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How accurate *is* CMBS?

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10 hours ago, IMHO said:

@IanL, I'd say those are just the feeling of yours - I've been playing the game for almost 18 years now and I plan to continue to do so nonetheless. As @Vanir Ausf B was right to point out the argument is just about very particular aspect of the game - infantry AT defense - however sensitive those might be :)

Alright good to know. :-)

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10 hours ago, Vanir Ausf B said:

Vehicles also have a random chance of detecting a launch even when there is no LWR involved. You can see this by running the same test with Javelins.

But spotting isn't the problem, in my opinion. It's the ability to present the strongest armor towards an incoming threat. It doesn't matter so much for the Russians since US ATGMs are top attack, but it's an issue with the Abrams in particular because of it's frontal armor and super-fast deploying smoke.

I noted the M1 fast deploying smoke.  What I thought was interesting is the M1's LWS immediately deploys smoke, just like the T-90.  But I also  noted that the LWS automatically points the turret front to the facing of the threat,  At that point, the M1 starts maneuvering its hull about to get its hull aligned with the turret.  It takes 10-15 seconds for the hull to get aligned.

One thing I also noted is that the M1 only has a chance of detecting the ATGM team if its pointed somewhat towards the threat.  The short of it is, I don't think ATGM detection is that unrealistic.  The most unrealistic part is the M1 having an LWS tightly linked into automated threat response.

Also, while newer rocket motors don't leave much of a smoke trail, ignition and launch still leave a very significant smoke and dust signature.

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5 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

Also, while newer rocket motors don't leave much of a smoke trail, ignition and launch still leave a very significant smoke and dust signature.

I doubted if this is really the case with modern missiles and yes I was surprised by the amount of smoke and dust these things create.

 

Edited by The_MonkeyKing

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Battlefields are lethal. I recently read that WWII Germans on the Eastern Front were losing an average of 200 Panther tanks a month on a pretty consistent basis.  More recently, a report on Abrams in Iraq (from the middle of the conflict) reported that a thousand Abrams had been wrecked to the point of needing a complete rebuild. One famously had to have the two halves welded back together! When Israel talks about only six Merkava out of 50 hit being 'totally destroyed' do not underestimate the level of damage implied by 'not totally'.

Edited by MikeyD

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9 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

One thing I also noted is that the M1 only has a chance of detecting the ATGM team if its pointed somewhat towards the threat.

I don't know how you're getting that result unless you have a very small sample size. Against wire-guided ATGMs the Abrams will detect the launch about 80% of the time, even from the rear.

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Any future war with Russia will be unlike anything we've seen IMO. Expect very heavy cyber warfare. The Russians know Western forces are highly dependent on agility and maneuver and crippling the networks as well as the command and control structures that direct and control the actual combat units is going to be a top priority. The Russians have already demonstrated a very advanced capability to use cyber warfare in support of their military and political goals. Recognizing this the US is making moves to counter this. Recently a top US Marine officer was actually visiting units and asking for volunteers who knew how to hack systems. He was offering signing bonuses to qualified recruits. The US Military is competing with private industry to attract qualified people. Even private industry cannot find enough cyber security personnel to fill existing positions that pay six figures. Its getting to the point where cyber warfare is going to start filtering down to the platoon level.

Most of the battles in CMBS are relatively balanced which it has to be for play-ability purposes. In real life I find it hard to believe it will be so balanced. The Russians can bring far more forces to bear in a much shorter time against the small number of US Army forces actually deployed near the Russian border. They would also use a massive amount of indirect fire against US/allied forces. I don't know how fun it would be to constantly play battles with heavily outnumbered US/Allied forces that faced massive amounts of indirect fire being rained down upon them.

Much of the US doctrine is the use of air power to be able to rain down precision guided munitions to help redress the numerical imbalance on the ground. This is where the cyber warfare/SIGINT comes in. Jam or degrade the communication network and you seriously degrade the effectiveness of airpower. Also the Russians have always been a leader in ground based surface to air technology. They don't have to completely stop US/Allied airpower-just degrading and attrition would probably be enough. The Russian air force too should not be discounted. Their 4th generation aircraft may not be as advanced as the latest US stealth aircraft, but they are good enough and there are a lot more of them. The older US and western aircraft while still capable are going to have their hands full.

