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Fire Control Systems

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This guide's purpose is to create a easy reference for the various fire control systems used in the different weapons and vehicles on the UO Arma 3 Server.


What is a Fire Control System?

A fire control system is essentially a means to aim, lay, adjust, guide, or otherwise assist the operator in the employment of a weapon. It might be as simple as a sight adjustment on ironsights or as advanced as a computerized system that can account for lead, range, and movement.

Ground Vehicles

The following is a list of fire control systems found on the various tracked and wheeled ground vehicles in game.

T-72B obr 1984, 1985, 1989, T80

T-72B Day Sight Explained.
T-72B ATGM Sight Explained.

The Cold-War era T72B models and the original T-80 use the 1A40 FCS. This system essentially uses a laser to calculate range to a target placed in the red circle of the sight. It then automatically adjusts a large chevron in the sight to the correct aiming point for that range for whichever round is currently loaded into the gun. These sights also lack the higher magnification of more modern systems.

Key points

  • The RED CIRCLE is used to determine what point on the ground is ranged during lasing, the CHEVRON is the actual aim point once the sight has adjusted to the range.
  • This system does not calculate nor apply lead on a moving target, lead must be estimated by the gunner.
  • Each round type has a different trajectory, the target must be lased again and a new solution obtained before firing a different type of round.
  • Lasing targets in not required to fire or guide the ATGM, simply keep the chevron of the ATGM sight on the target.
  • The auto-loader cannot unload rounds, the round type must be switched and the loaded round must be fired before a different round can be used.
  • The FCS only adjusts aim point for the main gun, the co-axial machine gun has range markings (in 100s of meters) on the left side of the vertical line on the day-sight. The sight must be ranged to 0 meters for these to be accurate.
  • No thermal sight, and only basic night sights.

Controls (Default)

  • T: Lase Target
  • X: Change ammunition type to be loaded by the autoloader. (can also be selected using the action menu)
  • R: Load next round into gun (does not automatically reload after firing a round)
  • + / -: Switches between sights, Day Sight (FCS), ATGM Sight (No FCS), Periscope (No reticle), Night sight (No FCS)
  • F: Toggle between the main gun and coaxial machine-gun.
  • Page Up/Down: Manually range the sight up and down.

Use

  • HEAT, APFSDS, HE-FRAG
  1. Once desired round is loaded, lase the target, using the RED circle.
  2. Wait for the chevron to adjust to the correct range.
  3. Once adjusted, place chevron on target, and adjust for lead if necessary.
  4. Fire once sight is aligned.
  5. Repeat lasing process if target's range changes or a different round type is loaded.
  • ATGM
  1. Cycle through sights until the ATGM day sight (or night sight if applicable) is selected.
  2. Place chevron on target (no lasing required).
  3. Fire missile and keep chevron on desired point of impact (note: the missile has a slight top down attack profile, it will guide high until close to target, at which point it will drop down into it.)

T-80B, T-80BV, T-80A, T-80U, T-90

T-80B Day Sight Explained.
T-80U Night Sight Explained.

The T-80 was the most advanced Soviet tank during the majority of the 1980s, it's fire control system is more advanced than that of the T-72. However they lack the thermal imaging of some of their western contemporaries. In addition, the early model T-90 essentially combined the T-80s fire control system on a T-72 chassis.

Key Points

  • Lasing a target automatically adjusts the gun instead of moving the aiming point on the sight. The laser also uses the same aiming point as the gun.
  • FCS only adjusts the main gun, coax must be ranged manually.
  • The reticle will adjust to show a manual aiming point, but the gunner still uses the tip of the chevron to aim.
  • The auto-loader can switch between automatically reloading after firing or reloading on the gunner's command.
  • Day sight has two levels of magnification, and can be used to guide the ATGM.
  • FCS will automatically apply lead for the range depending on the speed the turret traverse (not the speed of the target, as with vanilla BI tanks).
    • As a result, the gunner may wish to dump lead after lasing a static target at long range, so small turret movements do not throw off their aim.

