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Laser designator/designated targets not affecting (GBU) bomb glide slope
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Created a mission with an AI laser designating a target. The target is successfully laser designated and flying 3,000-4,000 feet and dropping a GBU at around 2,000-3,000 feet, the GBU bomb appears not to be guided at all to the laser designated target, with an apparent unaltered glide slope judging from the location of impact.

To paraphrase, the bombs are acting like dumb bombs and not like laser guided bombs.

{F22732} {F22733}


Legacy ID
Steps To Reproduce

To duplicate, create an AI within the editor with the following scripting:

"removeallweapons this; this addWeapon 'Laserdesignator'; this addMagazine 'Laserbatteries';"

Create a jet, go to hieght and drop bombs on laser designated target.

I have attached a mission I created with the previously mentioned objects.

Event Timeline

rogerx edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Nov 11 2013, 5:56 AM
rogerx edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
rogerx set Category to General.
rogerx set Reproducibility to Always.
rogerx set Severity to None.
rogerx set Resolution to Fixed.
rogerx set Legacy ID to 1930110657.May 7 2016, 5:23 PM

Attached AirTargetTraining.Altis.7z - Altis map with jet on runway with unlimited munitions, including laser designated targets just north east of airbase.

Additional: I initially added one AI laser designator from afar, but he didn't appear to lase targets at all, likely due to sway. Added a second one nearer, in front of previous AI laser designator, about five feet from a target and found he lased the target without issue until the target moved. I've added three or more laser designators directly in front of the other targets and haven't tested this change yet but should produce the desired affect of having more lased targets. ;-)

Works just fine.
I took off, locked onto the target, dropped a bomb, and it hit dead on.

You do know you have to lock on to the target first, right?...

Which type of munition did you use? (I'll double check to make sure the lock-on is active when selecting a target here.)

not only do you have to lock on, you also have to wait for the diamond to appear over the square.

I've retested and noticed the lock-on diamond is pretty much automatic with GBU Bombs, and the green diamond shows only within the green HUD and not onscreen.

There is one hitch with my testing yesterday, on my Saitek X-52 Pro which has a three-way profile switch, I could have initially tested with a profile I use for helicopters. This joystick has two switches within the trigger switch. And on the helicopter profile I use the first switch to "show target" or "identify target", for which can inadvertently unlock a target. Hence, I could have initially been testing with the helicopter profile, but follow-up testing using the aircraft profile (which only maps the second trigger switch, leaving the first trigger switch unmapped) shows my hit rate with GBU bombs still to be about 50:50!

Dropping down and flying over, I noticed one GBU had hit the ground about 50 feet from the intersection where an Ifrit was located. On another target, the Ifrit appears to have moved, but may have hit the laser designated target nearby.

Although I have TrackIR 3, it's extremely difficult while viewing 3rd person, to view the bombs hit. So seeing them hit is usually by chance, or luck.

With a 50:50 hit rate, something seems amiss. I'll do some more testing, dropping the bombs from >4 km out to see if they glide to the target. If they are getting near the target, should confirm they are being guided. But last night they were by far not guided at all to the laser.

I performed more testing, adding setfuel=0 so the vehicles would not move.

I still had a hit ratio of 10% or less, with bombs falling approximately 50 feet or further away. I notice the diamond lock-on is almost always persistent for the aircraft HUD, and the diamond lock-on for the game graphics is only persistent for a short period of time after flying the jet towards the target. Using the game graphic diamond lock-on, think I had only one direct hit. All other drops landed far wide, indicating some sort of guidance failure.

TIP: Now recalling playing Janes software jet simulation on bomb practice runs using their laser pod, drop the bomb and then throttle back fully (and/or apply full flaps after dropping the bomb along with brakes) and level-off and/or point the noise upward to further decrease speed. Switch to 3rd person view, hopefully using TrackIR and I can now watch the bomb fall towards it's intended target. (Or, it's possible a game update occurred while I was testing and the graphics were imported while I was testing within the editor. See below. :-/)

Seems a game software update just occurred short while ago, and now all my enemy vehicles are showing as green icons on my jet's radar! I am presuming this is another game bug? I also tested the latest developer version. I can no longer test this bug until this gets fixed.