Aircraft like the A-10 which is highly popular and useful in the Mideast where it is a highly permissive environment is going to be in a much different environment in a battle near the Russian border.

 

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4 hours ago, db_zero said:

Any future war with Russia will be unlike anything we've seen IMO. Expect very heavy cyber warfare. The Russians know Western forces are highly dependent on agility and maneuver and crippling the networks as well as the command and control structures that direct and control the actual combat units is going to be a top priority. The Russians have already demonstrated a very advanced capability to use cyber warfare in support of their military and political goals. Recognizing this the US is making moves to counter this. Recently a top US Marine officer was actually visiting units and asking for volunteers who knew how to hack systems. He was offering signing bonuses to qualified recruits. The US Military is competing with private industry to attract qualified people. Even private industry cannot find enough cyber security personnel to fill existing positions that pay six figures. Its getting to the point where cyber warfare is going to start filtering down to the platoon level.

Not true. Electronic warfare has been around for decades, and the US is actually quite well prepared for it. This is another overblown exaggeration by clickbait articles from places like Popsci and the like. The fact is, the Ukrainians were vulnerable to EW because most of their systems aren't hardened against this, and because they began using unsecured devices (the infamous artillery app being a good example) to communicate, which were easily intercepted. 

As to the effects on command and control, this too has been addressed decades in advance. US doctrine is all about being highly decentralized. Commanders in the field do not need to be in constant contact with the Pentagon in order to function. Further, cyber warfare does not make combustion engines stop, or bullets fail to fire. Land navigation is still taught with a physical map and compass, marksmanship still requires soldiers to hit targets with their personal rifles, etc etc. 

Cyber warfare is more of a first strike type of weapon, like an EMP before a nuclear strike. Its purpose is to confuse and make it difficult to collect immediate intelligence on a large situation, thus giving the attacker the advantage and initiative. Beyond that, its actual battlefield applications are limited. Anything EW/Cyber warfare can disrupt on the battlefield, can easily be overcome by those on the battlefield. 

4 hours ago, db_zero said:

Most of the battles in CMBS are relatively balanced which it has to be for play-ability purposes. In real life I find it hard to believe it will be so balanced. The Russians can bring far more forces to bear in a much shorter time against the small number of US Army forces actually deployed near the Russian border. They would also use a massive amount of indirect fire against US/allied forces. I don't know how fun it would be to constantly play battles with heavily outnumbered US/Allied forces that faced massive amounts of indirect fire being rained down upon them.

Also not true. The Russian military is NOT the Soviet juggernaut. For example, todays Russian military has around 500 T-90 tanks. In comparison, the US operates over 4000 Abrams, with about half of those being the M1A2. The only way Russia could hope to outnumber the US alone, disregarding NATO, would be to carry out a lightning strike over the course of 72 hours or so. However it is doubtful whether or not the Russian military in its current state could even do that against a near peer opponent. The US rotates units through Eastern Europe as a deterrent to Russia attempting a quick strike against a neighbor, as they would be close by to respond. They are not there to man the frontier like they did during the Cold War. Its a key difference lost on many. As to the artillery comment, this assumes that only the Russians are using indirect fire, which would not be the case. And again, it is not April 1945 anymore. The Russians don't have hordes of artillery divisions with the express purpose of deleting gridsquares anymore. 

Also, there are plenty of battles in CMBS that are not strictly "balanced." Anyone can make a QB or a battle in the editor, and there is nothing there that forces balance. In fact, a good number of the campaign missions put the player up against very difficult situations.

4 hours ago, db_zero said:

Much of the US doctrine is the use of air power to be able to rain down precision guided munitions to help redress the numerical imbalance on the ground. This is where the cyber warfare/SIGINT comes in. Jam or degrade the communication network and you seriously degrade the effectiveness of airpower. Also the Russians have always been a leader in ground based surface to air technology. They don't have to completely stop US/Allied airpower-just degrading and attrition would probably be enough. The Russian air force too should not be discounted. Their 4th generation aircraft may not be as advanced as the latest US stealth aircraft, but they are good enough and there are a lot more of them. The older US and western aircraft while still capable are going to have their hands full.

