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BEST AA RADAR RANKINGS


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Ranking from best to worst, which modules in DCS have the best radar in terms of just pure detection range and power? I would imagine the F-14 is probably first here.

 

Which radars are the best in general?, For instance, what radar can detect and TRACK the most effectively? I would imagine my beloved F-14 is not first here.

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Yeah.. IRL vs what actually is modeled in DCS two totally different questions.

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The most powerful is F-14. Far bigger antenna and far greater power.

The most efficient is F/A-18. Far more modern

 

With F-14 you can detect the target under optimal conditions at greatest range. You can also scan the biggest volume of the air and shoot 6 biggest range missiles to 6 different targets.

 

F/A-18 is about 15 years more modern so you don't need dedicated radar operator and operating it is easier.

 

F-16 is the next, a bit smaller antenna than Hornet and a bit less functions but very easy to operate even using HOTAS only.

 

Mirage 2000 is next, not too big or powerfull but reasonably modern, capable and easy to use.

 

Then F-5, older tech, small antenna, a lot less sophisticated

 

MiG-21bis is least capable, very small antenna inside the moving cone in the air intake, still useful for semi active radar missiles and you can shoot the target down in pitch black night with the cannon using the radar. Or overheat the thing if you run out of cooling alcohol...

 

 

 

(FC low fidelity fighter's radars are another topic - they are all simplified so they have advantage over full fidelity modules and they don't have many, many real life limitations. On the other hand they are missing many modes of operation.)


Edited by bies
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My list for DCS at least.

 

F14 by far the best. Strongest, with longest range and multi track and launch capability. Paired with strongest missile in the sim its a beast. Difficulty using it offset by fact you have an entire other person to use it.

 

F18 / JF17 is next. Reliable, good controls, easy to lock and track. No nonsense does what you want when you want.

 

FC3 radars are next. As above but slightly jankier. Close in dogfight modes scan very well. F15 has better radar than the migs and sus but not by much in practice. Usability wise i prefer the russian jets.

 

Mirage. Janky, unreliable, weird multi readings for one contact per track if they overlap. Far better than it used to be but still not great. Useable but with lots of internal screamiing.

 

F5. Best cold war radar modelled on aircraft rn. Does exactly what you want and is dependable in search for the area. Worse than modern radar but to be expected.

 

Mig 21. Is useful only in conjunction with GCI, unlike F5 above. Only useful if you know enemys position otherwise a liability that serves to give your position away.

 

Mig 19. Glorified targetter for weapons only. No point searching with it. Awfully susceptible to ground clutter. Is very early radar so not much to be expected.

 

Not listed f16 as too early access. Dont fly ones ive missed.


Edited by Deathbane

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F-14

jf-17

FA 18

F 16, SU 27, F 15, Mirage

MiG-29 (small radar)

MiG21, F-5E

 

I don't like fa18 radar at this point. It loosing targets very-very easily, maybe just bug.

f-14b is just perfect, but it's not easy to use.

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Original post clearly stated in terms of pure power and detection range, but then sorta muddied the waters a bit with tracking capability I guess.

 

If going purely by power and range, IRL Tomcat, Eagle, and Flankers would be the most powerful, roughly in that order. At least in DCS, Eagle leads among those in terms of ease of use I'd say.

 

Radars on Hornet, Viper, and JF-17 are smaller, and less powerful, making them not quite up there with those above in terms of range, but are also much more modern.

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FC low fidelity fighter's radars are another topic - they are all simplified so they have advantage over full fidelity modules and they don't have many, many real life limitations.

What limitations they lack against full fidelity module radars?

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1. F-14A/B / AWG-9 - powerful, but without modern processor and have some issues with targets at terrain background.

2. F/A-18C / AN/APG-73

3. F-15C / AN/APG-63(V)1 is better then F/A-18C with AN/APG-73 in A2A I'm sure. Designed specially for that. But in DCS AN/APG-73 is better.

4. Su-27S/P / N001

5. F-16C / AN/APG-68(V)5

6. M-2000C / RDI

7. MiG-29A/S / Н0-19


Edited by Glimmer

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F-18 is the best in DCS, huge range and good performance

F-14 has great range but limitations with Jester at the controls

F-16

M2000

F-15/Su-27, basically the same underperforming radar, with the F-15's being a bit better.

MiG-29

F-5 Only good when combined with GCI

MiG-21 Same as above

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What limitations they lack against full fidelity module radars?

 

Ok, but i don't want to steal the thread so i can just very briefly compare Flaming Cliffs MiG-29 N019

 

 

IRL you chose 4 separate modes for

meet (Wstriecza)

chase (Dogon)

automatic (Awtamat) - with reduced ranges and angles

close air combat (Bliznyj Boj)

and fifth intercept and autotrack mode

two first modes are supported by track crossing mode (Sljezenije Na Prachodje)

 

In DCS there is just one generic automatic BVR mode which is reliable and it has full ranges and angles - this alone is immense advantage.

 

 

IRL N019 movement and modes are being controled from the ground through Wozduch-1M with auxilary manual mode in case of emergency or Wozduch being jammed, in manual mode all detection/track ranges are lot smaller, angles are lot more restricted etc.

The next thing is pulse repetition frequency, IRL it had to be set manually to be reliable. Another thing are ranging errors of many kilometers without track, relative speeds requirements in different PRF modes meet/chase etc, etc.

 

In DCS it is just manual and autonomous radar, not long range but very efficient and reliable, accurate and lacking nearly all it's real limitation.

 

IRL notch filter is a lot bigger than in DCS, especially in automatic mode, that's why you have to chose correct mode and prf to be efficient.

 

IRL BVR target tracking takes often more than 5 sec, in DCS it's instant.

 

That's just a tip of an iceberg really.

 

I don't want to write about IFF, SRZO-2 or Parol, it's operation in DCS is fiction also

 

IRL OLS-29 Infra Red Sensor and laser had also many limitations, i have no time describing them, it's been described in publicly available books, shortly - it's not useful nor designed as autonomous search sensor for stealth attack instead of radar.

 

 

Long story short - MiG-29 was designed as short range interceptor operating in it's own airspace heavily supported and guided by Wozduch-1M GCI in very much semi automatic mode and the whole logic of it's avionic was build around this concept. Autonomous modes were very much restricten in many ways and use only as buckup in case something went wrong.

 

In DCS it's an autonomous fighter, searching the enemy on it's own.

 

I hope for full fidelity MiG-29 or F-15A/C some day.

BTW: Hornet's APG-65/73 is simply 2/3 downsized APG-63 from Eagle, with additional A/G modes and probably more aggresive side lobes filtering for over the sea operations, so basically significantly smaller detection ranges than Eagle.

 

cheers


Edited by bies
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All valid points, bies. I was hoping more for a F-18 vs F-15 DCS radar camparison but it seems you know a thing about radars :) The reason I asked is that sometimes people on the forum attack FC3 radars for arcade behaviour without even knowing that stuff like search pattern, PRF, notch filters, target RCS and aspect, etc. are there and have effect in detection. Yes simplified of course but not as simple as one could thought and not at all far away from full fidelity modules.

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All valid points, bies. I was hoping more for a F-18 vs F-15 DCS radar camparison but it seems you know a thing about radars :) The reason I asked is that sometimes people on the forum attack FC3 radars for arcade behaviour without even knowing that stuff like search pattern, PRF, notch filters, target RCS and aspect, etc. are there and have effect in detection. Yes simplified of course but not as simple as one could thought and not at all far away from full fidelity modules.

 

The problem is that the FC3 radars massively simplify the operator workload and that is a huge advantage just put the thing on thing and push to lock. Look at that list Bies posted of mig29 radar modes/issues/problems compared to what it is in FC3. Compared to an F16 or F18 radar, and what player expectations of that are its very limited. And since DCS doesn't really do much in the way of actual soviet era GCI, a context that it would be useful in, its going to do poorly. The mig-23 radar if Razbam does it any justice at all will be widely considered "hot garbage" by players used to F16/18/15 era radar systems. Of course its just a radar thats like 30 years older. Of course neither the mig29 or the 23 were designed to be used like a modern western fighter. And really an 80's era mig29A had a pretty good chance of surviving to the merge under GCI direction Against F16A's and F15A/Cs with crappy sparrows, where it would do as well or better (HOBS) than western fighters of its day.

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The problem is that the FC3 radars massively simplify the operator workload and that is a huge advantage just put the thing on thing and push to lock.

There is less workload but also less capability, varying on a case by case basis. The MiG benefits by nature of having the least capable radar while the FC radar model seems to be built more around the Su-27/F-15 capabilities (my own inference). The F-15 has a massive weakness at the BVR/WVR transition because it's missing the mode specifically designed to handle this situation. The TWS implementation is also sloppy as all you can do is designate and undesignated targets, rather than select the most important ones to fire on. Even selecting a target is hard because you have designate each one individually as opposed to the F-16 where pretty much everything on the scope is locked by the push of a button and able to be scrolled through at leisure. Additionally the full fidelity radars all have more range and better elevation control, which is what I notice the most when using them.

 

 

 

The FC radars do benefit from their simplicity in some ways but overall, they're not the ones with the advantage. FC aircraft will spot threats last and they'll have the hardest time maintaining SA in a complicated battle.

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I'd put it slightly inferior to the F16/F18 radars in game, no clue if thats IRL behavior but seems right to me.

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F18C has the best Radar. Not sure why people think the F14 is better. The F18c also has multitrack and launch.

Because the F-14 radar has a much longer range than the F-18C radar (which is what the OP asked about) and the F-14 radar has multitrack and launch too...

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The important thing to note here is that you'll have a lot more fun flying low and fast with the radar OFF :).

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  • 4 weeks later...
The important thing to note here is that you'll have a lot more fun flying low and fast with the radar OFF :).

 

 

Except in the Viggen. ;)

 

 

With regards to the JF-17, how much is known about that radar, publicly?

 

 

 

P.S. great post Bies, I enjoyed reading that! :thumbup:

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