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Linebacker II and anti-SAM B-52 "3-Cells"

 
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Linebacker II and anti-SAM B-52 "3-Cells" - 3/16/2019 4:27:24 PM   
FIaps

 

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*I'm prevented from posting a video due to an anti-spam mechanism but search "B-52 raid on Hanoi with combat livemap - 12/26/1972" on Youtube for a fascinating watch.

I noticed a moderator here making a wink towards a Rolling Thunder/Linebacker DLC request in the Desert Storm announcement thread which triggered the idea for this thread.

I watched this fascinating video mapping out the B-52 sorties and playing the inter and intra comms from a single aircraft within one cell in a Boxing Day strike on Hanoi/Haiphong during Linebacker II. Each diamond represents a three-cell of B-52s that IIRC maintains formation to stop the SA-2's from getting a lock. It was insane, something like 150 B-52s striking simultaneously.

Does CMANO model anything like close aircraft formations confusing Fan-Song tracks? Also any info on how they managed to evade so many SAMs, commentary on the video and the tactics/platforms used would be much welcomed. I've tried making modified 'Down Town' and 'Yankee Team' scenarios to deal with SAM evasion and it seems that fighter sweep + wild weasel salami-slicing to clear a path ahead of a strike package is the only thing that works for me.

It seems like if I tried to simulate the strike paths in this video even micromanaged to hell with period-accurate support aircraft and jammer numbers I'd get a terrible attrition rate.

< Message edited by FIaps -- 3/16/2019 4:28:34 PM >
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RE: Linebacker II and anti-SAM B-52 "3-Cells" - 3/16/2019 8:07:13 PM   
OldSarge


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Thanks for posting this. The link is: B-52 raid on Hanoi with combat livemap - 12/26/1972

My late Uncle was flying a B-52 out of Guam (Andersen) at the time. He would've been there, but I don't recall which squadron he was with and he never talked about his experiences. He later ended up in the sandbox during the 1st Gulf war with an ANG F-16 squadron.

BTW, a good book on the B-52 versus SA-2 duel: B-52 Stratofortress vs SA-2 "Guideline" SAM: Vietnam 1972–73 (Duel)

< Message edited by OldSarge -- 3/16/2019 8:16:05 PM >

(in reply to FIaps)
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RE: Linebacker II and anti-SAM B-52 "3-Cells" - 3/16/2019 11:30:04 PM   
FIaps

 

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Thanks for the book link, bookmarked for inevitable purchasing

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RE: Linebacker II and anti-SAM B-52 "3-Cells" - 3/17/2019 7:39:45 PM   
Dimitris

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FIaps
Does CMANO model anything like close aircraft formations confusing Fan-Song tracks? Also any info on how they managed to evade so many SAMs, commentary on the video and the tactics/platforms used would be much welcomed. I've tried making modified 'Down Town' and 'Yankee Team' scenarios to deal with SAM evasion and it seems that fighter sweep + wild weasel salami-slicing to clear a path ahead of a strike package is the only thing that works for me.

IIRC that was the case historically too.

quote:


It seems like if I tried to simulate the strike paths in this video even micromanaged to hell with period-accurate support aircraft and jammer numbers I'd get a terrible attrition rate.

Don't overlook operational factors. IIRC by that time the NVA SA-2 stocks had been nearly depleted, so launches were not as frequent as in the earlier Rolling Thunder and Linebacker raids (where the substantial B-52 losses occurred). US OECM and DECM (and SEAD tactics) were also a far cry from earlier years.


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RE: Linebacker II and anti-SAM B-52 "3-Cells" - 3/17/2019 7:43:19 PM   
Dimitris

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FIaps
Does CMANO model anything like close aircraft formations confusing Fan-Song tracks?


"Does CMANO model a specific (and rapidly perishable) technical trick not modeled even by hyper-dedicated Vietnam-specific titles like 'Modern Air Power: War Over Vietnam'?"

No.

< Message edited by Dimitris -- 3/18/2019 1:51:50 PM >


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RE: Linebacker II and anti-SAM B-52 "3-Cells" - 3/18/2019 12:20:27 PM   
FIaps

 

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...

