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DCS: AH-64D Mini-Updates


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IHADSS Sneak peek.

The IHADSS, or Integrated Helmet and Designation and Sighting System, includes a monocle that sites over the right eye of the pilot and co-pilot gunner.

There are four IHADSS modes: cruise, transition, hover and bob-up, each with associated flight, navigation, weapon, sensor, and targeting information that follows the crew member’s line of sight.

The Modernized Pilot Night Vision System, or M-PNVS, can also be projected to the monocle for thermal night vision along the pilot’s line of sight.

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The Eagle Dynamics Team

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In this AH-64D sneak peak, we’ll look at the Tactical Situation Display, or TSD. The TSD can be displayed on either multipurpose display in the pilot or co-pilot/gunner cockpits, and it will be your primary source for navigation, situational awareness, storing points, and more.

 

The TSD can be interfaced with using the fixed and variable action buttons arrayed around the MPDs and the TSD cursor for hands on cyclic and collective TSD control. You can select between chart, satellite, and digital moving maps.

 

Both Navigation and Attack phases can be selected, and stored points can be created and set as an acquisition source.
 

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The Area Weapon System, or AWS, consists of the 30mm chain gun mounted below the front of the aircraft on an articulating mount. It can fire both high explosive dual purpose and training rounds to an effective range of approximately 1,500 to 1,700 meters at an average of 550 rounds per minute against unarmored and lightly armored vehicles.

 

By default, 1,200 round will be loaded, and the burst limit can be selected from the Weapons, Gun page. 

 

In addition to being fixed forward, the AWS can be slaved to the IHADSS or Target Acquisition and Designation System, or TADS, line of sight.

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The Eagle Dynamics Team

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In this sneak peek, we’ll look at the 2.75” Hydra rockets of the AH-64D. 19 high explosive, smoke, or illumination rockets can be loaded in each M261 rocket pod, and up to four rocket pods can be loaded on the stub wings. Additional rocket types like MPSM are planned for later.

 

Multiple rocket types can be loaded in a pod, and these will be preconfigured at release, but manual zone selection is planned for later.

 

Rockets can be employed independently using the IHADSS from either crew station, or cooperatively with the CPG providing range/bearing information to the pilot via the TADs. 

 

The rocket ripple amount can also be selected from the rocket’s weapon page.

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In this final AH-64D sneak peak, we’ll look at the AGM-114K laser-guided Hellfire. This Hellfire guides on a laser designation from the Targeting and Designation System, or TADS, with ranges out to 8 km. It can also guide on a remote designation from another designation source. When the fire control radar is added, the AGM-114L radar-guided Hellfire will be added.

 

The laser-Hellfire can guide on a target being laser designated before launch, termed Lock On Before Launch, or LOBL, or after, termed Lock On After Launch, or LOAL.

 

Up to four Hellfires can be loaded on each of the four articulated weapon pylons. The Hellfire will be your best weapon against tanks but can be used against any target if needed. 

 

The next AH-64D video will begin the full lessons.

 

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The Eagle Dynamics Team

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Dear Pilots!

We are pleased to announce that DCS: AH-64D is now available to pre-order with a 30% discount!

Pre-Order now from: E-shop: https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/shop/modules/ah-64d/
Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1770580/DCS_AH64D/

This is the most realistic simulation of the incredible AH-64D attack helicopter. It sets a new standard in fidelity and gameplay action.

Thank you for all your trust, passion and support. You make our dreams come true!

The Eagle Dynamics Team

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In this DCS: AH-64D video, I will begin our video tutorial series with an introduction to this powerful attack helicopter. We are simulating the AH-64D as operated by the US Army between 2005 and 2010, which makes it a mid-Block II with the associated systems and paint schemes. The AH-64D proved itself to be a formidable force multiplayer over Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and Mali, and it will be a fantastic addition to the DCS battlefields.

Initially fielded to the US Army in 1997 and serving as the backbone attack helicopter operations in combat since 2003, the “Delta” is crewed by a pilot in the back seat and a co-pilot gunner, or CPG, in the front seat. Both pilots can fly the aircraft, but only the CPG can operate the Target Acquisition and Designation Sight, or TADS, which includes the Laser Range Finder Designator and the Laser Spot Tracker. They very much work as a coordinated team. You’ll be able to do this in both single player using our new “George” AI or online with friends.

The tail-wheel style landing gear allows the helicopter ground taxi operations, and it is designed to collapse into the aircraft in case of a crash to attenuate the vertical impact.

The AH-64 is armed with a 30mm chain gun below the front of the aircraft that can be slaved to the line of sight of either crewmember's helmet display unit or to the TADS. Mounted on articulating pylons below the two stub wings are the M261 Rocket Pods capable of loading nineteen 2.75” Hydra un-guided rockets and the M299 Hellfire Launchers capable of carrying up to four AGM-114 Hellfire guided-missiles. The aircraft can also be loaded with external fuel tanks.

Powered by two T700-GE-701C engines and four main rotor blades, the AH-64D is a fast and agile attack helicopter that is easy to fly and ideal for nap of the earth flying. The AH-64D uses a traditional anti-torque tail rotor and chaff and flare dispensers are mounted along the tail boom. Sitting atop the main rotor hub, the optional fire control radar sits.

The front of the aircraft is dominated by the lower sensor turret that consists of the TADS optics and laser designator, and the upper sensor turret mounts the Pilot Night Vision System, or PNVS.

Let’s move into the cockpits now.

Here in the back seat, we are looking through the Helmet Display Unit, a component of the Integrated Helmet and Display Sighting System, or IHADSS. Within this display flight, sensor, and weapon information is presented to the pilot’s right eye. The PNVS and the TADS can also be projected to the to the HDU for night operations.

Dominating the instrument panel are two multi-purpose displays, or MPDs, that can display a wealth of information. Above is the Enhanced Up-Front Display, or EUFD, with the fire panel to the left. To the left is the Keyboard Unit, or KU, and to the right are the backup flight instruments. Below are the anti-torque pedals, between your knees is the cyclic, and to our left is the collective. On the right canopy frame is the bolt-on Common Missile Warning System, or CMWS ("see-moss").

On the left console are the lighting controls, the selective jettison panel, the engine power lever quadrant, the emergency panel, and the Night Vision select switch and tail wheel unlock light. On the right console we just have the communications panel volume knobs and squelch switches.

We’ll come back to the functionality of these systems in later instruction videos.

Let’s jump to the CPG or “Front Seat” now. 

As with the “back seat”, we have two, large MPDs in the crewstation that can mirror the same functions as the pilot’s displays. Between them is the TADS Electronic Display and Control, or TEDAC. The 5 x 5-inch screen displays imagery from the TADS in both TV and infrared modes, or PNVS. It has hand grips on either side to work the sensors to locate, identify, target, and engage hostiles. Only the CPG can work the TADS in this manner. 

As with the pilot cockpit, we have the fire control panel and the EUFD on the instrument panel. Below the instrument panel is the cyclic, which can be folded away.

Along the left console is the selective jettison panel, the lighting panel, NVS and tail wheel unlock light panel, the engine power levers, and the emergency panel. Further up is the KU, and inboard is the collective. Along the right console are the communications panel volume knobs and squelch switches, windshield wiper control panel, and the processor control panel. 

This concludes this introduction to our AH-64D, and next, we’ll start digging into instruction.

