What follows is a doc I wrote for my former group when BS and A-10C were merged and later become DCS. It is probably 6-7 years old but the fundaments haven’t changed.
This article covers the acquisition of a target, the determination of its position and later a couple ways to share this information with other Ka-50s or an A-10C.
Back in the day the A-10C was DCS’ flagship and the only study-level module available for DCS other than BS. Nowadays instead we have a variety of modules and these procedures can be applied to any of them as long as their avionics allow for latlong coordinates or bearing and distance input.
Sharks and Togs: Introduction
Ka-50s and A-10s are very different aircrafts. Just think that the Ka-50 is Russian and uses the metrical measurement system and the A-10 is American and uses the Imperial system. Knowing that, there should be no surprise when I tell you that there isn’t a way for sending and receiving data between these two aircraft directly. Therefore we have to find a measurement system supported by both of them.
The short paragraphs below are just a small reprise of concepts that you may have already learned. To deepen your understanding, read through the ED manuals.
Preparing the ABRIS
One of the instruments we are going to employ is the ABRIS, but first of all we have to match A-10’s unit of measurement. The ABRIS can represent lat/long coordinates in one of two ways:
- XXX°YY’ZZ” (degrees, minutes and seconds – ABRIS default)
- XXX°YY.YY’ (degrees, minutes and decimals – PVI-800 default)
A-10s use the second representation mode hence we have to set the correct unit of measurement. To do this, go to the ABRIS setup, select the UNITS FSK, and change the setting (see the Black Shark manual, page 7-26).
Different bearing types
Ka-50s and A-10s represent bearings in two different methods: Ka-50 uses True Bearings while A-10 uses the Magnetic bearings. You can toggle the ABRIS between each methods in the Options menu, entry “Track/heading”.
The PRTz is a very important part of a Ka-50’s avionics. This device allows sharing data directly to each Ka-50 in your flight. It is composed of three rows of buttons, from top to bottom:
- target type: Armor, SAM/AAA, Other, and Ingress point;
- recipient: select who will receive your data, from #1 to #4 or the whole flight;
- functions: erase the selected target from the memory, perform the automatic ingress to target, send or receive data.
Locking a target
First of all we have to spot a target in order to lock it. This task can be performed in many ways, exempli gratia:
- Put laser switch on STAND-BY position;
- Activate the HSM and position it over the target;
- Uncage the Shkval;
- Adjust the gate around the target;
- Press the Lock button.