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Thread: Air to Surface Weapon Delivery Methods

  1. #1

    Air to Surface Weapon Delivery Methods

    Gun Deliveries


    Low Angle Strafe (LAS)
    Planned dive angle at delivery of 15 degrees or less. Minimum range to target is 2,000 feet. Minimum recovery altitude is 75 feet AGL. Number of rounds per event is 100.

    LAS deliveries are most effective against soft/lightly-armoured targets and will normally result in a higher dispersion of bullet impacts than high angle deliveries. The lower dive angle used on LAS deliveries allow for both lower aircraft speeds and operation at lower altitudes without the need for a pop-up profile, this allow the aircraft to carry out multiple passes on a single target in rapid succession and often allow the pilot to maintain visual contact with the target area throughout the attack. LAS deliveries are also ideal for attacking soft target such as supply convoys and troops with or without PAC.

    The main disadvantages of LAS deliveries are increased exposure to enemy fire due to the low altitude and short range to the target, as well as relatively high bullet dispersion patterns resulting in reduced effectiveness against armoured targets.


    Long Range Strafe (LRS)
    Planned dive angle of 15 degrees or less. Minimum range to target is 5,000 feet for computed delivery or 3,000 feet for manual delivery.

    LRS deliveries are primarily used where it is desirable to remain as far from the target as is practical due to terrain restrictions or air-ground threats or any other situation where increased stand-off range is desirable. Due to the range to target at the point of firing accuracy is reduced when compared to LAS & HAS attacks which may necessitate additional attacks in order to destroy the target. In some cases use of LRS attacks may be preferred because of the increased bullet dispersion, such as when attacking dismounted infantry or other soft targets


    Two-Target Strafe (TTS)
    Planned dive angle of 15 degrees or less. Minimum range is 2,000 feet and minimum recovery altitude is 75 feet AGL. Number of rounds per event is 100.

    TTS attacks consist of a long range strafe followed by a low angle strafe on targets in close proximity. The first (LRS) burst should be fired upon the most distant target and the second burst at the closer target, in order to both avoid potentially overflying the first closer target and also prevent the more distant target being obscured by smoke and dust from the first.

    TTS attack can also be employed against point targets where multiple strafe passes are required but only one aircraft is available to carry out the attack.



    High Angle Strafe (HAS)
    Planned dive angle of greater than 15 degrees. Minimum recovery altitudes are 1,000 feet AGL for planned dive angles 30 degrees or less and 1,500 feet AGL for planned dive angles above 30 degrees. Minimum range to target is 2,000 feet. Number of rounds per event is 100.

    HAS deliveries are most effective against heavily armoured targets such as main battle tanks and will normally result in a low dispersion of bullet impacts. HAS deliveries are also ideal for point targets where a tight bullet impact pattern is desired and/or where targets are located in mountainous terrain.

    The main disadvantages of HAS deliveries are a limited tracking time due to the high aircraft speed in the dive and the need for an early escape manoeuvre to recover from the dive. It can also be difficult to maintain visual contact with the target due to the requirement for a high starting altitude. The need for a high starting altitude also places the aircraft at risk of early detection and/or high risk of engagement by SAM/AAA systems during the attack.

    Last edited by Eddie; 19Oct14 at 15:21.

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  3. #2
    Unguided Rocket Deliveries


    Low Angle Rocket (LAR)
    ALAR is a dive delivery with a planned dive angle of 15 degrees or less. The minimum recovery altitude is 100 feet and the minimum slant range is 4,000 feet (0.6nm).

    LAR is an accurate method of delivering rockets and it provides excellent target visibility, however as it requires flying at low level it does put you at higher risk from ground fire when compared to other delivery types. LAR results in a rocket dispersion pattern that is elongated along the direction of flight.



    High Angle Rocket (HAR)
    HAR is a dive delivery with a planned dive angle of greater than 15 degrees. The minimum recovery altitude is 1,000 feet AGL, minimum range 2,000 feet (0.3nm).

    HAR is the most accurate method of delivering rockets; target visibility is reduced during the approach but still excellent for the delivery. The increased altitude and escape airspeed compared to LAR result in a reduced risk from ground fire, but the delivery will still bring you well in to the MANPADS/AAA WEZ.


    Low Altitude Tactical Rocket (LATR)
    LATR is a tactical dive delivery with a slant range to target at release of 10,000 feet (1.7nm) or greater and a planned dive angle of 20 degrees or less. The minimum recovery altitude is 1,000 feet AGL.

