M1A1 (HA): Main Battle Tank
- 1 Statistics
- 2 General
- 3 Thermal Signature
- 4 Crew Positions
- 4.1 Tank Commander's Position F7
- 4.2 Gunner's Position F6
- 4.2.1 Gunner's Primary Sight (GPS)
- 4.2.2 Gunner's Auxiliary Sight (GAS)
- 4.2.3 Gunner's Unity Sight
- 4.2.4 Key listing for M1A1 (HA) gunner's position
- 4.3 Driver's Position F9
- 4.4 Loader's Position
- 5 Reference
Coaxial machine gun: 7.62mm M240
Ammunition Stowage: 8000 ready/4000 stowed
Default Ammunition: 8000/4000 7.62mm NATO
AAMG: M2 caliber .50 HMG
Ammunition Stowage: 100 ready/900 stowed
Default Ammunition: 100/900 0.50 Cal US
Grenade Dischargers: Grenades
Ammunition Stowage: 2 ready/2 stowed
Default Ammunition: 2/2 Smoke
Frontal Turret Armor: 359mm-580mm vs KE, 896mm-1220mm vs HEAT
Frontal Hull Armor: 125mm-390mm vs KE, 285mm-910mm vs HEAT
Combat Weight: 61.3t (67.6 tons)
Engine Power: 1500hp
The M1A1 (HA) is a variant of the American M1 series main battle tank which was first introduced in 1979. The original M1 was equipped with a rifled 105mm main gun, which, amongst other things, was upgraded to a smooth bore 120mm main gun on the M1A1. The "(HA)" stands for Heavy Armor, referring to a depleted uranium up armor package over the standard M1A1's armor.
The chief advantage of the M1, and the characteristic that gains it the most affection from its crews, is that the M1 has excellent crew survivability due to how the ammunition is stored and its automatic fire suppression system. Unlike other tanks that store ammo in the crew compartment, the M1 stores ammo in a separate compartment with blast doors between it and the crew. These doors are opened and closed when the loader loads a round into the breech. If the ammo is ignited, the roof of the turret has blowout panels that safely vent the explosion and resulting away from the crew compartment, where as other tanks may suffer from catastrophic explosions when ammo is ignited. The M1s automatic fire suppression system and use of fire resistant hydraulic fluids (FRH) also decrease the likelihood of catastrophic fires on the vehicle.
The M1 has seen many modifications and has extensive combat experience in the Middle East and continues to be fielded to this day (2008), although it has been substantially modernized and increased survivability due to combat experience in Iraq.
The M1A1 (HA) has a distinguishing thermal signature with an extremely hot rear half of the hull due to the heat put out by the turbine engine.
Tank Commander's Position F7
In Steel Beasts the tank commander's (TC) position on the M1A1 (HA) is fully crew-able. The TC's position is accessed by pressing F7.
From this position the user can raise and lower their perspective (and exposure level) by holding the Q key (to go up) and the Z key (to go down). The TC can also button or unbutton (close and open the TC's hatch) by pressing the B key (toggle). While unbuttoned, the TC may also wish to use binoculars to get a closer view on a distant area by pressing the N key (toggle).
The TC also has smoke grenades at his disposal. The TC can fire up to two smoke salvos by pressing TAB, at which point the grenade launches will need to be reloaded.
- The usefulness of the smoke grenade launches should not be underestimated, and it is one of the most useful tools at the disposal of the TC. Smoke grenade launchers are a vital tool for the security of the vehicle and should be used for a variety or reasons. These include, but are not limited to: attempting to break contact with the enemy, protection against non thermal sight equipped threats, and protecting the vehicle from enemy attempts to range you with an laser range finder. At the same time, care should be taken on when smoke is deployed since you are basically announcing your location to anyone else who might be unaware of it.
Commander's Weapon Station (CWS)
The commander's weapon station is a fancy name for the remote fired M2HB caliber .50 which is mounted on a fully traversable cupola. The cupola mounted caliber .50 can only be fired by the use of the TC's CWS; in other words the TC cannot fire the caliber .50 from the external, unbuttoned, view (on the real tank you would technically be able to depress the butterfly triggers and fire the weapon but you would not be able to aim; the practical is modeled, not the possible).
