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ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/14/2020 8:28:28 PM   
1nutworld


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Hi gang,

I'm back with another "someone help me understand better" question.

If stealth is the name of the game in ASW warfare, that IS the idea, right?

Submarines = the silent service - so noise is the enemy, no active emissions, no cavitation, "black hole in the ocean" thinking and doctrine.

Surface ships - from Submarine point of view = target.

Do I have it right so far?

Well, if ships assigned to ASW missions would ALSO be thinking noise is the enemy, correct? So likewise- noise = bad, no cavitation, the quieter operations - the better.

So if ASW equipped ships have ASW a/c embarked (and shore based, as well) and on mission, how come all ASW a/c loadouts have ONLY a mix of active and passive sonobuoy options?

If you are trying to hunt down a submarine to prosecute, and silence is the best way to keep yourself hidden, why have a/c involved in ASW operations with active sonobuoys, unless you have completely determined you have a viable target to prosecute?

Doing a ASW patrol with DICASS sonobuoys negates any silent advantages a patrolling A/C would have wouldn't it?

So how come there are no passive only loadouts for helo and sub-hunting patrol a/c to help maintain the element of stealth/silent tracking of a submarine?

Why let the submarine know that planes or surface ships are operating in the area by use of active measures?

_____________________________

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) 1990-1994.
Post #: 1
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/14/2020 10:13:06 PM   
Fido81

 

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Generally speaking, I think your assessments of submarine and surface interaction are correct. However, I wouldn't say the key there is stealth and noise mitigation as much as "detecting the enemy while avoiding counterdetection". NATO developed passive sonars to solve this problem because it had the electronics capabilities to support it. The USSR, it seems, took a different approach that doesn't depend so much on acoustics.

The other reason I'd posit the issue is more about counterdetection than stealth per se is because submarines have, at least at this point, much less ability to threaten aircraft than they do surface ships or other submarines. Since submarines can't do much about them, I think it matters less if aircraft are counterdetected.

The detection of an aircraft (or sonobuoy) by a submarine, I think, doesn't negate all its advantages. Besides the inability of submarines to reliably attack aircraft, even the slowest ASW aircraft are an order of magnitude faster than a submarine trying to maintain stealth. Even if the submarine hears the aircraft (which has happened before), if the aircraft hears the submarine, it is much less likely that the submarine will be able to evade without needing to maneuver defensively. Subs just don't move fast enough for that.

My best guess as to why there's no passive-only loadouts is because there's no guarantee that passive-only sonobuoys will provide an accurate enough position fix to drop a torpedo or depth charge. I don't think there's much point in detecting a hostile contact if you can't localize it enough to prosecute it.

With regard to your last question, it could actually be worthwhile to signal with active sonar that hostile units are in the area from a tactical perspective, in order to affect the way the enemy submarine operates. When you're playing a scenario and notice that a sonobuoy has been dropped or there's an ASW aircraft overhead, doesn't that change how you operate your submarines? That gives the enemy the initiative.

(in reply to 1nutworld)
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RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 12:51:18 AM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

how come all ASW a/c loadouts have ONLY a mix of active and passive sonobuoy options


I have been pointing this out for several years! In my ASW days in the mid-80s we would NEVER drop an active sononbouy except to get a firing solution, or we lost the target and were trying to reacquire it. Otherwise we only used passive. Now a good SONAR operator on the sub could hear the sonobouys splashing into the water in good conditions (the P-3 engines as well). ALSO, we dropped sonobouys in logical patterns such as a Barrier in a choke point, Hexagonal to contain in open ocean, etc. The TACCO in the S-3A actually set the pattern and the computer flew the plane dropping them where they needed to. Also the S-3 and SH-60 had most of the sonobouys outside the airframe and types carried had to be preconfigured (String length for example) before takeoff. That was one advantage of the S-3B there was a tube to drop a limited number from inside the aircraft (amongst other things like Harpoons!).

It drives me crazy seeing the active buoys dropped in a pattern, but I tell myself its a game! When I can I micromanage the air ASW but that gets tedious.

