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DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/4/2019 4:45:10 PM   
DWReese

 

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I am working on a scenario involving a situation where China fires some of its DF-21D (Conventional) Carrier Killer missiles at the Ronald Reagan, and her escorts. The launcher normally has four missiles, but I added another launcher, for a total of eight missiles. (Perhaps someone can tell me if that is realistic or not.)

In any case, I have never played with these before, so I really didn't know what to expect. The 8 missiles weren't detected until just before they could have been shot at. They were traveling at 74.1 km, or 46 miles high.

They are traveling at over 6000 kts.

The Reagan's escorts begin shooting. They have these RIM-161B (and C) SAMs that can reach up to 1,000,000 feet. They also have RIM 156A missiles that can shoot up to 115,000 feet. The program allows for the RIM 156 A missiles to fire, even though the DF-21D missiles are currently much higher than that.

The RIM 161 missiles also travel at over 6000 kts, and they begin knocking the DF-21s out of the sky. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. (I don't know where that saying comes from.) First one, then another, then another, then another. Heck, this is going to be easy. Then, the first group of RIM 161 missiles finished, but there were still three DF-21s still coming.

Next up was the RIM 161A missiles. The RIM 156A missiles managed to take care of one of those as the DF-21 missiles, which had now dropped down to an altitude of 115,000 feet, which was the ceiling for the RIM 156A.

But, the DF-21s blew right on by the rest of them, leaving the remainder circling around and looking for targets. The DF-21s were now 24 miles away. The Reagan group did fire two more RIM 156A missiles, but neither could hit.

The Reagan group still had an ample number of RIM 161 missiles, but it did not fire. I assume that there is a ROF that precludes it from getting off a second wave of missiles. Perhaps someone will know if that is true.I couldn't find it if that is the case.

In any case, the CIWS and the guns could not fire, presumably due to the speed of the DF-21s.

Then, two of the DF-21s hit and sunk the Reagan. I've never seen that before. I was stupefied. Wow! I just kind of sat there looking at the screen as if it were real. I didn't think that it was possible.

So, in the aftermath, should Reagan's escorts have realistically been able to get off a second round of RIM 161s, or do they just travel too fast for that? I don't see anything as to how many RIM 161s can be controlled at once, or what the refresh is. Does anyone know?

Also, would China realistically have another launcher of DF-21s sitting around so that they would/could combine the two of them? Obviously, a group of four was easily destroyed by the Reagan group, but a group of eight DF-21s was two too much.

Any insight would be helpful.

Doug
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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/4/2019 7:43:23 PM   
TitaniumTrout

 

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I'm not sure on the specifics but I think the intent of the system is to do exactly as you saw. Saturate defenses and destroy high value targets. Whether or not the escorts should have gotten a second volley, I'm not sure. Quite possible the incoming missile could have exceeded capabilities for interception.

quote:

United States Naval Institute in 2009 stated that such a warhead would be large enough to destroy an aircraft carrier in one hit and that there was "currently ... no defense against it" if it worked as theorized.


quote:

The emergence of the DF-21D has some analysts claiming that the "carrier killer" missiles have rendered the American use of aircraft carriers obsolete, as they are too vulnerable in the face of the new weapon and not worth the expense. Military leaders in the U.S. Navy and Air Force, however, do not see it as a "game changer" to completely count carriers out. First, the missile may not be able to single-handedly destroy its target, as the warhead is believed to be enough to only inflict a "mission kill" to make a carrier unable to conduct flight operations. Secondly, there is the problem of finding its target.


Wikipedia Source



Just looking at the ranges the system seems tailored to specifically keep US Carriers from coming close enough to do naughty things to the Chinese mainland.

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/4/2019 7:59:13 PM   
FTBSS

 

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The SM-3 ABM I believe has a minimum altitude as well as a maximum altitude so can only fire within those parameters my guess why a second volley never fired.