The TC can access the CWS's caliber .50 gun sight by pressing F3.
Once the user is at the CWS gun sight, the user can traverse the cupola using either the mouse, joystick (both of which represent the cupola's powered traverse mode), or by tapping the LEFT ARROW and RIGHT ARROW keys (the cupola's manual traverse mode). While the real life cupola has a powered motor for traverse (with the option for the TC to spin the cupola manually), the real cupola has no powered mechanism for elevation and must be elevated and depressed by the use of a small hand crank. With that in mind, the elevation of the caliber .50 can only be done by use of the UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW keys. In both cases where the arrow pad is used for elevation and traverse, quicker taps of the arrow keys will result in faster sight movement.
The gun sight on the CWS is a simple stadia type reticle. The numbers on the right side of the scale represent the range in hundreds of meters. The horizontal dashed lines to the left and right of the center on the scale are used to assist with leading the target. Basically, if a stationary target is at 1200m then the TC puts the center cross on the target and taps the UP ARROW key until the target is even with the "12" horizontal line. The TC then presses and holds the SPACE BAR and walk the rounds into the target if necessary.
If all caliber .50 rounds are expended then you will need to reload the weapon. The easiest way to do this is by moving the mouse to the top of the screen and selecting the "Vehicle" menu. Scroll down to the "Reload" command which will open a sub menu, then select "HMG". You will then need to unbutton your view to start the reload process (the TC must expose himself to reload the weapon, which is the primary weakness of the CWS). The easiest way to unbutton is to hold down Q from the CWS gun sight view. The view will then move away from the sight and raise in the hatch (unbuttoning the hatch if necessary).
- One real world tip in using the CWS is to do so from the turret down position. Pull forward just enough so that the gunner can see the target through the gunner's primary sight (GPS) over any forward obstruction but not forward enough so that the gunner's auxiliary sight (GAS) has a line of sight to the target. Since the GPS sight (aka. dog house) is mounted on the top of the turret, doing this will ensure that the gunner can lase a target and get the range without exposing the rest of the turret. Once the range is determined by the gunner (or by TC's lase with the gunner' primary sight extension (GPSE)), then the TC can place accurate caliber .50 fire on the threat. In this manner you can engage light armored vehicles without exposing the tank to other unknown threats in the area and you can avoid wasting a valuable main gun round as well.
Gunner's Primary Sight Extension (GPSE)
The GPSE, as the name implies, is an extension of the Gunner's Primary Sight (GPS). The TC can look through the GPSE to see what the gunner is looking at and can use to to override the gunner onto another target or even choose to engage the target himself. Press F2 to access the GPSE.
Once in the GPSE view, the view will essentially be identical to the GPS view (which is explained in the gunner's section). The important thing to remember is that the TC can override the gunner by holding the P key. While looking through the GPSE and holding the override key, the TC can move the turret and engage targets if necessary. By releasing the override key, you are giving control back to the gunner. Overriding the gunner onto an enemy target and then releasing the P key is known as designating a target. If the AI gunner identifies the target that you have put in view, it will begin tracking and wait for your order to fire (SPACE BAR).
TC's Vision Block View
On some occasions the TC may need to look around the vehicle without having to spin the turret and without having to expose himself to hostile fire. The vision block view allows the TC to remain safely inside the vehicle and quickly scan around for close threats. It is most useful when enemy infantry are in the immediate area. Access the TC's vision block view by pressing F4.
Once in the vision block view, the mouse or joystick can be used to quickly and seamlessly pan the TC's view from vision block to vision block, allowing him to scan around the vehicle. While the vision block view completely protects the TC from hostile fire, it does have an extremely limited field of view and offers no magnification.
Key listing for M1A1 (HA) TC's position
TAB: Pop smoke. Launches smoke grenades to deploy a smoke screen in the direction that the turret is facing. Useful for breaking up enemy LRF or completely obscuring your vehicle against a non thermal sight equipped threat.
P: Override. Hold to override the turret and use the joystick or mouse to move it.
Q: Raise position in hatch. Moves the TC's view and exposure level up in the hatch.
Z: Lower position in hatch. Moves the TC's view and exposure level down in the hatch.
