Lock On: Modern Air Combat Page 5

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Back to the action!

We’re getting closer now…time to get our war faces on!

"Enfield...Fence Check!"“Enfield…Fence Check”! I tell my wingie to set up his aircraft for weapons delivery. Even though we’ve briefed it, I’ll tell him the game plan again (formation, attack type, roles, and egress).

“Enfield, wedge right…shooter-cover…one, shooter…egress south”.

Number 2 drops back into his cover formation as I drive in to the bump point. I double-check my switches…good picture in my Maverick TV monitor (TVM).

I love it when a plan comes together! There’s the power line as I crosscheck my HUD info for the bump point (waypoint 3, distance to go….4nm). The power lines show up well in my TVM.

Bump Up I see the power lines running to my 12 o’clock…they’ll lead right in to the target area. There is some rising terrain just before the town…I’ll bump up using this terrain as cover. I check turn a little left to point into the expected enemy area and start my climb.As soon as I establish a clear line of sight with the target area, I ease the nose down and point the pipper into the expected target area.
Tally Ho! Tally Ho! I see the line of enemy vehicles just to the right of the pipper. I quickly check the TVM…and there they be! All lined up, waiting for the party to begin!
"Hot" Targets! “Target’s are hot”! We’re using the AGM-65D infrared version of the Maverick… the seeker head sees temperature differentials… and the targets are warmer than the surrounding terrain. Hence, the targets show up as whitish (“hot”) dots against the darker (“cooler”) ground. I want my wingie to know this so he can have the info for his attacks.I quickly scan the targets for some clues about threats. They seem to be in a march formation…wait!! Somethin’s sitting off to one side! Could it be AAA?
Yes…my eyes narrow as they focus in on that vehicle…a ZSU-23-4 Gundish! Whoa doggy. He’s toast. He better be…or we’re likely to be!I hold the jet steady as I slew the Maverick seeker head to the left of the line of vehicles….there, I see the Gundish in the TVM! I center the acquisition gate over the Gundish and mash the acquisition button.
Gotcha! Zap! The TVM changes to narrow field of view as the seeker locks on to the Gundish IR return. I double-check that the four little dots of the lock on symbol remain steady and fixed on the Gundish.
“Missile away…going for a second shot”, I tell my wingie. We’re still a pretty good distance away…nobody is shooting at us yet…I have enough time for a second shot if I’m quick about it. My first missile blasts away and pitches up into its programmed climb.

 Missile Away!

Programmed Climb

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