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Rocket activation distance relies on unrealistic mechanics which also makes them hard to use


# Game version

My game version: (

# Description


In the current version of the game, rocket activation distance (further only "RAD") is the distance a rocket travels relative to ground after being fired. Let's say we set our RAD to 500 m. In actual physics, the rocket will explode 500 m away from its launcher regardless of whether the launcher is stationary or moving in a straight line at a constant speed. If we fire at an aircraft 500 m in front of us, the rocket will not be affected by the movement of nearby objects, such as the ground, relative to the launcher and target aircraft and it will always hit the aircraft. Humans, being accustomed to real world physics, are subconsciously aware of this fact and expect that if RAD is set to 500 m, the rocket will explode 500 m away from the launcher aircraft regardless of its speed and heading. A ground-relative RAD circumvents human intuition and makes rockets hard to use against aircraft at high ground speed.


None of the in-game rockets were in real life equipped with the instruments necessary to measure their true air speed, speed of their ascend/descend and receive immediate weather updates in order to derive their movement relative to ground and calculate the distance travelled relative to ground. The rocket knowing its ground speed and vertical speed is borderline sci-fi. Basing the RAD on this unrealistic mechanic means that as the launcher plane's speed increases, the rocket explodes closer and closer to it, falling shorter and shorter of the target. The linked video shows how a rocket with 200 m RAD explodes 200 m away from an aircraft with 0 forward ground speed but when the aircraft reaches ground speed of 1211 km/h, the rocket explodes only 43 m in front of the aircraft. In both cases, the rocket travelled 200 m across ground.


Solutions I suggest:


Equally unrealistic but 100% accurate: Make RAD based on the distance between the launcher plane and the rocket. The fact that we can see our actual distance from an enemy vehicle regardless of our movement relative to ground shows that such RAD mechanic is indeed possible. To my knowledge, no rocket ever manufactured came equipped with the instruments needed to determine its range from the launcher platform, so this would be just as unrealistic as the ground speed based RAD but it will at least ensure that a rocket with 500 m RAD will hit a target 500 m away regardless of the launcher's and target's movement relative to ground.

100% realistic and practically accurate: Replace RAD with a time fuze. Very realistic. I conducted a test with the S-21B at ground level which simulates how the rocket would behave if it had a time fuze. A roughly 1,2 seconds time fuze showed only a 4 m range loss (due to increased drag) at 1211 km/h launcher ground speed compared to a stationary launcher. The tested time fuze corresponds to a 200 m RAD which has a range loss of 157 m at the same launcher ground speed. This shows the clear advantage a time fuze has in combat use over RAD.


I know that people have no idea what distance to engage from when having a 2 seconds time fuze and I know that different rockets cover different distances in the same amount of time but it's nothing complicated to find it out in a test flight and make a chart out of it. It will be the same as with bombing charts except the rocket chart won't be becoming obsolete so often as rocket speed and acceleration don't seem to change often, if at all. I also don't see a reason why a rocket chart shuldn't be published by Gaijin among update changes info if they actually implement time fuzes.


100% realistic and 100% accurate: Give proximity fuzes to rockets that historically had them. Even giving them to all the rockets would still be miles more historically accurate than what we have now. And there won't be need for any rocket charts.


# Steps to reproduce the issue

  1. pick any aircraft equipped with any rockets as long as they have the rocket activation distance feature

  2. enter a battle or test flight in any game mode while carrying rockets with the rocket activation distance set to any value other than impact

  3. fly behind an enemy aircraft

  4. when the distance between you and the enemy aircraft is equal to your rocket activation distance value, fire a rocket

  5. observe the rocket always exploding short of the enemy aircraft (a kill or other form of damage to the enemy aircraft doesn't mean that the rocket isn't falling short. The S-24 is said to have a 71 m effective shrapnel radius, meaning that it will deal damage or kill even if it explodes 70 m short of the target)

# Additional Information

The following video is somewhat unorthodox for this use since it was made for entertainment purposes mainly but the issue's manifestation can be clearly seen: 


# Affected vehicles

  • all rockets with the rocket activation distance feature


# Files

You must attach these files:

  • Aircraft forward ground speed close to 0 km/h (SPD shows sum of the absolute values of the ground speed and vertical speed vectors, not just ground speed), rocket activation distance set to 200 m, rocket exploding roughly 200 m in front of aircraft

  • rocket@200m.png.29666043395afd81ff64c1d8

  • Last frame before explosion - Aircraft forward ground speed 1211 km/h, rocket activation distance set to 200 m, rocket is 40 m in front of aircraft, 197 m from the above ground point of firing

  • rocket@43m1.png.9420848977edd55367da569c

  • rocket exploding 43 m in front of aircraft, 200 m away from the above ground point of firingrocket@43m2.png.f8145a6ee49a0bb803dae271


Edited by WingHuning
The game has been updated since but the issue remains
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  • 4 months later...
  • Technical Moderator

Where is the source?

will be opened for two weeks before closing it.

If anyone else have sources on rocket fuse activation feel free to add them as well.


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Technical Moderator

Issue closed due to no response

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  • 1 month later...

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