Missiles and Radar and Bulldogs.. Oh My!

So this week Ive added another role to my support style of play and decided to experiment and develop a decent Anti-Air method against all these enemy air spawns. After hours of different setups I think ive finally got it down, when set up weve had like record in-air times with helicopters and gunships =D. But as I was doing this, ive noticed something that just seemed off and doesnt make since… all these Bulldog missiles hitting friendlies. For those who dont know a “Bulldog” is where a friendly missile misses and veers off and hits a friendly, in-game this has been happening from rogue “Fox 3’s” (a medium-long range radar guided missile, like an AMRAAM). But how you might ask…, my question exactly…

First and for most, i want to give a quick background on how these missiles are supposed to work, there has been some confusion in the community with short range IR (infrared) and medium/long range radar guided. ALSO, PLEASE READ FULLY BEFORE SAYING IN-GAME IS DIFFERENT THAN REAL LIFE :wink:, because my little article is touching on how the developer page specifically states that the radar overhaul is supposed to mimic real life systems, this is the whole reason im doing this, to research if there is a bug or system is broken or its something were doing wrong on our end, so bare with me. IN THE END, IF THIS WHOLE THING DOESNT MEAN ANYTHING, AT LEAST YOULL KNOW HOW THESE SYSTEMS WORK =)

Ok so here we go…
Radar Guided Missiles
Probably the most misunderstood missile tracking system in-game or IRL. The reality is Radar Guided is the most advanced and one of the most accurate missile tracking systems in our known current world.
For those who like to read or are interested in more in-depth explanation, here is a great website article that explains it more
For those that dont ill explain it briefly
To put it simply, these missiles acquire and track a SPECIFIC radar signature. The targeting aircraft ‘locks’ the target and EMF, distance, altitude, speed, etc. you name it, it is tracking everything from that aircraft and information works in tandem with the missile itself. Once the missile is launched, that target and that target alone is the only thing that missile is tracking. The missile is constantly communicating and updating information data with the targeted aircraft. Yes, you heard that right, it does NOT track anything with radar in the sky, in fact, this is where the missile is extremely advanced. Once the missile closes in, it will either impact or detonate, IF FOR WHATEVER REASON THE MISSILE SHOULD MISS OR LOSE ITS TARGET, that data is recognized and the missile will detonate if its a short miss or it will “deadstick”

Infrared Guided
The easiest and shortest thing to explain, these are short range missiles that pickup an infrared (heat) signature and follow it. boom… sas… done… :laughing:
however, whats interesting is that these missiles cannot differentiate friend from foe, if anything these are the missiles that if they were to miss they start tracking any other heat source until they exhaust their propulsion source, so it is quite unusual that these missiles are not the culprit behind friendly fire

Another thing to consider is that all aircraft use an IFF, simply its a system that recognizes friendlies, so its also again next to impossible to hit friendlies, in this case, the DATALINK system is what Arma 3 mimics for the IFF
A full article on all this can be can be read here for the Arma Radar Overhaul

I will be experimenting and updating this post with more I find and again I can just throw my hands in the air and just say its Arma but i want to go more scientific with my approach :geek:

I did read this whole article, i started playing with the rhs aircraft in the wastelands server. I quickly found out that ir missiles almost never miss but radar ones were easily avoided with chaffs and smoke. Def prefer ir even if it is the old tech.I also learned a little about atgms too while trying to get the apache to lock targets… pretty interesting stuff.

Yes its quite odd, IRL experts even say it is next to impossible to avoid a modern radar guided missile, and also in-game the Jets DLC description of them even says they only have a 4% chance of missing.
It’s almost like someone reversed the coding between the amraam and asraam

I’m just going to say that Bohemia stopped being about realism in their “military simulators” about halfway through Arma 2 OA. Just have to deal with the in-game mechanics they set forth regardless of whether or not they make sense =/

Well… At least now I know with detail how the radar guided munitions work… The only downside of that is that now I won’t be able to look at arma the same way, after knowing how easy it is to dodge a Fox 3 in arma. Thanks god enemy AI they don’t use ASRAAMs and instead prefer AMRAAMs.
The research and time you put into it is apreciated, and by the way, on the topic we’ve spoken earlier, I took some time to learn and properly use the UAVs… After a couple of hours I actually did shoot down a friendly jet with the Defender, so sadly… Arma is quite different. Thanks for the information though! Was an interesting read

So if its radar, should smoke effect the missile? Come to think of it, should it even effect IR? Speaking of ground targets of coarse. I just notice the smoke works a lot better for the enemy than it does for me. I’ll pop smoke in a tank just like the ai but their missiles almost always hit me… mine always miss unless im right on top of them before firing but often that causes the missile to miss too. too close to redirect toward the enemy vic. Should I be using different atg missiles then? or are radar still the best even against smoke? The chaffs i understand (although those rarely work for me too while working about 50% of the time for the enemy they work like 30% of the time for me) messes with radar but what about IR? the chaffs couldn’t be the same temp as the jet exhaust…

and no im not trolling im actually asking so i may better understand how to deter incoming missiles and have a better chance of hitting ground targets.