 

Thank you for watching.

The Eagle Dynamics Team

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NOTE: This is based on a pre-release, development build and some elements may change at release or later during the early access period.

In this DCS: AH-64D video, we’ll discuss the symbology projected to the Helmet Display Unit, or HDU, that is part of the larger Integrated Helmet Display and Sighting System, or IHADSS. The HDU can be worn by either the pilot or Co-Pilot Gunner, or CPG, and it can display important navigation, sensor, and weapon system data to the crew member’s right eye. We will discuss the HDU early in this tutorial series as we’ll be referring to it in later lessons.


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In this DCS: AH-64D video, we’ll explore the engine, flight, and fuel MPD pages.

Perhaps not as exciting as weapons and sensors, these pages can be critical for operations of this helicopter, and a good understanding of their functionality is important.

Note: This video is based on a pre-release version which may be different than the release and later updated versions.

In this DCS: AH-64D video, we’ll explore the engine, flight, and fuel MPD pages. Perhaps not as exciting as weapons and sensors, these pages can be critical for operations of this helicopter, and a good understanding of their functionality is important.

Before we dive into these three pages, let’s first talk about how we manipulate them. Around each of the four Multi-Purpose Displays, or MPDs, are bezel buttons. There are 24 variable action bezel buttons on each MPD, with the top left to right being labeled T1 to T6, right top to bottom being R1 to R6, bottom left to right being B1 to B6 with B1 being labeled ‘M’, and on the left from top to bottom being L1 to L6. I’ll be using these bezel button designations in this and later videos.

There are also fixed action bezel buttons near the bottom that have a single function, these include the FCR, weapon, TSD, aircraft, communications, and video.

There are also controls for display brightness, video brightness, and a day-night, mono display option.

When on a page, you can most often interact with the page using these bezel buttons. You can also interact using your MPD cursor controller. This is slewed with the cursor controller switch on the collective and the cursor display select button can instantly toggle the cursor between the two MPDs of a pilot. To move the cursor between two MPDs, you can also slew the cursor to the side nearest the other display and slew again in that direction to move it over. When the cursor is over a cursor-selectable action, indicated by the bezel option being "bolded", you can press the cursor controller enter button to action the selection. The cursor controller enter button is available as a depress on the slew switch, on the underside of the collective, and on the right handgrip.

Pressing the fixed action “M” bezel button at B1 displays the MENU page, and we can select engine at B2, flight at B3, and fuel at B4.

Let’s now talk about the engine page.

The most visible aspect of the page are the vertical bars that indicate torque, temperature, and rotor and power turbine speeds.

Left-most are the torque values of the number 1, or left and number 2, or right, engine.  As collective is added, the bars will grow, and the digital indication will indicate the percentage of torque. There is also a red bar that will dynamically change position based on rotor speed to indicate the max torque limit, as well as yellow bars that will appear under single-engine conditions to indicate single-engine torque limitation sub-ranges. When the bars pass one of these levels, the bar color changes to match. Torque values can range from 1 to 130 percent.

You can think of the torque values as the amount of lift and thrust that the main rotors are generating before you over-stress the powertrain system. During dual engine flight, the continuous torque range is 0 to 100% torque, with a 6 second transient of 101 to 115% torque. Exceeding 101 to 115% torque for six seconds, or 115% torque for any length of time will result in possible aircraft damage and an exceedance being written to the fault, exceedance page.

To the right is the turbine gas temperature, or TGT, of the number 1, or left and number 2, or right, engine. These behave the same as the torque bars with visual bars, a digital value, and limitation sub-ranges displayed based on conditions. This can range from 0 to 999 C. While the bars are helpful, two numbers should be committed to memory: 867 deg Celsius and 896 deg Celsius. These numbers correspond to the engine’s dual engine and single engine TGT limiters. Exceeding these TGT values will result in a loss of main rotor speed, or droop, which will greatly affect lift. These TGT values correspond to the aircraft maximum torque available, which can be found on an ENG, PERF page. We will discuss this later.

Right of that is the power turbine RPM, or Np, of the number 1, or left, engine and ranges from 0 to 120 percent. Power output from the engines into the powertrain is managed by the engine Digital Electronic Control Units, or DECUs [pronounced "deck-you"], which automatically regulate the Np values to keep the rotor speed at 101 percent. This can be adjusted using the engine power levers on the left console. In normal flight conditions, you’ll simply keep these at the FLY position and leave them there.

To the right of that is the main rotor RPM, or Nr, and ranges from 0 to 130 percent. This indicates how fast the main rotor blades are spinning. Regardless of how fast the rotor is spinning though, no lift can be generated until collective is applied, which causes an increase in the aircraft torque indication. As previously stated, the engine DECUs will automatically keep this value at 101 percent. Reducing torque below approximately 12% with both engines operating will result in an increase in main rotor speed. If 106% Nr is exceeded, a voice warning “ROTOR RPM HIGH” will be annunciated. Gently increasing the collective will assist in maintaining main rotor RPM during with low torque settings.

Finally, to the right of the Nr tape is the number 2, or right, engine power turbine RPM.

On the right side of the engine page are the digital Np RPM values, and the engine gas generator RPM values, known as Ng, in percentage scales for engines 1 and 2.

At B2 we have the ENGine, SYS sub-page. When selected by either pressing the bezel button or cursor selecting it, we have five windows and the ability to turn off generators 1 and 2 from L5 and L6. The ENGINE window is in the top left and displays engine OIL pressure values for the engines 1 and 2, as well as nose gear box, NGB 1 and 2, oil pressure and temperatures. In the upper right corner is the HYDRAULIC window which displays PSI values for the primary and utility hydraulic systems and the utility hydraulic accumulator. It is important to point out that the utility hydraulic accumulator provides 30-41 seconds of emergency hydraulic pressure in the event of a dual hydraulic failure.  In the middle of the page is the XMSN OIL window and displays transmission oil pressures and temperatures for the number 1 and 2 sides of the transmission. Below the XMSN OIL window is the ECS TEMP window and displays the temperatures both crewstations and extended forward avionics bays, or EFABs. The STAB POS window indicates the stabilator position and the nominal airspeed based on the stab position. It’s important to note that exceeding this value will result in a loss of pitch control of the aircraft.

Because there is a FLT page selection on our currently selected page, we’ll use that instead of returning to the Menu to view the FLT page by selecting T2. Much of this will look familiar to the HDU cruise mode.

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Along the top is the heading scale, lubber line, command or bob-up heading, and the alternate pilot or CP/G sensor bearing. Directly below it is the bank angle indicator or triangle. To the right is the barometric altitude and to the left is the torque value. If the engine temperature is in a caution or warning state, it’s temperature will be listed below.

Centered on the flight page is the attitude indicator, waterline, and indications like the navigation fly to cue, or Homeplate symbol, flight path vector, and others.

Along the right side is the radar altitude and vertical velocity scale.

On the left side is the airspeed, and below that at L5 is the bezel button to toggle a waterline bias of -5 degrees, or remove a manual bias entered on the Flight Set page. We'll discuss the bias function further in a moment.  Below is the waypoint status window with the selected waypoint, distance to it, ground speed, and time to go to reach the waypoint.

Centered in the bottom is the turn rate indicator with each vertical element indicating a one-half standard rate turn and a full standard rate turn when the box is centered under the left or right triangle, more commonly known as “the dog house”. Below this is the trim ball.

