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Keep ECM on or off after missile launch (during defensive)?


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As the title says, is it better to keep ECM on after a missile's already been fired at you or is it better to turn it off in DCS? Also, does it change depending on the type of missile (Active vs SAHR etc.)

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Due to the fact ED have modeled BVR missiles incorrectly ECM is almost a pointless excercise.

 

One of the functions of ECM jamming IRL is to force the enemy to get closer in order to have a good enough lock to launch. Because of the incorrect modeling the Rmax (max launch range) is actually just below the ECM burn through point. Thus meaning that regardless of whether you're running your ECM the launch distance will remain roughly the same.

 

At longer ranges (say 40 to 60 miles) it's handy if you know you're heading towards enemies. It will disguise your altitude for a brief period of time but equally you're putting a out a huge announcement that you're in the area. Not handy if you're trying to arrive stealthily.

 

In short I think running ECM in game is a placebo effect; it feels like it's working because it should be working. You can run it if you want (I personally don't) but it's not really gonna change anything.

 

If you want accurate missile simulation use this mod - https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=131806


Edited by al531246

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As the title says, is it better to keep ECM on after a missile's already been fired at you or is it better to turn it off in DCS? Also, does it change depending on the type of missile (Active vs SAHR etc.)

 

ECM in-game is nothing more than noise jamming (or that's what it's most similar to...). Some fighters have a more powerful jamming effect than others and that's that. It doesn't do squat to any radar missiles and is really only about denying acquisition and sort down to ~20nmi. Pretty much like carrying an ALQ-99 with you, just 100x crappier.

 

This document explains a lot of RL ECM if you're interested!

 

Real world your ECM would jam a particular targeting threat. There's a load of triggers and parameters and consent settings and so on...In the sim it's like "take off, FENCE In, Music on, hit factor range on a bandit, music off" Though it isn't like any other flight simulator really models jamming in depth. AFAIK most do it to a superficial level. I hope ED goes more in depth eventually, but it'd be a huge undertaking.

 

Now as for ground threats, similar story in-game...All ECM does there in-game is reduce the launch range of radar SAMs by some value. Drops maybe 30-60% or something...Not very realistic.

 

If anyone's interested in the GBAD point of view I would download SAM Simulator (it's free, after all) or maybe just it's documentation and read a bit of it. There's a LOT of stuff going on in the RF world.


Edited by Sweep
formatting, added quote, etc.

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...If you want accurate missile simulation use this mod - https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=131806

Missile Mod 3.0, which you're linking to, is obsolete.

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Missile Mod 3.0, which you're linking to, is obsolete.

 

How so?

 

EDIT; I see now.


Edited by al531246
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I am no Fighter Pilot in DCS, rather take the hip, but sometimes I hop intoi the Su-25T and try to spam some AAA with MPU's and I "think" it allows me to get a few miles closer to the range so I can actually fire at the same time they do, turn 180°, dive like hell 5 sec later and get out as fast as possible and as low as possible.

 

So I am actually unsure if this is placebo or real tbh...I usually get out alive for another run ;P

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ECM in-game is nothing more than noise jamming (or that's what it's most similar to...). Some fighters have a more powerful jamming effect than others and that's that.

That's not true. The M-2000C uses the DCS ECM signal to create false targets on its VSD. That's not correct too (because the same signal can't be a noise on radar A and a false target an Radar B [same generation]), but it shows that DCS could handle different jamming techniques.

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So point is, after burn-in, ECM won't be advantageous or disadvantageous to you? Say you're trying to notch a missile, if you have ECM on, would it light you up and make notching the missile a lot harder?

BRRRT!

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A huge car and aviation enthusiast, gun nut and computer nerd! 🙂

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So point is, after burn-in, ECM won't be advantageous or disadvantageous to you? Say you're trying to notch a missile, if you have ECM on, would it light you up and make notching the missile a lot harder?

 

If you're already being engaged then ECM is not gonna do any more favors for you. Once they've burn't through the ECM is no longer of use.

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If you're already being engaged then ECM is not gonna do any more favors for you. Once they've burn't through the ECM is no longer of use.

