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Russian Air Support Needs AI Change


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If Trophy APS is realistically as insanely effective against all forms of ATGM from every angle, including the massive Kh-25 which is a rough equivalent to Maverick, Russian air support AI needs to change to use cannons first to strip the APS.  I've done a few tests using two SU-25s against just a single platoon of Abrams, all equipped with APS, and the Frogfoots were completely ineffective at even making a dent until they used their cannon and stripped the external systems from the Abrams, but at this point the missiles were expended.  This happened every time (5 tests).  Helicopters were a little more effective only because they had enough missiles to keep shooting after the APS was expended.

 

I'm absolutely certain that if Trophy isn't bugged and is really this much proof against every kind of ATGM threat until it runs out of ammo, the Russian pilots would try to strip this system off their targets before they waste valuable ATGMS to explode harmlessly a few meters from their target every time. 

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Alan8325,

 

There is no way a warhead that big should "explode harmlessly." I say this because during the Yom Kippur War, an Israeli general was complaining about the devastating effects the AGM-65 Maverick (television guided) had on Egyptian tanks. Quote from the then SECRET WSEG (Weapon System Evaluation Group) report "Your Maverick blows up the Egyptian tanks it hits so thoroughly even we can't fix them." I worked at Hughes Missile Systems Group, where the Maverick was our product. The pilot normally locked the seeker gates on the tank, with the above result. The running joke at Hughes is that we only had a warhead on it in case the Maverick missed. Here's why. Hughes engineers passed the word for the pilots to lock onto the tank's shadow, a nice high contrast target in the desert, and typically a fair distance form the tank, depending on sun angle. The Maverick, sporting a 173 lb shaped charge warhead, now hit near the tank, still completely wrecking the running gear, but leaving the tank repairable by the Israelis. The Kh-25 series, depending on the model, is running either a 196 lb/89 kg warhead or a 661 lb/300 kg warhead. Neither of these would be remotely beneficial to the tank's functionality, especially given airburst, with blast and frag smashing down from above on all sorts of goodies which don't like that sort of thing. APS was never envisioned to deal with such threats. Rather, it was designed to defeat shoulder fired AT rockets, SPG-9 type weapons and ATGMs. Kh-25 sort of blast and frag, that close (watch the test vids for how close--very), is going to ruin the tank as a functioning fighting vehicle and will likely incapacitate or kill the crew as well. How many tanks, after all, can survive an almost direct hit from a 250 pound bomb, let alone one in the 500 pound+ range? Put it this way. When the tank survivability trials are run, they don't involve such weapons going off at such ranges. For good reason. The outcome is obvious, and it doesn't require testing.

 

If your Kh-25s are exploding from APS, then the defended tank should be sustaining painful to lethal levels of damage. If that's not happening, then it's my considered opinion, as someone who was directly involved in Maverick weapon effectiveness studies and who watched the CLASSIFIED test footage for all the Mavericks through AGM-65F, that this is a problem urgently in need of correction. APS should provide no free ride against such a huge weapon. Suggest you run further trials and take a close look at the status of sensors, gun controls and the like on the successfully defended tank. Please let us know what you're finding or maybe post screenshots on the tank status.

 

Your stripping tactic sounds good, but I'm not sure how that would work. Actual A-10 open fire range vs light armor (ZSU-23/4) was 4000'/1219 m and 2000'/610 m vs tanks. The problem with this is your missile has a range of 32,800'/10 km. 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler
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I think you are probably right, John. The Kh-25 has a warhead weighting between 90 and 140 kg, depending on the version. Even if it is prematurely detonated by the APS, the explosive force and the shrapnel could do some damage to the external systems of the target vehicle, like the external 50 cal on the Abrams or the perisciopes maybe. Of course we are assumeing that the warhead is not just destroyed but that all the explosives

actually detonate.

 

EDIT: Recently i had a helicoptrer engage an APS equipped Bradley 3 turns in a rown with ATGMs. All 3 missiles were destroyed, no damage to the vehicle.

 


Your stripping tactic sounds good, but I'm not sure how that would work. Actual A-10 open fire range vs light armor (ZSU-23/4) was 4000'/1219 m and 2000'/610 m vs tanks. The problem with this is your missile has a range of 32,800'/10 km. 
 

 

Just make 2 passes or dont fire the missile from maximum range.

Edited by agusto
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As long as just 1 in 4 or so US armored vehicles are equipped with APS, Russian air support could still do some serious damage by firing missiles first. However you can be sure that infinite taxpayer money would be used to equip all vehicles with it within months if it's really as effective as depicted in game.

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Russian APS is nearly magical as well against missiles in it envelope, try playing as the Ukrainians if you don't believe me. :o

 

I agree that fully stopping Maverick sized missiles is a bug absent real proof otherwise.  The larger point though is that APS is about to become the default standard for first line armoured vehicles.  The only question is who learns this lesson the easy way, and who has to watching an armored brigade or two evaporate unnecessarily.  I assume the Russians are working frantically on overhead coverage.

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Thanks Chris that sounds like a great change!  I was thinking that maybe the blast and sound for the Kh-25 and Maverick should be increased too?  In game they seem kind of like just another anti tank missile, not something with a good fraction of the explosives of a bomb.  Maybe compare the blast values with other heat missiles in the game and make sure it is as much bigger as its mass indicates? 

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Nice!  I think an appropriate result of intercepting a Maverick or Kh-25 should be at least severe damage to top-mounted external systems on MBTs, probably knocking out the APS, and on lightly armored vehicles possibly knocking it out all together.  Good to hear that missiles will have a steeper attack profile and be harder to hit.

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Alan8325 and ChrisND,

 

Not only is it a big missile going off nearby, but Arena doesn't lock on until 10 to as little as 7.8 meters out, then still has to process the info before firing. This is a very good, though somewhat old (1998) ARMOR article presented by FAS on Active Protection Systems. Back then, Arena was in development, to give some idea, and BMP and BMD applications were deemed infeasible.

 

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/docs/3aps98.pdf

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler
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It's difficult to tell if APS is overpowered, or simply whether the abstraction is incorrect; for instance interception success may be 0 or 1 in the code and the outcome doesn't matter if the warhead is enormous or not. I'm sure BFC can introduce some detail to it. 

 

I suspect the efficiency of the units in terms of engagement is worryingly accurate - these things have had twenty years to mature. 

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