- "The radar system has been overhauled to be more realistic. Different factors such as the Doppler effect, ground clutter, and radar cross-section come into play when you or the enemy are trying to detect and lock targets. You'll also need to consider that your radar emissions can be detected by others much further (via RWR) than your receiver can detect returns. New Anti-Radiation weapons will allow you to target enemy radar signals to keep the sky safe from air defenses."
- —Update v0.0.11
Radar is used by a unit to detect and track other units. This information is fed to weapons or other allied units. Radar can affect the detection condition affecting AI behavior and mission editor functions.
- 1 Detection
- 2 Weapon Guidance
- 3 Units with Radar
- 4 F/A-26B Radar Quick Guide
- 5 F-45A Radar Quick Guide
When within range and line of sight, a radar emitter may appear on the RWR and ARAD, but not necessarily change the emitter detection condition as shown on the map. This works both ways. For example, a far away unit may suddenly appear on the player's RWR, but will not be visible on the map. The player may also be too far to return a meaningful signal. In this case both are undetected. However, the player can use the radiation source as a target for an anti-radiation missile, or to get a bearing to get a target.
Similarly, there can be an enemy air unit beyond visual range that does not detect you on their radar yet. Upon sensing your radar source, they will turn and fly towards it. Once you appear on their radar, or are within visual range, you are flagged as detected.
Active radar homing missiles appear on the RWR once they turn on their radar.
After 30 seconds of not being detected by radar or visual identification, a unit will be 'undetected', and will no longer show up on the NAV Page.
Aircraft can use their onboard radars to guide missiles and guns.
An aircraft must first lock onto a target with their onboard radar. Active radar guided missiles are then authorized for launch and initially navigate based on the aircraft's radar calculations. After a some delay, the missile switches over to its built-in radar for terminal navigation and maneuvering. The radar can also be used instead of the targeting pod to calculate firing solutions for guns against air targets.
Ground unit Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launchers need to be paired with at least one ground based Fire Control Radar. This will be responsible for detecting a unit, authorizing a launch from a linked SAM launcher, and providing initial guidance. It is not known if the SAM launcher is chosen based on proximity to the target or best range taking into account leading the target's trajectory. Similar to air based missiles, the SAM will switch over to its own onboard radar to home in on the target.
Sea unit SAMs operate similarly to ground ones but are closed systems. Destroying all onboard radars will render all onboard SAM systems inoperable. Ships in a unit group share unit detection information, but cannot launch each other's SAMs.
Units with Radar
F/A-26B Radar Quick Guide
How to Use the F/A-26B Radar to Fire the AIM-120 Missile
- Turn on Radar switch to ON
- Set one of your MFD's to RADAR
- MFD Buttons R+ and R- adjust the range. Use R+ to max until you see 60 and 30 mark green lines for max range
- Point your nose towards contact (diamond)
- Make your RADAR SOI, watch closely until red planes appear
- Enemy aircraft are red icons
- Friendly aircraft are blue
- Missiles are circles
- Use the SOI controller (trackpad/joystick) to move the green brackets on target
- Press ONCE to identify target,  should appear on the left of MFD identifying it as target number 1. Repeat for multiple targets and each one will be numbered.
- DOUBLE press to get a lock on the target (STT - Single Target Track),
- Select AIM-120 missile
- Missile range will be visible on the right side of the HUD as a vertical bar on the right hand side with a little pointer/arrow.
- The bar represents the max range of the missile against the target continuously calculated as you and the target maneuver. When the arrow is within this range the missile may be fired and the yellow launch lights turn on.
- The double bar represents the no-escape range. If you fire when the arrow is there the enemy cannot escape the missile (but they can still defeat it with chaff and other methods)
- On the HUD, the enemy aircraft trajectory pointer (the small solid dot), doesn't have to be in the circle, but its desired as it represents an optimal path for missile trajectory
- The missile indicator on lower left HUD should show something like T-43s which is predicted time to impact.
- The target does not need to stay STT locked all the time but it has to be WITHIN scanning range of radar until missile goes Pitbull (T changes to M), at which time the missile goes active and you can break the lock
Boresight mode is for working for < 15 km and should be only used for close range. When in boresight mode, the radar will lock on to the first aircraft to enter the circle in the HUD. Be sure not to accidentally lock a friendly fighter while in boresight mode.
F-45A Radar Quick Guide
Unlike with the F/A-26B, the F-45A can more easily deploy radar-guided missiles through the use of its Tactical Situational Display MFCD page. To deploy an AIM-120 with the F-45A...
- Open up the TSD on one of the areas on the touchscreen.
- OPTIONAL: Open up the RADAR page on another part of the screen.
- Press the RADAR button on the left side of the TSD and press the Power button to turn it on.
- You will see a green cone appear in front of your aircraft's icon on the TSD; this represents the maximum range of your radar. This can be used to detect targets that are not already visible on the Radar Warning Receiver. Set the TSD as your Sensor of Interest and use the cursor to identify hostile air targets.
- Use the cursor to select your target once you've identified it. If they are close enough, the green cone will be replaced with a thick green line connecting your icon to the target, signifying a successful radar lock.
- Select your AIM-120s and squeeze the trigger to fire a missile. Deselect the target on your TSD after launching a missile to bring your radar cone back up so you don't accidentally lose lock before your missile goes active ("pitbull").
The F-45A does not have a Boresight-locking function for its onboard radar.