Wednesday, February 5, 2014

DCS A-10C - Gun Runs Practice

I wished for a more exciting title for this entry. Like "tank busting" or something in that line. Alas, killing tanks with the A-10C's gun has proven a bit more demanding than what I thought. I didn't want to shoot fish in a barrel either (trucks and other thin skinned vehicles), so I chose some BMP-2s as targets. These IFVs have cannons and if you are not careful, they will do some serious damage to your A-10C. To add a bit more of a challenge, I flew my mission during the early hours of the morning, which forced me to use the pod for target acquisition.

The early morning is perfect for a practice mission against tanks BMPs.
The legendary GAU-8/A 30 mm gun/cannon of the A-10 needs no introduction. Let's hop into the cockpit and do some killing.

The targets are near steer point #2, and I want to locate them from the distance before engaging. The A-10C controls allow to point the targeting pod to any selected way point. In this case, I prefer to put a mark in the tactical awareness display (TAD, displayed in the multifunction color display above).
The targets, spotted at a range of 12.8 nm (!) are moving along a road.

I turn the aircraft to put the targets on my right wing, while I prepare the guns.

Double checking the master arm and gun/pac switch. The latter is a precision attitude control (PAC) that will assist my aiming and firing by providing input to the elevators and rudder.

With the aid of the targeting pod, I roll in when the slant range to the target is 3 to 4 nm.

From now on, everything is visual. I am at a relatively shallow dive and just gaining some airspeed. The targets are barely visible within the pipper. 
The smoke from the cannon engulfs the nose of my aircraft. 
A perspective of the first pass.

The smoke of the rounds' impact obscures the targets, but I can see a target destroyed within all the mess.

One target explodes. It's a kill. I ended up my run too low and too close to the target area. Note the muzzle flash from the cannon of a BMP-2.

Gaining altitude and distance from a gun run. The targeting pod can be pointed to the back of your aircraft, which allows battle damage assessment and new target acquisition even when you are flying away from the target area. However, even a shallow climb like this one will result in the wings masking the targeting pod's field of view.

The second gun run achieved good results from a bit longer ranges. But I still could not manage an ideal -30 degrees dive onto the target.
Nonetheless, I managed to break contact farther away from the target area. Note the destroyed BMP in the the right multifunction color display.
A perspective of my second gun run. Breaking left.
The third run was even better. I did break earlier and at a higher altitude. Three enemy BMPs are burning down there.
Maybe it was the excitement, but I had the impression that the aircraft was more difficult to trim for landing after using the PAC. As a result of some effort trimming the bird, I landed at a very low airspeed.


Johan said...

Hi JC,

I saw what you wrote on twitter about the A-10 video on Youtube, so I thought I'd ask about it here.

Was the copyright complaint only about the music, or also the use of in-game footage? Why didn't you use the in-game sound, instead of just music? I for one would have much preferred that, especially because of the awesome sound of the A-10 gun firing.

Still, videos are a great addition to the text and pictures on the blog, so I hope you keep making more of them.

JC said...

Hi Johan,

Thanks for your comment and watching the video.

I took the video down myself. There was no formal complain, other than a comment at the SimHQ forums from a very well known simulation company owner. Coming from a guy that I admire much, that comment really threw me off balance. But is time to move on, I guess.

I still have the track of the mission and I will be making a regular blog entry about the tactics used in this gun kill. Well executed or not, the gun attack maneuvers previously shown in the video deserve some discussion.

Stay tuned.