG5 pairs will mostly use the Loose Deuce, holding the Double Attack for situations where it is reasonably sure that there will be no reinforcements to undermine the SA of the pair. <top>

    For the most part, we are assuming that each member will have enough experience to be able to handle his responsibilities, regardless of whether you are the Rottenfueher ("in" fighter) or the Rottenflieger/Katchmarek (wingman or "out/perch" fighter).

    Plan Before Leaving The Tower

    Good planning is the key to success in any mission, more so in respect to Rotte tactics. The more you both understand the conditions of the mission from start to finish up front, the less communication details you have worry about when you engage the enemy. Here is a basic checklist of things to outline that can either be added to or cut depending upon your preferences:

    Mission Objectives – Know your objectives, whether it be a CAP, Sweep, Jabo, Capture, Recon, or Escort mission. Outline your “travel plans”, details such as :

    * Destination coordinates (or field #) - self explanatory

    * Waypoints – set map coordinates for transit routes (i.e. –1, 2, 6) in case of separation

    * Ingress altitude – altitude is “E” is life. Make sure yours is set appropriately high. Also try to avoid maximum climb rates so you can maintain minimal separation between the Rotte mates

    * Hard deck – Setting a reasonable “bar” here also helps make the support role easier. It's especially important for Focke Wulf 190s, as they really need emergency altitude for escape.

    * Cruise speed and/or throttle settings - In transit, 70-75% works well, and saves fuel. Besides, if your wingie is trying to catch up, and you're at 100% throttle, he won’t have a chance unless he wastes his WEP to maintain position.


    Assignments– Decide who will be the element leader, and who will be the wing. Decide and stick with it through the duration of the sortie. I recommend swapping roles after every sortie, to make sure each person gets an equal opportunity at the “helm”. If using Double Attack, assign the initial leader. It may be possible to agree that the pilot who sees a bogie first is assumed to have the lead until further notice.

    Plane Type - Utilize same variants when possible to ensure similar handling characteristics. A 109G wingman will have a tough time covering the tail of a 109F element leader in a tight turning dogfight. Try to fly a plane both parties are comfortable with.

    Fuel Load – Weight plays a role in handling characteristics, level the playing field between you and match fuel loads. Also, with the increased distances and transit times in the 2.0 arena, make sure you have double checked your estimates for your fuel requirements.

    Ordnance Loadout – Is it just fighter escort or a Jabo field capture? Take enough iron to get the job done, but take similar loadouts. If you don’t match (on purpose), your weight, and consequently your climbing, handling, and dive characteristics will be different between you.

    Coordinate Comms – If using voice, set your channels on the ground and test comm quality to ensure both parties can understand each other clearly. If either one can not, both should use the text buffer. It is best up Radio One to 110, the squad frequency whenever possible. If the Scenario Lite calls for a special channel for a group of planes, use another Radio channel for squad, or 110. But be sure to assign squad radio, and prepare yourself to use the proper channels (nothing worse than sending a help message for your wingman out on country channel, where it mixes in with a lot of other chatter). Whenever possible, after any type of radio comms respond with a “cc” or else assume it wasn’t received (perhaps when dragging or tight maneuvering it may not be possible). This applies to both the element leader and the wing. If not confirmed after several seconds respond with “copy?” to elicit a response. If you have a programmable joystick, reserve at least one button to open a radio channel, preferably the one assigned to your wing. If you have a nice setup, with multiple hats, I recommend assigning the first hat for views, the next one for radio.

    Formation – Because of the problems of microwarps and other internet-related stuff, it's really hard to keep good tight formations in WarBirds. For this reason, I recommend a spacing of about d2 - d4 for wingmen. Following wingmen should try *not* to fly directly behind the leader; he can't see you back there. Rather, fly to his 5:00 or 7:00, or off to one side. Try to stay in the same relative position, you can sap a lot of SA when your wingmen are trying to find *you* as well as the enemy.
    Leaders should attempt to announce direction and altituude changes several seconds *before* making them, so that wingmen know what to expect. As examples: "Turning right to SW in 3 seconds, over". Wait for a "cc", count off to three and make the turn. "Or, climbing to 10K full power starting 3 seconds, over" <top>


    Responsibilities

    Rottenfueher/"In" Fighter – You call the shots. The decisions to engage, disengage, prioritize cons and choose targets and attack tactics rest solely in your hands. Whenever possible, you also call out additional cons/threats as deemed relevant to your position. While in transit, both parties are responsible for maintaining SA and being on the look out for cons in all directions.

    Once engaged with an opponent, assume your 6 is clear unless informed otherwise by your wingman, or if he tells you he is out of position at a considerable range, in which case you are on your own. Part of the benefit of a wing is the unattended SA on your 6 position that allows you to concentrate on the task at hand. If you lose position on a bogey, due to maneuvering, you maintain the option of handing over the lead to your wing if his separation affords him a better angle. Be sure to call "out" if you are breaking off contact or are climbing back up. This is the signal to change leads, and your wingman is then clear to come down off the perch to engage.

