Thermobaric weapons (Full Version)

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nikolas93TS -> Thermobaric weapons (7/15/2019 10:57:10 PM)

Given the freshly released (and excellent) Chechnya Mod, we talked a bit about the feasibility and practicability of introducing thermobaric weapons, which have also been asked for a few times in past. However, keep in mind, this is not set in stone and for now remains just a possibility.

Thermobaric weapons have been likened to mini-nuclear devices or referred to as vacuum bombs that "suck the air from the lungs". The "usual" effects of an explosion, i.e. blast wave, overpressure, negative pressure and heat are of the same nature as those expected from a conventional high explosive, except that the duration of each effect is likely to be greater, increased from a few milliseconds to tens of milliseconds. They produce a much greater incidence of primary blast injury than conventional explosives. The weapons are particularly effective in enclosed spaces such as tunnels, buildings and field fortifications. Fireball and blast can travel around corners and penetrate areas inaccessible to bomb fragments. Blast waves are intensified when reflected by walls and other surfaces.

Whilst the United States has concentrated on airborne weapons, Russia has produced thermobaric weapons and warheads, from airborne bombs to grenade launchers and has employed this type of weaponry extensively in Afghanistan and Chechnya. The best known weapon is probably the RPO-A Shmel rocket infantry flame-thrower, which was used on both sides of the Chechnya conflict to defeat snipers and dug-in positions, and to clear caves. Thermobaric warheads are also employed in MRLSs like the TOS-1 (220mm, 30-round launcher). These two weapons are of greatest interest for current time-frame, as tactical thermobaric weapons proliferated only after the Cold War.

I proposed adding two new shell types, direct fire and indirect. Also, I was thinking that aerial bombs might be a bit outside of Armored Brigade scope.

However, what would be the effects? Troops in buildings would be even more vulnerable? Morale loss like for flamethrowers? What about vehicles? I read that that the effectiveness of the Shmel round has been compared to the 122mm artillery round, especially against buildings.

So, please put your (convincing) arguments on the table...

CCIP-subsim -> RE: Thermobaric weapons (7/16/2019 3:22:24 AM)

I'd certainly like to see the larger ones modeled - all the more topical considering that with campaigns we do have much more possibility for large-scale destruction [:)]

It's been a while since I modded it in there - but I'm reasonably happy with how the RPO-A round works in my Chechnya mod at the moment. It's basically close to one of the smaller RPG tubes in ballistics, and a good-sized artillery HE round in terms of damage. The only thing I haven't really tested much is whether it's good against defensive bunkers. But otherwise, it does work well against infantry in cover.

exsonic01 -> RE: Thermobaric weapons (7/16/2019 4:16:33 AM)

+1 to idea of thermobaric. Troops in buildings would take more damage and morale loss then conventional HE.

There were airborne FAE bombs and rockets during cold war for both US and USSR. Depending on weight, those airborne FAE bomb creates very immense pressure wave, enough to damage concrete bunker structure. Not sure about tanks, but might be good enough to give some damage to tanks. It would be good to model infantry thermobaric like RPO weak, only slight damage against light vehicle and good damage against infantry and no damage against heavy vehicle. But, one from airstrike or TOS-1 should have good enough ability to induce some damage to tanks, vehicles, bunker and buildings and people inside them.

And this could be used for the modeling of WP damage to infantry in the future.

I also played CCIP's RPO team, it was good modeling I guess. It would be good to depict with model of shorter duration napalm + HE with narrow damage radius for AB game engine. Thermobaric is very powerful within effective damage radius, and good against infantry in the cover. But its pressure wave quickly dissipates, that is why thermobaric has narrower effective damage radius the HE. Its effective damage radius and damage should be proportional to weight.

Maybe it would be great if thermobaric have separate visual and sound effect, clearly different and more dramatic then current HE and napalm one.

Is it possible to make buildings destructible in game with their own HP? If it is possible, thermobarics might be best way to blow up the small or weak building.