We’ll now drill a bit deeper into the set sub-page by selecting B6. While much of the page stays the same, there are several changes.

At the top of the page at T1, the HI bezel button allows you to set the desired radar altitude at which the HI indication on the right side of the page will trigger when exceeded and the radar altimeter is on. Click on the bezel button, enter the altitude in feet on the KU, and press enter.

To the right at T3, the LO option operates the same, but will trigger a LO indication when the altitude is below the set value. This will also trigger an audio message from Betty warning of "Altitude Low". This audio warning will go off at the set altitude when less than 10ft AGL, 10% below the set altitude when between 11ft and 999ft AGL, and 100ft below the set altitude when between 1000ft and 1428ft. For this reason, the LO bug is typically set to 55ft during training so that it will go off at 50ft, thus reminding students to align the nose of the helicopter with the landing direction, rather than maintaining the aircraft in aerodynamic trim. In combat this should be set as low as the crew is comfortable with to allow the crew to avoid a meeting engagement with the ground.

At T4 we can set the air pressure value to be either in inches or millibars, and to the right at T5 you can manually edit the barometric altitude using the KU. At T6 you can use the KU to edit the barometric pressure. The window below shows the barometric altitude and barometric pressure. Editing either of these values will automatically update the other as appropriate.  A practical example of this would be if I don't know the altimeter setting at your location, but you know the airfield elevation, you can enter the elevation into the barometric altitude window, and it will automatically adjust the barometric altimeter setting.

Below the altitude and vertical velocity scale at R6, the radar altimeter can be toggled on and off, and along the bottom at B2 the unit of distance can be toggled between kilometers and nautical miles.

The arrows at L5 and L6 allow you to manually set the bias of the waterline against the attitude indicator. As airspeed is a function of aircraft attitude, this can be adjusted to match an airspeed to a level pitch attitude along the FLT page artificial horizon. If adjusted from the default, a BIAS indication will appear.

Along the left side is the G-status and accelerometer. The center of the scale indicates 1 G and the solid triangle indicates the current G. Each mark indicates 1 G. The hollow triangles indicate the maximum position and negative G attained, since the G was reset at L2.  The red circles indicate the maximum position and negative G limitations based on the current gross weight, airspeed, and environmental conditions.

Last, let’s look at the fuel page by going back to the MAIN menu and selecting B4. In this example, I have four external fuel tanks loaded. Not something you’d normally do.

In the center of the page is a graphic representation of the aircraft with the forward fuel tank in the front with its current amount, the internal, “Robbie” tank in center with its amount, and the aft fuel tank at the bottom with its amount. The external fuel tanks are indicated as ellipses on the wings, but do not display their remaining fuel amount since they don't have fuel probes inside to measure the quantity.

The left and right auxiliary bezel buttons at R1 and L1 toggle fuel transfer from the external tanks to the internal tanks. If more than one fuel tank is loaded on a wing, only the lines from the inboard tanks will be drawn to the internal tanks as fuel will automatically transfered from the outboard tanks to the inboard tanks.

The center auxiliary tank can be enabled or disabled with bezel button L2. Unlike the external fuel tanks, the remaining fuel quantity is depicted. It will feed both the forward and aft fuel tanks. Remember to enable the center Robbie fuel tank during the first fuel check. If forgotten, the aircraft will remind you when you have approximately 1100lbs of fuel remaining by presenting FWD FUEL LOW and AFT FUEL LOW master cautions.

The fuel boost pump can be enabled or disabled from the R2 bezel button. This pump is commanded on automatically by the aircraft systems during each engine start sequence; however, it may need to be manually enabled by the crew during flight in extreme cold climate conditions. The crossfeed is automatically set to AFT when the boost pump is engaged because the boost pump is only mounted on the aft fuel cell.

 The three crossfeed bezel buttons at R3 to R5 allow you select which fuel cells supply which engines. With FWD selected, the forward fuel cell will supply both engines; when AFT selected, the aft fuel cell will supply both engines; and with NORM selected, the forward fuel cell will supply the left engine and the aft fuel cell will supply the right engine. The crossfeed valve can be used in an emergency to transfer fuel between fuel cells to keep the balanced. This should ONLY be used if the fuel transfer system has failed.

 At L4 is the fuel transfer bezel button, and this allows fuel to be balanced between the forward and aft fuel cells. Setting to FWD moves fuel from the aft to the forward fuel cell; OFF inhibits fuel transfer between the cells; AFT transfers fuel from the front to the aft cell; and AUTO automatically levels the fuel between the cells throughout the flight.

 Along the bottom of the page are three windows.

The right-most window indicates the flight endurance time in hours and minutes for both just internal fuel and total fuel, which also includes the “Robbie” tank and any external tanks.

To the left are the fuel flow rates for engines 1 and 2 and total fuel flow rate in pounds per hour.

The left-most window shows the amount of internal fuel and total fuel, which also includes the “Robbie” tank and any external tanks, in pounds.

The external fuel tanks do not have any fuel monitoring equipment, so you need to manually enter their fuel quantity with the AUX GALLONS EXT bezel button at L5. Upon pressing it, enter the total fuel quality of the external fuel tanks into the KU and press enter. This will then allow the total fuel and total endurance windows to be accurate. It is worth noting, that each gallon of JP-8 fuel weighs 6.7 pounds, so that should be taken into consideration when doing fuel calculations.  Fortunately, the KU has built-in calculator functions that provide an in-cockpit solution.

Last, at B6 we have the fuel check option. Pressing CHECK at B6 results in a START bezel button at R5 and the fuel check window appearing in the top left corner. Above the START bezel button are options at R2 to R4 to determine how long to run the fuel test. Pressing start then runs the test for the selected time with the run timer, start time, and fuel burn rate in the check window. Once complete, an advisory will appear on the EUFD to alert the crew that the fuel check is complete.  Burnout, or fuel exhaustion, visual flight fuels fuel reserve, and instrument flight rules fuel reserve time are displayed in an upper right window. The check can be terminated by pressing the STOP bezel button at R5.

Thank you for watching.

The Eagle Dynamics Team

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  • ED Team

In this week’s DCS: AH-64D instructional video, we explore the basics of the Tactical Situation Display, or TSD. This TSD is a map-based Multi-Purpose Display (MPD) page that provides powerful navigation features, fast customization, and coordination with other flight members. It can display various map types, prioritize data, and it is integrated with other defensive system to improve crew survivability.  It also has an Automatic Direction Finding (ADF) function.

 In later videos, we’ll explore the route and point functions of the TSD.

 The TSD places your aircraft symbol, called the "ownship", in the bottom third of the display, but center option can be selected from R3 to center the aircraft symbol. This is from a top-down perspective with the area in front of the aircraft symbol being in front of you, assuming a north orientation is not selected.

 To change the TSD scale, press the up and down arrows at R1 and R2. The TSD scale is listed between R1 and R2, and the measurement of each TSD grid square is shown in the top right corner. Note that not all scales may have aerial navigation charts. As we discussed in the flight page lesson, you can change the unit of measurement of kilometers or nautical miles from the set sub-page.

In addition to the TSD being centered on the ownship symbol, you may also press T2 to enter Pan mode. When in Pan mode, the TSD automatically enters Freeze mode, which is indicated by the segmented box around the periphery and FRZ being boxed at R4. Using the Cursor Slew Control, you can now slew the map independently of the blue aircraft symbol. The white aircraft symbol, called the "ghostship", marks your slew center point.

