Struggling how to fully understand ideal weapon launch altitude (picture included)

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kicktothehead
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Struggling how to fully understand ideal weapon launch altitude (picture included)

Post by kicktothehead »

Looking at the CPU-123 Paveway II LGB picture I attached -
which area shows me the ideal firing/launch altitude?
I checked the manual but it didn't not add up for me.

I assume its the Launch altitude section but the numbers do not make much sense to me.
Any help or input would be appreciated thank you.


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stww2
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RE: Struggling how to fully understand ideal weapon launch altitude (picture included)

Post by stww2 »

It's the launch altitude section. This weapon can be launched at any altitude between 10,000ft AGL and 65,000ft AGL. However, the weapon will require the target to be lased before it fires (that's the "Illuminate at Launch" property, I think), so if you are relying on the launching platform to also lase the target it will need to be able to be low enough to actually do so. In my experience you'll probably have to be below 25,000ft AGL to actually illuminate the target (although I don't know if newer sensors/more advanced sensors have better performance), and cloud layers could also interfere. Since the weapon supports buddy illumination, another laser designation equipped unit can perform the lasing, but since it doesn't appear to be Lock-on-after-launch capable you may be subject to similar limitations as when the firing unit itself was doing the lasing (I've never used buddy illumination, though, so I can't say for sure).
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Gunner98
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RE: Struggling how to fully understand ideal weapon launch altitude (picture included)

Post by Gunner98 »

Yes, that is how buddy illumination works. A Laser marking platform below the cloud level and at an altitude where it is able to function ( I think that is in the sensor DB but not sure). Most common is for a ground unit (Special Forces) with a Laser Target Designator or another AC with the capability - which was not overly common before the early 1990s.

The 10000 ft AGL (Above Ground Level which is critical) is a real limitation and why you need to opt for more modern LGBs if you have the option. You are right in everyone's SAM envelope!
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SeaQueen
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RE: Struggling how to fully understand ideal weapon launch altitude (picture included)

Post by SeaQueen »

ORIGINAL: kicktothehead
Looking at the CPU-123 Paveway II LGB picture I attached -
which area shows me the ideal firing/launch altitude?

The database does not contain an "ideal" or "optimal" firing/launch altitude, just the permissible launch altitudes. You'll have to figure that out "optimal" for yourself. It depends on the situation (e.g. weather, threat, friendly forces). At this point I rarely rely on defaults.
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SeaQueen
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RE: Struggling how to fully understand ideal weapon launch altitude (picture included)

Post by SeaQueen »

ORIGINAL: Gunner98
You are right in everyone's SAM envelope!

That's why you need a SEAD flight, OCA, stand off jamming, decoys, cruise missiles... One of the things I've come to appreciate about precision guided weapons, is that because they're so much more likely to hit their target, it freed up aircraft to support the strikers who might only be a small fraction of the overall package. The rest are all there to assist the strikers in penetrating the enemy defenses so when the strikers are ready to drop, the defenders are all so tied up with everything else that the strikers themselves can roll in and do their thing unmolested by SAMs and fighters.
p1t1o
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RE: Struggling how to fully understand ideal weapon launch altitude (picture included)

Post by p1t1o »

On that subject - can anyone confirm whether or not altitude affects the range of AAMs?

Ie: Take an AIM120B - if I climb to 45000ft, do I have any advantage over firing at 25000ft?

Kinematically it should have a significant impact, but I have never seen shooter altitude in any of the weapon logic calculations.
kicktothehead
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RE: Struggling how to fully understand ideal weapon launch altitude (picture included)

Post by kicktothehead »

Thank you for the explanations everyone! :)
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RE: Struggling how to fully understand ideal weapon launch altitude (picture included)

Post by Dimitris »

ORIGINAL: p1t1o
On that subject - can anyone confirm whether or not altitude affects the range of AAMs?

Ie: Take an AIM120B - if I climb to 45000ft, do I have any advantage over firing at 25000ft?

Kinematically it should have a significant impact, but I have never seen shooter altitude in any of the weapon logic calculations.

Under CMO's current model, the altitude affects the maximum speed, so launching from a lower altitude means that the weapon will take longer to reach the target (especially if it is direct-flight rather than lofting), thus giving the target a better chance of evasion. The PH calculations take into account only the launch-to-impact distance rather than the weapon's actual energy state.

We are working on an improved energy-based model that both confers a more realistic flyout trajectory (both weight and drag matter) and also refines the PH logic, since it actually uses the weapon's energy state at the moment of endgame.
p1t1o
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RE: Struggling how to fully understand ideal weapon launch altitude (picture included)

Post by p1t1o »

Thanks Dmitris

Also +1 on improved energy model :)
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