Edit 20131123: After much troubleshooting, I later found out the developers modified the Next/Cycle Targets and Reveal Target keys. It would have been really nice for somebody to give us heads-up about this, as also spending time programming the irritating Saitek joystick software makes things hellish here. Wasted about four to six hours trying to figure-out the mess created with the last update. Also contributing to the mess, seems the enemy vehicles were still being treated as friendly, no matter what I removed and changed within the GUI. So I reverted to an earlier version which had no problems. Maybe getting into the enemy vehicles to check their (no ammo and no fuel) capabilities was what triggered treating the enemy vehicles as enemy? A bad save? A bad save during an upgrade while the game editor was in use? Haven't diff'ed the scripting file, and probably won't waste more time then needed. Anyways, after more testing, lasered targets using GBU are still incredibly inaccurate.

20131125: Updated mission to vehicles just north of the runway without fuel, each with a laser designated AI within a few feet of the enemy vehicles. As you'll notice as fly to the targets, the computer GUI lock-on diamond is only active for less than a meer second! (While the HUD green diamond lock-on is pretty much always lit as locked-on.) I don't believe this is how laser designating is intended to work.

rogerx added a comment.Dec 5 2013, 2:55 PM

OK. Here's how to successfully drop Laser Guided GBU's from within the game.

Only pay attention to the large white or game flight circle and square target icons. (Likely a different color if using other than default colors, and even default colors tend to change for the game.) Ignore the green flight simulated HUD for GBU weapons, along with the green diamond lock-on icon and squares for which always seems to indicate locked-on and further note the simulated green HUD for GBU weapons currently is only good for dumb bomb drops to a certain extent.

Seems for the ideal drop hieght, or the heighest I have been able to drop with an active lock-on has only been about 700m, give or take a 100m. (Speed so far variable, or have had hits from 200-500 km/hr.) Pay attention only to the large white game circle and square target icons for the game as the large white diamond lock-on icon stays lit for only a few seconds. Drop when the large white diamond shows over the large white square target icon, along with having the large white flight circle over these other icons. The drops for 700m high drops seems quite far away when you think about the glide path. In theory, should be able to go to higher than 1,500m for drops correct?

Another tip for being able to view your hit with Laser GBU's; after the Laser GBU is dropped on a lasered target, drop full flaps (prior or after dropping) and go immediately to a higher height, switching to third person view during this time. This will significantly decrease your speed and provide more viewing area from higher up, enabling a view of the perspective hit.

One more tip; could likely declare a static IR grenade near each target on the map, similar to a static glow stick. (Static glow sticks are already available within my public ARMA 3 "Air Target Training" or "AirTargetTraining" single player mission, or you can search for the script declaration elsewhere.)

I'd suggest you close the issue, as it always worked this way since OFP.

rogerx added a comment.Dec 6 2013, 5:37 AM

Shrugs. I was trying to make the scenario work using the green simulated HUD. It's not like there's a big warning sign stating, "This HUD does not work for Laser GBU's". ;-)

And further more, even after asking around, nobody could clearly explain, as I previously just did. Not only this, the large white lock-on icon appears to briefly, even I was completely over-looking the lock-on icon even after flying many hours.

Just to verify, the green inlaid HUD does not work for Laser GBU's correct?

Bumping due to still being relevant in latest patch 1.22. After some buddy testing in a dedicated server environment, from what I could pick up difficulty settings play into laser locking abilities when trying to use the GBU-12.

Setting the difficulty to Veteran made myself unable to lock onto the lase, whilst reducing the difficulty to Rookie allowed me to lock on at 700m from the target, at around 10ft from the ground. (I had started at 1500m altitude, then dropped down in increments of around 400m to decrease the distance.) The lock distance and altitude required however is not optimal for bomb employment as you can imagine.

I believe the issue stems more towards how the locking system works at the moment, as other tickets regarding locking distance tied to view distance, knowsabout and possible other factors. When locked the bomb does work as intended, however the issue is attaining that lock in the first place.

Excellent feedback. I too have heard about view distance affecting locking from aircraft.

As far as the difficulty settings, they should drop those difficulty specifications when laser locking for now in order to allow players to benefit from the laser targeting systems.

