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NAVAL AIR TRAINING COMMAND

NAS CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS

CNATRA P-1210 (REV. 10-98) PAT

AIR COMBAT MANEUVERING

FLIGHT TRAINING INSTRUCTION


T-45TS, ADV, and IUT
1998

T-45A FLIGHT TRAINING INSTRUCTION


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ACM Flight Training Instruction

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FLIGHT TRAINING INSTRUCTION


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FLIGHT TRAINING INSTRUCTION


FOR
AIR COMBAT MANEUVERING
T-45A

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Air Combat Maneuvering

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS ............................................................................................................................ vii


FIGURES ................................................................................................................................................... xi
HOW TO USE THIS FTI ......................................................................................................................... xiii
INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................... 1
BACKGROUND ........................................................................................................................................ 3
ACM ENVIRONMENT .......................................................................................................................... 3
THE EGG ...................................................................................................................................... 4
OPERATIONAL MANEUVERABILITY ........................................................................................... 6
ENERGY MANAGEMENT ............................................................................................................. 8
PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS EXERCISE ..................................................................... 8
ACM CONSIDERATIONS .................................................................................................................... 9
GAME PLANS/MIND-SET ............................................................................................................. 9
THREE-DIMENSIONAL MANEUVERING ..................................................................................... 9
LOOKOUT ................................................................................................................................... 10
SYMBOLOGY ..................................................................................................................................... 11
ACM TRAINING RULES ..................................................................................................................... 11
GENERAL .................................................................................................................................... 11
WEATHER ................................................................................................................................... 13
FLIGHT PROCEDURES .........................................................................................................................
OFFENSIVE .......................................................................................................................................
SNAP GUNS EXERCISE .............................................................................................................
LOW YO-YO ................................................................................................................................
HIGH YO-YO ...............................................................................................................................
DISPLACEMENT ROLL ...............................................................................................................
HORIZONTAL SCISSORS ..........................................................................................................
BARREL ROLL ATTACK ..............................................................................................................
ROLLING SCISSORS .................................................................................................................
LOW ANGLE SET .......................................................................................................................
BREAK TURN EXERCISE ..........................................................................................................
DISENGAGEMENT/BUGOUT .....................................................................................................
DEFENSIVE .......................................................................................................................................
SNAP GUNS DEFENSE EXERCISE ...........................................................................................
DEFENSIVE COUNTERS TO HIGH/LOW YO-YOS ...................................................................
HORIZONTAL SCISSORS ..........................................................................................................
ROLLING SCISSORS .................................................................................................................
LOW ANGLE SET .......................................................................................................................
BREAK TURN EXERCISE DEFENSE .........................................................................................
LUFBERY ....................................................................................................................................
LAST-DITCH MANEUVERS ........................................................................................................
NEUTRAL 1 V 1 .................................................................................................................................
HIGH-ASPECT BFM ....................................................................................................................
2 V 1 MISSION PROCEDURES/MANEUVERS .................................................................................
THE LOOSE DEUCE DOCTRINE ...............................................................................................

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Table of Contents

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES ..............................................................................................


COMMUNICATION ......................................................................................................................
STRATEGIES/TACTICS ..............................................................................................................
FLIGHT PROCEDURES ..............................................................................................................

57
57
58
61

SAFETY/EMERGENCY SITUATIONS ...................................................................................................


RELATIVE MOTION/EXCESSIVE CLOSURE ...................................................................................
SITUATIONAL/SPATIAL AWARENESS .............................................................................................
GOOD START ...................................................................................................................................
LOST SIGHT/LOOKOUT ...................................................................................................................
OUT-OF-CONTROL DEPARTURES ..................................................................................................
AIRCRAFT LIMITATIONS ..................................................................................................................

79
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80
80

SELF-TEST ............................................................................................................................................. 81
APPENDIX A ........................................................................................................................................... 91
APPENDIX B (ADVANCED STRIKE 2 V 1 COMM PROCEDURES) .................................................. 95
GLOSSARY ........................................................................................................................................... 113
INDEX ........................................................................................................................................... 119

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Figures

FIGURES
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Figure 43;
Figure 44:
Figure 45:

ACM ENVIRONMENT ...........................................................................................................3


HORIZONTAL MANEUVERING ............................................................................................4
VERTICAL MANEUVERING ..................................................................................................5
OBLIQUE MANEUVERING ...................................................................................................5
T-45A Vn DIAGRAM ...............................................................................................................6
ACM SYMBOLOGY ............................................................................................................. 11
THE BUBBLE ...................................................................................................................... 14
MANEUVERING AROUND THE POST ............................................................................. 15
CONTROL ZONE ................................................................................................................ 15
SNAP GUNS EXERCISE .................................................................................................... 17
LOW YO-YO ........................................................................................................................ 18
HIGH YO-YO ....................................................................................................................... 19
DISPLACEMENT ROLL ...................................................................................................... 21
LAG DISPLACEMENT ROLL ............................................................................................. 22
HORIZONTAL SCISSORS ................................................................................................. 23
BARREL ROLL ATTACK ..................................................................................................... 24
ROLLING SCISSORS ......................................................................................................... 25
ROLLING SCISSORS POSITIONS ................................................................................... 27
BREAK TURN EXERCISE ................................................................................................. 30
SNAP GUNS DEFENSE ..................................................................................................... 34
DEFENSIVE COUNTER TO THE HIGH YO-YO ............................................................... 35
DEFENSIVE COUNTER TO THE LOW YO-YO ................................................................ 36
HORIZONTAL SCISSORS (DEFENSIVE) ......................................................................... 37
ROLLING SCISSORS (DEFENSIVE) ................................................................................ 39
BREAK TURN EXERCISE DEFENSIVE ........................................................................... 41
DEFENSIVE DIVING SPIRAL ............................................................................................ 44
HIGH-G ROLL OVER THE TOP ........................................................................................ 46
HIGH-G ROLL UNDERNEATH .......................................................................................... 47
ONE CIRCLE: RADIUS ..................................................................................................... 49
TWO CIRCLE: RATE ......................................................................................................... 50
ONE CIRCLE: SIMILAR RATE/RADIUS ........................................................................... 51
TWO CIRCLE: SIMILAR RATE/RADIUS .......................................................................... 52
ONE CIRCLE: OUT-OF-PLANE ........................................................................................ 53
TWO CIRCLE: OUT-OF-PLANE ....................................................................................... 54
SECTION RESPONSES TO BANDIT ATTACKS .............................................................. 60
THREE TYPES OF ENGAGEMENTS ............................................................................... 61
COUNTERFLOW EXERCISE ............................................................................................ 64
NO-SWITCH QUICK-KILL ENGAGEMENT ...................................................................... 65
SINGLE-SWITCH ENGAGEMENT .................................................................................... 66
MULTI-SWITCH REAR QUARTER ATTACK (1 OF 2) ...................................................... 68
MULTI-SWITCH REAR QUARTER ATTACK (2 OF 2) ...................................................... 69
TWO-CIRCLE END GAME ................................................................................................. 70
VISUAL FORWARD QUARTER ......................................................................................... 72
MULTI-SWITCH ENGAGEMENT TO BUGOUT (1 OF 2) ................................................. 75
MULTI-SWITCH ENGAGEMENT TO BUGOUT (2 OF 2) ................................................. 76

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How to use this FTI

Air Combat Maneuvering

HOW TO USE THIS FTI


This Flight Training Instruction (FTI) is your textbook for the Air Combat Maneuvering (ACM) stage of
your Jet Pilot Training and is the source document for all procedures related to ACM. In addition, it
includes suggested techniques for performing each maneuver and making corrections.
Use your FTI to prepare for and afterward to review lessons and flights. This information will help
you effectively prepare for lessons: know all the procedures in the assigned section(s), review the
glossary, and be prepared to ask your instructor about anything that remains unclear. Then you can
devote your attention to flying the T-45A. After a flight, review the FTI materials to reinforce your
understanding and to clarify any difficult maneuvers or procedures.
Note that this FTI also contains information on emergencies related to this stage. This section of the
FTI amplifies but does not supplant the emergency procedures information contained in the T-45A
NATOPS manual.
Reading requirements for flight procedures lessons (lectures) are listed in Appendix A, Lesson
Preparation, along with the course learning objectives. The end-of-stage exam will be based on
these objectives. Complete the required reading prior to each lesson (lecture).

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How to use this FTI

Air Combat Maneuvering

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Air Combat Maneuvering

Introduction

INTRODUCTION
Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the infamous Red Baron of World War I, once described the basic
scope of air combat maneuvering as fighter pilots roving in an area allotted to them, spotting an
enemy, attacking, and shooting him down. The mission statement is grossly over-simplified when
you take into account all the principles of todays loose deuce maneuvering, along with modern
technology and sophisticated weapon systems. The statement does, however, point out two key
concepts in ACM: 1) the basics of ACM have not changed since the early days of aviation, and 2) a
fighter pilot must maintain constant aggressiveness for success. As the Baron would say, All else is
rubbish.
As you move through ACM, you will expand on the basic tactical maneuvers learned in TacForm.
You will first review the basic performance of low/high yo-yos and displacement rolls, and then be
introduced to additional basic ACM maneuvers, proven tactically sound since the Barons time.
Unlike previous blocks, your success will be gauged not on how well you perform particular maneuvers, but on how well you integrate them with tactics and strategies to win one-versus-one against an
.
enemy.
Finally, you will be introduced to coordinating your flying with a wingman and practicing
loose deuce maneuvering against a single bandit. What you learn here will go with you throughout
your career in tactical aviation.
By the time you complete ACM, you will not be an expert. That happens only in time through
constant coaching, practice, and experience. Next to CQ, ACM probably will be your most demanding phase of flight training, requiring immense concentration and attention to your instructors. You
must go beyond just mastering the procedures and concepts presented in the classroom or simply
applying them in the air. ACM is in many ways an art formthe ultimate art form of aviation. How
well you assimilate those principles, maneuvers, tactics, and strategies will depend upon an open
mind and your willingness to never give up.

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Air Combat Maneuvering

Introduction

NOTES

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Air Combat Maneuvering

Background

BACKGROUND
The overall goal of ACM is twofold: 1) to gain a firing solution and destroy an aircraft, and 2) to deny
a firing solution from another aircraft. More explicitly in the Training Command, the goal is also
twofold: 1) to execute maneuvers and participate in practice engagements to reach a firing solution,
and 2) to deny the bandit a firing solution.
ACM ENVIRONMENT
Before discussing the type of maneuvers and
engagements and the procedures for executing them,
you should understand something about the airspace
in which ACM takes place, so that you can exploit it to
your best advantage. The ACM environment
(Figure1), like any other arena, has dimensions you
can measure with rules and limitations, beyond which
you are severely penalized. Even though the environment is larger and more dynamic than a simple arena,
it is a three-dimensional environment through which
you will maneuver in an infinite number of planes,
ranging from the pure vertical, through the oblique, to
the pure horizontal. The limitations stem from a
combination of the effects of gravity, your energy state
and airspeed, your aircrafts limitations, and your
individual situation given a snapshot of time during
an engagement, all of which we will consider before
we talk about specific procedures. Why? Because
the procedures are only a means to an end. When
you enter the three-dimensional ACM environment in
Figure 1: ACM ENVIRONMENT
an aircraft like the T-45A that does not have a thrustto-weight ratio greater than one, your energy package
is finite and ACM becomes a series of tradeoffsa continuous series of decisions based on what
you know about your aircraft and your situation. Because in the Training Command we will consider
only rear-quarter weapons as you engage a bandit, your basic strategy will be to bleed the bandits
energy to the point where you can maneuver to his six oclock and employ your weapon within the
appropriate weapons envelope before he can do it to you.
In ACM, unlike previous blocks, your target will be maneuvering to reach your six in an attempt to
employ his weapons just as you are trying to maneuver against him. If you allow a bandit to force
you into a situation where you have spent your energy to the point where you can no longer counter
his assault, you have reached the point commonly referred to as being out of airspeed and ideas.
In the Training Command, this simply results in a Knock it off call. In the real world, you usually
only reach that point once.
To summarize, the following two concepts depend on each other: 1) energy is paramount (speed is
life), and 2) choosing the right maneuver at the right time and aggressively managing your energy as
you out-fly and out-think the bandit will prevent you from ever finding yourself out of airspeed and
ideas. We will first consider those elements that affect your turning performance with the concept of
the tactical egg. Then we will discuss how you can successfully manage your energy based on
concepts related to operational maneuverability.
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Air Combat Maneuvering

Background

THE EGG
Figure 4 depicts the egg, representing a three-dimensional sphere showing the effects of gravity as
you maneuver in all planes. You already know, or at least have been introduced to, all the concepts
and principles we are about to discuss. However, outflying the bandit depends on what you know
about your airplane, the arena, and the bandit. Lets first take a look at turn performance.
Horizontal Maneuvering
The most basic of all aerodynamic principles states that an aircraft, to maintain straight-and-level
flight, must generate exactly 1 g to overcome the effects of gravity. Because the amount of lift
required to maintain 1-g flight is based on the weight of the aircraft (excluding the effects of drag),
the vector representing gravity remains constant as long as the weight of the aircraft remains
constant.
An aircraft in a turn at any angle of bank must generate additional load factor in order to meet the
same effective lift. The load factor increases because your lift vector is moved out of the pure
vertical. If we assume that the effective lift of the aircraft opposes gravity (which is a constant force),
the load factor will vary according to how tightly you want to turn the aircraft. As you can see in
Figure 2 , both aircraft a and b are in level turns at a constant true airspeed (TAS). Aircraft a is in an
80-degree AOB and aircraft b is in a 60-degree AOB. Because aircraft a is turning at an 80-degree
AOB, his load factor is greater than aircraft b turning at a 60-degree AOB. Notice that because
gravity and the effective lift remain constant forces, the resultant vector, referred to as radial g,
actually turns the aircraft. Radial g is the horizontal component of lift. If you pull harder in a turn,
which is indicated on your accelerometer and referred to as indicated g, you are increasing the load
factor. Depending on your situation (your snapshot in time), this triangle will change. Simply put, the
larger the radial-g vector, the better the turn performance. As you see in Figure 2, in a purely
horizontal turn, the greater the AOB, the greater the load factor to maintain effective lift. This greater
load factor produces greater induced drag, resulting in a higher energy loss. As you will see, you will
want to avoid the pure horizontal because of this.

RGb
RGa

EL

EL
LFa

80 AOB

LFb

EFFECTIVE
LIFT FOR
BOTH PLANES

60 AOB
G

Aircraft a

Aircraft b

GRAVITY

LF=LOAD FACTOR
G=GRAVITY
RG=RADIAL G
EL=EFFECTIVE LIFT

Figure 2: HORIZONTAL MANEUVERING

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Air Combat Maneuvering

Background

RG=5

LF=4
RG=4

LF=4

RG=3

LF=4
RG=4

G=1

When the aircraft lift vector is above the


horizon (at the bottom of the egg), radial
g decreases because gravity opposes the
load factor of the aircraft, resulting in a
larger turn radius and a lower turn rate.
When the lift vector is below the horizon
(at the top of the egg when the fighter is
inverted), radial g increases because
gravity assists the load factor and lift,
resulting in a smaller turn radius and
faster turn rate. When the aircraft is pure
vertical (side of the egg) the load factor is
parallel to the horizon and, therefore,
equals radial g, indicating an intermediate
turn performance. So when your lift
vector (load factor) falls below the
horizon, gravity assists your turn
performance.

LF=4
G=1

Vertical Maneuvering
Figure 3 represents another theoretical
loop in the vertical plane at constant TAS
and constant indicated g. Unlike a purely
horizontal turn, your turn performance in
a purely vertical turn is affected differently
depending upon where you are in the
turn.

LF = LOAD FACTOR
G = GRAVITY
RG = RADIAL G

Figure 3: VERTICAL MANEUVERING

Oblique Maneuvering
In short, you will seldom maneuver in either the pure
vertical or the pure horizontal; rather, you will be trading
airspeed for altitude in an infinite variety of oblique
planes. As you develop your ACM skills, you will learn
how to use the oblique to turn as tightly and quickly as
you can while conserving the greatest amount of energy
possible, thus preventing you from approaching the deck
out of airspeed and ideas. Picture yourself in one of the
aircraft shown in Figure 4. Notice that one is performing
an extremely steep oblique loop, while the other aircraft is
more horizontal, yet still oblique. As you maneuver in all
three dimensions, base your decision to trade airspeed
for altitude on what the situation calls for during an
engagement.
Geometry of Tactics
We can deduce that, regardless of the plane of maneuvering, when the lift vector is above the horizon it detracts
from turn performance; conversely, when the lift vector is
below the horizon it enhances turn performance.
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Figure 4: OBLIQUE MANEUVERING


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Background

Air Combat Maneuvering

In order for you to be effective in ACM, the geometry of your maneuvering requires the timely and
dynamic use of multiple planes.
OPERATIONAL MANEUVERABILITY
Now that we know the airspace in which we are operating, we need to examine the airplane and how
it will operate in that environment. We will define operational maneuverability as your capability to
perform changes in altitude, airspeed, and direction. It is limited, however, by several fixed and
variable factors.
Fixed Factors
The fixed factors include the structural limitations, the thrust-to-weight limitations, and the wingloading capability of your aircraft. The structural limitations include both the maximum lift that can be
supported by an airframe and the maximum-g capability that will vary with fuel and ordnance loads.
You should know the picture of these limitations. The V n diagram in Figure 5 clearly shows the
operating envelope that illustrates the load factor and g limitations of the T-45A. As you will soon
see, the critical section of the Vn diagram is the area surrounding cornering speed. Without going
into great detail, you must calculate certain factors related to this envelope in your headwork for
ACM, factors that can give you an edge not only in training but also in real-world combat.

8.0

NORMAL ACCELERATION (G)

6.0

4.0

2.0

0.0

-2.0

-4.0
0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

1.2

MACH

Specific Data TBD


Figure 5: T-45A V n DIAGRAM

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Air Combat Maneuvering

Background

As you know, the available thrust of an aircraft varies with altitude and temperature but is independent of
airspeed in a jet aircraft. The thrust-to-weight ratio of an aircraft, computed by dividing thrust by combat
weight, commonly indicates an aircrafts capability going into an ACM environment. Pilots flying aircraft
with thrust-to-weight ratios greater than one will use different tactics than pilots flying machines with
ratios less than one, as is the case of the T-45A.
You must consider wing loading, computed by dividing the combat weight by the wing area. For two
aircraft at co-airspeed, the aircraft with a higher wing loading will have a larger turn radius and a slower
turn rate. Conversely, aircraft with lower wing loading have a smaller turn radius and a faster turn rate.
Variable Factors
Other factors that will vary in the ACM arena include your altitude, airspeed, angle of attack (AOA), and
gthe snapshot that gives you the parameters to make the instantaneous decisions that will be
demanded of you. Two other influencing factorsturn radius (TAS 2/g), and turn rate (g/TAS)are
dependent on the above factors and will change over the course of the fight according to the type of
maneuver you choose. Although some of these decisions are limited by the aircraft characteristics, each
action you take during an engagement will affect aircraft performance.
Altitude provides potential energy (PE) for maneuvering. Airspeed is kinetic energy (KE). At a specific
AOA, the Cl and Cd for a given wing remain relatively constant regardless of airspeed, g, and altitude.
Depending upon the type of turn you choose, the optimum AOA reflects the lift-to-drag ratio for the
desired performance. In a given situation which dictates the type of turn you need to make, the optimum
AOAs will vary. Knowing and using the cornering speed and the appropriate AOAs give you the most
bang for the buckthe best turn performance for the minimum amount of energy loss. They are
delineated for you in the energy management section of the FTI.
The fixed and variable factors begin to interrelate. G is the ratio of lift to weight. As you know, in turns
or direction changes, lift must exceed weight, and you must apply g loads greater than 1. At a constant
TAS, to increase g, you must increase the AOA. Radial g will dictate the turn radius and rate. Maximum
instantaneous g is the maximum lift a wing may generate at a given airspeed. Maximum instantaneous g
is dependent upon the aircraft airframe capabilities. The max instantaneous g, displayed on the V n
diagram, generates the maximum instantaneous rate of turn.
Total Energy (TE)
Total energy (TE) is the combination of the aircrafts altitude (PE) and airspeed (KE). TE will be referred
to as your energy package and will vary according to your situation. Although determining the TE
advantage for a given aircraft is difficult because of the possible speed differences between fighters, TE
remains a vital factor for determining relative advantage.
In addition to the Vn diagram, specific excess power (PS) curves measure the capability of an aircraft to
increase its energy state by using excess thrust. Because you will be fighting a similar aircraft in
training, these curves are less important now than they will be in the fleet. When you superimpose your
P S curve over that of another type aircraft, you can compare where one aircraft may have capabilities
over another. Your comparison will directly influence the type of tactics and strategies you employ
against another aircraft.
For our purposes in the Training Command, cornering speed and the optimum AOAs are the most
important indicators of maximum performance. Cornering speed, introduced as maneuvering speed in
Aerodynamics, is indicated on the Vn diagram and is defined as the minimum airspeed at which you can
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Air Combat Maneuvering

Background

pull the max g (the structural limit of the aircraft). In an ACM environment, cornering speed is that
airspeed at which the aircraft can attain the maximum turn rate and the minimum turn radius. Below
this speed, if you attempt to pull more g, the aircraft will buffet and stall at the aerodynamic limit; the
turn radius will increase and turn rate will decrease. Above this speed, with increased available g,
the structural limits can be exceeded, resulting in overstressing the aircraft. Also above this speed
at the maximum allowable g, the turn radius increases and the turn rate decreases at the structural
limit. Remember, the V n diagrams show only instantaneous turn performance.
ENERGY MANAGEMENT
A good fighter pilot knows the above concepts but will never consciously dwell on them in the
cockpit. However, he will know his cornering speed and optimum AOAs cold. Cornering speed for
the T-45A is 300 knots. The optimum AOAs for specific aspects of performance are as follows:
Energy sustaining turn

(Sustained performance)

13-14 units

Hard turn

(Optimum performance)

16-18 units

Break turn

(Instantaneous turn rate)

19-21 units

Extension/unload

(Optimum energy addition)

5-10 units

PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS EXERCISE


Because you will be demanding maximum performance from your aircraft during ACM, you need to
fly the aircraft under high performance conditions to learn and feel what happens when you push the
envelope before you are in a real ACM exercise. The result is the performance characteristics
exercise, which demonstrates timed turns, timed accelerations, and zero-airspeed departures using
optimum AOAs. You will practice the exercise on your first ACM hop, independent of the other
aircraft. During the timed portions of the exercise, the instructor will brief you and record the times.
To initiate the exercise, the section separates and climbs to approximately 15,000ft MSL. Once at
altitude, establish the briefed airspeed in level flight.
For timed turns, fly at 300 knots on a cardinal heading. Execute an energy sustaining turn (1314units) at MRT for 180 degrees, maintaining 300 knots. The instructor will record the time. Then
reestablish the cardinal heading and execute a hard turn (17 units) at MRT for 180 degrees of turn.
To maintain 300 knots, you will have to place the nose of the aircraft below the horizon. Again the
instructor will record the time. Climb back to your start altitude and reestablish the cardinal heading.
Execute a maximum performance break turn (19-21 units) at MRT for 180 degrees, while attempting
to maintain 300 knots. Once again, place the nose below the horizon in order to maintain 300 knots.
Compare the differences in the time it took for each turn.
For timed accelerations, establish 250 knots in level flight. Upon direction from the instructor, go to
MRT and accelerate in level flight to 300 knots. Then reestablish 250 knots and as you go to MRT,
unload the aircraft to 5-10units to arrive at 300 knots. Again compare the time difference.
Execute zero-airspeed departures the same as during the out-of-control flight syllabus.

