Air-To-Air Operations

Från Master Arms Wiki
Hoppa till navigering Hoppa till sök

Home >> Tactical Guides >> Air-To-Air Operations

Countering and suppressing/destroying enemy air assets, defensively or offensively, is often a critical element of any major air operation.

Modern CAP flying for newbies

During briefing

Establish a game plan and communication preferences and expectations, ideally together with your AWACS controller and agree on what kind of information is to be communicated, and how often. Make sure everyone in the flight understands BRA calls and bullseye calls.

Establish major contingency plans. Who is comfortable to lead if the flight leader is lost? How will you operate if AWACS becomes unavailable? Where do you go if you find yourself engaged defensive with no wingmen available to help? What other flights can be called for assistance? Make note of their callsigns.

Make sure you know what the mission Rules of Engagement are.

Make a fuel calculation based on distance to/from station, time on station and station altitude. If refueling is necessary, make a plan that ensures a 2-ship on station at all times.

During mission

Position flight in anticipation of threat direction but not too close to air-threat sources such as hostile airfields or mountain ranges. Doing so can negate any BVR advantage you may have.

On station, request an altitude block and assign each flight member a distinct angels. Don’t fly in formation on station. Pilots need to be heads-down for long periods of time to maintain situational awareness which is critical.

Maintain radar coverage in anticipated threat direction at all times. This usually means offset-orbiting or offset-racetracking.

Periodically communicate fuel state. After an engagement, communicate fuel state, weapons state and any battle damage.

If AWACS is present, focus own scan on low/medium altitude to maximize chances of detecting low flyers.


Speed is life, altitude is life insurance. Maintain high airspeed at all times. It's not uncommon to be in full afterburner for minutes. Altitude represents energy that can be traded, and having a high altitude makes for long range shots. However, being at a high altitude also means you can be shot down from long ranges.

Do not approach a hostile group head-on. Doing so will maximize the hostile weapon engagement zone. If a missile is fired at you at long range in TWS mode, you will be an easy target if you are head-on. When approaching hostiles, do so at a slight crank, say 20-30 degrees, and change the crank every 10-20 seconds. This maneuvering is a precautionary defense against an _assumed_ long-range TWS launch.

Prefer skate or short skate tactics unless you are at a BVR disadvantage or no longer have BVR capability. NEVER FLY INTO A MERGE without a good reason to do so. The outcome of a dogfight is much less predictable than that of a controlled BVR engagement. However, be careful not to go cold within MAR (it's very small in DCS however), and don't turn your back on an enemy that has a speed/acceleration advantage, unless you have wingmen/friendlies incoming.

When flight commits to a BVR engagement, wingmen should trail lead about 10-20 NM, in order to be in a favorable and safe position to shoot after lead breaks off. This also keeps SA up by wingmen maintaining radar coverage.

If you are at a BVR disadvantage, employ notching, baiting, terrain-masking tactics and sophisticated teamwork.

Chaff should be expended primarily when notching the hostile radar.

Communicate clearly and often, but not too often. Allow room for other flight members and AWACS to make calls. A good start is to, during an engagement, describe briefly what you are doing every 20-30 seconds

Additional resources

Air-To-Air Glossary

BVR Basic Training

Mags' CAP Track Animations