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Eurofighter Typhoon: Tactical Tips

by Len "Viking1" Hjalmarson

Article Type: Strategy Guide
Article Date: June 13, 2001

Missile Avoidance and Targeting

While the Eurofighter Typhoon manual is fairly good, it doesn’t cover some of the features with appropriate depth. This will be a short expansion of critical topics in the manual and a basic tactical guide.

First, the DASS subsystem is on all the time, but be aware that auto countermeasures can exhaust your supply in a very short time. Therefore, you need to cooperate with the system. You can effectively ignore many IR missiles if you simply fly along and let DASS dump twenty flares, but you can only do this a few times. It is far better to press the F3 key (threat padlock) to go to an external view, and then place the missile on your 10 or 2 o’clock. Here is a step by step procedure that works effectively.

  1. Maintain best corner velocity, roughly 350-400 knots.
  2. When the missile is 5 to 10 seconds ensure it is on your 10 or 2 o’clock
  3. Wait until the voice warning counts down to 2 seconds and then break into and across the missile's path above or below the missile. The missile will rarely be able to correct its large lead angle in time.
  4. Offensive maneuvers force the enemy to break away. Launch your own missiles.

Next, be aware that the manual isn’t sufficiently descriptive of the functions of the T, X, and Z keys for targeting. The 'T' key will target the nearest threat, 'X' will lock the next furthest out enemy, and 'Z' will lock the next closest enemy.

No rest for the weary. Avoiding missile on takeoff.

The padlock system is designed to allow you to expand your situational awareness to monitor both an immediate threat and a target simultaneously. When you use the F3 threat padlock you will toggle to the nearest threat, but if there is a bandit at 2nm in your HUD and a missile with your name on it at 6nm at your 7 o’clock, which one needs immediate attention?

Suppose you are on the tail of a bandit at 2nd for a guns kill when you hear a launch warning. Hitting F3 once will padlock your view onto the missile, hitting it a second time will take you to an external view across your aircraft tracking the missile. Meanwhile, your weapon system still has the bandit locked, and as soon as you break missile lock your padlock will switch back to the target. Alternatively, you can use the F2 key (target padlock) to switch your view back to your target, or even alternate the views if you choose.

TIP: Use Auto Throttle when in a dogfight to maintain corner velocity.

Tactical Tips: Weapon Engagement Zone

The manual correctly notes that weapon range is extended with higher altitude. However, while the range bar in your radar display will change in length for different weapons, and while it will also change with the aspect angle of the target (a high angle off the tail means your weapons reach is greatly reduced), the bar does not lengthen or shorten according to your altitude.

WEZ at 12,000 feet.

WEZ at 32,000 feet.

These two images show identical weapon selection at identical host velocity. Notice that the speed in both cropped and pasted images is mach 1 and long range Meteor is selected.

The altitude in the first image, however, is 12,000 feet, while the second image shows altitude of 32,000 feet. The Meteor fired at 32,000 feet will be far more likely to hit a target near the end of its range than the Meteor fired at 12,000 feet. Effectively, the range of the Meteor is reduced at lower altitudes and extended at higher ones. Be aware, however, that the probability of kill is greatly reduced when a weapon is used near its maximum range.

Tactical Tips: Stealth and the IRST Targeting System

The Eurofighter is a semi-stealthy design, and can be flown as a stealth aircraft if you don’t load it up with fuel tanks and external stores.

EF2000 Subsystems.

In the DASS display you can see four missiles mounted along the lines of the fuselage. These four missiles plus two ASRAAM missiles may be carried with only a slight compromise of the RCS (radar cross signature).

In order to travel stealthy, however, you must use the comms menu MISSION (6) selection to turn off radar for your flight. This will also shut down your own radar. But how will you then maintain situational awareness?

Main Menu COMMS

Mission Menu COMMS

Your DASS system will still show you ground and air threats. Better yet, you can press the T key to target aircraft via your IRST. You'll get basic info this way: heading, altitude and speed. If you don't use your radar you have a good chance of setting up an engagement of your choosing.

Warning: if you cycle your air to air weapons without first turning off your radar, you may create a lock on an air target that will get you in trouble.

Targeting modes seem to be modeled in EF Typhoon, since even though you can show an air-to-air weapon selected, if you haven't toggled an air-to-air weapon (hit the ENTER key) you may find that you can't lock an air target with the T key until you toggle air weapons. This could be because your IRST may be in ground search mode rather than air search mode, and when radar is off you are using your IRST for targeting.

If you can get within range for an ASRAAM missile, you won’t have to go to active radar. If you have a target lock using your IRST and then go to active radar, you will also get an aircraft ID in your HUD. Once you are under fifteen miles you will probably be able to ID the aircraft visually in your IRST display anyway.

The good news is that both RCS and passive detection are fully modeled in EF Typhoon.

Figure 1. Passive Detection.

Figure 2. Active Detection.

Finally, the comms system in EF Typhoon is ideally designed for voice command. Get Game Commander, it will change your virtual life.

Tip: Modifying Save Game Files

After saving a number of game files at those critical action points, (you can go back and kill the same Su27 later), you will have a bunch of files with different time stamps but the same name. If you are like me, this will drive you NUTS. What to do?

I went to the PLAYERS directory, then the p0 directory, and opened a *.ts file. This is the 80 byte file that determines the name that shows in the load screen. You can type your own choice in place of the default, though it will mess up the date stamp. The file will still load normally. BACK UP THE ORIGINAL FILE FIRST.

Another item that I believe is lacking in EF Typhoon is individual pilot records. You can, however, edit the name of your pilots when you begin a campaign, and you can also observe them in action without taking over the flight. To observe a pilot click on his icon and then when in flight double-click his icon again and the AI will take over.

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