If we’re talking about real life, the radar guided munitions shouldn’t be affected by almost anything, they track a very specific radar signature, and can easily identify friendly targets, so in theory, dodging a proper, real life fox 3 is close to impossible.

On the other hand, if we’re talking about ARMA 3, heat guided missiles rarelly miss, I’ve seen a shikra flaring off over 20 bursts of countermeasures , and still both of my ASRAAM rockets impacted. When it comes to AMRAAM in ARMA 3 they are easier to dodge, and for some reason Bulldog, finding a new target (Including frendlies) so in ARMA, it’s easier to miss a Radar guide, then a Heat guide. (In real life it’s the complete opposite)

About this, both in ARMA and in RL the flares burn at thousands of degrees, no exhaust of no jet is as hot as that, that’s why they work. If you’re interested about how flares work:

Now about the smoke, the thing with smoke is, it affects mostly TV guided munitions, if it has a camera of some sort, and for example has to follow a laze, with the smoke you’ll break the line of sight making the lazer aim somewhere that might not be the target, so even though in theory it is still aimed in the same spot, due to the smoke it might simply vere off and miss.

About the IR guided munitions its slightly different, if you want more information on the topic, refeer to Infrared Waves - NASA Science
But in essence, the IR munitions shouldn’t care about any sort of dust, smoke, or anything similar, even improving the effect if it’s in a cold temperature as the heat will stand out even more.
At least, those two last parts are refeering to RL, and not to Arma.

ohh i thought the chaffs were just bits of metal designed to throw off radar guided missiles. but basically in arma try to use IR as much as possible. Which also explains why the aim9’s seem to hit more often than the others. idk what to use as far as atgm’s tho. The only two i know are scalpel and macer and i think both of those are radar.

I would recommend you taking a look and investing some time into reading this if you want to get into it in details:

If not:
Skalpels lock on lazes, as well as TV, so theoretically smoke can make them miss.
Macers are dumb fire, you aim with your aircraft, and fire.
Macer IIs are available only for the blackwasps and those are TV guided.
DAGRs are Lazer guided.
Sharurs are heat guided
AGM-88C HARMs - Anti Radiation Missile (They only lock onto active radars)
KH58 ARMs - Same thing as HARMs.
(This is not the full list of munitions, so I would recommend you to take a look at the link that I’ve posted above, which has detailed explanation on everything)
My personal preference are the Skalpels, they’ve got a great range, and they’re powerful.

ok cool you can get the shaurs or however u spelt it on the neophron… Shure3’s are the air to air version i think. those gotta be radar tho bc they miss a lot lol

You almost got it right… Sahr-3s are short range rockets, which makes them heat guided… :stuck_out_tongue:

lol all i know is those miss a lot where as aim9’s almost never miss along with stingers which i believe is what the asraams are, at least i think i remember reading that. that those were basically an adaptation of the stinger for air use.

If you’re referring to the Titan MPRL (Titan Multi-Purpose Rocket Launcher) it uses heat guided Titan AA rockets.

One thing that I messed up here, I described to you the funcions of the flares, (As in arma there’s no such thing as chaffs) but in real life chaff is actually used on quite a lot of aircrafts, and is essentially made up of a cloud of small, thin pieces of aluminium, metallized glass fibre or plastic, and confuses the radar, creating wave interference complicating the tracking. The issue with this, (In real life) is the fact that the newer AMRAAMs lock onto really specific wave patterns and signatures, making chaff pretty much useless, as the rocket will fly past the cloud, and recover the lock on the target.

OHH no i was thinking of the atas nvm on the stinger part lol. but the aim 9’s and aim 92’s are also stinger varients made for air to air use instead of ground to air which is the fim 92. Those man, those are dead accurate… very far and few between do those miss. Whatever they use, i wish all in game missles used lol

So if the hud is correct and the Aim9x i was using is indeed IR then flares made it not hit… attached is video… is this what you were saying wasn’t supposed to happen?


The interesting thing is that in that video it is a heat guided rocket, and it behaves the way it should, it went for the countermeasures rather then for the helicopter.

Thats on the wastelands server in the rhs apache longbow if that helps. My frustration is that the enemy counter measures work almost every time… mine only work some of the time. I’ve popped flares till i had none left and the missile still got me lol

Since its RHS it might be actually scripted properly, and be more realistic, keep in mind that all I’ve said about Arma earlier was complete Vanilla, no mods at all