Controls

  • T: Lase Target
  • F: Switch between main gun and coax machine-gun.
  • X: Change ammunition type
  • Z: Change auto-loader mode.
  • R: Reload main gun (if auto-loader set to command)
  • G: Dump lead (FCS will not adjust lead until a new lase.)
  • Page Up/Down: Manually change range on night-sight.
  • +/-: Switch between sights/magnification (Day sight, Periscope, Night Sight)

Use

  • HEAT, APFSDS, HE-FRAG
    1. Once desired round is loaded, lase the target, using the tip of the chevron.
    2. Wait for range to appear in digital display
    3. If target is stationary, you may wish to dump lead to avoid small movements from affecting your solution
    4. Ensure tip of chevron is centered on target, and fire.
    5. Repeat process as necessary if range to target or ammo type changes.
  • ATGM
    1. Once missile is loaded, place chevron in center of target (no need to lase).
    2. Fire the missile, keeping chevron on target (missile will guide slightly high then drop down as it closes with target).
    3. Repeat as necessary unless round type changes.

T-90A, BMP-3 (Vesna-K), BMD-4, 2S25, BMD-2M, T-80UM, T-80UE-1 T-80UK, T-72B3

BMP-3 (Vesna-K) Gunner's Sight Explained.
BMP-3 (Orignial Models) Gunner's Sight Explained.

Modern Russian tanks and IFVs have a more advanced FCS that is similar to their Western counterparts. These sights use a laser rangefinder to determine range, but are much faster to adjust their sight, and typically feature more simple symbology, thermal modes, ranging for both main and co-axial armaments, and higher levels of magnification. These can be either integrated with older-style systems (such as in the T-80 and T-90) or the sole system (such as in the BMD-4 and T-72B3)

Key Points

  • Targets must be lased while the desired weapon/ammunition type to be ranged is selected and/or loaded.
  • Lead is automatically calculated and applied once the target is ranged as the gun is traversed.
  • Some of the older vehicles may have a limited field of vision while using the thermal mode.
  • Original models of the BMP-3 lack thermals, but do have night-vision for their FCS-enabled sight.
  • Variable levels of magnification available, unlike the older Soviet-era FCS.
  • Coaxial machineguns are typically able to be ranged, so long as they are selected first and then the target is lased.

Controls

  • T: Lase target.
  • F: Switch between Weapons/Rate of Fire (Main gun, Auto-Cannon (BMP, BMD), Coax machinegun.)
  • X: Switch main-gun ammunition type. (T-72, T-80, T-90), note the BMP3 and BMD4 can switch main-gun round types without having to fire them first (via the action menu).
  • Z: Change auto-loader mode, between automatic and command (reloads automatically after firing or on the player pressing R)
  • G (throw item key): Dumps the lead after lasing a target. The gun will zero out its lead (not range), and will not automatically apply lead until the target is lased again.
  • + / -: Switch between sights and/or magnification.

Use

  1. Once desired round is loaded/Weapon selected, lase the target using the center of the crosshair.
  2. When the range to target (in meters) appears on the bottom of the sight, ensure the crosshair is on the target and it is being tracked smoothly if moving.
  3. Fire the gun/missile, maintain tracking the target if using the missile.
  4. Re-lase if the target's range changes, or weapon/ammo type changes.

BMP-1, BMD-1

BMP-1 Day Sight Explained.

Early Soviet IFVs both feature a 73mm low-velocity gun that fires HE and HEAT rounds. Earlier models also feature a Manual Command Line-of-Sight missiles, while later models use Semi-Automatic Command Line-of-Sight missiles. The sight consists of a non-adjustable optic with range markings for various ammo types and a simple night-sight. The low velocity of the cannon means that large adjustments to cannon elevation must be made as range increases.