    If your wingman on the perch calls a bogey on your 6, you should assume three things:


    * That he is telling you because he wants you to know he is aware of its presence

    * He wants you to be aware of its presence, so don’t panic right away if you see tracers

    * He is dealing with the bogie and not to engage in any crazy multi-vector defensive maneuvers that will spoil his guns solution.

    A suggested addendum to #3 would be that it is OK to do some basic jinks and rolls to throw off your bogey's solution, but you want to try and maintain the same vector you are presently flying on so your wing can kill the threat with a minimum of maneuvering. If the wing decides further action is required on your part to deal with the bogie, he will call out “break left”, “turn right”, “Immelman” or whatever ACM will help develop his guns solution. This should be the one area where the wingman calls the shots. He is in a much better position than you are to see if you are about to get smoked. If he makes the decision to have you break off your attack and engage in a defensive maneuver so he can help you save your own hide, assume he knows what’s best and follow his orders post haste.

    After this type of engagement, inform your wing of any status changes to your plane, i.e. WEP gone, out of ammo, elevator gone, damage report, etc, or any other info that he would not otherwise be aware of. It's also a good idea for the pair to climb out and get tactical cohesion, reaffirm the lead, etc.

    The other tactical situation involving attacking bogies is when your wing announces that there is a bogie on HIS six. The leader then has three options.

    “Hold” - Tell him to maintain his wing position for now. Unless you are within a hair’s breadth from killing the bogie you are engaged with, and there is a bandit on your six that your wing is trying to remove, this is a risky business. If there are no other significant threats in the area and your 6 is clear this is not advised. If he eats your wingman for lunch, you are most likely the next course on the menu.
    “Release” - Release the wing so that he can take solo evasive maneuvers while you finish your business. After which, you can assist his efforts by trying to pry the barnacle off of his tail.
    “You lead” – This means two things, reverse roles so that you are now the wing to his lead, and reverse directions 180’ so you can gain an angle on his bogie. The change of lead command can be followed by an ACM acronym indicating which maneuver you want him to reverse with (break left, break right, Immelman, high yo-yo, split-s), so you can mirror it and know where his position will be when you reverse. Only do this if you have good situational awareness on his bogie, and don't call out a manuever that will hurt his position.

    The default mode will be “Hold” so that the wing does not go skittering off unannounced, but the onus is upon the leader/in fighter to decide as quickly as possible what course to take. If you do not respond in a reasonable time frame, your wing will consider himself released and make the decision whether to stay or disengage.

    Rottenflieger/Katchmarek - You are the element leader's guardian angel and extra eyes in the back of his head. Your goal is to maintain a reasonable distance behind and above the element leader such that any bogies that try to park themselves D4 off of his stern wind up in your sights with a minimum of fuss in as short a time as possible.
    Report any cons or threats in the area that have not already been identified and that may be relevant to your objectives.

    If a bogie winds up on the "in" fighter's six, report it immediately. If you feel you are in a position to either kill it or make it break off its attack before it causes him harm then do so. Otherwise call out a defensive maneuver to the leader that will best allow you to position the bogie in your sights from a straight six position, not a momentary snap shot. Again, use lag pursuit tactics to maintain adequate separation and stay in proper position behind the element leader. Resist the temptation to dive in and "help" the leader unless he asks you to.
    Check your own six and check it often. Bogies aren’t stupid, if they see two planes in a row, they tend to attack the rearmost one first. That’s you, bonehead! Use S turns and check your low 6 as well.
    If a bogie winds up on YOUR six, report it immediately so that the element leader can determine what you should do. If you receive no response in more than 5-8 seconds then you can consider yourself “Released” to either disengage from the element leader or stay if he has a bogie on his six that you are in a position to eliminate. Keep in mind that after you rectify your situation, your first priority is to get to safe altitude with your wingmate and regain situational awareness!!! Don't get into any new situations until you have Rotte integrity. If it's really hairy, it might be best for the pair to break off and head home, at least until such a time as you can safely climb out, regain your breath and re-enter the fray on your terms.

    Follow any orders given with a “cc” to close the communications loop, or else you can expect a “copy?” message to confirm receipt. <top>

    Communications

    As previously mentioned, clear concise radio communications are the order of the day when making decisions at 400 MPH. Everyone has their own lexicon, which is fine as long as both parties understand it.
    Here is a sampling designed to cover most situations, in lowercase, which is easier to type quickly; modify it to suit your needs:

    Alerts:

    “6” – bogie on your 6
    “m6” – bogie on My 6
    “hl” - hold. Issued to wing to stay out when he reports “m6”
    “rl” - release. Issued to wing to evade bogie on his 6
    “rv” - reverse. Issued to wing to reverse direction so lead can engage bogie on his 6. Issued in conjunction with an ACM acronym from below

    ACM:

    “bl” – break left
    “br” – break right
    “hyy” – high yo-yo
    “lyy” – low yo-yo
    “ss” –split S
    “imm” – immelman
    [ description of plane/target ] - bracket
    sand - sandwich the bogie. Both turn into the bogie as he closes in on one of the flight members. This will put one plane on the six of the bogie and one plane dragging him.

