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How is the mechanism of APS in this game?


exsonic01
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From my test and campaign experience, I found that the APS is not always working (though it is rare event).

 

Trophy, Arena, and Shtora are supposed to automatically intercept (and interfere for Shrota) atgms (like Kornet and Tow2b) with high success rate, whether the crew identified / recognized ATGM threat or not. However, I found that those APS systems are not always reacting. My Kornet killed Bradley by front turret penetration, though he had APS, and he was not moving. My T90a's Shtora didn't do anything with tow2b missile, although it was 12o'clock direction, and my tank was idling.

 

Most of the time I feel APS works fine. This only happens with rare chance. In addition, sometimes I 'feel' that the AI vehicle's APS a bit more occasionally miss the incoming ATGMs.

 

Is this supposed to be like this? Are there some kind of 'chance to react' against atgms for those APS systems? (Both in game and in real) Or APS's radar failed to catch the threat? Or APS reacted but missed? Or simply they were unlucky? I'm really curious since the manual just didn't opened the details.

Edited by exsonic01
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1. No APS is perfect, and there will be occasional leakers.  Remember you're basically shooting bullets at bullets*, even a small failure might totally bugger the intercept.  Also Russian APS is unable to deal with high angle approaches like the Javelin.

 

2. Shtora in game is  only reliable against Ukrainian systems.  It is simply not even capable of confusing a Javelin given the methodology of the jammer and the seeker (shtora confuses SACLOS type systems that use a flare to track missile location, Javelin "remembers" the thermal profile of its intended target** and tracks it accordingly), and the TOW-2B has been updated after someone got a shtora into US hands (which doesn't make the TOW-2B immune, nearly as much as it makes it much less likely to accept the shtora's jamming as legitimate signals)

 

*Okay not quite bullets, but it's still fast moving pieces interacting, even fairly modest problems or delays can cause an APS to totally whiff. 

 

**It is not a heat seeker in that it is not looking for any source of heat, as much as it's like if I showed you a picture of a person and then told you to go find them in a room. 

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Also, two missiles fired in rapid succession, one immediately after the other, will stand a higher chance of defeating all APS.  This is because APS will need to take a short time to reset.

 

I haven't noticed a significant difference when testing, but I'd need to go back and re-run the test to get you numbers. It appears that the minimum volley size is three to reap benefits against the T-90's APS with the Abrams' (apex predator of the CMBS battlefield) APS knocking down four out of six fired in a single volley during one test.

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No, two will get through most of the time, assuming neither hits anything else on its way to the tank. Although this may vary by missile type.

 

Hmm, I have the game open right now to run tests and I'm not seeing it. What I am seeing is the APS refusing to engage very near misses that do gradual damage to tracks and various soft systems depending where they impact around the tank. The final clip in my video shows exactly that, with a few RPGs splashing right around the tank and doing blast damage without a hit notification. The system seems to be nearly completely reliable at defeating multiple, closely spaced rockets with minimal difficulty, even at the upper end of volley sizes (4+).

 

Is it possible the behavior you describe has been broken in some subsequent iteration since you first observed it?

 

Edited by Apocal
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I have an idea what's happening. From the video it appears the game is not recognizing missiles incoming near the same time as salvo fire IF those missiles originated from different vehicles. But if the missiles originate from the same vehicle it does recognize it as salvo fire. I can't tell what type of vehicles those are, but try the same test with Khrizantema-S and you should see very different results.

 

I don't know if it's a bug or an oversight. Of course in reality the APS wouldn't know the difference. Having said that, the situation in your tests would be very unusual in actually gameplay.

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I have an idea what's happening. From the video it appears the game is not recognizing missiles incoming near the same time as salvo fire IF those missiles originated from different vehicles. But if the missiles originate from the same vehicle it does recognize it as salvo fire. I can't tell what type of vehicles those are, but try the same test with Khrizantema-S and you should see very different results.

 

Alright, I'll give it a shot and see how it goes.

 

I don't know if it's a bug or an oversight. Of course in reality the APS wouldn't know the difference. Having said that, the situation in your tests would be very unusual in actually gameplay.

