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Incorrect ActiveRadar detection range used by aircraft PassiveRadar
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The passive radar on aircraft is supposed to detect active radars at 2x the range of the radar, as per the sensors config reference and wiki.

PassiveRadarSensorComponent - detects vehicles with active radar switched on at twice their active radar's range.
activated radar makes your vehicle detectable by RWR or Passive radars at up to twice the range of your own radar.

However, it appears that in practice, the aircraft are detecting the ground radar at 2x the range at which they are detected by the radar.

e.g. The Nyx Recon has a radar range of 8000m against air targets. However, because of radarTargetSize modifier, aircraft like the Black Wasp, Greyhawk, Sentinel, etc. are detected much closer.

  • The Nyx can see the Black Wasp between 5-6km (approx), and the Black Wasp can see the Nyx's signature at over 10km.
  • The Nyx can see the Greyhawk at around 3500m (approx), and the greyhawk can't see the Nyx signature until ~6500m.
  • Finally, the Sentinel has a tiny radar signature, and consequently can't see the Nyx until it's 2km away.

(all numbers are approximate due to how i was monitoring this)

Obviously this should not be the case, all 3 aircraft should be able to spot the Nyx at 2x8=16km. In the current situation the Sentinel is useless for SEAD, since the AntiRadiationSensor follows the same rules.


Operating System
Windows 10 x64
Operating System Version
Steps To Reproduce

Test/repro mission

  1. Play as Nyx Commander
  2. There is a script running that monitors in 5s intervals when the aircraft see a radar signature on their RWR/PassiveRadar.
  3. Compare when you see them and they see you.

Try with different aircraft and UAVs like the UCAV Sentinel, and see how this impacts SEAD operations.

Note: You could decrease the interval range and/or diag log if the exact distances are important but I think the current repro mission gets the point across.

Additional Information

Another thing to consider is that the Sentinel and the Black Wasp have identical AntiRadiation and PassiveRadar configs, however the in-game behaviour is wildly different because of this bug.

And if we're applying "realism" then your ability to detect incoming radar radiation does not diminish because your radar cross-section is only affects the enemy's ability to see you.

Event Timeline

Tenshi changed the task status from New to Confirmed Internally.Jul 27 2022, 1:20 PM
Tenshi set Ref Ticket to Internal Ref.: AIII-55283.
Tenshi added a subscriber: Tenshi.

Thank you for reporting the issue, i was able to confirm it using the repro mission.

pcc added a subscriber: pcc.Jul 27 2022, 7:23 PM
dedmen claimed this task.Jan 19 2023, 4:00 PM
dedmen added a subscriber: dedmen.

What a rabbit hole did you sent me into here uff.
There are two problems.

  1. The sensor takes radarTargetSize into account like you wrote. However that only applies to a signal being sent out, bouncing off an object and then coming back to the sender. Here it should be the pure sending range, we don't care about any bounce back. This had cut the range from 16km down to 12.8km
  2. Even if any sensor detects a target, if its out of visual range, all sensor results are ignored. This will be the main bug. Even if radar gets through fog and is received by passive sensor, the results are ignored because fog is blocking eyesight of the target.
dedmen changed the task status from Confirmed Internally to Feedback.Jan 19 2023, 4:45 PM

Fixed next week dev branch and profiling branch, BUT not in 2.12
Too risky to change AI behaviour here, we'll leave this dev/prof only till 2.14