INTERCEPT PROCEDURES TEXTBOOK
Sparrow Attack - Forward Quarter / Disadvantages of higher TA
The forward quarter Sparrow attack (30-60° TA) provides sufficient lateral separation for a
more benign Sidewinder reattack, but the Pk of a Sparrow with high TA is much lower. In
addition to the reduced probability of kill, the following disadvantages should also be noted:
The low rate of closure/higher TA yields a shorter Rmax.
A large turn is required by the fighter to lead.
The Doppler differential between the target and ground return is poor, causing the
target to potentially be masked in the ground return.
Greater TA and LS (poor position advantage) allows the bogey to penetrate much
closer to the defended force.
Chaff-type countermeasures by the bogey are more effective closer to the beam.
Based upon this information, in a real world situation, the fighter will most likely seek a low
target aspect situation rather than accept whatever initial TA is presented. The knowledge of
how to manipulate TA gives the fighter a flexible gameplan that takes into account the factors
already mentioned so far.
To fly a successful conversion intercept, the fighter must visualize its position relative to the
bogey's flight path (and what to do to maneuver into the optimum position). The spatial picture
may be visualized by imagining a bogey flight path paralleled by a LS line representing the goal
lateral separation (LS) at lead. Now picture a bogey with a line radiating outward representing
the goal TA (the desired amount of TA at lead). You can break this situation into four areas: