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Lasing times for GBU autolase question


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Hello community,

 

Please forgive me if my question has been answered before, I couldn't really find the information after reading some threads dedicated to lasing. I am a total noob at flying the A-10C at the moment, just got into simulators after 13 years of absence and have less than 30 hours of flight time in the A-10C.

 

I'm practicing GBU-10 and GBU-12 delivery from different altitudes and flight envelopes using CCRP mode using autolasing and I don't really understand the correlation between release altitude, bomb flight time and autolasing time.

 

Is there a table of recommended autolasing times for different altitudes or a known formula for that?

 

Any pointers would be much appreciated!

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Min guidance time for Paveway II is 8 seconds, as long s you're lasing for 8 seconds or more the weapon will guide on the target. Around 12-15 seconds is usually the optimum guidance duration, anything more than that and the laser will be outside of the weapons FoV anyway in most cases.

 

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Personally I use to set the LS Time at half of the TOF and this works fine for me but I dont see a real disadvantage to lase all the TOF.

 

Thanks for the input, Rongor, I'll practice setting lase time to half of the TOF as you suggested!

 

It has been mentioned that lasing all the TOF can make the bomb loose energy due to maneuvering and it won't have enough to hit a moving target, for example...

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Main controls: , BRD-N v4 Flightstick (Kreml C5 controller), TM Warthog Throttle (Kreml F3 controller), BRD-F2 Restyling Bf-109 Pedals w. damper, TrackIR5, Gametrix KW-908 (integrated into RAV4 seat)

Stick grips:

Thrustmaster Warthog

Thrustmaster Cougar (x2)

Thrustmaster F-16 FLCS

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BRD-N v3 Flightstick w. exch. grip upgrade (Kreml C5 controller)

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Min guidance time for Paveway II is 8 seconds, as long s you're lasing for 8 seconds or more the weapon will guide on the target. Around 12-15 seconds is usually the optimum guidance duration, anything more than that and the laser will be outside of the weapons FoV anyway in most cases.

 

Thanks for the input, Eddie, what about the release altitude when set to 12 seconds? Any suggestions? Sorry if the question is somewhat dumb. :D

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Main controls: , BRD-N v4 Flightstick (Kreml C5 controller), TM Warthog Throttle (Kreml F3 controller), BRD-F2 Restyling Bf-109 Pedals w. damper, TrackIR5, Gametrix KW-908 (integrated into RAV4 seat)

Stick grips:

Thrustmaster Warthog

Thrustmaster Cougar (x2)

Thrustmaster F-16 FLCS

BRD KG13

 

Standby controls:

BRD-M2 Mi-8 Pedals (Ruddermaster controller)

BRD-N v3 Flightstick w. exch. grip upgrade (Kreml C5 controller)

Thrustmaster Cougar Throttle

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I also would like to know, what does the 12-15 seconds get called "optimum"?

Optimum would be a calculation of wind vector, target vector (if moving), attacker's height and speed...

I admit my half the TOF "rule" doesnt regard all this. But the 12 seconds also don't...

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Thanks for the input, Eddie, what about the release altitude when set to 12 seconds? Any suggestions? Sorry if the question is somewhat dumb. :D

 

Release alt doesn't matter at all (as long as you're below 25,000MSL, max laser altitude). The weapon will fly ballistic until it picks up a laser spot of the correct code.

 

I also would like to know, what does the 12-15 seconds get called "optimum"?

Optimum would be a calculation of wind vector, target vector (if moving), attacker's height and speed...

I admit my half the TOF "rule" doesnt regard all this. But the 12 seconds also don't...

 

Wind, target, release alt etc really doesn't matter (for laser time at least). All that effects where your point of aim should be, but not the guidance time. If you enable the laser too early you'll actually make it less likely the weapon will impact the desired impact point as it will lose too much energy while guiding. Although it must be said that for the Hog, and its flight regime, you can get away with lasing for the entire ToF of the weapon. Although it is not necessary.