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Air Combat Maneuvering

Background

ACM CONSIDERATIONS
GAME PLANS/MIND-SET
Even though the ACM environment dictates that you make constant decisions and reevaluations
based on an evolving engagement, you must develop a game plan. This game plan will be based on
many different factors including, but not limited to, aircraft performance comparison, weapon system
capabilities, the degree of mutual support, mission considerations (allowable risk) and the nature of
the merge. The game plan must be consistent with the fighters level of proficiency and flexible
enough to deal with a rapidly changing situation.
Although there are many different game plans, they can generally be characterized by the mind-set
with which they are executed. A fighter who enjoys a superior weapons system and/or superior
performance generally employs an energy-management type fight. The fighter pilot executing this
tactic maintains a more conservative mind-set with respect to energy. He is less willing to accept
excursions from his corner airspeed and strives to keep separation from the bandit (to exploit his
weapons system advantage). Perhaps you remember the scene from Raiders of the Lost Arc
where Indiana Jones confronts a particularly vicious looking assassin in the Egyptian market. As the
assassin demonstrates his considerable talents with a machete, Indy pulls out a revolver and shoots
him. Classic energy-management fight.
At the other end of the spectrum is the aggressive position fight. This fight is characterized by a
greater willingness to trade airspeed for position. A fighter pilot with this mind-set attempts to keep
the fight close and will bleed energy if it will result in an opportunity to intimidate the bandit. Against
an adversary with better performance and/or superior weapons, this is the fight of choice. The
greater the disparity in capabilities, the more aggressive the mind-set. This is the proverbial knife
fight in a phone booth and requires a pilot with a high level of Basic Fighter Maneuvering (BFM)
proficiency to be successfully survived.
Between these two mind-sets, there are a million different options.
THREE-DIMENSIONAL MANEUVERING
You have already been introduced to the concept of radial g and its effects upon three-dimensional
maneuvering. In jets that suffer from low thrust-to-weight, these effects have an enormous impact.
But where is this impact positive, where is it negative, and how can we use this knowledge in our
employment of BFM?
When we talk in terms of position advantage, we are usually referring to the aircraft that has the
fewest degrees to go before he can bring weapons to bear. In a fight where forward quarter
weapons have been neutralized (due to minimum range or lack of the capability altogether), it also
refers to that aircraft that is behind the others wingline. There are a whole lot of ways that a fighter
can create position advantage or improve that which he has. One of these is the intelligent use of
out-of-plane maneuvering.
By maneuvering out of the bandits plane of motion, we can often collapse our turn radius and/or
increase our turn rate with respect to his jet. By maneuvering out of his plane nose high, we collapse
our turn radius relative to his and create turning room in a fight determined by radius (commonly
called one-circle maneuvering). It can also help to control excessive closure, which might compromise an offensive position (high yo-yo).

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Background

Nose high maneuvering does not come without a price, however. Because we are fighting gravity
initially, our airspeed will bleed and our turn rate suffers. A smart bandit will use this knowledge to
redefine the fight into one more advantageous to him.
Out-of-plane nose low can actually increase rate and decrease radius which makes it a very attractive tool in BFM. In a fight defined by turn rate, digging nose lower than a bandit allows us to sustain
a higher turn rate and bring the nose to bear first. It can also be used effectively to close range
through lead pursuit (low yo-yo).
Alas, nothing in this world is free. A wily bandit will either counter your use of out-of-plane by
changing his own plane of motion, or realize that you are paying an energy price for your maneuver
(in terms of altitude/potential energy), and capitalize on this.
LOOKOUT
Want to know the quickest way to win a fight? Cause the bandit to lose sight of you. You can
probably guess what the quickest way to lose a fight is.
The importance of getting and maintaining sight cannot be overemphasized. Whether its obtaining
the first tally from a long-range intercept or keeping sight of an aggressively maneuvering bandit in
low-visual conditions, sight is critical. You cant fight what you dont see. Lose sight, lose the fight.
Pick your clich, theyre all true.
With that said, lets talk about some techniques to keep sight once engaged (well address the longrange tally plan in the section on BVRs).
First, preflight your gear. Your helmet, mask and visor all need to fit perfectly, and they must
maintain this fit under g. If they dont, get them fixed. Your comm cords must also be sufficiently
long to avoid restricting your head movement. But they cannot be so long that they get caught on
something behind your shoulders.
Dont carry any unnecessary charts or pubs. One tight fitting kneeboard, perhaps, but stow everything else. Youre going into combat and theres nothing more distracting than free-floating approach
plates during a 0-g unload.
Develop a feel for flying your airplane with either hand. You must be a contortionist to keep sight
when defensive (unless youre Linda Blair), and this will require twisting your shoulders as far behind
you as humanly possible. But this is where sight is more crucial than ever.
Finally, develop a game plan for lost sight. Know when it might occur and extrapolate the bandits
position for the second or two it will require to regain a tally. He cannot instantaneously reposition
his lift vector (unless hes in the vertical and slow), so move your eyes to that piece of sky he was
driving toward when you lost him. While doing all this, KEEP PULLING!
If you are unable to pull against an unseen bandit, simply wait a couple of potatoes and then check
your six. Hell be there.

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Background

Air Combat Maneuvering

SYMBOLOGY
You will see and use the following symbols from
Figure 6 in diagramming an ACM engagement.
ACM TRAINING RULES
The following ACM training rules apply to all ACM
training and shall be strictly observed. These
rules include those found in OPNAVINST 3710.7.
Because you will hear these rules before each
flight, their meaning may become just so many
words. For the most part, they will be the same
rules you hear in the fleet. But it is important to
note that these rules were developed over a long
period and each is based not only on common
sense but on situations where pilots were guilty
of making serious and even tragic mistakes.
GENERAL

1. FIGHTER

2. BANDIT

3. CLIMBING TURN

4. DESCENDING TURN

5. EXTENSION

6. PITCHBACK

7. PURE VERTICAL

Figure 6: ACM SYMBOLOGY

1.

ACM training shall be conducted only in


designated areas. ACM is too dynamic to coexist with any other kind of flying activity. You
must identify interlopers as well as make sure that you stay within the designated area.

2.

All ACM participants shall attend face-to-face briefings and debriefings for each flight. Brief
items shall include the conduct of the flight, the CNATRA training rules, selected safety of flight
aspects, the maneuvers flown, and spin avoidance and recovery procedures. ACM is learned
well only through constant practice and experience. Because each experience in ACM is
unique, all aspects of the flights need to be briefed and debriefed thoroughly.

3.

Termination of maneuvering shall be signaled by [Call sign], knock it off. When you hear a
Knock it off call, level your wings and acquire sight as soon as possible. If you do not
reacquire sight, make sure you say so by transmitting Lost sight.

4.

The minimum altitude (deck) for ACM is 10,000 ft AGL. The engagement shall automatically
cease when any aircraft descends below 10,000 ft, and that aircraft shall be considered a kill.

5.

An aircraft pursuing another aircraft in a descent shall monitor the defensive aircrafts altitude/
attitude and break off the attack with a turn away prior to either aircraft descending through the
hard deck.

6.

Aircraft configuration changes are limited to the use of speed brakes, i.e., use of flaps is not
allowed.

7.

If either the radio or the ICS is lost, ACM shall be terminated and the flight will return to base
according to the following procedures: 1) lost 2-way radio COMM, a. terminate maneuvering, b.
rock wings, and c. set up 30-degree AOB rendezvous turn. 2) lost ICS with good radio, a.
terminate maneuvering, b. transmit Call sign and Knock it off, and c. set up 30-degree AOB
rendezvous turn. If you are in a lost-sight situation, you will head to a briefed rendezvous point
until you reacquire sight. All aircraft will monitor guard frequency.

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Background

8.

If a pilot has lost sight, he will transmit Lost sight and respond to the other aircraft in the flight
when they transmit further instructions. Be sure to differentiate between Lost sight and No
joy. Lost sight means I cannot see anyone, anywhere. It is a call made strictly to maintain
safety. No joy responds to your wingmans call that he has sighted a bandit that you cannot
see.

9.

During a horizontal scissors or weave, the nose-high aircraft shall go high and the nose-low
aircraft shall go low. The low aircraft has the responsibility for maintaining flight separation.
Always transmit your call sign and your intent. This will ensure you maintain the safety
bubble between aircraft. However, any delay in calling your intentions may seriously jeopardize
the safety of the flight.

10.

The aircraft in the sun is responsible for safe separation. If the up-sun aircraft loses sight,
broadcast, Lost sight, and maintain a predictable course. If the down-sun aircraft loses
sight, break off the attack, lag the up-sun aircraft and broadcast, Lost sight. If you are in
the sun, you are using a tremendously powerful tactic because it blinds the bandit. But
because he is blind, it is your responsibility to maintain the safe separation. Also, if the
weather is hazy, the sun creates a halo when you are looking down with the sun at your back.
If the bandit is in the halo area, he cannot see you.

11.

Maintain a 500-ft bubble around your aircraft at all times. Always assume the other aircraft
does not see you. This safety rule applies for training, both in the Training Command and in
the fleet. In the real world, though, you must consider your adversary. For instance, if you
maintain 500 ft on a head-on pass with a bandit who has forward-quarter weapons, you may be
putting yourself directly into his weapons envelope. In the real world, know who you will be
going up against as much as possible.

12.

On head-on passes, both aircraft will maintain the established trend. Where no trend exists,
each aircraft will give way to the right to create a left-to-left pass. Broadcast your intentions.
This is simply a rule of the road. You may have to change this rule in a situation where you do
not have enough maneuverability to pass left-to-left without crossing the bandits nose, which
would put you in a possible head-on midair. Maintain enough situational awareness to call your
intentions long before a possible midair situation develops.

13.

No blind lead turns. A blind lead turn is when your nose is out in front of the bandits flight
path, and you cant see the bandit.

14.

A G awareness maneuver is required prior to ACM; aircrew who experience GLOC shall
immediately terminate ACM and return to base.

15.

Minimum range for guns tracking is 1,000 ft; head-on guns are prohibited. See the CNATRA
Weapons Envelope in the TacForm FTI.

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Air Combat Maneuvering

16.

Background

A knock-it-off will be called for any of the following situations:


a.

Any violation of Training Rules. Good flight discipline is essential for safety in the ACM
arena.

b.

Dangerous situation/loss of situational awareness.

c.

Radio failure/loss of ICS (see #7 above).

d.

Airspeed less than 80 knots (nose-high and decelerating)/departure/out-of-control flight.


Initiate recovery and transmit knock-it-off. This is a serious safety factor. In a slow
speed situation, if you continue to maneuver and a possible midair situation develops, you
will be unable to maneuver to avoid it.

e.

Unbriefed aircraft enters the fight. This relates back to the first rule stating that you must
stay in the designated area and other aircraft must stay out.

f.

Aircraft enters a cloud. In the Training Command, this rule is for obvious safety reasons.
However, in the real world, the environmental conditions may become your best ally in an
engagement.

g.

Bingo fuel state reached.

h.

GLOC (see #14 above).

i.

Training objectives have been met. This is usually determined by the flight-lead (or
instructor).

WEATHER
As stated earlier, you will not consider weather conditions as part of your tactical repertoire until you
face a real bandit. But it warrants remembering that you can effectively use clouds, haze, or other
weather phenomena to gain or regain the advantage.
All engagements shall be conducted under VMC conditions with the following additions:
1.

Maintain a minimum 5 statute mile visibility with defined horizon.

2.

Remain above or between cloud layers only with distinct horizon.

3.

Maintain a minimum of 15,000 ft between broken/overcast layers.

4.

Maintain a minimum of 1 nm horizontally and 2,000 ft vertically from all clouds.

5.

For a solo flight, cloud tops shall not be higher than 7,000 ft AGL.

6.

For a dual flight, cloud tops shall not be higher than 8,000 ft AGL.

7.

The deck is set at a minimum of 5,000 ft above all cloud tops.

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FLIGHT PROCEDURES
OFFENSIVE
As an offensive fighter, you have more to consider when engaging a bandit than simply putting the
pipper on and pulling the trigger. Our missiles are highly capable when launched within parameters,
but they are not infallible. There are many reasons why a valid missile shot might fail to kill a bandit.
Try as we may, we will never achieve a 100% Pk (probability of a kill)ever. When the weapon
being employed is the gun, our Pk is reduced even further.
For this reason, it is important for an offensive fighter to consider the effect upon his degree of
offensiveness that any particular move will have. It wouldnt make much sense to gamble all of his
position advantage on a shot that might only achieve a kill half the time. What happens if he
misses?
Killing the bandit is obviously our primary objective when we engage. The quicker, the better. But
there must also be a secondary objectiveto control the bandit. We want to maintain our offensive
position for as long as it takes to find a weapon that will kill him. That weapon can be anything we
bring with us to the fight, including our wingman. Several concepts will help you to achieve these
objectives.
Bubblethis is the bandits max performance turn circle in any given plane of motion (Figure 7).

The Post

The Bubble

Figure 7: THE BUBBLE


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Air Combat Maneuvering

Postthe center of the bubble (Figure 8).

The Post

Figure 8: MANEUVERING AROUND THE POST

Control zonea cone beginning 2,000 ft aft of the bandit and +/- 20 degrees from his flight path to
4,000 ft aft and +/- 40 degrees (Figure 9).

4,000 ft
2,000 ft

Figure 9: CONTROL ZONE

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Before we can do any effective BFM (Basic Fighter Maneuvering) against a bandit, we must drive our
airplane into his bubble. It is only here that we are able to create turning room and take it for position
advantage. Once inside this bubble, we optimize position advantage by maneuvering around the
bandits post. Pulling lead or pure pursuit ahead of the bandits post may yield a quick high-angle
gunshot, but it will also result in an in-close, high-angle overshoot, possibly costing you your offensive
position. Excessive lag to a point well-aft of the post will allow the bandit to generate more angles off
and possibly leave you stuck, without the rate required to get the nose on. Keeping lag pursuit until
reaching the post, followed by a max-performance turn to achieve lead/pure pursuit will maximize your
offensiveness.
Once you have achieved a position within the bandits control zone, you can employ close-range
missiles, intimidate the bandit with your nose until he has bled himself down, or drive yourself into a
low-angle gun solution with controlled closure. In the Training Command, you have the added option
of sitting behind your bandit IP acquiring embarrassing HUD footage for use at some future date.
Sounds simple, doesnt it? It rarely is.
What happens when you misjudge your transition from lag to lead and find yourself turning in front of
the post? What if you hold lag too long? How do you react to a bandit who has better performance or
a higher energy state than you anticipated? Perhaps you reach the control zone with an energy
package that is too depleted to maintain your position. Where will the fight go in each of these
situations?
As we begin to study each set in depth, ask yourself these questions and attempt to visualize how
each fight will unfold. Pick up as much from as many different instructors as you possibly can. Maybe
more than any other phase of flying, ACM is an art form. Go out there and start developing your style!
If the angles being generated are controllable, continue to press for the gunshot. Anticipate aggressive bandit maneuvering to defeat the shot. If you have pressed inside of the control zone, a more
aggressive lag maneuver will be required to preserve your offensive position.
SNAP GUNS EXERCISE
The TacForm gunsight tracking exercise provided you the opportunity to saddle up and hold the pipper
on a mildly maneuvering bandit. If the bandit knows you are there, you will rarely get a steady-state
tracking solution on an experienced bandit. Therefore, your only real opportunity for a kill in-close
may be with a snap guns shot. This exercise, depicted in Figure 10, familiarizes you with the snap
guns envelope and the difficulty in achieving it against a maneuvering bandit.
The bandit initiates the exercise from combat spread by transmitting, In as the target, and rolls into
you using a 45-60degree AOB turn. You then transmit, In as the shooter, and immediately execute
a hard turn into the bandit.
As the bandit reaches your 10/2 oclock, reverse your turn and attempt to reach a snap guns solution
between 60 and 90 degrees AOT. As you approach the range for a shot, the bandit will execute a
maneuver out-of-plane to defeat your guns solution. Because you have only a short time to reach the
snap guns window, timing is everything. Delaying your reversal causes you to overshoot before you
even place the pipper on the bandit. Reversing early generates too many angles, causing you to miss
the envelope entirely. In either case, your attempt at a snap guns shot against a counter-maneuvering
bandit will result in a high TCA, causing you to overshoot. Immediately after the overshoot, both you
and the bandit return to the original heading in combat spread, ready to initiate subsequent attempts.
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You should use the following calls


anytime a guns shot is attempted
during ACM.

For a solution of 0-30 degrees


AOT, transmit, Pippers on,
tracking, and Pippers off,
when the bandit destroys the
solution.
For a solution of 30-60 degrees
AOT and you are able to hold
the pipper on the bandit,
transmit, Pippers on, raking,
and Pippers off, when the
bandit destroys the solution. If
you are unable to hold the
pipper on within 30-60 degrees
AOT, transmit, Trigger down,
raking, as the bandit flies
through the projected flight path
of the bullets.
For a solution of 60-90 degrees
AOT, transmit, Trigger down,
snap, as the bandit flies
through the projected flight path
of the bullets. Evaluate your
gun shot by calling, Miss low/
high, if you feel the solution
was inaccurate. If you believe
the shot was valid, additional
calls are unnecessary.
We will now look at several
maneuvers that will be first
practiced and soon used in
concert tactically to achieve a
kill.

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4
4

1. Combat Spread
2. Snap Guns
2
3. Combat Spread
2
4. Snap Guns
5. Combat Spread

Figure 10: SNAP GUNS EXERCISE

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LOW YO-YO
The low yo-yo in Figure 11 is a lead pursuit maneuver, accomplished by flying inside the bandits
turn, designed to decrease range by increasing closure rate, but generally resulting in higher angle
off once the bandit maneuvers against you. Use the low yo-yo to close on a bandit to reach an
appropriate weapons envelope, as well as to transition from a missile to a guns envelope. Remember that the experienced bandit will attempt to exploit your increasing closure/angle off situation.
Anticipate this; ensure that you employ proper follow-on maneuvers that will maintain your advantage
and get you to a weapons envelope.

1
3

2
1

2
1
3
1 Attacker

Defender

Figure 11: LOW YO-YO

The low yo-yo is not just an exercise; it is a tactic that will be employed whenever necessary. Start
by pulling the nose down toward the inside of the bandits turn. Be careful not to pull the nose down
too low which will create excessive closure and provide the bandit with an easy counter. Once
established, position the nose in front of the bandit (lead pursuit). Approaching the desired weapons
range, work the nose back up toward the bandit while avoiding heavy buffet. Pulling the nose up too
quickly into buffet will cause a high energy loss and a missed shot opportunity. As you decrease
nose-to-tail, be aware that an experienced bandit will exploit your higher closure rate and higher
angle off by pulling harder, in an attempt to force an overshoot.
If excessive angles are being generated, come out of lead pursuit and lag to the control zone. The
technique employed could be a momentary unload to regain energy, or a simple relaxation of the pull
if your airspeed is sufficient to outrate the bandit once you have displaced yourself.

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Should excessive closure develop, you must react immediately to prevent an overshoot. Two excellent
follow-on maneuvers existthe high yo-yo and the displacement roll.
HIGH YO-YO
Figure 12 shows a high yo-yo, which is a lag pursuit maneuver designed to reduce angle off and
closure rate while increasing or maintaining nose-to-tail. The high yo-yo prevents an in-close/low-tomedium angle off overshoot. The out-of-plane maneuvering places the velocity vector of the fighter
above the plane of attack and exchanges airspeed for altitude. The combination of the out-of-plane
maneuvering and the slower airspeed allows you to turn with a smaller horizontal radius while aligning
fuselages and reducing your TCA. Your slower airspeed will also reduce the closure rate allowing you
to maintain or increase nose-to-tail. An alternative to the high yo-yo would be to pull power and pop the
speed brakes. Although a viable alternative, this will deplete your energy package and may reduce
your offensive advantage.

2
2

2
1

1
3

Defender
3

1
Attacker

Figure 12: HIGH YO-YO

When you recognize excessive closure or a potential overshoot, start the high yo-yo by quarter-rollingaway from the bandits maneuvering plane and pulling into the vertical. Any delay in your pullup may
result in an overshoot. Here, an overshoot in close is a much more serious situation since it may give
the bandit a reversal opportunity. If the bandit thinks he can force you in front of his wingline with an
aggressive nose-high reversal, hell try it. In this case, your high yo-yo may become your one-circle
entry (more on this in the flat scissors discussion). As the angle off decreases and you acquire the
appropriate nose-to-tail distance, roll the aircraft back toward the bandit to remain inside his turn. Be
aware that the bandit may counter your move by unloading in an attempt to gain energy and nose-to-tail

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Air Combat Maneuvering

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separation. At the first indication of relaxing g or unloading by the bandit, initiate a pulldown to
remain in position. If the bandit does not counter when you are approaching the proper distance,
overbank, pulling the nose through the horizon to the appropriate pursuit.
Your decision to come down is based on visual cues. As you pull above the bandits plane of
maneuvering, your closure should be slowing sufficiently to stay inside the bandits turn. If maintaining your current nose-to-tail is desirable, execute your pulldown before the closure rate stops. If it
becomes obvious you cannot stay inside the bandits turn, maintain the pullup until the bandits
relative-speed advantage results in increased nose-to-tail separation. This will allow you sufficient
separation to come down but may result in a low-angle overshoot at-range. This means that when
you come down, you might cross the bandits tail, but it will be at a distance, which is far better than
a high-angle overshoot in-close.
Even though a minimum of 1,000 ft of nose-to-tail distance is desirable, knowing how much more
you will need depends on how large a yo-yo was required because of the excessive closure. As you
initiate the pulldown, the bandit will continue to separate because it takes time to reconvert your
altitude advantage back to speed. Roll your lift vector below and inside the bandits turn to attain
lead pursuit. Try to arrive in position for a shot or, if need be, continue to another low yo-yo. You
may have to perform a series of high and low yo-yos to maintain the offensive advantage.

