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Anti-Aircraft vehicles ineffective against combat aircraft
Reviewed, WishlistPublic


Anti-Aircraft vehicles are ineffective against aircraft armed with ground attack missiles, because the aircraft can fire their missiles from about 3.5km standoff, whereas the AA vehicle can only engage the aircraft when it gets within visual range. The AA vehicles radar cannot even see the attacker until it gets within visual range.
The solution to this would be buffing the radar and missiles of the AA vehicles so that it can fire further than visual range, this would also raise the realistic problem of identifying the aircraft.

I am unsure if this problem exists with higher view distances, my PC confines me to 2km view distance.


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Event Timeline

landmines edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
landmines set Category to Balancing.
landmines set Reproducibility to Always.
landmines set Severity to None.
landmines set Resolution to Open.
landmines set Legacy ID to 3288471278.May 7 2016, 4:43 PM
Bohemia added a subscriber: Bohemia.May 7 2016, 4:43 PM

except that the all knowing radar would identify it as a threat rather than some aircraft.

AD2001 added a subscriber: AD2001.May 7 2016, 4:43 PM

Visual range (short range) missiles can fire up to 30km. The long range missile the AA vehicles are equipped with should be able to fire even further.

It depends on your object drawing distance not view distance. Tanks, aircrafts and other objects is not visible (therefore you can't lock on them with your AT/AA launchers) if they are further than your object drawing distance.

Just tested this issue myself as i was suspecting something was wrong with the anti-air vehicles. I've experimented with various view distances. The Cheetah and Tigris cannot lock on to, or even spot targets further away then 2km (this seems locked for all view distances). Even when I am commander in the vehicle and can clearly see it flying, it is impossible to spot it, let alone make it a target and fire a missile.

on the other side, when playing as the helo pilot, I have no problems spotting, locking and destroying the anti-air vehicle from 5km away.

This imbalance and unrealistic feature breaks the air part for this game. In real life these self propelled AA vehicles are very high threats for helos. in ArmA 3 they are target practise. Vehicle mounted AA should AT LEAST be able to use their missiles with the same range as their targets do.

cfgorny added a subscriber: cfgorny.May 7 2016, 4:43 PM

I'm experiencing this too and it's really annoying on missions like king of the hill. There can be a kajman that will go 100-0 because nothing can even get close to touching it, only high level CAS jets. It would be nice to at least be able to see the helicopters from a distance even if we couldn't lockon.

The real issue isn't the range/spotting ability. IMO, it is easier to spot a plane in the air than a camouflaged vehicle on the ground. The real issue is the fact that the plane's countermeasures can easily defeat the missile (multiple would have to be fired quickly to even get a hit), whereas ground vehicle countermeasures smoke shells, etc) are purely visual; they have no way of evading or confusing AtG missiles.

^^ The issue is not the ability of the player spotting air targets visually, that is fine (although you will need to IFF manually beyond 2km as the radar will not do it). But AI does not launch missiles beyond 2 km, whatever happens and whatever the viewdistance is set to. They will NOT launch missiles if you are 2 km out or more! So it is perfectly possible to set hover your helo 2,1 km away from AA vehicles and pick them of one by one without them reacting.

I agree ground vehicles are very easily spotted as well though, even a stationary quadbike is hard to miss on the radar. Countermeasures for vehicles in real life against ATGM are fairly inefficient though, smoke doesnt matter for IR missiles, only makes LGB's end up a bit further from their targets.

I believe IR smoke is a thing, I assume it just causes the missile to target the entire mass, likely not scoring a direct hit. The only other vehicular countermeasure I can think of is Active Protection, which would basically make the game unfun for everybody.

Smoke can/will cause backscatter, which is where the laser seeker first in the aircraft, and secondly in the missile seeker will receive either multiple laser returns, disgreeing returns, or such a diluted return that it is unable to locate the center target. Most smokes are intended for pre-launch as attack helo weapon computers will not permit missile launches if backscatter is detected.

^^True, although there are exceptions among some missiles. Most western laser guided missiles home in on the reflected laserlight off the target. Which the smoke obviously can obscure and hamper. Some eastern (Russian mostly) laser guided missiles are laser "riding", meaning they look back at the launching aircraft to see if they are still in the laser. (You can see this sometimes in youtube videos where you see the missile spiralling around an invisible axis, which is the lasers centerline.

