Several times while flying, I seem to get in the insta-locked-on-and-missle-fired situation. I don't hear the locking tone (when someone is trying to lock onto me), so deploying ECM is a pain (as the missile is already sent to me). As I perfer ECM over flares (more time to get away), but why does this instant locking/missile launched happen? Is this a glitch? I also tend to use the stealth perk.
- If you're getting hit very quickly after hearing the warning: Active Radar missiles.
- If it doesn't seem so "omg wtf" fast, then it's probably a bug with lockon weapons, where someone has been trying to lock you but you were out of their range, and then when you enter their ~350m range the lock sometimes finishes instantly.
If you're getting hit almost instantly, then they're Active Radar missiles, which are available for Stealth Jets and the Mobile Anti-Air.
The missiles are fired without a lock, and fly in a straight line... until a target passes close enough in front of them. Then they automatically lock and begin chasing that target.
This means that there is no "locking but not yet fired" phase, so your alert-beeper goes instantly to the highest threat level. In addition, they are often fairly close to you when they lock, so there's very little travel-time before they hit.
As an avid anti-vehicle player, I can tell you that this form of "instant locking" that you describe only seems to happen on one occasion. When I target a vehicle from a long distance, the launcher displays a muted lock-on icon as it recognizes that there is a vehicle but it's too far away to lock-on. However, if I keep this "muted lock" on the vehicle as it gets closer to me, the launcher instantly locks on when the vehicle comes into range rather than requiring a period of waiting time.