From: Dusty town, somewhere inside central valley of CA
As far as I am aware, only Soviet vehicle produced with thermals in 1980s was PRP-4, and possibly a very limited number of battalion level command T-80UK. As I understand, PRP-4 (and earlier PRP-3 which used illumination flare projectors instead of thermals) is an artillery fire control vehicles. It was planned to be introduced by DDR, but fall of Berlin wall put an end to that. A 50 element thermal imager Agava-1 was available in 1983 for use on the T-80BV but the Soviet Army decided to wait for a 128 element detector that would become Agava-2. Since they didn't have bulk production of the semi-conductor needed to make those detectors at the time, it delayed the introduction of a tank thermal sight by almost a decade.
As far as BRM-1, I think one vehicle was assigned to each recce company of a motorized rifle, tank or artillery unit. In Warsaw Pact, it seems it was not so common, for example I have noted that Czechoslovakia and DDR had only 15 vehicles each. In any case, it is not in game because we haven't modeled ground radars. In my mind, ground radars could identify enemy units with yellow NATO symbols similar or identical in manner that you have at game start, but it would give significant advantage to player and I guess maybe nothing for AI, but I might be wrong on that.
Thank you for your answer.
Regarding radar, it cannot show the yellow icon of "all units" on all over the map. It is ground based radar, and electromagnetic wave from radar cannot be bent (unless there is Black hole or super heavy gravity), so mountains, buildings, any other obstacles can block the radar signal and reflected signal, just like current IR and visible wavelength signals blocked by all obstacles. In other words, radar signal is also "light" just in different wavelength.
So, you can just regard radar signal as the same with IR or visible light, which can be blocked by various obstacle of the map, just like optics and IR blocked. However, for radar, maximum possible range for "seeing" unit should be increased when compared to visible light optics. But you should looking for any maximum / effective range of Tall Mike radar from any literature. I think it should have better detection range for vehicles than infantry. Also, resolution is also important for decision of effective range for observation.
Also, radar signal might be able to see through the smoke and fog. But now this requires some information about Tall Mike radar. As far as I know Tall Mike is not using millimeter wave signal (I'm not sure). So the degree of "seeing through fog and smoke" depends on which wavelength it is using, and how strong the signal is. For AB, I think it would be OK to assume that Tall Mike radar signal only suffers very small interference due to bad weather or smoke. (like 10~15% only, maybe?) But, based on fact that heavy thunderstorm condition can interfere almost all possible wavelength, really bad weather like thunderstorm should also interfere with Tall Mike radar and millimeter wave radar.
One other important aspect is resolution. You studied thermal imaging system of cold war for this game, and we all know 1st gen thermals had bad resolution. If the unit is too far, at least gunners can see some bright thermal signals on the screen, but they can't tell what is that, or any detail of the target. (But from my experience of SB Pro, I think even 1st gen thermals is OK-ish to tell the detail and recognize the tank, up to 2000m~2500m)
For tall mike radar, I don't know about its resolution. But seeing the size of radar dish is not that big (resolution of any telescope depends on diameter of lens, including radio telescope) I guess the tall mike radar's resolution would not be in good level. From pictures, I think radar dish has dimension of about 1m in lateral direction.
I think, it would be good to detect moving target, especially the faster the better. But if the target is stationary, radar operator couldn't tell what is the reflected signal. It would be hard to distinguish rocks, houses or buildings, or tank or vehicle if the target is not moving at all. So, if AB game system allows, please give different spotting chance to stationary target and moving target.
Because of this resolution issue, practical maximum range would be much shorter than theoretical maximum range of detection for Tall Mike radar. From my guess, for Tall Mike radar in AB, it would be OK to give detection range of 6~7km against the vehicle, and 1/3 against infantry, and give less interference factor due to smoke or weather than visible light. But this is just purely my guess. In short, I think Tall Mike radar would be very close to "slightly better or comparable to thermal sight" in current AB sight/spotting system.
If Soviets had one BRM-1 vehicle in recce company per unit (I guess battalion in this case? or brigade?), than it should moderate price for Russians. But if DDR and Czech had only a few, then BRM-1 should be very expensive for those nations. May I ask about Polish?
< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 7/6/2019 7:12:02 PM >