    LATR is a tactical method of delivering rockets while maintaining good stand-off range to the target in order to reduce the threat for ground fire, however as it still involves flying at low level it does put within the AAA and MANPADS WEZ. LATR results in a large rocket dispersion pattern due to the range at firing (and therefore the rocket time of flight), the larger dispersion and resulting lower density of ordnance at target means a higher number of individual rockets are required to achieve the same effect as LAR/HAR.


    High Altitude Tactical Rocket (HATR)
    HATR is a tactical dive delivery with a slant range to target at release of 10,000 feet (1.7nm) or greater and a planned dive angle of 20 degrees or less. The minimum recovery altitude is 4,500 feet AGL.

    HATR is a tactical method of delivering rockets while maintaining good stand-off range to the target in order to reduce the threat for ground fire, HATR also allows the delivery aircraft to remain outside of the AAA and MANPADS WEZ. HATR results in a large rocket dispersion pattern due to the range at firing (and therefore the rocket time of flight), as the range at launch is typically larger than LATR the dispersion of rockets at targets is even larger and pilots should be aware that although still effective against certain targets, a larger number of rockets and/or more passes may be required.


    High Altitude Release Rocket (HARR)
    HARR is a high altitude delivery with a minimum recovery altitude of 10,000 feet AGL. HARR deliveries result in a much higher dispersion pattern than the deliveries above due to the longer rocket time of flight, but it is still reasonably accurate.

    HARR deliveries limit the shooter aircraft’s exposure to AAA and MANPADS threats due to increased altitude and range to target, so they present a lower risk in a higher threat environment. However is should be noted that the reduced accuracy and high dispersion pattern may prevent the use of this delivery type when operating in close proximity to friendly forces, and careful consideration should be given to attack headings and angles to prevent fratricide.


    Loft Rocket (LR)
    LR is a tactical loft delivery with a planned release angle of level to 45 degrees of climb and a slant range at release of 10,000 feet (1.7nm) or greater from the target. LR deliveries are performed using CCRP.

    LR is of limited use due to its inaccuracy and the very high rocket dispersion. Although it can have some effect when used to deliver high explosive rockets (M-151/Mk-5), mainly against area targets such as airfields or large enemy concentrations. The dispersion of rockets is such that the impact pattern resembles an area artillery fire mission.

    LR should NOT be used to deliver rockets in the vicinity of friendly forces or civilians.

    The most effective and common use of LR in the A-10C is when delivering illumination rockets, normally done in level flight rather than a climbing loft, in fact CCRP LR is the only delivery method available for illumination rockets.

    Last edited by Eddie; 19Oct14 at 15:21.

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  5. #3
    Unguided Free Fall Munition Deliveries


    LOW LEVEL DELIVERIES

    Visual Level Delivery (VLD)
    The VLD is a level delivery with a release angle of less than five degrees of climb or dive; it is often performed at very low level (sub 1000 ft. AGL) utilising high drag munitions such as the MK-82AIR.
    The minimum recovery altitude is the safe escape/fuse arm range for the ordnance being delivered, or 200 feet AGL, whichever is higher.

    In training pilots will not descend below the specific range altitude if higher than stated above. Training hit criteria for a VLD are as follows: 125 feet (38 meters) for a computed delivery and 250 feet (76 meters) for a manual delivery.

    The VLD is of somewhat limited use in the A-10C as the aircraft’s comparatively low airspeed means it remains in proximity to the target and any defences for a longer period of time than other higher performance aircraft, however for targets where the primary threat is medium/high altitude SAM systems it is still useful. Unlike pop-up deliveries (see below) the VLD is flown at a near constant altitude from ingress to the end of the SEM (and normally egress). The VLD will normally be used in situations where a NOE ingress and egress is required and only one attack on the target (per aircraft) is planned. When multiple aircraft will be attacking the same target, time and heading separation is vital it order to prevent following aircraft passing through any fragmentation and deny the enemy the ability to predict the arrival of attackers.


    Low Angle High Drag (LAHD)
    An LAHD attack, as the name would suggest is performed using high drag munitions such as the MK-82AIR, it is also used to deliver CBUs from low level. The delivery itself is carried out with a dive angle of less than 30 degrees and the minimum recovery altitude is safe escape/fuse arm for ordnance being delivered, one-half the computed altitude loss during dive recovery or 100 feet AGL, whichever is higher.

