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Laser Designator - 6/19/2019 10:54:09 AM   
DWReese

 

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I have noticed that if I set up an Air Strike Mission using planes with ACTIVE EMISSIONS and armed with a Laser Designator, the program does not automatically turn on (check the box) of the Laser Designator (such as the AN/AAS-38B on the F/A-18C, during the attack.

I ran my sandbox scenario several times. Without the box checked, the attackers had success. And, with me manually checking the box to activate the laser, it seemed to have the same (or possibly a little better) success.

1.) So, if the box is checked, should I expect better performance?
2.) Does the AI actually use the laser designator for its attack, even though it never checks the box indicating its use?
3.) If the box is not checked by AI, does that mean that it isn't on?
4.) Why wouldn't an attacking plane ALWAYS use a laser designator if it's available? That seems like a no-brainer. (BTW, the weather is not a factor.
5.) I was always under the impression that attacks handled via a Mission or by the AI would make the "appropriate" or "best" decision for the attack without having me being involved. Is that the actual case? I don't see how (other than to manually turn it on) to activate the laser designator for the unit in scenario design, since you can't activate it until the plane is already in the air.

If you would like to see what I am talking about, you can use the scenario that I provided in the SEAD discussion.

Thoughts?

Doug


< Message edited by DWReese -- 6/19/2019 11:05:28 AM >
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RE: Laser Designator - 6/19/2019 3:30:18 PM   
Raptorx7_slith

 

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The laser designator is automatic and only turns on when the plane is attacking a target with a weapon that needs laser guidance. Or if the aircraft is buddy lasing the laser will also automatically paint targets if in range for friendlies.

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RE: Laser Designator - 6/19/2019 4:52:43 PM   
DWReese

 

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I'm not that what you are saying what I'm seeing. My attack is occurring right now. The missile (GBU-24E/B Paveway III) is a laser guided bomb, the Emcon is listed as Active, and the missile is in flight. The sensor box on the plane indicates that the laser designator is not checked, and is not operating.

I can manually turn it on by un-checking the top left box and then checking the actual laser designator box. But, it didn't do it automatically.

Even if I turn it on, the gamr turns it off. So, perhaps it isn't needed, yet it has an on/off box. Curious.

Doug

< Message edited by DWReese -- 6/19/2019 4:55:52 PM >

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RE: Laser Designator - 6/19/2019 5:06:08 PM   
Raptorx7_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese

I'm not that what you are saying what I'm seeing. My attack is occurring right now. The missile (GBU-24E/B Paveway III) is a laser guided bomb, the Emcon is listed as Active, and the missile is in flight. The sensor box on the plane indicates that the laser designator is not checked, and is not operating.

I can manually turn it on by un-checking the top left box and then checking the actual laser designator box. But, it didn't do it automatically.

Even if I turn it on, the gamr turns it off. So, perhaps it isn't needed, yet it has an on/off box. Curious.

Doug


Right, its automatic. You don't need to do anything regardless of what the EMCON box says.

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RE: Laser Designator - 6/19/2019 5:58:58 PM   
DWReese

 

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Automatic is always how I understood it to be as well, but what alarms me is that the box is there and, if checked, it clearly states that it is OPERATIONAL, and if not checked, then it says NOT OPERATIONAL. To me, if it was "automatic" then it should automatically turn the box on so that it reads OPERATIONAL. Wouldn't that make sense?

I understand what you are saying, but what actually appears seems to contradict your position, not that you are actually wrong.

Doug

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RE: Laser Designator - 6/19/2019 7:47:56 PM   
jack54


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I'm curious are you in Group view or Unit view?

It might not matter but I noticed when setting some way-point changes that some EMCON setting don't display in Group view even though they are in effect.

Just a guess.

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RE: Laser Designator - 6/19/2019 7:58:29 PM   
DWReese

 

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The attacker is flying as a single unit. So, it isn't a group thing. It's that individual plane (and other single planes like it) which all do the same thing. I looked at it from both ways and it is the same.

There are other sensors that are operational and can not be turned on or off. This laser designator (AN/AAS-38B), however, does have a ACTIVE box that could conceivably be checked to ACTIVE, but it never goes to active. It sounds like it would be necessary to fire the GBU-24E LGB, but maybe it isn't. That would explain it. But, the LGB seems like it would stand for Laser Guided Bomb which seems like that would be needed.

Doug

< Message edited by DWReese -- 6/19/2019 8:40:33 PM >

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RE: Laser Designator - 6/19/2019 8:51:50 PM   
Cik

 

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you never need to micromanage laser designators, just like radar illuminators they will turn on automatically as needed and aren't managed by the EMCON system.

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RE: Laser Designator - 6/19/2019 8:56:31 PM   
SeaQueen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese
1.) So, if the box is checked, should I expect better performance?


Not necessarily.

quote:


2.) Does the AI actually use the laser designator for its attack, even though it never checks the box indicating its use?


Yes. It will activate automatically if possible. If a platform cannot self designate (e.g. clouds obsure the target), it will look for a "buddy" illuminator.

quote:


3.) If the box is not checked by AI, does that mean that it isn't on?


I don't know, I've never paid attention. I'll have to look.

quote:


4.) Why wouldn't an attacking plane ALWAYS use a laser designator if it's available? That seems like a no-brainer. (BTW, the weather is not a factor.


Not necessarily. There may be certain advantages to using buddy lasing. For example, in a CAS scenario, the guys on the ground may have a specific target in mind for the aircraft and rather than trying to "talk him" onto the target, it's easier and faster to just lase it themselves. Similarly, a Predator might have located a target in advance, removing the necessity of self-designation.

quote:


5.) I was always under the impression that attacks handled via a Mission or by the AI would make the "appropriate" or "best" decision for the attack without having me being involved. Is that the actual case?