 

Only in scale. From what I seen playing online so far, players break off the AT portions of their squads and mass them to attempt to overcome APS. That is what originally twigged me onto the fact that APS -- as currently simulated -- can't reliably be overwhelmed by volley, only exhausted by expenditure. Obviously there is an element of "best case" here, but the more realistic runs just mean nothing hurts the APS protected tank ever, since teams don't have an built-in "fire in volleys" behavior.

Edited by Apocal
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exsonic01,

 

Maybe I can help. I used to work for the firm that made the TOW. Both TOW and ITOW used a xenon beacon which was tracked by the guidance system on the launcher, with steering corrections automatically generated by the position of the crosshairs on the target. The missile tracker could be interrupted by both battlefield dust and other environmental effects, but also by vehicular smoke (diesel on exhaust manifold) artillery smoke and smoke grenades. The idea behind Shtora was to deceive the TOW guidance system by making it think the false optical signal was the real one by first "outshouting" the tracker beacon, then feeding false information back to the launcher designed to cause the TOW to break tracker lock and crash.

 

TOW 2 shifted from the optical band xenon beacon to the thermal band "waffle iron," a heated honeycomb structure on the missile's rear. ISTR the xenon beacon was retained for the sake of backwards compatibility with earlier launchers lacking thermal sights. This was important because TOW 2 had a much more powerful warhead which now was the diameter of the missile body, making the missile lethal to much more serious threats than either TOW or ITOW could handle.

 

That was a kluge, but the real value of the TOW 2, TOW 2A and TOW 2B lay precisely in using the thermal beacon as primary guidance. Since thermal sights, such as the AN/TAS-4 night sight on the TOW, can see right through battlefield obscurants, vehicular smoke, artillery smoke, visual band AFV deployed obscurants and most WX with ease, this makes the countermeasure problem much more difficult. Strobing lights aren't going to cut it, which is why Arena was integrated. It provides hard kill to deal with whatever can't be caused to crash or driven off course. Defeating any TOW of the types named requires breaking the SACLOS link driven by being able to see the beacon from the launcher. TOW 2B Aero uses RF command guidance, so Shtora is helpless against it from a direct EOCM perspective.

 

Javelin uses an IIR (Imaging InfraRed) seeker which operates on fundamentally different principles than does TOW. With Javelin, the countermeasures are no longer working at breaking a command link, but at hiding from, misdirecting or destroying the missile seeker, whose guidance computer knows what your AFV looks like and is coming for you! Unlike, say, a UKR Corsar, which is a LBR missile, Javelin emits nothing, locks on and launches. Once it's away, you can shoot the operator squarely between the eyes, and the missile will very likely still kill you. If you do the same thing to the Corsar operator before missile impact, the missile will crash, and he will die. That is the power of Fire and Forget. If the Javelin comes in horizontally, then Arena has a good chance of defeating it. but for the sake of keeping the vital on the steppes vertical profile low, Russian tankers have an APS which simply can't deal with high divers which come in over its vertical coverage.

 

No system is perfect, and if BFC has carried the concept over from CMx1, there are things modeled in the game via fuzzy logic, in which weapon performance generally, depending on under the hood values set, will go a certain way, but not always. APS in the game, regardless of which particular type, even if the threat is in the engagement envelope, will generally do a great job, but it won't do a perfect job. The purpose of APS isn't saving a particular tank, but rather, protecting the armored herd as a whole and keeping more of its elements in battle, longer.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler 

Edited by John Kettler
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Interestingly enough I just tested this with Russian AT-13 teams vs. Abrams APS, five teams per tank. The Abrams get wrecked. Seems to be working more-or-less correctly.

 

Because the APS only has four shots.

 

 

Good quesions.

 

Anyone tried to attack it at very close distance? Have it deadzone?

 

Practically speaking, there isn't a close-range deadzone: initiating an RPG ambush from 23-30m meters resulted in four RPGs knocked down.

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I ran the test again reducing the shooters to 4 per tank. I discarded hits that occurred after the tank had already been destroyed. In 2 test runs there were 11 intercepts and 5 hits, 5 out of 6 tanks destroyed.