    Training hit criteria are 75 feet (23 meters) for a computed delivery and 105 feet (32 meters) for a manual delivery.

    The LAHD delivery is usually performed with a low level ingress, similar to the VLD above, but rather than remaining at a constant altitude a “pop-up” is performed on the final ingress. This allows the attacking aircraft to remain at low level and utilize terrain masking (where possible) to remain out of range of any defenses at the target until the last possible moment. The aggressive nature of a pop-up followed by a dive attack further reduces the attacking aircraft’s exposure to ground fire, especially when combined with a low level egress.


    Low Angle Low Drag (LALD)
    An LALD attack is similar to the LAHD outlined above; it is also performed with a dive angle of less than 30 degrees and can be performed following a “pop-up”, although it can also be initiated from a level ingress at a higher altitude. The main difference is the weapon type used, whereas the LAHD is carried out with high drag munitions, the LALD (as the name would suggest) is performed with low drag munitions such as the standard MK-82 or MK-82AIRs in low drag configuration. The minimum recovery altitude is the safe escape/fuse arm height for the ordnance being employed, or 800 ft. AGL, whichever is higher.

    Training hit criteria is 100 feet (31 meters) for a computed delivery and 175 feet (53 meters) for a manual delivery.

    The LALD delivery can be performed with a low level ingress and a “pop-up” on the final ingress or from a higher altitude without a pop-up. The main noticeable difference between an LALD and LAHD delivery is the altitude, at which the weapons are released, or the attack aborted, and the SEM must be carried out due to the reduced flight time and shallower flight path of the low drag munitions employed. This means that when performed with a pop-up from low level the climb is longer in duration and/or steeper. This may make a pop-up LALD impossible in the A-10C depending on aircraft weight/pressure altitude etc. and consideration should be given to these factors when planning such deliveries.


    Dive Bomb (DB)
    The Dive Bomb delivery is probably the most familiar to the majority of pilots; it is performed with a dive angle of between 30 and 60 degrees and from a higher initial altitude than either LAHD or LALD. Although it could be carried out following a “pop-up”, due to the higher dive angle and therefore minimum recovery altitude it would be difficult to accomplish in a low speed low power aircraft such as the A-10C as the climb would need to be much steeper/longer. The minimum recovery altitude is the safe escape or fuse arm height for the ordnance being simulated, or as required to recover above 1,000 ft. AGL, whichever is higher.

    Training hit criteria is 85 ft. (26 meters) for a computed delivery and 145 ft. (44 meters) for a manual delivery.

    The DB delivery is one of the most common delivery types for the A-10C and is a very accurate method of delivering weapons using CCIP. It should be noted however that due to the higher ingress altitude terrain masking is normally impossible and extreme care should be taken in high threat environments, as the delivery will bring the attacking aircraft well inside the MANPADS and AAA WEZ. Mutual support is vital to ensuring the safety of the attacking aircraft, and wingmen should be positioned in a way that allows a clear view of the target and the attacking aircraft’s ingress, attack and egress.

    Last edited by Eddie; 19Oct14 at 15:31.

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  7. #4
    Unguided Free Fall Munition Deliveries

    MEDIUM LEVEL DELIVERIES

    High Altitude Dive Bomb (HADB)
    The HADB is almost identical to the Dive Bomb outlined in the previous chapter; the only real difference between the two delivery methods is the altitudes at which they are performed. Like the DB the HADB is performed with a planned dive angle of between 30 degrees and 60 degrees, but with a minimum recovery altitude of at least 4,500 ft. AGL.

    Training hit criteria is 125 ft. (38 meters) for a computed delivery and 250 ft. (76 meters) for a manual delivery.

    The HADB, like the DB, is a very accurate method of delivering dumb munitions on target but due to the higher altitude at which it is performed it reduces the risk to the delivery aircraft from SHORAD systems such as AAA or MANPADS. It should be noted that 4,500 ft. AGL is the minimum recovery altitude for the HADB delivery and pilots/flight leads can set a higher minimum recovery altitude if desired/appropriate. When performing a HADB delivery it is vital that the pilot pays attention to the altitude and airspeed in the dive, as well as the amount of time spent tracking the target. It is all too easy to become fixated on the target, ignore the HUD RTSE cues and then find yourself below the minimum recovery altitude in the range of the SHORAD systems you were hoping to avoid, or even colliding with the terrain. The tracking phase of HADB deliveries should be less than 6 seconds; excessive time spent in the dive trying to force the pipper on the target from a poorly executed dive/turn is without doubt the biggest mistake pilots make.


