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Kuderian

Survival tips for Aircraft please?

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During the last mission of the Ukrainian campaign the briefing states that it is safer for your aviation to attack all at once rather than attack piecemeal. Don't know how accurate this is but ever since I always had aircraft attack simultaneously. This is a bit anecdotal, but because of this I've experienced fewer casualties among my aircraft.

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I understand in the *real world* the Russians tend to send their drones in pairs, let the first one attract AA attention while the second following behind does the job of spotting. I don't think that'll work particularly well  in the game, though.

Theoretically Apache Longbow should be able to fire long range from cover and F15 should be able to stay above the AA envelope. Though I haven't really played with heavy air support enough to confirm this.

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I have been surprised/dismayed how easily my drones, as well as Apaches AND even F15's seem to get shot down.  If RL combat is like this, we'd lose our entire AF in a few days to G2A missiles.

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8 hours ago, Erwin said:

I have been surprised/dismayed how easily my drones, as well as Apaches AND even F15's seem to get shot down.  If RL combat is like this, we'd lose our entire AF in a few days to G2A missiles.

There was a pretty long discussion about this many months ago, and the conclusion was that the effectiveness of SHORAD (SHort Range Air Defence) is exaggerated in the game, because the air modeling isn't detailed enough to model the effects of longer-ranged air defences and also fighter-based AD. In short, the air game in CM is too abstracted for us to draw any real world conclusions based on it or even to realistically compare it with RL.

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On topic:

MANPADS let alone the various SP anti-aircraft platforms in game take a pretty heavy toll, I generally don't fly them often unless I know there's no ADA, or I'm dealt with it somehow (I've figured out where the MANPADS are living and it's under fire).  Basically don't invest in air too heavily if the opposition has/can have much in the form of air defense.  

On the other hand, talking about how they're going to feel the wrath of the skygod during whatever setup you have going into a game, then bringing not a lick of aviation might be a good way to get a QB opponent to waste points.  

Off topic:

This is really one of my few system level gripes with CMBS.  Air is way to vulnerable to SHORAD type systems (many of which have a very limited range, or low p/k rates) but there's no way to prevent airstrikes outside of that SHORAD.  This leads to two ideas I'll continue to harp on:

1. Stand-Off attacks as a air support option.  Basically the plane/helicopter attacks at maximum range/from cover using precision weapons.  It either acquires targets at a much reduced rate (for aircraft with reasonable sensor arrays) or requires a spotter identify the target (for laser designated platforms).  MANPADS do not engage at all, less capable ADA platforms have only a remote chance of shooting (SA-13), while higher tier ADA (2S6) have a greatly reduced chance of hitting.

2. Abstracted higher level air defense.  The US Army doesn't have a lot of air defense systems because it's tightly tied into the largest air force, with some of the most capable systems in the world.  Flying a strike package of SU-25s into airspace that has F-22s and E-3s is going to be profoundly stupid.  On the other hand, Russian forces have a whole mess of highly advanced SAM systems that make it less likely a F-16 fully laden with bombs is just going to loiter above the battlespace unmolested.

Right now in the game if there's no MANPADs, or no ADA vehicles, the various air platform's only threat is running out of ammo.  This is pretty unlikely in a near peer throwdown in the Ukraine.  

While someone smarter than me can likely hash out a more detailed/balanced perspective the way I envisioned it was something like the electronic warfare setting that already exists in game.  Basically there'd be progressively restrictive ratings, adding increased possibility of airframe loss (your SU-25 just got smoked by a F-22), airframe evacuate (your F-16 dumped all it's bombs and is burning as fast as it can back to friendly lines to evade heavy SAM fire), or just mission abort (the SU-24 got spooked by being acquired by something, and aborted the current tasking.  It will become available in a few minutes).  Some helicopters would be impacted differently than others (the high and fast profile of Hinds makes them more vulnerable to air intercept, while AH-64s and the more advanced Russian helicopters can stay further in the weeds and are less likely to be caught by fighters or PATRIOT/S-300 type systems).  