Again, this is just a regurgitation of a gross generalization that isn't true in reality. The US does not use air power as a crutch. If air power is not available, it does not mean that the West will fall. This is another meme that needs to die. Even in conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan where there is total air dominance, the use of tactical air strikes (CAS) is the exception, not the rule. For every firefight that ended with a JDAM strike, or an AC-130 showing up, there are probably 9 firefights that were resolved without the use of air power. 

Also, Russia does not have more 4th generation aircraft than the US, let alone NATO. The Russians operate around 70 Su-35s. That is half the number of F-22s operated by the US, and much fewer than the number of F-15s and F-16s operated by US and NATO countries. Again, this is all based on the false generalization that the modern day Russian military is just as big, powerful, and capable as the Soviets were. It isn't. 

4 hours ago, db_zero said:

Aircraft like the A-10 which is highly popular and useful in the Mideast where it is a highly permissive environment is going to be in a much different environment in a battle near the Russian border

Yes, and before and after the A-10 existed, no one expected the aircraft to be able to cartwheel through enemy air defenses and lay waste to everything it encountered. The US and Coalition forces spent a month reducing the Iraqi military's air force and air defense network before the sky was considered secure. The famous highway of death happened after that month of securing air superiority. Planes are piloted by people, and people generally do not like throwing their lives away in obvious suicide missions. The idea that the knee jerk reaction to any military situation is to throw planes at it has never been the case. In fact, it was tried once in history, during the 1973 Yom Kippur war, and the Israeli airforce suffered massive casualties. Of course, they didn't know they were flying into a highly advanced (for the time) SAM shield. If Russia were to ever do anything, NATO does know they would be operating under a complex, advanced air defense network, and would not just throw planes and pilots to their deaths willy nilly. 

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16 hours ago, Vanir Ausf B said:

I changed the AT-13s in my test to AT-4C and put them in heavy woods tiles. Got 80% from the rear again.

I just re-ran it a few times and still no detection until multiple missiles fired.  I am going to take a look at how I set it up.  Heading out on a trip soon and will look when I get settled.

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The critical point that most keep ignoring is that any future major war with a peer will involved cyberwar vs the civilian population and society in general.  We're talking like the armchair Colonel Blimps preparing for WW1 in 1939.

Winning a military battle is useless if you lose the war cos your nation's water supply and food supply system is sabotaged, your power grid is offline, bank accounts and savings are compromised so the financial system crashes etc. 

The only thing one can be sure of is that the next peer-peer war will be nothing like previous wars. 

 

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1 hour ago, Erwin said:

Winning a military battle is useless if you lose the war cos your nation's water supply and food supply system is sabotaged, your power grid is offline, bank accounts and savings are compromised so the financial system crashes etc.

Nazi Germany in 1944-45 begs to differ. At a time where the Allies had near total air dominance, and were bombing German industry, infrastructure and all that other good stuff, the Germans somehow managed to produce the most amount of war materiel in 1944. If nations can endure massive bombing campaigns, in which things are physically destroyed, and lives are directly lost, I'm sure nations will be able to survive a prolonged power outage caused by a cyber attack. 

Yes, cyber attacks against civilian targets will be very disruptive, but they will hardly cause some kind of apocalyptic scenario on the homefront. More like a very large scale inconvenience to everyone. Again, this is pointless unless its used as a way to buy time for a first strike of some kind. 

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3 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

Nazi Germany in 1944-45 begs to differ. At a time where the Allies had near total air dominance, and were bombing German industry, infrastructure and all that other good stuff, the Germans somehow managed to produce the most amount of war materiel in 1944. If nations can endure massive bombing campaigns, in which things are physically destroyed, and lives are directly lost, I'm sure nations will be able to survive a prolonged power outage caused by a cyber attack. 

