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Heat Seekers

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Heat Seekers are missiles that track heat sources (typically enemy vehicles). They differ from laser-guided, radar-guided, or wire-guided weaponry.

Battlefield 3Edit

Heat Seekers
IR Flares Stealth
Vehicle Type

Air vehicles

Special Feature(s)

Aircraft-tracking missile

Unlocked At

• 800 AH score
• 1200 SH score
• 700 Jet score

Customization Slot

Air Vehicle Weapon Specialization (Driver only)

"Heatseeking missiles launched by the pilot which lock on to and track enemy aircraft."
— Battlelog description

Heat Seekers is an air vehicle specialization featured in Battlefield 3.


Jennifer Hawkins, an F/A-18F co-pilot is able to fire them during the jet mission, Going Hunting.


Heat Seekers add a secondary weapon designed to counter other air vehicles. It is available for scout helicopters, fighter and attack jets, attack helicopters, and AA Tanks. Upon acquiring weapon lock, the pilot can fire up to two missiles, either the AIM-9L Sidewinder for US, or the R-73 Archer for RU, that will continue to track the target. The missiles also behave in a realistic fashion in that they follow the closest heat source and not always the targeted jet. Examples of this can be seen if a Heat Seeker is shot at two nearby airborne vehicles and the non targeted vehicle flies in the missile's path, causing it to change course and track said vehicle. This can cause unintended results such as a missile meant for a jet tracking a MAV instead. Only the vehicle's pilot may use the weapon. Any airborne vehicle can be targeted, from fighter aircraft all the way down to Micro-UAVs, and everything in-between.

When activated, the pilot's HUD changes to a perforated targeting circle, showing its lock-on area. One can tell if a successful lock-on by a low beeping tone and if the targeting reticle is flashing. A lock-on usually takes 3 seconds to lock, but with the upgrade Beam Scanning, the Lock-on will only take around 1 second. Each missile deals 45 damage to enemy jets, dealing a total of 90 in damage if both of the equipped Heat Seekers connect. Since a jet's disable threshold is 37, one missile hit will not disable the aircraft, but striking with the Main Gun or second Heat Seeker will have it disabled. Heat Seekers can be avoided in multiple ways including IR Flares which distract missiles in flight, ECM Jammer which will prevent lock on for a few seconds when deployed, by leading the missile into a solid object, and by luck in the case of missiles occasional missing their target for a multitude of reasons.

Battlefield 4Edit

Vehicle Type

Attack Helicopter
Mobile Anti-Air
Stealth Jet
Scout Helicopter
Attack Jet

Unlocked At

• Default Attack Helicopter Score
• Default Mobile Anti-Air Score
• Default Stealth Jet Score
• 6000 Scout Helicopter Score
• 7000 Attack Jet Score

Customization Slot

Secondary Weapon

"Air-to-Air missiles that require the user to maintain lock-on to the target. If the lock-on is lost it can be re-acquired and the missiles can still reach their target."
— In-Game description
"Once locked on these heat-seeking missiles will guide themselves towards their target."
— In-Game description

Heat Seekers are a vehicular Secondary Weapon featured in Battlefield 4. As in Battlefield 3, the vehicle operator must obtain weapon lock on an enemy aircraft, and aircraft can fire two missiles at a time (except for the mobile anti-air, which can fire four). Heatseekers deal 20 damage to any aircraft they hit, significantly less than their Battlefield 3 counterparts, so it is almost always necessary to follow with fire from the vehicle's main gun.

Heatseekers are capable of performing Mobility Kills to all types of jets and helicopters, but can be defeated via the use of IR Smoke for ground vehicles or IR Flares for aircraft. ECM Jammers also prevent target locking like their BF3 predecessors and can prevent in-flight missiles reaching their target if deployed by a sharply turning jet.

Note that since the introduction of the Below Radar upgrade Heatseekers, unlike their shoulder-fired counterpart, cannot lock on to targets that fly at low altitudes.

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