 You can also toggle the Pan mode to Norm at L6.  In this mode, moving the TSD cursor to a TSD location on the map and then depressing the cursor button will center the map on that location. Selecting Last Pan at R5 will center the map in the previous location.

To exit Pan mode, press Pan at T2 again.

Pan can be a useful tool to change your map location far away from your location without having to change TSD scale.

To exit Freeze mode, select R4 again.

To the right of Pan to T3 are the Show functions. This page and its subpages allow you to customize the overlays on the TSD. By default, it will first enter in Navigation Phase, as indicated in the top center; however, this can be toggled to the Attack Phase from B2. We can assign different TSD option selections between the Navigation and Attack phases. We’ll talk more about this in the TSD Points video.

At R4 is the HSI, or Horizontal Situation Indicator selection. Upon selection, indicted by the boxing of the label, a compass rose in 5-degree small increments and 10-degree large increments is centered on the aircraft symbol. There are also cardinal marks at magnetic north, east, south, and west. To remove it, press R4 again.

Below at R5 is the endurance selection. When enabled, the total mission endurance is displayed in the window in the bottom left of the display. This endurance value is the same as the total endurance value on the Fuel page.

At R6 we can choose to display the wind direction and speed. If less than 5 knots, calm is indicated.

Moving to the left side of the TSD at L6 is the Cursor Information option. When enabled, the TSD cursor MGRS coordinate, elevation, and distance to your aircraft are displayed along the bottom.

If CPG or Pilot Cursor are selected from L5, you can view the TSD Cursor position of the other crewmember.

Later when we add the Fire Control Radar, or FCR, detected obstacle icons can be displayed when enabled in Navigation phase, and FCR targets and obstacle icons can be displayed when enabled in Attack phase.

Later in the project we’ll be adding fire zones. After that happens, you’ll be able to toggle on and off Inactive Zones from L3.

Above at L2 is the toggle for Waypoint Data. When enabled, the waypoint data window in the bottom left corner of the TSD is displayed with waypoint number, distance to the waypoint, airspeed, and time to waypoint.  It is worth noting that the Waypoint Data window is not displayed when the TSD is set to Attack phase.  In its place, the option to display the current route is shown for the Attack phase.

The first Show sub-page is the Threat Show sub-page at T5. However, we’ll return to this when we discuss TSD Points.

The other Show sub-page is the Coordinate Show sub-page at T6. The items of interest are on the left side at L2 to L5.

Control Measures at L2 allows you to toggle on and off General Control Measure points.

Friendly Units at L3 allows you to toggle on and off Friendly Control Measure points.

Enemy Units at L4 allows you to toggle on and off Enemy Control Measure points.

And, Planned Targets and Threats allows you to toggle on and off Target and Threat points.

This will make a lot more sense when we get to TSD Points in the next video.

Let’s head back to the main TSD page by pressing Show at T3 again.

To the right is our aircraft magnetic heading and is the Present Position window selection. When enabled, our aircraft MGRS, Lat/Long, and elevation in feet is displayed in a window at the bottom of the page.

Moving over to T5 is the Coordinate page selection, but we’ll come back to this when we discuss TSD Points.

At T6 will have the TSD Utility page. Important elements of this page include the ability to power the doppler radar on and off from L6, setting system time and date from R3 and R4, toggle between zulu and local time at R2, and being able to determine the conditions in which the ASE page would automatically be displayed using the Autopage function at R1.

Other, non-interactive elements include windows for the inertial navigation unit position confidence accuracy, GPS satellites being used, and GPS key windows.

Below the Freeze bezel button is the Cursor Acquisition, or CAQ, at R5. This will allow us to cursor select Points on the TSD to be our acquisition or direct-to source, but this will be a topic of later videos.

In addition to cursor selecting an acquisition source with the TSD cursor, we can also press R6 to select it from the listing. In this example, we have the gunner helmet sight, or GHS, where the weapon seeker is looking, or SKR, fixed ahead of us, where the TADS is looking, and coordinate.

As you may recall from the IHADSS lesson, the dots on the line-of-sight cue and the acquisition reticle mark the location of the selected acquisition source. You can think of an acquisition source as a “look here” indication.

Along the bottom at B6 is the Point selection, but this is a large topic for a later TSD lesson, and to the left of that at B5 is the Route selection which is the subject for another TSD video.

From Map at B4 we can adjust the TSD background. From L2, we can select from the four backgrounds, digital terrain, aerial navigation chart, satellite, and stick with no map underlay display.

Below at L3, the scale can be selected.

The color band options can be selected from L4 with any map type except Stick. In this case, we'll select Digital with Aircraft banding selected. Gray indicates ground level less 50 feet below your altitude, yellow indicates 50 feet below your altitude up to your current altitude, and red indicates any terrain at your altitude or higher.

When Elevation is selected, the map is composed of up to eight colors denoting elevation, independent of your aircraft altitude.

Setting the option to none removes color banding.

The contours selection at L5 and foundation feature data at L6 are not available in this pre-release build.

At T5, Grid can be selected to display a grid over the TSD.

Slope shading at T6 is automatically enabled and can only be set to on at this time.

The orientation of the TSD can be selected from R5. Track up orients the TSD to have the ground track of your aircraft always toward the top of the TSD and heading up orients to the aircraft’s magnetic heading. North up orients the TSD such that magnetic north is always at the top center of the TSD.

The TSD will be in 2D view as indicated at R6. However, a 3D view is planned.

Between B3 and B4 is the magnetic heading to reach your current waypoint.

To the right at B3 is the Battle Area Management, or BAM, selection. We’ll come back to this later when we add the flight datalink and the FCR.

The Situational Awareness, or SA, is the Blue Force Tracker overlay; a second datalink system that is not planned at this time due to sensitivity issues and lack of reference data.
 

Up at L1 is the instrument option. When enabled, several TSD items are filtered out, the HSI is displayed over the aircraft symbol, and a time option appears in the top, left corner. Above the timer at T1 and T2 are options to start, reset, and stop the timer.

Below at L2, we select and enter the desired heading into the KU to then have a heading bug appear on the HSI.

From T6 we can select the instrument utility page and set our Automatic Direction Finding, or ADF, radio navigation.

At B6, you can power on the ADF system.

At R1 you can toggle between ADF mode that provides a bearing to a Non-Directional Beacon on the HSI and Fight Page, along with a morse code audio signal to identify the beacon; and antenna mode in which you will only hear the audio signal. You have five NDB preset channels between R2 and R6 and another five presets from L2 to L6. Once a channel is selected, pressing Tune at T5 tunes the ADF radio to the channel. When tuned, an NDB status window appears with the frequency, station identifier, and Morse code.

You can manually overwrite a preset by selecting either the identification at B4 or the frequency at B5 and enter the desired NDB in the KU. Once entered, press Tune.

Selecting the emergency frequencies at B2 and B3 will tune the ADF to those international distress frequencies.

 If the Utility button at T6 is re-selected, you will return to the main Instrument page.  Since we powered on the ADF, we now have several additional options.  The first is the Tone button at R4.  Toggling this option to on will play a solid tone over the intercom to ensure the ADF audio can be heard.  The Identify button at R5 is used to filter out background static to assist the crew in identifying distant or weak NDB morse audio signals.