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DISPLACEMENT ROLL
If you are rapidly closing on a bandit with lateral separation and low TCA, a displacement roll would
be a better maneuver to choose than a high yo-yo. A displacement roll reduces excessive closure by
displacing your aircraft relative to the bandits flight path. Additionally, the maneuver can move your
aircraft to a different plane of maneuvering (lag pursuit) behind the bandit, while maintaining your
energy package.
You will practice this maneuver as a follow-on to a low yo-yo. Initiate the displacement roll from
anywhere in the low yo-yo by attempting to align fuselages on the inside of the bandits turn. Failing
to align fuselages will increase your TCA. Raise your nose above the bandit, and roll away from the
inside of the turn toward the bandits six. If you do not raise the nose, you will execute a simple
aileron roll which neither displaces your aircraft nor controls your closure. Use rudder and back stick
to keep your fuselage aligned. Adjust your rate of roll to arrive in a firing envelope. If your intentions
are to increase your nose-to-tail while maintaining the preferred lead or pure pursuit, pull the nose
higher in the vertical while increasing your rate of roll, as in Figure 13.

2
1
3
1

2
2

1
Defender

Attacker

Figure 13: DISPLACEMENT ROLL

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However, if you have excessive closure, prevent bleeding excess energy by displacing to a lag position,
on or just outside, the bandits flight path. This type of displacement roll is commonly referred to as a
lag roll, as in Figure 14, which is executed by flying a slower-than-normal displacement roll.

2
1

3
1

2
2

3
Defender

1
Attacker

Figure 14: LAG DISPLACEMENT ROLL

HORIZONTAL SCISSORS
The horizontal scissors, Figure 15, results from an in-close horizontal overshoot. Because you would
never offensively enter a horizontal scissors on purpose, several situations force you to enter one: 1) a
delayed or poorly performed high yo-yo, 2) following a raking guns attempt, or 3) a follow-on from a
rolling scissors. The horizontal scissors is a slow-speed, high-AOA fight where both fighters are
attempting to decrease their down range travel faster than their opponent by continuously crossing each
others flight path in a series of weaves. If you reduce your forward vector sooner than the bandit, you
will gain the advantage. Your goal is to remain offensive and to maneuver to your only remaining
weapons opportunityguns. If this were the real world, you have made a mistake, and a smart bandit is
taking advantage of it. Tactically, because you missed the quick-kill opportunity, your best strategy
might be to disengage as soon as possible.
The flat scissors exercise is begun co-altitude, in combat spread at 250 KIAS. The bandit will call, In as
the target, maneuvering, while the fighter calls, In, as the shooter. The set is cooperative to the
snapshot opportunity, at which time the bandit will aggressively maneuver to defeat the shot. Hold the
shot to 1,000 ft minimum range and then execute an aggressive nose-high move to control the overshoot. The bandit will attempt to force you into his forward quarter by aggressively establishing himself
nose high and repositioning lift vector behind you. You have the added advantage of initiating your onecircle entry earlier than the bandit and gaining whatever lateral turning room that existed between you
when you began your nose-high maneuver. Sixty to seventy degrees nose high is a good attitude to
begin with, while overbanking to reposition lift vector behind the bandit.
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2
1

Attacker
2

1
Defender

Figure 15: HORIZONTAL SCISSORS

Adjust your attitude as your airspeed reaches 140-150KIAS, and maintain that speed. Once you are
behind the bandits wingline, reverse and attempt to align fuselages while maintaining 19-21units AOA.
Unfortunately, estimating nose-to-tail in a scissors is extremely difficult. With experience, your timing
and assessment of all the variables will be more accurate. But for now, a general rule states that when
you are on or aft of the bandits 3/9 line and your nose is on him, you should start your reversal. A
reversal forward of the 3/9 line may allow you a snap shot; however, you may lose the advantage. The
bandit will time his reversals depending on how effectively you generate nose-to-tail and execute
reversals. A rapid or close-aboard overshoot signals to the bandit that he should reverse early; a
slower overshoot with nose-to-tail separation signals to the bandit that he should delay his reversal
until the fighter overshoots. The bandit is trying to gain lateral separation in an attempt to create more
angles on subsequent passes. You should prevent excessive lateral separation from developing. If no
nose-to-tail exists, reverse as you cross the bandits flight path.
At this point you should be established in a horizontal scissors with your aircraft at approximately
120KIAS, 10-15degrees nose-high, 45degrees AOB, and 20units AOA. During your reversals and
subsequent maneuvering, utilize rudder and back stick to maintain optimum performance while
monitoring your aircrafts attitude, airspeed, and AOA. You may find yourself wanting to overbank the

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aircraft to gain a quick advantage. By doing this, you will find it harder to keep the nose above the
horizon, which means you will have to execute reversals with more rudder. Additionally, with your
nose below the horizon, airspeed will increase leading to the tendency to use excessive back stick,
which then leads to an increased AOA beyond the optimum performance level bleeding off energy.
The combination of these errors will increase your down-range travel to a point where you not only
lose some advantage, but you may even end up defensive. Assuming you keep the aircraft close to
these parameters, the possibility exists for a raking-guns shot as the bandit crosses your nose.
During these attempts, do not compromise your offensive advantage.
BARREL ROLL ATTACK
The barrel roll attack (BRA), Figure 16, is used in medium-to-high angle off situations outside
4,000ft. It utilizes all maneuvering planes to reduce the aircrafts closure and horizontal turn radius
while maneuvering to an optimum weapons envelope with minimum energy loss. The BRA, like the
displacement roll, reduces angle off by displacing the aircraft to a different maneuvering plane.
Because of the high angle-off situation and the limited zoom capability of the T-45A, the BRA is a
marginal tactic against a counter-maneuvering bandit. Therefore, it would be best utilized against a
bandit unaware of your presence.

2
2

1
3

1
Defender

3
3

1
Attacker

Figure 16: BARREL ROLL ATTACK

You will set up for the BRA using a medium-angle perch of 70-80 degrees angle off at 1/2 to 3/4
nautical mile, and a 1,000-ft step up above the bandit. When cleared in off the perch, pull approximately 30degrees nose-up while pulling into the bandit and aft toward his 6oclock. This will be
similar to the barrel roll you performed in the FAM stage, but at higher (i.e., more aggressive) angle
of attack. Attempting the BRA inside the 4,000-ft criterion will almost guarantee an overshoot.
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Continue to raise your nose using 17units AOA rolling toward the bandits six. As you pass inverted,
use positive g and rudder to align fuselages. If excessive lateral separation exists, either reduce the
rate of roll or unload over the top to displace you farther toward the bandits six. Likewise, if lessthan-desirable lateral separation exists, increase your rate of roll to avoid an overshoot. If the bandit
does not properly react to your BRA, continue to press to align for a shot. But typically, the bandit
will counter with a hard pull into you followed by a vertical move into you as you begin your pulldown,
resulting in a vertical overshoot leading to a rolling scissors.
ROLLING SCISSORS
The rolling scissors, Figure 17, results from an in-close, vertical overshoot, and is usually a product
of a successful counter to a BRA. The scissors develops into a series of horizontal and vertical
overshoots.

1
2

4
3

4
2
1

2
3
4

2
3

Defender

1
Attacker

Figure 17: ROLLING SCISSORS

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Again, as in the horizontal scissors, if you find yourself in a roller, you have made a mistake, which
means you must strive to remain offensive or disengage at the earliest opportunity. A rolling
scissors is not a desirable maneuver for an attacker because it limits opportunities for weapons
employment.
To practice this maneuver, set up by executing a BRA from a medium-angle perch. As you start
your conversion over the top of the barrel roll, the bandit hard turns into you to create a horizontal
overshoot. Before you can adjust for the horizontal overshoot, the bandit will pull up to create a
vertical overshoot as he performs a BRA against you. Continue your barrel roll and place your lift
vector on the bandit. Once your lift vector is on the bandit, pull 17units AOA until wings level on the
bottom. As your nose approaches approximately 10 degrees below the horizon, pull wings-level into
the vertical. Then continue your pitch up 40 to 60degrees (depending on your energy state) using
17units AOA. Once you establish your nose in the vertical, roll toward the bandit to place your lift
vector on him.
The aircraft will continue to climb as you roll off the vertical, which will assist in gaining the proper
vertical separation. The bandit then overshoots vertically and both of you are locked in a series of
vertical and horizontal overshoots.
Your goal is to execute the scissors perfectly and capitalize on any mistake the bandit makes. To
stay offensive in a rolling scissors, use the three-dimensional environment to control your energy
effectively by 1) pulling up wings level into the vertical, 2) making your heading changes by rolling off
after you reach the desired vertical attitude, 3) trading airspeed for altitude to reduce your forward
vector, and 4) properly controlling your AOA.
In all this, you are trying to stay behind the bandit. A key determinant in winning the roller is to strive
to get your nose up when you are at the bottom before the bandit can get his nose down when he is
at the top, and vice versa. If you can continually do this without sacrificing your position, you are
then gaining the advantage you need to win in a rolling scissors. You must understand that it is the
steepness of your climbs and dives that will determine your horizontal movement more than your
absolute speed differential. Control your acceleration based on the bandits position relative to you.
To maintain your advantage, use a quick inside/outside scan by monitoring your AOA to avoid buffet
and to control your airspeed gain in the pullout. Keep your lift vector on the bandit throughout the
maneuver except when you are trying to align fuselages or when you want to reduce your forward
vector. To align fuselages, use lead pursuit and 17-21units AOA over the top. To reduce your
forward vector, maintain 14units AOA in lag pursuit along the bottom of each loop (pulling wings
level into the vertical).
Radial g affects your picture of being offensive, neutral, or defensive at various points in the
maneuver. You will experience several optical illusions. At the top, your slower airspeed and radial
g give you a smaller turn radius, while your greater airspeed at the bottom causes a larger turn
radius. As a result, relative position of the aircraft alone does not determine actual advantage.

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If you are neutral with respect to the bandit, at the bottom you are behind the bandit, while at the top you
are ahead of him. In Figure 18, compare the bottom aircraft with the top middle aircraft.

Fighter
1

Bandit

EFFECTS OF RADIAL G
1. Fighter defensive position
2. Fighter neutral position
3. Fighter offensive position
Figure 18: ROLLING SCISSORS POSITIONS

Because a rolling scissors is a slow-speed fight with predictable flight paths and poor shot opportunities,
you should look for an opportunity to disengage. The only appropriate time to disengage is from the top
of the roller. It helps to be aware of this to time your disengagement or to anticipate when the bandit
may decide to disengage. Should the bandit attempt to disengage from the top of the roller, roll off your
vertical climb early to reduce airspeed loss and minimize nose-to-tail separation. Pull for a shot and
remain in-phase using a combination or a variation of high and low yo-yos.
For most aircraft with less than a one-to-one thrust-to-weight ratio, the rolling scissors is a descending
series of barrel rolls because of the heavy use of the vertical. To successfully roll through the bottom
and continue in the rolling scissors, you will need approximately 2,500ft above the hard deck. As you
approach the deck, one or both of you must either flatten the roller, convert the maneuver to a horizontal
scissors, disengage, or be scraped off the deck.
Converting a roller to a flattened scissors reduces the vertical separation. This conversion usually
occurs when you run out of altitude to continue your offensive pursuit. Flattening the scissors will work
to your advantage only if your energy state has not deteriorated below that of the bandits. If his energy
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is greater than yours, he can generate sufficient vertical displacement for subsequent rolls instead of
flattening his scissors, thus forcing you out in front.
Assuming your energy packages are at least equal, flatten the scissors after reaching the top by
continuing to roll through more rapidly. Put your lift vector slightly in front of the bandit to both
shallow your slice turn and miss the deck. If the bandit rolls through without being aware of an
altitude problem, he will hit the deck. However, if he is aware of the altitude and your tactic, he will
be forced to put his lift vector out in front, resulting in reordering the relative geometry.
A roller can be converted to a horizontal scissors anytime, but it must be converted when altitude
becomes a factor. Typically, flattening a roller results in a horizontal scissors if the bandit follows
through on your tactic. If you decide to convert a normal rolling scissors to a horizontal scissors,
remain nose-high at the top of the roller and continue to pull back toward the bandit to generate an
overshoot. Instead of rolling through the vertical, reverse nose-high and pull back toward the
bandits six forcing him out in front of your position, resulting in a horizontal scissors.
Should you decide to enter the horizontal scissors during a normal roller, you will be bleeding off a
tremendous amount of energy. If the bandit is smart, he will convert his kinetic energy to potential
energy by going vertical and, more than likely, will get an offensive advantage on you.
LOW ANGLE SET
You will initiate this engagement from a position 45-50 degrees off the tail, 1,000 ft of stepup, and
300 KIAS. At the fights on, an immediate missile opportunity will present itself if you can aggressively pull the nose to the bandit. Call the Fox-2 and evaluate the bandits defensive break turn.
Unlike the gunsight tracking exercise you practiced in TACF, this bandit will try to survive. Expect an
aggressive break turn.
If the bandit appears to be maximally performing his aircraft, a moment of pure pursuit for a maximum range rake/snap followed by an immediate lag maneuver to his control zone will probably be
your best move. Holding the nose on will force the bandit to honor the shot, but angles will still
develop rapidly! You must evaluate the lateral turning room between the aircraft and the relative
energy states of the jets to determine the type of lag maneuver. An unload may be required if you
need to generate knots, but remember your proximity to the bandits control zone. If you lag for too
long, the bandit may be able to generate more angles than you can make up. A savvy bandit may
use the opportunity to unload himself, aggravating your ability to outrate him in the two-circle fight
that follows.
Holding pure pursuit all the way into 1,000 ft, guns ablazin can present big problems. Against a
hard-turning bandit, excessive angles will develop very rapidly. If you hold the pipper on to minimum
range and he survives this relatively low Pk shot, you will be faced with a potentially hideous
overshoot. The only move you have here is to attempt an aggressive high yo-yo to either minimize
the overshoot or at least position your aircraft for the one-circle fight which will follow a bandit
reversal. The magnitude of your yo-yo may well prevent you from ever coming nose-on if the bandit
elects to unload for knots or continue his turn without giving up any altitude below.
A compromise solution of pure pursuit to something outside minimum gun range followed by an
appropriate lag maneuver to the control zone is also an option.

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If the bandit fails to generate any angles by giving you a limp-wristed pull, put this guy out of his
misery in the quickest manner possiblepipper on all the way to minimum range while controlling
closure with power.
If you do elect to lag the bandit immediately following an initial Fox-2, a slight flightpath overshoot is
likely. The excess energy that you have over the bandit should allow you to make up the angles and
arrive nose on. In fact, the slight overshoot may misalign turn circles enough to improve your
position in the control zone, although it will delay a shot opportunity. Remember, if the bandit gives
up altitude below him, a low yo-yo will help to achieve lead pursuit. Angles generated here should be
much more easily controlled.
If done perfectly, your position in the control zone will probably afford you a second missile shot and
the opportunity to close for a very lethal track guns solution. Dont become complacent about your
position advantage, however. There may still be closure in the form of excess airspeed, which could
drive you inside 1,000 ft. If this happens, an aggressively maneuvering bandit may well spit you out
in front of his wingline. Do yourself a favor. Before hes given this opportunity to survive, control the
closure with power and finish him off.

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BREAK TURN EXERCISE


This exercise simulates a section defeating a long-range missile shot. One fighter defeats the simulated missile by breaking into the shot to create enough angles that the missile cannot hack the turn at
which time it goes ballistic. At the same time the other fighter maneuvers out-of-plane, out-of-phase to
engage a simulated bandit. Following the simulation at the beginning of the exercise, you will practice
maneuvering against the lead (now acting as a bandit) to a weapons envelope.
You will set up for the exercise in combat spread (Figure 19, point 1). The initial break call by the high
wingman simulates a bandit attacking between the section and firing a missile. The breaking aircraft
then assumes the role of the bandit to complete the exercise.
Initiate the simulated missile defense by calling for the lead to break into the missile. Always call the
break into the section during this exercisefor example, Duke, break left (right), missile in the air.
The lead immediately executes a break turn into the missile while you pull the nose up 30 degrees and
then slow roll in the leads direction. When the lead completes 45 degrees of turn, tell him to Ease the
turn, simulating the missiles defeat.
When the lead eases his turn at your request, he assumes the role of a passive bandit (Figure 19, point
2). You have a choice of two methods for continuing an attack on the bandit. Your first method is to

2
2

(2)

(2)

3
1

(1)

1
1

(1)

DASHED LINES REPRESENT SIMULATED BANDIT

Figure 19: BREAK TURN EXERCISE

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continue to roll in the direction you used to initiate the exercise, allowing you to keep sight of the bandit
at all times. To accomplish this, increase the rate of roll and relax the backstick pressure slightly (until
established nose-low in the oblique) to avoid burying the nose. You should arrive in a nose-low slice
turn in lag pursuit. Once in the slice turn, maintain a 17-unit AOA to avoid depleting your energy, thus
delaying your ability to employ your weapons and even allowing the bandit to disengage. Remember,
patience is a virtue. As your airspeed increases in the turn, your g availability will gradually increase,
and you should increase back stick to allow you to move more rapidly with pure pursuit to a Fox-2.
Your second method is to execute a reversal away from the bandit prior to his passing beneath your
nose. Although you will momentarily lose sight of the bandit, this method typically prevents you from
burying your nose. Following the reversal, overbank toward the bandit, executing the same nose-low
slice turn as above, pulling 17 units AOA to end up in lag pursuit. As in the first method, continue
appropriate pursuit to a Fox-2.
As soon as you see the bandit breaking back into you, evaluate your range. Chances are, you will be
outside of his bubble. Remember, you cant employ effective BFM prior to breaking into his bubble, so
if youre not there, get there! An aggressive 0-g unload will get you there the fastest. You would like to
arrive inside his bubble through lag pursuit, to a point just outside of his post. Once the post has been
reached, an aggressive transition to lead pursuit through a maximum performance break turn (you
unloaded for all those knots, now use them!) will get you as close to the control zone as you can
possibly get given the range at the start.
What are you going to use for visual cues throughout this exercise? Obviously there isnt a big post
out there that you can drive toward. Try this. As long as youre outside of the bandits bubble, his
position on your canopy will remain relatively constant, even while in lag. So at the Fox-2, start your
unload at the spot where you shot the bandit and maintain this lag pursuit even as the bandit begins his
break turn.
Aspect will change throughout his turn, but you wont pick up much line-of-sight movement (LOS) until
you have entered his bubble. But once that LOS starts to become noticeable, youre inside! Now, just
wait a couple of seconds until LOS starts rapidly increasing (somewhere around your 2 or 10 o clock)
and its time to bleed that jet out of every g available (within structural limits, of course).
The excess rate you have over the bandit should allow you to come nose on with weapons separation.
A second Fox-2 is an option here, as is a gunshot, as long as you can achieve controlled closure.
Remember, this is an energy game, so manage yours wisely.
If you begin your transition to lead too early, you will overshoot the bandit inside of his control zone,
possibly giving him a reversal option. If he starts to reverse, get into your one-circle game plan
immediately with an aggressive nose-high move, repositioning lift vector aft of the bandit. Any delay
could cost you the offensive position.
If the turn around the post is delayed, or the initial unload is toward a point well outside the post, you
will allow the bandit to create angles which you may be unable to make up. This could lead to seriously
misaligned turn circles and a disengagement opportunity for the bandit.
One other possibility from the break turn exercise is a bandit pitchback in the vertical. Normally, if the
bandit is able to achieve separation beyond a mile or more (putting the fighter well outside of his
bubble), it is not advantageous for him to do this. By coming back horizontally or nose low, hell
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achieve his best rate and have the best opportunity for a neutral pass. However, if the fighter buries
his nose on the start, the bandit may make the quick decision to oppose the nose by pitching into the
vertical and repositioning lift vector onto the fighter.
By doing this, he is hoping to capitalize on the fact that a great deal of time/energy is required to
bring the fighters nose to bear, perhaps setting up a high-to-low neutral merge from which the bandit
can disengage. The counter from the fighter is not difficult. A quick unload will give the fighter
over-the-top airspeed (although it may not be required). From here, the fighter needs merely to
pure pursuit the bandit until his flight path is established nose low, at which time, aggressively lead to
a tracking solution. This is one time that the bandits post is so close to his jet (reduced turn radius
through slow airspeed and radial g), that aggressive lead cant hurt. Because the bandits nose is
established nose low, he is unable to capitalize on an in-close overshoot with a reversal.
If the bandit has telegraphed his flight path by failing to put the fighter in his plane of motion, the
solution becomes even easier. Preserve your airspeed by lead turning the bandit nose low. Continue the pursuit to guns using appropriate high and low yo-yos.
DISENGAGEMENT/BUGOUT
Depending on your mission, it is usually desirable to stay engaged until you accomplish a kill. But
the longer you stay engaged, the greater the chance of being killed. If the time-to-kill becomes a
factor, it is sometimes prudent to bug out and live to fight another day. Because one of the most
important factors determining your ability to stay engaged is your fuel state, monitor your fuel and
plan to disengage before fuel becomes critical. The bandit pilot can add a flag to the side of his
cockpit if you flameout and lose your aircraft. Also, a bugout obviously becomes necessary if your
aircraft has mechanical problems, you have expended your ordnance, or you have a misfire.

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DEFENSIVE
As you might imagine, priorities change somewhat when finding yourself on the defensive end of an
engagement. Above all else, you need to survive. This will require you to defeat any weapon that
has already been fired and deny the bandit the option of deploying others. Your capacity to perform
this most important task is seriously diminished the longer that you remain engaged. For this
reason, you must look for opportunities to disengage, or bug out. They will rarely simply appear.
You will more than likely have to create them through intelligent defensive BFM.
Lastly, should the opportunity to go on the offensive present itself, take it only if it will result in a
quick kill. It would take a fairly egregious BFM error for this to happen (youll recall from your
ACM-1), but its possible. It is a whole lot easier to disengage from a dead bandit. Besides, you will
do fighter aviation a favor by removing this individual from the gene pool.
Those of you with an especially robust penchant for blood may be wondering why disengagement
would be a higher priority than a role reversal. Excellent question. It is not always going to be.
There may be times that your mission dictates remaining engaged at all costs. Without a mission
imperative, however, look to bug out first. Your odds of achieving a successful one are a whole lot
better. Its sort of like holding a blackjack with the dealer showing an Ace up. Take the even money
and move to another table.