Key Points

  • No automatic rangefinding, gun stabilization, or lead calculation. Degraded ability to fire at range and while on the move.
  • Low velocity main armament makes correct range estimation and elevation adjustment crucial for longer range engagements.
  • MCLOS missiles take practice to use effectively, and is very limited when firing on the move or at moving targets.
  • One-man turret means that gunner is mostly responsible for finding targets and maintaining situational awareness.
  • Reloading the MCLOS missile will temporarily disable use of the gun/turret until reloading is complete.

Controls

  • F: Switch between weapons (Main gun, Coax Machinegun, ATGM (on early models using MCLOS)
  • Mouse: Used to manually guide MCLOS missile once fired (disables movement of the turret while missile is in flight)
  • +/-: Switch between sights (Periscope, Gunner's Sight, Night sight)

Use

  • Main Gun (2A28)
  1. Estimate range to target
  2. Ensure proper round is loaded
  3. Elevate the gun until the appropriate range marking on the sight is aligned with the target.
  4. Fire, adjusting elevation of gun as necessary.
  • MCLOS (9M14) Missile
  1. Ensure missile is selected.
  2. Raise elevation of turret slightly, as missile will drop slightly once it leaves it's launch rail.
  3. Use the mouse to adjust the missile and guide it to the target. Larger adjustments must be made the further the missile gets from the launch platform, as you are directly controlling it's flight.
  • SACLOS (9M111) Missile
  1. Ensure you are occupying the launcher position (using action menu)
  2. Center target in crosshair, fire missile
  3. Keep crosshair on target until impact.

BMP-2, BMD-2, BTR-80A, BTR-80

BMP-2 Day Sight Explained.

1980s-era Soviet IFV and APCs feature a similar sighting system between them. Essentially a somewhat complex reticle has range markings for each armament and ammunition type, and the sight can be adjusted up or down until the desired sight picture for a particular range/ammo combination is reached. Often times a gunner may simply adjust based on the fall of their tracers, but for longer ranges these sights can help get rounds on target faster.

Key Points

  • No laser or precision rangefinding ability outside of simple stadia lines for estimating target distance based on height.
  • Limited magnification/levels of magnification. Situation awareness for the gunner can be limited.
  • Lead must be estimated manually by the gunner
  • 30mm AP and HE have different ballistics, ensure you take this into account and use the proper ranging.
  • No thermal mode, night-vision limited to night sight.

Controls'

  • Page Up/Down: Range the sight up or down.
  • F: Change weapons type/rate of fire. (NOTE: In the BMP-2, the ATGM can only be fired by switching to the ATGM sight, it cannot be selected via this hotkey)
  • R: Reload ATGM
  • N: Illuminate the sight reticle.
  • +/-: Switch between sights/magnification.

Use

  • Main gun (2A42/2A72/KVPT) / Coax (PKT)
  1. Estimate the range to the target, using the curved stadia line if needed.
  2. Apply the range to the sight by adjusting it up or down, until the horizontal line on the appropriate scale matches the your estimated range.
  3. Fire, adjusting the sight as needed.
  • ATGM (9M113)
    1. Cycle through sights until the ATGM is selected
    2. Center reticle on the target, and fire
    3. Keep target centered on target until impact.

M1A1, M1A2, M2A2, M2A3

M1A2 Abrams Gunner's Sight Explained.
M2A2 Bradley Gunner's Sight Explained.
M2A3 Bradley Gunner's Sight Explained.

Modern US vehicles all share a fairly similar FCS, with variations in magnification and reticle design.

Key Points

  • Ranging is done via laser rangefinder that automatically applies correct range to armament, main gun or coax.
  • Automatic lead appears to be a work-in-progress currently for RHS US vehicles, assume that lead will have to be done manually by the gunner.
  • Keep in mind being positioned at a significant cant or tilt can cause errors in the firing solution.
  • Backup sights and vision blocks aren't fully modeled, so gunner's lack a degree of situational awareness.
  • The Abrams and Bradley both have excellent stabilizers, coupled with greater range of gun depression, means they can fire accurately while on the move over rough terrain.
  • US vehicles do not have an autoloader, so rounds can be unloaded and loaded at will.

