Tips and Techniques For Rocket and Gun Employment
Roll in technique
We’ll begin with the roll in towards the target. Rocket attacks and strafing are generally low altitude events as we typically fly them in our sims. Dive angles vary from about 5 to 30 degrees, and release altitudes vary from less than one hundred feet in a gun attack to as much as several thousand feet for a rocket or high angle strafe attack.
Let’s assume that you would like about 5 seconds of tracking time while in your dive. Use the following rough rules of thumb to assure that you achieve your tracking time and also fire within acceptable release parameters:
Low Angle Deliveries (5 – 15 degrees dive angle)
Place your base leg roll in point about 2-3 nm from the target. Fly at 3000-5000 feet above ground level. Here’s a visual reference that you can use…when the target is about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the monitor is a good approximation of the roll in point from 2-3 nm away. If you begin your roll in with the target much higher up the screen, you will probably get too low. In our sims, depth perception can be a problem…at low dive angles, this often results in the very real possibility that we may run into the ground. Low angles also make it tougher to see the target until close in…steeper angles allow you to clearly see the target area from greater distance. Greater target acquisition distance = more tracking time = easier pipper placement = better accuracy!
Fig 17 – Roll In
High Angle Deliveries (15 – 30 degrees dive angle)
Place your base leg roll in point about 2-3 nm from the target. Start your roll in from about 5000-9000 feet above ground level. For a visual reference, place the target about ¼ of the way up from the bottom of the screen. The target should be just a little above the canopy rail or top of the glare shield for most sim views.
Fig 18 – Canopy Rail View
Tracking the target
As a technique, roll out with your pipper slightly below the target. Use the top of the reticle as a guide. Once wings level, set your power and double check that your flight path is going through the target.
Fig 19 – The Roll Out Flight Path
As you descend towards the target, make small roll inputs to correct your ground track. Keep the pipper slightly below the target. Avoid becoming focused only on the target. Look at the entire monitor screen to get a ‘big picture’ view of your attack. Use this ‘big picture’ to avoid becoming fixated on the target. Use peripheral items such as the horizon line and rising terrain or other vertical development (trees, buildings, etc) to maintain your sense of altitude. When HUD data is available, crosscheck your altitude.
Fig 20 – The “Big Picture” In the Dive