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I think the in game AD represents it okayish compared to real life. I'd also like to bring out another issue this time in regards to AD.

AD as far as I know has the ability to engage a variety of guided missiles (to what effect depends on variables) so if a Maverick is coming at a T-90A who's about to super snipe a Bradley, the Tunguska can try to engage the incoming missile, if the F-15E is too far to hit. But also who says the F-15E is going to be flying safely at it's max engagement range, maybe the S-300 system deployed a little back will cause it to panic and abort mission or drop it's payload or just like in game, force it to fly lower to avoid being hit by aerial denial systems like the S-300s or BUKs. I think the in game SHORADs are represented fair enough, there could be some tweaks to it but I don't think it needs a total do over.

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If SHORAD was as effective as it is in game, we'd have scrapped airplanes long ago, and every military in the world would have manpads strapped to everything.  Fixed wing and rotary wing have both operated in close support of ground forces in the face of various ADA assets, and still accomplished their mission without getting shot down 50% of the time.

In a wider ADA plan SHORAD exists as that final layer of protection, and even then it's usually only effective when in conjunction with a wider IADS concept.  Right now it can do the job by itself which is wrong to put it mildly.  SHORAD should be much weaker, but the rest of the IADS set up (regardless if that's batteries of S-300s parked side to side, or F-22s guided in from E-3s) should be simulated to more properly represent air defense.  

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In fairness,, we haven't exactly seen a proper US/Near peer v Near peer level air/ground war. 

If I understand  right, most  UKR airframe losses were MANPAD or BUK,  rather than S series level AD. 

Libya is the latest example I can think of with integrated, but old, AD system. Georgia before that,  but theirs was,, I believe,, quite limited in depth. 

Or am I way off? 

Edited by kinophile

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Honestly my complaint is the AA in game is that it is so binary. BUT, I also dont think there any way around this unless you added (and this is obviously not feasible) some kind of additional game to manage A2A and SEAD etc. 

Essentially, each mission has to either assume SEAD has already been done, or that it hasn't. Or that you have local air supremacy etc. Ban AA vehicles or dont, given how OP they are right now. 

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1 hour ago, kinophile said:

In fairness,, we haven't exactly seen a proper US/Near peer v Near peer level air/ground war. 

If I understand  right, most  UKR airframe losses were MANPAD or BUK,  rather than S series level AD. 

Libya is the latest example I can think of with integrated, but old, AD system. Georgia before that,  but theirs was,, I believe,, quite limited in depth. 

Or am I way off? 

The Maverick missile equipped platforms all outrange even the most robust Russian ADA systems by a significant margin.  The Hellfire outranges all the MANPADS, and by most accounts the SA-13, and can be fired NLOS.  

Basically, given a host of equipment designed to stay out of the threat envelope as much as possible, US aircraft are treated as if they're diving World War Two style straight into several levels of threats.  The USAF/USN/USMC maybe have put a lot of thought into operating in a ADA rich environment, and again if simply a whole host of manportable missiles or tactical level anti-aircraft systems were enough, then we wouldn't see S-300s, or even air superiority fighters, it'd just be stingers and SA-14s taped to everything, and everyone would have 2S6s and there'd be no airplanes because they're death traps.  

Looking back at Kosovo, and Iraq 1991, both were a lot of ADA systems, and a lot of SHORAD that ultimately did very little to impact the air campaign.  In Kosovo, most of it was kept shut off or hidden to prevent its destruction, and in Iraq, again it inflicted losses but not enough to slow the air campaign.

Just because it's Russians in the gunner's seat doesn't change the fact the fact a 2S6's missiles are hitting max range 10 KM away from a Maverick's release point.  Just because Ivan has the SA-14 and not Abdul doesn't affect the fact the only part of the AH-64D exposed is the radar, and it's about 4 KM out of his range anyway.  

