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Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/26/2019 1:01:29 PM   
Swiso

 

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Hello,
I am looking at this scenario : https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1908925256
"Falkland War, 1982"

You have 7 Victor K.2 tankers (platform #216) and 2 Vulcan bombers (platform #1860) in Ascension AB...
Distance to the TGT is 3400nm more or less...(make it 6800nm total)
How do you plan such a long range strike ?
Vulcan bomber in the default loadout has a range of 1500nm
Victor tanker has a range (in tanker configuartion) of 2600nm

Total fuel of the Tanker 41000Kg.
Total fuel of Vulcan bomber 33630Kg.

Assuming to launch one bomber per sortie, I would need around 152500Kg of fuel for that bomber...(6800/1500=4.53, 4.53*33630=152456Kg)

How would you plan the flight and the suport/ferry patrol ?
Thank you for any suggestion !
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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/26/2019 1:45:20 PM   
goodwoodrw


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You need to leap frog your tankers and I think like the real Black Buck I think you need to refuel tankers as well. There is a very good account on how the mission was executed. Can't quite put my finger on it right now. Do a search operation Black Buck I'm sure you'll find it.

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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/26/2019 2:33:12 PM   
mavfin

 

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From looking up the operation, this sentence jumped out at me, so to speak.

A total of eleven tankers were required for two Vulcans (one primary and one reserve), a daunting logistical effort as all aircraft had to use the same runway.

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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/26/2019 3:03:52 PM   
Swiso

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mavfin

From looking up the operation, this sentence jumped out at me, so to speak.

A total of eleven tankers were required for two Vulcans (one primary and one reserve), a daunting logistical effort as all aircraft had to use the same runway.


Yep..that's what I saw too...
But assuming we edit the scenario to have the correct amount of tankers, how would you plan it ?
How many tankers would you launch (and where), before launching the bomber ?

With a range of 1500NM, the bomber would need 2 refuel going in and two refuel going back...
Would you create two support missions at 1/3rd of the way and 2/3rd of the way ?
But then...how long will the tankers be able to remain "on station" ?

Not an easy thing to plan...

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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/26/2019 3:44:12 PM   
thewood1

 

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I don't think you need to edit the scenario. IRL 2-3 of the tankers were duplicates set for reserve to cover any maintenance issues that came up. Since the scenario isn't set up for potential maintenance issues, they were most likely left out. I had read somewhere that only 6 of the actual tankers were used to pump gas.

edit - According to Ospreys' "Victor Units of the COld War", there were three reserves plus near the end of the refueling runs, one of the last full Victors broke its refueling rigging in a storm.

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 11/26/2019 4:01:36 PM >

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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/28/2019 4:49:44 AM   
SeaQueen


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I remember this was kind of a crazy scenario tanking wise. It's sort of a puzzle, where the bomber gets refueled, gas gets replaced in the emptied tankers by some of the other tankers, then those go home, until you're down to one tanker, and then they go home and you coast the rest of the way. Definitely a challenge.


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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/28/2019 9:21:11 AM   
guanotwozero

 

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This is indeed a mathematical puzzle. I've not tried this particular scenario, but there is also a Black Buck 1 in the community pack.

Conceptually, you have to get one bomber to target - that requires a number of refuelling brackets. That means you need a tanker at each bracket; each of those tankers itself needs a number of refuels to get there (apart from the early ones). Tankers can also be sent out to meet the returning planes.

While there's no unique solution to this, it is possible to work out a suitable plan which also allows for a reasonable margin of error.

The complexity comes when you try to make it efficient, to take advantage of the fact that a lighter tanker burns fuel at a slower rate than a heavier one. Multiple refuels to the same target plane may be better than a single one, so as to balance out the fuel load and minimise the total burn rate for the continuing flight.

You've doubtless seen the refuelling diagram on the wikipedia page - I've found a couple more useful ones on the web:

This web pdf includes an article on Black Buck 1 - the refuelling diagram has transfer quantities (in lb not kg, I believe).
http://www.marhammattersonline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Marham_Matters_Issue5.2017-Web.pdf

Perhaps more usefully, this article includes a scan of the refuelling plan for Black Buck 7. It not only include quantities, but also the coordinates for each bracket.
https://medium.com/raf-caps/no-ordinary-job-a-personal-perspective-e8250bce886f

Hopefully these will give you some ideas.


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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/28/2019 7:41:59 PM   
Swiso

 

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Thank you very much to everyone for the suggestions.
Yes, very challenging task indeed !
Well....assuming the fuel burn rate of one bomber is not so difficult, the database come in very helpful.
With this, one "should" know more or less precisely the fuel remaining at almost every step of the flight plan.
Difficult part is to take into account the same numbers for the tankers.... and then plan the whole thing....synchronize everything.
I think I will give up...

Nothing but respect for the ppl who didi it for real....

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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/28/2019 8:39:38 PM   
guanotwozero

 

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Unfortunately the aircraft data doesn't show how burn rate is affected by payload, though I understand that info is in the database:

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4040753&mpage=1&key=&#

The best you can do is estimate.

If you know the location of a refuel bracket (based on bomber requirements), you can create a refuel mission with its track along the direction of the strike route. When the group arrives there, you can manually assign the relevant tankers to that mission; then tell the the relevant receivers (bomber + certain tankers) to refuel from those individual providers.