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SNAP GUNS DEFENSE EXERCISE


The purpose of the snap guns exercise (from the defensive perspective) is to practice defending
against a high angle-off guns attack while maintaining sufficient energy to counter the next attack.
Figure 20 shows the same
exercise that you read about in
the offensive section, except that
you are now the defensive aircraft
against the instructor acting as
the bandit. From level combat
spread, the lead acting as the
bandit transmits, In as the
shooter, and executes a hard
turn into you. You respond by
transmitting, In as the target,
and turning with 45-60degrees
AOB into the attack. The bandit
reverses as the fighter approaches 10/2oclock to achieve
a snap guns solution of 60-90
degrees AOT. Maneuver
aggressively out-of-plane prior to
the bandits nose coming on you.
Anticipate his move, and depending upon the bandits position
relative to your aircraft, minimize
your cross section (make yourself
a smaller target) by putting your
wingtip on the bandit and pull outof-plane. Pulling in the same
plane as the bandit allows him
greater tracking opportunities by
providing him with a larger target
with minimal relative maneuvering. Lastly, when you hear,
Trigger down...snap!, burn that
image into your brain. If you ever
see it again, react! Following the
bandits overshoot, both you and
the bandit return to the original
heading in combat spread ready
to initiate subsequent attempts.

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4
4

1. Combat Spread
2. Snap Guns
2

3. Combat Spread
4. Snap Guns

5. Combat Spread

Figure 20: SNAP GUNS DEFENSE

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DEFENSIVE COUNTERS TO HIGH/LOW YO-YOS


To counter high and low yo-yos from an attacking bandit, maintain an out-of-phase state with the
bandits maneuvers to deny the bandit a firing solution. Remember, that both high and low yo-yo
maneuvers present the attacker with many opportunities to make mistakes. Recognizeor better yet
anticipatethese mistakes and exploit the negative aspects of each maneuver, turning them to your
advantage.
On your defensive flights, you set up as the defensive aircraft either with the bandit on a low angle-off
perch or following the break turn exercise. At the bandits low reversal or the Fox-2 call in the break
turn exercise, execute a hard or break turn by placing your lift vector on (or slightly below) the bandit
(Figure 21), increasing AOT and closure rate. Deciding whether to execute a hard or a break turn
depends on how close the bandit is to a firing solution. Save the break turn for when he is about to
bring his nose to bear. To get your lift vector on or slightly below the bandit with an initial nose-low
move, overbank slightly while maintaining g to redirect the lift vector down. Maintain the nose-low
hard turn until the bandits nose is committed into the vertical. Once the bandits nose is committed
up, unload the aircraft to 5-10units AOA to optimize acceleration and separation. Continue unloading
until the bandit commits nose-low, but prior to his nose becoming a threat. Any increased separation
allows you more room for turning, creating additional angles to force an overshoot. If you execute a
break turn and if you have any hope of regaining energy, you will have to lower your nose significantly
and lose a significant amount of altitude.

2
2

1
3

2
1

1
1

Attacker

3
Defender
3

Figure 21: DEFENSIVE COUNTER TO THE LOW YO-YO

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Maintain sight of the bandit throughout the maneuver. If the bandits flight path during his high yo-yo
(Figure 22) takes him significantly outside of your flight path, reverse to keep the bandit in sight and
continue to unload. Your goal here is to gain enough separation so that you can disengage or have
enough room to execute a pitchback.

2
2

1
3

Defender
3

1
Attacker

Figure 22: DEFENSIVE COUNTER TO THE HIGH YO-YO

For distances of 1-1/4 nm or greater with lateral separation and the bandit on or below the horizon,
execute a lateral pitchback by using a nose-low hard turn with your lift vector on or slightly below the
bandit. For distances less than 1 mile or if the bandit is high and/or at your dead six, execute a vertical
pitchback by pulling vertically 60 degrees nose-high at 17units AOA. Continue pulling back stick while
applying aileron and rudder in an attempt to meet the bandit head-on with minimum lateral separation.
If the bandit continues to press and you cannot execute a pitchback, continue your hard turn to force
an in-close overshoot, in which case you would execute a nose-high reversal. If the bandit does not
overshoot and executes another high yo-yo, continue your counters in an attempt to force any type of
overshoot. In any case, remember there are four basic defensive rules: 1) oppose the nose, 2) keep
your lift vector on the bandit, 3) take out the lateral separation, and 4) remain unpredictable.

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HORIZONTAL SCISSORS
From the defensive perspective, the horizontal scissors, Figure 23, exploits an in-close horizontal
overshoot. Force the bandit into a horizontal overshoot by making a hard or break turn into him.

2
3

Attacker
2

Defender
1

Figure 23: HORIZONTAL SCISSORS (DEFENSIVE)

Remember, deciding to use a break turn greatly reduces your energy package leaving you with little left
to do anything else. As the bandit crosses your six, pull up into the vertical while reversing to maximize
the overshoot (nose-high reversal). How much nose-high attitude you attain depends on your initial
energy package, but it should be roughly 60 to 70 degrees nose-high. After spotting the bandit at about
the 4 or 8 position, pull toward the bandits six by placing your lift vector aft of the bandits aircraft, thus
reducing your forward vector. While rapidly decelerating through 200 kts, continue the roll to about
120degrees AOB, which will help lower your nose to prevent excessive loss of airspeed (less than
100KIAS). A little bottom rudder will help start the nose down. Allow your nose to fall toward the
horizon without letting it fall on or below the horizon. Reduce your AOB to 45 degrees and establish
140-150 kts and 20 units AOA, i.e., maximum AOA without accelerated stall.
Remember, you have initiated this fight because it improved your position to do it. As the scissors
develops, you must continuously update your status. If you cannot keep the bandit in the forward
quarter, he has merely to take the turning room available and shoot you. Dont take refuge in the low Pk
of this particular high-angle gunshot. It is track crossing rate (TCR) that matters here, not angles. The
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slow TCR of a flat scissors engagement makes almost any gunshot incredibly dangerous to you.
Plus, by definition, a flat scissors is a fight that does not allow you a nose-high gun defense. If this
fight does not develop your way, REDEFINE! And do it early, before the tracers start flying.
Oftentimes, you will be able to sustain a protracted position of relative neutrality when engaged in the
flats. Remember, however, that the 1 V 1 Training Command regime is incredibly sterile. In the real
world, you are hanging yourself out to dry as long as you remain in this fight. Your bandits wingman
is out there and, at 130 KIAS, you look like a giant flare to his missiles seekerhead.
Unfortunately, disengaging at 130-150 KIAS is extraordinarily difficult, no matter how neutral the
pass. So youre going to have to set this thing up. A butterfly is a good technique. It is little more
than a series of extensions/pitchbacks to separate your turning circle from the bandits and increase
your energy package at the merge.
As you merge with the bandit, unload the nose to pick up some airspeed while you maintain sight of
the bandit and monitor his reversal. You must initiate the pitchback before he brings his nose
through more than 45 degrees or so of his turn. Trade the airspeed for altitude/angles to achieve
another neutral merge, and then repeat. You may find yourself losing angles at first, but as the flat
widens, it will begin to take on the characteristics of a two-circle fight more and more. Eventually,
you should be able to hit the merge with a good bag of knots and little lateral separation beyond the
required 500 ft. From here, you may attempt a bug.
There are other times when a bug may be attempted even without optimum conditions. The easiest
is a bandit who has generated some vertical separation and attempts to early turn you at the merge.
If hes real aggressive with it, you may be able to unload out his six while hes belly up in the
reversal.

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ROLLING SCISSORS
Defensively, a rolling scissors, Figure 24, exploits an in-close horizontal and vertical overshoot and
forces the bandit out in front by reducing your forward vector.

1
4

2
3 3

2
1

2
3
4

2
3

Defender

1
Attacker

Figure 24: ROLLING SCISSORS (DEFENSIVE)

You will set up with the bandit on a medium-angle perch. As the bandit attempts a BRA, execute a
slightly nose-low hard defensive counter turn into the bandit. Make the turn sufficiently strong to
prevent the bandit from pulling behind your 3/9 line. Maintain the turn until the bandit crosses on top
of your flight path. As he overshoots, commence a defensive pitchup by leveling your wings, keeping
17units AOA, and pulling vertically to approximately 60 degrees nose-high. As your energy dissipates, begin a roll-off in the direction of the bandits horizontal overshoot using aileron and rudder.
From this nose-high attitude, continue pulling aft as you adjust your rate of roll to keep your lift vector
on the bandit to create a horizontal overshoot. To prevent generating excess airspeed and increasing down-range travel, avoid burying your nose when inverted at the top of the roller. From this
point, the roller is identical to that explained in the offensive section.

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Disengaging from a roller is much easier than from a flat scissors, although you will still need to set it
up. From your perspective as a defensive fighter, the more vertical this fight goes, the better. The
optimum bug scenario has you nose down on the backside with the bandit nose high on the other
side. As long as the roller keeps a heavy amount of its horizontal component, the bandit will be able
to easily dump his nose and bring it to bear as soon as he recognizes the bug attempt. The key is to
force him to park it up there so high, that by the time he figures out whats going on, hes too slow to
do anything about it.
That all sounds easy enough, but how is it done? You have to be willing to give up a few angles
without letting the overall roller lose its one-circle characteristics. When pulling into the vertical,
delay the horizontal pull until airspeed forces the nose to come down (around 170-180 KIAS). Be
willing to continue pulling nose high even after the bandit has bottomed out, but before he can get his
lift vector on. He knows that he cannot go right to lead unless you bury the nose coming out of the
vertical, so dont do it. If you need to hold lag pursuit nose low to avoid sending your lift vector too
far down range, pull a little power. This will prevent the airspeed from accelerating out of control as
you come off the g.
For this bugout to be successful, youve got to get this guys nose parked up. But if you wait for this
to happen, youll already be coming through the bottom, under g, and not in any position to unload.
An insurmountable problem? Not if you employ a little trickery.
This airplane accelerates quite nicely at 0 g, regardless of attitude. If you initiate your unload as the
nose comes out of the vertical, but remain inverted, you will appear to be remaining in the fight. The
bandit must, therefore, honor this and continue into the vertical. He only has to remain fooled for the
length of time it takes to pull his jet from 40 degrees or so nose high, to around 60. Thats about two
potatoes. You may then roll upright, check turn to keep him in sight, and proceed with your bug,
laughing all the way. Who cares if he knows what youre up to. There wont be anything he can do
about it except wave goodbye.
If you are unable to initiate a bug and remain in the roller, the deck will become a factor. If it
becomes your limiting factor first, your choices are twofold. If you reverse one circle, the bandit will
simply use whatever altitude remains below, and convert it to position advantage. If it is minimal, he
will probably trade whatever energy advantage he has and sky you. You will be unable to follow. If,
however, there is little altitude below and the bandit has a similar energy state, you may well find
yourself in a relatively neutral flat scissors. This is obviously the best result.
The other option is to simply transition to a rate fight on the deck. This is not a bad option if the
bandit is late to recognize whats going on and remains in lag (continues to pull into the vertical). If
this is the case, expect to outrate him, possibly achieving a neutral position across the circle.
However, if he recognizes it early, hell simply pull lead while you are busy negotiating the deck
transition and your lift vector is off him.
LOW ANGLE SET
This will, perhaps, be your least enjoyable set. Prior to the bandits nose coming to bear, break into
him to either keep his missile on the rails or defeat any shot he fires. Here, you must evaluate the
bandits next move. If he goes immediately to lag, you may have an opportunity to unload for knots.
Hes forcing a two-circle fight with this moveyou need to prepare for it. If there is enough of a
flight-path overshoot, reverse into the bandit and continue the unload.

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If the bandit times his pull to lead well, or never initiates a position of deep lag, continue your pull, but
come out of heavy buffet. Manage your knots wisely, varying the pull as necessary to hold the nose off.
Expect him to initiate a low yo-yo if hes unable to outrate you in-plane. Dont allow him to use out-ofplane nose low without a counter. This will mean an equal amount of nose-low pull from you and
perhaps a maximum instantaneous turn to generate angles. If the bandit presses the attack (and you
live through it), you might have a reversal option.
If the bandit goes immediately to pure or lead pursuit following the fights on, trade your energy for
angles to maximize the potential overshoot. If he solves for a valid gunshot, you must react! Perform a
guns defense to break the plane of motion but get right back to lift vector on if he discontinues the
attack. There may well be a reversible overshoot here, possibly one with a vertical component. Reversing would launch you into either a climbing one-circle fight or a roller, either of which is much preferable
to your current predicament.
BREAK TURN EXERCISE DEFENSE
The purpose of the defensive break turn exercise is to practice defensive maneuvering against a longrange missile shot and a guns firing solution. There is no difference between this and the exercise you
read about in the offensive section except that you are the defensive aircraft. As shown in Figure 25,
the section is in combat spread with the simulated bandit attacking from your 6 between the section, and
spotted by the lead (instructor).

1
1

1
1

DASHED LINES REPRESENT SIMULATED BANDIT

Figure 25: BREAK TURN EXERCISE DEFENSIVE

When directed to break right/left, maximally perform your aircraft. Your lead will direct you to ease the
pull, simulating the missiles defeat. Your first priority now is to put the lead at your aft visibility limit to
maximize the extension without losing sight! As soon as you have the lead at 5:30 or 6:30, aggressively
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unload for knots/extension. If you must check turn to keep sight, do it at 13 or 14 units and get right
back on your unload. Do not arc!
Before the bandits nose comes on, assess the range. If you can determine that you are beyond the
capabilities of the bandits missile, you have executed a successful bug and may now RTB to the
club with your head held high. Not really, but keep in mind that the follow-on pitchback into the
threat is for training purposes only. If you are indeed within the bandits weapons engagement zone
(WEZ) as his nose comes to bear, break back into him. This, combined with use of expendables (a
timely chaff/flares call for you), will defeat his shot, if you didnt prevent the bandit from taking it
altogether.
Your reengagement can take one of two forms. Either a maximum instantaneous break turn (using
all available g consistent with NATOPS), or a maximum performance pull into the vertical. Base your
choice on bandit range and nose position. If range is sufficient to keep this guy from getting around
your post, come back in nose level to slightly low in the direction of the bandit. If hes at dead six, it
doesnt matter which direction you choose, but then you wont be able to see him, will you? Unless
youre relying on Zen to time your pitchback, DONT LOSE SIGHT!
You are trying to force as neutral a pass as you can possibly get. That means maximum angles off
the tail, minimum lateral separation. If you can achieve this merge with sufficient knots (you should
have no lower than 300 KIAS), disengagement will likely be successful. Care must be taken not to
unload into the deck during execution of this bugoutyoull be real close to it.
If the merge is such that a bugout is not possible, your options vary according to the degree of
defensiveness. If the merge is close, a reversal is a good option. Betting on a delayed reaction from
the bandit, you may be able to force either a climbing one-circle fight or potentially a roller (depending on the degree of the vertical overshoot and how long it takes him to get his nose up). Either of
these could afford a better bug opportunity than the continuation of a two-circle fight.
If the bandit is able to make it around your post, you are very defensive and will be forced to continue
your turn. Energy management is paramount! Dont bleed below your tactical airspeed unless
required to keep his nose off! Its possible that the bandit sold his own soul (in terms of energy) to
arrive at this point, and the jealous conservation of your knot package could yield angles for you.
Angles lead to overshoots. Overshoots lead to bugouts.
If the bandit has buried his nose on the entry and you are unsure of your ability to generate the
extension required for a 180 out pass, pitch back vertical. Execution is critical here. You must get
the nose into the pure vertical with a nibble of buffet pull, roll the lift vector into the bandits plane of
motion, and pull into him. Hopefully, you will achieve a nosedown merge with the bandit stuck nose
high in lag. Unload for knots and evaluate the bug.
Some key considerations when performing the vertical pitchback:

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You will need vertical airspeed.

You must keep him in your plane of motion. It does no good to perform an enormous
oblique arc across the sky. In fact, it will get you killed.

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A savvy bandit will anticipate your nose low move and lead turn you. You must honor this
by either pulling for the overshoot (if the nose is not already committed down) or redefining
the fight into a defensive spiral. If you continue with the unload, you will most assuredly
die.

LUFBERY
You may at times find that you have successfully countered the bandit but were unable to reduce
lateral separation. The most classic case is when you find yourself fighting the bandit directly across
a circle 180 degrees out from you. This is a stalemate situation known as a lufbery, named for
Raoul Lufbery, an American ace during World War I. The lufbery is an energy-depleting fight that
should be terminated at the earliest opportunity. But avoid performing a one-move disengagement
since the lateral separation and AOT are usually not great enough to prevent the bandit from gaining
the advantage.
To disengage, begin a series of unloads and pullbacks to gain airspeed and nose-to-tail separation
by reducing AOA momentarily to an unloaded condition. Maintain your AOB to disguise your
extension maneuver and pull back into the bandit to stabilize AOT. With sufficient airspeed and
nose-to-tail separation, execute your bugout or defensive pitchback. If the disengagement is
unsuccessful, then you may need another defensive maneuver. Because this maneuver requires a
great amount of time and fuel, the instructor may decide to terminate the lufbery prior to a disengagement attempt.
LAST-DITCH MANEUVERS
The defensive maneuvers previously discussed were developed to safely keep you from ever having
to defend against a bandits guns solution. But what about the times when the bandit has outmaneuvered you or has surprised you, and is behind you pulling lead for a shot? You have to do
something, and you have to do it now! To survive, you have to perform a counter that is extremely
aggressive and unpredictable. These counters are referred to as last-ditch maneuvers.

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Defensive Diving Spiral


Figure 26 shows a diving spiral which is essentially a tight, extremely nose-low, two-circle fight.
(Two-circle fights will be explained in neutral starts.) The spiral is a last-ditch maneuver that
counters an in-close, medium-to-low angle off gun attack while retaining maneuvering potential to
neutralize a follow-on attack or seek disengagement. It is unlikely that the maneuver will result in an
offensive position for the fighter.

Defender

Attacker

4
4

Figure 26: DEFENSIVE DIVING SPIRAL

You might consider the defensive diving spiral when the bandit nears his gun employment position
and your hard or break turn proves to be ineffective. You must have sufficient altitude (10,000 ft
above deck), a cooperative bandit who follows you into the spiral, and maximum deceleration (idle
power/speed brakes).
To execute the spiral, bait the bandit into committing his nose low by initially lowering your nose
slightly prior to entering the excessive nose-low attitude. Continue a hard turn into the bandit, pulling
power to idle and deploying the speed brakes in an attempt to increase closure.

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Overbank the aircraft utilizing aileron and rudder to place your lift vector on the bandit. Your rate of
roll should be sufficient to keep the bandit out of phase. Use aileron and rudder to maintain your lift
vector on the bandit throughout the diving spiral.
To pull out of a spiral, begin 1,500-3,000ft above the deck, depending on your nose attitude. If the
bandit begins to pull out first, roll your aircraft about your own axis while placing your lift vector
behind the bandit in an attempt to gain the advantage. If the bandit does not pull out early, judge
your own successful pullout to avoid the deck, allowing the bandit to drive himself into the deck. If,
at any time, the bandit overshoots vertically in the spiral, maintain your offensive advantage and be
continuously aware of the deck.
You must be cautious when executing a defensive diving spiral since descent rates in excess of
30,000 fpm may occur. Typically, expect 8,000 plus ft of altitude loss per 360 degrees of turn.
High-g Roll
Another last-ditch maneuver, the high-g roll disrupts the bandits guns tracking solution while
attempting to force an overshoot. The bandit will have trouble tracking due both to dramatic changes
in the three axes (pitch, yaw, roll) and to the increase in closure. If executed correctly, this maneuver will spit the bandit outside your turn, resulting in a possible scissors.
High-g roll maneuvers are extremely range critical. Executing a high-g roll when the bandit is outside
1,500 ft will allow the bandit to position himself for an easy shot. Within 1,500 ft, you must continue
to generate as much closure as possible while maneuvering out-of-plane to avoid getting shot.
Determining what direction to maneuver depends on your airspeed and altitude. For airspeeds
above 275KIAS, execute a nose-high (over-the-top) roll. For airspeed below 275KIAS, execute a
nose-low (underneath) roll. However, going underneath will require at least 2,000 ft above the deck.

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To execute the high-g roll over the top as in Figure 27, attempt to force an overshoot by increasing
back stick (to buffet, if necessary), reducing power, and extending your speed brakes. Once you
have established an overshoot, apply top rudder while maintaining g to roll the aircraft opposite to
the direction of turn. While inverted, increase your rate of roll by combining back stick, rudder, and
aileron to avoid a nose-low condition. Through 270 degrees of roll, continue to apply top rudder to
control your nose, and check the bandits position. Recover nose-high into the bandit, retract your
speed brakes, and add maximum power.

3
2
4
2

1
Defender

1
Attacker

Figure 27: HIGH-G ROLL OVER THE TOP

An advantage of the high-g roll over the top is that it usually results in a greater overshoot, possibly
allowing you to gain an offensive position by reversing back toward the bandit as he overshoots. A
disadvantage is that it causes greater speed and energy loss. Starting the roll below 275KIAS may
leave you too slow and unmaneuverable at the completion. Or even worse, you may not have
enough speed to complete the maneuver and find yourself defenseless as the bandit saddles in for a
shot.

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If you have to use a high-g roll and your airspeed is less than 275KIAS, execute the roll underneath,
(Figure 28), ensuring that your altitude is at least 2,000 ft above the deck, and the bandit is within the
1,500-ft range. To execute the high-g roll underneath, attempt to force an overshoot the same as you
would if you were going over the top: increase back stick, reduce power, and extend your speed
brakes. Continue your defensive pull until you have generated the highest possible angle off and
closure. Roll in the direction of the defensive turn while maintaining back stick and apply full bottom
rudder throughout the roll. When your lift vector starts above the horizon (halfway through the roll),
maintain 19-20units AOA while adding full power and retracting speed brakes. Continue rolling to
wings level, neutralize your rudder to stop the roll, and maintain back stick to achieve a nose-high
attitude, while checking for the bandits position.

4
5
3

1
Attacker

1
Defender

2
5
3

Figure 28: HIGH-G ROLL UNDERNEATH

The advantages of the high-g roll underneath are that gravity assists in the early stages and speed
loss is reduced, providing for better maneuverability. The tradeoff is that it results in considerable loss
of altitude.
Regardless of the type of high-g roll, if the bandit overshoots outside the turn, continue to pull up and
into the bandit in order to increase AOT. Attempt to force the bandit into a scissors as you look for
opportunities to disengage. If the bandit is inside the turn, continue to pull into the bandit, attempting
another maneuver to prevent a guns solution.
Jink-Out
Another last-ditch maneuver, a jink-out destroys a guns solution by maneuvering out-of-phase while
retaining the potential either to neutralize a follow-on maneuver by the bandit or to seek an opportunity
to disengage. As the bandit approaches a medium-to-low angle, in-close firing solution, increase your
turn to create an overshoot. Assuming an overshoot does not occur and the bandit begins to pull lead,
apply negative g to push your aircraft out of the bandits predicted tracking solution. Maintain this
negative g for approximately 2 seconds. During this negative-g extension, the bandit will be reducing

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his g to reacquire sight, which will eliminate his lead pursuit. Immediately follow this with a positive-g
break turn for 2 to 4 seconds back into the bandits position, which should establish an out-of-phase
overshoot. Repeat as necessary.
If an out-of-phase overshoot occurs but with insufficient angle off and lateral separation, use a rolling
reversal to establish yourself in a possible scissors.
Due to the risk of structural damage to the aircraft, negative g should be limited to one negative g in
training. In combat, you would use maximum negative g available.