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/4/2019 10:01:42 PM   
DWReese

 

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If it's of any info, it did take both missiles to kill the carrier. The first did 59 percent damage, and the second finished her off.

I'm just not certain how many of these launchers does China have, and would there ever be a time where two launchers (4 missiles each) would ever be together like that. I suppose that they could, but is it more realistic to have them firing from separate locations?

Doug

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/4/2019 10:09:59 PM   
DWReese

 

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I'm pretty sure that the DF-21 was within the altitude window at the time. I do see that the minimum altitude is 330,000 feet, so I may be mistaken about what altitude the DF-21 was at when the missile was 24 miles out. I will have to go back and try to recreate it. It was a very interesting encounter.

The Rate Of Fire (ROF) for the RIM 161 would be interesting to know. IIRC, they were detected inside of 200 miles, so they may have reduced their attack window too.

Doug

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/4/2019 10:41:13 PM   
TitaniumTrout

 

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quote:

The U.S. Department of Defense in 2008 estimated that China had 60-80 missiles and 60 launchers;[8] approximately 10-11 missiles can be built annually.[9]


Given DoD expectations you can expect an additional 100 missiles. So that's 180 missiles spread between 60 launchers, if they didn't make any more.

I'm not sure if the TEL is deadbeat dad style, if so they could launch, displace, reload, launch, displace, reload. Now do that with a group of 8 and they've only used 15% of capacity. Even with conventional style it'd be a withering attack.

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/4/2019 11:43:43 PM   
DWReese

 

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Thanks. That is very helpful.

So, launching eight missiles at one time isn't such a far-fetched fantasy.

Doug

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/5/2019 12:00:17 AM   
TitaniumTrout

 

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Seeing as they need to be setup prior on a hardened concrete location I think you'd see as many launched as is possible to knock out however many carriers are in range. Arms Control Wonk Podcast had a good episode about North Korean mobile launchers and how this one test spot didn't have thick enough concrete and the blast completely destroyed it. So they could conceivably launch from a parking lot or something.

It'd be a huge gamble for both sides. First the US would have to know that the Chinese might launch them. The Chinese would gamble that the risk of striking a US carrier group would accomplish long term goals. It's a MAD thing, it buys the Chinese space. I'd bet the claims in the South China Sea corresponds to carrier strike capability. What good response does the US have that is proportional?

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/5/2019 12:06:27 AM   
DWReese

 

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Those are all things that obviously must be considered for sure. Under the "right" set of circumstances, I can see almost anything happening.

Doug


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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/5/2019 7:12:52 AM   
Filitch


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Interesting RAND research on U.S. - China adversal. China anti-surface capabilities are inspecting too.
https://www.rand.org/paf/projects/us-china-scorecard.html.

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/5/2019 10:50:19 AM   
SeaQueen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese
I am working on a scenario involving a situation where China fires some of its DF-21D (Conventional) Carrier Killer missiles at the Ronald Reagan, and her escorts. The launcher normally has four missiles, but I added another launcher, for a total of eight missiles. (Perhaps someone can tell me if that is realistic or not.)

..

Also, would China realistically have another launcher of DF-21s sitting around so that they would/could combine the two of them?


The way that the database represents the DF-21 is a little off. A single TEL can carry any version of the DF-21. It's the same vehicle. In terms of numbers, Wikipedia has an estimate of their inventory today. How many they have in the future is anyone's guess. It depends on how fast they're building them versus how fast they expire. I would assume they have more than the Wikipedia answer in the future.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Liberation_Army_Rocket_Force

This site has a OOB for the PLARF 2nd Artillery Corps as of 1999.

https://fas.org/nuke/guide/china/agency/2-corps.htm

It shows they have as many as 4 DF-21 brigades. Each one is capable of firing any version of the missile. The database representation of the DF-21 is of a battalion. There are 3-4 battalions in a regiment, and 3-4 regiments in a brigade. That means that if there's 4 tels in a battalion, there's 12-16 tels in a regiment, and 36-64 tels in a brigade. 4 brigades makes as many as 144-256 missiles sitting on TELs, ready to go when they push the button. What mix of DF-21A/B/C is sitting ready to go at any moment is probably anyone's guess, but if you figure the 50+ missiles in the Wikipedia page are equally divided among the 4 brigades, then they each have at least 12-13 DF-21D missiles that they could easily fire. In the future it's also possible that they might have more brigades.

