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Krasnoarmeyets

[Question for devs/modders] Softkill countermeasures - IR/RAM camouflage, tactical area smokescreens, dummy vehicle decoys.

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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 :rolleyes:).

 

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 :D), 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 :rolleyes:). 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 :D) 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 :rolleyes:). 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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For what's Worth I belive number 1 could be simulated by changing some hidden values of vehicles concerning spotting abilities etc. even though the real value of these assets is not guaranteed.

Number 2, not really clear, but I wonder why would you need an even larger smoke screen? You can already lay down pretty large ones, yet to see CMBS artillery.

Number 3, seems just out of scope of a CM game and I am unsure these would be used in a combat environment as the one CM games show.

 

As regarding modding, I belive all of the above is impossible to mod due to modding boundaries.

Edited by Kieme(ITA)

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Krasnoarmeyets (Red Army, I believe?)

 

Welcome aboard!

 

That is a tremendous first post. More like a thoughtful essay, in fact. Well done, sir!  Here's some good English language material on Nakidka. It appears to be from NII Stal's site. I, and I'm sure others here, notably BFC, will appreciate that, rather than coming in fangs bared demanding things be done your way, you've instead identified a series of issues, asked questions about them, while considering matters of game implementation, then offered your suggestions on how the areas you identified as of concern could potentially be addressed. Your issue about broad area smokescreens is one long of interest to me, ever since I saw footage of pre WW II US wargames (Louisiana Maneuvers) in which aircraft with spray tanks put down screens running for considerable distances. Like this.

 

 

On a more recent note, when the Russians moved into Czechoslovakia in 1968 to crush the Prague Spring, they did it shielded by both heavy jamming and broadband obscurants (see Other Uses at link), making it effectively impossible to see what was going on across the border. While at Hughes, which made the TOW, my nightmare scenario as a Threat Analyst involved a screen of the stuff which would allow the Russian armor to avoid our critical to success long range TOW kills and wind up on our doorstep in almost full strength, at knife fight range, with huge numerical superiority. Offensive use! Where a defender would greatly benefit, though, would be to isolate and destroy successive batches of attackers, who would be unable to get support from their otherwise deadly fellows in trail. 

 

TOW 2, unless guidance implementation has been changed, substituted a heated metal honeycomb structure (we called it the waffle iron) for the former visible band only xenon tracking beacon, which could be defeated by smoke, dust and other things. The TOW 2 device operated in the 8-12 micron range and was unaffected by diesel and HC smoke, battlefield dust and such. Broadband obscurants are another matter entirely.

 

As for decoys, they don't have to perfect, just good enough, to cause all sorts of problems. During the US air campaign in Kosovo, it turned out that most of the ground attack sorties vs the Serbs hit dummies or were rendered ineffective by related means. I tried to warn the editor of the Journal of Electronic Defense, to whom I pitched an article idea, how things were going to play out, but he didn't listen. Instead he selected another writer, whose rosy predictions were shown to be completely unfounded.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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I can't answer for the devs, but I can confidently assert that none of those things will ever be accessible to "unofficial mods". The modding in CM games is restricted to the cosmetic surface appearance of the existing vehicles, and not entire game systems, or even modifying the parameters of existing ones.

If I was a NATO commander, and the Russians started blanketing an entire square kilometre of ground with smoke I can't see through, it moves higher up the list for the "grid-square removers" to remove... I suspect that the Russians would run out of fancy smoke-generating trucks faster than NATO would run out of MLRS pods. But that pushes it somewhere outside the scope of a CM scenario, really.

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Krasnoarmeyets (Red Army, I believe?)

 

Red Army Soldier, the official title until the Army was renamed in 1946 to the Soviet Army.  Armyets and soldat are synonyms.  Pretty sure there are like 30+ villages with that name too..

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Greetings. I have just registered here on the forums, but

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:

Welcome, I can tell with all the new people joining the forums this is going to be a fun year! BTW your English reads very well - certainly your English is way better than my anything else. How I ended up with a son who is a fluent French speaker and now learning Chinese I'll never know.

 

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).

 

I really know nothing about it but aren't there issues with wear and tear with that kit?

