Bombers play an important role in War Thunder with a good majority of missions involving ground targets, they provide the firepower to effectively and efficiently deal with hardened and soft ground targets alike. Bombers primarily consist of multi-engined large framed aircraft, capable of carrying multiple free-fall bombs. They are significantly better armored than almost any other type of aircraft. Outside of bombs, bombers possess a number of turrets and may even have front facing machine guns and cannons, although their bulky size prevents them from being any competition in an actual dogfight.
There are 3 types of bombers in War Thunder: Light/Dive Bombers, Medium Bombers, and Heavy Bombers. Each one plays an important role.
Most light bombers are meant to be fast,manueverable, and agile with light bomb loads usually around 500kg-1500kg. Most often, light bombers will only be guarded by 1-3 turrets, leaving these planes most vulnerable during a bombing run. To combat this, pilots will need to learn to utilize their manueverablility and to keep their rear gunners' field of fire clear.
Most medium bombers are meant to be a compromise between heavy bombers and light bombers. With a slightly larger bomb load of 1000kg-2500kg, these planes are meant to be serious ground bombers. Typically possessing 3-5 turrets, they pose a greater threat to some of the more careless pilots.
Heavy Bombers Edit
Heavy Bombers are the pinnacle of target bombing. They contain the largest bomb loads of all the bombers with around 2000kg up to 10000kg worth of bombs. Takes a lot of training, heavy bombers can be a burden to your team in most cases. The main point of the heavy bomber class is to destroy several groups in a single run, or even go after the coveted base destroyer.
Bombers start out at higher altitudes than any fighter, and should for the majority of the game, maintain high altitude or try to climb even higher (though not at the sacrifice of air speed). Maintaining a high altitude will lengthen the time it takes enemy fighters to get within firing range of the bomber, as bombers can't take much damage before breaking apart, it is very important that you keep the high altitude and mabye ask someone in the team to help you out . Additionally, high altitudes will also make it harder for Anti-aircraft guns stationed at enemy bases to hit the plane. When flying at high altitude the bombers should largely ignore smaller, and especially moving, targets such as tanks and pillboxes, as they will prove too hard to hit due to the large timespace from releasing the bomb until impact. Instead bombers should as a main priority aim for the enemy bases.
Also note that unlike Dive bombers, regular bombers will achieve the greatest bombing accuracy by keeping their plane leveled with sea level for as much as possible. As such, it is generally considered a bad move to dive in order to allign the bomb reticule with the target, as this will not necessarily guarantee a hit, depending on altitude of the bomber at the time of release.
If the bomber possess considerable anti aircraft armaments in the form of fixed heavy machine guns or cannons, it may also prove to be a viable option to attack enemy bombers at the start of the match, in order to force them to drop to lower altitudes, where fighters can finish them off.
Before attempting to attack a bomber, a pilot should consider several factors to determine whether or not it is a viable option to attempt to attack a bomber. The following things may impact the success of the attack.
- Since fighters and attackers start at a significantly lower altitude than bombers, there is a good chance the pilot will need to climb. As such, a plane with a very good climb rate as well as top speed should be reserved for this duty. Having a plane with a slow climb rate will result in spending too much time and airspeed trying to reach the bomber, which most likely could have been spent on fighting other fighters instead.
- Bombers are heavily armored, and their airframes can withstand a large amount of damage before being destroyed. In an attempt to attack a bomber the pilot should be aware of the current armaments on the plane he/she is currently flying, which should ideally be in possession of several powerful cannons or a multitude of 12.7mm machine guns. If a pilot is engaging with a plane like the Spitfire Mk. I, he/she will often find that even 3400 rounds of 7.7mm will prove to be insufficent to neutralize a bomber. More importantly, lacking the sufficient firepower to quickly destroy a bomber, will not only keep the player occupied from other tasks in which he/she might prove more useful, but also expose the pilot to turretfire for a longer deal of time.
- Bombers often sport multiple turrets of varying calibers, distributed across various hardpoints depending on the bomber, and covering different angles. If a pilot is planning on tailing the bomber and destroying from behind (which means the attacker will be within a specific angle range for a relatively long period of time), it is important to know whether or not a turret will be able to return fire at that angle. As such, any turret which may be able to fire on the attacking plane's planned route should be disabled as soon as possible by firing upon with smaller sized cannons and machineguns. While turrets on bombers may not destroy an attacking aircraft outright, the large majority of planes will have both their engines and pilot canopy mounted on the front of the aircraft, which are two vital points to the planes further operation, that are exposed during the pursuit.
- As bombers are heavily armored, it is absolutely vital to focus fire to places which, at the very least, are vital for the bomber in order to be able to deliver it's payload. It is recommendable to only damage one wing of the bomber first, as this will cause the bomber to fly at a misalligned angle with the water surface and thus make it harder for the bomber pilot to steer and drop bombs accurately. Firing on engines will have an increased chance of the bombers wing catching fire, and thus deal a significant amount of damage to the surrounding wing/fuselage/ other engines, in addition to slowing the plane down.