AAR on EMCON 4 and separation.

Operating an F-16 on the ground or in the air - from the engine start sequence, over replacing a wing, to aerial refueling procedures
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Unread post02 Jan 2018, 16:10

Good day,

not a question specific to the F16, but relative to most USA/NATO fighters, so hopefully that won't be too off-topic.

I'm reading a NATO document on AAR (provided in Falcon BMS documentation), and there's something I was wondering.

Suppose there's EMCON state 4 (so no radar, no TACAN, no transponder, no radio comms), and there are multiple elements having to do AA refuel. How is deconfliction and separation assured in this case?

The document mentions that a timed Rendez-Vous (RV Echo) is suggested in this case, where the tanker flies timed patterns. If the receiver element doesn't have an AI radar (so I suppose this also applies if EMCON 4) it plans to arrive at the anchor point 30 secs after the tanker (and 1000 ft below).

Now my question is, what if there are mutiple receiver elements approaching the tanker? As far as I understand, in normal conditions they should be vertically separated 1000 ft from each other, but that is achieved with radio comms, I suppose. So how is it done in this case? Is it only done visually?

A recent version of the document is available here: http://www.japcc.org/wp-content/uploads ... elling.pdf

Here are some relevant parts of the document (bold mine):

"d. Receiver Join on Tanker

(1) Each receiver homes independently onto the tanker using all available aids.
(2) The receiver is to join the pattern 1000 ft below the RV FL/altitude/height.
(3) Receivers with AI radar or visual contact may join at any suitable point along the anchor.
(4) Receivers without AI radar should aim to fly the inbound track to the Anchor Point and
adjust their timing to arrive 30 sec after the tanker.

e. Impact of EMCON Procedures. EMCON procedures may be used in conjunction with the
RV Echo. However, in such circumstances, the receivers should be aware that several other
receivers/formations may be approaching the tanker from different directions. Therefore, it is
essential that all receivers maintain a good lookout and strict adherence to AAR procedures.

f. Tanker Actions to Ensure VMC. Within the limitations of the tactical situation, the tanker
pilot is to adjust the FL/altitude/height and or position of the racetrack to maintain good VMC.

103E Aids Employed to RV. Subject to the EMCON policy in force, all available aids
should be employed to achieve the RV."

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