I am lover of air combat in BF3, but I seem to get dominated by players/squads/teams with a soflam & Javelin Combo. In my experience, I have not been able to ever shake a javelin in the helo. Flares, ECM, nothing. (maybe the occasional save getting behind a building or hill - seldomly works due to their attack from above).

It is a great defense, do not get me wrong, but I also have the luxury of experiencing getting a lock tone, but no tone for when a missile is released ( or sometimes its an instant lock-missle away). Is this because it isn't heat-signature based to combat air vehicles?

This is what I picked up online:

"The FGM-148 Javelin is an unlockable anti-vehicle weapon for the Engineer kit. It is capable of locking on to any ground vehicle within line-of-sight and within range. It can also receive targets via laser designation, allowing it to attack air vehicles. The Javelin's targeting ability can be hindered by Thermal Camouflage or Stealth, and defeated by IR Smoke or IR Flares. By default, the Javelin uses 'Direct Attack' mode, which attacks vehicles directly, generally hitting their front, side or rear armor. When attacking a laser-designated target, the Javelin automatically switches to 'Top Attack' mode, doing up to twice the damage by launching the missile high into the air and then hitting the vehicle from the top.

Up to mid-range, the Javelin can be forced to attack from a higher angle without laser designation by quickly aiming high just before launching the weapon (and losing weapon lock). The initial booster lobs the missile high into the air, helping it strike from a higher angle even though it is still in "Direct Attack" mode.

Similar to the MAV, the Javelin can detect and attack certain deployable devices using direct attack mode : • MAV • Radio Beacon • M224 Mortar"

Any Input / defensive tactics I should employ besides picking up stealth perk / ecm / flares?

3 Answers 3


Check out this video (link) for some great tips on being effective in the attack heli.

Stealth and ECM are best for dealing with the SOFLAM/jav combo. Your gunner should have flares as well.

You've listed several of the defensive strategies in your question but left out the obvious: kill the SOFLAM!! Your top priority as a heli pilot is to be aware of your biggest threats and engage/retreat accordingly. If you hear a lock on signal, do a quick scan for a red laser in your eye (the SOFLAM). They're usually pretty easy to pick out. If you see the SOFLAM, line your gunner up to take it out.

If you don't spot the laser, wait until just before the lock is acquired (2 secs of lock tone or 3.5 with stealth) then deploy your ECM. This gives you the most time in the air without being laser painted. If you still can't find the source of the lock, bug out.

You should also be constantly communicating with your gunner. Specifically stating high-priority targets and deployment of countermeasures (ECMs/flares).

EDIT: Regarding the lack of lock tone, it sounds like it could be one of two things.

  1. A heat seeker bound for an allied vehicle is being redirected to you once that ally employs countermeasures.
  2. There is a bug with the unmanned SOFLAM that keeps you from getting a lock tone when being painted.
  • Thanks for your input, +1 for sure. My gunner and myself usually roll ECM/flares, engineer kit for repairs, and on comms (TS or Skype) to call out any high priority targets. There are just a few servers out there with heavy competition where its almost useless to get in a helo. But there are times, where we will die due [ to what we think is] a javelin: with NO lock tone. Ideas?
    – Zero
    Jan 23, 2012 at 19:24
  • 1
    Check out this reddit thread for some discussion on the 'no lock tone' issue: reddit.com/r/battlefield3/comments/otf8q/…
    – tQuarella
    Jan 24, 2012 at 13:54

Once a Javelin is locked onto a laser designated target, you're toast unless you can evade it or it happens to hit one of the objects thrown out by the ECM. Flares won't help after it's been fired.


If you know it's a fgm-148 targeting you, wait 4-6 secs or so then throw out the ECM jammer.

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