Why I keep pushing for some sort of system to reflect the rest of the air defense network is that we can totally meet the scenario that was put together for CMBS, that it's really super dangerous for ANYONE to be in the air for most of the fighting. I just want it pushed off in a way that doesn't only reflect in SHORAD systems, as it leads to really weirdo outcomes like MANPADS being the grim reaper of planes that might not even fly LOW enough to be shot at, let alone within normal combat ranges, or SU-25s being able to bomb with impunity, formations that would likely have possibly dozens of F-15s and a smattering of F-22s on call.

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I agree that it could be abstracted like EW. 

Also agree re MANPADs. Really baffled me that F15s with their various long range smart bombs were dumb enough to come within range of them. 

Just the threat of one little rinky dink ****er squatting in the woods like a psychopathic happy is enough to prevent buying an airframe that's, in reality, completely capable of ignoring him and still nail 3 x RedFor MBT's. 

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No i can state with certainty that the US apaches in game do not use stand off capabilities and are shot at as if they were classic vietnam era gunships that had to come right in with rockets and guns and do runs at low level. Not sit 2 miles away and use popup attacks or another helos radar tofire and forget its up to 16 hellfires. And that was the longbow not the guardian.

F15 Es absolutely can destroy armor from above the shorad altitude which is basically 10k ft.

They dont as stated above all planes are treated like theyre doing ww2 type attacks.

I understand the focus of the sim is on ground warfare and certain things hD to be changed.

I think an air war plus ot minus thing like points would work good as well as the ew eviro ent. You could set ADA  networks like the EW. Up rlly high would interfere with both sides. 

Then you could add or subtract "points" that arent rlly points but just go from equal to up to 100 percent ( air supremacy no superiority ) for either side. Thiz would randomize if planes showed up at all got delayed or whatever.

This is the best ideas i can come up with on the fly.

If nothing else i think US avenger humvees should be added. Yes i know theyre almost useless but at least theyre AAA .50s could shoot at drones.

 

Als Vlad youre my friend but the idea of tunguskas using their autocannon to shoot mavericks or even hellfires is laughable. Those missiles fly WAAAAY to fast for that to work. And mavericks are big fast powerful missiles. Hey maybe im wrong but ive never heard of it and i doubt in real life as opposed to on paper that idea would work at all. The closest concept to that idea is like when I got to go on the USS Enterprise in 98 for a day at sea. It has a  buttload of 20mm gatling guns for sea skimmibg anti ship missiles. But they would literallu produce a wall of lead for th3 missiles to fly into

Edited by Sublime

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Just say no to CAS in CM games, of any era. 

There's just no way to simulate it well without putting a ton of time and effort into coding that would long delay all the other goodness we enjoy now and are looking forward to.

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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I am playing @George MC's excellent 'Rolling Thunder'  scenario PBEM as the Russian side. I never play quick battles as I prefer playing blind PBEM authored scenarios, judging them to both more realistic and more immersive.

I have knocked out one or two of the Stingers which would  obviously mean my opponent has less defence against  my Hind Helis if they hadn't been shot down already!

I will rephrase my question which was probably a bit ambiguous.

I always attacked in pairs with the my two Hinds, theorizing the second Hind  would be covering the others back from ground threats while  the first Hind attacked. And then they would switch around for their next attack run.

Am I kidding myself that pairs or any other soft factors makes any difference in aircraft survivabilty in this game?

 


 

 

Edited by Kuderian
Freudian slip

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17 hours ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

If SHORAD was as effective as it is in game, we'd have scrapped airplanes long ago, and every military in the world would have manpads strapped to everything.  Fixed wing and rotary wing have both operated in close support of ground forces in the face of various ADA assets, and still accomplished their mission without getting shot down 50% of the time.

No of course ADA is not the God of the field, however the US airforce hasn't gone against a modern ADA opponent since Vietnam so we can't just assume because the Soviet legacy SAMs failed against arguably the best technologically equipped air force that modern Russian AD is going to be the same as the Iraqi AD. SHORADs are quite useful especially modern ones, but of course I'm not saying they will be scoping F-15s and F-16s left and right, that is not the case. 

