AIRCRAFT WEAPONS RANGES
Descriptions. Aircraft weapons ranges will be designed to provide
areas and facilities for the training of air crews in gunnery, bombing,
rocketing, missile delivery, strafing, mine laying, and close air support.
Distances related to aircraft weapons ranges are given in nautical miles.
Restricted Area. This is an airspace identified by an area on the
ground and prescribed height within which the flight of aircraft, while not
wholly prohibited, is subject to restriction.
Surface Impact Area. The surface impact area is designated for the
impact of ordnance material. hempassing is prohibited in this ground because
of imminent danger. The impact area is within the approved surface danger
zone which contains impact areas, appropriate ricochet areas, and secondary
danger areas (when required) which are located around the impact area and are
provided to contain ricochet projectiles and fragments from items exploding or
ricocheting on the edges of the impact area.
The size of the appropriate surface danger zone will be determined
during the planning phase. The surface danger zone must be under U.S.
Government control. There are differing safety problems for inert and live
handling of duds affects range clearance, setting of targets, and types of
Water Danger Area. This is an area of water in which all craft
operating on or beneath the surface, while not wholly prohibited, are subject
Air Space Requirements. The limitation on usable airspace is a
major factor in planning aircraft weapons ranges. area requirement is based
on the operational requirements for aircraft to complete firing runs involving
time and speed, target towing and tow-track deviation, projectile envelope,
and safety buffer zone. The restricted airspace established for the range
must be coordinated through the Navy representative to the FM in the
cognizant region in accordance with OPNAVINST 3770.2G.
Ricochets. Inert training weapons including rockets and bombs, pose
problems that full-scale weapons usually do not. An inert weapon creates
ricochet problems when the missile hits the ground at shallow or flat impact
angles. One type of practice bomb includes water-sand fills that simulate the
size, weight, and shape of general all-purpose bombs. The heavier Bomb Dummy
Unit (BDU) say be 500 to 2,000 lb (227 to 909 kg) and after initial impact,
the BDU still has most of its impact velocity. When defining the safe area
where release of the heavy inert general purpose bombs is planned, the
ricochet potential may dictate the deciding distances.