Air Combat Maneuvering
Maneuvering out-of-plane and out-of-phase and constantly being unpredictable increases the difficulty
level for the bogey. In section engagements especially, maneuvering in all three dimensions forces the
bogey to choose between two targets. As you move into section engagements, communication is the key
to success. Remember to use proper directive/descriptive commentary. Ensure that your radio calls are
clear, concise, quality transmissions of a tactical, directional, or descriptive nature, and acknowledge all
transmissions directed to you.
Regardless of a 1 v 1 or 2 v 1 situation, you must employ a thorough lookout doctrine while flying ACM,
especially in section maneuvers where you must maintain sight of both the bogey and your wingman at all
times. Maintain the highest energy package possible throughout all maneuvering. Force the bogey to
make mistakes. Remember, ACM engagements have historically been won by capitalizing on bogey
mistakes. Avoid being predictable in your maneuvering. Never give up; remain aggressive.
During offensive maneuvering, always maintain the advantage and force the bogey into a predictable flight
path. Maneuver into the weapons envelope and kill the bogey.
If you find yourself in a defensive position, you want to maneuver to: 1) deny the offensive firing solution,
2) defeat the weapons envelope by creating high angle off, 3) gain a neutral position, and 4) gain the
advantage or disengage.
If you engage a bogey with no clear advantage in a forward-quarter situation, attempt to convert any
separation into an angular advantage.
In section engagements, the most important concepts to remember are to maintain mutual support, force
the bogey to be predictable, and achieve a quick kill.
As a fighter pilot you will analyze both the background and the situational data to prepare for possible
ACM encounters. Analyzing background data includes studying and comparing your own and your
opponents aircraft performance, weapons capabilities, aircrew training and tactics, and intelligence data.
Analyzing situational data consists of studying the immediate or projected scenario(s). This evaluation
must focus on your mission, but more specifically it must focus on your present/projected circumstances
with an encountered bogey. You need to consider many factors in relation to your position with the bogey:
What is your angle off the tail (AOT)? What is your track crossing angle (TCA), your range, and your
energy state? How are you making the bogey predictable? How is the bogey making you predictable?
What must you do to maintain an advantage or successfully defend yourself from an attack?
T-45C Revision 1