There has been a lot of talk about this lately and each method is a tool in the toolbox. A few things to consider in some of the heavier SAM environments- As you drift below 15000 feet, you start to get into IR territory... It's not so much diving through 15000 while avoiding a missile that you have to worry because you have loads of energy to maneuver- but as you're starting that long, gradual climb back up to altitude it's very difficult to "unload" and resume evasive action.
As an example, while we were flying in iShot (WC mission)- I was hauling around a few bags of groceries and had wandered into a very SAM heavy environment. As I was twisting and turning, trying to U turn and evade multiple SA11s (big, lumbering beasts that- in sufficient volume- can prove to be a challenge!) My speed was getting chewed up and my turns were getting sloppier and sloppier- At a certain point I needed to decide whether it was time to clean off the aircraft and hit the emergency release button or point my nose down and lose altitude (that it had taken me an entire flight to gain).
I got greedy and held on to my ordinance- choosing to point my nose down to help me pick up steam, dropping a couple thousand feet at a time as more missiles were fired. I ended up around 13000 and had finally come out of range (it takes awhile at 200 knts) and was making a gradual turn to find another way around. Suddenly- missile launch out of nowhere... SA-13 or SA9 (same actual missile I think- different launcher?) Once again... dumped a buschel of flares and started maneuvering while hovering on the emerg release button... Hovered a bit too long and was hit... engine out... a few system errors etc... but while going through this issue as I lose more altitude now I drop into MANPAD territory- where (unless I'm down in the spinnach with bugs in my teeth) I'm suddenly in the envelope of 3 different threats.
If I stayed up at 20k- I have 1 issue to deal with... relatively slow and cumbersome SA11s.
Keep in mind as you're U turning around the sky- it could take you a number of sharp U turns to eventually get out of range...
If you're not careful about always turning "away" from the launcher each time... you may NEVER get out of range. Also remember that the RWR changes the orientation of bearing as you're turning aggressively- a point I had asked about some time ago. According to some people who "know" the effect seemed a bit exagerated in the sim. (The RWR / MLWS displays bearing when your aircraft is horizontal. As you turn- let's say 90 degree left bank the RWR and MLWS receiver will display threats differently.) As you're flying in your missions take some time to get used to how the orientation changes as you bank... that way when you're maneuvering you may want to "landmark" your turns instead of focussing on the RWR. Pick an object on the ground 90 degrees from your course and turn towards it-
At least... that's what I've been trying to work on and though I'm by no means an expert I'm trying out different ideas.
On another note I would like to learn a little bit more about the proper time to start "jamming" and how its effects are modelled in the game. Is the jammer "blocked" at all by the side of your aircraft? Would radars on the opposite side of your jammer have a better chance to see through your jamming or is that not a factor? When is the best time to activate your jammer? During tracking prior to launch? Immediately after launch? When you start deploying Chaff and begin maneuvering? When I watch the jamming in the video above, it seems a bit random if only because the jammer turns itself off every 10 seconds and I think the guy either forgets to turn it back on- or has a tactic he doesn't fully describe.
Do the SAMs in the sim have Home on Jam capability- which would deter us from running it too early / too long? I've been reading about the SAM simulator and though I'm certain the SAM model isn't as intricate as that, is there any other disadvantage to operating the jammer continuously (turning it back on every 10 seconds or so once tracking starts or as radar appears?) At a certain range, radars will "burn through" even the best jammer... For the SAMs modelled in the sim- could it be taken for granted that this burn through could occur while within MAV's maximum range? (8.8 miles to lock approximately).
I have been building confidence flying in the SAM environment but these questions keep me guessing as to what the best tactics are combining maneuvering, jamming and decoys.