 

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Although it must be said that for the Hog, and its flight regime, you can get away with lasing for the entire ToF of the weapon. Although it is not necessary.

 

Do you mean that the factor in this is the speed of the aircraft itself or the bomb speed? I mean, the hog isn't that fast and the release ac airspeed is rarely above 250-280 kts?

 

Sorry I couldn't make my question more clear, am I even making sense here? :D

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Thrustmaster F-16 FLCS

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Think of it this way: a laser guided bomb is just a dumb bomb with terminal guidance (makes small corrections at the end of it's flight). Assuming a stationary target you're probably going to hit the target even if you get blown out of the sky right after release and can't ever lase the target. You won't get as consistently accurate in this case because wind and target movement are going to throw off the computed hit point (or the target is going to move out of the computed hit point). Lasing the target is designed to compensate for these small introduced errors, so you shouldn't need it on for an extended period no matter what height you release from assuming you don't have hurricane winds or a target moving away at a really high rate of speed (which will likely mean too much movement for the bomb to overcome anyway).

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OP: I usually lase for 10 seconds before calculated impact and have a very high success rate in DCS, but your question is very good.

 

Think of it this way: a laser guided bomb is just a dumb bomb with terminal guidance (makes small corrections at the end of it's flight).

 

I'll have to disagree with almost your entire post. Let's start here. Why is an LGB only guided terminally? Is that a law of nature? Or did you mean "The Paveway family of LGBs in DCS are just dumb bombs to which terminal guidance is applied"?

 

Now, according to Wikipedia:

 

For an accurate attack against a small target, uninterrupted designation is desirable. But, the simple guidance system of early LGBs (such as the American Paveway II) resulted in a rectilinear flight path, with a tendency to lag below the sightline. To compensate, crews will release their weapons on an unguided, ballistic flightpath, activating the designator only to refine the bomb's final impact point.

 

From the DCS perspective, your statement may hold true, but it is not universally correct.

 

Assuming a stationary target you're probably going to hit the target even if you get blown out of the sky right after release and can't ever lase the target.

 

Assuming there's no lasing for the LGB, it simply becomes a dumb bomb. Its hit-probability becomes that of a dumb bomb. If your statement was correct, all dumb bombs would probably hit their target. Well, actually, that is true. The probability just isn't very favorable. :D

 

You won't get as consistently accurate in this case because wind and target movement are going to throw off the computed hit point (or the target is going to move out of the computed hit point).

 

What target movement? You just assumed it was stationary.

 

Also, target movement does not throw off the computed hit point (but, as you correctly pointed out, moving targets can move out of the computed hit point).

 

And yes, wind is obviously one of the most important reasons for the introduction of GBUs (including LGBs).

 

Lasing the target is designed to compensate for these small introduced errors, so you shouldn't need it on for an extended period no matter what height you release from assuming you don't have hurricane winds...

 

Now I'm no expert on this type of technology, but if we dropped a few LGBs without guidance in CCRP mode under different wind conditions from, say, 15.000 ft on a target the size of, say, a truck (maybe a HEMTT tanker or so), my feeling is that even with just some mild winds, we'll get near 100% misses unless we introduce wind correction via CDU. And even if we had perfect wind data and there were no wind gusts, I'd say we'd still be far away from a 100% hit rate.

 

These are not just some small errors we're talking about. The lack of precision of unguided bombs is rather frightening unless the aim was to hit somewhere within a country's borders (and with some countries, even that may become tricky if the bombs are dropped from angels 30).

 

... or a target moving away at a really high rate of speed (which will likely mean too much movement for the bomb to overcome anyway).

 

Hitting speedy targets is not what LGBs are created for anyways. But the ability to hit moving targets is definitely a good reason to employ LGBs (besides offering a level of precision unthinkable with dumb bombs).

 

I'm aware that simplicity and accuracy don't always go hand in hand, but IMHO you should put a little more emphasis on the accuracy. For example, newcomers may take your statements for granted and then later hit a wall until they realize they learned the wrong lessons out of them.