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NEUTRAL 1 V 1
On your ACM-8 and ACM-9, youll get introduced to neutral engagements. Normally, these will be
initiated from a position 1 to 1-1/2 mile abeam at 16,000 ft, with the airspeed of your choice. The
bandit will announce, With a tally, fights on, and you will go kill him. Questions?
HIGH-ASPECT BFM
There are several different considerations when approaching high-aspect BFM. First of all, what sort
of merge are you likely to encounter? Here in the Training Command, your neutral sets will occur
from close range (typically inside of 1-1/2 mile) with both fighter and bandit having a tally of the
other. Assuming that neither jet is willing to give away any position advantage at the merge, (and a
forward quarter missile has not found its way into your face), you will pass with 500 ft (minimum for
training rules) and 180 degrees off the tail. From here, you will employ all the BFM knowledge that
you have acquired to accomplish your goals. Since your objectives can change given your degree of
offensiveness or defensiveness, it is important to be flexible in your game-plan execution.
Flow
As you have already seen from your reading, every engagement can be broken down in terms of the
flow that it is generating. One-circle flow occurs when one aircraft reverses at the merge, creating a
fight defined by turn radius (see Figure 29).

Figure 29: ONE CIRCLE: RADIUS

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Two-circle flow occurs when both aircraft turn across each others tail, forming a fight defined by rate
(see Figure 30). One of the keys to gaining an advantage in high-aspect BFM is driving the fight into
flow which will allow you to exploit your aircrafts performance characteristics. With similar performing aircraft, recognizing flow first, and then flying your jet accordingly will achieve the advantage.
When engaged in two-circle flow, the jet with the greatest turn rate will bring the nose to bear first
while at the same time, achieving weapons separation.

Figure 30: TWO CIRCLE: RATE

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In a one-circle fight, the jet which can turn the tightest circle will achieve position advantage (see
Figure31).

Figure 31: ONE CIRCLE: SIMILAR RATE/RADIUS

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With your understanding of T-45 performance characteristics, you know that your greatest turn rate
will be achieved at 21 units at airspeed of approximately 410 KIAS. But youre not going to be able
to maintain this pull for long. Unless time to kill is exceptionally short, the aircraft with the greatest
sustained turn rate will win two-circle fights. When you recognize that the flow is two-circle, any
airspeed below 300, or any pull less than 17 units (when above 300 KIAS) will significantly reduce
your turn rate (see Figure 32).

Figure 32: TWO CIRCLE: SIMILAR RATE/RADIUS

When engaged in one-circle flow, you need to collapse your turn radius as tightly as possible in order
to create turning room between you and the bandit. This means transitioning to an airspeed that is
both slower than his and controllable in terms of g available. 110 KIAS may well be slower than his
airspeed, but it affords no ability to turn your jet and will soon result in the loss of any position
advantage gained.

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Out-of-Plane Maneuvering
One of the quickest ways to gain position advantage in a high-aspect engagement is through the
uncountered use of out-of-plane maneuvering. By flying your jet through a plane of motion above the
bandits, you collapse your turning circle relative to his (see Figure 33).

Vertical View

Horizontal View

Figure 33: ONE CIRCLE: OUT-OF-PLANE

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By maneuvering out-of-plane below the bandit, you decrease the angles required to travel (increasing effective turn rate), while collapsing the radius of your turn circle relative to your opponents (see
Figure 34). Of course, if you pull your jet level across the horizon while trying to figure out just what
exactly that 60-degree nose-high bandit is doing, the lesson may be accentuated with some 20 MM
up your can.

Figure 34: TWO CIRCLE: OUT-OF-PLANE

Keep in mind, out-of-plane maneuvering will often be limited by your aircrafts performance. Asking
too much from your jet will result in a loss of control and a quick conclusion to the fight.

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Vertical Merges
Understanding the effects of the vertical in determining performance is critical. In general, excessively
nose-low attitudes can be aggressively capitalized on through a hefty amount of lead pursuit, particularly
when the nose-low bandit has a bag of knots. Recognizing his predictability in this situation gives you
the freedom to early turn with aggressive lead pursuit, while assuring two-circle flow. This is simple
because the option to reverse (into one-circle flow based on radius) does not exist for the jet that buries
his nose. If it is you who is approaching a very vertical merge excessively nose low, you must do
damage control. If recognized early enough, you may be able to maneuver for a shallower merge. If
thats not possible, perhaps the bandit will get too aggressive with the lead, allowing you to flush him out
in front with a wings-level pull to the horizon. If he correctly judges his use of lead, however, you must
roll lift vector on and attempt to spiral the fight to the deck (avoiding it, obviously).
Putting It All Together
Approach each merge with a game plan in mind. If you are going to fight an aggressive position fight,
attempt to influence the merge so as to arrive already established nose high. Reverse at the pass if
necessary to create one-circle flow. Aggressively use out-of-plane maneuvering to collapse your circle
relative to the bandits.
Ideally, you would reverse your turn again once reaching the bandits wingline to wrap your jet right
around his post, capitalizing on all the turning room your superior turn has just created. As you redefine
the fight from one-circle to two-circle, look for shot opportunities (probably high-angle gunshots due to
minimum ranges involved in one-circle maneuvering), or reset aircraft attitude to increase turn rate and
work for control zone positioning.
An uncooperative bandit may not allow you one-circle flow by reversing his own direction of turn following
your initial reversal. You may be able to reverse your own turn once more, but by this time, the range
between the jets is sufficient to negate the effects of turn radius. In other words, two circle conditions
exist despite the appearance of one-circle flow. If you cannot work your game plan now, react to the
bandit by establishing a competitive turn rate, and look for an opportunity to redefine later.
If instead, you approach the merge with any energy-management mind-set, work either two-circle flow or
extension techniques. Hit the merge with the maximum knots possible and influence flow by initially
turning across the bandits tail. A nose-low attitude will be required to capitalize on all that airspeed and
g available. Pick up best sustained turn rate somewhere in your target airspeed band (300-340 KIAS,
17units in the T-45) and attempt to outrate the bandit.
If you arrive nose-on within shot parameters, kill him. More than likely, it will take more than one lap to
work your way into the control zone. Prior to reaching it, merges may be high aspect enough to allow the
bandit a reversal. He is attempting to redefine the fight into one based on radius and you must be
prepared to make that transition. In this situation, trade your airspeed for position inside of the bandit
with the same objectives as those already discussed in the paragraph on one-circle maneuvering.
With similar aircraft, the fight normally will go to that fighter who makes the first error. In two-circle flow,
you keep a higher airspeed and since the fights normally take longer to develop, they tend to be more
forgiving. However, energy management is key. If you arbitrarily give away knots without gaining
something in return (whether that be a shot, position advantage or survival), you will probably find
yourself defensive. One-circle flow is much less forgiving of any buffoonery. If you goon up an
aggressive position fight, you probably wont see a gradual degradation of the fight. You will more likely

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go from a neutral or offensive position to a guns defense within the blink of an eye. Dont worry
though, your death will come quickly.
Finally, dont ever underestimate the importance of sight. A BFM error that gets the other guy to lose
his tally is not an error. You can be the most inept fighter pilot on earth, but if the bandit doesnt have
sight, youll eventually kill him.
BVR Engagement
On your final 1V1 neutral flight, you will be introduced to a Beyond Visual Range set. This will expose
you for the first time to what is the most probable scenario for engaging a real-world bandit. There are
countless reasons why you might be forced to a merge, requiring the fighter to employ BFM for a kill.
Follow-on prosecution of bandits who have survived BVR weapons, late situational awareness of a
threat aircraft, or the very likely requirement to positively identify a bandit by visual means (VID) prior
to killing him are all situations which might lead a fighter to the merge. The degree of offensiveness or
defensiveness in a BFM engagement, which results from a BVR set, is very often determined by who
achieves the first tally. With eyeballs on, a fighter can maneuver his aircraft as necessary to achieve
either an immediate kill or a highly offensive position on the bandit.
The ability to gain sight is heavily influenced by environmentals (sun angle, haze, cloud decks, etc.),
bandit aircraft size and/or aspect, the volume of the threat sector and aircrew fatigue. Getting that
early tally also becomes easier the more you are exposed to this type of set. Consider all of these as
you begin fine-tuning your lookout technique.
If you are able to achieve sight first, you need to take advantage of it. If an immediate shot opportunity
presents itself, take it. If not, move your jet as necessary to either capitalize on the turning room that
exists or create the separation you need. If the bandit is blind, it should be a quick fight. If he gets
sight, evaluate your degree of offensiveness and maneuver accordingly.
If you find yourself unable to achieve a tally at the merge, keep your airspeed up and start looking aft.
You cant have too many knots in this situation. If you pick up the bandit converting on you, evaluate
his range and either counter him defensively or keep on truckin.
To initiate the engagement, your bandit will direct you to call a CAP (combat air patrol) station and
altitude block. The CAP stations will be separated by DME along a TACAN radial. Block altitudes will
be defined as those altitudes ending in 0 through 5 and those ending in 6 through 10. Between 5 and
6, there will be a safe zone.
Once both the fighter and the bandit are established on station and within their blocks, the fight is on
and the two jets will turn toward each other along the designated radial. The bandit should call off his
DME in 2-mile increments and you will echo his call with your own DME. Once a tally is obtained,
you are cleared out of your block and may proceed to humiliate the bandit accordingly.
2 V 1 MISSION PROCEDURES/MANEUVERS
THE LOOSE DEUCE DOCTRINE
Do not confuse the loose deuce tactical doctrine with the loose deuce exercise you performed in
TacForm. Far more encompassing in scope, the doctrine is a system by which two aircraft can safely
separate from combat spread, allowing for coordinated, sequential attacks as either a free or an
engaged fighter, optimizing mutual support in both offensive and defensive situations. Its major
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advantages come from the fact that the tactical capability of two aircraft more than doubles when a
section works effectively together. Employing mutual support throughout an engagement enables a
section to maneuver to engage the bandit, achieve a quick-kill, and then regain section integrity.
You gain a psychological security factor knowing another section member is available to employ coordinated tactics, which is commonly referred to as mutual support by presence. The section can take
advantage of aircraft positioning by maneuvering out-of-phase/out-of-plane while they are forcing the
bandit into a predictable flight path.
Combat spread is a major component of the loose deuce doctrine. As you learned in TacForm, combat
spread increases the visual limits, maneuverability, and weapons employment of a tactical section. To
make combat spread effective, the section must employ good lookout doctrine through a coordinated
search pattern. This way combat spread provides the opportunity for early detection of the enemy and
makes it more difficult for the enemy to either detect the section or split it up during the initial phase of an
engagement. Once the section is detected, combat spread forces a single bandit to commit to one fighter
or the other.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
When a section visually detects a bandit in a high-threat environment, the roles of lead and wingman give
way to the designation of free and engaged fighter. The more rapidly these roles are designated, the
more effective the section can employ its full combat potential. The fighter with the initial visual contact,
which usually means the one with the best situational awareness, directs the other fighter and assumes
the tactical lead role until the section is engaged.
Once engaged, the engaged fighter is that member of the section with the best capability either offensively
or defensively to force the bandit into a predictable flight path. It is easier to see how the engaged fighter
with an offensive advantage will force the bandit into a predictable flight path; however, even a fighter who
is maneuvering defensively can force the bandit into an early commitment and lure him into a predictable
flight path, allowing the free fighter to maneuver for a quick-kill. In either case, this fighter would automatically designate himself as the engaged fighter. As an engaged or free fighter, your number one
objective is to kill the bandit and when possible achieve a quick-kill. As an engaged fighter, in addition to
forcing the bandit predictable, you are responsible for maneuvering to bleed the bandits energy, while
denying him a shot opportunity. Force him to fight your fight, and maintain as high an energy level as
possible.
The free fighter is that member of the section not pressing the bandit but maneuvering for an offensive
position to engage. As the free fighter, your prime responsibility is to kill the bandit. Additionally, you
must keep track of the engaged fighter and the bandit, making sure that you clear the engaged fighters
and your own six. You must get quickly out-of-plane and out-of-phase, maneuvering to the bandits blind
area while maintaining a high-energy level. Because you will have better situational awareness, you will
most likely be directing the fight. You must set a plan and provide simple statements of your intentions to
allow the section to work as a team toward the common goal of killing the enemy.
COMMUNICATION
Communication is vital in loose deuce maneuvering. It is important to report all visual sightings that may
be a factor to the section. If the bandit is detected close-in (less than 3 nm) by the threatened section
member,he will immediately employ tactical maneuvering and communicate his call sign, maneuver,
detection, direction, elevation relative to the threatened aircraft, range, and remarks. If the bandit is not
detected by the threatened section member, the other section member will communicate call sign,
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maneuver, detection, direction, elevation relative to the threatened aircraft, range, and remarks. For
example:
Call sign

Eagle

Maneuver

Hard right

Detection

MIG

Direction

Right 3

Elevation

Slightly low

Range

1 mile

Remarks

Nose on

If the threatened member does not have a visual sighting and responds with No joy, the update
transmission must verify the requested maneuver or modification. For example:
Response

No joy

Update

Eagle, break right, missile in the air

During an engagement, constant communications can make the difference. Remember these critical
elements about communications during an engagement: let your wingman know how the engagement is progressing, and always call your intentions, any pertinent information, and the direction of
the fight. As an engaged fighter, your most important call identifies the bandits position. As a free
fighter, your most important calls identify your position, intentions, and any recommendations to the
engaged fighter.
Clear, concise transmissions using verbal shorthand communicates everything that is necessary
without wasting words. For instance, Eagles engaged translates into Eagle (the engaged fighter)
is forcing the enemy aircraft to maneuver against him while Ghost (Eagles free fighter) will be free to
maneuver to a cover or an attacking position. Ghosts free means Ghost is repositioning based on
the tactical situation.
STRATEGIES/TACTICS
Before entering an ACM arena, you must evaluate all of the tactical considerations. One is force
mixthe number and type of friendly vs opponent aircraft. For training purposes, a 2 v 1 environment is the easiest force mix to learn and use as a building block for future, more difficult, force
mixes in the fleet.
You must also consider the bandits disposition. Constantly consider those tactical questions a
bandit might be asking himselfthose things that might affect his follow-on moves: What would be
an effective initial move by an attacking section? How much fuel do I have remaining? How far
am I from my base? What is my tactical situation if I lose ground control intercept (GCI) coverage
or my radar fails? If I have no tally, what will I do if I end up on an intercept and fly through? You
should be asking these same questions for the same reason the bandit is.
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What kind of strategies can you use to make a 2 v 1 situation successful? Consider these: 1) Use a
common set of guidelines and tactics to conduct the engagement. 2) Force the bandit to commit
early. 3) Above all, attempt to achieve a quick-kill. A quick-kill seizes the initial offensive posture
before the enemy implements his game plan. It also allows less time for the enemy to gain an
offensive position. To achieve a quick-kill, simply press for the most immediate shot in your first
maneuver.
Maneuvering so that your section is out-of-plane and out-of-phase with the enemy will improve your
tactical posture. When you were maneuvering from high cover vs low cover in TacForm, you were
maneuvering out-of-plane. A cross turn is an example of out-of-phase maneuvering. Regardless of
the plane of maneuvering, however, the guidelines as well as your roles and responsibilities remain
unchanged. Flying out-of-phase/out-of-plane forces an early commitment by the bandit and makes it
difficult for the bandit to track both fighters at the same time. With the free fighter in the area,
whether or not he is able to achieve a firing solution on the bandit, his presence will limit the time the
bandit can spend with the engaged fighter. However, when the bandit positions himself for a quickkill, the free fighter must immediately attempt to achieve a firing solution of his own. Being out-ofphase increases the free fighters flexibility to maneuver for the shot and allows him both to maintain
a high-energy state and to perform belly checks during a straight path extension.

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To employ missiles, the free fighter must obtain proper separation and ensure that the engaged
fighter is out of his HUD for obvious reasons.
Another strategic consideration is to force the bandit to split the section whenever attacked from
outside the section. Refer to Figure 35 for the appropriate maneuver based on where the bandit is
attacking from.

Extension

Check Turn

~
~ 2-1/2 nm
TAC Turn

Check Turn

~
~ 3 nm

~
~ 2-1/2 nm
Hard Right

Hard Left

~
~ 2 nm

TAC Turn

~
~ 2 nm

Break Turn

Cross Turn
~ 5 nm
~

Long Range

Inplace Turn

Inplace Turn

Inplace Turn

Figure 35: SECTION RESPONSES TO BANDIT ATTACKS


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Generally, avoid maintaining your position in the same dimensional plane. Avoid meeting a section
member 180 degrees out, close-aboard, or losing sight, which becomes critical during bugout.
Above all, do not delay engaging the bandit.
FLIGHT PROCEDURES
Three major types of engagements exist in 2 v 1
ACM: the rear-quarter, the abeam, and the forwardquarter attacks. Refer to Figure 36 for the parameters
of each type of attack. Rear quarter attacks will be
set up from three scenarios: no-switch, single-switch,
and multi-switch. Since the goal in an abeam attack
is for the section to turn it into a forward-quarter
attack, the forward-quarter attack will be set up from
the abeam position.
The procedures for the abeam attack and the rearquarter attacks explained below are the canned
setups as per Training Command procedures, unless
otherwise noted. The procedures for the forwardquarter attack are discussed as a follow-on from an
abeam attack.

Bandit

FORWARD

REAR

Call the Bandit Exercise (Enroute)


ABEAM
The call the bandit exercise is performed enroute
to the operating area, giving you practice with
directive/ descriptive commentary. During this
Figure 36: THREE TYPES OF ENGAGEMENTS
exercise the fighters remain in combat spread and
will not maneuver. While you are flying straight
and level, the bandit aircraft will maneuver simulating a no-switch engagement where he engages
one aircraft and stays with it. The first simulation will be followed by a single-switch simulation
where the bandit engages one aircraft and then switches to engage the other.
Bandit

Enroute to the operating area, the fighters fly straight and level in combat spread at a briefed
altitude. The bandit will set up on the outside of the section approximately 1/2 nm, with 1,000-ft stepup and 45 degrees down the wingline. Even though the following script is a fairly predictable
example, the goal of this exercise is to respond appropriately according to how the bandit is maneuvering against the section. Do not memorize the script as a gouge; rather use it to help you make
the right calls as you report what the bandit is doing. Attempt to use appropriate responses at all
times, e.g., Tally visual, Two in sight, One in sight, No joy, etc.
Script for a no-switch engagement: (This example assumes Mo is the tac-leadHe will call tally,
visual and knock it off prior to Duke for the set-up and knock-it-off.)
Initial setup
Bandit: Bandit setting up on Mo (call sign) on right for call the bandit, no switch, fighters
call when ready.
Mo: Mo tally, visual.

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Duke: Duke tally, visual.


Bandit: Bandits in.
Bandit reverses
Duke: Mo, break right, bandit right 5.
Mo: Tally, Mos engaged.
Duke: Dukes free, pulling for the shotFox-2, bandit in trail.
Bandit: Bandit, knock it off.
Mo: Mo knock it off.
Duke: Duke knock it off.
Script for a single-switch engagement:
Bandit maneuvers to same perch setup as before
Bandit: Bandit setting up on Mo on right for call the bandit, single switch, fighters call
when ready.
Mo: Mo tally, visual.
Duke: Duke tally, visual.
Bandit: Bandits in.
Bandit reverses
Duke: Mo, break right, bandit right 5.
Mo: Tally, Mos engaged.
Duke: Dukes free pulling for shot.
Bandit switches
Duke: Switch switch, bandits coming to me; right-to-right.
Bandit: Right-to-right.
Duke: Duke will engage flat scissors 180.
Mo: Roger, Mos free, extending.

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Duke: Duke confirms horizontal scissors 180.


Mo: Mos turning in, tally, visual, Fox-2, bandit in trail.
Bandit: Bandit, knock it off.
Mo: Mo knock it off.
Duke: Duke knock it off.
At this point, the bandit will be on the other side of the section. He will set up again on a high perch
and reinitiate the exercise, but in the opposite direction. This gives both fighters a chance to practice
all aspects of the appropriate communications.
You will have a tendency to not maintain combat spread during this exercise. Do not get so caught
up in the comm that you forget to monitor your airspeed and altitude and make corrections appropriately. You will also find yourself making inappropriate calls because you are not watching the bandit
carefully. If he reverses left, do not transmit to your wingman that he is reversing right. Here in
training it is embarrassing. In a real combat situation, it could be fatal!
Rear-Quarter Attacks
In a rear-quarter attack, the bandit attacks from behind and between the section. When the bandit
attacks from the rear, the section has to be aware that one of three things can happen. First, when
the bandit engages one of the fighters, he may stay with that fighter throughout the entire engagement. This is a no-switch attack, and once the engaged fighter is identified, no roles change for
either fighter. Second, after the bandit engages a fighter at some point during the engagement, he
disengages from the first fighter and engages the other. This is a single-switch scenario and forces
the fighters to recognize the situation and change roles once during an engagement. Third, the
bandit may switch several times, continuously disengaging from one fighter and engaging the other
when the bandit feels it is to his advantage to do so. This is a multi-switch scenario, causing any
number of role changes between the fighters. Even though the procedures for each of these
scenarios are canned, they represent what can happen in a real 2 v 1 engagement.
No-Switch Scenario
A classic strategy to defeat a bandit attacking from the rear-quarter between the section is to employ
the counterflow, where the engaged fighter forces the bandit into a predictable flight path, while the
free fighter maneuvers out-of-plane, going counter to the direction of the fight for a kill.
In the first scenario, the counterflow exercise, the bandit will attack from behind and between the
section. As shown in the top section of Figure 37, the tactical lead, whether lead or wingman, calls
for the threatened section member to break or hard turn. The tactical lead becomes the free fighter
and maneuvers in the opposite direction using an uncalled cross turn to achieve counterflow with a
vertical split. The engaged fighter calls his role, gets the tally, and fights the best possible 1 v 1
defense. If the engaged fighter can generate high AOT, the fight may develop into lufbery, which
would serve to prevent the bandit from maneuvering for a shot while forcing him into a predictable
flight path.