It's possible to make other assumptions. Maybe all the DF-21Ds are concentrated in one brigade? In which case, they could shoot off a raid as big as 50+. Depending on where the carrier is located and the brigades deployed, maybe its in range of multiple brigades? In that case the raid could be as many as 50+ along multiple axis.

This is how I think about the problem. Does that help?




< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 2/5/2019 11:32:57 AM >

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/8/2019 5:43:46 AM   
Zanthra

 

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You should check to see if the Ronald Regan has doctrine setting that does not ignore EMCON when under attack and does not jam. The DF-21D has home on jam, and the carrier escort destroyers have signature enhancement ECM to make it difficult to distinguish between them and the carrier (I don't think the signature enhancement is explicitly modeled in the game). It would make it harder for the DF-21Ds to select the correct target as they approach if the destroyers are jamming and the carrier is not. If they go to home on jam, they will hit a destroyer and not the carrier.

Edit: Although some limited testing I did does show that the RVs seem to be glued to the carrier on approach. I had seen other missiles with active seekers and home on jam get distracted in that way, but they may have been targeted against ships with a bit less of a signature to start with. I think due to the way information is shared in the game, if a missile has a target and it gets any radar response at all from it, it can always tell that that is it's target and will never be fooled. The only way to get a missle to target something else if if it sees another valid target for some duration without seeing it's intended target it may switch.

< Message edited by Zanthra -- 2/8/2019 7:02:44 AM >

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/9/2019 9:58:45 AM   
DWReese

 

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Hi SeaQueen (and Zanthra),

Do you happen to know how the game actually guides (directs) these missiles, by that I mean the DF-21 and the SM-3?

From what I have read, both kind of depend on satellites. The carrier was being physically OBSERVED by a Chinese friendly in my game, but there was never any satellite present to ever guide it.

The SM-3 was also sans any satellite guidance. Should I have had any satellites in the game to guide it? Would that have improved the performance of either? If so, how to you even know where to start as far as which particular satellite does what? Are any specifically tasked for that job? Plus, how do you keep them in one place rather than having them continue to travel around the world?

Finally, Wikipedia seems to indicate that the only known US ships to carry the SM-3 missile are the CGs. There are no DDGs that have them listed. Are they really confined just to CGs? In trials, I know that the DDG Decatur fired some. It is difficult to create an accurate scenario if you aren't sure what ships are actually armed with SM-3s. If a Carrier Strike Group usually only has one CG with it, then that would be the only ship that would be able to fire. Many of the scenarios provided in the game seem to liberally place the SM-3s on DDGs without any hesitation. Are certain DDGs the only ones that can carry them? If so, which ones? I see no info on this anywhere.

This has seemed to open up a whole new world to me. I've never seen a whole carrier be destroyed before.

Thanks

Doug

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/9/2019 6:01:58 PM   
Zanthra

 

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From my understanding, when a missile is launched without a datalink (or a datalink blind to the target with the new CEC), it takes a snapshot of the unit's targets current position and vector and uses it's own speed and velocity to maneuver to an intercept point (the missile can fire as long as that intercept is within the missiles range parameters "In the DLZ" - if the target is currently in range, but will be out of range before intercept, you can see "Out of weapon DLZ" when trying to fire). If it has a datalink to a unit that can see the target, it will update this intercept regularly. Once the missile approaches the intercept, it switches to it's seeker. After enabling their seeker there is a brief time which they are still locked to their target (as indicated by the number of missiles allocated to that target), and until the missile drops that target, it will ignore any other contacts it sees except for a rare case where it is blind to it's target but can home on jam to another target.

