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Operation Broken Shield 300 [Spoilers]

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Operation Broken Shield 300 [Spoilers] - 2/14/2020 7:37:43 AM   


Posts: 289
Joined: 1/18/2015
Status: offline
Just finished up the new Live DLC. Spoilers ahead

I had quite a bit of fun. I had hoped to use this scenario to test out TacView on a small, air heavy scenario, but encountered a bug (reported in Discord, I can follow up), so I had to press without.

The premise is that I play a duty officer in the IDF, responsible for managing Israel's airspace while the Prime Minister meets in Moscow with the Russian president and Syrian ambassador in order to discuss ongoing Iranian efforts in Syria to equip their proxies with high tech weapons to attack Israel. I've been warned that if talks break down, my job is to destroy the Syrian S-300 batteries newly supplied by the Russians. In the meantime, I am to monitor the situation in and around Israel, and respond to anything that comes up.

Given the peacetime nature of the scenario (initially) I have only a few air assets actually armed and ready for operations. I do have a good amount of UAVs, a few attack helicopters, and some other support assets. I prep what I can, but mostly I just wait. While the PM heads to Russia, I have to respond to tunnels from Hamas (taken care of by an F-16), rocket batteries in Gaza (found by a half dozen UAVs combing the Gaza strip, and destroyed by Apaches), an assassination of a Hamas leader (in Gaza, done by F-16), and the [attempted] extraction of the SF team that identified the leader [this bugged out and I wasn't able to execute the trigger to actually pull the team out, despite meeting all the criteria].

Ultimately, the talks in Moscow break down, and I'm authorized to initiate Operation Broken Shield. My goal is the destruction of the three Syrian owned S-300 batteries located somewhere in Syria, as well as a number of known Iranian sites used for operations against Israel. Thankfully, between the ELINT aircraft I put up, satellites, and Mossad, I'm able to identify the target locations before the operation kicks off, despite Syrian efforts to conceal them (won't spoil). Russian operations in Syria are ongoing, but they do not want conflict. I am not to violate Jordanian airspace, although I have the option of spending political capital (namely, Special Actions) to do so if I wish (I end up not doing so. There are other Special Actions available as well that I won't spoil).

I start the operation by launching a half dozen UAVs equipped with OECM jamming pods to head to Northern Israel and turn their jammers on. Simultaneously, I use a pair of MLRS batteries to saturate the Syrian SAM sites along our border. Luckily, I also am able to hit two IADS command nodes, further destabilizing the border and Damascus regions. Long range EXTRA rockets are just in range of one of the identified S-300 sites, and take it out. This also reveals another site, and even better, causes it to deplete some of it's ready ammunition. While this happens, four F-16s sprint just across the border to launch long range Rampage rockets and HARMs to knock out this second site. From here, I send a pair of F-16s supported by HARM shooters and a jamming drone to drop bunker busters on the Syrian Air Defense HQ. This further disorients their IADS. In fact, in their confusion, the Syrians actually shoot down their own interceptors that launch to attack me (I don't think this was planned by the editor, but it was a cool touch from the game thanks to comms out IADS and itchy trigger fingers).

The scariest moment occurs when, despite warnings from Mossad, I am unable to locate Iranian ballistic missile batteries in Syria and they launch on Israel en masse. Fortunately, between the US THAAD battery as well as the Arrow and Patriot sites liberally scattered across the country, only two of the 52 missiles make it through my defenses, hitting open tarmac at Hatzor airbase. While this goes on, I use my only two available F-35s to sneak through the border region and hug the Syrian/Jordanian border until they reach the Northeast part of the country where they can launch SDBs on the S-300 site at T4 airfield. With all three batteries destroyed my primary mission is complete, but I'm not done yet. The Russians state that they will enact a No-Fly Zone over Syria beginning at 0145Z, only a few hours after my operation begins. I use the time that I have to hit numerous Iranian command, training, and weapons sites throughout the country. By keeping my aircraft above 25,000 feet they are able to avoid all short range SAMs that are scattered across Syria. The bigger systems are either attacked by other aircraft, avoided, or simply ineffective thanks to the targeting of command nodes. After a bold operation involving 2 F-15s and 6 F-16s to knock out the final Iranian sites in the Northeast, my last jets cross Lake Tiberias with fifteen minutes to spare before the no fly zone goes into place, with no casualties.

Thoughts: This was a fun, challenging, but not overwhelming scenario. It requires a lot of micromanagement if you don't want to call for help (another special action that lets you use a much larger chunk of the Israeli forces at the cost of victory points). I tried to be surgical with my strikes and avoid totally destroying the [very well made] Syrian IADS, which would have netted me more points but also taken precious resources with my limited assets. Overall it was fun, and apart from the helicopter bug and some odd behavior from my aircraft (they really liked to randomly descend over Syria near Pantsirs - I had to reload a couple saves to fix this), it was a good time.


