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Fighter Weapons School 1977

 
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Fighter Weapons School 1977 - 10/22/2019 3:47:21 PM   
fitzpatv

 

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Joined: 3/20/2019
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This scenario represents a 1970s graduation exercise for USAF fighter pilots, involving an attack by four air-superiority and four ground-attack Phantoms on a simulated target which is guarded by fighters, SAMs and AA guns. You have two hours to complete the strike. Twenty points are scored for each of four aircraft revetment structures destroyed and 10 for any other target, including defending planes. You lose 20 points for each Phantom lost.

The defending planes are nine F-5E Tiger IIs. These are amed with cannon and, in at least one case, Sidewinder missiles. Their sensors are short-ranged, but this is offset by those on the SAM site. The SAMs are Soviet Goas and Gaskins, which are fairly short-ranged, but enough to outrange your ground-attack weapons.

Your four air-superiority Phantoms have Sparrow missiles, with an impressive 55nm range. This gives you an overwhelming advantage over the Tigers while they last, as you stand-off and shoot. Without being especially lucky, I nailed six of the defenders without loss in this phase.

Once you're out of Sparrows, it gets trickier, as you need to use the rearward-firing, shorter-ranged Sidewinder. I find these almost impossible to use manually, as even when you are facing away from the target, the weapon's boresight limits are so stringent that they are beyond human control. You can only engage automatically and hope for the best.

Another big problem I had here was that aircraft (in this and other scenarios) tend to engage once, then go RTB, in this case once out of Sparrows. No amount of fiddling with the Doctrine screen corrected this and the AI was able to take advantage and get four of its own Sidewinders off in the ensuing chaos. Thankfully, they all missed or were seduced by chaff decoys. I eventually solved the bug/problem by putting the fighters on a Mission in the combat zone. This put matters to rights and the remaining Tigers were destroyed without loss.

I then launched my four ground-attack Phantoms. Two have Rockeye cluster-bombs, which have a suicidal attack range of 1nm, so I kept them in reserve. The others have GBU10A/B guided bombs, which have a range of 4nm. The revetments are in a group to the SW side of the SAM envelope, so it makes sense to come-in from this direction, flying at 16,000', which is the best launch altitude for the guided bombs, allowing for the ground topography (the targets are at about 5,300' in the mountains).

So much for the plan, but success in this stage relies heavily on luck. The first time I tried (having saved first), I got off three bombs. Two malfunctioned and the other missed, while the AI got lucky and downed a plane on a 12% chance! This gave me a score of +70 and the scenario isn't judgmental about whether this is a win or not (the game concludes when you put any plane, in this case one of the fighters, in a Finish Zone beyond the target).

Tried again. Didn't lose any planes this time and scored a couple of hits, but still didn't destroy any of the revetments, getting a score of +90. Considerable annoyance was caused by a) one Phantom struggling to get the target in its boresight, turning in the wrong direction and then changing altitude when a SAM was fired at it and b) the fighter near the Finish Zone randomly flying back into the SAM envelope while I wasn't looking. At least I got away with both and could probably have avoided the latter issue by taking more care and assigning the fighter to a Mission.

Saw little point in a third try and have to conclude that a score of +70 or more represents a decent result.
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RE: Fighter Weapons School 1977 - 10/22/2019 4:28:01 PM   
Schr75


Posts: 609
Joined: 7/18/2014
From: Denmark
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Hi fitzpatv

quote:

Once you're out of Sparrows, it gets trickier, as you need to use the rearward-firing, shorter-ranged Sidewinder. I find these almost impossible to use manually, as even when you are facing away from the target, the weapon's boresight limits are so stringent that they are beyond human control. You can only engage automatically and hope for the best.


I think you are misunderstanding something regarding the Sidewinders.
They are rear ASPECT, not REARWARD FIRING.

This means that they have to home in on the target from the targets behind, or rear aspect, because the IR seeker is not sensitive enough to see the target from the front. It needs the hot jet exhaust to home in on.

The missile is still fired FORWARD from the firing platform. If you maneuver the shooter in behind the target and are pointing at it, you should be able to fire the missile (if you are in range of course)

Regarding the Phantoms RTB´ing after firing their Sparrows.
If you set the doctrine option "weapon state RTB" to no, they should stay after expending their primary armament.

Hope this helped.

Søren

< Message edited by Schr75 -- 10/22/2019 4:32:55 PM >

(in reply to fitzpatv)
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RE: Fighter Weapons School 1977 - 10/23/2019 10:52:17 AM   
c3k

 

Posts: 193
Joined: 4/25/2017
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I'm glad you noticed this, too.

REAR ASPECT means the missile needs to see the REAR of its TARGET. So, maneuver to get BEHIND the enemy and then smoke his ass. ;)


(in reply to Schr75)
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RE: Fighter Weapons School 1977 - 11/5/2019 4:02:09 PM   
fitzpatv

 

Posts: 28
Joined: 3/20/2019
Status: offline
Thanks for the advice, as I hadn't grasped what Rear Aspect meant. Will no doubt enjoy trying this out next time!

Pretty sure I did try setting Weapon State RTB to 'No', but my memory might be deceiving me. Will bear it in mind.

(in reply to c3k)
Post #: 4
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