    Commands:

    “con” - enemy spotted. Given with direction pointer such as 2-hi (2 o’clock high) or 12-lo (12 o’clock low)
    “vis” - confirmation of con alert, you see him also. Also used to confirm reacquisition of your wingman after separation. <top>


    Other Wingman Tactical Disciplines

    Just to be thorough, I've included some other wingman disciplines; these are different approaches to the Double Attack/Loose Deuce method we will normally use. These may be called upon as needed, so you should be familiar with them as well.

    I. WELDED WING This is the formation we often think of when we visualize a two man team in flight. One is designated the lead the other wing, and the wing man's position is anterior and defensive. During the war this was also a mentor role for younger more inexperienced pilots to gain combat experience at the side of a veteran. The lead's primary tasks are navigation, forward hemisphere search for attack planning and engaged maneuvering and he has the secondary responsibility of rear-hemisphere visual coverage. The Wing man flies a rather loose formation on the leader. His primary task is maintaining a rear hemisphere defensive look out and he has secondary forward hemisphere duties. During WWII the separation was normally 600 ft. My suggestion would be a range of 6 showing over your lead and with some alt to the wingman's advantage to close on any bogey that drops on the lead's tail. Traditional the wing was in the right echelon position, at about 4 o clock.

    Pros:

    1) Mentor for new pilot
    2) Releases lead for dedicated attack
    3) Requires less discipline and training
    4) A reserve ac is always there to be called in when needed

    Cons:

    1) Who watches the wingman's six?
    2) Only one ac is engaged in dedicated attack--less pressure on enemy
    3) May frustrate the more experienced wingman to do more chasing than killing

    LINE ABREAST - This formation places both ac at 90 degrees with each other of the 3 and 9 o clock respectively. A great combat spread is required, perhaps int he area of 10-12 showing over the partner's ac. This offers several defensive and offensive maneuvers against an approaching enema. There is the "Offensive Split" the "Defensive Split" the "Beam Defense" "High-Low Split" "Bracket". What these maneuvers do, and we can cover them in a later post, is they seek to commit the enema to pursuit of one of the two offensive planes so that the free plane can maneuver for the kill. As mentioned above, this require a great deal of discipline and much trust in the gunnery and maneuvering proficiency of the partner pilot's abilities. Would you offer yourself to sucker in the enema if you though your partner could gun him down quickly when you needed him to do it?

    Pros:

    1) This things kills them dead....it works
    2) When enemy is in pursuit he becomes predictable, and thus dead
    3) It keeps the maximum pressure on thus leaving the initiative with you

    Cons:

    1) To apply this doctrine requires a high proficiency between both pilots
    2) It requires discipline in terms of familiarity with maneuvers and execution of them
    3) It suckers the enemy in, but the fish may swallow the bait before you reel him in

    [​IMG]
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  6. Manticore

    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
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  7. Manticore

    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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  8. Super Falcon

    Super Falcon ELITE MEMBER

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    i dont like formations just like dogfights
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  9. Manticore

    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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    quoting'
    The Luftwaffe actually used the "Rotte" [a pair] as their 'basic' formation. Two Rrotten made a Schwarme, three Schwarme, a Staffel, and [I think] three Staffelen to a Geschwader



    Diagram illustrating the formation in which the IDF/AF F-16s and F-15s flew over Saudi Arabia and into Iraq. Note that the four F-16As of the'Bunch' section flew a considerable distance ahead of the rest of formation, while F-15s were underway aside and behind the 'Giselle' section.
    http://dc315.*******.com/img/DL2HnhmS/0.9418319400887488/IDFAF.png
    [​IMG]
    http://www.angelfire.com/art2/narod/opera/
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  10. Manticore

    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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  11. F86 Saber

    F86 Saber FULL MEMBER

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    I don't get it, most of the tactics mentioned are depending upon getting within 10-15 NM's of the opponent planes without getting detected.... In the era of AWACS and AESA Radars how is that possible? These days you get shot at as soon as you take off.
  12. REHAN NIAZI FALCON

    REHAN NIAZI FALCON FULL MEMBER

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    [​IMG][/QUOTE]

    well this is pic is of PAF aerobatcis team. really nice pic.
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  13. rockstarIN

    rockstarIN SENIOR MEMBER

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    Anybody can share the tactics of BVR combats in formations?
  14. Manticore

    Manticore SENIOR MODERATOR

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    [​IMG]

    JHMCS: A Combat Multiplier
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  15. drunken-monke

    drunken-monke FULL MEMBER

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    These are some of the most informative stuf I have seen on PDF. My sincere thanks to ANTIBODY for sharing this amazing info wid us all..
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