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Thread: Borg 1 flight

  1. #1
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    Borg 1 flight

    Not a flight night or anything but all involved agreed it was a nice exercise.

    Had time to fly and said to my self: lets go with a 4 ship flight as then I actually have to think about planning what to do with that 4 ship and lead it.

    All of a sudden my head was spinning around what to plan for my flight:
    - Night flying - that we want to do - Check!
    - Departure and arrival - I want IFR - Check!
    - Attack - Well this was interesting, to much to write down
    - AAR at night for a minute connect - Check!

    But I did come up with idea that I don't want 1st and 2nd element to far spaced. And then, as I was looking for close targets and thinking, how about minimal time over target and simultaneous impacts - CHECK!!!

    Attack was planned as Mk-82Air VLD followed by cross of two elements and quick GUN strafe and out we went.

    Hours before flight I talked with Trigger as he was coming up as Ambush 1 in F-5E. After "grandiose" ideas of engagements at night me and Trigger settled on baby steps due to limitations of night (F-5E) and well KISS principle.

    As our flight egressed we were up for intercept. That presented couple of training points on it's own.
    • Borg 1: Brevity, visual lookout and potentially maneuvering (it did happen - controlled tho)
    • Ambush 1: Experiencing F-5E in pitch black, practicing radar intercept while flying aircraft as there is nothing outside but pitch black and trying to get visual on Borg 1 if possible.

    Take aways:
    • Flying at night is more challenging since we haven't flown it for quite some time
    • Lighting system at night is not totally OK
    • Gun strafes with NVG are hard cause you can't clearly see targets
    • When flight is well planned and plan is understood it goes smooth, maybe even to the point of going better than expected.
    • Certain one mile trail attacks at night don't feel so right after seeing tacview. Or at minimum, aggressive maneuvering needs to be done with aircraft in front (ordnance employed depending)

    • I cannot stress out the importance of 4 pairs of eyes and how helpful that was as at time, we were just passing info and tally bandit between us.
    • Formation for intercept was Box with 2NM spacing between elements for Ambush 1. ALT deconfliction was in effect between Borg 1 and Ambush 1 because of night op.
    • Ambush 1 saw 4 dots on radar with above formation, which is and should be taken as capability indicator to A-10C pilots / planning when we are further down the road
    • Brevity is not used that often and it shows. TALLY vs VISUAL/CONTACT, BANDIT, KNOCK-IT-OFF (I haven't briefed it on purpose!)
    • Also on my end as lead, once you get the question "what do you want us to do" you know you failed and need to work on it.
    • Non the less, having information flow back and forward in Air to Air is THE most important thing (next to tally bandit). Unlike in A-G where you can abort the attack and come around.
    • Both me, Ironhog and Trigger experienced Air to Air "fight" at night - great for MQT/SQ ways of training.
    • Kinda same rule applies as in A-10C vs Mig-21, A-10C is gadget packing: radar altimeter, ALT ALERT, Bitching Betty (AoA and ALT), NVG's all those translating to decreased pilot workload.
    • Seeing F-5E accelerate out of intercept/form up along with some topics in debrief makes F-5E a scary adversary if not deadly in GCI condition - no time to react or lack of visual lookout.
    • Two of the above posts are clear indications of airframes advantage / disadvantage and must be used as such to overcome the other successfully.

    Air to Air refuel:
    • Nose illumination does not help out. No illumination of the boom.
    • Refueling receptacle illumination does not help. No illumination of the boom.
    • It is doable with NVG's but it's harder than daytime
    • Make sure you call ready pre-contact (Code 2 on my end)

    ILS landing:
    • If you are properly established, just following the plate makes life simple easy. All that cross-referencing the instruments might seem hard, but at the end if you establish a pattern as to what you are doing, is not hard. Once ILS is picked up you fly the needles anyway.
    • To quote Odin: "Kiss touchdown and for some reason, at night I land way better"
    • Same as above, I didn't event registered when my aircraft touched the runway.

    Trigger will post his thoughts as well.

    Seeing afterburner glow in NVG's was just awesome and at same time letting you know how your A-10 is lacking in thrust - Thank you trigger for honoring request.

    Top down tacview recording of the attack:
    Last edited by Energy; 06Dec16 at 09:21.

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Energy For This Useful Post:

    Amy (06Dec16), Black (30Nov16), Hansolo (30Nov16), InFlames (01Dec16), IronHog (30Nov16), Snoopy (06Dec16), Trigger (30Nov16)

  3. #2
    510th vFS Pilot Trigger's Avatar
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    From the F-5 perspective I offer following thoughts for the A-10 drivers (Note: I will post separately in the 65th forum for F-5 specific issues):

    Able to detect the 4-ship of A-10s roughly head-on at approximately 12 miles. F-5 was 1000-2000ft above the A-10 formation. Box formation was discernable from the radar display. Manoeuvring for a head-on or tail shot is perfectly feasible at night against a non-manoeuvring target.

    Pilot workload in the F-5 is high due to minimal aids. It was a full time job for me navigating (TACAN & dead reckoning only), observing altitude limitations and operating the radar.

    The F-5 has a simple radar with a B-scope display for search mode and C-scope for tracking mode. This means that the display can only provide range, azimuth and antenna angle (vertical) information in search, and a steering cue in track. There is no information on target aspect, speed or altitude. Consequently, if the target manoeuvres it makes it considerably more difficult for the F-5 pilot to understand the 3D picture and manoeuvre his aircraft appropriately.

    With the A-10 flight below the F-5, radar shows clutter making target identification difficult. This becomes a greater limitation the further the antenna is positioned below the horizontal and the closer the aircraft is to the ground.

    A-10 RWR can detect and report the difference between the F-5's radar in search and track modes. However, the RWR cannot differentiate which aircraft in a formation is locked.
    Subject to further testing, my impression is that A-10 RWR only reports the F-5 radar when the F-5 radar display shows a return. As real world the radar range for the transmitting/receiving aircraft is proportional to the 4th root (signal must travel to target and return) but for the target signal must only travel once to target i.e. 2nd root, it follows that an RWR should be able to detect the transmitting aircraft before the transmitting aircraft can see the target. As stated before this should be tested further.

    Take Aways
    • F-5 can detect an A-10 at over 10nm given favourable conditions
    • F-5 radar has limited look-down capability over land so stay low
    • F-5 pilot will struggle to develop and maintain a 3D picture against manoeuvring targets when beyond visual range
    • A-10 RWR can detect difference between F-5 radar in search and track modes
    • If the RWR is telling you there is an F-5 out there, assume that he can see you on his radar
    • Keep your eyes out of the cockpit and maintain look-out responsibilities. F-5 is small and hard to detect but not impossible. Many eyes cover more sky

    There is lots more still to learn!

  4. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Trigger For This Useful Post:

    Eddie (30Nov16), Energy (30Nov16), InFlames (01Dec16), IronHog (30Nov16), Noodle (30Nov16), Tex (30Nov16)

  5. #3
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    Post one updated with video.

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Energy For This Useful Post:

    Amy (06Dec16), Black (06Dec16)

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