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I'll have to disagree with almost your entire post. Let's start here. Why is an LGB only guided terminally? Is that a law of nature? Or did you mean "The Paveway family of LGBs in DCS are just dumb bombs to which terminal guidance is applied"?

 

Not really sure what you're getting at here.

 

From the DCS perspective, your statement may hold true, but it is not universally correct.

 

Again, not sure I understand what you're getting at. But yes Rob is correct.

 

Assuming there's no lasing for the LGB, it simply becomes a dumb bomb. Its hit-probability becomes that of a dumb bomb. If your statement was correct, all dumb bombs would probably hit their target. Well, actually, that is true. The probability just isn't very favorable. :D

 

The probability of unguided munitions hitting their target is pretty high, when employed properly. But in the case of Paveway, without guidance it's not going to come anywhere close to hitting the desired target. LGBs are released on a trajectory that will see them overshoot the target my several miles unless they detect a laser spot and then nose over to begin their terminal guidance phase.

 

(You can release LGBs using a standard ballistic trajectory, but there is no reason to do so unless you have to drop them unguided due to designation failure etc.)

 

Also, target movement does not throw off the computed hit point (but, as you correctly pointed out, moving targets can move out of the computed hit point).

 

There's no "can" about it, moving target will move away from the current IFFCC computed impact point very quickly indeed.

 

And yes, wind is obviously one of the most important reasons for the introduction of GBUs (including LGBs).

 

Yep. It's also a factor that must be accounted for when employing Paveway as well.

 

Now I'm no expert on this type of technology, but if we dropped a few LGBs without guidance in CCRP mode under different wind conditions from, say, 15.000 ft on a target the size of, say, a truck (maybe a HEMTT tanker or so), my feeling is that even with just some mild winds, we'll get near 100% misses unless we introduce wind correction via CDU. And even if we had perfect wind data and there were no wind gusts, I'd say we'd still be far away from a 100% hit rate.

 

As I said above, unless you select a standard ballistic release profile the weapon is never going to impact anywhere near the target without guidance.

 

As for manually entering wind data, totally unnecessary in the vast majority of situations. The IFFCC is ALWAYS correcting for wind. The only time manual entry of wind data is needed is in weather conditions where you have wildly varied wind speeds & directions throughout the air mass you're dropping through. And even then it's only worth doing if you have very accurate weather data.

 

These are not just some small errors we're talking about. The lack of precision of unguided bombs is rather frightening unless the aim was to hit somewhere within a country's borders (and with some countries, even that may become tricky if the bombs are dropped from angels 30).

 

Well that's very much down to how they are employed. If you're dropping from FL300 then no, they're not going to be accurate, but then that's why they aren't employed that way these days. Now obviously there are very good reasons why guided munitions have been adopted and are used so heavily, but there are also very good reasons why unguided munitions are still in the inventory and are still used. There are still situations where guided munitions are not the best tool for the job.

 

Hitting speedy targets is not what LGBs are created for anyways. But the ability to hit moving targets is definitely a good reason to employ LGBs (besides offering a level of precision unthinkable with dumb bombs).

 

LGBs (Paveway II at least) aren't great against moving targets at all really, especially fast moving vehicles. While they are better than dumb bombs, they are far from the best tool for the task as they simply don't have the energy and/or range to chase down moving targets. The pilot has to do some work with the release and aim points in order to help the weapon hit the target.

 

As far as laser times go, there isn't really a single answer, except to say that it varies. Are there times where lasing from release to impact is valid? Yes.

 

One factor to consider is that, although not currently modeled in DCS, many armored vehicles have laser warning systems so as soon as you turn on your laser they are just going to pop smoke and try to escape. And they actually stand a reasonable chance if you start lasing 20 seconds before impact.