B: Button and unbutton the hatch (toggle). This is used to close and open the hatch.
N: Multipurpose zoom (toggle). When the TC is unbuttoned, this will bring toggle the binocular view. When the TC is inside the turret this key will make the TC lean forward, essentially zooming in on that spot in the turret.
LEFT ARROW / RIGHT ARROW: Multipurpose. When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing these keys will cause the TC to face to the left or right of the main gun (turret). When in the TC's CWS sight view F3, tap to manually traverse the caliber .50 by spinning the cupola ring. Tap the keys quicker to traverse the cupola faster. Manual traverse is useful for small azimuth adjustments to the sight.
- The CWS sight can also be traversed in powered mode by using the mouse or joystick.
UP ARROW / DOWN ARROW: Multipurpose. When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing these keys will cause the TC to face in the direction of or to the rear of the gun (turret). When in the TC's CWS sight view F3, tap to elevate the caliber .50 by turning the hand crank. Tap the keys quicker to elevate the gun faster.
- The CWS sight can only be elevated using these keys.
Driver related commands:
SHIFT + BACKSPACE: Shut down / start up engine (toggle). Orders the driver to shut off or start up the engine. If the TC is a platoon leader then it orders the platoon to execute a "short count" and simultaneously shut down or start up their engines.
W: Driver, move out. Instructs the driver to move forward (press again for increased speed.
S: Driver, stop. Instructs the driver to stop.
X: Driver, backup. Instructs the driver to reverse.
A: Driver, go left. Instructs the driver to go left (hold the key).
D: Driver, go right. Instructs the driver to go right (hold the key).
Gunner related commands:
BACKSPACE: Battle sight range (BSGT). This key represent the "BSGT" button on the commander's control panel which, when pressed, puts 1200m into the ballistic computer and dumps all lead calculations. This button should be used when the TC wants to gives a battle sight engagement, basically a tank becomes visible at 1200m or less. With battle sight in place, the gunner need not lase the target, he only needs to point and fire.
SPACE BAR: Multipurpose. Orders the gunner to fire at a target he is looking at when not overriding the gunner and when not in the caliber .50 gun sight view. If the TC is overriding the turret, the this will fire the main gun. If the TC is in the caliber .50 gun sight view, this will fire the caliber .50.
H: Hold fire. Orders the gunner to hold fire. If the TC is a platoon leader then it will also order the platoon to hold fire.
F: Fire at will. Orders the gunner to fire at will. If the TC is a platoon leader then it will also order the platoon to fire at will.
E: Engage. Orders the gunner to engage, and instructs the driver to take up a battle position. If the TC is a platoon leader then it orders the platoon to engage and take up a battle position in the direction of the user's view.
,: Manual mode. Orders to gunner to put the turret in manual mode.
.: Emergency mode. Orders the gunner to put the fire control system in emergency mode.
/: Normal mode. Orders the gunner to put the fire control system in normal mode (default).
M: Coax / Main gun (toggle). Orders the gunner to toggle between the main gun and coax to engage targets.
SHIFT + LEFT ARROW: Gunner, scan left. Orders the gunner to put move the turret approximately 45 degrees to the left and scan for targets.
SHIFT + RIGHT ARROW: Gunner, scan right. Orders the gunner to put move the turret approximately 45 degrees to the right and scan for targets.
SHIFT + UP ARROW: Gunner, scan front. Orders the gunner to put the gun over the front and scan for targets.
Loader related commands:
INSERT: Fire, fire (ammo type 1, usually sabot/KE). Orders the loader to start loading ammo type 1 after the next round is fired. Holding SHIFT and pressing this key will instruct the loader to reload this round type from the semi ready rack. Double tapping this key will instruct the loader to unload the current round and immediately load this round type (if one is not already loaded).
DELETE: Fire, fire (ammo type 2, usually HEAT). Orders the loader to start loading ammo type 2 after the next round is fired. Holding SHIFT and pressing this key will instruct the loader to reload this round type from the semi ready rack. Double tapping this key will instruct the loader to unload the current round and immediately load this round type (if one is not already loaded).