 

Let me be nitpicky and point out three small counterexamples.:P

 

ECM prevents the Mig-29S from launching multiple R-77 against separate targets with TWS.

 

ECM can cause ghosts to appear on the Mirage's display, even after burn through range.

 

In the Mig-21, once you filter out ECM, you can no longer adjust the range-to-target on the radar scope.

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Let me be nitpicky and point out three small counterexamples.:P

 

ECM prevents the Mig-29S from launching multiple R-77 against separate targets with TWS.

 

ECM can cause ghosts to appear on the Mirage's display, even after burn through range.

 

In the Mig-21, once you filter out ECM, you can no longer adjust the range-to-target on the radar scope.

 

Hm. Good points you make, but if a missile has been launched on you, will it have better tracking or, be harder to break lock because the ECM will be yelling "I'M RIGHT HERE" to the missile?

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Let me be nitpicky and point out three small counterexamples.:P

 

ECM prevents the Mig-29S from launching multiple R-77 against separate targets with TWS.

 

ECM can cause ghosts to appear on the Mirage's display, even after burn through range.

 

In the Mig-21, once you filter out ECM, you can no longer adjust the range-to-target on the radar scope.

 

 

I think it has the same effect on the F-15C too, but once you burn through you can use TWS. You can't lock multiple targets tho while you're being jammed. (Don't own FC3 but I own F-15C)

 

The M2K one is true, annoys the hell outta me!

 

This is also true but if you're using a MiG-21 to dogfight you're doing something wrong!

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I think it has the same effect on the F-15C too, but once you burn through you can use TWS. You can't lock multiple targets tho while you're being jammed. (Don't own FC3 but I own F-15C)

 

The M2K one is true, annoys the hell outta me!

 

This is also true but if you're using a MiG-21 to dogfight you're doing something wrong!

 

For the 15C, after you've burned through, you can use TWS like normal and launch on different targets.

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Hm. Good points you make, but if a missile has been launched on you, will it have better tracking or, be harder to break lock because the ECM will be yelling "I'M RIGHT HERE" to the missile?

 

There are air-to-air missiles that are designed to lock onto an ECM emitter, but, so far as I know, none of our air-to-air missiles work that way.

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That's not true. The M-2000C uses the DCS ECM signal to create false targets on its VSD. That's not correct too (because the same signal can't be a noise on radar A and a false target an Radar B [same generation]), but it shows that DCS could handle different jamming techniques.

 

I don't think it shows that the jammer can have any other techniques - You can display it however you want, but really all it is an RF signal in-game. Most display it as noise, Mirage does something else, but the signal is not defined in itself, if that makes sense. Just my understanding of it at least.

 

I'd love to have more, though, whether it's just an impression of more modeling (like faking false target jamming in the Mirage) or if the jammer actually jammed like a defensive jammer!

 

Hmm, I did some tests recently and didn't notice any difference in SAM range with or without ECM. I'll try again and report.

 

Make sure you turn it on before being locked by the tracking radar. It's a little weird, but in my experiences they'll shoot max range if you don't go music on before being hard locked.

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Hmm, I did some tests recently and didn't notice any difference in SAM range with or without ECM. I'll try again and report.

 

That may be because SAM launchers often wait until a plane is well within the engagement zone.

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Make sure you turn it on before being locked by the tracking radar. It's a little weird, but in my experiences they'll shoot max range if you don't go music on before being hard locked.

 

I did a few more tests, and indeed it works to a certain point. It seems to reduce the range at which the radar detects you, and/or tracks you. It depends widly on the systems, though, and not necessarily in the way you might think. Nothing is gained against an SA-3 (!) or an SA-10 (more logically), and very little against an SA-6 (it will react a little late and shoot you about 2 NM (~10%) closer), but it works rather much better against an SA-11, reducing its range by about 5-6 NM (~25-30%). I was also a bit surprised it seems to work also with the shorter-range ones : about 1 NM (~15%) vs SA-8 and SA-15, and .5 NM (~10%) vs SA-19.

 

 

Since I had done my initial tests vs SA-3 and SA-6 (and maybe SA-10), no wonder I didn't notice any difference.