 

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I'm glad I at least generated some interesting replies even if I didn't do a very good job of getting my point across the first time.:thumbup: I guess the big thing I was trying to say is that LGB isn't like an air to air missile that constantly changing course to follow it's target so it doesn't need constant lasing to get it to the target. It's heading to the general area of the target anyway and just needs lasing at the end (10-12 seconds) to get it to final precise point (although I wasn't thinking about the point that Eddie made that the standard release will cause it to overshoot without lasing).

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Not really sure what you're getting at here.

 

IMHO the sentence "a laser guided bomb is just a dumb bomb with terminal guidance" is too extensive. It's true for Paveways, but not necessarily true for all LGBs in use now or in the future. Using words like "usually" or "Most LGBs are..." would have made it a very good statement, but in the debated form, I think it's claiming a level of universal truth that it should not.

 

The probability of unguided munitions hitting their target is pretty high, when employed properly.

 

But proper employment of dumb bombs is rarely the same as proper employment of LGBs, is it? IMO Rob was implying that LGBs without guidance had a high probability of hitting their target. I think that is not correct because LGBs are usually dropped from 15,000+ ft (Wikipedia says optimum altitude is between 20,000 and 30,000 ft). I believe that dumb bombs dropped from that high up in CCRP (which, to my knowledge, is the most commonly used mode to drop LGBs) will be very inaccurate.

 

You also brought up the different trajectories. I wasn't aware of that, thanks for the info!

 

If anything, that further diminishes the idea that LGBs without guidance would probably hit their target.

 

There's no "can" about it, moving target will move away from the current IFFCC computed impact point very quickly indeed.

 

There's a lot of assumptions here, and that's part of the reason I initially responded: For making assumptions without clarifying them.

 

Let's try to put together what we need for that statement to be correct.

  • computed impact point and position of a moving target are identical to begin with
  • computed impact point is and remains fixed
  • target moves with near constant speed
  • target speed has a certain minimum value
  • target moves in a more or less linear fashion

 

If the target stopped, it would not move out of anything. If it drove in a circular pattern, it would move out of and then right back into the computed impact point. If it moved at 2mph, it would not move quickly. If the computed impact point was ahead of where the target was moving, the target would first of all get closer to it instead of moving out.

 

As I said before, accuracy and simplicity don't always go hand in hand. I believe this simple sentence serves as a very good example of just how many assumptions must be made for it to be accurate.

 

As for manually entering wind data, totally unnecessary in the vast majority of situations. The IFFCC is ALWAYS correcting for wind. The only time manual entry of wind data is needed is in weather conditions where you have wildly varied wind speeds & directions throughout the air mass you're dropping through. And even then it's only worth doing if you have very accurate weather data.

 

I'll have to play around with that some more. So far, my hit rates with dumb bombs have been fairly bad, but I definitely entertain the idea that it was because of me doing things wrong. The thread "Wind corrected dumb bomb delivery" seemed like an eye-opener to me, but I haven't tested dumb bomb delivery in great detail so far.

 

LGBs (Paveway II at least) aren't great against moving targets at all really, especially fast moving vehicles.

 

Looks like we definitely agree on the latter. :)

 

One factor to consider is that, although not currently modeled in DCS, many armored vehicles have laser warning systems so as soon as you turn on your laser they are just going to pop smoke and try to escape. And they actually stand a reasonable chance if you start lasing 20 seconds before impact.

 

Good point!

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I'm glad I at least generated some interesting replies even if I didn't do a very good job of getting my point across the first time.:thumbup: I guess the big thing I was trying to say is that LGB isn't like an air to air missile that constantly changing course to follow it's target so it doesn't need constant lasing to get it to the target. It's heading to the general area of the target anyway and just needs lasing at the end (10-12 seconds) to get it to final precise point (although I wasn't thinking about the point that Eddie made that the standard release will cause it to overshoot without lasing).

 

I fully agree with all of the above. :)

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IMHO the sentence "a laser guided bomb is just a dumb bomb with terminal guidance" is too extensive. It's true for Paveways, but not necessarily true for all LGBs in use now or in the future. Using words like "usually" or "Most LGBs are..." would have made it a very good statement, but in the debated form, I think it's claiming a level of universal truth that it should not.