I did notice when the CEC patch was released that ABM and ASAT missiles need to be fired from platforms with their own high quality track of the incoming missile for it's datalink. Since the initial intercept is based on the instant speed and direction.of the target, it does not take into account the parabolic arc of the target, and without a quality track from the datalink, the initial intercept with be high and far vs the actual intercept.

I am not 100% sure on all of this, since it's based on what I have observed.

< Message edited by Zanthra -- 2/9/2019 6:04:11 PM >

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/9/2019 6:37:45 PM   
Primarchx


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My understanding ASBMs is that they have radar and/or imaging terminal homing. Initial target detection is made by any one of many sensor sources - patrol aircraft, submarine, satellite or whatever. ASBMs are then launched toward that area with the intent that their hypersonic transit time will mean the target will still be in the missile's on-board sensor acquisition basket when they arrive.

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/9/2019 7:05:41 PM   
DWReese

 

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Thanks to you (and Zanthra) for the explanation.

The more that I look into this the more that I see that they are pretty interesting missiles. There doesn't seem to be many US ships that are stocked with Sm-3 missiles, so they are pretty rare. If my play-test scenario was any indication, then they really only get one shot at the incoming missiles anyway. After that, you have to depend on other systems to pick up anything left over.

If you have played with it in the game, then you know that debris from hits on other missiles can alter the path or trajectory of the missile and send it off target. It's pretty cool how they have this modeled. I'm impressed.

I can also see that China could effectively cover the entire South China Sea by firing these from the mainland, so it could make it really bad for a carrier entering that area.

Doug

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/9/2019 7:26:30 PM   
Primarchx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese

....

I can also see that China could effectively cover the entire South China Sea by firing these from the mainland, so it could make it really bad for a carrier entering that area.

Doug


With the US out of the INF treaty we'll probably see how two can play that game. I wouldn't want to be a PLAN vessel within 2000 nm of Japan or Guam in ten years.

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/9/2019 7:41:18 PM   
Kobu

 

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In my test with 2 TELS and 8 missiles DF-21D fired to a DDG usually get destroy all of them with a mix of 161C and 174A.

With regard to the performance or guided they are fired to a position (coordinates) that can be provided by multiple system to the control or launch station and when they arrive to their position change to active seeker or passive seeker. They do not have datalink but usually they arrive to their target in about 5 minuts or less so the target would be close to the initial position.
The challenge with this missiles is his velocity. There are few seconds to destroy them and not all missiles can engage them.


Regards

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/9/2019 9:07:44 PM   
Zanthra

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kobu

In my test with 2 TELS and 8 missiles DF-21D fired to a DDG usually get destroy all of them with a mix of 161C and 174A.

With regard to the performance or guided they are fired to a position (coordinates) that can be provided by multiple system to the control or launch station and when they arrive to their position change to active seeker or passive seeker. They do not have datalink but usually they arrive to their target in about 5 minuts or less so the target would be close to the initial position.
The challenge with this missiles is his velocity. There are few seconds to destroy them and not all missiles can engage them.


Regards


Is this the same if the DDG has some outside detection source like a Cobra Eye stationed nearby? For me they can fire for an intercept outside the ship's radar range and miss because of no mid course updates, then don't have many missiles left when they get closer.


< Message edited by Zanthra -- 2/9/2019 9:09:00 PM >

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/9/2019 10:33:24 PM   
Kobu

 

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To fire outside of radar range i tested the latest version of sm-3 (161-e) and work well except the "bug" or "limitation" when the missile hit a target with a big difference in altitude. I dont know how this missile works to be guided so far since the missile hit the target outside of radar coverage from the ship. I think that other assets can be lead the missile like a CEC capable missile but i dont know how this work.

