Air To Mud Shooting In The Hog
by Andy Bush
Let’s talk a little about how to employ the forward firing ordnance in the LOMAC A-10. While “point and shoot” has a certain simplistic ring to it, sometimes it just isn’t that easy. In this article, we’ll take a look at HUD presentations, weapon switchology and capabilities, and employment techniques.
AGM-65D/K Maverick Missile
When you build your A-10 missions in LOMAC, you’ll have a choice of two types of Maverick missiles, the K and D models. You may choose from a variety of weapons combinations, and typically you may carry missiles of both types. Mavericks are carried on stations 3 and 9 only.
AGM-65K Model Maverick
The K model is an upgraded B and is the electro-optical (EO) version of the missile. It is commonly known as the “TV” Maverick and functions by locking on to the light and dark contrast of a target… for example, a dark tank against a lighter background. If the level of contrast is insufficient for the missile seeker head to “see” enough contrast, then the missile will not lock. Please note that the seeker functions on visible light contrast, so the K model is ineffective at night.
AGM-65D Model Maverick
The D model is the IR (infra-red) version of the missile. Unlike the TV model that functions by light contrast, the D model functions by the contrast in IR signature of a target. All objects emit a level of IR energy… this energy is in the form of “waves”, similar to light or radio waves… but is in a different part of the electro-magnetic energy spectrum. The D model seeker head senses this IR energy and displays it to you on the TVM as differences of color. We refer to this as differences of “heat”… ”warmer” objects appear whitish, while “cooler” objects appear dark. The seeker head must see this “heat” contrast otherwise it will not lock.
The D model has one significant improvement over the K model. Whereas the K model must actually “see” light, the D model is unaffected by the level of illumination. The D model will work at night just as well as it does in the day.