 

Too extensive? I still don't understand what you're getting at. LGBs are indeed terminal guided free fall bombs. And given that this thread began referencing employment of the Paveway II series in DCS, the assumption that any comment would be referring to the Paveway series (which are indeed nothing more than dumb bombs with a guidance kit attached) it should be a pretty obvious assumption.

 

But proper employment of dumb bombs is rarely the same as proper employment of LGBs, is it? IMO Rob was implying that LGBs without guidance had a high probability of hitting their target. I think that is not correct because LGBs are usually dropped from 15,000+ ft (Wikipedia says optimum altitude is between 20,000 and 30,000 ft). I believe that dumb bombs dropped from that high up in CCRP (which, to my knowledge, is the most commonly used mode to drop LGBs) will be very inaccurate.

 

Don't pay too much attention to Wikipedia, employing LGBs from anything above 20,000ft is far from common. 15,000-20,000 is the most common altitude range (many TGP guidance lasers won't fire above 25,000ft). Of course employment of LGBs and "dumb" bombs is different, but Rob is indeed correct that an LGB employed "dumb" is just as likely to hit its target as any other unguided bomb.

 

The point is that dumb bombs, employed correctly, are nowhere near as inaccurate as people think. The reason for PGMs such as Paveway is to allow aircraft to deliver weapons from high altitude, level deliveries accurately.

 

 

  • computed impact point and position of a moving target are identical to begin with
  • computed impact point is and remains fixed
  • target moves with near constant speed
  • target speed has a certain minimum value
  • target moves in a more or less linear fashion

 

If the target stopped, it would not move out of anything. If it drove in a circular pattern, it would move out of and then right back into the computed impact point. If it moved at 2mph, it would not move quickly. If the computed impact point was ahead of where the target was moving, the target would first of all get closer to it instead of moving out.

 

As I said before, accuracy and simplicity don't always go hand in hand. I believe this simple sentence serves as a very good example of just how many assumptions must be made for it to be accurate.

 

Well, obviously. Again, such assumptions would be common sense IMO, military vehicles don't drive around in tight circles or at 2mph. And if you're engaging a moving vehicles with LGBs you would set the initial aim point ahead of the target. I don't see why you feel the need to try and make things unnecessarily complicated, you'll likely only confuse yourself.

 

I'll have to play around with that some more. So far, my hit rates with dumb bombs have been fairly bad, but I definitely entertain the idea that it was because of me doing things wrong. The thread "Wind corrected dumb bomb delivery" seemed like an eye-opener to me, but I haven't tested dumb bomb delivery in great detail so far.

 

That thread is probably the most misleading, myth filled, placebo packed collection of posts on this forum. Try reading that thread, and all the "tests" people who are so sure that manual wind data makes such a big difference to bomb accuracy again. But this time consider that entering manual wind data does NOTHING to influence the IFFCC impact/release point, not a single thing. It isn't even implemented in DCS yet.

 

I suspect the reason your hit rates are poor is quite simply because you're not employing them correctly.

 

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That thread is probably the most misleading, myth filled, placebo packed collection of posts on this forum. Try reading that thread, and all the "tests" people who are so sure that manual wind data makes such a big difference to bomb accuracy again. But this time consider that entering manual wind data does NOTHING to influence the IFFCC impact/release point, not a single thing. It isn't even implemented in DCS yet.

 

I'm pretty sure I've seen the WIND section implementation in the CDU in some change log, long time ago (pre-World times)

 

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Well, you may be pretty sure, but that doent change the fact that isn't in there. It's still sat waiting for Olgerd to have the time to implement it. The data entry pages in the CDU are there, although don't work properly, but it isn't linked to the IFFCC ballistic calculations.

 

All you need is one simly test to see for yourself. Enter 90 degree cross wind for you attack heading at 99 knots all the way upto 25,000ft into the CDU and then try dropping a stick of Mk-82s. Then repeat without the manual wind data, you'll notice there is no change in the mean point of impact.