Regards

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/9/2019 11:12:10 PM   
DWReese

 

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In my initial attack, a vessel friendly to China was able to visually and electronically see the carrier.As I said, the sm-3 was able to engage at long range. They managed to knock out a few, probably should have had more but I must have had bad 'dice rolls." Then, the shorter-ranged 174s and 156s took their crack, and shot down all but the final two out of the original eight. Both hit and destroyed the carrier. I repeated the test and the next time the carrier was able to destroy the missiles. The fact that the carrier lost, prompted me to ask the original question of how many of these missiles does China have, and how many sm-3s are normally carried by the US?

I was reading quite a bit today. Much of it is likely dated info, or is classified, but most indicated that the US has about 30 Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) ships. That would be defined as ships that carry (or can carry the sm-3, the RIM 174 or the RIM 156. Regarding the sm-3 (aka the RIM-161), the report indicated that there were only about 72 of the in existence. Let's assume that it is actually double that. If there are only 144 sm-3 missiles, divided up by the 30 or so BMD ships, that would mean that the average would be about four per ship at any given time. I assume that they can add some when you think that there might be trouble, but it's doubtful that you would ever get more than 8. In fact, depending on the FCR and directors, you wouldn't likely get a second round off anyway. So, you would obviously need more BMD ships with you if you ever go into this region.

I don't know how effective the df-21 or the sm-3 really is, but if CMANO is any indication of real life, then the US should think long and hard about provoking the Chinese. Of course, as was pointed out, it sort of keeps China from venturing too far away because of the retribution factor. Interesting times.

Doug

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/10/2019 2:44:06 AM   
Zanthra

 

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I can't post a direct link to it, but I made a video on youtube with an ID "ekmUmdrf15E" showing the SM-3 engagement on the DF-21D going wide due to the target not being in radar of the launching vessel when it reaches intercept. Perhaps there is something I am doing differently with the attack that causes this?

< Message edited by Zanthra -- 2/10/2019 2:47:13 AM >

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/10/2019 4:04:00 AM   
DWReese

 

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I've just run about ten different tests. The Reagan was sunk about 50 percent of the time. These are some findings:

First, I reduced the number of weapons carried by the Reagan Group. It's not realistic to think that the entire arsenal is with THIS group.

If you let WRA pick how many weapons, you will get two missiles per DF-21.

If you manually go and change it to four, you will defeat the DF-21s every time. But, in real life you might not know if another wave is coming or not, so I don't know if you would do that.

The seeker in the DF-21 can be fooled into attacking another ship. It doesn't always attack the Reagan.

The Reagan ships all JAM and use decoys which are quite effective.

The 161s will fire and eliminate some missiles, but when it comes come to fire again, the DF-21s are below the floor and they can not shoot. Surprisingly, you could shoot manually, but you would just be wasting your missiles.

The 174 and 156 are useless unless the target is straight on. If those have try to time the attack, then they have a very difficult time. The DF-21 changes speed and altitude, and the 174s and 156 seem like that have it together, but in the final phase it dives and it reaches speeds again over 6500 kts which means that they can catch up.

So, unless you fire 3 or 4 sm-3s at each missile and hope for the best, some missiles will get through. If the 174s and 156s don't get a straight on shot then they run out and you can watch them try to make a turn as the DF-21s just blow right by them. Finally, if the decoys don't work, or if the DF-21 has trouble locking into the Reagan, she will likely be hit.

If you are manually defending her, you can do much better than if you just allow the AI to defend it for you.

The Reagan ships do what they can, but this missile is way too fast.

Doug

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/10/2019 5:07:06 AM   
Primarchx


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Just remember that Command's presentation of the DF-21 is an educated guess. In reality this missile has never been tested against a defending, maneuvering sea-borne target and while it is assumed it's been tested against land-based approximations there's no reliable data as to its' effectiveness in even those tests. It would be interesting to see what happens when a Mach 6 projectile is trying to hit a small, moving target utilizing a spectrum of defensive measures. Terminal course correction on that sucker can't be too fine given the speeds it's traveling and the probable control impulses available.