Yes, cyber attacks against civilian targets will be very disruptive, but they will hardly cause some kind of apocalyptic scenario on the homefront. More like a very large scale inconvenience to everyone. Again, this is pointless unless its used as a way to buy time for a first strike of some kind. 

Wait a minute, if there is a power outage then I can’t play CM?  Damn maybe we should surrender now. 

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"power grid is offline"

Useless fear mongering and drivel.  In the US, there are thousands of power plants and tens of thousand of substations, etc.  The majority of these run on SCADA and control systems isolated from the web and outside connections.  Any cyber attack might be able to take a couple power plants down for a short period or isolate regions from the interconnections, but it is darned close to impossible to bring the entire national grid down.  The worst that can happen is hitting the right node at the right time might bring a city grid down for a short time.  Even in the worst storms in the US, the majority of people and businesses have their power back on in hours, with a few taking days.  And those storms are significantly more powerful than any cyberattack can possibly be.  The only way to bring a grid down is through massive physical damage.

This is one of those things the press has gotten a hold of and keeps perpetuating the issue.  Should utilities protect themselves and prepare?  Yes, they should.  Should people understand a little more about an issue before perpetuating the fear mongering?  Yes, they should.  I work in the industry and do a lot of work to understand the security issues.  It has been hijacked by security consultants and the intelligence services to scare people and increase budgets...and its worked.

And before someone screams "what about the Ukraine", it was an isolated part of Kiev only and lasted for less than hour.  And that was a nation-state putting significant resources into doing it.  It actually proves my point.  That malware would have to be modified for every SCADA configuration, and that numbers in the tens of thousands.  It would require someone who has a fairly detailed knowledge of the specific devices and configuration of a transmission grid, distribution grid, or power gen source.  Not impossible, incredibly difficult.  I knocking out significant power for a long time an important goal for a large part of a country, physical attack is probably more cost effective.

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Would like to point out a few things. What's visible of an inbound ATGM can vary quite considerably, starting with what seems to be a misconception amaong some here that the rocket motor burns continuously, making a lovely IR target in the process. This simply isn't true, for missiles such as the TOW exhaust the launch motor in the tube, and the flight motor burns a mere 1.6 seconds, after which the missile is simply coasting the rest of the way. There most definitely is a significant launch signature, but a LWR is only good vs something with an active laser to trigger it. As such, it is separate and distinct from an entirely different piece of kit called an IWR (Infrared Warning Receiver). The latter is designed to see not only launch signatures  but the inbound missile itself, so that IRCM is deployed and evasive maneuvers can be initiated. Mind, it helps if the missile gets hot because of high Mach number and is seen against a cold sky. My father worked on such a system years ago for the F-15, and I believe its coverage was the entire rear hemisphere. Don't know whether or not it was ultimately deployed, but the principle is still valid. I've watched a bunch of visual and thermal footage of jihadi launbches of Russian ATGMs and confess myself surprised at now little there was to see as far as missile plume--even in IR--from the launcher. Essentially, if the ATGM is coming right at you, all you see is a rapidly growing dot, one which may or may not be easy to spot given a host of environmental factors. But remember that this dot subtends only a very small angle on a BIG busy battlefield, one in which all kinds of upheaval is occurring. Compared to a shell detonating, an ATGM launch signature and resultant debris cloud is minuscule, and relative to the TOW, the Russian ATGMs these days have tiny launch signatures.

Fundamentally, unless an LBR missile is employed, thus tripping the LWR with near unity confidence, there is a significant signal processing problem in which the signal (ATGM X o'clock!) must be extracted from the noise (battlefield chaos, fires, explosions, reflections, WX, etc.). This processing has to be done by the all-too-human crew, bouncing around in a tank which may well not be completely functional (things get dinged up or fail on their own), not some never gets tired, never blinks, isn't frightened automatic system. If you watch ATGM launch footage, all it would take is a few seconds of inattention, distraction, rubbing an eye or any number of other things to miss an ATGM launch altogether, after which we're back to the dot. It the tank crew is busy or distracted and isn't looking in the direction of the launch, then here comes the ATGM with no one the wiser. Today's ATGMs are many times faster than the leisurely AT-3 of Yom Kippur notoriety, thus compressing the battle space by reducing reaction time. It's a lot harder to dodge today's ATGMs than it was an AT-3. 

