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  1. Greetings. I have just registered here on the forums, but have been playing CMSF for several years and am awaiting CMBS very eagerly. I have several questions / suggestions pertaining to some tactical capabilities that can be potentially game-changing on the modern battlefield and the possibility of their implementation in CMBS and its (hopefully) future modules or unofficial modifications. I apologise if this have already been discussed (in that case, can you please direct me to the relevant topics / posts, if possible), but I was not able to find anything relevant through the search (only "Nakidka" has been mentioned a couple of times in passing, it seems, and without official BF comments on it). Also, pardon me if my English is not perfectly clear, since I am a non-native speaker. So, without further ado, how about putting in the game: 1.) Vehicles equipped with infrared-blocking and radar-absorbing camouflage covers. The obvious example is the Russian "Nakidka" kit (my apologies for the Wiki link - could not find anything more useful in the English language). Since thermal imaging plays an enourmous role in how most modern combat vehicles and some weapon systems (especially the deadly "Javelin") acquire and engage targets, reducing the vehicle's IR signature should be one of the top priorities for any nation faced with a modern technological opponent (such camouflage should probably become as common as optical camouflage eventually). The radar signature reduction would probably be more significant on the operational level (I do not know if and how the functioning of BRM-1/3 recon vehicles radars is simulated in CMBS), reducing the visibility of the formations to the enemy radioelectronic reconnaissance, but would still perhaps help against certain radar imaging / targeting systems, such as the AH-64's "Longbow". I am not sure if there are currently stocks of the "Nakidka" or similar kits for the regular line service vehicles of the Russian units (this was probably a rather low priority since Russian Ground Forces were not likely to face a major high-tech opponent in the past two decades; however at least the new M2 modification of the 2S19 "Msta-S" SPH seems to come factory-equipped with such countermeasures). However, it should be relatively easy to rush produce them during the mobilization efforts when faced with the real possibility of conflict with NATO (certainly easier than producing new APS units or ERA modules; for example this article (in Russian) claims that the price of one such kit for Armenia was just $2675 in 2005). US/NATO seems to have done some research (.pdf link) too, though I am curious as to how far it has progressed (obviously, encountering major high-tech opponents has not recently been a priority for NATO either). Implementing it: Since I do not know how the CMBS engine deals with IR/radar spectrum (if simulating them at all), I can not offer concrete advice on how to simulate it in the game. If the IR/radar signature is an independent value of the unit, then the camouflage kit should, obviously, directly reduce it in the given proportions. If there is just a single "observation" parameter (combining optical, IR and anything else), then perhaps the camouflage can reduce it by a proportion relative to FLIR/radar system "boosts" factored into the values. For weapons with IR/radar guidance, the camouflage can perhaps increase times needed for acquiring the target and/or increasing the probability of losing target lock in-flight (not sure how air support is implemented - if even ATGM launches are handled as very precise area strikes then perhaps their CEP can be increased when targeting the camouflage-equipped vehicles). Not sure if it is better to handle the process from the targeting ("how much it is seeing") or the targeted ("how much it is seen") vehicle's side, and how to do it without affecting either the observation capabilities of regular optical systems, or the visibility parameters of vehicles without camouflage (it would be really great to have independent IR and radar signature variables if there are not ones now ). As for the vehicle models, while it would be really great to have ones with visible camouflage covers, from gameplay perspective just standard models with changed values and short description modifier (like "T-72B3 'Nakidka'" or "T-72B3 (IR camo)") would suffice. 