In Top Gun Maverick (2022), Capt Pete and his squadrons enters enemy terittory meanwhile they noticed two bandits on the radar:

Pheonix: Comanche, what's their heading?

Comanche: Bull's-eye 090, 50, tacked southwest.

Wingman: They're headed away from us. They don't know we're here.

What does "Bull's-eye 090, 50, tacked southwest" mean?


1 Answer 1


"Bull's eye" refers to a pre-briefed geographical ground reference point, probably coded into a map display, that the location of other items of interest will be referenced against. "090, 50" means that the bandits are 50 nm due East (090) of that Bull's eye point. "Tacked southwest" was probably "Tracking Southwest", and means that the bandits current ground track is to the southwest. Missing is an altitude reference... "Angels 12" would mean they are at 12,000 MSL.

A complete radio communication from a ground controller radar site might be:....

Comanche: "Phoenix, you have two Bandits, Bull's Eye 090, 50, Angels 12, Tracking Southwest"

  • $\begingroup$ Nice answer! I'll add that we say "Track" instead of "Tracking" as part of standard ALSA communications brevity, so the call is "...Angles 12, track Southwest." The other version "Tracking" communicates that an enemy air defense system is following a friendly aircraft. You can learn more about brevity terms here: alssa.mil/mttps/brevity $\endgroup$
    – Tyler
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 23:10

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