    High Altitude Release Bomb (HARB)
    HARB is a diving delivery with a planned dive angle of 30 degrees or greater, just like DB and HADB, where it differs is the minimum recovery altitude (and therefore the release altitude). The minimum recovery altitude for a HARB delivery is 10,000 ft. AGL, twice the height of the HADB.

    Training hit criteria is 255 ft. (78 meters) for a computed delivery and 510 ft. (136 meters) for a manual delivery.

    The HARB is not a delivery method which will be employed by the A-10C very often as it is primarily used by fighter aircraft attacking large, heavily defended targets. Due to the high release altitude, and therefore large slant range, accuracy is limited (despite still being a CCIP delivery) which means the HARB is of limited value when attacking small, mobile targets such as vehicles and troops. It is worth noting however, that HARB may be useful in cases where it is important to get weapons on target but the threat situation makes a low level attack inappropriate. When planning such a delivery the reduced accuracy should be considered and thought given to using multiple aircraft against a single DMPI to ensure sufficient weapons impact the target in order to achieve the desired effect.

    Last edited by Eddie; 02Jan15 at 15:43.

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  9. #5
    Unguided Free Fall Munition Deliveries

    TOSS DELIVERY (DIVE OR LEVEL)
    Weapon delivery in which an aircraft system is used for target designation followed by a diving or level Continuously Computed Release Point (CCRP) weapon release. While easier for the pilot to carry out, it should be noted that toss deliveries are generally less accurate and, due to the predictable flight patch, make the delivery aircraft an easier target for enemy air defences than the diving deliveries outlined above.

    Low Altitude Toss (LAT)
    LAT deliveries involve a release altitude below 10,000 ft. AGL all the way down to 0 ft. AGL. The minimum recovery is the safe escape altitude/distance for the ordnance being delivered.

    Training hit criteria is 175 ft. (53 meters).

    The LAT delivery is the most accurate CCRP delivery as the low release altitude limits the effect of wind and aiming error on the weapons during their flight. While easier to perform than a diving CCIP delivery, the LAT delivery is also less accurate and may require releasing more weapons and/or more attacks to deliver the same damage to the target as a single diving delivery. Due to the release aircraft’s attitude and airspeed at the point of weapon release, the weapon time of flight will be greater than a diving delivery with the same release altitude.


    Medium Altitude Toss (MAT)
    A MAT delivery is identical to the LAT described above but with a release altitude of 10,000 ft. AGL or above. The minimum recovery is the safe escape altitude/distance for the ordnance being delivered.

    Training hit criteria is 300 ft. (91 meters).

    The MAT delivery has the same list of pro’s and con’s as the LAT, the notable difference being the higher altitude magnifies the effects of wind and aiming error on weapon accuracy. While the higher altitude may negate the threat posed by AAA and/or MANPADS it should be considered that it makes the delivery aircraft and even better target for hostile aircraft and MERAD/LORAD systems.

    Last edited by Eddie; 19Oct14 at 15:37.

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  11. #6
    Member JayPee's Avatar
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    This is some very nice learning material, thanks! I'm already familiar with the clips (in fact, I have the entire YT collection recorded on my harddrive) but the comments give it far more meaning and make for more insight.

  12. #7
    Once EDGE & the NTTR are released I'll spend some time remaking all the videos anyway. Some of them have a few errors that annoy me.

  13. #8
    Member JayPee's Avatar
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    These methods of delivery, are they generally applicable to all A-G capable platforms with only the numbers being diffirent based on characteristics of the used platform, or does the method/execution in itself differ significantly per platform as well? Given that in certain paragraphs you write things like "in case of the A-10C" I'd think the former holds, but I still like to be sure.
    Last edited by JayPee; 19Oct14 at 16:29.

  14. #9
    All the same for every aircraft. Some platforms may not use them all (the various gun attacks being a prime example), but a DB in an A-10C would be the same as a DB in an F-16C. Albeit with a higher airspeed, and base altitude etc. for the Viper compared to an A-10C.

  15. #10
    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Great info Eddie, thanks.

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