For the past months after the few times I tried laser targeting, the pilots either had no idea they were given a lazed target, or they never seen the lazed target. I've flown a few times and never seen a lazed target even with view settings set at around 3,000-3,800 for view distance!

I'm not sure of the maximum altitude a lazed target can be seen, but I'm pretty sure it's much higher than 1500km. Again, thanks for the excellent feedback!

With regards to pilots being unaware of the lase, I would blame how the 'Radar' displays the laser target as an enemy vehicle, which it is as far as ArmA is concerned. (This possibly also plays into things, as it has since ArmA 2.) Also we are still missing Heads Up Display symbology for a laser, whereas most Targeting Pods (Or the A-10's Pave Penny) alongside an aircraft Fire Control Radar can translate and display the point on the HUD or Horizontal Situation Display (a moving map display) as symbology. If you want an example, look at either the A-10C in DCS or the F-16 in BMS. I'm not too familiar with the A-10C myself, however I am aware that the F-16 displays lased targets with a standard box reference on the HUD (which can be displayed on the Helmet mounted display too.) Whilst not the best references, without being able to pull A-10 and F-16 drivers they do atleast work off of available manuals and documentation on both airframes and systems.

With HUD symbology, it is much easier for a pilot to reference their targets if being talked on via JTAC or ground sources. Without them, you need a good 9-line or talk-on to the target to ensure you are close enough to 'lock' the lase in the first place. So the gain in situational awareness would help less experienced ArmA pilots, whilst not being unrealistic in what aids are given to the pilot. It would also obviously assist in the 'locking' process.

For the locking process itself, whilst I know someone hold the Tab lock system close to their heart. If HUD symbology was implemented (without a CCIP/CCRP system) then a no-lock launch like how ACE and Flight Simulators do would be again, easier for weapon employment and newer pilots. As the need to nose down and 'lock' the target, then pull up again to release in extended/high engagements can disorientate newer pilots with the speed of actions necessary to get a good release. Whereas with the correct HUD/Radar symbol, a Pilot could approach and release the bomb towards the lase relying more on their positioning (which comes with them flying the aircraft, rather than trying to use a system such as tab-lock)to ensure a good release. Then a Line-of-Sight check would verify the bomb can see a lase, then guide onto it. In reality, lasers are also coded (as simulated previously in ACE) which can prevent situations where multiple laser systems are active and could miss-direct the bomb. In ArmA, a simplified system would be for the bomb to simply find its closest lase and go for that. Encouraging players to ensure that they are only lasing one target at a time for that given area within the bomb's field of view.

Whilst being a bit far there into suggestion or discussion territory, I do see at the moment the only resolution here is to either fix the tab-lock system for lased targets or to change how it is done. So I would like to provide feedback for whomever has been assigned this task so that maybe, this older system could be changed into something more accessible to newer pilots in ArmA 3.

*Edit* To clarify some prior points, the dedicated server testing is what shows up the laser-lock on and guidance issues. In SP it appears to work fine. Myself and my friend were tried with both UAV and hand-held systems, trying both lock and all the cycle target variants.

I have noticed lately, it is no longer required to line up the white circle and white lock-on diamonds. (Basically it looks like this program line check for line-up looks to be commented out, or the calculations for bomb glide scope is augmented for game play.) This seems to be a really good solution. Before, pilots had only a five second window for making a good laser guided bomb drop. But they rarely could do so because they first had to seek and find the laser target, for which would rarely be immediately present due to quality of laser target and players multitude of view distance.

For best laser lock seeking, most pilots should boost their view distance to 2,000km.

Until all pilots are able to use an adequate view distance of greater than 1,999km, as well as having a bomb drop window greater than five seconds, this bug probably won't progress much further than this solution?

ADDITIONAL: Using this solution on one server during night, I was finally able to lock and drop more than 4+ GBU bombs (or full payload) with ease, as it probably should be.

oukej added a comment.Sep 8 2015, 2:40 PM

Has been fixed some time ago. The LGB are able to hit lased targets quite reliably once the lock is achieved. Locking is possible on all difficulties.

rogerx added a comment.Sep 8 2015, 7:57 PM

Ditto, fixed.

Also fixed is the slope or hits being below the cross hairs of the HUD, and was fixed in 1.50.