 

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.

Now that is cool. It would suck to live down wind of that exercise - your life is cancelled this afternoon because you cannot see anything :)

It thing the problem here is no one would attack into that so if a tactical engagement was about to start and a screen like that was put up the whole show would be put off. I think it would really be something that an operational game could implement but is probably outside the scope of CM.

 

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.

I think this hits on a similar issue - this is really an operational trick rather than a tactical one. Even if the trick had a tactical effect it could be covered in the briefing talking about the equipment your were facing only to find out at the end of the battle it wasn't there or was much less than expected.

 

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?

You might find the answer in the pre release version of the manual:

http://community.battlefront.com/topic/117390-black-sea-manual-get-it-here-while-its-hot/

Regardless of if it answers your specific question I am sure you will enjoy reading it.

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It's a bit of wear and tear, and then it is also fairly degraded when it is dirty.  It's a neat toy, just doesn't quite work as well as advertised if you cannot keep it pristine.  

It sounds like something you can only really depend on if you unpack it from a sealed crate the night before the big offensive.  Though anything regarding the exterior of a military vehicle that requires it to be clean in combat seems problematic.

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Hell from panzer's description, sounds like something we (the US)  the USAF would've have made!   :P

 

FTFY!

 

It makes sense for stuff that's going to be hanging out for a while, like in the assembly area before an operation, but I cannot imagine anything mounted to the skirts lasting more than 20 minutes before it's trash cross country.

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The default answer for why most of "why isn't XYZ included" is that we can't possibly simulate the full spectrum of modern warfare at the level of detail that we do.  At least not in one go. :) So we have to pick and choose what we do. Some things are obviously required (like artillery, or ATGMs), others we could flip a coin to choose among because they are equally valid, and others are personal preference.

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Welcome, I can tell with all the new people joining the forums this is going to be a fun year!

 

 

Agreed, there seems to be a lot of interest with this new theatre.

 

As a lover of anything new and techie, the more discussions on current future weapon systems the better :D

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FTFY!

 

It makes sense for stuff that's going to be hanging out for a while, like in the assembly area before an operation, but I cannot imagine anything mounted to the skirts lasting more than 20 minutes before it's trash cross country.

 

In effect, it makes sense for vehicles other than MBT's. Mobile artillery, APC's and other light vehicle for covert operations and any other vehicles you don't want seen which won't participate in direct engagement.

 

I think this image here demonstrates the best use for Nakidka:

 2s23_nakidka.jpg

Edited by BTR

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The default answer for why most of "why isn't XYZ included" is that we can't possibly simulate the full spectrum of modern warfare at the level of detail that we do.  At least not in one go. :) So we have to pick and choose what we do. Some things are obviously required (like artillery, or ATGMs), others we could flip a coin to choose among because they are equally valid, and others are personal preference.

 

Thank You very much for the reply!

 

Yes, I understand that we can strive to model reality ad infinitum and still be nowhere close to valid representation; and with limited resources you should focus on the most common and important stuff first. However, at least the first capability that I have presented (the IR screening) seems of such monumental importance that I think it would perhaps be even more vital than say APS systems that have been purposefully modelled for the game (current generation of APS would not save you from a system like "Javelin" in a top-attack mode, but if its targeting efficiency can be reduced at least for 25%, that would make a huge significance on the battlefield (statistically speaking - losing a quarter less armored vehicles to the attacks by well-hidden ATGMs can make all the difference)). Reductions in general IR observability could also give your forces a much needed edge.

 

Have you as a team considered the question of IR camouflage, and if yes, what conclusions did you reach (can and should it be a target for implementation in the future)? If not, is there a hope that you will consider it sometime in the near future? :)

 

Thank You again.

 

Number 2, not really clear, but I wonder why would you need an even larger smoke screen? You can already lay down pretty large ones, yet to see CMBS artillery.

Number 3, seems just out of scope of a CM game and I am unsure these would be used in a combat environment as the one CM games show.