SIDE: Israel


4x Griffin LGB [Mk84]
8x GBU-31(V)1/B JDAM [Mk84]
11x AGM-114K Hellfire II
3x 30mm M230 Burst [40 rnds]
24x M30A2 GMLRS ER [Alternative Warhead]
12x M30A1 GMLRS ER [90kg HE]
8x Rampage
12x AGM-88A HARM
24x SPICE 1000 GPS/EO [Mk83]
14x Generic Chaff Salvo [5x Cartridges]
32x THAAD C-2
18x Arrow 3
14x Arrow 2
14x MIM-104E Patriot PAC-2 GEM+
4x GBU-27A/B Paveway III GPS/LGB [BLU-109/B]
93x GBU-39/B SDB
1x Stunner
8x Griffin LGB [MPR-500 Penetrator]
4x Delilah-AL
8x GBU-38(V)1/B JDAM [MPR-500 Penetrator]
1x ELL-8270

SIDE: Syria

3x Vehicle (Low Blow [SNR-125])
8x SA-3c Goa Twin Rail [Pechora-2M, MZKT-8022]
3x Vehicle (Flat Face B [P-19])
8x SA-6a Gainful [2P25] TEL
7x SA-22 Greyhound [96K6 Pantsir-S1E, KAMAZ-6560 8x8] TELAR
2x SA-11 Gadfly [9A38] TELAR
2x Vehicle (Truck, C2/C3)
9x SA-2f Guideline Mod 1/2 Single Rail
2x Vehicle (Fan Song F [RSNA-75M])
2x Vehicle (Spoon Rest C [P-12])
1x Radar (Tall King A [P-14])
1x Radar (Thin Skin B HF [PRV-16])
2x SA-7a Grail [9K32 Strela-2] MANPADS
1x SA-11 Gadfly [9A39] LLV
2x Building (Square Pair [5N62])
1x Building (Tall King C [P-14])
1x Radar (Side Net HF [PRV-11])
2x Radar (Back Net [P-80])
9x SA-20b Gargoyle [5P85SE] TEL
3x Vehicle (Tombstone [30N6E])
3x Vehicle (Cheese Board [96L6E])
2x Vehicle (Clam Shell [5N66])
3x SA-10b Grumble [5P85S] TEL
1x Building (Odd Pair HF [PRV-13])
2x SA-5c Gammon Single Rail
2x Vehicle (Straight Flush [1S91])
4x MiG-29M2 Fulcrum C
9x SA-17 Grizzly [9A310M1-2] TELAR
1x Bunker (Sector Control Station)
1x Radar (Big Bird C [64N6])
4x MiG-23ML Flogger G
3x SA-17 Grizzly [9A39M1-2] LLV
4x Shahed-129 UAV
1x A/C Hangar (4x Large Aircraft)

36x SA-20b Gargoyle [48N6E2]
119x SA-22 Greyhound [57E6]
45x SA-5c Gammon [5V28M5]
12x SA-10b Grumble [5V55RUD]
14x 30mm 2A38M Burst [50 rnds]
11x SA-3c Goa [5V27D, V-601PD]
42x SA-6a Gainful [3M9]
108x SA-17 Grizzly [9M317]
8x SA-3c Goa [5V27DE]
30x Fateh-110/3 A-110B
22x Fateh-110/3 A-110B RV
15x SA-8b Gecko Mod-1 [9M33M3]
8x SA-11 Gadfly [9M38M1]

SIDE: Iranian Infrastructure

5x Ammo Shelter
3x Building (Medium)
1x Structure (Military Base)
1x Bunker (Comm Center)

SIDE: Hezbollah and Hamas

2x Structure (Tunnel)
1x Building (Medium)
3x Vehicle (Truck, Armed Technical)
9x Qassam 4 RL
1x Building (Small)

< Message edited by Tailhook -- 2/14/2020 7:39:57 AM >
Post #: 1
RE: Operation Broken Shield 300 [Spoilers] - 2/14/2020 8:24:28 AM   

Posts: 336
Joined: 2/3/2016
Status: offline

In fact, in their confusion, the Syrians actually shoot down their own interceptors that launch to attack me (I don't think this was planned by the editor, but it was a cool touch from the game thanks to comms out IADS and itchy trigger fingers).

