— Prima Official Game Guide
The SAAW 86 Anti-Air is a rocket launcher in Battlefield 2142.
The SAAW appears in-game as a secondary function of each faction's main anti-vehicle weapon. The EU version shares the same model as the Mitchell AV-18, but it is slightly darker in color and has an LCD screen on the side of the barrel which the AV-18 lacks. The PAC version uses the Sudnik model with the console's aircraft button lit/flashing.
Unlike other anti-vehicle weapons, the SAAW holds two rockets and has automatic locking for enemy aircraft. Each rocket will do roughly 50% damage to enemy gunships and 35% against air transports. It does little damage to ground targets and it cannot lock onto them, while the Mitchell AV-18, Sudnik VP and even Pilum can all be used against enemy aircraft with a bit of practice.
As with other rocket launchers, the SAAW can instantly kill enemy infantry with a direct hit, but inflicts no splash damage. The potentially increased lethality of the two-round cartridge is balanced by the weapon's poor aim without weapon lock.
Locking onto enemy aircraft requires about two continuous seconds of training the weapon reticle. On detecting a valid aircraft (including UAVs belonging to either team), the weapon beeps intermittently; when lock is achieved, the weapon emits a solid tone. With active lock, the fired round will chase after its target. If lock is lost due to intervening terrain or buildings, the rocket will fly upward, though it can be directed against other locked targets. The rockets also self-detonate after 450 meters, which coincides with the weapon's tracking range. The SAAW's tracking system remains active whether the user has ammo or not, so it can be used to pester enemy aircraft.
Compared to the Rorsch Kz-27, each rocket travels significantly faster, but inflicts about 33% less damage, and lacks EMP effect.
- The EU variant of the SAAW still uses the four-round cartridge and firing barrels in its models, while firing but two missiles.
- Fast-moving gunships can potentially outrun a SAAW in flight if engaged from their rear, or if escaping the missile's turn radius at close range.