 

2 - The problem with artillery screens is that they are rather temporary in their effect (once the shells cease falling, the field becomes subject to dispersion and wind, whereas the chemical vehicles that I am suggesting would be keeping the smokefield up for as long as they are able to operate). Being able to cut off entire areas of the battlefield from observation and precise engagement for extended periods (perhaps for the entire battle duration) is a very significant capability in my eyes.

 

3 - Yes, that is true for the most part, but the largest scale CM battles are pushing partially into operative-tactical (regimental/brigade, at least when the supporting assets are considered) level. I can certainly imagine a battalion tactical group being temporarily supported by an engineer company (from a special engineering battalion attached to the combat brigade, which might be provided by a dedicated engineering-sapper brigade through an operational command) that can set up a few of such devices to aid in tactical defense.

 

Krasnoarmeyets (Red Army, I believe?)

 

Welcome aboard!

 

That is a tremendous first post. More like a thoughtful essay, in fact. Well done, sir!  Here's some good English language material on Nakidka. It appears to be from NII Stal's site. I, and I'm sure others here, notably BFC, will appreciate that, rather than coming in fangs bared demanding things be done your way, you've instead identified a series of issues, asked questions about them, while considering matters of game implementation, then offered your suggestions on how the areas you identified as of concern could potentially be addressed. Your issue about broad area smokescreens is one long of interest to me, ever since I saw footage of pre WW II US wargames (Louisiana Maneuvers) in which aircraft with spray tanks put down screens running for considerable distances. Like this.

 

On a more recent note, when the Russians moved into Czechoslovakia in 1968 to crush the Prague Spring, they did it shielded by both heavy jamming and broadband obscurants (see Other Uses at link), making it effectively impossible to see what was going on across the border. While at Hughes, which made the TOW, my nightmare scenario as a Threat Analyst involved a screen of the stuff which would allow the Russian armor to avoid our critical to success long range TOW kills and wind up on our doorstep in almost full strength, at knife fight range, with huge numerical superiority. Offensive use! Where a defender would greatly benefit, though, would be to isolate and destroy successive batches of attackers, who would be unable to get support from their otherwise deadly fellows in trail. 

 

TOW 2, unless guidance implementation has been changed, substituted a heated metal honeycomb structure (we called it the waffle iron) for the former visible band only xenon tracking beacon, which could be defeated by smoke, dust and other things. The TOW 2 device operated in the 8-12 micron range and was unaffected by diesel and HC smoke, battlefield dust and such. Broadband obscurants are another matter entirely.

 

As for decoys, they don't have to perfect, just good enough, to cause all sorts of problems. During the US air campaign in Kosovo, it turned out that most of the ground attack sorties vs the Serbs hit dummies or were rendered ineffective by related means. I tried to warn the editor of the Journal of Electronic Defense, to whom I pitched an article idea, how things were going to play out, but he didn't listen. Instead he selected another writer, whose rosy predictions were shown to be completely unfounded.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

 

Thank You! I have tried. I hope BFC would not find me overly presumptious for trying to suggest how to do things within their own game. :D

 

That is some quite interesting information. If I may be so bold (and if this is not classified) - when did you first become aware of the T-64 MBT (specifically the capabilities of its composite armor) and how much of a threat it was then considered? I am asking this because it looks like most of the US Army field manuals of the mid-to-late 70's seem to consider T-62 medium tanks for the most dangerous opponent, when Soviet Army already had quite a few T-64A and T-72, and the much more capable T-64B / T-80B were starting to enter service. I know this is quite off-topic, but since there is an expert from the opposing side present, I can not miss the opportunity. :)

 

On the Kosovo campaign - actually that is what originally started me thinking about using unconventional means and decoys to defeat or reduce conventional threats. I even remember reading about Serbian usage of regular off-the-shelf microwave owens as X-band (if I recall correctly) radar decoys against NATO HARM missiles (though I was not able to verify technical possibility of such an approach).

 

If I was a NATO commander, and the Russians started blanketing an entire square kilometre of ground with smoke I can't see through, it moves higher up the list for the "grid-square removers" to remove... I suspect that the Russians would run out of fancy smoke-generating trucks faster than NATO would run out of MLRS pods. But that pushes it somewhere outside the scope of a CM scenario, really.