Pressing Test at R6 will cause the ADF bearing pointer to swing 90 degrees from its current direction as an indicator that the system is working correctly. If the pointer swings to a direction other than 90 degrees, this could indicate a faulty circuit within the ADF system.  The rate that the pointer returns to the currently tuned beacon indicates the relative strength of the signal.

Along the left side at L3 is the Frequency button.  This allows you to manually tune any AM frequency between 100 kilohertz and 2199.5 kilohertz.

The Last Frequency button at L5 will allow you to toggle between the current ADF frequency and the previously tuned frequency.

This concludes this look at the basic functions of the TSD. In later videos, we’ll explore the Point and Route functions.

 

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DCS: AH-64D | TSD Points

In this DCS: AH-64D video, we’ll look at the creation and use of Points on the Tactical Situation Display, or TSD. In the next video, we’ll explore TSD route functions.

The AH-64D provides a database of 149 points, with three separate “partitions” for waypoint/hazards, control measures, and target/threats. Waypoint/Hazards are numbered 1 to 50, Control Measures 51 to 99, and Target/Threats 1 to 50. Points cannot be directly shared between these “partitions”. Crews select which “partition” they will use when adding a point, which will be covered later.

From the Point page at B6, we can manage waypoint/hazards, control measures, and target/threat points. These are graphically indicated on the TSD can be used as direct-to navigation, acquisition source, and other uses.

Before we jump into the Point page, let’s first mention terrain points. When on the TSD and the Cursor Acquisition (CAQ) option is enabled at R5, either the pilot or CP/G can cursor slew to a desired location on the map and cursor-select to drop a terrain point. The pilot will drop a white cross and PLT symbol and the CP/G will drop a white cross and CPG symbol. This is a fast and easy way to create a point that can be shared between crew members.

Let’s first make sure all Point types can be displayed on the TSD. Select T3 to open the Show page, and then T6 to display the Coordinate Show sub-page. On the left side we have four Point options that can be toggled on and off for display. L2 displays general control measures. Control measures provide graphics for indicating locations for facilities or locations on the ground, as well as known and templated friendly and enemy unit locations. The Control Measures selection on L2 will show/hide icons such as Airfields, FARPS, NDBs, etc., provided they aren’t part of the current route or current direct-to. They are not waypoints or targets. In the real world, C51 is typically reserved for “home base”. It should also be pointed out that Control Measures do not display threat rings around them.

L3 will show/hide friendly unit control measure points, L4 will show/hide enemy unit control measure points, and L5 will show/hide target and threat points. We’ll enable all of these and then press B6 to display the Point page.

Hazards cannot be toggled off and are always displayed.  Individual Waypoints are not shown in the Attack phase, apart from any waypoints that are part of your current route if the Current Route option is enabled on the main Show page, or if you open the Route page.

Note that in the bottom center of the page is the heading to the selected waypoint.

From B2, we can select either Navigation or Attack phase. Just as there are separate Show page options for Navigation and Attack phases, you can also set separate Coordinate Show options per phase.  As such, you can set up one phase for a particular set of Points and the other phase for a different set of Points, based on what you wish to see at a certain phase of the mission, or to swap between two different TSD show configurations.

When placing a Point, we can do so using the shortcut method, or the longer method that requires the input of the abbreviation. Let’s first discuss the shortcut method.

Along the left side of the TSD Point page are the Point control options. In all cases, we will first press Add at L2 to add a Point. With Add enabled, we have the list of Point types listed below. Waypoints at L3, Hazards at L4, Control Measures at L5, and Targets at L6. The currently selected Point type is listed at L1, in this case, Target. When in the NAV phase, the default POINT selection when adding a point is a waypoint, and when in the ATK phase the default POINT selection when adding a point is a target.

We can now slew the TSD cursor over the desired location and cursor-select it to drop the selected Point type. In this case, I created the Target Point 01, in red.

Let’s try this again, but with a Waypoint this time. When we create a Waypoint, the waypoint number will automatically be the next available waypoint entry in sequence within the waypoint “partition”.

Last, we’ll create a Control Measure Point using the shortcut. This will default as a Check Point control measure with its Control Measure number, in this case, 51.

We now have three different Point types on the TSD, let’s look at them on the Coordinate page at T5.

At T5 we have the Coordinate list that will show our Target and Threat points with their location and elevation.

Control Measures at T2 lists the Control Measure points we created.

Waypoints and Hazards are listed at T1.

If we click a Variable Action Button to the right of a Point entry, we can view additional information of that Point. Selecting the left Variable Action Button will make the point our acquisition source.

Next, we’ll discuss creating a Point based on an abbreviation identifier. As before, select Add at L2 and then the Point type. In this case, I’ll keep it as a Target point.

To avoid additional button presses, lets first select abbreviation, or ABR, at T4. This is the recommended procedure after selecting ADD if the IDENT Abbreviation isn’t already known. If you first select IDENT and then ABR you will have to reselect IDENT after going to the ABR page. Here we can see all the available Point options with their abbreviation codes. You can scroll through the pages by pressing the arrows at B2 and B3. Waypoints and general control measures are in green, hazards in yellow, friendly unit control measures in blue, and enemy control measures, targets, and threats in red. For this first example, I will select page 3 to find Armor Enemy, or AE.

Re-select ABR to return to the Point page, and then select IDENT.

Using the KU keypad, type in AE and then press Enter.

We can now add some free text to provide greater detail if needed. I’ll enter T72. Once done, press Enter. The Free Text accepts a maximum of 3 characters. Inputting more than 3 characters will result in the KU flashing indicating an invalid entry.

Next, we see the coordinate that the Point will be placed. We can either enter a new coordinate or slew the cursor to the desired TSD location and cursor-select it. Note that the icon will not immediately be placed.

Upon pressing enter, the elevation of the terrain at that location will be displayed on the KU, you can either manually adjust it or press Enter to save it.

Once saved, the enemy armor unit icon will appear at the selected location.

If we go back to the Coordinate page and select control measures, we can see it listed.

Let’s do one more, in this case, a Battle Position. This is a commonly used point from which you’d carry out an attack.

Press Add, select Control Measure, select Ident, enter BP on the KU and press enter, press enter to accept the free text, slew the TSD cursor to the desired location and depress it, and then press enter again to accept the elevation.

In addition to adding Points, we can also delete them. To do so, move the TSD cursor over the Point to delete and then depress the cursor controller to select it. Then, select Delete at L4, and Yes at L3.

If you wish to add or edit the free text of a Point, do the same process, but select the Edit option at L3.

The STO option at L5 brings up the NOW button. The purpose of this selection is to enable the crew to perform a fly over store of a point. By default, it will store a waypoint in the NAV phase and a target in the ATK phase. An example use would be the aircraft starts taking fire, the crew can select POINT > STO > NOW and drop a waypoint/target at that location, deploy to cover and then use that point as a reference. It could also be used to mark a suspicious roadside attraction seen by the pilot to cue the CPG onto it.

As an alternative store method, the CPG can use the TADS or HMD line-of-sight to designate a location and press the STORE button on the left TEDAC grip to store a Target or Waypoint while this page is displayed.  Otherwise, when not on the STO page, the left TEDAC grip STORE button will only store a Target point when the TADS is the selected sight.

At L6 is the transmit option, but that will come later when interflight datalink is added.