Would be interested in hearing fromn our Abrams people on where the crew persons (excluding the TC and the gunner) can see, especially to the sides and rear. After that, presuming they're in active combat already, what would they be able to see if, say, already trying to deal with a frontal threat? Believe this would go a long way toward getting a sense of how credible some of the tank detecting a launch, whipping around the turret and blasting the launcher and crew near instantly really is, especially if the ATGM isn't a LBR type. Finally, if I were the Russians, I'd make a bunch of lasers of the type that get the LWR worked up, spread them around the battlefield and light up every American tank, IFV and APC I could find. This would cause all sorts of additional stress, distraction and rapid decrease in countermeasure capability. There aren't very many cycles of popping smoke or broadband obscurants, after all.

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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30 minutes ago, John Kettler said:

missiles such as the TOW exhaust the launch motor in the tube, and the flight motor burns a mere 1.6 seconds, after which the missile is simply coasting the rest of the way.

You sure about that?

 

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2 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

And before someone screams "what about the Ukraine", it was an isolated part of Kiev only and lasted for less than hour.  And that was a nation-state putting significant resources into doing it.  It actually proves my point.  That malware would have to be modified for every SCADA configuration, and that numbers in the tens of thousands.  It would require someone who has a fairly detailed knowledge of the specific devices and configuration of a transmission grid, distribution grid, or power gen source.  Not impossible, incredibly difficult.  I knocking out significant power for a long time an important goal for a large part of a country, physical attack is probably more cost effective.

Thanks for writing that @Thewood1. We live in a funny time where we would like such networks to be more "open" to optimise better power flows, yet exposing them like that would be suicidal. 

The kind of reaction times we see in those simulated Abrams would be correct under the assumption that the US Army has developed a system that tracks potential threats in real time and then takes control of the vehicles from their human operators to ensure that the Abrams offers its strongest aspect to the incoming missile. 

Technically is completely possible: CAWS and AEGIS aren't cutting edge systems any more, and have similar capabilities. 

What I doubt is that such a system would be accepted by human operators sitting on the tanks themselves. As with self driving cars, such elbowing out has been proven to be dangerous at best. Your car deciding in short notice to swerve so to offer the back to am oncoming hazard would be a suitable analogy. Good luck with that working as expected once out of every ten times.

 

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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3 hours ago, sburke said:

Wait a minute, if there is a power outage then I can’t play CM?  Damn maybe we should surrender now. 

Haha indeed!

2 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

"power grid is offline"

Useless fear mongering and drivel.  In the US, there are thousands of power plants and tens of thousand of substations, etc.  The majority of these run on SCADA and control systems isolated from the web and outside connections.  Any cyber attack might be able to take a couple power plants down for a short period or isolate regions from the interconnections, but it is darned close to impossible to bring the entire national grid down.  The worst that can happen is hitting the right node at the right time might bring a city grid down for a short time.  Even in the worst storms in the US, the majority of people and businesses have their power back on in hours, with a few taking days.  And those storms are significantly more powerful than any cyberattack can possibly be.  The only way to bring a grid down is through massive physical damage.

This is one of those things the press has gotten a hold of and keeps perpetuating the issue.  Should utilities protect themselves and prepare?  Yes, they should.  Should people understand a little more about an issue before perpetuating the fear mongering?  Yes, they should.  I work in the industry and do a lot of work to understand the security issues.  It has been hijacked by security consultants and the intelligence services to scare people and increase budgets...and its worked.

And before someone screams "what about the Ukraine", it was an isolated part of Kiev only and lasted for less than hour.  And that was a nation-state putting significant resources into doing it.  It actually proves my point.  That malware would have to be modified for every SCADA configuration, and that numbers in the tens of thousands.  It would require someone who has a fairly detailed knowledge of the specific devices and configuration of a transmission grid, distribution grid, or power gen source.  Not impossible, incredibly difficult.  I knocking out significant power for a long time an important goal for a large part of a country, physical attack is probably more cost effective.

This, a million times this. 