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Meanwhile, the free fighter calls his role and maintains sight, as in the bottom section of Figure 37,
while he begins an extension maneuver to gain weapons separation, ensuring that he keeps the fight
at his 7 or 5 oclock position. During his extension, he will ensure that his nose is below the horizon
to quickly achieve maximum acceleration. He then turns back into the fight when the bandit is 90
degrees off the free fighters heading. He then adjusts his turn to arrive nose on the bandits belly
after approximately 180 degrees of turn, achieving a 90-degree cold-side shot. If the IR missile-shot
opportunity is missed, the free fighter maintains counterflow and extends to maneuver for another
shot opportunity.

Sage
Start

Crane
Start

2
Bandit
Start

START

Sage
2 Cont.

Bandit
2 Cont.

Crane
2 Cont.

CONTINUED
Figure 37: COUNTERFLOW EXERCISE

After the Fox-2 call, the bandit knocks off the fight and all fighters acknowledge. The aircraft with
the best situational awareness (usually the free fighter) calls the appropriate heading to place the
section back in combat spread. All engagements will be concluded this way.
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The first scenario provides an example of the voice comm that would occur as the section employs
the counterflow tactic during a rear-quarter no-switch engagement:
Tactical lead: Crane, break left, bandit left 7.
Engaged fighter: Tally, Cranes engaged.
Free fighter: Looks like Bandits staying with you. Sages free extending.
Engaged fighter: Crane engaged, two-circle, left, defensive.
Free fighter: Sages turning in. Talley, visual, Fox-2, bandit in-trail.
Bandit: Bandit knock it off.
Engaged fighter: Crane knock it off.
Free fighter: Sage knock it off. Heading 270.
A second scenario in the no-switch
exercise, Figure 38, is where the bandit
attacks from the rear quarter with low
angles off, outside the section. The
tactical lead immediately calls for a
hard or break turn, whichever is more
appropriate, for the most threatened
member of section. The free fighter
must immediately turn to threaten the
bandit and press for a quick- kill. As a
free fighter, you must take the pressure
off your wingman by intimidating the
bandit with your nose. He will either
have to switch or die. Meanwhile, the
engaged fighter fights the best possible
1 v 1 defense.

Sage
Start

Crane
Start

Bandit
Start

Figure 38: NO-SWITCH QUICK-KILL ENGAGEMENT

The following depicts the voice comm that would accompany a rear-quarter no-switch engagement:
Tactical lead: Crane, break right, bandit at right 5.
Engaged fighter: Tally, Cranes engaged.
Free fighter: Sages free, pulling for a shot. {Pause} Fox-2bandit in trail.

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Single-Switch Scenario
During a 2 v 1 engagement the bandit may engage one fighter, then disengage from that fighter to
engage the other anytime he feels it may be tactically advantageous. Both fighters must remain
aware that this could happen anytime. If he does switch once, the bandit, in effect, forces a single
role change between engaged and free fighters.
When this scenario is set up, as in Figure 39, the bandit will attack from the rear quarter, outside the
section, and engage the near fighter. The section will maneuver into the bandit. As the engagement
develops, the bandit spots the free fighter pulling for a shot and, in his own defense, pitches off and
into the free fighter. At this point, the roles will switch. If you were the free fighter, you are now the
engaged fighter, and vice versa. The new engaged fighter must tie up the bandit as the new free
fighter extends for the shot.

3
3

2
2

2
Decoy
Start

Nerf
Start

Bandit
Start
3

Figure 39: SINGLE-SWITCH ENGAGEMENT

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After the switch, the engaged fighter will call the direction of the extension and the fight and maneuver to gain an offensive advantage. He will attempt to force the bandit in a direction away from the
free fighter. The free fighter will then extend as directed by the engaged fighter. He must keep the
bandit in sight following the switch and begin a nose-low, energy-gaining turn to achieve proper
separation and cornering speed. The free fighter must also gain enough energy to allow him to
reengage the bandit, if necessary, at a high energy state. Once the free fighter attains proper
separation, he will call tally visual, or, if he is unable to distinguish between aircraft, he will call the
number in sight. The engaged fighter need not respond unless the free fighter cannot distinguish
between aircraft. If the free fighter does not have a tally visual, the engaged fighter must assist him
by calling direction, altitude, location, and, if need be, the next crossing. Should the free fighter be
totally blind, the engaged fighter may even have to locate and redirect him into the fight. Once the
free fighter has reestablished situational awareness, he will maneuver as necessary to kill the bandit.
Following is an example of the voice comm that would accompany the single-switch scenario.
Free fighter: Nerf, break right, bandit right 5.
Engaged fighter: Tally, Nerfs engaged.
Free fighter: Decoys free pulling for shot. (After seeing the bandit switch)Switch, switch,
the bandits coming to me, right-to-right. (Bandit acknowledges)Decoy will engage flat
scissors 360.
New free fighter: Nerfs free extending.
Engaged fighter: Decoy confirms flat scissors 360.
Free fighter: Nerf turning in, tally visual.
Free fighter: Fox-2, bandit on the right.
The next example of voice comm would occur if the free fighter has only one aircraft in sight
following the extension.
Free fighter: Turning in, tally one.
Engaged fighter: Decoy on left, standby for merge, decoy on right.
The engaged fighter must pass close with the bandit to ensure visual sighting by the free fighter.

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Multi-Switch Scenario
In defending himself, an experienced bandit will attempt to gain an advantage or to negate your advantage by switching from one fighter to the other anytime he sees the opportunity or is in a position where
he has no other choice. The engagement, diagrammed in Figures 40 and 41, begins the same way as a
no-switch or single-switch engagement. The ensuing engagement may be a one- or two-circle fight, but
the bandit will continually force role changes. A multi-switch engagement calls for a greater amount of
situational awareness (SA) and aggressiveness on the part of the fighters in order to defeat this tactic.

3
3

2
2

2
Chunk
Start

Luther
Start

Bandit
Start

PART 1
Figure 40: MULTI-SWITCH REAR QUARTER ATTACK (1 OF 2)

As shown in Figures 40 and 41, when this scenario is set up, the bandit will attack from the rear quarter,
outside the section. After one fighter is engaged, the bandit will press the engaged fighter until he spots
the free fighter pulling for a shot. At that point, he pitches off and into the free fighter just as he would in
the single-switch scenario. Roles immediately switch. Just as in the single-switch situation, the new
engaged fighter must tie up the bandit as the new free fighter extends for a shot, regardless of whether it
is a one- or two-circle fight. At a point where he thinks it tactically advantageous, the bandit will switch to
the new free fighter, as shown in Figure 41, Part 2. Again the roles switch. The new engaged fighter
must tie up the bandit as the new free fighter extends for a shot. The new engagement will be either a
two-circle or a one-circle fight.

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Bandit
Cont. 3

Flight Procedures

Chunk
Cont. 3

Luther
Cont.

PART 2

Luther
Cont. 4

Chunk
Cont.

Bandit
Cont.

SINGLE CIRCLE END GAME


Figure 41: MULTI-SWITCH REAR QUARTER ATTACK (2 OF 2)
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The free fighters extension responsibilities were described above during the single-switch scenario
involving tactics against a one-circle fight. A more difficult scenario, shown in Figure 42, arises when
the free fighter must extend for weapons separation and then reengage when his wingman is
involved in a two-circle fight. The scenario is especially deceiving since a two-circle fight can be
mistaken as a switch. If the engaged fighter calls engaged in a two-circle fight, the free fighter must
gain additional separation while keeping the fight 90 degrees to his aircraft. The free fighter must
avoid the tendency to pull inside the two-circle fight, which would eliminate necessary separation for
a shot. If the bandit continues in the two-circle fight, the result will be similar to the counterflow
where the free fighter will have a 90-degree cold-side shot. Should the bandit decide he cannot
continue in the two-circle fight and switches off late to the free fighter, the free fighter would delay his
turn but still meet the bandit head-on, allowing the previously engaged fighter room to maneuver for
a shot.

Chunk
Cont. 4

Bandit
Cont. 4

Luther
4 Cont.

WRONG
Chunk
Cont.

Bandit
Cont. 4

Luther
4 Cont.

Not enough separation


for shot

Figure 42: TWO-CIRCLE END GAME

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Here is an example of voice comm that could occur during a multi-switch engagement:
Free fighter: Luther, break right, bandit right 5.
Engaged fighter: Tally, Luthers engaged.
Free fighter: Chunks free pulling for shot. (After seeing bandit switch)SwitchBandits
switched, coming to me, right-to-right. (Bandit acknowledges)Chunk will engage north.
New free fighter: Luthers free extending.
Engaged fighter: Chunk confirms flat scissors 360.
Free fighter: Luther turning in, tally two.
Engaged fighter: Heads up Bandits nose low, switch switch, Bandit coming to you from the left.
Free fighter: Tally, left-to-left, Luther will engage flat scissors 270.
New free fighter: Chunks free, extending.
Engaged fighter: Luther confirms flat scissors 270.
Free fighter: Chunks turning in, tally two.
New engaged fighter: Luther on the left.
Free fighter: Tally visualFox-2, Bandit on the right.
Visual Forward Quarter
An abeam attack occurs when the bandit attacks the section from the 2-5 or the 7-10 oclock position.
When this happens, you will find yourself in one of two situations. Either you will sight the bandit abeam
with sufficient separation to employ a Tac turn to meet him head-on, or you will sight the bandit close-in
rendering a Tac turn impossible, requiring a hard or break turn into the bandit.
In the first situation as in Figure 43, Part 1, where you have enough separation, the fighter with initial
visual contact calls for a Tac turn into the bandit. The Tac lead (eyeball) keeps his tally and maneuvers
for a close aboard pass attempting to bracket the bandit by forcing him between the section. This
bracketing technique will force the bandit to split his concentration between the fighters, while allowing
the fighters to gain the initial offensive advantage. Employing bracketing is the most basic strategy a
section can employ. Failure to bracket the bandit gives the bandit a better opportunity to maintain sight
and overall situational awareness. The wingman (shooter) early turns for a shot. In Figure 43, Part 2,
after the close aboard pass, the eyeball (now the free fighter) will extend to set up a counterflow tactic.
The shooter (now the engaged fighter) will force the bandit into a predictable flight path by maintaining
the offensive advantage and taking shots of opportunity. After separation is accomplished, the free
fighter (eyeball) turns back into the fight and eventually shoots the bandit on the cold side. Once the
free fighter is in position for a shot, it may be necessary to call for the current engaged fighter to pitch
off in a direction that will safely clear him from interfering with the missile shot and to avoid a midair
collision. This situation is especially dangerous if the new free fighter delays his counterflow turn and
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aligns for a rear-quarter shot without calling the engaged fighter off. Failing to do that immediately
sets up the potential for a midair. This type of fight may develop into a scenario similar to multiswitch engagements.

Bronto
Start

Slam
Start

Bandit
Start

PART 1

Slam
Cont.
2

Bandit
Cont.
2

2
2
Bronto
Cont.

PART 2
Figure 43: VISUAL FORWARD QUARTER

Following is an example of voice comm appropriate in an abeam attack where the fighters can
bracket the bandit. However, in this example, the roles are not immediately defined.
Tactical lead (inside man): Bronto, Tac right, Bogey right two, 3 miles. Slams padlocked,
call my turn.
Tactical wingman: Two {When ready for eyeball to turn} Turn.

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Tactical lead: Out of the turn, Bogey on my nose 1 mile, Slams the eye ball, right-to-right.
Free fighter: Tally visual, Bronto is the shooter.
Engaged fighter: Shoot, shoot, MIG.
Should the bandit attack from the abeam without sufficient lateral separation for a successful Tac turn,
the inside fighter maneuvers to maximize his AOT and attempts to meet the bandit head-on. After the
pass, or when the bandit switches to the outside fighter, the inside fighter extends to gain separation for
a shot. The outside fighter in this scenario initiates a turn into the bandit to avoid exposing his six and
meets the bandit head-on. The outside fighter attempts to force the bandit into a predictable flight path.
As before, the fight may develop into a scenario similar to multi-switch engagements.
In a visual forward-quarter attack, Figure 43, the bandit will attack from the 11-1 oclock position. In the
fleet, this situation may be a shot opportunity. However, in the Training Command, the fighters must
maneuver for a rear-quarter shot. As in the abeam attack, the section will attempt to force the bandit
between the section to ensure the bracket. The fighter closest to the bandit will designate himself as the
eyeball and take command of the section as tactical lead. His wingman will be designated the shooter
and will maneuver, if necessary, to gain increased lateral separation and airspeed while maintaining
sight of his lead. If the bandit attempts to fly outside the section, the eyeball will call appropriate check
turns to ensure a bracket.
At approximately 1-1/2 miles from the pass, the eyeball will call for the shooter to begin his turn for the
shot and will continue to communicate the bandits range and position if the shooter has failed to acquire
a tally. It is the eyeballs responsibility to pass the bandit close-aboard, while calling the pass to facilitate
the shooter gaining a tally. When directed, the shooter will begin his engaging turn toward the eyeball.
He will continue his turn, even if he has not acquired a tally, and position his nose on the eyeball
throughout the turn. By the time the shooter places his nose on the eyeball, the pass should occur,
allowing the shooter to obtain the tally and maneuver for an offensive position. After gaining the tally, the
shooter will call his tally and inform the eyeball of his intentions. The eyeball, now the free fighter, will
extend to set up a counterflow for a shot.
A number of situations could develop during a visual forward-quarter intercept depending on the initial
move of the bandit. At the pass, the bandit can maneuver in one of three directions: straight ahead,
across the eyeballs tail, or reverse toward the shooter. If the bandit was properly bracketed, any
maneuver other than reversing toward the shooter should result in an immediate kill.
When neither fighter is in a position to take the bandit close aboard, the bandit can split the section. In
this situation, both fighters early turn prior to the pass, forcing the bandit into a predictable flight path.
Here, each fighter maneuvers out-of-plane and calls his intentions as the fight develops. When the roles
are defined, the free fighter extends to gain separation and comes back into the fight using counterflow
tactics for a shot.
In all cases throughout section tactics, the free fighter must gain the proper separation during his
extension to ensure the quickest kill. If the situation arises where the free fighter pulls for a shot without
sufficient lateral separation, the free fighter ends up missing the shot and is forced into an in-phase
engagement with the wingman and the bandit. This is a situation commonly referred to as a Daisy
Chain, where both fighters are engagedone offensively and one defensively. This violates the Loose
Deuce doctrine of one engaged fighter and one free fighter. If the offensive fighter is unable to get an
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immediate shot, he must disengage and maneuver for separation to reestablish an out-of-phase
condition. During his separation he must keep the fight constantly in sight to avoid exposing his six
to the bandit and to maintain situational awareness for making appropriate tactical decisions.
Following is an example of voice comm that would occur during the first scenario of a visual forwardquarter attack:
Engaged fighter: Bronto engaged left 2-circle offensive.
Free fighter: Slams free, extending.
Free fighter: Turning in, tally visualBronto, come off high right.
Engaged fighter: Two, visual, youre clear.
Free fighter: Fox-2, bandit left turn.
Beyond Visual Range (BVR)
In the real world, fighters are equipped with on-board radar and communicate with ground control
intercept (GCI) radar units for vectors to intercept a bandit long before he could be visually sighted.
During an intercept, the fighters will employ tactics similar to those that you have learned in the
visual forward-quarter exercises, especially ensuring that a single bandit is always bracketed. Your
BVR exercises will be as close as you can get to the real world. Consider them a graduation
exercise, in that everything you have learned up to this point is likely to occur in these engagements.
The BVR exercise is set up using briefed TACAN radials/DME and/or visual points on the ground to
designate combat air patrol stations (CAPSareas of responsibility when on patrol). For safe
separation during nonvisual contact, you will also use block altitudes. Note the examples below.
High block altitude = 16,000-20,000 ft
Low block altitude = 10,000-15,000 ft
When any aircraft attains sight, they may enter the other aircrafts block altitude.
To execute the exercise, the bandit and the fighters proceed to their respective CAPS. All aircraft
orbit at their CAPS until called in by the bandit. When bandit calls Fights on, all aircraft fly an inbound heading/course. When any aircraft gains sight, the engagement begins utilizing all the
strategies you have learned in ACM. Other tactics exist that could handle this situation, but they are
beyond the scope of this FTI and will be introduced to you in the fleet.

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Flight Procedures

Disengagement/Bugout
In addition to all that you have learned about disengaging and bugging out previously, you now have
a wingman to consider. To disengage or bug out at the most opportune time, keep these guidelines
in mind: 1) establish and maintain visual and tally, 2) achieve at least a 150-degree TCA between
the engaged fighter and the bandit, and 3) regain section integrity as soon as possible after the
engagement because maneuvering back to combat spread will make it possible to engage another
bandit, press to a target, or RTB/bug out.
Even though disengagements can be employed at any appropriate time, you will normally practice
them out of the multi-switch exercises, as shown in Figures 44 and 45. Usually, the free fighter
transmits the bugout heading, which is acknowledged by the engaged fighter. Because he will more
than likely have the best situational awareness, the free fighter dictates the bugout time and heading.
The engaged fighter assesses and informs the free fighter of his disengagement capability, if
necessary. The engaged fighter maintains responsibility to clear his own six and maneuvers to bug
out on the called heading. The free fighter will maneuver to facilitate regaining section integrity.
To regain section integrity, the free fighter must make his initial call an appropriate magnetic heading
that will ensure separating out the bandits extended six. Once both fighters have attained the
appropriate separation from the bandit, the Tac lead (the fighter with the best SA) will call appropriate check turns, if necessary, to get the section back into combat spread. After initially separating, if
the bandit continues to threaten, the Tac lead must maneuver the section to deny the bandit a shot.

3
3

2
2

2
Stealth
Start

Rainman
Start

Bandit
Start

Figure 44: MULTI-SWITCH ENGAGEMENT TO BUGOUT (1 OF 2)

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Bandit
Cont. 3

Stealth
Cont. 3

Rainman
3 Cont.

Figure 45: MULTI-SWITCH ENGAGEMENT TO BUGOUT (2 OF 2)

The actual canned bugout you will initially practice is explained below. However, after the initial practice,
bugouts can be performed anytime the sections deem them necessary. During the multi-switch
engagement, as the free fighter is extending from the fight for weapons separation, he will simulate a
joker-fuel situation by making the appropriate call to the engaged fighter stating his intentions to bug
out. (See following example.) The next switch allows the free fighter to meet the bandit head-on,

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Flight Procedures

allowing the section to disengage. As the bandit switches, the free fighter will call the direction of the
pass and an initial bugout heading. The fighter should ensure that he takes out all lateral separation
at the pass. Following the switch, the engaged fighter will maneuver as necessary, while regaining
his energy, to the called heading.
Following is an example of voice comm that would occur from the middle of a multi-switch
engagement.
Free fighter: Rainmans Joker.
Engaged fighter: Copy the Joker, lets work the bug.
Free fighter: Turning in, tally visual.
Engaged fighter: Heads up, Bandits nose low, switch, switch, Bandit coming to you from the
left.
Free fighter: Tally left to left. [Bandit acknowledges]
New engaged fighter: Lets Bug 180.
New free fighter: Rainman copies, 180.
Free fighter: Bandits in a left hand turn, 90 to go, 1 mile, looks like a good bug.

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NOTES

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Safety/Emergency Situations

SAFETY/EMERGENCY SITUATIONS
As in any tactical flying, safety is paramount because of the ever-present potential for an incident.
But just as you learned in TacForm, flying only with safety on your mind prevents you from achieving
the level of proficiency necessary to be a competent tactical aviator. Safety is the natural and
number one by-product of operational proficiency. Complete knowledge coupled with thorough
preparation and continuous practice provides the cornerstones to achieving operational proficiency
safely.
The following specific areas will go a long way in making you a safe and effective tactical jet pilot:
RELATIVE MOTION/EXCESSIVE CLOSURE
All midair collisions are a result of pilots failing to recognize constant bearing and decreasing range
until it is too late to take evasive action. Until now, all your flying in close proximity to other aircraft
has been static, and rates of change have always been tightly controlled. This will not be the case in
the rest of your tactical flying, especially during the snap guns exercise as you are maneuvering very
close to the 500-ft bubble and during the horizontal scissors as you cross the bandits flight path.
SITUATIONAL/SPATIAL AWARENESS
Spatial awareness is the ability to project the flight paths of your aircraft and other aircraft in relation
to each other. Your ability to develop spatial awareness combined with a complete understanding of
your aircrafts capabilities will prevent a midair collision. Situational awareness goes beyond spatial
awareness and allows you to anticipate situations that may lend themselves to midair collisions. You
need to exercise both situational and spatial awareness anytime you maneuver for a head-on pass,
whether it be during 1 v 1 neutral starts or during an engagement. If you fail to call the pass, the
instructor may have to call it for you.
During 2 v 1 maneuvering, you need to be especially aware of the possibility for a midair during rearquarter attacks when you are a solo free fighter and you end up turning back too early directly into
the fight. Another situation similar to 1 v 1 is after the bandit has switched from the engaged fighter
to you as a free fighter and you fail to call the head-on pass. In the case of a visual forward-quarter
attack, if you are a free fighter and you are aligning for a rear-quarter shot but you delayed your
counterflow turn, the potential exists for a midair with your wingman.
GOOD START
Just as you learned in CQ, if you arent in good position at the abeam, the chances are by the time
you get to the ramp you are not in a good position to land. This holds true in any tactical flying. Near
misses are often caused by the wingman being out of position at the start of the maneuver. Strive to
be in position at all times.
LOST SIGHT/LOOKOUT
In order to minimize the potential for a midair collision (especially in the air-to-air phase), you must
keep your head on a swivel. Learn to take quick glances into the cockpit to get the information you
want then look back outside immediately. Any aircraft that loses sight for more than an instant in a
close fight must transmit, Lost sight. The other aircraft will provide descriptive/directive commentary to help the lost-sight aircraft reacquire sight. If this is unsuccessful, the instructor will call,
Knock it off.

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Safety/Emergency Situations

OUT-OF-CONTROL DEPARTURES
Because you are constantly pushing the envelope in maneuvering during ACM, you will reach critical
points where a departure might occur. Be especially aware of two situations. First, when you are in
a defensive situation and the bandit executes a BRA, you may become disoriented and lose control
as you counter during your vertical pullup. Second, if you are executing a high-g roll, you could
depart the aircraft because of cross-controlling.
AIRCRAFT LIMITATIONS
All aircraft have specific structural/aerodynamic limitations. If you do not heed these limitations, you
could damage the aircraft and endanger yourself. It is mandatory that you know all the aircraft
limitations and emergency procedures.

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Self-Test

SELF-TEST
BACKGROUNDACM ENVIRONMENT, THE EGG
1.
The egg represents a three-dimensional sphere showing the effects of ______ and ______ on
maneuvering.
ANSWER: gravity, lift vectors
2.

When the aircrafts lift vector is above the horizon, it has a ______ turn radius and ______ turn
rate.
ANSWER: larger, slower

3.