 

Quite true. However, the MLRS battery support can be unavailable at the moment due to it redeploying, executing other fire missions, being reloaded or waiting for munitions, engaging in a counterbattery fire cat-and-mouse game with BM-27/30s, being destroyed by tactical ballistic / cruise missile strikes, getting caught up in spetsnaz ambush on the march, or any and all combinations thereof (or a hundred other things). Meanwhile, the situation might demand storming the covered positions immediately (they can, for example, be at the important roadway that provides the only viable route into the flank of the charging enemy brigade that has to be engaged now before it achieves a breakthrough at an important point in the frontline). Or the protected positions could be too valuable for the attacker to destroy with the "Big Guns" (and, in any case, if the enemy has to resort for those, you must be doing something right :)). Generally, this capability seems important enough to warrant considering its implementation (especially since all the basic smoke mechanics are already there).

 

Red Army Soldier, the official title until the Army was renamed in 1946 to the Soviet Army.  Armyets and soldat are synonyms.

 

Yes, rightly so. Though I myself have not served in the RKKA, obviously. :rolleyes:

 

It thing the problem here is no one would attack into that so if a tactical engagement was about to start and a screen like that was put up the whole show would be put off. I think it would really be something that an operational game could implement but is probably outside the scope of CM.

 

I think this hits on a similar issue - this is really an operational trick rather than a tactical one. Even if the trick had a tactical effect it could be covered in the briefing talking about the equipment your were facing only to find out at the end of the battle it wasn't there or was much less than expected.

 

You might find the answer in the pre release version of the manual:

http://community.battlefront.com/topic/117390-black-sea-manual-get-it-here-while-its-hot/

Regardless of if it answers your specific question I am sure you will enjoy reading it.

 

Thank You!

 

Yes, I agree - this is more operationally significant. However, I can also see it being used tactically, maybe even not in a pre-planned way, but resulting from adaptability of battlefield commanders (i.e. "Hey, we have chemists/engineers nearby. Contact their HQ - we can use their help.").

 

Yes, I have read the manual as soon as it was posted. However, referencing the "Shtora" and "Varta" jammers, it only describes their general operation, without mentioning specific SACLOS systems affected. I am asking this because, as far a I remember, the early TOW missiles had a single band / wavelength tracer emitter, which signals "Shtora" could immitate and therefore disrupt the guidance. However, either I-TOW or TOW-2 has added a second emitter operating on a different band / wavelength, rendering the original "Shtora" emitters ineffective. I do not exactly remember the technical details - maybe Mr. Kettler can help with insight from the TOW side at least. :)

 

Still, I should perhaps ask this question in the manual thread. :rolleyes:

 

It's a bit of wear and tear, and then it is also fairly degraded when it is dirty.  It's a neat toy, just doesn't quite work as well as advertised if you cannot keep it pristine.  

 

As far as I understand, while the anti-radar capability of the material (absorbing or redirecting radar waves coming from outside) would be significantly affected by dirt and other obstructants (is that a word, I wonder :rolleyes:), the anti-thermal capability (masking IR waves coming from inside) would not. And the reduction of IR signature is the most important part (on the tactical frontline level represented in the game) in my opinion.

 

In effect, it makes sense for vehicles other than MBT's. Mobile artillery, APC's and other light vehicle for covert operations and any other vehicles you don't want seen which won't participate in direct engagement.

 

Yes, that too. Additionally, it seems that on that distances (for the rear positions) the radar signature reduction would be more significant (to reduce observability by ELINT planes and satellites), corresponding to conditions where it would be easier to maintain.

 

The wear-and-tear issue is a concern too, of course (judging by how easy it is to lose a whole side skirt through a simple brush against a building). However, the manufacturer claimed that the fabric's material is rather sturdy (on the levels of rubberized fabric, perhaps) and therefore might be expected to survive contact with thick bushes and other landscape features that might be encountered during unit's march. Combined with its relatively low costs and a little maintenance dedication, it should be possible to keep it operational enough even among frontline fighting units. Additionally, I remember that the new alternative application methods were discussed (one of particular interest was essentially spraying the covering material onto protected surfaces like paint).