HOME: Fire, fire (ammo type 3). Orders the loader to start loading ammo type 3 (if there is any) after the next round is fired. Holding SHIFT and pressing this key will instruct the loader to reload this round type from the semi ready rack. Double tapping this key will instruct the loader to unload the current round and immediately load an ammo type 3 round (if one is not already loaded).
END: Fire, fire (ammo type 4). Orders the loader to start loading ammo type 4 (if there is any) after the next round is fired. Holding SHIFT and pressing this key will instruct the loader to reload this round type from the semi ready rack. Double tapping this key will instruct the loader to unload the current round and immediately load an ammo type 4 round (if one is not already loaded).
SHIFT + PAGE DOWN: Reload all. Orders the tank crew to reload all weapons systems.
Gunner's Position F6
In Steel Beasts the gunner's position on the M1A1 (HA) is fully crew-able. The gunner's position is accessed by pressing F6.
Gunner's Primary Sight (GPS)
The gunner's primary sight (GPS) is the primary sight the gunner utilizes to engage and destroy targets. The GPS view is accessed by pressing F2.
Thermal Imaging Sight (TIS)
The most useful aspect of the GPS view is the thermal imaging system (TIS). Activate the TIS by pressing + on the num pad.
In 3x magnification, the reticle will display a set of brackets around the center of the sight. These brackets show the area that the 10x magnification will zoom into. The TIS 3x sight is used to quickly scan the terrain, looking for any hot spots that stand out in the view. Once a heat signature is spotted, press N to zoom in, switching the sight to 10x magnification.
In this view you can track, lase and engage a target. The TIS 10x view is excellent for engaging targets that may be behind woods or vegetation, behind thin clouds of dust, and behind non multi-spectral smoke screens. The TIS is also at an extreme advantage over non TIS equipped foes in low visibility conditions such as night, poor weather, or fog. The disadvantage of the TIS view is that target identification can be difficult, especially at long range (depending on the quality of the sight). As a trigger puller, you need to be extremely certain that what you are observing is an enemy vehicle before you commit an act of fratricide. The best way to be certain of this (in good visibility) is to switch to daylight view once a target is acquired. That said, gunners with experience will memorize TIS signatures of all vehicles to the point that they can identify targets in the TIS as effectively as they can in daylight view.
The daylight view of the GPS sight is mostly used when the TIS is damaged or, in good visibility conditions, to better identify targets. If you are currently in the TIS imager view, you can switch to daylight view by pressing the + key (on the num pad).
The zoom level in the daylight sight can also be toggled with N and it is independent of the zoom level set in the TIS.
- One real world technique that M1 gunners utilize is the method of placing the TIS in 3x magnification and the daylight sight in 10x. Once the target is acquired in 3x TIS, the gunner switches to 10x daylight with + on the num pad for a clear view of the target. Once the gunner destroys the threat (or determines it is not a valid target), he then switches back to 3x TIS by pressing + on the num pad again and scans for more targets and repeats.
In both the TIS and daylight view, you will see a set of nearly identical symbols in the bottom of the sight and a reticle in the center of the sight: these are referred to as the gun sight symbology.
The GPS aiming reticle is located in the center of the appropriate sight and is used for aiming at the target. The center of the reticle is a circle (or a box in the TIS sight) with a dot in the middle of it. The center dot is the aiming point for lasing and firing.
The set of numbers in the lower part of the sight is the range, in meters, that is currently entered in the fire control system (FCS). This range is either entered manually by the user (through the use of the computer control panel (CCP)), entered by the TC using the "BSGT" button, or entered automatically when the laser range finder (LRF) is used, the latter being the most common and is referred to as "lasing".
The box to the upper left of the range value is the "ready to fire box". This box is displayed after a variety of conditions are met (most notably the loader's arming handle must be "up") and signifies that the gun is ready to fire.
In the same image you will see a horizontal bar above the range value. This bar is displayed in cases where the "lase" has multiple returns. In other words, when the gunner lased the target, the laser passed through an obstruction (or went beyond the target and caught a piece of it) and has returned from multiple distances. This is a warning that you may have an inaccurate range to the target. Before you lase the target you should use the ` key to switch between 1st and last return on the LRF to minimize possibilities of a multiple return; choosing which one depends on the situation. If there is an obstruction such as tree or bush between you and the target (just like what is in the first sample image in the "Daylight Sight" section), then last return should be selected before you lase so that the CCP uses the last return as the range (the return beyond the tree). If only a small part of the target is visible at a long range (such as the turret), then 1st return should be selected before you lase since there is a possibility that he laser will return off the small portion of the target but continue on down range and return a longer range.
