So i've played through 1-5 so far, 1-4 were simple and straight forward but i found 5 to be somewhat a challenge although i found some of the advice in the pop ups to be wrong- one key bit of advice was to have my recon plane circling the enemy AB at 20k feet so its' safe from mobile SAMs and AAA but it wasnt. This was because the ground altitude of at least one SAM (the one that shot my Tomcat recon plane down) was at 735 feet meaning the actual safe altitude for my plane was 20,736 feet. So it got shot down but as soon as it was engaged i ordered the F-14 to climb to max altitude and as it was climbing it should have got out of range of the SA-8's missiles but it didnt and was shot down. Hmmm. My F-14 got up to at least 25k feet at the time when the one lethal Sa-8 hit home so that was odd.
I dont want to write a long essay on this but as brief as possible, how i went about this was i first got both my recon planes airborne which was a mistake, should have been one. Never mind, i had these investigate the two Big Back radars to first check if mobile SAMs or AAA was present. There wasnt any so i ordered one plane to strafe the Northern radar with guns and the other plane strafe the Southern radar. With those destroyed they then proceeded to recce the SA-2's. As the Big Backs were providing radar coverage the SA-2's spoon rests were off but i knew they had TV cameras and it was daytime so i decided to have them probe them to see if they spotted my planes and engaged them. They did at about 11nm...all i had my planes do was hit the deck and the missiles lost track. My plan then was to get both my jammers airborne with their single HARMs, get their HARMs within range and bait the SA-2s into shooting my recon planes so their Fan Song FCR's are activated to guide their missiles, and then have my jammers fire HARMs so they would target the Fan Song. The northern SA-2 was successfully suppressed, the HARM actually destroyed its Spoon Rest, Fan Song, 1 Sa-7 section and 2 Sa-2 launchers. However the HARM that targeted the Southern SA-2 malfunctioned so no harm done to that (sorry for the pun). This pushed back the time i wanted my raid to go in because i wanted both SA-2's suppressed using only my jammers' HARMs so that i had all other a/c with their weapons concentrated on the AB targets and neutralizing its mobile SAM and AAA threat. So then i ordered all a/c to RTB and would have to wait 6 hours for my jammer a/c to be ready to go again. Preying at least one HARM wouldnt malfunction so it would destroy the Fan Song of the one remaining SA-2.
Once ready off they went again both jammers and this time just the single recon plane. The first HARM fired did the job on the Southern SA-2 so now i had the safety net of high altitude over the AB....but i didnt even end up using it. I then had both jammers turn on their jammers whilst one was positioned about 12nm East of the AB and the other 12nm North of it whilst i had my recon plane go in at 20k feet to find which parking space was taken up by Migs and to locate and ID any mobile SAMs/AAA. As i already mentioned almost straight away near the AB my recon plane descended to 20k feet, managed to evade/spoof 3 SA-8 missiles before getting splashed but before it did, it managed to ID the SA-8 that engaged it, as well as ID another SAM and a AAA battery along with two others classed only as "mobile". So at this point i know theres' at least one SA-8 possibly another and at least one AAA battery. Without thinking too much i presumed the AAA would be KS-19's or something like that, i never considered for a second they'd be Shilkas.
Enough details...the targets i wanted to hit were the Runways and access points with GBU-24 penetrators, the 5 hangars with SLAM and Skippers, the large tarmac spaces that had 3 Migs parked on each to be targeted with Snakeeyes and the two smaller tarmac spaces housing 2 Migs targeted with CBU-59. For the enemy AD i wanted SAMs targeted by Mavericks and AAA targeted by CBU-59 (little did i know they were Shilkas at the time).
Heres' my end losses and expenditures:
2x A-6E Intruder
4x F/A-18C Hornet
1x F-14B Tomcat
9x 20mm/85 M61A1 Vulcan Burst [100 rnds]
3x AGM-123A Skipper II
4x AGM-65F Maverick IR
8x AGM-84E SLAM
4x AGM-88C HARM
6x CBU-59/B APAM [717 x BLU-77/B Dual-Purpose Bomblets]
12x GBU-24B/B Paveway III LGB [BLU-109A/B]
8x Generic Chaff Salvo [5x Cartridges]
112x Mk82 500lb Snakeeye
3x 23mm ZSU-23-4 Shilka
3x A/C Hangar (2x Medium Aircraft)
2x A/C Hangar (2x Small Aircraft)
1x AvGas (75k Liter Tank)
21x MiG-23MLD Flogger K
2x Radar (Big Back [5N69])
2x SA-2f Guideline Mod 1 Single Rail
1x SA-7a Grail [9K32 Strela-2] MANPADS
2x SA-8b Gecko Mod-0 [9A33BM2] TELAR
2x Vehicle (Fan Song F [RSNA-75M])
2x Vehicle (Spoon Rest C [P-12])
99x 23mm ZSU-23-4 Shilka Burst [50 rnds]
22x SA-2f Guideline Mod 1 [S-75M2 Volkhov, 5YA23 / V-759]
15x SA-8b Gecko Mod-0 [9M33M2]
So as you can see in total 7 a/c lost, 6 of those lost in the actual raid and this was down to one silly oversight in that i should have changed those a/c dropping ordinance at say 20,800 feet instead of 400 ft AGL. Those downed were two Intruders with Snakeeyes and four Hornets two of which had the HARMs and CBU's and two with just CBU's. All i had to do was alter their ingress and IP altitudes so they were above the SA-8's range. They would have been less accurate and might not have destroyed all the air defences but i'm sure with each Intruder packing 28 Snakeeyes even at over 20k feet they would have still hit the Migs in those parking spaces.
In terms of success with objectives hit it was almost a complete success except for one large tarmac space housing 3 Migs. The Intruder tasked with striking that was shot down before it could release its bombs. Other than that, 21 of 24 Migs all destroyed almost the entire regiment with both runways and access points having 99.9% damage with fires. Good result in terms of targets struck but losses too heavy especially when they could easily have been avoided.
Thoughts anyone? oh and it seemed like my jammers were useless but never mind.