< Message edited by BeirutDude -- 11/15/2020 1:09:00 AM >


_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to 1nutworld)
Post #: 3
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 12:56:31 AM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

My best guess as to why there's no passive-only loadouts is because there's no guarantee that passive-only sonobuoys will provide an accurate enough position fix to drop a torpedo or depth charge. I don't think there's much point in detecting a hostile contact if you can't localize it enough to prosecute it.


Should be an easy to limit ASW aircraft to passive sonobuoys only while searching and then allow the aircraft to drop active buoys when it is engaged in an offensive. Hell the computer can take total control of the aircraft during offensive ops so it should be able to be amended to drop a mix at that point.



< Message edited by BeirutDude -- 11/15/2020 1:09:58 AM >


_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to Fido81)
Post #: 4
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 1:44:03 AM   
thewood1

 

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This has been a point of discussion for a very long time in naval gaming. There are even older discussions than this one floating around on the interweb somewhere.

https://harpgamer.com/harpforum/topic/2368-airborn-asw-search-plan/

There is a point of diminishing returns on some aspects of gaming things out. In fact, there was one discussion from way back in the Harpoon DOS days on the old Harpgamer site about active vs. passive. There were SMEs who argued on both sides of the aisle on it. It was amusing to watch.

(in reply to BeirutDude)
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RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 8:35:27 AM   
1nutworld


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BeirutDude
I have been pointing this out for several years! In my ASW days in the mid-80s we would NEVER drop an active sononbouy except to get a firing solution, or we lost the target and were trying to reacquire it. Otherwise we only used passive.


That's exactly what my thinking about how ASW Ops from a Surface/Land standpoint should be carried out, but I wasn't involved in Operations/Combat, when I was in, so I can't say.



quote:

ORIGINAL: BeirutDude
ALSO, we dropped sonobouys in logical patterns such as a Barrier in a choke point, Hexagonal to contain in open ocean, etc. The TACCO in the S-3A actually set the pattern and the computer flew the plane dropping them where they needed to.


Again, another way of fighting the situation tactically, but with a specific purpose in mind, instead of "random" mix of sonobuoys dropped for the sake of dropping them.

quote:

ORIGINAL: BeirutDude
It drives me crazy seeing the active buoys dropped in a pattern, but I tell myself its a game! When I can I micromanage the air ASW but that gets tedious.


It's a great way to lose track of other events taking place in the scenario, that might be MORE important to the set mission, too. In addition to being tedious.


_____________________________

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) 1990-1994.

(in reply to BeirutDude)
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RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 11:55:07 AM   
thewood1

 

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Have the tactical deployments for sonobouys stayed the same for 40 years and are they the same regardless of country? As sonobouy technology has changed, has impacted deployment? I can't see the devs spending the enormous resources to build out possibly hundreds of combinations of search patterns that change by country and time period.

Does anyone have the history of deployments over time and by country?

btw, my understanding was passive sonobouys have only very recently had the power and duration to detect quiet subs without active support. I thought that was the whole point of the P-8 is that it almost tripled the number of sonobouys. I also read its the thinking about getting the Osprey involved in ASW. The capacity for longer duration and more powerful sonobouys is the driver.


(in reply to 1nutworld)
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RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 12:45:39 PM   
thewood1

 

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https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a597432.pdf

This is a good article on US sonobouy development and its application. Confirms that in the early 80s passive approaches were taken for SOviet sub tracking because the subs were so noisy. But Soviet subs started getting quiet to the USN switched back to tracking with a mix of active and passive.

So this is what I have gleaned from a few sources.

1940s to the early 1960s was mostly active sonobouoys.

1960s to 1970s was a mix of both.

1980s was mostly passive just for detection and then active when it needed to get a localization

After that is was a mix again due to the quieting of Soviet subs.

Looks like NATO followed that same approach from what I can tell. I stopped reading that attached doc. 3/4 of the way through so I might have missed it.

btw, reading other sources shows that the search patterns evolved a lot over the decades. Dependencies included sonobouy technology, water depth, water temp and chemistry, platform capabilities, expected enemy unit type, etc. As sonobouy technology and Soviet sub acoustic capabilities advanced, search patterns also kept changing.