 

I'm not seeing that outcome on my end.

 

Just to be certain, I went back, made sure all the skills were leveled out at Regular and re-ran the test a bunch of times:

 

Apparently I was wrong about their being only four shots on the Abrams APS -- it is more like four in single volley and a few seconds suffices to reload another 2-3 shots. At 0:53 in the video, you see the perfect setup: four simultaneous shots. All are intercepted.

 

Are you running a later version than 1.01?

 

edit: I'm not saying you're lying or anything, I'm just showing that this is not happening from my end. I'm reproducing this behavior in normal gameplay as well, although it is a messier process since line of sight is thorny and teams don't always like to fire in volleys. But the APS is a bit godlike.

Edited by Apocal
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I think the discrepancy in our results is from the orientation of the tanks. You are testing with the tank facing towards the shooters. I am testing with the tank facing away at a 90° angle. Turn it to the side and see what happens.

 

My knowledge of APS systems is limited, but it's my understanding that they have overlapping coverage to the front of the vehicle, so missiles approaching from the side are facing fewer interceptors.

 

It's still possible to get through from the front, although it does appear that some types of missile are much better at it than others. The Khrizantema in particular is very dangerous from any aspect, perhaps because of its high speed.

 

And yes I am using 1.01.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B
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Apocal,

 

Crew quality, morale, fatigue state and any other such matter shouldn't affect the outcome at all. We're testing an APS operating in automatic mode, not some sort of APS operating under manual control. Contrariwise, the radar which makes it all possible has a manual On/Off switch the TC controls. If the radar's off because someone forgot... Presumably, BFC models the APS as On all the time. Even so, there does appear to be a weak link. Shtora requires the TC to hit a button when his tank is lased. This automatically turns the turret in the direction from which came the laser beam. Thus, a slow reaction time on the TC's end might find the tank turret wide open from behind it (tank turret 180 degrees away from threat), or with limited coverage redundancy, for Arena can't automatically engage if the coverage zone doesn't include the inbound projectile. Incoming threats barely in angular sector also stand a better chance of getting through than do those more fully in coverage, too.

 

Vanir Ausf B,

 

Arena covers 300 degrees, leaving only the turret rear exposed. 26 APS projectiles in dispensers. If sectors are evenly divided, this works out to one projectile for every 11.5 degrees of protected zone. Can't speak to Trophy, since I know very little about it, though Rafael Industries doe have a great firing test vid.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

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Apocal,

 

Crew quality, morale, fatigue state and any other such matter shouldn't affect the outcome at all. We're testing an APS operating in automatic mode, not some sort of APS operating under manual control. Contrariwise, the radar which makes it all possible has a manual On/Off switch the TC controls. If the radar's off because someone forgot... Presumably, BFC models the APS as On all the time. Even so, there does appear to be a weak link. Shtora requires the TC to hit a button when his tank is lased. This automatically turns the turret in the direction from which came the laser beam. Thus, a slow reaction time on the TC's end might find the tank turret wide open from behind it (tank turret 180 degrees away from threat), or with limited coverage redundancy, for Arena can't automatically engage if the coverage zone doesn't include the inbound projectile. Incoming threats barely in angular sector also stand a better chance of getting through than do those more fully in coverage, too.

 

Vanir Ausf B,

 

Arena covers 300 degrees, leaving only the turret rear exposed. 26 APS projectiles in dispensers. If sectors are evenly divided, this works out to one projectile for every 11.5 degrees of protected zone. Can't speak to Trophy, since I know very little about it, though Rafael Industries doe have a great firing test vid.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

 

That is old Arena, like on BMP-3M in game.  Newer Arena has better coverage, fewer kill munitions.

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Vanir Ausf B,

 

Arena covers 300 degrees, leaving only the turret rear exposed. 26 APS projectiles in dispensers. If sectors are evenly divided, this works out to one projectile for every 11.5 degrees of protected zone. Can't speak to Trophy, since I know very little about it, though Rafael Industries doe have a great firing test vid.

 

Trophy has two launchers, one on each side of the vehicle.

 

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