In some cases you may see an "F" to the upper right of the range. This "F" symbolizes that an FCS fault of some kind has occurred. The exact fault may also affect the other symbols in the reticle. In the example image the ballistic computer has been damaged which causes the range to be displayed as all zeros. In other cases the numbers may flash, be frozen with the last known range, or you may completely lose your aiming reticle. The only thing you need to be concerned with is that if an "F" is displayed in the view then there has been an FCS malfunction and you may need to use the gunner's auxiliary sight (GAS).
Engaging targets with the GPS can be a complicated affair. Obviously the first thing you need to do to engage a target is to acquire it. The best way to do this is by using the TIS 3x sight.
Once a target is acquired, the gunner should switch to 10x magnification by pressing N and place the dot in the center of the reticle on the target and lase by pressing CTRL or Joystick Button 2. Once you lase the target and get the range, lead (pronounced "leed") begins to be calculated.
The most important thing to realize is that the FCS on the M1 automatically induces lead. Lead is the term used to refer to putting a gun in front of a target which is moving perpendicular to your vantage point. When you lead a target, you essentially need to fire in front of target at the point in which the round and target will meet. When the gunner uses the LRF, the M1's FCS will begin calculating lead and the reticle will start to move in the sight. When a moving target is lased, the turret will jump ahead of the target in order to apply the appropriate lead. This causes the GPS view to move ahead of the target but the reticle appears to lag behind. The ballistic computer calculates lead depending on the range entered into the computer from the lase and the horizontal rate of traverse of the turret.
- On the M1 and M1A1, the mirror in the GPS is single axis (EL), which means that the mirror cannot move independent of the turret in the horizontal axis, so this is why the reticle moves horitzontally in the sight. This issue was later rectified in the M1A2 which has a dual axis mirror (DAHA), which results in the reticle always remaining in the center of the sight, even while lead is being calculated.
A "good track" is when you can assume a steady track on the target with the reticle remaining on target as you follow it for a second or so. A "bad track" is when your tracking rate is either too fast or too slow in relation to the targets actual movement; track the target too fast and the reticle slowly moves in front of the target, track the target too slow and the reticle will fall behind. If you fire with a "bad track" then you are most likely going to shoot in front of or behind the target. M1 and M1A1 gunners use a variety of techniques to minimize a bad track, which are mentioned in the techniques section below.
- If you and the target are stationary then you do not need to utilize lead. In this case it is advisable that you quickly "dump lead" (see below) by pressing P after you lase, then fire at the target. This ensures that there is a minimal chance or user induced error from a sudden movement of the sight before firing.
Once a target is lased and, if the target is moving, a steady track executed, the gun is ready to be fired. To fire the main gun press SPACEBAR or Joystick Button 1. The round will now be launched down range and the enemy will hopefully be rewarded with a quick and painless death.
Reengaging and Dumping Lead
If by some chance you miss the target, you should "dump lead" by pressing P or Joystick Button 3. Dumping lead essentially zeros out the calculated lead and resets the sight to zero. If you do not dump lead then your reticle will move around wildly in the sight if you traverse the turret and can even cause the turret to move back to the sight if the control handles are centered. If you or the target is moving then once lead is dumped you need to put the reticle back on the target, lase, track and fire again.
If the TC changes the main gun ammo type (ie. from sabot to HEAT), you must select the new ammo type when the round is loaded by pressing INSERT, DELETE, HOME or END. This is referred to as "indexing" the round type. Essentially the gunner puts a rotating ammo selector switch on the appropriate round type which tells the ballistic computer what round trajectory to calculate.
If the gunner does not properly index the ammo type then the round will be wildly off target. If sabot is indexed and a HEAT round is fired then the round will impact short of the target. If HEAT is indexed and a sabot round is fired then you will launch a small unmanned sub-orbital mission.
