Disable radar immediately after shooting

You should already be familiar with the tactic of keeping radar off unless a plane is in range – this protects you from sead planes attacking alone. By also disabling radar within the firing cycle, you can protect your AA even better from SEAD.

A couple months ago I tried using a single veteran Patriot as my anti-plane AA in ranked. One of the issues I faced with that choice was SEAD – I really didn’t want to lose my only anti-plane ground unit. Turning the Patriot on even against apparently unescorted bombers could and often did turn into a mini-crisis if stealthy sead was right behind.

Eventually I figured out a tactic to minimize this issue. Turns out, there’s no reason to keep radar on while the missile is in flight – the hit and reload will occur even with the weapon disabled. With patriots, this works amazingly well: You see a bomber, flick radar on for a brief second, the missile is in the air and radar is off again by the time the SEAD trailing the bomber is in range to shoot. Four – five seconds later the missile will have finished its trip and a new one will be ready for launch, and by that point it’s clear if there is SEAD present or not, so you can flick again without losing any fire rate or wait for a safer moment.

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I ditched the solo Patriot deck, but the habit remained with me. Every time I see a plane, I select my aa, enable radar, then disable it immediately after the plane gets in range (input delay and my slowness mean the missiles will be in the air by the time the command gets through). I repeat the process after a couple seconds. Whether you can use this to safely shoot at SEAD-escorted bombers depends on the range of your AA, the range of the SEAD, and how close the SEAD is following the bomber, but generally all it takes is a bit of muscle memory to increase your AA’s survivability.

Keep in mind, you still can’t move the launch platform after disabling radar with an airborne missile – the unit will keep guiding with weapons off, but it has to stay stationary as usual.

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