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/10/2019 10:56:24 AM   
DWReese

 

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Here is a link to an up-to-date report on this topic. It us excellent.

https://fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL33745.pdf

Doug

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/10/2019 11:05:30 AM   
DWReese

 

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I agree with you. Anything that is represented in the game is simply a guesstimate of what would/could really happen. But, the guys are Matrix are obviously impressed.

Regarding the test, if you take the 174 and the 156 shooters and keep them tight, next to the carrier, then they have a chance of hitting something. Otherwise, the DF-21 is originally too high for them to shoot at when it is first observed. The, it's travelling too fast. Finally, if the DF-21 is being fired at from an angle, then it shoots right on by as the 174s and 156s try to turn and alter course. When that happens it's all over for them.

One other tactic that I can recommend is as soon as you detect the DF-21 go full speed in a perpendicular direction. It might be enough to throw the missile off a little bit. It might be enough to save your carrier. The is especially bad news for some other ship that happens to be left in the path. I haven't seem the AI try this, but I did in my practice test and it kind of helps (well, sometimes), at least a little bit.

This is an interesting weapon. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of it.

Doug

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/10/2019 12:04:28 PM   
Kobu

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zanthra

I can't post a direct link to it, but I made a video on youtube with an ID "ekmUmdrf15E" showing the SM-3 engagement on the DF-21D going wide due to the target not being in radar of the launching vessel when it reaches intercept. Perhaps there is something I am doing differently with the attack that causes this?


Can you upload the savegame of that scenary??

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/10/2019 12:33:48 PM   
DWReese

 

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Here is my stripped down version. I left out the Hornets because they can't fire at the DF-21s anyway.

Switch sides and launch the DF-21s at the automatically-detected Reagan, and then switch back and watch the fight from the Reagan's side using the individual unit screen.

You will see that the sm-3s fire normally, but the 174s and 156s just can't hit anything at all.

Doug

Attachment (1)

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RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/10/2019 1:09:40 PM   
Kobu

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese

Here is my stripped down version. I left out the Hornets because they can't fire at the DF-21s anyway.

Switch sides and launch the DF-21s at the automatically-detected Reagan, and then switch back and watch the fight from the Reagan's side using the individual unit screen.

You will see that the sm-3s fire normally, but the 174s and 156s just can't hit anything at all.

Doug


Like you said the position of the DDG is determinant especially for 174s missile. The sm-3 are the only one really effective. The 154 are SARH missiles and they are useless.

The best way to counter this missiles is detect them as soon as possible and engage them with sm-3.

Regards

(in reply to DWReese)
Post #: 29
RE: DF-21D Carrier Killer Missile - 2/10/2019 1:19:31 PM   
DWReese

 

Posts: 1693
Joined: 3/21/2014
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I did notice that the 174s and the 156s were allowed to shoot at the DF-21s even though they were in the altitude window that they should have been to be able to launch.

At a distance of 32 miles, I noticed that if you went to manual, the sm-3s were GREEN (ready to launch) but the AI would not do it on its own. The DF-21s, at 106,000 feet, were well below the firing deck of the sm-3 at 330,000 feet. Allowing the AI to take charge means that the weapons did not fire because it shouldn't. That being said, I have had situations where it did fire and destroyed the DF-21s when it shouldn't have been allowed to do so.

I also noticed that in the final phase the sm-3s were fired when the DF-21s were at 65000 feet when the floor for the sm-3 is supposed to be 330,000 feet, so it shouldn't be allowed to shoot.

I believe that, due to the speed of the DF-21, the game allows you to shoot various SAMs at targets, even though they aren't in the altitude window, because if they didn't you would never get a shot off otherwise. This may explain, to a degree, why your shots are missing their targets.

Doug

(in reply to Zanthra)
Post #: 30
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