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In this DCS: AH-64D video, we’ll look at using the TSD to create and edit routes, set a direct-to, and select an acquisition source.

When in the Navigation phase, your flight route is always displayed. It consists of a series of points with connecting route lines between each.  Selecting Route, or RTE, from B5 displays the route page.

If we select the Route Menu, or RTM sub-page at B4, we can view the first six waypoints within each route, and in this case our current route, Alpha. The active route is labeled current below its identifier. You can create up to 10 routes. To select and edit a route, select it from T1 to T5. You can scroll to more routes using the arrows at B2 and B3. You may also reverse the routes waypoint order by selecting reverse route from R5. Return to the route page by re-selecting RTM at B5.

When New is boxed at L4, selecting any route at T1 to T5 will set that route as the new Current route.  However, if Delete is selected at L5, selecting a route at T1 to T5 will display a new set of bezel options, Yes or No, to confirm the deletion of the selected route. This will only delete the points in the active (selected) route and not delete them from the aircraft database.

Along the right side of the page, the points assigned to the active (selected) route are listed. To select a point, you can either press the corresponding bezel button, or TSD cursor select the Point symbol.  It is worth noting that while on the Route page, only points that are part of the active (selected) route are cursor-selectable, unless you are adding a point to the route or setting a Direct-To and update the IHADSS navigation fly-to cue, or “Homeplate” symbol.

An underlined point in the route list indicates it as your current destination, and a boxed route point is in reference to the waypoint review status window in the bottom center of the TSD.  Note that it is possible to review a point within the route sequence without setting it as your current destination. Using the up and down arrows at R1 and R6, you can scroll the route points if there are more than four.  Only waypoints, hazards and control measures can be part of a route sequence.  Targets cannot be part of a route, but they can be set as a Direct-To destination.

A navigation direct-to sets the current navigation fly-to cue, or “home plate symbol”, to a selected point independent of a point on the active (selected) route. This can be any point in the database: waypoint/hazards, control measures, or target/threats. Select direct from L5 and TSD cursor select the desired point, or if you already know the desired point you want to go direct to, select Point at L1 to manually type in the point file using the KU. A full-intensity green line will connect your aircraft to the direct-to location and the route lines will be partial-intensity. This green line will not follow the aircraft.

If in transition or cruise IHADSS mode, the current route point or Direct-To destination, distance, and time to reach will be displayed in the bottom left of the symbology, as well as the Waypoint Data window in the bottom left of the TSD in Navigation phase. As was discussed in the IHADSS video, once a direct-to is set, turn via the shortest distance towards the command heading chevron and place it between the velocity vector and lubber line. Or, place the flight path vector on top of the navigation fly to cue. This will ensure you ground track towards your desired direct fly-to.

To add a point to the selected route, select Add from L2 and TSD cursor select the desired point to add to the route, or select Point at L1 and manually type in the point file using the KU. Again, this can be any waypoint, hazard, or control measure, but not a target/threat.

Once selected, its identification will be listed at L1.

To add to the active route, simply select the bezel button next to the location within the right-side route sequence you wish to insert that point to. The point that occupies that location will scroll up, along with every point that follows.  If you wish to add the current point to the end of the route, simply use the up arrow at R1 until you see END. Press the bezel button next to it and the new point will be added at the end of the route.

To remove a point from a route, select delete from L4 and then TSD cursor select the point to remove, or, press the bezel button next the point in the route list along the right side. Note that it will just remove the point from the active route, it will not remove the point from the aircraft database.

This and the previous two videos conclude this pre-release look at the TSD. We’ll next start to review the sensors and weapons.

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In this DCS: AH-64D video, we’ll talk about the primary sensor of the AH-64D: the Target Acquisition Designation Sight, or TADS. The TADS is divided into two sides: The Day side, located on the left side of the turret, contains the Day Television, or Day TV, Laser Range Finder Designator, or LRFD and Laser Spot Tracker, or LST. The Night Side, located on the right side of the turret contains the Forward Looking Infrared, or FLIR. All controls discussed in this video are found in Controls, AH-64D CP/G.

TADS video as a sight can be displayed to the CP/G’s Helmet Display Unit, or HDU, and it can be used as a Night Vision Sensor, or NVS for either crew member. For today, we’ll turn off the HDU by pressing i. Usually, the CP/G will have control of the TADS as the sight, but the pilot could select the TADS as the NVS sensor to ‘take’ TADS control away from the CP/G. In this video though, we’ll display TADS as a sight on the TADS Electronic Display and Control, or TEDAC.

TADS video can also be displayed on an MPD using the VID, or Video Page. Outside of a failure of the Pilot Night Vision System (PNVS), the TADS is the property of the CP/G. We’ll look at this in Part II.

There is a lot to break down here, so in Part I we’ll start with basic use of the TEDAC. The TEDAC consists of the TEDAC Display Unit, or TDU, video display and the left and right handgrips. Around the periphery of the TDU are various controls and selections. To use the TADS, press the TEDAC right handgrip Sight Select switch right for TADS, or using the collective mission grip, Sight Select Switch right for TADS. Selecting up would set the helmet as the sight.

Along the top of the TDU are four buttons. TADS displays TADS video, and FCR displays the Fire Control Radar video, which will come later in early access. PNV will display both pilot symbology and FLIR video from the PNVS when the pilot is using the PNVS as a sensor for flight, or just pilot symbology when the NVS is not being used as a sensor. We’ll talk about the PNVS in a later video. G/S displays a gray scale calibration pattern. Let’s begin with the gray scale.

To the right is the Day, Night, Off Mode dial that sets the default brightness for day and night operations or turns off the TDU. When in Day mode, the video will be in gray scale and when in Night mode it will be in green-scale.

Using the Brightness and Contrast rockers on the right side, adjust the brightness and contrast so that 10 unique shades of gray, or green, are displayed. When in this mode, it should be noted that this only affects the TDU and not the HDU. Use just the brightness and contrast rockers to adjust the HDU. Once done, select TADS to display TADS video on the TDU again.

The grayscale procedure should be accomplished during run-up as part of the M-TADS operational check and then updated periodically throughout the flight as ambient lighting conditions changes. Additionally, during the M-TADS operational check, the FLIR Gain and Level should be adjusted using the TDU Gain and Level knobs for an optimal image and then adjusted as needed throughout the flight. Keep in mind that a FLIR adjustment that works for targeting may not work for flying!

From the Symbology rocker on the right side, we can adjust the brightness of symbology displayed over the TADS video.

Currently, TADS video is set to FLIR, but we can select between FLIR and Day TV on the CPG left hand grip by setting the Sensor Select Switch to the middle position, or TV. The DVO option was removed with the M-TADS upgrade.

When the Azimuth / Elevation option is enabled from the bottom bezel button on the TDU, the Elevation and Azimuth rocker buttons can be used to null out any TADS drift. This is completed during the M-TADS operational check, DRIFT NULL procedure during run-up if any TADS drift is detected.

To the right of the azimuth / elevation bezel button is the auto-contrast mode, or ACM, bezel button. When selected, FLIR level and gain controls are disabled, and the system will automatically adjust for changing temperatures and attempt to provide the best image possible.

Above the elevation rocker is the Range Focus rocker, which adjusts the video focus for both Day-TV and FLIR which is planned for later.

To the right is the Freeze bezel button that will freeze the TDU image when enabled or boxed.

