From the manual (read me):
" pg. 59
Comanche pilots are able to use a technique known as "ripple fire" to engage
more than one target simultaneously. Ripple Fire is especially effective when
combined with the HOLD targeting mode. Although this technique is described in
the game manual, the following example is offered as a means of further
illustrating the concept.
Lets say a Comanche pilot comes across an unsuspecting column of enemy tanks.
The pilot knows that as soon as he engages the lead tank the rest of the
column will begin firing back. This will make things very uncomfortable. A
good Comanche driver will avoid this situation by "ripple firing" his Hellfire
The pilot begins the engagement by selecting one target from the column. Being
an old Quail hunter from Maryland's eastern shore, he knows to take on the
rear tank first then "walk" his fire forward.
Using his TADS, he gets a laser "lock" on the rear tank. He then launches a
Hellfire, waits several seconds, launches another, then waits several seconds
and launches a third, then a fourth. There are now four Hellfires in the air
all headed toward the rear tank. Seems very wasteful to use that many rounds
to destroy a single target, doesn't it? Not at all. The whole point to ripple
fire is having multiple missiles in the air at the same time."
... the point of ripple fire is to get multiple missiles all moving towards the general target location at the same time...
Actually, the point of ripple fire is to get multiple missiles all moving
towards the general target location at the same time. Once the first missile
destroys its target (the rear tank in the column), HOLD mode automatically
shifts the TADS laser designator to the next tank in the column. The remaining
three Hellfires (already in flight) now begin guiding toward the newly
Once the second missile hits, HOLD mode shifts the designator to the next tank in the column. The remaining two Hellfires begin guiding toward this tank, so on and so forth. Should one of the Hellfires miss its target, the next Hellfire in the sequence will likely hit it.
By ripple firing his Hellfire missiles, the pilot is able to successfully engage multiple targets within a minimum amount of time. The enemy is given little or no warning of the impending attack and therefore the pilot is spared from potential return fire. Contrast the ripple fire technique used by the pilot in this example to the likely outcome had he fired a single missile then waited for it to hit before launching a second. "