IR Flares, also known as Infrared Flares, is a specialization available for jets and both types of helicopters in Battlefield 3 that breaks missile locks when deployed. They have a cool down timer after it is used, but there is no ammunition limit.
• 300 AH, Jet score
Breaks missile lock
When equipped, the IR Flares specialization adds infrared flares to aircraft, deployable with the countermeasures button which isby default on PC, on PS3, and on Xbox 360.
Flares deployed by one aircraft can protect other nearby aircraft even if the deploying aircraft was not originally targeted.
IR Flares are only effective against heat-seeking weaponry such as the FIM-92 Stinger, SA-18 Igla, and the anti-air missiles on jets, helicopters, and mobile AA. To counter these weapons, flares must be deployed after receiving a "missile lock" tone—high-pitched fast beeping at a steady tone—and before the missile is in striking range of the aircraft (depending on latency).
Laser-guided missiles cannot be deterred with flares until the laser lock itself is broken by the ECM Jammer, terrain, or destroying the painting device. (Pilots can use overhead cover such as bridges or hangars to defend against these top-attacking missiles.)
Once deployed, the flares require an 11-second waiting period before they can be deployed again. An audio cue will signify when the flares are ready to be deployed again as well as a visual indicator on the heads-up display in a corner of the screen.
- Before the 1.03 (December 2011) patch, IR Flares could also break weapon locks.
- The 1.04 (March 2012) patch allows IR Flares to deter laser-guided missiles, but only when the laser lock is broken.
- The 1.06 (September 2012) patch removed IR Flares from attack helicopters' gunner seats. Before this, gunners could equip flares with a 20-second delay, allowing them to cover gaps in the pilot's defenses.