Intercept procedures

One of the several WIPs I have is going to be an air defense interceptor. I’m planning on adding a searchlight for target ID, like the F-16ADF and CF-118s (Swiss F-18s too, I think. ) On these the light was mounted on the port side. Now, question I have is … intercept doctrine, as I understand it, is the interceptor approaches from the rear, along the port side of the unidentified aircraft so as to be on the pilot’s side (of a multi seat aircraft) for contact. (Wingman of interceptor remains to the rear of the target.) What good is a search light on the side of the interceptor OPPOSITE of the target aircraft. Shouldn’t it be on the starboard side to lght the target up for ID?

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No idea, but my guess is the wingman lights up the target for ID by the flight lead? I imagine a plane is easier to identify with a rear quarter/side view than a straight on rear view

Nah - the lead intercept just flies inverted! :grin:

As Mead says, the wingman probably lights up the tail for easy reading by the lead, so a left-wing light serves the left-side approach.

It wing is lighting up the target from behind then what good is a light on the port side? AND according to the NORAD manual the one doing the IDing is Lead , on the target’s port side. Intercept Procedures (cfinotebook.net)

Blue line is port mounted searchlight. Doesnt look like it does much good.

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Hmm, front your first post I had thought the light was mounted port side but facing forward. That’s why I suggested the wingman lit up the target for the flight lead to identify.

If the light truly points directly to port, then I’m not sure

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Me too but nope

The thing apparently shines out the port side ammo loading hatch.

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Weird! I have no idea then.

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Could the light be used by the wingman to illuminate the leaders tailfin to inform the intercepted pilot about who he/she is being intercepted by?
Like a police officer showing his/her badge before saying: You are under arrest.

Just guessing …

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Unfortunately my grandpa passed away a few months ago. He was a radar operator at North Bay and was tasked with getting interceptors on target during the Cold War, he might have known the purpose of the lights.

@Robin_Nilsson might be on too something

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