Air-to-ground missiles

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Overview

Air-to-ground missiles (AGMs) were added to the game in Update 1.79 "Project X" with the AGM-12B Bullpup. The first of this type of weapon were used in the Vietnam War. In-game, they are a potent weapon to have at your disposal, allowing you to destroy enemy ground or naval targets from several kilometres away. They allow the ability to steer the projectile to engage even moving targets.

Several different types of AGMs exist: Manual Command to Line of Sight (MCLOS) also known as command guided, Semi Automatic Command to Line of Sight (SACLOS), Television guided (TV), Infrared guided (IR), Laser guided, and Beam riding. Note that in-game these guidance systems might work differently than their respective real counterparts or the missiles might use a different guidance system than in reality.

Manual Command to Line of Sight (MCLOS)

MCLOS guided missiles are typically guided either by physical connection to the launch platform by a wire, or by radio waves. In the case of wire-guided missiles, the wire is unspun from the missile as it flies towards the target. After a missile of this type is launched, the gunner or pilot watches the motor or tracer components of the missile and sends correcting guidance commands to keep the projectile on target.

MCLOS controls

Without steering input from the player, the missile will behave like a simple unguided rocket. It is recommended to check your surroundings and ensure that there are no enemies in the vicinity, as it can be significantly more difficult to attempt to control both missile and aircraft at the same time. The default keybinds for manual missile guidance will prevent you from manoeuvring your aircraft with the keyboard at the same time.

Command guided missile controls
Control name Default Keybind
(PC keyboard & mouse)
Description
Yaw axis for aim weapons Shift + A / Shift + D Keys to control the yaw (side to side) movement of the missile
Pitch axis for aim weapons Shift + W / Shift + S Keys to control the pitch (up and down) movement of the missile
Fire air-to-ground missile Space Fire the command guided missile

List of MCLOS AGMs

Command guided missiles
Missile Country Max guidance range
AGM-12B Bullpup USA flag.png 8 km
AGM-12C Bullpup USA flag.png 16 km
AS-20 Nord France flag.png 8 km
AS-30 Nord France flag.png 10 km
Kh-23M USSR flag.png 10 km
Rb05A Sweden flag.png 8 km

Semi Automatic Command to Line of Sight (SACLOS)

The SACLOS guidance system improves on MCLOS by having a device that calculates correction commands such that the gunner only has to point the sight of the targeting device at the target, and the appropriate correction commands will be performed by the device. Connection to the missile can be by wire or radio waves. The targeting device often features a significantly zoomed-in view which makes target acquisition easier. All this makes targeting and guidance much easier and even allows for moderate changes of aircraft movement at the same time.

SACLOS controls

When launched from an aircraft, the SACLOS guided missile will fly towards the direction in which the aircraft's nose is pointing. This can allow for much easier and more accurate targeting than MCLOS missiles with fine adjustments using the mouse, but means that ample time should be given to allow the aircraft to pull up after the missile has struck.

Helicopters are more flexible in their guidance direction. Most helicopters feature a gunner view in which the missile can be directed separately to the helicopter. This can also often be set to centre automatically on a designated point on the ground (the "sight stabilization" keybind), which accounts for the relative motion of the helicopter and maintains the image in the gunner view, thus allowing for smooth guidance of the missile even when the helicopter is performing extreme manoeuvres.

List of SACLOS AGMs

SACLOS guided missiles
Missile Country Max guidance range
9M14-2 Malyutka-2 USSR flag.png 3 km
9M17M Falanga USSR flag.png 4 km
9M17P Falanga-PV USSR flag.png 4 km
9M114 Shturm USSR flag.png 5 km
9M120 Ataka USSR flag.png 6 km
AGM-22 USA flag.png 3.5 km
AS.11 France flag.png 3.5 km
BGM-71C Improved TOW USA flag.png 3.75 km
BGM-71D TOW-2 USA flag.png 3.75 km
HOT-1 France flag.png Germany flag.png 4 km
HOT-2 TOW France flag.png Germany flag.png 4 km
HOT-3 France flag.png Germany flag.png 4.3 km
Kh-66 USSR flag.png 10 km
RB 52 Sweden flag.png 3.5 km
RB 53 Bantam Sweden flag.png 2 km
RB 55B Heli TOW Sweden flag.png 3.75 km
RB 55C Heli TOW Sweden flag.png 3.75 km

Television

In War Thunder, television guided missiles refer to a class of missile guided by "optical contrast seekers". These missiles have a camera in the nose that transmits a greyscale image to the pilot, allowing them to select and lock onto a high contrast static or moving target. The missile will guide itself towards the target, leaving the pilot free to manoeuvre the aircraft and evade any anti-air defences. As the camera does not provide any infrared information, it may sometimes be accidentally locked onto high contrast objects in the vicinity of the intended target instead, which can cause a miss if the target subsequently moves away from the area. Television guided missiles are also unable to be used at night and in other low visibility conditions such as adverse weather.

List of TV guided AGMs

TV guided missiles
Missile Country Max guidance range
AGM-65A USA flag.png 23 km
AGM-65B USA flag.png 23 km
Kh-29T USSR flag.png 13 km
RB 75 Sweden flag.png 23 km

IR

Infrared homing missiles are similar in use to TV guided missiles, but feature an infrared imaging system instead of the optical camera, allowing heat sources (such as tanks) to be more easily differentiated and locked onto in cluttered environments and under low optical visibility conditions such as night-time.

List of IR guided AGMs

IR guided AGMs
Missile Country Max guidance range
AGM-65D USA flag.png 23 km
PARS 3 LR France flag.png Germany flag.png 7 km

Laser

The aircraft points a target-illuminating laser onto the desired target and when the missiles is fired it will fly automatically towards the laser point on the target. Advanced laser guided missiles can operate even when the laser illumination is stopped and will continue its flight path on inertial guidance. If the laser illumination lights up again they will proceed to follow the laser light.

List of laser guided AGMs

Laser guided missiles
Missile Country Max guidance range
AGM-114B Hellfire USA flag.png 8 km
AGM-114K Hellfire II USA flag.png 8 km
AS-30L Nord France flag.png __ km
Kh-25 USSR flag.png 7 km
Kh-25ML USSR flag.png 10 km
Kh-29L USSR flag.png 8 km
S-25L USSR flag.png 7 km
Blue Arrow 9 China flag.png 6 km

Beam riding

Beam riding missiles are operated using a radar or laser beam to guide them to the target. Once launched, the missile will attempt to keep itself in the centre of the beam that is projected out from the launch platform.

This differs from other laser-guided missiles, in that the missile is guided by the laser beam itself rather than guiding towards the reflection of the laser on the target.

List of beam riding AGMs

Beam riding missiles
Missile Country Max guidance range
9K127 Vikhr USSR flag.png 10 km
9M120-1 Ataka USSR flag.png 6 km
9M123 Khrizantema USSR flag.png 6 km
Starstreak Britain flag.png 7 km

See also

External links

Devblogs
Wikipedia