 

All in all, there are, obviously, many issues and variables related to this technology, but it is my belief that its potential benefits on the battlefield make it worthwhile to investigate this issue further. I hope Battlefront will at least keep it in mind for the future. :)

 

Thank You for Your attention.

Edited by Krasnoarmeyets

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As far as I understand, while the anti-radar capability of the material (absorbing or redirecting radar waves coming from outside) would be significantly affected by dirt and other obstructants (is that a word, I wonder  :rolleyes:), the anti-thermal capability (masking IR waves coming from inside) would not. And the reduction of IR signature is the most important part (on the tactical frontline level represented in the game)

 

Most later model thermal sensors can tell the difference in heat radiation between the underlying camouflage system, and the stuff that's built up on the outside (it's the same way you can "see" camo patterns in thermal optics, the different colors/materials absorb heat at different rates than other colors/materials). So it'll still make the vehicles more obvious than the system as advertised after a day's road march without cleaning.  Fairly stationary vehicles will not suffer this affect as severely however.

 

 

 

The wear-and-tear issue is a concern too, of course (judging by how easy it is to lose a whole side skirt through a simple brush against a building). However, the manufacturer claimed that the fabric's material is rather sturdy (on the levels of rubberized fabric, perhaps) and therefore might be expected to survive contact with thick bushes and other landscape features that might be encountered during unit's march. 

Rubberized fabric looks pretty ragged after going through rough terrain.  The ability of things strapped to a tank to be ripped off/destroyed by fairly modest stationary objects knows no bounds.

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Krasnoarmeyets,

 

I'm not quite sure what part of the information I posted was interesting to you, but in answer to your T-64 awareness question, I believe I first started seeing usable tech intel on the T-64 in the early 1980s. This was in  a DIA S/NOFORN/WNINTEL (SECRET/NO FOREIGN/WARNING: INTELLIGENCE SOURCES & METHODS INVOLVED) publication. I never saw a CIA study of this tank, but have since seen one in the CIA FOIA Reading room, where I commend this declassified marvel to your attention. Regrettably, the FOIA Reading Room has been made pretty user hostile recently, but there was, and may still be, a CIA study specifically on the T-64, a study I never saw in my entire 11+ years as a Soviet Threat Analyst.

 

http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/DOC_0000624298.pdf

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

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On use of "Dummy Positions", this is an interesting summary of a  Russian military article from 1994 which deals with both Russian doctrine and Iraqi use of Dummy Positions in 1991:

 

 

Dummy positions and dummy equipment should be incorporated in the defensive plan. The Russians studied the Persian Gulf War and understand that the Iraqi Army prepared 700 artillery firing positions and 750 antiaircraft artillery positions (and occupied 200 and 250 of them respectively). The Iraqi army built entire reserve and dummy positions in the strongpoints of their motorized infantry and tank units. Iraqi radar operated from dummy SAM positions. The Iraqis built fiberglass mockups of weapons systems. They coated these with metallic paint and equipped them with heat emitters. The Iraqis also deployed inflatable mockups which have radar and thermal signatures analogous to the real systems. The Iraqis claim that up to 90 percent of the air strikes in the first week of Desert Storm were delivered against dummy positions and that the coalition had to conduct special training for flight crews during the war to improve their ability to differentiate between real and dummy systems. Deception efforts, employing dummy equipment and dust, can aid in drawing off PGM fires.     Flares and other heat sources, corner reflectors and other radar decoys are also a good resource in the counter-PGM effort. As the tactical map demonstrated, these systems are deployed in and around positions to protect equipment and away from the position to deceive the enemy.

 

 

 

http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/deserted/deserted.htm

 

I had tried to setup something similar in a CMSF scenrio using empty bunkers to simulate Dummy Positions, but the TacAI always knew which bunkers were occupied or empty which defeated the purpose.

 

Note however that Dummy Positions  seem to be used mostly to hide from air attacks.

Edited by Sgt Joch

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Note however that Dummy Positions  seem to be used mostly to hide from air attacks.

 

This is pretty accurate.  Aviation has one of the hardest times picking out decoy vs real targets, once you're at direct fire range usually your fidelity is pretty good in terms of things being too bright/too obvious etc.