Now I did these tests with a Mirage 2000, not sure if results will be different with another aircraft.

 

 

It's not very straightforward to do these kinds of tests because the IA does not always react the same way, and there are other factors that come into play (such as how many time it takes the missile launchers to get into firing position and such).

 

 

That may be because SAM launchers often wait until a plane is well within the engagement zone.

 

 

In my tests they don't really do that (IA on Excellent). The only thing is some systems have to keep a lock for some length before shooting (up to 20-25 seconds).


Edited by Robin_Hood
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There are missiles designed to home in on RF in general - they are ARMs, and some of them have autopilot that is more consistent with targetting a flying aircraft rather than an immobile radar.

 

AAMs have no such feature. HoJ is much, much different than most people believe. A target's ECM can try to do a few things:

 

* Noise jam to break lock - jams angles and range simultaneously (Not in game)

* Jam Vc - closure - can send a radar guided missile to strange places if it relies too heavily on it. B-52's like to do that. (Not in game)

* Jam angles (not in game)

* Jam range - this is what we have

* Broadband noise jamming - (not in game, well, yes, sort of, but no)

 

For most of the these, the very simple fact is that they transmit back something that the attacker expects to see - the entire point is to make it look like the signal from the attacking radar. And that's why a missile can home in on this - the problem is, the data in the signal is falsified and you just don't know that.

 

For the break-lock, it breaks the lock. Period. The offending radar now has to spend time reacquiring, so you're never going to home in on that jammer.

 

For the rest, you need to find some way to filter out false data, which may be either impossible or just very impossible.

 

So given all of that, what is HoJ?

 

In most cases, HoJ allows you to launch your missile against a target using last known good data and maybe even tell the missile that it's going for a jamming target. You may be able to filter out a bunch of stuff, but at the cost of cutting that data out of your guidance algorithm, thus losing Pk.

HoJ also permits to continue (ie not abort/hang) launching a missile when the target begins jamming during that launch.

 

AoJ allow you to home in on an 'angles only' jammer that is presenting the right signal to track. Without extra data from some source, again - you can use PN guidance but this is far from optimal.

 

There's a lot more to this than what I wrote, this is the tip of the iceberg and there's a lot more unclassified knowledge out there.

 

There are air-to-air missiles that are designed to lock onto an ECM emitter, but, so far as I know, none of our air-to-air missiles work that way.
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There are missiles designed to home in on RF in general - they are ARMs, and some of them have autopilot that is more consistent with targetting a flying aircraft rather than an immobile radar.

 

Funny story; an F-4 (IIRC) actually shot an AGM-88 HARM at a B-52 because it picked up the radar guided tail gun's emissions. It hit the B-52 and it survived and they called the bomber 'in HARM's way'!

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Yep I'm well aware :)

 

The interesting part (for me) is that the missile was set up for prox fuzing to damage antennae rather than direct hit. The warhead on that thing is no joke, a direct hit would have probably downed the B-52.

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...

 

* Noise jam to break lock - jams angles and range simultaneously (Not in game)

* Jam Vc - closure - can send a radar guided missile to strange places if it relies too heavily on it. B-52's like to do that. (Not in game)

* Jam angles (not in game)

* Jam range - this is what we have

* Broadband noise jamming - (not in game, well, yes, sort of, but no)

 

...

 

Are these other forms of ECM not in DCS because of engine limits, or because current craft in-game do not have them?

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In my opinion, jamming/ ECM didn't and don't have a high priority in Lock On and DCS yet. I hope this will change with the F/A-18C and it's armament (HARM, TALD) and the continuous development of SAM units in Combined Arms.

 

For me, jamming don't have to be simulated at a full real level. Yes, there should be a gamdesign for this stuff but ED should be able to simulate these different jamming techniques. Question is: Do they want?

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I would hope they want to. It's such a fascinating and critical part if military aviation! Its existence and constant change has directly influenced design of aircraft, weaponry, and most every other asset around modern power projection. SAM/AAA, EWR...

 

I'd be disappointed if ED didnt

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