22sec -> RE: Thermobaric weapons (7/17/2019 12:46:23 AM)

Iíve always believed thermoberic weapons should be included. I would say we need direct fire, indirect fire and air launched weapons.

nikolas93TS -> RE: Thermobaric weapons (7/21/2019 10:09:25 PM)

I think air bombs are way too powerful for AB tactical scale.

exsonic01 -> RE: Thermobaric weapons (7/22/2019 3:46:20 AM)
This would be helpful for description of FAE. Check figure 2. FAE creates lower peak pressure than HE, but FAE creates longer negative pressure and thus bring longer pulse. For FAE, this heat + blast shockwave effect damages the structure, vehicle, and people inside the effective range.
On the other hand, HE bomb relies on fragment effect, rather than heat + pressure (HE's heat + pressure is more weaker). HE bomb would hard to induce damage to units behind the cover. But FAE would have more chance to damage units behind the cover. This is because FAE is using pressure wave, not fragments, as a main method to transfer energy. Fragments can be blocked by cover but pressure wave is not.

Because of fast pressure dissipation, FAE damage radius is smaller than HE of same weight, but induce more damage to structure and human inside the range when compared to HE of same weight. FAE does not rely on fragment effect, and this also makes the effective radius of FAE smaller than HE bomb. Fragment can travel far, but pressure wave is not.

People tends to overestimate FAE thanks to media. But FAE is not that strong bomb. Generally speaking, HE is better than FAE to induce damage due to HE + fragment effect, HE can be kinda all-around solution against multiple targets of vehicle and infantry. On the other hand, FAE's effective range is smaller than HE, and hard to damage heavy vehicle (unless it is direct hit) With the narrower damage radius than HE, sometimes FAE is used to bring surgical strike to reduce collateral damage.

One more thing, FAE should induce more morale damage to infantry survivors when compared to HE.

I think one could differentiate damage when the FAE is exploded in the building, and in the open. This makes huge damage difference.

Maybe it would be possible to abstract FAE damage, by distinguishing damage between unit inside the building and outside the building, inside the FAE effect radius. I guess it wouldn't be too different from HE, but give FAE narrower damage radius, and give more chance to damage infantry inside the building for FAE. Vehicles would be effected if it is airborne FAE, might hard to destroy, but can break some subsystems. If it is possible, damage should be inverse proportional to distance from FAE explosion center.

I guess it would be OK to depict airborne FAE as well as airborne big HE like Mk82 or Mk84 for AB. Why not? AB doesn't have area fire anyway, such big bombs will be great to suppress area. Give them expensive price. One could introduce political point, and make political point penalty to FAE bomb, chemical, and tac nuke in the future.

Interestingly, india seems developed 120mm FAE shell for tanks, not sure if that is mass produced or not.

ps) FAE is very good way to clear mine field.

22sec -> RE: Thermobaric weapons (7/22/2019 2:41:27 PM)


ORIGINAL: nikolas93TS

I think air bombs are way too powerful for AB tactical scale.

I think itís entirely realistic, and planned for by the Soviets, to use FAEís in any fight in Central Europe. I would advocate making one load out with FAEís for the Soviets to have available.

Perturabo -> RE: Thermobaric weapons (7/23/2019 7:01:08 PM)




ORIGINAL: nikolas93TS

I think air bombs are way too powerful for AB tactical scale.

I think itís entirely realistic, and planned for by the Soviets, to use FAEís in any fight in Central Europe. I would advocate making one load out with FAEís for the Soviets to have available.

Same here. Let's remember that max map size is 15kmx15km and force sizes are up to brigade. What would a 250kg FAE bomb do? Wipe out a single platoon?

nikolas93TS -> RE: Thermobaric weapons (7/24/2019 5:41:43 PM)

That is a good point.

However, we need to identify exact blast range for those 250kg bombs, as well indirect projectiles (which seem to be reserved to mostly 220mm rocket sized shells). Ditto for lethality, particularly against vehicles (in case if they have or not NBC overpressure system for example).

We seem to agree that there should be a penalty for troops in buildings (assuming it can be implemented without major changes in the game engine) and large morale hit. I assume that a certain chance could be added to clear the minefield if shell or bombs hits such a tile directly (still applying game engine criteria).

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