- The easiest way to tell when you need to index a new round type is by listening to the TC announce "fire, fire HEAT" or "fire, fire sabot" etc. Another sign of when to index a new ammo type is by listening to the loader. Every time a HEAT round is loaded into the gun the loader will announce "HEAT up". If a sabot round is loaded following a HEAT round then he will announce "sabot up". Every subsequent sabot round loaded will only be announced with "up".
Manually Inputting Range
There may be instances when the gunner must manually index a range into the computer control panel (CCP). This may be necessary if a target cannot be lased through a smoke screen and another tank in the platoon has a good range on it, or the gunner wants to make an estimate, or for a variety of other reasons.
To manually input a range into the CCP, look at the CCP in eye view. The best way to do this is to press F1, move the view to the right then press F1 again to disconnect the mouse from the view direction. While looking at the CCP, use the mouse to press the RANGE button. Once the RANGE light is lit, the computer will now display the range currently entered into the fire control system in the red digital light readout above the key pad. The ballistic computer is now waiting and ready to accept manual range entry, simply press the number buttons to the left of the lit RANGE button to enter a new range. As you press the numeric buttons, the numbers in the display with update accordingly. Once you have the range you want, press the ENTER button below the numeric buttons to index that range into the ballistic computer; DO NOT press the RANGE button, as doing so instructs the ballistic computer to cancel the operation, and it will ignore your the new range you entered. Once the range is indexed into the ballistic computer, the numeric range in the readout with disappear. If you entered the range while the palm switches are depressed (which are always depressed by default unless you hold P or have a gunner control handle setup), the gun tube will elevate or depress as if you just lased a target, and lead will now be induced as well. If you do not want lead to be calculated after you entered the manual range, then simply release the palm switches to dump lead by pressing P or release the palm switching while entering the manual range into the CCP.
Practice makes perfect when entering manual range into the CCP. At first the above process may seem cumbersome, but with practice you can enter range into the CPP in about three seconds.
- The process of looking at and entering range into the CCP simulates the fact that on the real M1 you could not and would not enter the range into the CCP without also looking at it, otherwise it would be too risky as you may end up pressing something on the panel that you did not intend (such as LEAD, MRS, AIR TEMP etc).
There are many different gunner techniques (aka. "ancient Chinese secrets") when dealing with gunnery on the M1A1. The two most common techniques are lase and blaze and lase, steady track, fire.
Lase and blaze is a technique where the gunner picks up a good track on a target for a second and a half or more then rapidly lases and fires (in a lase, fire one-two movement) as quickly as possible. The theory behind this technique is that a rapid lase and fire minimizes gunner error on lead calculation. The general tendency for gunners is to over compensate or change their track speed after a target is lased if the gunner hesitates when firing the gun. The disadvantage of this technique is that depending on how fast the target is moving and its range, lase and blaze may cause firing to occur before the turret fully "jumps" in front of the target to its proper lead position, but this should be a rare occurrence, especially if you time the one-two lase-fire at about a half second interval.
Lase, track, fire is a technique where the gunner puts / tracks the reticle on target, gets a good lase, then performs or maintains a steady track of the target for a second and a half or more. The gunner then fires once a good track on the target is achieved. The theory behind this technique is that after the gunner lases, the gunner maintains the appropriate traverse speed to visually see that a good track is achieved on the target with the dynamic reticle. This method has the greatest chance of applying the correct lead on the target, but the disadvantage is that if the gunner waits too long then the range may be incorrect when he finally decides to fire. However, the gunner can always re-lase the target to get a new range while he is tracking it, it just means that you may have to readjust your track which can cost life saving seconds.
- The successful gunner may use a mixture of the two techniques or perfect their own technique, but the most capable gunner recognizes when to dump lead, re-lase, and start the process over instead of firing and wasting a round, precious seconds, or blowing the element of surprise.
Gunner's Auxiliary Sight (GAS)
The gunner's auxiliary sight (GAS) is the gunner's secondary means to engage targets when the GPS is disabled or when the fire control system has a fault. The GAS is also the sight that the gunner should reference when determining whether the gun tube is clear of a forward obstruction (like a berm or ridge line). Press F3 to access the GAS.
The GAS sight has a fixed 8x magnification and is always aligned with the gun.
