Radar (Mechanic)

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Radar is the main method for detecting and targeting hostile aircraft in Beyond-Visual-Range (BVR) combat. Radar in VTOL VR works by sending out pulses and registering the reflections of those pulses as they return to the propagating source. In the context of VTOL VR, radar scanning is used to detect and target hostile aircraft in the sky.

Radar Pros and Cons

Radar systems are very useful in VTOL VR for detecting hostile aircraft in the area.


  • Radar can detect most aircraft from very long ranges. Radar detection range depends on the target's size and distance, along with the radar's Field of View (FoV). A tighter FoV will use more power to scan a more specific area as opposed to spreading the scanning power out, and will therefore be able to detect targets at a longer range at the cost of scanning width.


  • Radar systems cannot be used to detect ground vehicles or aircraft that are grounded due to terrain interference. Because so many of the doppler waves get reflected back to an aircraft's radar source, the system has a hard time differentiating between what it sees. Radar systems are equipped with specific filtering algorithms to mitigate ground clutter and prevent it from returning confusing data to the targeting computers. As such, any targets that are grounded or very close to the terrain will likely evade radar detection completely unless they're moving very fast.
  • The pulses emitted by hostile radars can be detected by units equipped with Radar Warning Receivers (RWRs). These systems can detect radar pings and trace them back to their sources, even identifying the type of radar that pinged it in the process. Anti-Radiation Missiles (ARMs) such as the AGM-88 can even use Radar Warning Receivers for targeting radar sources from long ranges. Bear in mind that enemy units are not equipped with RWRs, so this only applies to Allied RWRs versus enemy radars.

Units with Radar


Air Units







F/A-26B Radar Quick Guide

How to Use the F/A-26B Radar to Fire the AIM-120 Missile

  1. Turn on Radar switch to ON
  2. Set one of your MFDs to RADAR
    1. MFD Buttons R+ and R- adjust the range. Use R+ to max until you see 60 and 30 mark green lines for max range
  3. Point your nose towards contact (diamond)
  4. Make your RADAR SOI, watch closely until red planes appear
    1. Enemy aircraft are red icons
    2. Friendly aircraft are blue
    3. Missiles are circles
  5. Use the SOI controller (trackpad/joystick) to move the green brackets on target
  6. Press ONCE to identify target, [1] should appear on the left of MFD identifying it as target number 1. Repeat for multiple targets and each one will be numbered.
  7. DOUBLE press to get a lock on the target (STT - Single Target Track)
  8. Select AIM-120 missile
  9. Missile range will be visible on the right side of the HUD as a vertical bar on the right hand side with a little pointer/arrow.
    1. The bar represents the max range of the missile against the target continuously calculated as you and the target maneuver. When the arrow is within this range the missile may be fired and the yellow launch lights turn on.
    2. The double bar represents the no-escape range. If you fire when the arrow is there the enemy cannot escape the missile (but they can still defeat it with chaff and other methods)
  10. On the HUD, the enemy aircraft trajectory pointer (the small solid dot), doesn't have to be in the circle, but its desired as it represents an optimal path for missile trajectory
  11. The missile indicator on lower left HUD should show something like T-43s which is predicted time to impact.
    1. The target does not need to stay STT locked all the time but it has to be WITHIN scanning range of radar until missile goes Pitbull (T changes to M), at which time the missile goes active and you can break the lock

Boresight Mode

Boresight mode is for working for < 15 km and should be only used for close range. When in boresight mode, the radar will lock on to the first aircraft to enter the circle in the HUD. Be sure not to accidentally lock a friendly fighter while in boresight mode.

F-45A Radar Quick Guide

Unlike with the F/A-26B, the F-45A can more easily deploy radar-guided missiles through the use of its Tactical Situational Display MFCD page. Moreover, the F-45A uses AIM-120Ds instead of standard AIM-120s, which make use of the F-45A's expansive computer systems for more precise guidance. To deploy an AIM-120D with the F-45A...

  1. Open up the TSD on one of the areas on the touchscreen.
  2. Press the RADAR button on the left side of the TSD and press the Power button to turn it on.
  3. You will see a green cone appear in front of your aircraft's icon on the TSD; this represents the maximum range of your radar. This can be used to detect targets that are not already visible on the Radar Warning Receiver. Set the TSD as your Sensor of Interest and use the cursor to identify hostile air targets.
  4. Use the cursor to select your target once you've identified it. If they are close enough, the green cone will be replaced with a thick green line connecting your icon to the target, signifying a successful radar lock.
  5. Select your AIM-120s and squeeze the trigger to fire a missile. Deselect the target on your TSD after launching a missile to bring your radar cone back up so you don't accidentally lose lock before your missile goes active ("pitbull").

The F-45A does not have a Boresight-locking function for its onboard radar.