Gravity affects oblique maneuvering in the vertical and horizontal plane depending upon the
______ of the maneuvering plane.
ANSWER: steepness

BACKGROUNDACM ENVIRONMENT, OPERATIONAL MANEUVERABILITY


4.
What are the fixed aircraft factors which affect ACM?
ANSWER: Structural limitations, thrust-to-weight ratio, and wing-loading capabilities
5.

What are three of the variable aircraft factors which affect ACM?
ANSWER: Any three of the following: altitude, airspeed, AOA, g, sustained g, turn radius, or
turn rate

BACKGROUNDACM ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY MANAGEMENT


6.
The cornering speed for the T-45A is ________.
ANSWER: 300
7.

If deck allows, what AOA should the free fighter use to extend with?
ANSWER: 5-10

8.

What are the optimum AOAs for sustained performance, instantaneous turn rate, and for
energy addition?
ANSWER:
a. Sustained 13-14 units
b. Instantaneous turn rate 19-21 units
c. Energy addition 5-10 units

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BACKGROUNDACM TRAINING RULES, GENERAL


9.
What is cause for transmitting Knock it off?
ANSWER: An aircraft enters a cloud, an aircraft loses sight; an unbriefed aircraft enters
engagement; or an aircraft goes below the deck
10.

If two-way radio communication is lost, you will ________.


ANSWER: terminate maneuvering, rock wings, and set up a 30-degree AOB rendezvous turn

11.

For training purposes and safety, all gun tracking will be broken off at 1,000 ft.
ANSWER: True

12.

The student will normally initiate the knock-it-off call for training objectives.
ANSWER: False

13.

Anyone can call a knock-it-off for safety reasons.


ANSWER: True

14.

What action do you take if you hear Knock it off?


ANSWER: Terminate maneuvering and return to combat spread

15.

Head-on passes will be ______ unless the situation dictates otherwise.


ANSWER: left-to-left

16.

What is the procedure if your two-way radio communication is lost?


ANSWER:
a.
Terminate maneuvering.
b.
Rock your wings.
c.
Set up a 30-degree AOB rendezvous turn.

17.

What is the procedure if you lose sight during ACM?


ANSWER:
a.
Transmit Lost sight.
b.
Wait for further instructions from other aircraft in your flight.

BACKGROUNDACM TRAINING RULES, WEATHER


18. You may take off and penetrate an overcast with a three-plane formation in the ACM stage.
ANSWER: False

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19.

Self-Test

Solo flight cloud tops shall not be higher than ______.


ANSWER: 7,000 ft AGL

FLIGHT PROCEDURESOFFENSIVE, SNAP GUNS EXERCISE


20. The fighter in the snap guns exercise calls In as the shooter and initiates the exercise with a(n)
________ turn into the target.
ANSWER: hard
21.

The bandit in the snap guns exercise calls In as the target and initiates the exercise with a
________ degree AOB turn into the fighter.
ANSWER: 45-60

22.

The offensive purpose of the snap guns exercise is to practice reaching ______ against a
maneuvering bandit.
ANSWER: a snap guns envelope

23.

In the offensive snap guns exercise, after the bandit calls In as the target, what action does the
fighter take?
ANSWER: The fighter calls in as the shooter and reverses with the bandit at 10 or 2 oclock to
achieve a snap guns solution of 60-90 degrees AOT.

24.

In the offensive snap guns exercise, after the bandit maneuvers out-of-plane to defeat the gun
solution, what happens to the fighter?
ANSWER: The fighter overshoots the bandit because of a high TCA.

FLIGHT PROCEDURESOFFENSIVE, LOW YO-YO


25. In an offensive situation, low angle off can be traded for ______ range and ______ closure.
ANSWER: decreased, increased
26.

What is the purpose of the low yo-yo in ACM?


ANSWER: Decrease range or increase rate of closure in low closure/low angle off situations

FLIGHT PROCEDURESOFFENSIVE, HIGH YO-YO


27. As excessive closure is apparent, the attacker initiates a high yo-yo by first ________.
ANSWER: quarter rolling away from the bandits maneuvering plane and then pulling the nose up

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28.

Self-Test

In an offensive situation you can trade excess ______ for ______ to avoid an overshoot.
ANSWER: airspeed, altitude

29.

What is the purpose of the high yo-yo in ACM?


ANSWER: To prevent an overshoot of the bandits flight path

30.

When a bandit generates minimal lateral separation during a defensive pitchback, the fighter
attempting an offensive counter attempts to remain in phase with the bandit by using combinations/variations of ______ for a guns solution.
ANSWER: high and low yo-yos

31.

When a bandit generates lateral separation during a defensive pitchback, the fighter attempting
an offensive counter attempts to ______ the bandit in the ______, using proper control input to
align fuselages.
ANSWER: lead turn, vertical

FLIGHT PROCEDURESOFFENSIVE, DISPLACEMENT ROLL


32. You are in a pure pursuit of a bandit in a hard left turn at 3,000-ft range, co-altitude, and
approximately 30 degrees AOT. You estimate his airspeed is 50 kts faster than yours.
What maneuver would best improve your offensive position for a gun solution?
ANSWER: Displacement roll
33.

What is the purpose of the displacement roll in ACM?


ANSWER: The displacement roll reduces excessive closure rate while displacing the fighter to
a different plane of maneuvering.

34.

During a displacement roll, how does the rate of roll affect arrival in the desired firing envelope?
ANSWER: A slow rate of roll is applied for an increased nose-to-tail distance. A fast rate of
roll is applied for maintaining the nose-to-tail distance.

FLIGHT PROCEDURESOFFENSIVE, BREAK TURN EXERCISE


35. What are the two methods for the wingman to simulate a counterattack on the lead (bandit)
during the offensive break turn exercise?
ANSWER:
a.
The wingman continues his roll, keeping the bandit in sight.
b.
The wingman reverses his turn nose-high, prior to the bandit passing underneath the
fighter.

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Self-Test

FLIGHT PROCEDURESOFFENSIVE, HORIZONTAL SCISSORS


36. What is the purpose of the horizontal scissors?
ANSWER: The horizontal scissors is a reactive maneuver flown off a low-angle perch which
prevents the fighter from going defensive, following an in-close overshoot and
subsequent bandit reversal.
37.

Where should the fighter begin a horizontal scissors maneuver?


ANSWER: Co-altitude in combat spread at 250 KIAS, 60-70 degrees nose high.

FLIGHT PROCEDURESOFFENSIVE, BARREL ROLL ATTACK


38. The barrel roll attack reduces ______, ______, and ______.
ANSWER: AOT, closure rate, turn radius
39.

What action should the fighter take to correct for reduced nose-to-tail and possible loss of
offensive advantage, because the fighter took too much time attempting to align the fuselages
during a barrel roll attack?
ANSWER: The fighter should aggressively pull his nose up while turning to align fuselages.

FLIGHT PROCEDURESOFFENSIVE, ROLLING SCISSORS


40. What is the purpose of the rolling scissors?
ANSWER: The rolling scissors is usually initiated by the bandit to counter the barrel roll attack.
The fighter never initiates the maneuver in an offensive situation.
41.

What is the defensive perspective as the bottom aircraft in the rolling scissors?
ANSWER: The fighters defensive perspective, as the bottom aircraft, is being in front of
bandit. The fighter is forced to look aft when commencing the vertical move.

FLIGHT PROCEDURESOFFENSIVE, DISENGAGEMENT/BUGOUT


42. Identify at least three considerations for an offensive disengagement/bugout.
ANSWER:
a.
Aircraft problems
b.
Ordnance expended
c.
Bingo/joker fuel
d.
Time-to-kill becomes a factor

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FLIGHT PROCEDURESDEFENSIVE, SNAP GUNS DEFENSE EXERCISE


43. What is the purpose of the snap guns defense exercise?
ANSWER: The purpose is to practice defending against high angle-off guns attack while
maintaining sufficient energy to counter the next attack.
44.

The defensive snap guns exercise is initiated from combat spread, as the bandit calls ______,
and ______ into the attack.
ANSWER: In as the shooter, hard turns

45.

What does the fighter execute to avoid the guns shot?


ANSWER: The fighter reduces planform by breaking out-of-plane.

FLIGHT PROCEDURESDEFENSIVE, BREAK TURN EXERCISE DEFENSE


46. During the defensive break turn exercise, your reengagement can take what two forms?
ANSWER: Either a maximum instantaneous break turn or a maximum performance turn into
the vertical.

FLIGHT PROCEDURESDEFENSIVE, DEFENSIVE COUNTERS TO HIGH/LOW YO-YOS


47. What action does the defensive fighter take in a vertical pitchback?
ANSWER: Wings-level pullup, 17 units AOA to go 60 degrees nose-high
48.

How can the fighter reduce the bandits offensive angular advantage?
ANSWER: Increase angle off tail (AOT)

49.

What is the purpose of the defensive counter to high/low yo-yos?


ANSWER: To remain out-of-phase with the bandits maneuvers

50.

During a defensive counter to a high/low yo-yo, when the bandit comes off the low angle perch,
why does the fighter execute a hard or break turn?
ANSWER: To increase AOT and closure rate

51.

During a defensive counter to a high/low yo-yo, after coming off the perch and breaking into the
bandit, once the bandits nose is committed to the vertical, the fighter should ______.
ANSWER: unload the aircraft 5-10 units to optimize acceleration and separation

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Self-Test

FLIGHT PROCEDURESDEFENSIVE, HORIZONTAL SCISSORS


52. What is the purpose and setup for a defensive horizontal scissors?
ANSWER: The purpose is to exploit an in-close horizontal overshoot. Set up by performing a
butterfly technique.
53.

During the horizontal scissors, you will be able to sustain a protracted position of ______.
ANSWER: relative neutrality

FLIGHT PROCEDURESDEFENSIVE, ROLLING SCISSORS


54. Why does a defensive fighter want to initiate a rolling scissors maneuver?
ANSWER: To convert defensive position to neutral or offensive position; to force the bandit to
overshoot; to exploit an in-close vertical and horizontal overshoot
55.

What is the purpose of the rolling scissors?


ANSWER: The rolling scissors is designed to exploit in-close horizontal and vertical overshoots
by forcing the opponent out in front, by reducing the forward vector.

56.

During the start of a rolling scissors, how would the fighter prevent the bandit from pulling behind
the 3/9 line?
ANSWER: Pull aggressively in the horizontal to force the overshoot.

57.

During the initiation of an overshoot, leading to a rolling scissors, what would the fighter do to
commence the defensive pitchup?
ANSWER: The fighter would commence the defensive pitchup by leveling his wings, pulling 17
units AOA, and executing the vertical pitchup to approximately 60 degrees nose-high.

FLIGHT PROCEDURESDEFENSIVE, LAST-DITCH MANEUVERS


58. The diving spiral is a last-ditch maneuver designed to counter an in-close, ______ to ______
angle-off gun attack while retaining maneuvering potential.
ANSWER: medium, low
59.

When is the diving spiral employed?


ANSWER: The last-ditch diving spiral is employed when the bandit is very close to gun employment position, and the fighters hard or break turns prove ineffective.

60.

Why must a late pullout be avoided when performing a diving spiral?


ANSWER: To avoid breaking the deck

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61.

Self-Test

When is the last-ditch high-g roll employed?


ANSWER: The high-g roll is used in a low angle off attack, when the bandit is at close range to
force the overshoot by quickly reducing velocity vector.

62.

Why is the high-g roll employed?


ANSWER: The high-g roll is used to spit out the bandit to the outside of the turn resulting in a
possible neutral scissors. It makes tracking difficult due to the dramatic changes in
all three axes and an increase in closure.

63.

What are the significant differences in the execution of the high-g roll on top vs underneath?
ANSWER:
a.
Entry speed
b.
Direction

NEUTRAL 1 V 1
64. Neutral engagements are normally initiated _______.
ANSWER: from a position 1 to 1-1/2 miles abeam at 16,000 ft, with the airspeed of your choice.

2 v 1 MISSION PROCEDURES/MANEUVERS, FLIGHT PROCEDURES


65. During single switch maneuvering, what should the free fighter call?
ANSWER: Number of aircraft in sight
66.

During the call the bandit exercise, the fighters are nonmaneuvering.
ANSWER: True

67.

Which fighter should assume the tac lead?


ANSWER: Whoever has the most situational awareness

68.

Give an example of directive/descriptive commentary used in ACM?


ANSWER: The answer may vary, however, each at a minimum must include tactical or
directional information.

2 v 1 MISSION PROCEDURES/MANEUVERS, ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES


69. Both fighters must have the bandit in sight prior to the start of any engagement.
ANSWER: False

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70.

Self-Test

If one fighter is engaged, the other should be ________.


ANSWER: free

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NOTES

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Appendix A

Air Combat Maneuvering

APPENDIX A
Study Resources for ACMFP:
[A] T-45A NATOPS Flight Manual, A1-T45AB-NFM-000
[B] Air Combat Maneuvering Flight Training Instruction (FTI)
ACMFP-01: Introduction to ACM, 0.8 hr, Classroom
Lesson Preparation:
* [B] Read Introduction and Background sections with special attention to symbology and
terminology
Lesson Objectives:
* Relate environmental components to ACM performance
* Relate fixed aircraft factors to ACM performance
* Relate variable aircraft factors to ACM performance
* Identify energy management components for the T-45A
* Recall procedure for the performance characteristics exercise
* Recall basic ACM considerations
* Recall the actions which lead to a one-circle fight
* Recall the advantages/disadvantages of a one-circle fight
* Recall the actions which lead to a two-circle fight
* Recall the advantages/disadvantages of a two-circle fight
* Recall out-of-plane (OOP) maneuvering tactical considerations
* Recall procedures for maintaining sight/lookout doctrine
* Recall ACM terminology and descriptions
* Recall ACM symbology
* Recall training rules for ACM exercises
* Recall procedure for lost comm situation in ACM
* Recall procedure for lost sight situations in ACM
* Recall procedures for conducting G-LOC turns
ACMFP-02: ACM 1 v 1 Offensive Maneuvering, 1.0 hr, Classroom
Lesson Preparation:
* [B] Read Offensive Flight Procedures section
Lesson Objectives:
* Recall the concepts and tactics applicable to offensive ACM
* Recall the purpose and application of the snap guns exercise in ACM (offensive)
* Recall the procedure for performing the snap guns exercise (offensive)
* Recall the purpose and application of the high yo-yo in ACM
* Recall the purpose and application of the low yo-yo in ACM
* Recall the purpose and application of the horizontal scissors (offensive)
* Recall procedure for performing horizontal scissors (offensive)
* Recall the purpose and application of the rolling scissors (offensive)
* Recall procedure for performing rolling scissors (offensive)
* Recall the purpose and application of the offensive counter to the defensive pitchback
* Recall procedures for performing low-angle hard counter (offensive)
* Recall procedure for the break turn exercise (offensive)
* Recall the offensive considerations for disengagement
* Recall the procedures for execution of offensive disengagement
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Appendix A

ACMFP-03: ACM 1 v 1 Defensive Maneuvering, 1.0 hr, Classroom


Lesson Preparation:
* [B] Read Defensive Maneuvering Flight Procedures section
Lesson Objectives:
* Recall the concepts and tactics applicable to defensive ACM
* Recall factors/techniques for defensive disengagement
* Recall disengagement follow-on options
* Recall the purpose and application of the snap guns exercise in ACM (defensive)
* Recall the procedure for performing the snap guns exercise (defensive)
* Recall the purpose and application of the horizontal scissors (defensive)
* Recall procedure for performing horizontal scissors (defensive)
* Recall the purpose and application of the rolling scissors (defensive)
* Recall procedure for performing rolling scissors (defensive)
* Recall purpose and application of defensive low-angle to hard counter
* Recall procedures for performing a defensive low-angle to hard counter
* Recall the purpose and application for breakturn exercise (defensive)
* Recall procedure for the break turn exercise (defensive)
* Recall the purpose and application of the lufbery
* Recall the purpose and application of the diving spiral
* Recall procedure for performing a diving spiral
* Recall the purpose and application of the high g roll
* Recall the procedure for performing a high g roll
* Recall the purpose and application of jink-out maneuvers
* Recall procedures for performing jink-out maneuvers
ACMFP-04: ACM 1 v 1 Neutral Starts, 0.8 hr, Classroom
Lesson Preparation:
* [B] Read 1 v 1 Engagement Concepts and Tactics section
Lesson Objectives:
* Recall the concepts and tactics applicable to basic fighter maneuvers (BFM)
* Recall the parameters which constitute a neutral start
* Recall the actions which lead to a one-circle fight
* Recall the advantages/disadvantages of a one-circle fight
* Recall the actions which lead to a two-circle fight
* Recall the advantages/disadvantages of a two-circle fight
* Recall out-of-plane (OOP) maneuvering tactical considerations
* Recall the actions which lead to a vertical fight/merges
* Assess the neutral 1 v 1 tactical situation
ACMFP-06: Three-Plane Air Combat Maneuvering, 2.7 hr, Classroom
Lesson Preparation:
* [B] Read 2 v 1 Mission Procedures/Maneuvers section
Lesson Objectives:
* Recall procedures/guidelines provided by ACM briefing
* Recall rules of engagement (ROE) for conducting ACM training
* Recall parameters of the weapons envelope used by CNATRA
* Recall ACM working areas and enroute/RTB procedures
* Recall weather minimums/requirements for ACM
* Recall ACM tactical communications plan/usage
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Appendix A

ACMFP-06 Lesson Objectives (Cont.):


* Identify energy management components for the T-45A
* Recall tactical considerations and ACM brief board information
* Recall procedures for conducting G-LOC turns
* Recall engaged/free fighter tactical doctrine applicable to ACM
* Recall 2 v 1 mutual support tactical and procedural considerations
* Recall the 2 v 1 considerations for disengagement
* Recall procedures for 2 v 1 disengagement
* Describe the correct position and purpose of the combat spread formation
* Recall other tactical formations used in ACM
* Recall tactical communications requirements for ACM
* Recall additional tactical considerations for ACM
* Assess 2 v 1 tactical situation (used for all engagements)
* Recall the concepts and tactics applicable to 2 v 1 ACM
* Recall responsibilities of each aircraft in the call the bandit exercise
* Describe actions of engaged/free fighter response to counterflow rear quarter attack
* Describe actions of engaged/free fighter in response to abeam attack
* Recall methods for regaining section integrity
* Describe actions of engaged/free fighter response to no-switch rear quarter attack
* Describe actions of engaged/free fighter to single-switch exercise
* Describe action of engaged/free fighter in response to multi-switch exercise
* Describe actions of engaged/free fighter in VFQ attack
* Recall the procedures for beyond visual range engagements

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Appendix A

NOTES

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Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

ADVANCED STRIKE 2 V 1
COMM PROCEDURES
* For further revisions, reference MCM 3-1 and NFWS COMM BREVITY

Call the Bandit Exercise


NO SWITCH - 310
1. Bandit setting up on
Bags on the left for
Call the Bandit No
Switch... Fighters
call when ready

L
W

2. Bags, tally-visual
3. Dirt, tally-visual

B A G S

D IR T

L
W

4. Bandits in
B A N D IT

(start the comm when the


Bandit reverses)

1. Dirt: Bags, break


left, Bandit left
seven
2. Tally, Bags
ENGAGED
3. Dirts FREE pulling
for the shot....FOX-2
Bandit in trail

2. Bandit, knock-it-off
L

3. Bags, knock-it-off
4. Dirt, knock-itoff....310

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Appendix B

Air Combat Maneuvering

Single Switch - 310

1. Bandit setting
up on Bags on
the left for Call
the Bandit,
Single switch,
Fighters call
when ready

2. Bags, tally-visual
W

3. Dirt, tally-visual

4. Bandit's in
1. Dirt: Bags,
break left,
Bandit left seven
L
W

2. Tally, Bags
ENGAGED
3. Dirts FREE
pulling for the
shot

2. Bandit: Right to
Right

1. Dirt: Switch,
switch, Bandits
coming to
me....Right to
Right (If youre on
the right, call Right
to Right, if youre
on the left, call
Left to Left)
3. Dirt, will ENGAGE
Flat Scissors 310

4. Bandit, knock-it-off

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1. Bags FREE extending


2. Dirt confirms Flat
Scissors 310
3. Bags turning in, tallyvisual,.. FOX-2 Bandit
on the left (If youre on
the left, call on the
left, if youre on the
right, call on the right)
5. Bags, knock-it-off
6. Dirt, knock-it-off
7. Bags: 310
(10-98) Change 1

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

Counter Flow
1. Bandit setting up
between the section
for the Counter Flow.
Fighters call when
ready

L
W

2. Bags, tallyvisual
3. Dirt, tally-visual

4. Bandit's in

1. Dirt: Bags,
break right,
Bandit right five
2. Tally, Bags
ENGAGED

1. Dirt: Looks like


the Bandits
sticking with
you, Dirts FREE
extending
W

1. Bags
ENGAGED, two
circle right...
DEFENSIVE

(10-98) Change 1

Page 97

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

Counter Flow cont.


1. Dirts turning in, tally-visual
a. or (blind, no joy,
response: Alt. & cardinal
direction, i.e. 12,000' in
the west) *
b. or (tally one, response:
Bags DEFENSIVE...half
mile (range from fighter
to Bandit on the turn
circle). If a vertical fight,
amplify with nose high or
nose low. Ex: Bags
DEFENSIVE half mile
nose high (if the Bandits
nose is low) *
c. or (tally-two, response:
Bags DEFENSIVE or
Bags high (or low)) *

(at Bandit plan-form plus 3-5


sec)

still requires a tally-visual


prior to the FOX-2

(If the free fighter, turning-in, does not have a tally-visual, he must arc tangent to the
two-circle fight, preserve weapons separation and call Dirts free, resetting the
counter. When you gain sight, and when the geometry is correct, continue with....
turning in, tally-visual.) If you do not gain sight, knock-it-off. DO NOT POINT YOUR
NOSE INTO A FIGHT WITHOUT ALL PLAYERS IN SIGHT!
L

1. Dirt: FOX-2, Bandit in Trail


2. Bandit, knock-itoff

3. Bags, knock-it-off
4. Dirt, knock-it-off, (Heading)
W

(with no tally-visual)

Page 98

(10-98) Change 1

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

No Switch
2. Bags, tally-visual

1. Bandit setting up on
Bags on the left for
the No Switch.
Fighters call when
ready
L

3. Dirt, tally-visual

4. Bandit's in

1. Dirt: Bags, break


left, Bandit left
seven
W
L

2. Tally, Bags
ENGAGED
3. Dirts FREE pulling
for the shot...FOX-2
Bandit in trail

5. Bandit, knock-it-off

6. Bags, knock-it-off
L

(10-98) Change 1

7. Dirt, knock-it-off...
(call appropriate
heading)

Page 99

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

Single Switch - 180


1. Bandits setting up on
Bags, on the left, for
the Single Switch.
Fighters call when
ready
L
W

2. Bags, tally-visual
3. Dirt, tally-visual

4. Bandit's in

W
L

1. Dirt: Bags, break


left, Bandit left
seven
2. Tally, Bags
ENGAGED
3. Dirts FREE, pulling
for the shot

1. Dirt: Switch, Switch


Bandits coming to
me... Right to Right
or (Left to Left) or
(High-Low)

2. Bandit: Right to Right


1. Dirt will ENGAGE
Flat Scissors 180
W

2. Bags FREE
extending
3. Dirt confirms
Flat Scissors 180

Page 100

(10-98) Change 1

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

Single Switch - 180 cont.