(in reply to thewood1)
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RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 5:42:04 PM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

1980s was mostly passive just for detection and then active when it needed to get a localization


Admittedly this was my era. I was on the VLAD SSQ-77A testing team. VLAD was the ultimate passive sonobuoy design. I'm not sure what is classified anymore, but I can say it was so new we were drawing ray traces for it by hand as the ICAPS computer we used for sound forecasting didn't have anything to use. I was sitting in the ASWOC with an old Hewitt-Packet 41-CV doing calculations until my head hurt. Finally we got support from FNMOC in Monterey, CA!

So yes i can see it transitioning over time.

On a side note we did have some Soviet sonobouys we recovered. They were interesting!

< Message edited by BeirutDude -- 11/15/2020 5:46:59 PM >


_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to thewood1)
Post #: 9
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 6:28:45 PM   
thewood1

 

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"So yes i can see it transitioning over time"

Just curious if you have suggestions how the devs attack this?

(in reply to BeirutDude)
Post #: 10
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 6:38:36 PM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

Just curious if you have suggestions how the devs attack this?


I do!

Right now we have the ability to micromanage the Active/Passive drops using the " [ " and " ] " keys and by using the Shift key with it you can sort of set the string length to shallow or deep. So the code is there.

So in the ASW Mission box a simple toggle button/menu that allows Passive Only drops or Mixed Drops. That's part of what drives me crazy on this, I think the Dev's are most of the way there, it's just adding some extra chrome to ASW missions

Also while we're at it please change the default for ASW missions from Fire at will, to weapons tight unless hostile!

< Message edited by BeirutDude -- 11/15/2020 6:39:31 PM >


_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to thewood1)
Post #: 11
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 6:49:58 PM   
1nutworld


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BeirutDude

quote:

Just curious if you have suggestions how the devs attack this?


I do!

Right now we have the ability to micromanage the Active/Passive drops using the " [ " and " ] " keys and by using the Shift key with it you can sort of set the string length to shallow or deep. So the code is there.

So in the ASW Mission box a simple toggle button/menu that allows Passive Only drops or Mixed Drops. That's part of what drives me crazy on this, I think the Dev's are most of the way there, it's just adding some extra chrome to ASW missions

Also while we're at it please change the default for ASW missions from Fire at will, to weapons tight unless hostile!



HERE, HERE!!

< Message edited by 1nutworld -- 11/15/2020 6:50:17 PM >


_____________________________

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) 1990-1994.

(in reply to BeirutDude)
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RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 6:52:38 PM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1nutworld

quote:

ORIGINAL: BeirutDude

quote:

Just curious if you have suggestions how the devs attack this?


I do!

Right now we have the ability to micromanage the Active/Passive drops using the " [ " and " ] " keys and by using the Shift key with it you can sort of set the string length to shallow or deep. So the code is there.

So in the ASW Mission box a simple toggle button/menu that allows Passive Only drops or Mixed Drops. That's part of what drives me crazy on this, I think the Dev's are most of the way there, it's just adding some extra chrome to ASW missions

Also while we're at it please change the default for ASW missions from Fire at will, to weapons tight unless hostile!



HERE, HERE!!


Oh I forgot as the aircraft flies it alternates string length, one shallow, next deep, repeat...


_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to 1nutworld)
Post #: 13
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 6:53:19 PM   
thewood1

 

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I don't think its just passive vs active. What about search patterns. You seemed to think that was a big deal.

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RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 7:09:08 PM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

I don't think its just passive vs active. What about search patterns. You seemed to think that was a big deal.


So no, I think the active vs. passive is the main issue. It is a big deal in your tactics, but I can give the aircraft the track for the pattern I want it to fly and just let it fly the mission until we "Engage Offensive." I was more describing how we did it. I can play TACCO and set the flight path and let the computer fly it. What I have to micromanage today is the actual drops with string length and type of buoy.

But, I suppose some programing could be done based on whether the mission was an Acquire, Barrier or Containment as to the pattern it drops, but I think that is more of a human aspect. I wish this conversation was on my radar two hours ago, as in the next scenario I'm developing I had a P-8A sitting on a Venezuelan Type 209 SSK pre-conflict. So I wanted to contain it and set the several hexagonal patterns along it's track where each progressively moves with the target. I would have put up some images. Next time I do some Air ASW I will.

