My wife and I have watched a couple of movies lately (Air Force One and Independence Day), and I noticed something while watching them. Both of them have aerial battles in them, although the dogfight in Air Force One is only a couple of minutes long. During these battles, every time an American fighter pilot shoots a missile, he announces it by giving his call sign and the number of his missile, (for example, “Eagle 7, Box 2”). Is this something that actual pilots do, or is this only a movie thing?
I only ask because, especially in the case of Independence Day, it seems like it’s a waste of time. In the command center, they can see when a pilot shoots a missile and where it goes. If they can tell when you fire a missile, then why do you have to announce it? I could see this happening in the Vietnam War, or even in the time when Top Gun came out, as the computers in those times weren’t advanced enough to track missiles being fired by the pilots. I just don’t understand it.