War Thunder background
Improving the flight physics of the SACLOS/MCLOS missiles

We are always trying to implement vehicles and weapons in the game as faithfully as possible and we also constantly refine and clarify the behavior of objects in the game, whether it is an aircraft or a shell. This time we have finalized the control mechanics of the SACLOS/MCLOS missiles to meet the higher requirements for reliability with the physical model of missile flight.

For missiles of this type we clarified the available load of the missile depending on the flight speed and air density, in addition the missile will lose speed more accurately during maneuvers. These changes will allow us to realize more accurately the damage zone of this type of missile in accordance with those of their real prototypes.

As a consequence to all this there will be a noticeable reduction in the capability of SACLOS SAMs to engage high speed targets with altitude or heading parameters. Since missiles with such control types follow the line of sight throughout the flight trajectory when firing at targets with altitude and heading parameters the missile trajectory curves due to changes in target position and the missile will have to perform a maneuver with an ever increasing overload.

The trajectory diagram of a SAM with SACLOS trajectory with significant elevation over the target
The trajectory diagram of a SAM with SACLOS trajectory with significant elevation over the target

Such a trajectory leads to a high g-force requirement throughout the flight which combined with the trajectory velocity decrease may cause the target to be missed if there is not enough available g-force. Therefore the higher the target velocity and the higher its heading or altitude, the more difficult it is for the missile to hit the target.

This feature of the flight of SACLOS missiles will become more pronounced after the update of the physical model and pilots will be able to use it to avoid being hit by SAM. To do so we recommend maintaining high speed and a significant altitude or heading parameter.

Also if the physical model of the SACLOS/MCLOS is updated, the missile’s angle of attack due to gravity compensation by the missile guiding system, will become more noticeable. The angle of attack in the updated physical model will vary depending on the missile’s velocity. The angle of attack during the flight would slightly change the armour engagement angle for these weapons.

Glossary:

SACLOS — semiautomatic command to line of sight.

MCLOS — manual command to line of sight.

Target heading parameter  — the shortest distance (perpendicular) from the point (origin of coordinates, location of instrument, cannon, launcher) relative to which it is determined, to the projection of the target's course on the horizontal plane.

Target heading parameter
Target heading parameter
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