To the right of the Freeze button is the Filter bezel button, which is not currently supported.

Last on the TDU is the Asterisk button that will return brightness and contrast settings to their default values.

The TADS video image has various field of views based on the selected camera. The TADS Field of View switch is a four-way switch located on the TEDAC left handgrip. The Day-TV provides the CP/G with three levels of zoom: Wide, Narrow and Zoom, and the FLIR provides four levels of zoom: Wide, Medium, Narrow and Zoom. Note the Day-TV provides more powerful magnification and may be more useful during daylight operations when attempting to identify and engaging a threat.

The TADS is slewed using the TEDAC right handgrip manual tracker, a.k.a. the “thumbforce controller”. These controls can be assigned as key presses in Controls, AH-64D CP/G by mapping TEDAC Manual Tracker Switches Down, Left, Right, and Up. It can also be set as an axis in Controls, AH-64D CP/G, Axis Commands, by mapping RHG MAN TRK Controller X and Y axis.

At this point, through the TDU, you should be able to select desired sensor, Day-TV or FLIR, field of view, manually slew the TADS line of sight, and adjust the video picture. Let’s move on now and discuss common TADS video overlay symbology. Much of this will be familiar from the IHADSS lesson.

Along the top is our heading tape with our current magnetic heading centered on the lubber line. The other crewmember line of sight and TADS sensor azimuth indications are also located along the heading tape.

In the top left corner, the selected TADS sensor is displayed. In this case, FLIR.

In the center we have the TADS crosshairs surrounded by the field of view brackets. The field of view brackets represent the area that will be visible within the TADS if the next field of view setting were selected. Most new CP/G’s have the habit of ignoring anything outside of these FOV gates, don’t let this happen to you!

The Field of Regard box is centered in the bottom on the image with the selected TADS sensor field of view displayed within. To the top left corner of the Field of Regard box is aircraft airspeed, and to the top right corner is aircraft altitude in feet AGL. To the left of the Field of Regard box is the Sight Select Status, in this case, TADS is the selected Sight. Between this and the box will be the range and range source. To the right of the box is the Acquisition Select Status, and in this case, it is the Pilot Helmet Sight, or PHS. Above the box will be weapon inhibit cues, but we’ll discuss those when we get to weapons.

In addition to manually slewing the TADS, you can also slave to a designated location like a Point on the TSD. For example: with the TSD on the right MPD, select COORD from T5 and waypoints and hazards from T1. Select the bezel button to the left of waypoint 2 to set it as our acquisition source. Note that we now see W02 as our acquisition source on both the TDU and on the TSD. Slave to the point by selecting the Slave Button on the TEDAC right hand grip. This will slave the TADS to the selected point and inhibit manual tracking until the slave button is pressed a second time.

Note that you can do this for any acquisition source as selected from R6 on the TSD or Weapon pages. For example: you could set the acquisition source to the Pilot Helmet Sight, or PHS, and slave the TADS to where the pilot is looking. Or, you could set the Acquisition source to your own helmet, GHS, and have the TADS line of sight slave to where you are looking.

In addition to slaving the TADS to an acquisition source, you can also store a Point through the TADS that you can then use as an acquisition source by selecting it on the COORD page as previously demonstrated. To do so, slew the TADS to where you wish to store a Point and then activate Laser Range Finder Designator, or LRFD. Because the laser is considered a weapon, you will first need to toggle the Master armament button from SAFE to ARM. To lase, press the second detent on the LRFD trigger on the Right Handgrip by selecting AH-64D CP/G, Right Handgrip, and TEDAC LRFD Trigger, Second Detent. By ranging the location with the laser, we can generate accurate coordinate and elevation data relative to our own aircraft position. A general rule for laser use is that if both the aircraft and target are stationary, use first detent to range the target. If either the target or aircraft are moving, use second detent for continuous laser ranging. To then store that point, press the Store button on the Left Handgrip at AH-64D CP/G, Left Handgrip, and TEDAC Store/Update Switch.

If you then go to the TSD Coordinate page and select the Coord list, you can see the Point you just created.

That covers the very basics for today. In Part 2 of the TADS, we’ll discuss some of the more advanced functions, viewing TADS video from the Video page, and using the TADS as a Night Vision Sensor.

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  • ED Team

In the previous AH-64D video on the TADS, we reviewed the basic functionality of using the TADS from the front seat. In Part II, we’ll explore some more TADS functions from the front seat and discuss using the TADS from pilot seat in the back.

Before we dive into it, let’s touch on Sight Selection and Acquisition Source. This can often confuse new folks coming to the AH-64D, and it deserves a few words of explanation. The simplest way to think of it is that your Sight Selection is what you are using to see, and the Acquisition Source is what you want to see.

At release, possible Sight Selections include the Helmet Mounted Display, or HMD, and the TADS. Later, the Fire Control Radar, or FCR, will also be a possible Sight. Selecting any of these from the Sight Select switch determines what device we’ll be using to search and acquire targets, as well as aim our selected weapon.

The Acquisition Source, on the other hand, allows us to determine what we want our Sight to be directed to. Some of the possible Acquisition Sources that we could have our Sight directed to are the other crew member’s HMD line of sight, where the TADS is looking, where a Hellfire seeker is locked to, a TSD Point or Coordinate, or fixed ahead. These can be selected from R6 on the TSD and Weapon pages.

When an Acquisition Source is selected, we’ll then get the cueing dots around the HDU line of sight crosshairs as well as the Acquisition “broken” Line-of-Sight Reticle. I’ll link back to the IHADSS video in the card above.

When in the back seat, the Pilot’s sight is always slaved to the Acquisition Source, meaning he will always see the “broken” Line-of-Sight Reticle within his HMD symbology.  However, in the CPG’s case, regardless of what sight he is using, the CPG must press the SLAVE button to display his Acquisition Source in his HMD symbology.  If using the TADS as your sight in the CPG station, you’d still get the cueing dots around the TADS Line of Sight crosshairs and the Acquisition “broken” Line of Sight Reticle, but only after you enable Slaving using the SLAVE button.  When you select SLAVE, the TADS Sight is slaved to the selected Acquisition Source. When the SLAVE button is pressed again to de-Slave, the Manual Track controller on the right TEDAC grip, also called the “thumb force controller, can then be used to move the TADS.

This may sound like a lot, but with practice, it will be become second nature.

Okay, back to the TADS while up front.

First, using the TEDAC FLIR Polarity Button on the TEDAC Right Handgrip or the Boresight/Polarity Switch on the collective flight grip, we can swap the FLIR polarity between white hot and black hot. White hot is most often used, but you may find the black hot works best for you in some conditions.

On the TEDAC left handgrip is the TEDAC Linear Motion Compensator button, or LMC. When enabled, the system will partially counteract helicopter movement to null out TADS movement. Note though that this is not a ground stabilization system. Where this can be handy is that using the thumb force controller, you can impart a slew direction that will continue in that direction and at the rate of the force pressed. In doing so, you can place the TADS crosshairs over a moving target and adjust the LMC slew to move along with a moving vehicle. 

Let’s look at this in operation.

We briefly touched on this in the last video, but in addition to displaying the TADS on the TDU, you can also display the TADS over your right eye through the HDU when TADS is selected as our sight. Just like on the TDU, we can adjust our slew, swap between FLIR and DTV, change field-of-view, and swap FLIR polarity. When using the TADS on the HDU, you may wish to turn off the TDU. 