 

I'd downgrade how effective the Iraqi measures were just because "90%" is their magic number of success (it's always 90% better than x, 90% less of something bad, etc etc), but the Serbs certainly did a number as far as hiding tactical forces in the field (conversely it did impact their actual combat power by forcing them to commit to hiding their heavy forces).

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I'd downgrade how effective the Iraqi measures were just because "90%" is their magic number of success (it's always 90% better than x, 90% less of something bad, etc etc), but the Serbs certainly did a number as far as hiding tactical forces in the field (conversely it did impact their actual combat power by forcing them to commit to hiding their heavy forces).

 

 The Iraqis and indirectly the Russians who trained them certainly have an interest in being optimistic, but it's also clear the coalition's claims, i.e. as I recall, that 50% of Iraqi vehicles had been destroyed from the Air before the ground offensive even started were also overly optimistic. The truth as usual is probably somewhere in between.

 

note this quote buried in the notes is also interesting:

 

 

8. Interviews with U.S. officers and captured Iraqi officers indicate that the bulk of Iraqi ground combat vehicles were destroyed during the ground offensive. They were destroyed by helicopter-delivered PGMs, A-10 close air support aircraft and ground systems. The exception was the Iraqi 52d Armored Brigade which was caught on the move by A-10s on 12 January, before the ground offensive, during the attack on Khafji. There are solid indications that battle damage assessment (BDA) figures of aircraft kills against dug-in vehicles were exaggerated

Edited by Sgt Joch

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Concur entirely. The USAF and other fast mover agencies greatly overestimate how much damage they actually do.  When it comes to killing the enemy forces on the ground are much more decisive.

 

The only time aviation will effect large losses tends to be in the same manner that the ill fated 52nd Brigade discovered.  However this adds another layer to the reality of air to ground, simply the act of moving made that Brigade very vulnerable to aviation.  Restricting the ability of the enemy to move freely, or forcing him to dedicate significant time to evasive or deceptive measures greatly impacts the ability of an enemy military to operate.  Sure airstrikes only killed a tank or two.  But the same air strikes forced the attacked force to stop, employ decoys, not move so as to not make it obvious who the decoys are, disperse vulnerable assets, etc, etc, etc.

 

Which lines up well with the crappy analogy of machine guns.  The lethality of the machine gun is not that it will strike 100 targets with 100 rounds, it is that it controls the enemy's movements, forces him into unfavorable postures, or fixes him in place to allow for other assets to kill the suppressed target. 

 

Decoys and camouflage are important, don't get me wrong.  But you can't hide your way to victory exclusively.  And if someone keeps you hiding, he keeps you out of the fight.

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And you have to hide every fuel truck if you plan on keeping your guys in the fight for more than a day.  Those trucks have much harder time working into deep woods to hide, probably have to cover a lot more miles, and go boom from a single 30mm HEI.  

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Decoys and camouflage are important, don't get me wrong.  But you can't hide your way to victory exclusively.  And if someone keeps you hiding, he keeps you out of the fight.

I was thinking that the same kind of leverage applies to auto-smoke-pop upon laser detection: lasing a tank with that sort of unmediated response is nearly as good, for the next minute or two, as having nailed it with a long rod in the weak point.

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Krasnoarmeyets,

 

My apologies, for I am having problems keeping track of whom I'm talking to about what, and you and ikalugin are both asking me about the T-64. Happily, after some digging I was able to track down a declassified CIA study. The study is redacted S/NOFORN/WNINTEL, but it's still grog gold. I give you The Soviet T-64B Tank: An Updated Assessment (U). 

http://www.foia.cia...._0000498140.pdf

 

Despite the unfortunate redactions (done in 1999), much of use remains, specifically the assessments, applicable to the T-64 and T-64B of frontal armor protection, expressed in mm of RHA, vs KE and HEAT threats, together with a useful analysis of the makeup and location of the composite armor. There is good information on the AT-8/Kobra cannon launched ATGM, but the pride of place goes to the poorly reproed, but eye-watering, interior pics and descriptions of the turret weapon controls, including ballistic compensators and everything, right down to switches and their labels, necessary to aim, fire and guide the ATGM. Major intelligence coup.

