The BEST Air Defence facility supports the simulation of both hostile forces and friendly fighter aircraft. Aircraft can be equipped with a variety of air-to-air radar, weapons and fuel loads and can be assigned targeting, mission and engagement behaviours.
BEST provides the facility to simulate air defence scenarios under peacetime or wartime conditions with differing associated behaviours.
Aircraft with on-board radar capability can be defined and these aircraft will be able to track hostile aircraft and provide target details to the weapons systems. Aircraft can be equipped with the following air-to-air weapon types.
- Active missiles
- Semi-active missiles
- Heat seeking missiles
Performance characteristics can be defined for each weapon.
BEST will use the fuel characteristics defined for an aircraft type to generate fuel warning and fuel emergency prompts. Air-to-air refuelling is supported by the BEST system, allowing flexible mission timings. Fuel load displays are updated and detail information displayed in either the standard NATO format (time) or one of two playtime formats (remaining fuel or time).
The BEST Air Defence system has facilities for target allocation which enables a fighter or group of fighters to be allocated a target. Combat Air Patrols (CAPs) can be defined to allow more flexible defence formations. A CAP is associated with a fix and associated target engagement. A fighter is eligible to enter a CAP where the associated fix is part of the fighter's defined route.
A number of target engagements are supported. Friendly forces can engage a hostile aircraft/formation(s) as a single aircraft or as a formation(s). Within a formation, target allocation is based on a left to right or near-far basis; in both cases the tracks of the aircraft will not cross. When the target is within range, a weapon will be released by the fighter. After weapon release the fighter will keep track of the target and any threats to itself. There are built in offensive and defensive manoeuvres that the fighter can carry out.
When an aircraft is the target of a launched weapon, a spike prompt is displayed to the pilot. The spike prompt details the direction from which the threat has been detected. The aircraft can take evasive action to avoid the incoming weapon.
A Semi-Autonomous Force (SAF) capability is supported. A SAF is a series of groups of aircraft. It is possible to define a behaviour for each formation within a SAF group to allow the simulation of bombers with fighter escorts. There are three types of defined SAF behaviour: avoid, engage and aggressive.
The BEST Air Defence facility has a reporting facility that details the following events: Allocate, Engage, Identification, Refuel, Mission Skip, Grand slam (all hostile targets destroyed), Weapon Fire, Splash (target destroyed), Trashed (target not destroyed), Weapon Expired (missile has been outrun by the target).