< Message edited by FIaps -- 3/18/2019 12:30:30 PM >
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RE: Linebacker II and anti-SAM B-52 "3-Cells" - 3/18/2019 12:30:48 PM   
Eggstor

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dimitris

quote:

ORIGINAL: FIaps
Does CMANO model anything like close aircraft formations confusing Fan-Song tracks? Also any info on how they managed to evade so many SAMs, commentary on the video and the tactics/platforms used would be much welcomed. I've tried making modified 'Down Town' and 'Yankee Team' scenarios to deal with SAM evasion and it seems that fighter sweep + wild weasel salami-slicing to clear a path ahead of a strike package is the only thing that works for me.

IIRC that was the case historically too.

quote:


It seems like if I tried to simulate the strike paths in this video even micromanaged to hell with period-accurate support aircraft and jammer numbers I'd get a terrible attrition rate.

Don't overlook operational factors. IIRC by that time the NVA SA-2 stocks had been nearly depleted, so launches were not as frequent as in the earlier Rolling Thunder and Linebacker raids (where the substantial B-52 losses occurred). US OECM and DECM (and SEAD tactics) were also a far cry from earlier years.


Some of the difference in launches between Rolling Thunder/Linebacker I/early Linebacker II and late Linebacker II should be able to be simulated through WRA. The number of SA-2s available can definitely be edited by the scenario creator.

Also, if memory serves, by 1972, the B-52D model's ECM was more optimized to combat the SA-2 than the later models of the B-52, and most of what went "downtown" in Linebacker II were the -Ds. That level of hyper-focus is more in line with "Modern Air Power: War Over Vietnam 1972", though.

Maybe something for the long-term wish list - very-close formation flying (or sailing) obscures the number of aircraft (or ships) in the formation to certain radars.

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RE: Linebacker II and anti-SAM B-52 "3-Cells" - 3/18/2019 1:42:12 PM   
sven6345789

 

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"Also, if memory serves, by 1972, the B-52D model's ECM was more optimized to combat the SA-2 than the later models of the B-52, and most of what went "downtown" in Linebacker II were the -Ds. That level of hyper-focus is more in line with "Modern Air Power: War Over Vietnam 1972", though."

The B 52D was the model used during the support missions in South Vietnam. They had been upgraded. During Linebacker II the G model was also used, but they had not been equipped with new sensors. So, They took the most losses in the beginning.


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RE: Linebacker II and anti-SAM B-52 "3-Cells" - 3/18/2019 3:52:57 PM   
FIaps

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dimitris
Don't overlook operational factors. IIRC by that time the NVA SA-2 stocks had been nearly depleted, so launches were not as frequent as in the earlier Rolling Thunder and Linebacker raids (where the substantial B-52 losses occurred). US OECM and DECM (and SEAD tactics) were also a far cry from earlier years.



Regarding the infrequent launches: In the Boxing Day video on the intercom it sounds to me like they were calling out SA-2 launches directed at them constantly. There was a few missile launches where the video annotates that it was a Fan-Song lock tone on the aircraft before they called out it was successfully evaded. There was a bit where the tail-gunner was counting several missiles that he deemed to be headed for their own B-52, was this just chaos and confusion because 100+ BUFFs were in a 70 x 70 mile area and they were at high altitude seeing plumes of SA-2s and them going ballistic when they lost track?

I noticed the PIRAZ wasn't spotting many or any MiGs, I think I heard a 2-ship bandit callout once but nothing came of it (I might have to rewatch) so maybe the amount of SAM callouts were overzealous caution/panic. Even in the Rolling Thunder Vietnam scenarios that amount of SA-2s in the air suggested by the intercom chatter would be ridiculous. I'll have to read that Linebacker book and go back and give it a listen because I'm probably hearing it ass-backwards.

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RE: Linebacker II and anti-SAM B-52 "3-Cells" - 3/18/2019 4:22:49 PM   
SeaQueen


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quote:

Don't overlook operational factors. IIRC by that time the NVA SA-2 stocks had been nearly depleted, so launches were not as frequent as in the earlier Rolling Thunder and Linebacker raids (where the substantial B-52 losses occurred). US OECM and DECM (and SEAD tactics) were also a far cry from earlier years.


Mining Haiphong Harbor (a great possible scenario, btw) definitely made an impact on Vietnam. It made delivering replacement SAMs a lot harder.

< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 3/18/2019 4:31:20 PM >

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