2.) Dedicated smokescreen laying systems for area concealment. As opposed to the already implemented individual smoke screens or artillery smoke rounds with temporary localised effect, how about being able to cover entire areas of the battlefield in the long-term across-the-spectrum (visible/IR/radar) shroud? As an example, here is a recent exercise (in Russian) of the Russian CBRN protection unit - an entire railroad station was concealed for 3 hours with a 2 km long and 200 m high optical/IR/radar impervious smokescreen. The exact designation of the equipment used is not given, but it was probably something like the TMS-65 turbojet spraying vehicle (here is a rather illustrative video of its operation). And Russian chemical units practice such actions rather routinely, training to conceal entire military bases and airfields. Combined with a heavy ECM jamming of GPS signal transmission frequences to block or disrupt satellite positioning, such smokescreens would render just about any piece of precision-guided weaponry ineffective in the protected area (the only thing I can think of that would remain unaffected is inertial guidance, but this method is not very precise to begin with), and any kind of target acquisition beyond the simple notion that "the enemy is somewhere in there" would be completely impossible (the same would also be true for the defenders though - "somebody might be coming at us from somewhere"). While this would probably be more common practice at an operational level (protecting sensitive installations in the rear from airstrikes), it is not impossible to imagine it being used in a tactical frontline defensive action (if you have to defend a fixed position against a technologically superior enemy, it is much better if he were not able to use his sophisticated engagement capabilities effectively). Aside from being outright useful, I think it adds the possibility of some very interesting tactical situations (think of having to assault or defend a completely shrouded city, with your and enemy soldiers fighting through an apocalyptic gloom while wearing gas masks, further reducing visibility to almost point-blank engagement ranges, as if city fighting was not already hard and brutal enough as it is ), and therefore would be a welcome addition to the game. Implementing it: Since basic smokescreen mechanics have been present in the game for a long time, it seems that implementing a bigger version of it should not be that hard (yes, very presumptious of me, I know ). There may perhaps be some processing power concerns, but even CMSF already has a capability to produce quite large smokescreen fields (like when a couple of "Stryker" platoons get spooked by a mean-looking T-72 ) without a noticeable effect on performance. In any case, it is probably possible to reduce the smoke field's detalization for the sake of gameplay. 3.) Realistic decoy vehicle dummies. Here are some photos of the Russian 45-th independent engineering-concealment regiment training to set up various inflatable high-fidelity (well, relatively speaking ) decoy vehicle dummies. They not only look realistic enough, but also have appropriate moving parts (like turrets) and equipment that reproduces thermal and radioelectronic signatures of the real vehicles. All to confuse the enemy, of course, and to make him waste time and effort destroying these false targets, sparing your real forces some trouble. Since the dummies are easy to transport and deploy (the tank decoy weighs less than 100 kg and takes about 10 minutes to set up) they might prove to be an advantageous asset in a defensive operation. Perhaps the player can be allowed to place them in the deployment stage within the designated zones, where they would stay for the duration of the battle. Implementing it: The real trouble would perhaps be in allowing the player to identify the vehicles as dummies while denying his enemy the same untill his forces make a positive identification (for which they presumably would have to get rather close to them - within less than a kilometer, probably (obviously bound to differentiate depending on the observing unit's capabilities)). The actual models can probably be borrowed from the vehicles that are being simulated (and this course will probably have to be followed if there is no way to present different models of the same unit to the player (dummy) and his opponent (real vehicle model untill identified as dummy)), while adding '(dummy)' classification to their description (though, if the enemy player would be able to see it too, that would obviously defeat the whole purpose ). The on-hit animations and after-effects would probably have to be changed too (it would certainly be nice to have a deflating and a burning/melting animation (or being torn to shreds in case of large explosions), but from gameplay viewpoint simple disappearing into a pile of rubber debris would suffice, perhaps). So, dear Battlefront, can you please-please-please-pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top try and implement at least some of these capabilities in one of the further patches or modules? Or, if not, maybe some modification makers are feeling up for the task? In any case, thank You for Your attention. P.S.: As long as we are on topic of softkill countermeasures, I also had a question about the "Shtora" optical-electronic suppression system in the CMBS. Have its emitters been implemented as an upgraded system, now covering the relevant tracking signal spectrum of the TOW-2, or would they only be effective against Ukrainian "Konkurses" and other older SACLOS ATGMs?
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