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The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2)

 
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The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 1:03:37 PM   
DWReese

 

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Here is a great article that discusses the TPY-2 radar. This is the unit responsible for identifying ballistic missile launches and will play a critical role in defending land targets, as well as ships (if located close enough), such as in the South China Sea.

Notice the article, which was written 5 years ago, mentions the various reported distances that this radar (which has two modes) can operate. CMO has the range listed at 870 km (540 miles), but some sources claim that it is actually closer to 3000 km (1800 miles), or more. Raytheon, its creator, claims that the radar is so powerful, and so defined, that it can "...track a home run from a ball park from several hundred miles away." That's pretty detailed.

In any case, take a look at the article. It would appear that there is a good argument that the range of the TPY-2 should likely be increased, given the specific need for the radar, and the fact that there has obviously been 5 years worth of improvements since it was written.

https://mostlymissiledefense.com/2016/07/17/thaad-radar-ranges-july-17-2018/

Doug
Post #: 1
RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 3:44:57 PM   
SeaQueen


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As with all things in high technology warfare, radar detection ranges are subject to a gigantic list of "it depends"-es. I thought the real substance of the article was its conclusion:

quote:


The above discussion shows that while the United States’ argument that THAAD’s range while operating in its intended terminal mode is very limited is plausible, so is the Chinese claim that the radar is physically capable of observing missile flights deep within its territory. While China would surely be able to monitor which mode the radar is operating in, there does not appear to be any technical or legal barrier to prevent it from being quickly converted from terminal to forward-based mode.


All 8 of the ranges they quote are feasible given different assumptions about the system! Which one is the right set of assumptions? It's completely possible that all of them might not be too bad given different situations. There might be other sets of (probably classified) assumptions that Raytheon and the Army use. Raytheon, of course, is going to quote the best possible range. A good salesman never gives a measured, qualified opinion.

Most radars have many different modes of operation. Some things that might very among radar modes include the scan rate, PRF, power output, frequency, signal processing, polarization, and wave form. In one mode, for example, you might have a really slow scan rate, a very high output power, and a very low PRF, and as a result a really long detection range. In another mode, you might have a quicker scan rate, and better speed and direction resolution. Another mode might use a vertically polarized signal while another might use a circularly polarized signal. It all just depends, and of course, the target gets a vote too with it radar cross section and aspect. Ballistic missile warheads are basically cone shaped, which from an rcs perspective is actually a good thing from the front, but from offset angles can result in very strong spikes, depending on how the radar is polarized (polarization makes a big difference in rcs). During the course of a ballistic missile flyout, depending on the relatively positioning of the missile, the sensor and the target, you might get any and all possible look angles.

Take a look at this paper. Of particular interest is the cone sphere results in Figure 18 and 19. Look at how different the functions describing rcs and a function of look angle are, depending on frequency and polarization.

https://www.remcom.com/examples/rcs-analysis-of-3d-bodies-of-revolution.html

It's important to take this stuff with a grain of salt. None of this stuff talks about electronic warfare (Hint: That's a HUGE topic for discussion in itself). So, while the paper you cited is certainly useful and interesting, I think its true implications for the THAAD radar range as modelled in CPE is less clear.

(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 4:11:25 PM   
BDukes

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese

Here is a great article that discusses the TPY-2 radar. This is the unit responsible for identifying ballistic missile launches and will play a critical role in defending land targets, as well as ships (if located close enough), such as in the South China Sea.

Notice the article, which was written 5 years ago, mentions the various reported distances that this radar (which has two modes) can operate. CMO has the range listed at 870 km (540 miles), but some sources claim that it is actually closer to 3000 km (1800 miles), or more. Raytheon, its creator, claims that the radar is so powerful, and so defined, that it can "...track a home run from a ball park from several hundred miles away." That's pretty detailed.

In any case, take a look at the article. It would appear that there is a good argument that the range of the TPY-2 should likely be increased, given the specific need for the radar, and the fact that there has obviously been 5 years worth of improvements since it was written.

https://mostlymissiledefense.com/2016/07/17/thaad-radar-ranges-july-17-2018/

Doug


I've answered this in PM, but you're not going to get exact stats on this, so it's kind of a tech wormhole you won't get out of in the immediate future.

I would look at this from the problem you're trying to solve in that detection isn't happening early enough to work with the OODA expectation in your model. I'd try adding other platforms to help (satellites etc.) to help with getting a detection earlier and give your model/vision the greater success you're looking for.

Mike


(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 5:01:03 PM   
DWReese

 

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Mike,

I've added satellites, Cobra-everything radar stations, aircraft. and different kinds of ELINT aircraft. For example, the RC-135S can detect the launch almost immediately, but it is ELINT, so it can't provide FC data. By the time the units themselves can SEE the targets, they are no longer in the envelope, so they get destroyed. In essence, they were tracked 1500 miles by ELINT, and never could even be fired upon because of detection, and OODA.

