Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT)

DACT Camps have been regularly scheduled in the PAF to provide tactically realistic learning environments for the traing of pilots and air defence controllers. They are held twice a year at the level of regional air commands. The methodology adapted has varied from time to time. The variations were governed by the performance of the aircraft taking part in the exercise, weapons simulated by them, and the different wartime scenarios for which this training was designed. The overall objectives of this training, however, have always remained in harmony with the PAF's concept of operations. The objectives are to practice the 'pilot-controller team' concept; to familiarize pilots with employment potential of dissimilar aircraft; to enable controllers to handle in multiple bogey and closed control scenarios; to validate the evolved games plans. and to give practice to both pilots and controllers to operate under ECM environment.

The DACT Camps are always preceded by a comrehensive preperation involving both academic and flying phases. In the academic phase, in-house lectures and discussions are conducted to provide a baseline for a sound theoratic formulation of tactics, which can be later put to test in the air. In the flying phase, a gradual buildup is planned in order to provide the experience and confidence required for handling more demanding exercises. The preparatory phase also promotes teamwork and mutual understanding among the participating units. Mainly two types of scenarios are practised in the DACT Camps, i.e., conventional versus conventional aircraft and conventional versus modern hi-tech aircraft that are equipped with airborne intercept radar and beyond visual range missiles. Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) are also integrated in the DACT Camps to make the missions more demanding and realistic.

As the major role of the PAF in any future conflict would be air defence, therefore, the training given is focused on air defence, and the DACT Camps provide an excellent oppertunity for role-orientated training of pilots and air defence controllers.