[OM] OT strafing, was Walks with an OM2 #1 ( 9 shots)

Subject: [OM] OT strafing, was Walks with an OM2 #1 ( 9 shots)
From: Chris Barker <ftog@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 21:50:47 +0000
Colourful but difficult I fear AndrewF. I shall reminisce for a couple of paragraphs; please indulge me ;-)

In the Tornado we would put the sight above the target by a couple of mils (milliradians) at 3,000 metres in a 10 degree dive, start the HUD camera and make the armament system live (the gun(s) is/are selected earlier, this is the final arming switchery); at about 1,500 metres you lower the sight onto the target and start to track, banking into wind (in the case of a crosswind) and open fire at 1,200 metres, firing for one second max before starting your recovery at 4g (aircraft limitation, 6 g is better ;-)) - minimum firing range 900 metres to allow you to miss the ground and any ricochets. If the "pippa" (the aiming dot) subtends 1 mil, imagine the area it covers at 1,000 metres. If you are going to identifiy your target before opening fire, humans are extremely difficult.

So that is my excuse ;-). I have never aimed at anything smaller than a practice target (a Saab autoscoring target with a screen of about 7m x 7m) or armoured fighting vehicles, both on ranges. This is why we did not normally load anything other than HE/AP (high explosive/armour piercing) mix of rounds - because a realistic target was not personnel but AFVs.

Student story: when I was on the Tactical Weapons Unit, flying from Brawdy and strafing at Pembrey range in South Wales, I was once tasked against a practice strafe target which was missing 2 fifths of its screen. Our ranging option was purely visual (unlike the radar altimeter ranging in front line aircraft): we would wait until the target was the same size as the pippa, pause for 0.5sec, fire for 0.5sec and recover at 6 g. If the target was 600f its intended size, I would have got to 600f my intended range before scraping my tail on the ground. Luckily I had a fine sense of self-preservation and I fired "out of range" and recovered safely. The film debrief was interesting watching for the staff and they all came to watch!

Actually, hare-coursing and badger baiting are alive and well in this country, unfortunately. I see badgers at the side of the road every week now and I think that they are too intelligent to run across busy roads. Of course they might have been victims of the recent test cull of badgers to prevent the spread of TB...


On 17 Nov 2003, at 18:43, andrew fildes wrote:

But the pinks make such a nice clean target, what? And there'd be a certain irony in it too. Not to mention the photo opportunity. It'll go the way of hare coursing, dog fighting, otter hunting and badger/bear baiting - but then, they were working class 'sports' were they not?
(Hand me my ferret, Jeeves...)


C M I Barker
Cambridgeshire, Great Britain.
+44 (0)7092 251126
ftog at threeshoes.co.uk
... a nascent photo library.

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