_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to thewood1)
Post #: 15
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 7:17:17 PM   
BeirutDude


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Also a point about my experience, we weren't dropping torpedoes', except dummies in AUTEC going after sleds!

So the pattern was huge for us as we wanted to acquire and hold contact, not destroy the target. So we listened to every little noise it made, and when looking at the waterfall diagrams looked for Flow Induced Resonances (FLIRs) from imperfections in the hull, or a noisy ball bearing, impeller to better classify the target to a particular boat. I was always told in a real war we were going to "Classify them with a torpedo!" So maybe there is a difference game wise as most times in the game we are in a conflict, vs. 1985-1988 when I was involved.

So it was real then, but we had limits...

_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to BeirutDude)
Post #: 16
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 7:33:07 PM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

https://harpgamer.com/harpforum/topic/2368-airborn-asw-search-plan/


Nice link, al lot of the stuff in there brings back memories. So they got way into the weeds! Much further than I am suggesting! Having the computer decide whether to set a 1, 2 or 3 row Barrier pattern or 5,6,5 distro pattern, that's for the human, not the computer.

_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to thewood1)
Post #: 17
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 8:14:30 PM   
thewood1

 

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I have actually wondered if EMCOM settings should impact ASW missions with passive and active sonobouys. Have you put anything in the change request forum?

(in reply to BeirutDude)
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RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 8:24:28 PM   
BeirutDude


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Long time ago. My first scenario Merry Christmas, 1985 was an air ASW mission from my home territory and I made these suggestions then.

_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to thewood1)
Post #: 19
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/15/2020 10:18:08 PM   
thewood1

 

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Do you think it would be an EMCOM setting for ASW?

(in reply to BeirutDude)
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RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/16/2020 11:07:05 AM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

Do you think it would be an EMCOM setting for ASW?


Yes, in fact that might be the easier solution for the Devs, if they chose to take this on. The toggle might give the Scenario Designer and player more options.

_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to thewood1)
Post #: 21
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/16/2020 11:27:55 AM   
goldfinger35


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IMO active buoys issue is not that important when players aircraft drops them because AI is kind of dumb in that aspect (player would get a hint what is happening, AI does not).
What I would like is to order my ASW patrol to drop buoys only over the layer because in all missions I have played, AI subs were at shallow (or persicope) depth...

(in reply to BeirutDude)
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RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/16/2020 8:20:53 PM   
tylerblakebrandon

 

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Doesn't making sure that Active Sonar is off in the WRA/mission settings prevent active buoys aren't dropped? I know ships/subs won't actively ping and my observation is that helos with an active/only dipping sonar don't deploy them on that setting.

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RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/16/2020 9:08:55 PM   
thewood1

 

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I just checked. It sure looks like you are correct. Just did a quick play through on a test scenario and the helo on mission only dropped passives until I set emcom to active sonar.

I'll play through a few scenarios tonight to better confirm. Might be a big nevermind.

edit: Just ran three tests. With EMCOM set to passive during a mission, the helo still dropped active sonobouys periodically. I think the initial try above was just coincidence that an active got dropped when I changed EMCOM.

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 11/16/2020 11:15:57 PM >

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Post #: 24
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/17/2020 8:10:15 PM   
BeirutDude


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Yeah, I've seen the P-3Cs dropping active sonobouys under passive EMCOM.

_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to thewood1)
Post #: 25
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/17/2020 8:32:04 PM   
thewood1

 

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I'm going to test it more later. Because it seemed like the number of actives was significantly lower between tests. Could just be coincidence.

(in reply to BeirutDude)
Post #: 26
RE: ASW Doctrine/loadouts - 11/17/2020 8:38:47 PM   
BeirutDude


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If you use Merry Christmas 1985 as a sandbox, it's just a simple 3 P-3C vs. a Victor scenario. I used it yesterday to test and saw plenty of Active buoys being spit out.

_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to thewood1)
Post #: 27
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