Controls

  • T: Lase target
  • G (default item throw key): Dump lead (may or may not work)
  • N: Toggle between sight modes (Day, Thermal (white-hot/ dark-hot), Nightvision)
  • F: Switch between weapons (Main gun, Coax Machine-gun, TOW missile)
  • +/-: Switch between magnification levels (Note: some higher magnifications may be thermal-only)
  • Page Up/Down: Manually range FCS up and down.

Use

  1. Select the desired weapon/ammo type.
    1. If using the TOW, wait for the launcher to deploy and the weapon status to switch from red to white.
  2. Place the reticle on the target and lase.
  3. Wait for the square symbol at the top-left of the range display to re-appear, indicating the gun is laid.
  4. Fire the gun.
  5. Repeat this process if range to target changes, or weapon/ammo type changes.
    1. In the case of the TOW missile on the M2, lasing is not required, simply fire and keep the reticle on the target until impact.

Fixed-Wing Aircraft

The following is a list of fire control systems for fixed-wing (i.e. Jets, Planes) in game.

SU-25 Frogfoot

The SU-25 is a fixed-wing close-air support aircraft designed in the Soviet Union. Similar in role to the U.S. A-10, it features a 30mm cannon, and numerous pylons for a wide array of bombs, rockets, and missiles.

Key Points

  • The SU-25 has the Klen-PS laser designator. Unlike many modern aircraft, the laser is pointed via the pilot's heads-up display (HUD), instead of via a targeting pod and multi-function display (MFD).
  • The laser can be activated for a maximum of 60 seconds at a time, with a cooldown period once de-activated (the longer the laser is activated, the longer its corresponding cool down)
  • The HUD will automatically calculate a firing solution for unguided ordinance (including the cannon and rockets), and move the reticle to the appropriate range.
  • The pilot must allow enough distance to align their target and activate the laser, but close enough to avoid overheating the laser before reaching the launch envelope.
  • Any TV or IR Guided Air-To-Ground missiles currently are not usable in the Su-25. Only laser guided.

Use (Laser-guided missiles. KH-25L, KH-29L)

  1. Identify your target and ensure you have enough distance (2-3KM) from the target.
  2. Cycle through your weapons until the proper weapon is selected.
  3. Turn on the laser by pressing R.
  4. Press Ctrl+T (turret stabilization) to stabilize the turret, then use the user-defined action keys to move the reticle until it is centered on the target.
  5. Once the yellow indicator light in the lower right of the HUD is illuminated, the weapon is in launch envelope and can be fired.
  6. Once the missile impacts, ensure laser is turned off by pressing R again
  7. Repeat as necessary, ensuring the yellow laser indicator light has stopped flashing, indicating the laser is ready for use.

Use (Guns, Unguided Rockets. S-5, S-8, S-24, S-25)

  1. Identify your target and maneuver the aircraft to keep the crosshair centered on the target.
  2. Cycle through weapons until desired weapon is selected.
  3. Ensure the weapon is in engagement range (once the yellow light in the lower right of the HUD is illuminated)
  4. Fire, keeping the cross-hair centered on the target.
    1. The SU-25 also has a fixed reticle (activated via action-menu) that is useful if engaging enemy aircraft with the gun.

Use (Unguided Bombs) FAB-250, FAB-500

  1. Identify your target, and ensure you have enough altitude to enter into a dive towards it.
  2. Ensure your desired weapon is selected.
  3. Begin dive towards target, the crosshair will adjust as it calculates the impact point of the bomb.
  4. Once the cross-hair is aligned with your target, release by using your fire button.

Use (Infrared Guided Missiles. R-60)

  1. Cycle through weapons until the missile is selected.
  2. Maneuver your plane until the target aircraft is centered in your HUD.
  3. Press T to lock on to the target.
  4. Once a solid lock is achieved (rapid beeping tone), fire.

References