Actually this was intended. If you trigger the interceptors before crippling the C3 they are just fine and can cause some headaches. But if you cripple the IADS by taking out some C3 nodes, the HQ, using cyberattacks and stand-off jamming the individual SAMs "lose" the big picture and become very trigger-happy. It's a pattern that was observed multiple times - over there you are considered bad air defense commander if after the enemy air raid in your area you still have missiles on the rails. So the commanders would launch at "phantoms", SAM missiles from the neighboring SAM battery and even big seagulls if you will, but after the attack you shouldn't have missiles on the rails - then you can say you did all you can at repelling the enemy air raid. This is what I tried to emulate and sometimes it's really not clear what are some SAMs shooting at, so I probably did it. It also shows why the SyAF doesn't take part in countering the Israeli raids - it's just very bad idea to do so. But in this scenario it was kind of all in situation, so they had to try to do something - the result is seen if they try to act after the IADS was too degraded.
You can observe the said degradation first hand if you start playing as Syria - that's why it's playable. Not much actual gameplay other than trying to do better than the AI at shooting down planes, but as attacker it's hard to grasp the extent of the degradation jamming and C3 disruptions are actually causing.

PS: I'm not sure if you used the Skyshield pod carried by the F-16Is with HARMs. That's the Israeli escort jammer and those F-16s are their Growlers so to say - the jammers are a lot more powerful than what you have on the UAVs. Also the Eithan UAV with the AESA pod is very important asset that given enough time can more or less map the entire IADS network in south Syria (using more then 1 UAV ofc).
Also IIRC you have 4 F-35s and not just 2 :)

< Message edited by Sharana -- 2/14/2020 8:38:42 AM >


(in reply to Tailhook)
Post #: 2
RE: Operation Broken Shield 300 [Spoilers] - 2/27/2020 10:30:10 PM   


Posts: 264
Joined: 9/8/2014
From: Milan, Italy
Status: offline
Here is a short report about the main attack I performed in Broken Shield LIVE scenario. I found it well researched and very interesting, with a great narrative.
Congratulations and thanks to Sharana!

Here is a brief list of the assets and the main equipment used for the strike:

Harop Drone >> Non emitting SAM and radar to the south
MRLS >> Opportunity targets
MRLS Extra >> S300 Damascus area
4 F35 – 32 SDB >> S300 Nord T4 – deep stealth strike
2 F-15I – 8 Spice 2000 >> Command Centre
2 F-15I – 64 SDB >> SEAD targets of opportunity
4 F-16I – 8 Harm >> S300/Buk2M Damascus area
4 F-16I – 16 Rampage >> S300 Damascus area
2 F-16I – 32 SDB >> S200 & SEAD targets of opportunity
6 F-16I – 12 Delilah >> Distant radar sites & S200
4 F-15C – >> CAP
3 Heron AESA >> finding and fixing SAM
2 Heron >> comms jam, standoff jamming
1 Nashorn EW >> finding and fixing SAM
1 Nashorn >> Awacs
2 Tankers for emergencies

Doing some micromanagement (and reloading when sometimes planes do not follow my order or I forgot to do something) I destroyed all the targets (S300, iran bases & building, Syrina air dfence HQ) losing just one Eilat UAV (S-200 long shot, my distraction). Coordinating everything was not easy, requiring good planning and almost real time play (1-5 sec phase).

I found Rampage and Extra artillery rockets were really a game changer, enabling IAF to strike non emitting radar with a fast and powerful weapon. I often used them in combination with HARM and Skyshield OECM. A coordinated attack with 8-12 fast missiles can disable a S300 battery in my experience.
The SDB are another useful weapon: they are light so you can launch many of the to saturate enemy defenses. I used them mainly for older SAM and sometimes Pantsir (but you need 3-4 of them, because they shoot down most weapons), leaving HARM for Buk2M and S300.
The advanced ESM suite on Eilat drones and Nashorn EW plane was extremely useful to pinpoint emitting enemy radar at long range. I used 4 of them spread over a wide area, sending the drones into enemy territory when the area was safe.

< Message edited by giantsquid -- 2/28/2020 9:28:32 AM >

(in reply to Sharana)
Post #: 3
RE: Operation Broken Shield 300 [Spoilers] - 3/22/2020 11:42:34 PM   


Posts: 18
Joined: 2/12/2018
Status: offline
I used basically the same tactics as the first poster:
- in the fist half used planes and helicopters to destroy the terrorist targets. One surprise was that he missile launchers were hard to identify by UAVs.
- destroyed the first northern S-300 with mlrs extra rounds. Also used the initial salvo to destroy some sams and HQs.
- then did a deep strike with f-35s and SDBs to take out the T-4 s-300. I had the f-35s jamming to help the sdbs to get to the target
- final east s300 was taken out with rampage, harm and sdb
- after this I used my remaining forces to kill
additional SAMs and targets.
- the announced missile strike by iranian SSMs never came, not sure why
- got Triumph with 6075 points

Overall a fun scenario, not very hard.

(in reply to giantsquid)
Post #: 4
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