17 hours ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

 SHORAD should be much weaker, but the rest of the IADS set up (regardless if that's batteries of S-300s parked side to side, or F-22s guided in from E-3s) should be simulated to more properly represent air defense.  

I'd think that's up to the scenario maker more so than simulation. 

14 hours ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

The Maverick missile equipped platforms all outrange even the most robust Russian ADA systems by a significant margin.

Correct, but modern versions of the Tunguskas like M1 variants and to some extent the Tunguska-Ms are capable of attempting to engage incoming precision weaponry. Russian PVO has vehicles like Pantsir-S1s that are pretty capable on hitting incoming precision weaponry. But of course no one says a Tunguska-Ms going to be hitting the incoming maverick, terrain and location can limit these capabilities. 

14 hours ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

The Hellfire outranges all the MANPADS, and by most accounts the SA-13, and can be fired NLOS.  

MANPADS are over powered IMO. The NLOS capability could certainly offer good capabilities against opponents, hopefully there can be an attempt to add that in.

14 hours ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

 The USAF/USN/USMC maybe have put a lot of thought into operating in a ADA rich environment, and again if simply a whole host of manportable missiles or tactical level anti-aircraft systems were enough, then we wouldn't see S-300s, or even air superiority fighters, it'd just be stingers and SA-14s taped to everything, and everyone would have 2S6s and there'd be no airplanes because they're death traps.  

Definitely the USAF/USN/USMC have put alot of thought into operating in these environments. But SPAA type systems are a part of the whole AD network in Russia's case. You guys have a bunch of aircraft for that role, we use the air force together with ground AD to make up for our lack in numbers and capabilities in AD roles. 

14 hours ago, panzersaurkrautwerfer said:

it leads to really weirdo outcomes like MANPADS being the grim reaper of planes that might not even fly LOW enough to be shot at,

Yeah it'd be funny if a IGLA took down an F-15E flying way above the engagement range. But has anyone actually tested the effectiveness of MANPADs against fighter jets in game?

5 hours ago, Sublime said:

Als Vlad youre my friend but the idea of tunguskas using their autocannon to shoot mavericks or even hellfires is laughable. Those missiles fly WAAAAY to fast for that to work. And mavericks are big fast powerful missiles. Hey maybe im wrong but ive never heard of it and i doubt in real life as opposed to on paper that idea would work at all. The closest concept to that idea is like when I got to go on the USS Enterprise in 98 for a day at sea. It has a  buttload of 20mm gatling guns for sea skimmibg anti ship missiles. But they would literallu produce a wall of lead for th3 missiles to fly into

I'm not sure if Tunguska-Ms are guaranteed but I know they have those capabilities, especially systems like Pantsir-S1s which actually engage precision missiles.

Edited by VladimirTarasov

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4 hours ago, VladimirTarasov said:

No of course ADA is not the God of the field, however the US airforce hasn't gone against a modern ADA opponent since Vietnam so we can't just assume because the Soviet legacy SAMs failed against arguably the best technologically equipped air force that modern Russian AD is going to be the same as the Iraqi AD. SHORADs are quite useful especially modern ones, but of course I'm not saying they will be scoping F-15s and F-16s left and right, that is not the case. 

I'd think that's up to the scenario maker more so than simulation. 

Correct, but modern versions of the Tunguskas like M1 variants and to some extent the Tunguska-Ms are capable of attempting to engage incoming precision weaponry. Russian PVO has vehicles like Pantsir-S1s that are pretty capable on hitting incoming precision weaponry. But of course no one says a Tunguska-Ms going to be hitting the incoming maverick, terrain and location can limit these capabilities. 

MANPADS are over powered IMO. The NLOS capability could certainly offer good capabilities against opponents, hopefully there can be an attempt to add that in.