That way, say, Tanker4 refuels from Tanker2 and Bomber1 refuels from Tanker3. Afterwards, Bomber1 & Tanker4 continue while Tanker2 & Tanker3 RTB.

Repeat for the other refuel brackets.

Yes it's all micromanagement, but so it was in real life. CMO doesn't yet have a mission planner that will automate such tanking.

Don't give up - while a major challenge, it's very rewarding when you get it right!

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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/28/2019 9:28:33 PM   
kevinkins


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Here is a nice documentary on the raid that I viewed a few years ago. It could help with CMO tactics, but also might get players unfamiliar with the operation into the scenario being discussed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBJ99bIhAVk

< Message edited by kevinkins -- 11/28/2019 9:49:34 PM >


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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/28/2019 9:36:19 PM   
Swiso

 

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My bad....you're right !
I confused the fuel burn rate at various speed /altitudes with the ACTUAL fuel burn depending on the loadout....
See ? I would have already started the wrong way... hahahaha
The reason to "give up" is just to have it right from the start, as in the real case...
I could go on trial, till I find the right way, but this is not the purpose...

Together with multiplayer, a mission planner would be the icing on the cake !
Especially seeing as how complex the database and the scenarios can be...

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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/28/2019 9:40:48 PM   
Sharana


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The scenario is too old and can no longer be opened due to not supported DB, but I found this short video in my personal archive.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/o37lztrimyb8r5w/Black%20Burk.mp4?dl=0

It's trying to achieve this:



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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/29/2019 2:28:26 PM   
SeaQueen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Swiso
Together with multiplayer, a mission planner would be the icing on the cake !
Especially seeing as how complex the database and the scenarios can be...


As much as has been said about it, I'm actually cautious regarding the value of a mission planner. The reason is that I worry that while it might handle a certain mission template well, it might lack the flexibility necessary to accomplish the full range of possible missions. Unfortunately, all plans made in the absence of specifics require making assumptions. When those assumptions prove to be false, the plan and possibly the planning process is no longer valid. It would therefore be erroneous and unrealistic to force all strikes into a single template. The essence of tactics is problem solving, and one must be cautious not to constrain one's solution set artificially. The Vulcan bomber raid from Ascension Island is a great historical example of an innovative and novel solution to a difficult problem. Would an automated mission planner handle that well? Should it? Maybe the challenge of the scenario is to construct the refueling plan? Maybe part of the hobby is constructing planning tools, performing calculations, developing Heuristics, and novel employment concepts for weapons and platforms? Command is a game of planning, for sure.

I bring this up because I'm already sometimes frustrated with the missions as is. I experience this especially when it refuses to allow me to assign an aircraft in flight to a strike mission on account of excessively strict and simplistic refueling assumptions, forcing me to run things manually. This has the effect of me wasting time creating the strike mission and meticulously setting up target lists, only to discover later that the computer won't let me use them.

I sometimes feel there was excessive optimism about the realism and wisdom of allowing the simulation to run "hands-off." I've found that for some things it works well, but for other things, in order to behave in a realistic or sophisticated manner, an operator must intervene and control it. I also believe that in its conception there was insufficient consideration given to the notion of novel "swing role" missions, time sensitive targets, and the potential utility of using "missions" for the purpose of organizing, positioning, routing, timing and sequencing strikes, then moving aircraft off the purely organizational mission into the mission which might contain the target list. This isn't to say the simulation is unable to handle TST CAPs, for example. It handles them well, but almost always with some measure of operator intervention. I suspect in the absence of explanation, someone causally looking at my savegames would think I'm insane. I routinely do things like assign bombers to air-to-air patrols, which seem at first counter-intuitive, but actually serve a purpose. I'm using the simulation and its tools in ways it was never originally conceived, and I'm happy because those tools are great. They're very generalized, simple, and easy to manipulate. I don't want to be forced to play the game in any one particular way. A mission planner should never force an operator to conform to a specific template because it runs the risk of ceasing to be a simulation and becoming a mere "game-ism."

So as much as I'm on the one hand hopeful that a strike planner might help alleviate some of the workload, I'm also worried the tradeoff might be to overly constrain the player. The new player wants simplicity, and to have difficult problems handled by some automated process. The advanced player wants freedom and flexibility. My intuition is that balancing those interests strikes me as difficult.

< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 11/29/2019 3:07:04 PM >

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RE: Planning a very long range strike refuel - 11/29/2019 8:57:10 PM   
guanotwozero

 

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@Seaqueen you highlight quite a few issues that surround any mission planner - my own feeling is that it should primarily be a planner rather than an implementer. It should facilitate all sorts of timing and pathing calculations, to enable ToT and associated synchronisation at waypoints.

There may also be tools to help the implementation of plan segments (generation of missions & sub-missions), but it will undoubtedly still require extensive player configuration to implement the actions desired. I suspect we'll need a way of 'chaining' actions; e.g. take off at A, fly to B, refuel, fly to C, attack at D. That sort of thing.

As long as we have the freedom to directly control aircraft (ok, micromanage) then we can follow the 'advice' of the mission planner. That's where a 'chaining' ability would be useful - it simply sequences a number of basic instructions that would otherwise be micromanaged.

So we don't need a planner to generate an infinite variety of missions - just to assign timing to basic instructions that can be sequenced.

Edit: FWIW I'd regard a fuel planner as yet another separate utility, though obviously it would make sense to use it in conjunction with a mission planner.

< Message edited by guanotwozero -- 11/29/2019 9:08:24 PM >

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