1. Bags turning in, tallyvisual


a. or (blind, no joy,
Response: Alt. &
heading, (i.e. 19,000',
180))*
b. or (tally 1, Response:
Dirts on the Right (or
left), or stand-by for
the merge....mergemerge, Dirts on the
right (or left))*
c. or (tally-two,,
Response: Dirts on
the Right (or Left), (or
High/Low))*
* still requires a tally-visual

1. Bags: FOX-2
Bandit on the left (or
the right)

2. Bandit, knock-it-off

3. Bags, knock-it-off
W

4. Dirt, knock-it-off
5. Bags: (Heading)

(10-98) Change 1

Page 101

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

Multi-Switch Bug - 090


2. Bags, tally-visual

1. Bandits setting up on
Bags on the left for the
Multi-Switch BUG.
Fighters call when ready
L

3. Dirt, tally-visual
W

4. Bandit's in

1. Dirt: Bags, break left,


Bandit left seven
W

2. Tally, Bags
ENGAGED
3. Dirts FREE pulling for
the shot
1. Dirt: Switch, switch
Bandits coming to
me....Right to Right
(or Left to Left) or
(High-Low)

2. Bandit: Right to Right


W

1. Dirt will ENGAGE


Flat Scissors 090
2. Bags FREE extending
W

3. Dirt Confirms Flat


Scissors 090....JOKER
(any fighter can call
JOKER)
L

1. Bags: Copy JOKER,


lets work the BUG
W

2. Bags turning in, tallyvisual (If other than


tally-visual, same
descriptive comm
applies, as in the single
switch)

Page 102

MULTI-SWITCH BUG

(10-98) Change 1

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

Multi-Switch Bug - 090 cont.


W

1. Dirt: Heads up, Bandits


nose is low.... Switch,
switch Bandits coming to
you from the left (or right)

3. Bandit: Left to Left

2. Bags: Tally, Left to Left or


Right to Right (if the free
Fighter does not have sight,
the Bandit will talk the free
fighters eyes onto the fight
until the tally is achieved)

1. Bags: Lets BUG 360


2. Dirt: Copy, 360
Dirt: Im at your right 3 (or
left 9)
Bags: Visual
W

4. Bandit: Bandit concurs,


Bandit, knock-it-off

3. Dirt: Bandits in a left-hand


turn with 90 to go, 1 mile,
looks like a good Bug
5. Bags, knock-it-off
6. Dirt, knock-it-off
7. Bags: Cross-turn, Im
high...Dirts low

* If a successful bug was not achieved, normally a cross-turn will succeed in bracketing
the Bandit. Either fighter can call a cross-turn (or in-place turn as appropriate) prior to a
missile launch. Remember, youre at Joker fuel, maintain a bug mentality....your goal is
a successful bug out of the engaging turn. Call out the pass, call out the new bug
heading and maintain situational awareness within the section. Both fighters must gain
a tally-visual!
L
1. Dirt: Cross-turn Im high
2. Bags: Tally-visual, Im low
3. Dirt: Looks like the
Bandits coming to me, lets
W
Bug 150...Left to Left (if
possible, avoid a postmerge reversal, one-circle
multi-switch scenario,
4. Bandit: Left-to-left
engaged time will
increase significantly)
* Now continue the comm as
before
(10-98) Change 1

Page 103

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

Multi-Switch Kill
1. Bandits setting up on
Bags on the left for the
Multi-Switch Kill....
Fighters call when ready
L
W

2. Bags, tally-visual
3. Dirt, tally-visual

4. Bandits in

1. Dirt: Bags, break left,


Bandit left seven
2. Tally, Bags
ENGAGED
3. Dirts FREE pulling
for the shot

W
L

1. Dirt: Switch, switch


Bandits coming to
me....Right to Right
(or Left to Left, or
High/Low)

2. Bandit: Right to Right


1. Dirt will ENGAGE
Flat Scissors 090
W

2. Bags FREE
extending

3. Dirt Confirms Flat


Scissors 090
1. Bags turning in,
tally-visual
(If other than tallyvisual, same descriptive
comm applies as in the
single switch).

Page 104

(10-98) Change 1

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

Multi-Switch Kill cont.


2. Dirt: Heads up, Bandits
nose is low....Switch,
switch Bandits coming to
you, from the left
W

3. Bags: Tally, Left to Left


(remember, with no Tally,
Dirt must stay engaged
and continue to talk Bags
eyes onto the Bandit)
L

4. Bandit: Left to Left

1. Bags will Engage Flat


Scissors 180
2. Dirts FREE extending

1. Bags confirms Flat


Scissors 180

2. Dirts turning in, tallyvisual FOX-2....Bandit on


the left (or right)
(If other than tally-visual,
same descriptive comm
applies as in the single
switch).
4. Bags, knock-it-off

3. Bandit, knock-it-off

5. Dirt, knock-it-off...
...(heading)

* The Bandit may switch as many times as desired. The fighters must maintain situational
awareness, continue to establish roles using proper communications procedures, and
continue the attempt to get one fighter free (extending) for the follow-on unobserved FOX-2.
(10-98) Change 1

Page 105

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

Visual Forward Quarter


1. Bogey setting up
on Bags on the
left for the VFQ.
Fighters call when
ready
L

2. Bags, tally-visual
3. Dirt, tally-visual

1. Bandit: Start
the comm
L

2. Bags: Dirt, Tac


Left, Bogey left
nine long...Im
padlocked,
call my turn
3. Dirt: Two

(crossing leads six


after approx.
120 degrees of turn)
1. Dirt: Turn
W

2. Bandit: Left to
Left

Page 106

1. Bags: Out of the


turn, Bogey on my
nose 1 mile...Im
the EYEBALL....
Left to Left or
Right to Right
(bracket the bandit)
3. Dirt: tally-visual..
...SHOOTER (if
shooter is no joy,
the Eyeball must
call, Start your
turn, and continue
to talk the Shooters
eyes onto the
Bandit)
(10-98) Change 1

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

Visual Forward Quarter cont.


1. Bags: Shoot, Shoot,
MIG
L

2. Dirt: FOX-2
4. Dirt: Continue
W

3. Bandit: Chaff/Flares

1. Dirt's ENGAGED, two


circle right, ...Offensive
2. Bags FREE extending

4. Bandit, knock-it-off
(10-98) Change 1

1. Bags turning in, tallyvisual (at Bandit planform plus 3-5 sec) (If
other than tally-visual,
the same descriptive
comm applies as in the
Counter-Flow exercise)
1. Bags: Dirt, come off left and
low (or high). (The free
fighter pulling-in is
responsible for fight path
deconfliction since all others
are belly-up. The engaged
fighter coming off must gain
sight of the free fighter and
call Visual, youre clear. The
free fighter maintains responsibility for separation if this
call is not made.)
2. Dirt: Two...Visual, youre
clear
3. Bags: FOX-2, Bandit in a
right turn
5. Bags, knock-it-off
6. Dirt, knock-it-off
7. Bags: (heading)
Page 107

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

BVR

1. Bandit: Youre
cleared off to the
East (or West) cap

2. Bags: Roger.....
Dirt, join on me in
fighter wing (loose
cruise)
3. Dirt: "Two
L

4. Bandits on cap
ready in the east...
choose your block

5. Bags: Fighters on
cap ready in the
west....LOW Block
(or HIGH Block)

6. Bandit: Copy,
Bandit will take the
high block....FIGHTS
ON

7. Bags: FIGHTS ON,


FIGHTS ON

The Bandit will fly down


the briefed radial while
calling out his DME....
Additionally, the Bandit
must have a tally-two

Page 108

The fighters will now be


in combat spread, offset
slightly on the radial to
isolate the threat...Only
one Fighter needs to
have a tally in order to
leave their block, but the
fighter with the tally
must talk the other
fighters eyes onto the
Bandit and he will
normally assume TacLead

(10-98) Change 1

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

BVR cont.
There are many different scenarios, in regards to geometry, when you arrive at the
merge from a Beyond Visual Range setup. The key to successfully prosecuting a
bandit is to break down the engagement into a series of tasks.
1. First and foremost, both fighters must acquire the bandit (if you turn at a
merge without the threat in sight, you will die).
2. Deny any pre-merge shots the bandit may attempt (e.g., a quick snap on one
fighter, then a switch).
3. One fighter must then engage the bandit in an AGGRESSIVE 1 vs 1 fight,
with the goal of a quick kill. (If we dont press the bandit, he will have the
opportunity to look for the free fighter and switch when appropriate.)
4. Once we have one fighter engaged, then weve established the roles, and
through the use of good comm, the free fighter should be able to extend (out
of plane and out of phase) in the appropriate direction, turn in and kill the
bandit. If a switch occurs, just use the same tactics as in the three-plane
canned sets. Remember also, eventually one fighter will reach Joker fuel,
work the bug. DO NOT be engaged when you reach bingo fuel, call Joker
and work a multi-switch bug scenario....(train like youll fight)!
The following are a few examples of pre-merge scenarios and some post-merge,
maneuvering tactics:
-360-

1. Bags: Dirt come hard


left, Bandit left eleven
one mile
2. Dirt: Tally-visual
3. Bags: Left to Left
5. Dirt: Switch-switch
Bandit coming to
me...Left to Left

4. Bandit: Tally-two...
Left to Left
6. Bandit: Left to Left

7. Dirts ENGAGED, two


circle left
8. Bags FREE...extending
240

(10-98) Change 1

Now continue as in the


Counter-Flow exercise.
Remember, the extending
fighter must turn back in if
the Bandits nose becomes
a factor...S.A.!!!

Page 109

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

BVR cont.

1. Bags: Bandit three


miles off my nose
2. Dirt tally-visual
3. Bandit: Tally two
7. Bandit: Right to
Right

4. Bags: Cross turn, Im


low...
5. Dirt: Im high
6. Bags: Right to Right
W
L

8. Dirt: FOX-2 Bandit in


a right turn

* If no shot, this will look like a VFQ or counter-flow, or if Dirt overshoots, the
Bandit may reverse (one circle) for a multi-switch scenario. In any case, Bags
should extend for weapons separation.
-360-

1. Dirt: Bags in-place


left, Bandit left seven
2. Bags: Two...tallyvisual
3. Dirt: Right to Right
5. Bags: Dirt, extend
west, Ill engage east

4. Bandit: Right to Right

* If no shot, continue with counter-flow or multi-switch


Page 110

(10-98) Change 1

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

BVR cont. - 360

1. Bags: Cross turn Im


High! Bandit Between
the section!
3. Bandit: Right to Right

Dirt: Im Low
2. Dirt: Tally-visual...
Right to Right

4. Bags Engaged, two


circle right
W

5. Dirts FREE extending 270

* If no shot, continue with counter-flow or multi-switch (one-circle)


* When things break down, be aggressive, regain situational awareness, and use
common-sense comm.
(10-98) Change 1

Page 111

Air Combat Maneuvering

Appendix B

3 ACM CONDUCT

ACM-10

ACM-11X

CTB
NO SWITCH do x 2
SINGLE SWITCH demo x 2
SINGLE SWITCH do x 2
MULTI SWITCH BUG demo
MULTI SWITCH KILL do
COUNTER FLOW demo x 2
COUNTER FLOW do x 2
MULTI SWITCH BUG do (fuel permitting)

CTB
SINGLE SWITCH do x 1
MSBUG do
MSKILL do
COUNTER FLOW do x 2
VFQ demo x 2
VFQ do x 2
BVR demo (fuel permitting)

ACM-12/13
CTB
CF x 1
MSBUG/KILL x 1
BVRs
(or as briefed by Bandit)

Page 112

(10-98) Change 1

Air Combat Maneuvering

Glossary

GLOSSARY
A
Anchored: Orbiting at an assigned point.
Angels: Altitude of aircraft in thousands of ft.
Angle Off: Angle off the tail (AOT) between the defenders longitudinal axis and attackers line-ofsight. Simply the attackers position off the defenders tail (see also Track Crossing Angle).
AOB: Angle of bank
Arcing Turn (Arc): A turn executed at less than the optimum rate of turn, or an extension maneuver
executed other than in a straight line.
Atoll: A Soviet IR missilethe missile call used by the bandit.

B
Bandit: Aircraft identified as an enemy.
Barrel Roll Attack: An offensive maneuver similar to the displacement roll, but used in high AOT
outside 4,000-ft range.
Belly Check: Overbanking the aircraft to check areas masked by your aircraft.
Beyond Visual Range (BVR): Situation where an intercept through radar or GCI identifies a bandit
that is beyond the visual ACM arena.
Blind: Call from fighter meaning I do not see my lead/wingman/good guy.
Bogey: Unidentified air contact.
Bracketing: Forcing the bandit to pass head-on between the section during a forward-quarter or
abeam attack.
Break Turn: Maximum rate turn (20 units AOA) executed to defeat an employed weapon.
Break Turn Exercise: An exercise that simulates a section defeating a long range missile shot
followed by one of the aircraft maneuvering into guns firing.
Bubble: Airspace above, below, and laterally around aircraft.
Bug Out (verb): To disengage from ACM in order to exit safely from the fight; also, Bugout (adj;
noun).
Buster: To fly at MRT.
(10-98) Original

Page 113

Air Combat Maneuvering

Glossary

C
Check Left/Right (Degrees): To alter heading any number of degrees to the left or right.
Combat Air Patrol Station (CAPS): The area of responsibility when a section is on patrol in the
fleet.
Contact: Initial and subsequent detections of an object by any detecting device.
Counterflow: A tactic in section engagements where the engaged fighter forces the bandit into a
predictable flight path, while the free fighter maneuvers out-of-plane, going counter to the direction of
the fight for a kill.

D
Daisy Chain: A situation where the free fighter pulls for a shot without sufficient lateral separation,
misses the shot, and is forced into an in-phase engagement with the wingman and the bandit,
resulting in both fighters being engagedone offensively and one defensively.
Displacement Roll: An offensive maneuver used to reduce excessive closure while displacing the
aircraft to a different plane of maneuvering. Used in low to medium AOT and medium range
situation.

E
(The) Egg: A theoretical, three-dimensional sphere showing the effects of gravity and the resulting
vectors from maneuvering in all three planes.
Energy Package: The combination of the aircrafts altitude (potential energy) and airspeed (kinetic
energy) making up the aircrafts total energy.
Engaging Turn: An efficient combination of turn rate and radius that maintains energy.
Engaging Turns: The type of turns used by a section to engage an enemy contact, i.e., Tac turns
(both into and away), in-place turns, and crossturns.
Eyeball: Identifies the fighter who has a tally/radar contact and will take bandit close aboard to
obtain visual identification (VID) in section forward-quarter tactics. This pass usually facilitates his
wingman acquiring a tally for a shot.

F
Feet Dry/Wet: Quick description for being over land or water.
Force Mix: The number and type of friendly vs opponent aircraft to be taken into account when
considering ACM strategies and tactics.
Page 114

(10-98) Original

Air Combat Maneuvering

Glossary

FOX-1: Fox-1 indicates the release of an AIM-7 radar guided missile. The call is made by the
aircraft releasing the missile.
FOX-2: An AIM-9 IR missile and the call made by the friendly fighter just having released a missile.

G
Gate: To fly at combat thrust in afterburner.
Ground Control Intercept (GCI): Communication from a remote ground station that transmits
vectors and altitude information that guides the fighters to intercept a bandit long before he could be
visually (or electronically) sighted.
Guns: Rear-quarter steady state or snap guns firing solution.

H
Hard Turn: Compromise between a maximum rate turn and energy conserving turn (300knots at
17units AOA)
Heads Up: Call indicating that an enemy got through (part or all) or I am not in position to engage
target.
High Yo-Yo: Offensive maneuver designed to hold or increase range by decreasing closure rate in
low-to-medium angle off situations.
Holding Hands: Aircraft in close formation.
Horizontal Scissors: Defensive maneuver used to take advantage of an attackers horizontal
overshoot. Also results from the flattening of the rolling scissors.

J
Joker: Fuel state above bingo fuel which would allow a successful bugout. Call normally transmitted to notify lead/wingman.

K
Knock It Off: Call made to stop the fight or current maneuvers.

(10-98) Original

Page 115

Air Combat Maneuvering

Glossary

L
Lateral Pitchback: A nose-low hard turn with lift vector on or slightly below the bandit, used for
distances of 1-1/4 nautical miles or greater with lateral separation and the bandit on or below the
horizon.
Lateral Separation: Lateral distance between two aircraft.
Level: Contact designated is at the same altitude as the fighter.
Line of Sight (LOS): Relative bearing to the bandit from the fighters aircraft.
Loose Deuce: Navy tactical doctrine for employment of a section of aircraft in air-to-air warfare.
Low Yo-Yo: An offensive maneuver designed to decrease range by increasing closure rate.
Lufbery: Horizontal or slightly oblique stalemate-type engagement where both aircraft are across
the circle from each other, turning in the same direction at a low-energy state.

M
Merge Plot: Radar tracks involved in an engagement have come together and cannot be distinguished from each other.
Mil Lead: The flight lead.

N
No Joy: Call made meaning I do not see the bandit.
Nose-To-Tail: Reference to the distance between the nose of an attacker and the tail of the
defender. It is used synonymously with range.

O
On The Deck: Aircraft are at minimum altitude.
Out-of-HUD: Outside the range of viewing through the HUD.

P
Padlocked: Call meaning that I have a tally and cannot take my eyes off the bandit for fear of
losing contact due to visibility/range, etc.
Parrot: The IFF/SIF equipment.
Page 116

(10-98) Original

Air Combat Maneuvering

Glossary

Pigeons: Magnetic bearing and distance of home base (or unit indicated).
Pitchback: Pulling vertically 60 degrees nose-high at 17units AOA, used to attempt to meet the bandit
head-on with minimum lateral separation in situations where the bandit is less than 1 mile, high above
horizon, or at your dead six.
Plane of Attack: The plane defined by the attacking aircraft as a point and the defenders velocity
vector at a given moment in time.
Popeye: Call made to indicate that an aircraft is in the clouds or area of reduced visibility.

R
Range: Linear distance between two aircraft stated in nm or ft.
Rolling Scissors: Defensive maneuver often used to counter a barrel roll attack.

S
Say State: Call requesting transmit fuel remaining.
Shackle: Turn made to redress the section by crossing one member to other side, thus reassuming
proper combat spread position.
Shooter: As applied to section forward-quarter tactics, the fighter pulling for a shot as his wingman
passes close aboard and visually identifies (VIDs) the bandit.
Situational Awareness (SA): Cognizance of all factors in a tactical arena that affect mission success.
Skip It: Call made to indicate Do not attack or the Cease attack/intercept.
Slice Turn: A radical change in direction with minimal lateral displacement and energy/speed bleedoff
performed by rolling to place the lift vector below the horizon at some oblique angle and applying g.
Snap Guns Exercise: Exercise designed to develop the skill of maneuvering into a snap guns solution
and firing on a bandit.
Snap Guns: A non-tracking guns solution with 60-90 degrees AOT and a range of 1,000 ft to 1/2 mile.
Squawk: Call meaning to turn IFF/SIF to requested mode/code.
Steady Up: Call meaning to Roll out immediately on present heading.
Steady: Call meaning I am on prescribed heading.
Steer: Call meaning to Fly heading indicated.

(10-98) Original

Page 117

Air Combat Maneuvering

Glossary

T
TAC (Tactical) Lead: Member of the flight having the best SA and is directing the sections
maneuvers. However, not always the Mil lead.
Tally: Call meaning A bandit visually sighted.
Track Crossing Angle (TCA): Angular difference in velocity vectors at any instant. (See also Angle
Off for distinction.)

V
Vector (DEG): Call meaning Alter heading to magnetic heading indicated.
Visual: Call meaning Wingman is in sight.

Page 118

(10-98) Original

Air Combat Maneuvering

Index

INDEX
M

ACM environment ............................ 3, 7-9, 81


ACM strategies ............................................ 114
ACM training rules ................................. 11, 82

Multi-switch .................. 61, 63, 68, 69, 71-73,


75-77, 93

No-switch ........................... 61, 63, 65, 68, 93

Barrel roll attack .................... 24, 85, 113,


Beyond visual range ................ 56, 74, 93,
Bracketing .............................................. 71,
Break turn exercise ................. 30, 31, 35,
84, 86,
Bugout .............................. 32, 40, 42, 43,
75-77, 85, 113,

117
113
113
41,
113
61,
115

Cornering speed ............................ 6-8, 67, 81


Counterflow ........................ 63-65, 70, 71, 73
79, 93, 114

Defensive diving spiral ........................... 44, 45


Disengagement ................... 27, 31-33, 42-44,
75, 85, 91-93
Displacement roll ..................... 19, 21, 22, 24
84, 113, 114

Energy management ................... 7, 8, 42, 55,


81, 91, 93

Head-on pass ......................................... 12, 79


High yo-yo ............. 9, 19, 21, 22, 28, 36, 83,
84, 91, 115
Horizontal maneuvering .................................. 4
Horizontal scissors ...... 12, 22, 23, 26-28, 37,
63, 79, 85, 87, 91, 92, 115

Oblique maneuvering ............................... 5, 81


One-circle fight ........................ 28, 41, 42, 51,
68, 70, 91, 92
Operational maneuverability ............... 3, 6, 81

Performance characteristics exercise ..... 8, 91

Rear-quarter attacks ....................... 61, 63, 79


Rolling scissors ........... 22, 25-28, 39, 85, 87,
91, 92, 115, 117

Single-switch ................. 61-63, 66-68, 70, 93


Specific excess power .................................... 7
Symbology .............................................. 11, 91

The egg ................................................ 4, 5, 81


The Loose Deuce Doctrine ............. 56, 57, 73
Total energy ............................................ 7, 114
Two-circle fight ................. 28, 38, 40, 42, 44,
68, 70, 91, 92

Vertical maneuvering ...................................... 5


Vn Diagram .................................................. 6, 7

Joker ....................................... 76, 77, 85, 115

Last-ditch maneuvers ............................ 43, 87


Low yo-yo ........... 10, 18, 20, 21, 27, 29, 32,
35, 41, 83, 84, 86, 91, 116
(10-98) Change 1

Page 119

Air Combat Maneuvering

Index

NOTES

Page 120

(10-98) Original