Steerpoints, Waypoints, Markpoints Oh my
Images coming Soon with examples.
Navigation in DCS can some times seem a little bit of a daunting task for some people given that we have more then 1 aircraft type and many of them use different terms for often the same type of navigational assistance. In this short article we are going to quickly cover the non external instrument ones or to put it in another way, we are not going to be covering NDB/ADF, TACAN and ILS, so let us begin with Steerpoints/Waypoints.
Why did I just lump the two together? Because they are the exact same thing it just the terminology that has changed, a waypoint or a steerpoint is a PREPLANNED point entered either with a Mission Data Cartridge/Card prior to the mission start or through the Up Front Controller / CDU etc. As the name suggests it is typically (but not always) used to either ‘Steer’ the aircraft in question to that location or a maker along the ‘way’ of it’s planned route. Eg ‘Steering Point’ and ‘Wayfairing Point’. In many jets these points can then be coupled together to make Sequences or Flight plans that the AC will in some autopilot modes such as the F18’s Coupled Sequence mode follow automatically.
Mark points however are not PREPLANNED points, a Mark Point’s purpose is in it’s actual name, a Point that is dropped to Mark a location and is typically done in one of 3 methods. 1. By dropping a point into the navigational system based on the Aircrafts CURRENT location, this is typically what happens in most AC if no Sensor of interest is selected and you press the mark button. 2. By dropping a point at the location of the current sensor of interest, normally either the Target Designation Cue location or the current look point of the TGP. 3. Feed by SADL or LINK16 Database from another unit. Unlike Steerpoints/Waypoints that are normally labeled 1-999 depending on your jet, mark points are typically Marked A – Z though some jets like the F14 for example really only have 1 markpoint for things like the TGP the last Designated location.[12:19 PM]Mark points come in handy for rapidly setting up points on the ground for attacks or for moving sensors with out having to enter complex Lat/Lon or MGRS data into an Aircraft. It is important to remember that in some AC like the A10 you need to move the Navigational source from Mission or Steerpoint to ‘Mark Point’ so that they can be selected.