Air Control: Target Designation - Communication - United Task Force (UNITAF) Arma 3


P10-52 Air Control: Target Designation

UNITAF / Arma 3 / Communication Procedures



Version 1 / 3min read / Updated Tue 25 Feb 2020 / 132 views


Target Designation with Lasers

Lasing a target is by far the best method for CAS strikes. There are a few guidelines to keep in mind when utilizing this method.

 

Lasing a column of BTR-K Kamyshs

 

  • Do not turn on the laser until the CAS aircraft calls for it. 
    This will typically be when the aircraft is ten seconds out from the target. Turning it on early only increases the chance that the enemy will detect it and attempt to evade.
     
  • The laser spot is visible to the enemy if they're looking for it.
    If necessary, lase something near the target, out of view of the enemy. Once the aircraft acquires the laser and is moments away from dropping their ordnance, shift the laser directly onto the enemy position. This will give them much less time to react in the event that they spot the dot. Ensure that the distance shifted is not so high that it causes trouble for the strike aircraft. The laser dot is hardest to see during the daytime, but can stand out brightly when viewed at night or when under nightvision.
     
  • Ensure that your laser is splashing on the target, and is not obstructed by something closer to you (ie: a bush, tree, wall, etc).
    If you don't see the laser shining on the target in conditions where it should be visible, shift around until you do, or until you're absolutely positive that you are not accidentally lasing your own position.

 

 

Target Designation WITHOUT Lasers

CAS without laser designation is a bit trickier. Follow these guidelines.

 

A "dumb" bomb on the way to inflict serious pain

 

Guiding with Map Marks

Map markers are as accurate as the player placing them, and with good players, they can be pin-point precise. The main problem with map marks is that it requires the pilot to spend time looking at the map, which can be problematic.

 

Guiding with Landmarks

Depending on the type of landmark and distance of the target from it, landmarks can be either excellent or merely acceptable guides. The key thing to keep in mind is that the landmark must be something that can be easily seen from the air. The type of air asset (jets naturally are moving much faster than helos) will dictate what type of landmark is suitable. Landmarks can be natural parts of the terrain (ie boulders, a prominent cluster of trees, the bend of a river) or man-made (buildings, destroyed vehicles, smoke columns).

 

Guiding with Munitions or Smoke

This is the least desirable way to orient aircraft on a target, since it typically alerts the target and gives them a bearing on friendly forces. In a pinch, infantry can utilize smoke (preferably launched via a 3GL or other UGL) or a Mk32 to designate a target for aircraft. Tracers can also be used to designate targets. Guiding a CAS strike with munitions can be very difficult, and should be avoided when possible. Efforts should be made to accomplish the guidance in another fashion before resorting to this, particularly when stealth is a concern.



UNITAF Standard Operating Proceedure (SOP) is adapted from two primary source materials - in addition to our own experience and past learnings:
US Army Techniques Publication, Infantry Platoon and Squad (ATP 3-21.8) ->view online
Dyslexi's Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures for Arma 3 (TTP3) -> view online



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