- When the gun is elevated and depressed the GAS sight picture will rotate. This behavior models the actual awkward behavior in the real tank. The behavior occurs as a result of how the GAS sight is hinged half way down the tube in order to keep the sight piece in the same place as the gun moves. As the gun elevates and depresses, the elbow pivots and the sight must rotate around the joint, thereby rotating the entire sight picture.
The GAS sight is fairly simple to understand. At the top of the sight is the name of the reticle that you currently have selected. Below this is a left to right descending stadiametric scale which is used to bracket a target and determine its range. The numbers at the top of this scale represent the range to the target in hundreds of meters. Below the horizontal stadia scale are the aiming lines which are used to determine the elevation of the gun once you determine the range to the target. The numbers to the right of the aiming lines are the range in hundreds of meters and the horizontal dashes (offset from the center of the sight) are to assist the gunner with estimating lead on moving targets.
Engaging targets with the GAS is not an exact science. It can require several rounds, a good deal of estimation, and "Kentucky windage" before you hit a moving the target, but stationary targets should be relatively easy to hit if the process is done correctly. The basic process behind using the GAS to engage a target is to select the proper reticle, estimate the range to the target, engage the target, make adjustments and reengage if necessary.
Selecting the Proper Reticle
The first thing you must do is select the proper reticle of the round which is currently loaded by pressing R.
- The sight marked "APFSDS" at the top is for sabot.
Choking the Target (Ranging)
After you have the correct reticle selected, the next thing you need to do is "choke" the target. Choking the target is the term used to estimate range to a target by using the stadia scale at the top of the GAS sight.
As mentioned, the numbers on the scale represent hundreds of meters. When estimating range to a target, the target is put in between the long horizontal line and the dashed lines above it (the lines just below the numbers). In the case of a fully exposed target, the bottom line is placed on the bottom of the vehicle (where the tracks touch the ground) and the horizontal dash is placed at the top of the vehicle's turret. In the case where only the turret of a target is visible, the bottom of the turret (aka. the top of the hull) is placed on the bottom horizontal line and the top of the vehicle's turret is placed on the dot (in between the horizontal line and the horizontal dashes).
Essentially, the target is placed within the scale at the increment in which it most fully fills the top and bottom of the scale. In the above image, the enemy tank is completely visible so the horizontal line and horizontal dash above the dot is used. The bottom of the line is placed below the tank and the top of the dash is placed at the top of the turret. The target fills the scale marked "20" so the target is approximately 2000m away.
- It is important to remember that the stadia scale is used to determine average tank sized targets. For larger or smaller vehicles (such as APCs or IFVs) a little bit of guess work may be required.
Once the range is estimated to the target, elevate the GAS sight so that the appropriate range numbers to the right of the lower vertical scale are even with the target in the sight. Next, if the target is stationary, align the target with the center of the sight marked with the vertical lines above and below the middle circle. If the target is moving, use the dashed lines to the left and right of center to estimate lead depending on the target's speed.
Continuing with the example, the target's range was estimated at 2000m and the target is stationary. The sight is elevated so that the target is even with the "20" on the right side of the lower scale, and the target is centered in the sight along the center vertical lines.
Once this is done, you are now ready to engage the target.
In the event that you miss the target, you should simply adjust the sight in relation to where the round hit and walk it into the target. You should not waste valuable time estimating the range to the target again unless the target is rapidly moving towards or away from you.
- If you have sabot loaded and you need to quickly engage a target that is 1200m or less from your position, do not worry about the range: simply place the target in the center circle on the APFSDS reticle and fire!
Gunner's Unity Sight
The gunner's unity sight is simply a vision block that the gunner has that allows him to see a 1x view through the GPS housing (aka. "dog house"). This sight can be useful if you need to see immediately to the front of the turret in a relatively wide field of view. Press F4 to enter the unity sight and use the joystick or mouse to move the turret around normally.
Key listing for M1A1 (HA) gunner's position
Weapon system commands:
P or Joystick Button 3: Disengage palm switches. Press to release the palm switches and disengage hydraulic power to the turret. This is done mainly to dump lead in the ballistic computer.
N: Zoom (toggle). Toggles between 3x and 10x in the GPS sight (the TIS and daylight sight can be at independent magnifications).