Definitely the USAF/USN/USMC have put alot of thought into operating in these environments. But SPAA type systems are a part of the whole AD network in Russia's case. You guys have a bunch of aircraft for that role, we use the air force together with ground AD to make up for our lack in numbers and capabilities in AD roles. 

Yeah it'd be funny if a IGLA took down an F-15E flying way above the engagement range. But has anyone actually tested the effectiveness of MANPADs against fighter jets in game?

I'm not sure if Tunguska-Ms are guaranteed but I know they have those capabilities, especially systems like Pantsir-S1s which actually engage precision missiles.

Ok well Id just like to know how a tunguska could accurately track and shoot a missile thats flying way way faster than any aircraft would and more than likely headed in a downward slant-not to mention that unless the tunguska was very luckily parked it would have a fraction of a second to spray off a few bullets. Thats a little different than the ammo supply a nuclear powered aircraft carrier can take to literally place a wall of lead between the target and missiles - and the AAA/Anti missile stuff is what would BE on the target - they would be useless in protecting other ships. Im sorry but Ive never heard of it - weapons makers sayibg something is one thing but has a SPAA ever shot down a missile shot by anything anywhere in the world even in outside tests? Not like theoretical classrm **** where "yes its possible" i mean has it happened? Because I can almost definitely say I dont think its ever happened in a war at all.

Even "slow" rockets and missiles are flying at what would be considered insanely fast for aircraft. Add to that the fact that -unless the tunguska is in some perfect tower like position to see all around it, and therefore exposing it also to every single main gun, tow, javelin, etc for miles around -that its engagement window of an object thats so small its normal targets can carry 8, 12, or 16 of them will be probably a split second ( literally probably .16 of a second of a missile flying downward at some odd keyhole shot for a split second) and i really just dont see the tunguska shooting any missile down.

I doubt it on open steps even. Again the only anti missile defense Ive ever heard of working is multiple gatling cannon mounts on a ship. And the ocean while it has waves is..  flat essentially.. and the gatling guns whilst below the carrier deck for example are still avtually some few stories above sea level.

Otherwise you have APS as the only thing I know definitely has defeated missiles. And as far as I know APS has really only contended with RPGs whether it was Drozd or Trophy. Again what manafacturers say and what happens are different things. I dont see Trophy stopping a monster sized Kh25 or Kh66 or Arena stoppig a gigantic maverick or a hellfire that uses the same attack profile.of top down that a javelin uses.  And of course the APS systems are again mounted on what would be the target vehicle its not like there's some SAM vehicle made to shoot down other missiles. I honestly dont think its possible in a realistic manner in this age ... yet.

 

 

While of course the game doesnt tell you engagement ranges or altitudes or anything about enemy aircraft I can tell you Ive seen Iglas shoot down F15s F16s you name it in BS theyve shot it down as far as actual CAS and not drones.

Same with stingers against Redfor AC. In fact playin around with stingers lately I think theyve gotten an undeserved bad name in BS.

for one you usually get 2 missiles as opposed to 1 for iglas and the teams are usually 2 men ( 1 for iglas ) and therefore can quick move..

Edited by Sublime

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17 minutes ago, Sublime said:

Ok well Id just like to know how a tunguska could accurately track and shoot a missile thats flying way way faster than any aircraft would and more than likely headed in a downward slant-not to mention that unless the tunguska was very luckily parked it would have a fraction of a second to spray off a few bullets. Thats a little different than the ammo supply a nuclear powered aircraft carrier can take to literally place a wall of lead between the target and missiles - and the AAA/Anti missile stuff is what would BE on the target - they would be useless in protecting other ships. Im sorry but Ive never heard of it - weapons makers sayibg something is one thing but has a SPAA ever shot down a missile shot by anything anywhere in the world even in outside tests?

Of course I never said it was going to be a guaranteed hit, the Tunguska's main focus is against the aircraft itself. But if the terrain permits it, and the Tunguska can track the incoming missile then it is possible to attempt to hit the incoming missile. 

