Protecting the Airframe

Flying in ARMA is pretty hard with the accuracy of AI, the number of threats that can be plonked down and the number of things that cause you to inexplicably explode. I think it’s important to remember some key concepts when flying in ARMA as pilots often take some pretty unrealistic risks with the airframe.

Concept 1: Go defensive

Last night was a good example of an ‘oh shit’ moment. We’re using all arms warfare on a military outpost which includes little birds running miniguns in while a convoy of HUMVEEs charge the enemy position. The mortars have prepped the posiion and it’s all on. In come the littlebirds and on the run a stream of AAA arcs up. The littlebirds press the attack and we lose one.
A littlebird in the open going up against a Shilka or even a ZU-23, or a Tung is a short firey death. Resist the urge to press the attack, call on the radio “taking fire, engaged defensive” and break off the attack. It’s the right call EVERYTIME. Even if the first burst misses.

Concept 2: Engage from range

Getting the kill is nice but fixating on a target to the point that you are flying over the target is sure fire way to get undefendable fire from below and the rear.

Far better to fly a little slower and make less accurate shots from range requiring 2 or more runs than overfly a target area. Practice engaging with rockets and not getting closer than 500 metres. It’s a fun challenge against accurate AI. There is no shame in breaking off an attack without directly hitting the target.

Concept 3: Terrain Mask

A hovering helicopter is an easy target. It’s tempting to hover close by with a good view of everything, but the pilot needs to refer to point 1. A very deliberate cold-war era pop up scan and engagement from range is a legitimate tactic. However, do not put the helicopter into a hover above the platoon, refer point 2. Orbits are a good compromise of protection and observation.

Something to think about and practice, next week we’ll be supported by a tank.

Categories: ARMA 3


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