Shyam Mani (fox2mike) wrote,
Shyam Mani

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Why fox2mike?

After being bugged to hell by teemus, I've decided to put this down before he decides to come to Bangalore and bludgeon me to death. This *might* be semi-long and boooooring, so it goes under the knife.

I've said this before, I'll say it again. I'm crazy about planes. Especially Fighter Planes. I got my first computer in 1993 and it was a Pentium uhh..umm sorry, Intel 486 SX2 33 MHz with 8 MB RAM, later upgraded to 16 MB RAM and a 1 GB HDD and then a 2x Creative CDROM Drive. Having a CDROM drive was something awesome back then, and I got a set of games with the Creative Multimedia Kit. Amongst those were some of the most awesome games like Wing Commander III (Vengence of the Kilrathi) and Strike Commander. I loved both and in fact didn't play them much until 1995/96. While WC3 was a futurstic space thingie, SC was more in tune with the real world. You were a part of a mercenary squadron called the Wildcats and you flew F-16s and occasionally F-22 Raptors. The setting was in the the game rightly assumed the Raptor was already in service by then.

There were various missions from CAPs to taking out airfields (which were the toughest). And since you were a mercenary, every bit of money counted. It is quite against standard air force procedures IRL to send a fighter (during wartime) without any AAMs which are the most handy during a Dogfight. The F-16s in SC could be equipped with the AIM-9J or the AIM-9M. The latest version is the AIM-9X and the AIM-9 family are called Sidewinders. Differences between the 9J and 9M are :

  • The AIM-9J was a dumb missle, needing to be actually fed into the enemy's ass since you had to be right behind the enemy to get tone or lock on. AIM-9Ms were awesome since they could lock on to any part of the enemy plane.

  • The 9J would target friendlies as well. 9M had IFF, so you would see a warning on the HUD if you were going to lock on to a friendly.

  • 9Js were easily distracted. By other planes or by the Sun. No need to even waste flares. lol. The 9M was faster and tougher to shake off. So the chances of a successful shot after tone with a 9M were like 10 times more than one with a 9J.

The other AAM was the BVR, radar guided AIM-120 AMRAAM (boy, I love these acronyms lol). These were quite costly, but could take down sitting ducks like C-130s even before you actually saw them (hence the BVR). The other fighters usually got away thanks to countermeasures like chaff. You didn't have access to this weapon until after the first few successful missions and only after you brought in some moolah could the base commander procure more weaponry for the Wildcats.

Another awesome weapon during a Dogfight was the M161 Vulcan machine gun. You can see how the M161 looks on an F-15E Strike Eagle here.

So, coming back to the point (and cutting the post short), the pilots had callsigns. And they also had codenames for the kind of missiles launched during combat. Fox 2 meant the pilot was launching a Sidewinder missile and the Mike meant the 9M version. So that's how fox2mike came into existence. I know this sounds nuts, but Strike Commander is something I'll always hold close to my heart. For a game written in 1992, it had awesome graphics and a good story. I still have the original CD somewhere.

Found a few nice links, with pics....thought I'd share them.
AIM-9 Sidewinder series

After writing that, I think I should thank teemus. I wish I can go back to Strike Commander. I might keep updating this post for a while.
Tags: aim, air force, amraam, fighters, fox2mike, missiles, strike commander, username, wing commander
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