1 hour ago, Vanir Ausf B said:

You sure about that?

The red you are seeing is not the rocket still burning, it is the phosphorus burning to act as a tracer to make guiding the weapon easier for the operator. This red ring is not visible from the front of the missile, so if you are the one being shot at, you do not see the red. 

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1 hour ago, Vanir Ausf B said:

You sure about that?

Many missiles have two rocket engines in them - the booster and the sustainer.  The booster is a large thrust big firey rocket engine to kick it up to speed, and then the sustainer keeps it at a constant speed through the rest of the flight.  However, TOW is not one of those missiles in a traditional sense.  It still has two motors, a very short burning launch motor that gets it out of the tube, then a short delay before the flight motor kicks in and burns for the aforementioned ~2 seconds.

Missiles like the Shturm and Konkurs steer using the rocket motor, so they have a much longer burning sustainer.

QhghLN8.jpg

This cutaway of the Konkurs here is (beyond being very cool) also demonstrative of the flight motor.  There's a composite propellant end-burning solid rocket motor in the middle of the missile (the black bit).  It will burn out probably after five or six seconds.  However, it is missing a component.

konkurs_l3.jpg

The black cylinder at the aft end of the rocket here is the boost motor that kicks the missile out of the launcher and gets it up to speed.  This, like in the TOW will burn for a fraction of a second after which the sustainer kicks in. B)

6 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

The red you are seeing is not the rocket still burning, it is the phosphorus burning to act as a tracer to make guiding the weapon easier for the operator. This red ring is not visible from the front of the missile, so if you are the one being shot at, you do not see the red. 

Yup! The computer also tracks that tracer so it can keep it in the middle of the crosshairs.

1 hour ago, John Kettler said:

Finally, if I were the Russians, I'd make a bunch of lasers of the type that get the LWR worked up, spread them around the battlefield and light up every American tank, IFV and APC I could find. This would cause all sorts of additional stress, distraction and rapid decrease in countermeasure capability. There aren't very many cycles of popping smoke or broadband obscurants, after all.

Sounds almost like PSYOPS!  Reducing trust in their equipment is pretty sneaky.

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Vanir Ausf B,

Dead certain. What you're seeing isn't rocket propeelant burning but the tracking beacon. Ought to know, since I worked for the firm, Hughes Aircraft Company Missile Systems Group, that built them at least clear into TOW 2B before Raytheon bought the firm. That missile had both the old style beacon and the "waffle iron" IR souce which allowed the system to work through WX, smoke, dust that the other beacon couldn't. My department, Operations Analysis, did effectiveness studies on numerous TOW missiles, launchers and sights for a host of platforms. Have watched lots of TOW footage. 

Herr Tom,

I have a twisted mind that thinks about nasty tricks like that. During the Cold War, in INFANTRY magazine there was a piece on using a post, to which was nailed a tin can and in whichwas placed a grenade simulator. Boom! Instant missile launch flash to bedevil the assaulting Russian horde trying to find the TOW launchers and kill them. My approach is much higher tech and far more expensive but can cause alll sorts of havoc with but one sweep of the traverse arc. 

Regards,

John Kettler

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"The kind of reaction times we see in those simulated Abrams would be correct under the assumption that the US Army has developed a system that tracks potential threats in real time and then takes control of the vehicles from their human operators to ensure that the Abrams offers its strongest aspect to the incoming missile. "

My understanding is that LWS on tanks already does this.  If a laser targeting is detected, the turret is automatically oriented to the threat and smoke is discharged.  It can be overridden through a quick switch, but I saw a demonstration of it and its how the T-90 works in CMSF.  But that is only for laser.  There is no threat detection for IR or wire guided ATGM missiles, except radar-based AMP.

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19 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

Not true. Electronic warfare has been around for decades, and the US is actually quite well prepared for it. This is another overblown exaggeration by clickbait articles from places like Popsci and the like. The fact is, the Ukrainians were vulnerable to EW because most of their systems aren't hardened against this, and because they began using unsecured devices (the infamous artillery app being a good example) to communicate, which were easily intercepted. 