Ontopic: The problem of the ineffective anti-air vehicles still exist and there have been numerous tickets here describing it in various manners. Though they keep being marked reviewed and given a severity and priority of none, does this mean BIS simply doesn't care and will do nothing about it?

We really need more types of anti-air threats. The current AAA platforms aren't terrible, they are just too weak. Their missiles need to be either deal more damage on the (rare) chance that you score a hit, and the cannon needs to fire way more rounds/second to make hitting easier.

We need a medium range SAM platform, perhaps similar to the SA-8 ( It could shoot out to, say, 5 or 8 km and would be a much larger threat on the battlefield.

And finally, perhaps we could have a multi-piece system such as the SA-6 ( It would have massive engagement ranges, 10-15km, covering a large portion of Altis. It would be a multi-piece system, requiring a command center and a separate radar (like this:

This way we can leave the AAA vehicles as they are: semi-effective helicopter killers. And we can make things more interesting for fixed-wings with long range radar guided missiles.

++Pls think on removing and nerfing ATGM from multiplayer gameplay (:
ATGM, aka "Anti To Ground Missile" or DAGR "Directional Air to Ground Rocket" or Titan;
are fun to kill with at the first try.
They do shoot far away (depending of your object distance parameter relative to the server). They can shoot far far away... like 5 km without trouble.

These toys rarely miss,
Even in dense vegetation. Specially when the shooter is way above the ground, ie 1km high.

I don't think balancing will help having people playing Wasteland like in the old dayz. It's too late, maybe not for the new extension over pacific

These toys all have thermics
, which is not a bad idea at first glance.

These toys don't warn
when being targeted with, most of grounds don't have iR detector or similar stuff.

These toys cannot be dodged
, exept by cover, because you cannot use smoking device and ran away (Only driver knows when to drop smoke flares, not commander) Only air vehicules can dodge Ground to Air device.

These toys are fire and forget style

These toys don't require any skill to shoot,
not even standing by

Radars which are totally OP,
helps to shoot flawlessly to the right spot.

You cannot shoot below 50m with Titans

This is general Arma3 feedback;
Let's discuss about more specific popular gamemode.
Wasteland/Epoch and those trader style: Launchers are damn cheap, you can always buy one with starting funds. No need to do missions.

King of the Hill: These toys are damn cheap. At least you don't have it since 1st level! With a launcher you can kill any tank that is not a Slammer. Otherwise you may need like 3 rockets max

ATGM rockets integrates iR designator plus explosive charge, which make any noob with these toys OP. I don't mean vehicule should be indestructible; but lot of vehicule are useless because of zero survivabilty in battlegrounds... aka APC (personnal carrier) and IFV (anti troops tanks) Wasteland was fun One year ago because servers where fullfiled of noobs. Now anyone knows how to press the magic key; and they know it's 1 shot kill.
Riding a 50kmh vehicule is not always fun.

My suggestion?

Make launchers as a teamplay asset that always need a designator. So it won't be able to shoot (fire n forget) moving targets.

Nerf Radars to 60 to 120° max, for most of vehicules.

Radar should be a commander seat asset(because Cmd are called noob seat and useless) so it shouldn't pop if not used.

We need jamming possibilities and e-war counter mesures like IFF jammer. Like Blackfoot should be a professionnal killing tool, not the noob's best friend (Thank Armagod it's hard to fly at tree line =D )

I really understand that Arma3 was launched as Alpha, and it was a good thing because BI needed solid funding campaign after bad press of A2, BUT now we need advanced features and more of all:
I don't want low quality desynced mods, I suggest solid vanilla stuff.
I also really understand that Rockets are a Battlefield commercial asset to keep noobs being interested into gameplay, but now there is a solid community over A3 (:

The Titan AA missile especially if you only have 1 or 2 is useless against jets and attack helos, it hardly ever hits the jet and if it does the jets flys off unless it has previous damage, are these weapons really that bad?? and the
T100 varsuk tank is supposed to have an anti air rocket system like the T90MS, instead its a sitting duck.