You can tell which DVB submode is active by looking at the top left, next to the range scale. PPS, also known as “Head On,” or “Encounter” mode, is designed to detect targets in forward aspect with a closing velocity (Vc). The higher the Vc, the longer away the radar will pick up targets, just like Vector Search mode in Falcon 4.0’s simulated AN/APG-68. Unlike VS, though, PPS submode in the N-001/019 is more sensitive and less likely to lose targets with low closing velocity.
This is the most reliable of the three “Scan” submodes and the one real Russian pilots use most often. You have the same scan-zone box that you had before to lock onto the target. You have control of the radar dish in elevation, and to get full elevation and depression play of the radar dish, you have to manually set the target’s expected range fairly far out. You have azimuth control in three zones-left, center, and right.
You can flick the dish through the three zones and up/down fairly quickly if you program the controls into your HOTAS. HUD indicators tell you what azimuth position you’re in, where you’ve set the expected range, and where the dish is in the vertical axis. It is important not to just set the range out long so you can control the dish through its full range of motion, because unlike American radars that automatically scan up and down in elevation two to eight bars in any position, these don’t and you can find yourself taking too long to get the dish around the horizon. You’ll lose your target that way. You want to limit its travel and concentrate on a fairly narrow band of sky where you’re looking for the target.
The second “Scan” submode is “ZPS,” also known as “Pursuit” submode. This medium-PRF mode is best at detecting rear-aspect, receding targets for when you are in a stern chase.
The third “Scan” submode is the default, and it is “AVT” submode, also known as “Automatic” submode. This is an interleaved high/medium PRF mode, and its range is cut by about 25% over PPS and ZPS due to that. It is the default DVB-Scan submode, and is probably the least overall reliable of the three due to its lessened range. However, it will burn through jamming a little faster and it is more discriminating at target selection than PPS or ZPS. It is the closest analogue to an American range-while-search radar mode such as vanilla RWS in the F-15C’s APG-63.
Some sources indicate that there should be a fourth DVB-Scan submode, called “Free Search.” This is another high-PRF mode similar to PPS, but its main difference is that it is intended to, and programmed specially to, reject countermeasures such as chaff. Free Search is not in the game, but you won’t miss it. This submode is so much like PPS as to be indistinguishable for most users.