Not by a long shot. They're not necessarily unreasonable decisions, but they're not necessarily "appropriate" or "best" either. That's part of why there's an ever-expanding list of options in the mission editor. I'm a big fan of starting with the mission editor, and then tweaking it to serve my own purposes. The given altitudes, speeds, ingress routes, etc. are really just a point a departure. Generally, there needs to be a person in the loop for Command. Your goal is to out-think your enemy, given the resources you have available. For example: I'm working on a scenario where some USMC aircraft need to fly past a SAG armed with lots of SAMs. You can either try to destroy the SAG or you can try to sneak past it. To sneak past it, you need to fly REALLY low with F/A-18s. The F-35s, on the other hand, can breeze right past it so long as they keep their distance. The mission planner doesn't care which aircraft you use, it'll plan the strike's route basically the same way. You can't really rely on it to make the "best" decision (assuming there is a "best" decision).




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RE: Laser Designator - 6/19/2019 9:27:11 PM   
DWReese

 

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Thanks.

The laser designator thing is still a mystery. The weather is perfect, and outside of the four attacking air craft, no others are available. None are using the laser designator, yry they don't seem to have any problem hitting their target. Perhaps this particular weapon GBU-24E doesn't need that laser designator turned on? It would logically seem like i would, but when I turn it on manually the game will turn it off. Weird.

Doug

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RE: Laser Designator - 6/19/2019 10:45:57 PM   
Cik

 

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there do exist GPS/INS-SALH tandem bombs such as the GBU-54 LJDAM. IIRC, in CMANO the LJDAM will not use SALH unless the target is moving (to minimize emissions)

check the properties- does it have INS/GPS capability?

also make sure you have your terminal illumination display turned on, if it's off you won't see anybody lasing anything.

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RE: Laser Designator - 6/19/2019 11:52:22 PM   
DWReese

 

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The GBU-24E states that it is a laser and GPS guided bomb. (The targets (buildings), BTW, are auto-detectable.)

Much of the text is about lasers, but it does mention that it uses GPS too.

BTW, I did have everything (targeting/illumination/etc.) turned on.

The only thing that makes sense is that it was using GPS to direct the bomb, instead of the laser. Does that make sense to you?

If that is the case, when does a bomb use laser guidance, and when does it use GPS? Is one better than the other? Do weapons have defaults? Why did this use GPS instead of laser?

My knowledge of specific weaponry is obviously lacking. But, it does make for some interesting conversation.

Doug


(in reply to Cik)
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RE: Laser Designator - 6/20/2019 3:17:30 AM   
Whicker

 

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maybe you need to add clouds to see it in reverse? assuming it is working properly and the clouds are obscuring the target the bomb should not be able to be dropped?

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RE: Laser Designator - 6/20/2019 3:44:42 AM   
Cik

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese

The GBU-24E states that it is a laser and GPS guided bomb. (The targets (buildings), BTW, are auto-detectable.)

Much of the text is about lasers, but it does mention that it uses GPS too.

BTW, I did have everything (targeting/illumination/etc.) turned on.

The only thing that makes sense is that it was using GPS to direct the bomb, instead of the laser. Does that make sense to you?

If that is the case, when does a bomb use laser guidance, and when does it use GPS? Is one better than the other? Do weapons have defaults? Why did this use GPS instead of laser?

My knowledge of specific weaponry is obviously lacking. But, it does make for some interesting conversation.

Doug




it makes sense to use GPS in this case as the target is an autodetectable object incapable of movement. one of the advantages of SALH is the ability to hit moving targets, but if the target isn't capable of moving there's no reason to lase it.

INS has a number of advantages. you can release many of them at different aimpoints without having to worry about follow-on guidance, for instance. tl;dr the game is probably acting correctly when it's not bothering to laser-guide something that doesn't need terminal lasing to hit the target. since in this scenario there is no reason to use the laser for terminal guide, it's better to hit your drop, drop, and then RTB or move to attack a different target.

(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: Laser Designator - 6/20/2019 3:49:18 AM   
Whicker

 

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if you turn on illumination vectors - as soon as the target is in range the line shows up, then click sensors and the laser is checked as on. The sensors screen never updates though so you can't leave it open and watch turn on and off.

My test was with an A6 and GBU 10-E/B.

With clouds it can't fire as it is not illuminated.

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RE: Laser Designator - 6/20/2019 4:19:50 AM   
duelok11

 

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Thats automatic

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RE: Laser Designator - 6/20/2019 11:23:44 AM   
DWReese

 

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I did everything that you said, but it still didn't work using the SAME planes with the SAME ordinance. Whether I manually turn it on, or wait for it to come on, it still goes off almost immediately.

I think that cik hit it on the head. This weapon must have been fired via GPS. That would explain why the laser designater is always off. The targets were auto-detected buildings, so GPS could obviously be used.

If that is the case, I'd like to know the priority order that a plane uses to determine the method that it fires its weapons. It would appear that it uses GPS (if possible), and then laser. Perhaps GPS first for non-movable targets, and laser first for movable ones. That would sort of make sense.

In any case, it would be nice to somehow know the details of the attack rather than simply guess.

Doug


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RE: Laser Designator - 6/20/2019 2:37:45 PM   
DWReese

 

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Just to close this topic up, I replaced the GBU-24s with Mavericks. The GBU-24s could be guided by laser or GPS. Obviously, mine were being guided by GPS.

The Mavericks are laser-guided only. So, if this would be the test. I repeated the same thing, and when the Mavericks were fired, the box indicating laser designation was suddenly checked. So, it works.

I do wish that the details provided for the attack would indicate which system (if questionable) was used in the attack. It would make post topics like this superfluous.

Doug


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