SPACE BAR: Fire. Fires the currently selected weapon system (main gun or coax).
SHIFT + SPACEBAR: Master blaster. Fires the main gun via the master blaster (the manual fire control handle which generates an electrical current when the handle is twisted). The master blaster is useful for fire control system malfunctions where the gun does not respond or when electrical power to the turret is lost.
CTRL: Lase. Lases the target or area currently in the GPS reticle.
M: Main / Coax (toggle). Toggles between the main gun and coax.
`: 1st return / last return (toggle). Toggles between 1st return and last return LRF modes.
R: GAS reticle (toggle). Toggles between the APFSDS and HEAT reticle in the GAS.
SHIFT + B: GPS shield (toggle). Toggles the GPS shield (dog house doors) open and closed. This is useful to protect the GPS from incoming high explosive artillery rounds.
+ (num pad): TIS / daylight (toggle). Toggles between the daylight and TIS filter in the GPS sight.
- (num pad): White hot / black hot (toggle). Toggles between the TIS white hot and black hot polarity modes.
INSERT: Sabot indexed. Places the ammo selector switch on sabot, indexing that round type in the ballistic computer.
DELETE: HEAT indexed. Places the ammo selector switch on HEAT, indexing that round type in the ballistic computer.
HOME: Ammo type 3 indexed. Places the ammo selector switch on ammo type 3 (if there is any), indexing that round type in the ballistic computer.
END: Ammo type 4 indexed. Places the ammo selector switch on ammo type 4 (if there is any), indexing that round type in the ballistic computer.
numerical keys, 0-9 (below the function keys): Manual data entry. Enters manual range into the CCP. You must press ENTER after you input the values in order to enter the data into the CCP.
ENTER: Manual data entry. Enters the manual data into the CCP. Range entry will not take effect until the manual data entry key is pressed.
LEFT ARROW / RIGHT ARROW: Manual traverse. Tap to traverse the turret using the manual hand crank. Tap the keys quicker to traverse the turret faster. Manual traverse is vital when hydraulic pressure or electrical power is lost.
UP ARROW / DOWN ARROW: Manual elevation. Tap to elevate the main gun using the manual hand crank. Tap the keys quicker to elevate the main gun faster. Manual elevation is vital when hydraulic pressure or electrical power is lost.
/: Manual mode. Puts the fire control system in manual mode. This essentially makes it so that main gun can only be moved by the manual traverse and manual elevation keys.
.: Emergency mode. Puts the fire control system in emergency mode. This essentially slaves the sight to the gun and disables all form of lead and stabilization. This is necessary when the fire control system suffers a malfunction.
- If the fire control system suffers a malfunction or stabilization is lost while in normal mode then emergency mode must be selected in order traverse the turret.
,: Normal mode. Puts the fire control system in normal mode. This is the normal operating mode for the fire control system and essentially slaves the gun to the sight. Normal mode must be selected to have a stabilized gun sight and lead calculation.
Tank commander related commands:
T: Identified! Tells the TC that you have located a target and that you are going to engage it. Essentially it tells the AI TC to leave you alone while you engage and forbids the AI from overriding you to another target. Use at your own risk.
I: I can't see it! Tells the TC that you cannot see a target or the one he is commanding you to engage. Essentially it tells the AI TC to override you on to a target that it wants you to engage.
Driver related commands:
W: Driver, move out. Instructs the driver to move forward (press again for increased speed.
S: Driver, stop. Instructs the driver to stop.
X: Driver, backup. Instructs the driver to reverse.
Driver's Position F9
In Steel Beasts the driver's position on the M1A1 (HA) is fully crew-able but partially modeled. Currently there is no 3D view for the driver but there is a driver position view which has an image of the driver's hatch. The driver's position is accessed by pressing F9.
Once in the driver's position, you can drive the tank by using the joystick. You can also unbutton the driver and raise his view by holding Q and you can lower the driver and make him button up by holding Z.
In Steel Beasts the loader's position on the M1A1 (HA) is currently not crew-able and is handled by the AI. The AI loader performs the main responsibility of loading the main gun and he also replenishes ammunition from the semi-ready rack when the TC orders a reload command.
Purchase SB Pro PE
--Volcano 20:41, July 16, 2008 (UTC)