As to the effects on command and control, this too has been addressed decades in advance. US doctrine is all about being highly decentralized. Commanders in the field do not need to be in constant contact with the Pentagon in order to function. Further, cyber warfare does not make combustion engines stop, or bullets fail to fire. Land navigation is still taught with a physical map and compass, marksmanship still requires soldiers to hit targets with their personal rifles, etc etc. 

Cyber warfare is more of a first strike type of weapon, like an EMP before a nuclear strike. Its purpose is to confuse and make it difficult to collect immediate intelligence on a large situation, thus giving the attacker the advantage and initiative. Beyond that, its actual battlefield applications are limited. Anything EW/Cyber warfare can disrupt on the battlefield, can easily be overcome by those on the battlefield. 

Also not true. The Russian military is NOT the Soviet juggernaut. For example, todays Russian military has around 500 T-90 tanks. In comparison, the US operates over 4000 Abrams, with about half of those being the M1A2. The only way Russia could hope to outnumber the US alone, disregarding NATO, would be to carry out a lightning strike over the course of 72 hours or so. However it is doubtful whether or not the Russian military in its current state could even do that against a near peer opponent. The US rotates units through Eastern Europe as a deterrent to Russia attempting a quick strike against a neighbor, as they would be close by to respond. They are not there to man the frontier like they did during the Cold War. Its a key difference lost on many. As to the artillery comment, this assumes that only the Russians are using indirect fire, which would not be the case. And again, it is not April 1945 anymore. The Russians don't have hordes of artillery divisions with the express purpose of deleting gridsquares anymore. 

Also, there are plenty of battles in CMBS that are not strictly "balanced." Anyone can make a QB or a battle in the editor, and there is nothing there that forces balance. In fact, a good number of the campaign missions put the player up against very difficult situations.

Again, this is just a regurgitation of a gross generalization that isn't true in reality. The US does not use air power as a crutch. If air power is not available, it does not mean that the West will fall. This is another meme that needs to die. Even in conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan where there is total air dominance, the use of tactical air strikes (CAS) is the exception, not the rule. For every firefight that ended with a JDAM strike, or an AC-130 showing up, there are probably 9 firefights that were resolved without the use of air power. 

Also, Russia does not have more 4th generation aircraft than the US, let alone NATO. The Russians operate around 70 Su-35s. That is half the number of F-22s operated by the US, and much fewer than the number of F-15s and F-16s operated by US and NATO countries. Again, this is all based on the false generalization that the modern day Russian military is just as big, powerful, and capable as the Soviets were. It isn't. 

Yes, and before and after the A-10 existed, no one expected the aircraft to be able to cartwheel through enemy air defenses and lay waste to everything it encountered. The US and Coalition forces spent a month reducing the Iraqi military's air force and air defense network before the sky was considered secure. The famous highway of death happened after that month of securing air superiority. Planes are piloted by people, and people generally do not like throwing their lives away in obvious suicide missions. The idea that the knee jerk reaction to any military situation is to throw planes at it has never been the case. In fact, it was tried once in history, during the 1973 Yom Kippur war, and the Israeli airforce suffered massive casualties. Of course, they didn't know they were flying into a highly advanced (for the time) SAM shield. If Russia were to ever do anything, NATO does know they would be operating under a complex, advanced air defense network, and would not just throw planes and pilots to their deaths willy nilly. 

Those 4000 Abhrams tanks are spread out and no way they could be concentrated at the point of attack in a timely manner. What matters is what you would have at the point of attack when you need it. 

The US would have to marshal those heavy forces and then ship them to ports in Europe and then reassemble them. 

For Russia reinforcing an initial assault with follow up forces is a simpler process.

The Russians hold regular snap drills with sizable forces. 

As for cyber attacks the Russians wouldn’t have to target the USA. They could concentrate on selected targets in Europe. Crippling the infrastructure especially anything related to what would be needed to reinforce the NATO forces would suffice.

There are a lot of other things they could do.

The US Forces deployed to counter Russia are formitable but probably more of a deterrent in the sense that it would make Russia realize it would be starting a war with NATO and the US. I really don’t think it’s expected to stop a determined Russian assault.