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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Yes, thanks - I have already seen it in the other thread. Scanned it quickly - seems very interesting (too bad such large parts were redacted), will read into it later. I have read through your other document though (the analysis on armor and intelligence conclusions in general) - quite enlightening too, I have marked for myself several interesting points of note (like western estimates of Soviet tanks operational status by year, and what guesses proved right or wrong in retrospect), so thank You for those! :)

Edited by Krasnoarmeyets

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Krasnoarmeyets,

 

I saw an analysis done in the 1980s that was reported out in a classified quarterly on the lofty end of US defense studies. It's all water under the bridge now, but it was a side by side comparison of like for like US and Russian weapon systems. One point which particularly stood out was how inexpensive Russian tanks were. The T-62, working from memory here, was ~250,000 dollars, while the equivalent US M60 was, I believe, roughly three times that. There was absolutely no comparison in terms of service life, for while the US tanks were designed and built to last for decades, the T-62s had very short service lives, as detailed by not just Suvorov/Rezun, but in any number of open source and classified documents from the period. What chilled me to the marrow, though, was the Russian reckoning of the combat life of a tank--24 hours.

 

While it sucks in terms of real training for war to have only a few tanks (rotated) on which the whole company must train, with most of the unit "playing tank" on foot, if the tanks have very short service lives and the budget won't permit enough training tanks, then the policy, horrifying as it would be to US soldiers, becomes essential if a large force, not synonymous with well trained force, must be fielded. Worse, the Russian tank troops might not even train on the much better tank in which they'd go to war, so in no way could be expected to extract anything like the true combat potential of such an advanced tank.

 

Tank for tank, assuming any sort of technical parity at all, the US would've mopped the floor with the Russians, for hard, realistic training, several 10s of times more live fire, professional soldiers and a thorough knowledge of their weapons and how to use them would've made the difference. The problem was that while the US held an undeniable advantage on the soldier end and performance squeezing side of the equation,  as well as a real edge in gunnery accuracy and sensors (T-62 gun good out to only 1500 meters, while US tank tables went clear out to 3000 meters) the force ratio was bad, our antitank weapons were shown to be woefully inadequate against Russian armor (forcing a multi billion dollar get well program), while US tanks were highly vulnerable to Russian weapons. "Quantity creates a quality all its own." And if you have quantity and quality...? Exactly.

 

And compounding all of the above? Western leaders and analysts who kept making the same disastrous mistake of confusing the typically awful inept performance of Russian Arab allies, often in monkey model feature removed, worse armored than homeland tanks, with that of the Red Army. And every time there was another war in the Middle East, up would go the cry. "The Bear's a joke. We have nothing to worry about. Look what the Israelis did to them!" It was that way in 1956 and 1967, but things got so bad in the 1973 War, especially in Syria, that Israel very nearly went nuclear, but the US staved that off by replacing gigantic Israeli tank losses. The Egyptian Front was deeply disturbing, but Syria showed a pretty good glimpse of what a real clash with Russia might entail, and long and worried were the western faces now having to deal with the realization that combat was going to be around the clock. That--over and above the ATGM (and RPG) massacre of the 190th Armored Brigade at the Suez Canal-- was outright traumatic once it sank in. The Israelis very nearly lost the war on the Syrian Front and with it, the nation. What saved them were battle hardened tank pros, desperately fighting with the rapidly dwindling all they had, using far from modern tanks, from prepared positions with a substantial elevation advantage over their foes in the valley and using everything they could think of to stop huge Syrian tank forces--as Israel desperately mobilized reserves. For a look at that experience, please see Kahalani's (commanded the IDF's 77th Armored Brigade that defended the Golan) excellent The Heights of Courage. Had that battle been on open ground, Israel wouldn't exist today. That simple. And those were the students, not the teachers!  

You are most welcome for the information. If you don't mind my asking, given the handle you picked and an evidently considerable knowledge of the Russian military, are you Russian, formerly from there or in one of the countries which regained independence after the SU collapsed? Also, are you a military veteran and of what?

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler 

Edited by John Kettler

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