23 minutes ago, Sublime said:

While of course the game doesnt tell you engagement ranges or altitudes or anything about enemy aircraft I can tell you Ive seen Iglas shoot down F15s F16s you name it in BS theyve shot it down as far as actual CAS and not drones.

Then I think it has to be looked into, even if the F-15 was flying low altitude it has the proper ECM to avoid being hit by it. 

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Idk man. I dont think theres an AAA platform short of several gatling guns mounted ON what would be the target literally creating a curtain of lead to stop a missile. I mean even the fastest turrets i dont think could track a missile going mach 2 for the split second its overhead or about to slam into sonethig. I just dont see it. Maybe if the tunguska was magically pointed at where the missile was coming from ajd it was over the course of a conflict of ww3 proportions perhaps thered be one case.

Until someone can show me proof that mobile SPAA platforms such as the tunguska can even track with its guns let alone lead and hit a maverick or hellfire i find the idea laughable.

The window for a tunguska to hit a low flyinf aircraft flying even at 450kts is split seconds. If the plane was flying at 5k ( which no plane on either sides gonna do. That puts you in the envelope of basically every sam and aaa there is; itd be either very low level or above shorad by alot. So either very low or very high as in 20-30k.

US planes can drop lgbs without ever seeing a target and if hifh enough release them miles away and turn around. The enemy never sees or hears the target. Jdams can have their gps target coordinates changed very quickly. Meaning a plane flying at 60k ft can drop bombs like 15 miles away that will fall/glide and hit with remarkable precision its targets.

The longbow helicopter could simeltaneously engage 16 tanks as fast as the missiles could be fired. In the radar hellfires they were fire and forget and had a top down attack profile. Other apaches can use kiowas or ground lasing necer expose themselves and fire hellfires at targets.

Now even on a perfect flat billiard table a tunguska would have triuble turning its turret fast enough for a US fighter on full afterburner going mach 1 or 2.  Maybe it could keep up if the plane was high but then again above 10k ft the AAA is irrelevant. However missiles go AT least that fast and often faster. I simply dont see it.

Russian equipment often falls well short of whats advertised. Hell all militaries have plenty of examples of things like that. And i just dont think its a viable realistic thing to think these weapons could shoot these missiles down. Look how much trouble it is to shoot down a ballistic missile?? And those things are massive! And you also get a window of warning thats at least 10x what youd get with a maverick , kh25,hellfire, vikhr, whatever.

 

ECM aside F15Es flyibg low would certainly take casualties and be lost. I think thw only losses in GW 1 were due to this. The RAF suffered heavy casualties with low level attacks on Iraqi airfields (heavy being very relative)

Frankly F15s wouldnt need nor desire to fly low.  Under 10k ft its not just AAA its every @$$hole with a rifle banging away at you. And it takes one "golden bb" for you to end up like Morg in Flight of the Intruder or hit a vital engine component and cause a crash. The USAF always liked flying high. And it gives you options because height in a plane can easily be translated into speed and it gives you options and time. This goes back to Ww2. The air war in the west was a high altitude affair that then eventually would end up on the deck with scattered fights. Whilst in the Eastern Front fights above 10k ft were very rare.

The only USAF planes you.d see fly low are A10s and thats if they were around in said conflict. But even the F16s with the anti tank package would fly high and use the mavericks excellent range of 8nm(?) To fire from high and far. 8nm outranges all manpads. The height would elimibate the AAA threat. Yes there are SAMs. But remember almost every maverick thats fired with crosshairs on target is 99% gobna be a kill. Its got a MASSIVE warhead and is fire and forget.

Edited by Sublime

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I don't use it for anything but mopping up and I go in with the mindset that i'm going to lose UAVs very fast so their usefulness is limited.

There's really no way of accurately predicting the state of an enemie's AA other than just hoping you've swept the map- and by that point, the battle should be pretty much over anyway. 

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