At this point, we’ve discussed enough about the TADS in the front seat to make you dangerous, so let’s head to the back seat to look at Pilot TADS controls.

First, we can display TADS video to the MPDs using the video page button. By selected TADS are R1 and TADS again at T6, we display what the TADS is seeing. At L1, 2, and 3, we can set the field of view between wide, normal, and zoom. Adjust the image with the Video and Brightness knobs.

This can be very useful to see what the CP/G is seeing during an engagement through the TADS.

When flying at night, we can set the Night Vision Sensor, or NVS, to either use the Pilot Night Vision Sensor, or PNVS, or the TADS as a navigation FLIR. As mentioned in the last video, the CP/G will most often control the TADS and the Pilot will use the PNVS. In a pinch though, the pilot can select TADS as the NVS sensor by toggling the NVS Select Switch on the collective flight grip.

That’s it for now and don’t forget to study your acronyms.

Thanks for watching.

 

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Forum rules - DCS Crashing? Try this first - Cleanup and Repair - Discord BIGNEWY#8703 - Youtube - Patch Status

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  • ED Team

DCS: AH-64D | Gun

In this DCS: AH-64D video, we’ll dig into use of the Area Weapon System, or AWS. The AWS consists of the M230E1 30mm chain gun that is mounted under the chin of the helicopter. The official rate of fire is 625 +/- 25 rounds per minute, but this is most often reduced in the field. The gun can transverse 86-degrees left and right, and it can elevate 9-degrees up when within +/- 10 degrees of the aircraft centerline and 11-degrees when outside of +/- 10 degrees of the aircraft centerline. It can traverse down up to 60-degrees.

Ammunition types include the M789 High-Explosive Dual Purpose and the M788 practice round. At early access release, the Robbie fuel tank will always be installed, and this results in a maximum gun load of 300 rounds. Later, after Early Access release, we plan to make the Robbie tank optional. This would allow a maximum gun load of 1,200 rounds. The software-supported maximum range is 4,200 meters.

The AWS can be directed by either crew member with the HMD, TADS, or later the FCR, as the selected Sight. It can also be used in Fixed mode, in which the gun is pointed straight ahead with an elevation of 6 degrees up, and ballistically sighted to 1,575 meters. Let’s first employ the gun from the CP/G seat.

Normally, you’ll keep the TSD on the right MPD, so I’ll bring up the weapon page on the left MPD. Along the bottom of the page at B2, we can select the gun to display the gun format of the weapon page.

Important elements of this page include the remaining round indication near the center of the aircraft symbol, the Arm and Safe status window, our selected Sight and Acquisition Source, and our burst limit setting between L1 and L5.

At R2, we can select between the gun in Normal mode, sometimes called “Flex Gun”, and Fixed Gun mode.

At R6 we can set our manual range. Upon selecting R6, you can input the manual range that the gun will be calibrated to. This can be from 100 to 50,000 meters, but for the gun, you will want to set it less than 4,200 meters. You can also select A to set auto-range for the gun. When set to auto-range, it will estimate range based on the radar altimeter and elevation angle of your selected sight. This works best when your helicopter and target are at the same elevation.

If you are not using the TADS with the Laser Range Finder Designator, or LRFD, to determine an accurate range to target, you will want to set a manual or automatic range.

To use the Weapon Action Switch, or WAS, and ARM the gun on the ground, you’ll first need to set the aircraft ground override to ON. If you are airborne, simply WAS or “action” the gun and select ARM on the ARM/SAFE panel. To WAS or “action” the gun, press the weapon action switch to the 12 o’clock position, or forward. When the gun is armed and ready, the ARM status will be indicated by a black and yellow “checkerboard” pattern. It is important to note where you WAS the gun. If you’re the pilot you only have one option, if you’re the CP/G you have two. If you’re on the flight controls, use the cyclic, but if you’re on the TADS use the TEDAC left handgrip. It will save you headaches later when trying to figure out why the left handgrip trigger doesn’t work.

When using the gun from the CP/G seat, you’ll most often do so with the TADS as the Sight. Generally, the Pilot that will use HMD as the Sight to direct the gun.

On the TDU, to the right of the High Action Display, we can see that we have the gun selected with 300 rounds remaining. Everything else is as we’ve discussed in earlier videos.

Using the manual tracker on the right TEDAC handgrip, we can slew TADS to the desired target and the gun will slave to it when the gun mode is set to Norm. If though we slew the gun outside its limits, we’ll get either an azimuth or elevation limit message in the weapon status field above the High Action Display. If the target is outside valid range, you will see a ballistic limit message.

To engage, either press the LRFD trigger to the first detent on a static target or second detent on a moving target to get an accurate range, and then press the weapon trigger.

As before with the TADS, we can adjust our camera, field of view, polarity, LMC, and image.

Okay, let’s now talk about use of the gun from the pilot seat.

Often when in combat, the CP/G will be in command of the TADS and Hellfire missiles and the pilot will be in command of the gun through the HMD to engage close-in threats. 

As the pilot, we can employ the gun from any of the HDU Symbology modes. In this case, I’ll be doing a running attack in Transition symbology mode.

As before, I’ll bring up the Weapon, Gun page on the left MPD and action the gun by pressing forward on the Was switch.

Because I will not be using the TADS to laser range the target in this example, I’ll set either a manual or automatic range from B6. I’m partial to the automatic mode if the terrain is relatively level.

Now, using my HMD line-of-sight, I can place the line-of-sight reticle in the center of the HDU over a target and press the weapon fire trigger when the gun is within azimuth and elevation constraints.

If aiming left or right of your nose, you will want to aim behind the target a bit such that the round lands on the target as you are flying forward. Naturally, the closer you are and the closer the target is off your nose will result in better accuracy.

 

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  • ED Team

In this DCS: AH-64D video, we’ll talk about use of unguided rockets.

The AH-64D uses the M261 rocket pod with up to two pods per stub-wing. At early access release we’ll include the M151 high explosive, M229 high explosive 17-pounders, M257 illumination, M274 smoke, and M282 multi-purpose penetrator 2.75-inch rockets.

While it is possible for the CP/G to employ rockets, it is very seldom ever done outside of training. Rather, rockets are the domain of the pilot. The CP/G earns their keep by providing accurate laser ranging and steering commands to the pilot via the Rocket Steering cursor and TADS. This is termed coop mode, and I’ll show this later in the video.

 

Thank you 
The Eagle Dynamics Team

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Forum rules - DCS Crashing? Try this first - Cleanup and Repair - Discord BIGNEWY#8703 - Youtube - Patch Status

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In this DCS: AH-64D video, we’ll discuss an alternate mean of aiming rockets using the Line-of-Sight Reticle and Rocket Steering Cursor.

There are multiple techniques to deliver rockets in the 64, and we hope this option will be useful. There is no correct technique, only the one that works the best for you.

Thank you 
The Eagle Dynamics Team

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Forum rules - DCS Crashing? Try this first - Cleanup and Repair - Discord BIGNEWY#8703 - Youtube - Patch Status

Windows 11, NVIDIA MSI RTX 3090, Intel® i9-10900K 3.70GHz, 5.30GHz Turbo, Corsair Hydro Series H150i Pro, 64GB DDR @3200, ASUS ROG Strix Z490-F Gaming, HP Reverb G2

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