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Puzzled about helicopter sensors


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So, the other night I was playing on EU1 and at one point I flew an Orca for a CAS mission. There was a friendly individual on the ground that lased a target for me, but I couldn't see the laser on the sensor display nor could I get the DAGR to lock on the laser.


Does my memory fail. I think I remember seeing a bunch of laser marks on the display every now and then while flying helicopters like Ghosthawk and Hellcat. 


I went to editor to check things out. Put down a remote designator, a Darter, and some helicopters. I lased some targets with drones and tested whether I could see them on display and lock on them. Answer to both with Blackfoot: Yes. With Hellcat (armed both with DAGR and Scalpel): No. With the Ghosthawk I couldn't see the lase on the display.


I tested by checking the Data link receive- box on the Hellcat in the editor. After that I could see the laser on display and lock the laser guided weapons on it.


I also checked some info on the BI wiki and apparently transport helicopters don't have laser trackers (!) How come I remember seeing so many lasers on the sensor display while tranporting people? Has something changed or am I losing my mind?



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I don't think so. The markers were like red diamonds or stars. 


Also I remember sometimes a laser marker being on my chopper on the display. That would happen if there were enemy jet in the air.


And isn't tigris with an active radar shown as a square with a semi circle above it?

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Yep. The laser target spawn on a friendly sounds right.


I'll keep my eyes open to see if I see any lasers again while transporting.


But anyway, is there a way to make armed helicopters (Orca& Hellcat) "see" the lasers? It would make those choppers much more usable as CAS and promote teamwork.

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If you read the link Lindi sent you'll understand it. But I'll give you the short version.

You were flying the Orca on an CAS mission, there was an lase but your sensor didn't pick it up. But you still remember being able to see one some other time.

All the the transport choppers has an RWR sensor, the RWR sensor can pick up active radar threats, such as an Tigris or an Shikra with the radar on. The range is twice that of the radar range of the vehicle. Say for example a Shikra is facing you, the Shikra has an active radar range of 13km that means your Orca will pick it up on the sensor 26km out. But the RWR sensor is limited to seeing only active radars, hence why you couldn't see the lase at the time.

But for say there would be an friendly vehicle that has an laser and strobe sensor close to you (I.e. some sort of UAV) that happens to have data link send. It would send it's sensor data to your vehicle (as long as your vehicle has data link receive) meaning your sensor will show both what it can see itself, and what the UAV can see. That why you can see lasers on your sensor some times.

But even with data link a RWR sensor can't target something by itself, the only way to achieve a lock on lasers or vehicles with an Orca with DAGR is to directly look at the laser or vehicle in first person and press T.

That's unfortunately the curse utility choppers are stuck with. A vehicle with any of the other sensors such as active and passive radar, visual, IR and laser sensors can directly target stuff from the sensor input, but they are limited in other ways such as weather.

My English is nowhere near perfect, so please don't mind any errors in the text thank you.

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Oh, I did read the link and I don't have any problem understanding the RWR. 


The thing was more so with the fact that I could see lasers with some choppers. So, I gather that at least some choppers have receive-data activated, or do all have it?


I also wasn't expecting to be able to lock on the laser unless I was aiming quite close to it. In the test I spoke about earlier, I did aim directly towards the laser spot without getting a lock.


As a summary. If the data link is not activated on the armed choppers (Orca/Hellcat), could it/should it be activated?


Your English is quite easy to understand.


Ps. A thought came to me. Would there be any idea in activating "data-send" on the JTAC player? If that is even possible.

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I doubt it's possible to make a laser designator use data link send, since in order to send and receive data link you need to have some sort of sensor on the vehicle. I believe all helicopters have data link receive.  So usually when there's an UAV around your sensor fills up. But if there isn't a UAV around you most likely wont see anything on the sensor. I believe most vehicle has data link receive but not send. About locking onto the laser, first the DAGR needs to be selected as an weapon, since the minigun can't target it. And it has to be directly on it, not just close to it directly on it, so it's quite hard to lock on to it.

So you're better of to dump fire your DAGR at the target or wait for it to get hot (If it's a vehicle), a good way to make AI turn on the engine is to shoot at them with the minigun or close to them, it usually makes them move around start looking for you.

So, you can lock onto lasers you can't see on the sensor and that you can, but you can never lock onto it using R (switching targets from the sensor) sins it's only a RWR sensor. So either way it's gonna be hard to use lasers with the Orca.

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There is also the thing of it could just be the orca being glitchy AF


My solution is start with the 556 and spam either T or R for a bit


If not basically line the chopper up head on with the crosshairs dead on top of the target. Switch to missiles (switch back and forth a few times sometimes) and it will gain a lock. Then spam the hell out of R to lock onto what you are attempting to lock onto.


Step 3 is pray it doesn't swap to a friendly before firing...

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