Another thing to keep in mind is if we get into a war elsewhere say Korea then we would really be hard pressed to halt a Russian advance should they choose to take advantage of the situation 

 

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5 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

"The kind of reaction times we see in those simulated Abrams would be correct under the assumption that the US Army has developed a system that tracks potential threats in real time and then takes control of the vehicles from their human operators to ensure that the Abrams offers its strongest aspect to the incoming missile. "

My understanding is that LWS on tanks already does this.  If a laser targeting is detected, the turret is automatically oriented to the threat and smoke is discharged.  It can be overridden through a quick switch, but I saw a demonstration of it and its how the T-90 works in CMSF.  But that is only for laser.  There is no threat detection for IR or wire guided ATGM missiles, except radar-based AMP.

 

Interesting, thanks, @Thewood1

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15 minutes ago, db_zero said:

Those 4000 Abhrams tanks are spread out and no way they could be concentrated at the point of attack in a timely manner. What matters is what you would have at the point of attack when you need it.

Yes, which is why during the Cold War the US Army was forward deployed, whereas nowadays there are only annual rotations sent through Eastern Europe. These forces aren't meant to be forward deployed, they're meant to be a friendly reminder to Russia not to try anything conventional. Russia is not a stupid power run by stupid people. They understand the warning. Again, this isn't some new East vs West armored standoff. It's not Fulda Gap part two. 

24 minutes ago, db_zero said:

The Russians hold regular snap drills with sizable forces.

Overly choreographed exercises don't count.

24 minutes ago, db_zero said:

As for cyber attacks the Russians wouldn’t have to target the USA. They could concentrate on selected targets in Europe. Crippling the infrastructure especially anything related to what would be needed to reinforce the NATO forces would suffice

You can't cripple infrastructure unless you physically destroy it. Until a cyber attack can destroy highways, runways, burn down crops in the fields, destroy homes and blow up hospitals and schools, cyber attacks will make little if any difference in the long run. They're best use is to cause a few hours of confusion to by time for attacking forces. 

26 minutes ago, db_zero said:

There are a lot of other things they could do.

There really isn't. First and foremost, Russia knows that to engage in any overt military acts against neighbor states would ruin them internationally. As I said, the Russians are not stupid. They won't be blitzkrieging anyone anytime soon. Further, its doubtful they even have the capability to carry out a full on large scale conventional military operation, regardless of NATO. The Russian military is quite limited in its capabilities. They are not the Soviets.

35 minutes ago, db_zero said:

The US Forces deployed to counter Russia are formitable but probably more of a deterrent in the sense that it would make Russia realize it would be starting a war with NATO and the US.

Yes

35 minutes ago, db_zero said:

I really don’t think it’s expected to stop a determined Russian assault.

If the deterrent forces were in position, they could stop a determined Russian assault. The amount of hardware a deployed Brigade Combat Team has is more than enough to hold its own. After all, that was the whole reason the BCT was created. Combine that with NATO literally being right there, and its easy to see a handful of BCT's holding their own long enough for support to arrive. 

42 minutes ago, db_zero said:

Another thing to keep in mind is if we get into a war elsewhere say Korea then we would really be hard pressed to halt a Russian advance should they choose to take advantage of the situation 

The Russians aren't stupid. 

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14 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

The red you are seeing is not the rocket still burning, it is the phosphorus burning to act as a tracer to make guiding the weapon easier for the operator. This red ring is not visible from the front of the missile, so if you are the one being shot at, you do not see the red. 

14 hours ago, HerrTom said:

Many missiles have two rocket engines in them - the booster and the sustainer.  The booster is a large thrust big firey rocket engine to kick it up to speed, and then the sustainer keeps it at a constant speed through the rest of the flight.  However, TOW is not one of those missiles in a traditional sense.  It still has two motors, a very short burning launch motor that gets it out of the tube, then a short delay before the flight motor kicks in and burns for the aforementioned ~2 seconds.

Missiles like the Shturm and Konkurs steer using the rocket motor, so they have a much longer burning sustainer.

Good info. Thanks.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B

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