 

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I'll say it one more time. As of this moment, it is NOT implemented, and this fact is in the internal bug tracker waiting to be actioned.

 

A line of text that you may have read in a patch change log months ago doesn't change that fact.

 

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Again, such assumptions would be common sense IMO, military vehicles don't drive around in tight circles or at 2mph. And if you're engaging a moving vehicles with LGBs you would set the initial aim point ahead of the target. I don't see why you feel the need to try and make things unnecessarily complicated, you'll likely only confuse yourself.

 

I'd like to drop the other points and concentrate on this, as it is what this discussion revolves around. This thread was started by someone new to DCS. It will likely attract other newcomers and/or people that don't yet have a deeper understanding of LGBs.

 

IMO the post I was originally replying to was over-simplifying things in a way that they were too inaccurate or even plain wrong. I see a lot of potential for newcomers to be led on the wrong path if they took the information given there for granted.

 

You may call it common sense to make certain assumptions. I think it's simply a good habit to assume that others may make different assumptions, leading to different results.

 

I'm obviously not an expert on laser guided bombs, so if you assure me that all LGBs on the planet, present and past, in all nations, are always intended to have terminal guidance (instead of guidance all the time), I'll drop the argument.

 

Otherwise, I insist that "The Paveway II family of LGBs is..." is more accurate than "LGBs are..." concerning terminal guidance.

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Dropping bombs like a man now, thanks everyone! :)

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Thrustmaster F-16 FLCS

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I'd like to drop the other points and concentrate on this, as it is what this discussion revolves around. This thread was started by someone new to DCS. It will likely attract other newcomers and/or people that don't yet have a deeper understanding of LGBs.

 

IMO the post I was originally replying to was over-simplifying things in a way that they were too inaccurate or even plain wrong. I see a lot of potential for newcomers to be led on the wrong path if they took the information given there for granted.

 

You may call it common sense to make certain assumptions. I think it's simply a good habit to assume that others may make different assumptions, leading to different results.

 

I'm obviously not an expert on laser guided bombs, so if you assure me that all LGBs on the planet, present and past, in all nations, are always intended to have terminal guidance (instead of guidance all the time), I'll drop the argument.

 

Otherwise, I insist that "The Paveway II family of LGBs is..." is more accurate than "LGBs are..." concerning terminal guidance.

 

Thanks for taking your time to explain your point, and I agree with you, being new to DCS A-10C, I don't really want instant gratification but more in-depth understanding of ordnance employment, otherwise I just don't see the point in delving deep into the sim.

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Thrustmaster Cougar (x2)

Thrustmaster F-16 FLCS

BRD KG13

 

Standby controls:

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It has been mentioned that lasing all the TOF can make the bomb loose energy due to maneuvering and it won't have enough to hit a moving target, for example...

 

IIRC this is only true with fast movers. I'm probably wrong and someone is probably going to show how misinformed I'm but I know for a fact that lasing all the way through isn't (wasn't ?) impacting LGB accuracy in DCS:A-10C.

 

For almost 2 years (I didn't know I wasn't suppose to) I've been lasing as soon as the weapon released and have had a great accuracy rate.

This might have change, I haven't played DCS for awhile.


Edited by Eight Ball
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Whether you incur a range penalty when using continuous lasing tactics depends entirely on when the bombs seeker has LOS to the laser spot. Until LOS is established, the bomb is following a purely ballistic path.

 

It's all about the angles, and the angles are affected by release airspeed, dive angle, and range. At certain ranges and dive angles, the laser spot will be immediately visible to the seeker, and the bomb will attempt to fly a direct (flat) trajectory to the target. The weapon may or may not have the energy to reach the target; it all depends on range and velocity.

 

It's the very same mechanism that drives the minimum range of an LGB. At some point, the bomb won't pitch over sufficiently to allow the seeker cone to see the laser spot, and it will never guide.

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