Doug

(in reply to BDukes)
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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 5:08:53 PM   
thewood1

 

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Just like my comment in the DF-21 thread. Its a very multivariate challenge on both sides. Its not Df-21s vs a single USN ship. Its not just a radar vs a single unit. Its the entire multi-unit system of detection, decision, and execution. Intelligence will tell you what mode to set certain unit's EMCOM for, what missile loadouts they should have, and what the WRA should be.

The biggest issue is scenario designers sometimes try to simplify the decision-making for the player. Personally, I find it more fun to have multiple options that sort of do the same thing, but have nuances to each approach. This is versus the puzzle solving approach in a lot of scenarios. The US in the Pacific has multiple ways of detecting incoming missiles. Its not just THAAD. SBX is there, other ground-based radar, ship radars, satelites, human intel, etc. If I'm being tasked with an ABM mission in a scenario, I want the option to access some of those assets.

For example, combining this thread's topic with the DF-21 thread, the defense chain against DF-21s or DF-26s might have a BMD DG on the threat axis near the enemy shore, a THAAD system across the missile's flight path, and another BDM DG with SM-6s near the target's shore. Each one of those points has a different window to target the missile(s). Thats combined with satellites to detect prep and launch and HUMINT for likelihood of launch.

(in reply to BDukes)
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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 5:18:04 PM   
BDukes

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

Just like my comment in the DF-21 thread. Its a very multivariate challenge on both sides. Its not Df-21s vs a single USN ship. Its not just a radar vs a single unit. Its the entire multi-unit system of detection, decision, and execution. Intelligence will tell you what mode to set certain unit's EMCOM for, what missile loadouts they should have, and what the WRA should be.

The biggest issue is scenario designers sometimes try to simplify the decision-making for the player. Personally, I find it more fun to have multiple options that sort of do the same thing, but have nuances to each approach. This is versus the puzzle solving approach in a lot of scenarios. The US in the Pacific has multiple ways of detecting incoming missiles. Its not just THAAD. SBX is there, other ground-based radar, ship radars, satelites, human intel, etc. If I'm being tasked with an ABM mission in a scenario, I want the option to access some of those assets.

For example, combining this thread's topic with the DF-21 thread, the defense chain against DF-21s or DF-26s might have a BMD DG on the threat axis near the enemy shore, a THAAD system across the missile's flight path, and another BDM DG with SM-6s near the target's shore. Each one of those points has a different window to target the missile(s). Thats combined with satellites to detect prep and launch and HUMINT for likelihood of launch.


Agree.

Mike

(in reply to thewood1)
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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 5:52:25 PM   
DWReese

 

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Mike,

Part of the problem lies with the SM-3 (RIM-161 C) missile's range being limited to just 200 miles. At the 200-mile mark, if the DF-21 was heading towards the ships, then it has already started its descent. After that occurs, and once the DF-21 drops below the deck of the SM-3 (300k feet), the SM-3 is useless, regardless of what radar is present. It can't shoot. And, since the ship-borne radars don't usually detect the incoming missiles until they are about 160 miles out, the battle is lost before it begins.

The only way for the SM-3 to be useful at all is if it is detected well beyond the 200 miles and BEFORE it makes its descent to an altitude under 300k feet.

Next in line is the SM-6, which has a firing range of 130 miles. Often what happens here is that the DF-21 missiles rarely fall into the SM-6's shooting "envelope." And, when they do, there's usually an OODA delay issue. By the time that the OODA time is over, the DF-21s are no longer in the shooting envelope.

The SM-6 MAY get off a lucky shot or two in that small window of time between when the OODA passes and before the envelope closes. Often, I've looked and there may be a time when you could MANUALLY fire, but the program is waiting for whatever reason, and then the window often closes before it ever gets off a shot.

It's tricky.

Doug

(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 6:15:42 PM   
BDukes

 

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Doug

Here's just a test file. Early SM-3s do engage missiles. One seems to get through consistently. I'm ok with that result.

Let me know where you think there is an issue

Mike

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by BDukes -- 3/20/2021 6:16:09 PM >

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 7:54:56 PM   
thewood1

 

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I still don't understand why this is considered an issue. The limited range and engagement window is acknowledged by the USN and its why the SM-3 is still budgeted for further development. Its also why the SM-6 BLK IB is being funded. There is no one missile that will kill a BM throughout its flight profile. Its a combination of tracking, homing sensors, and missile range.

Did you even open the example scenario I built? Four DF-21s in route, three knocked off the mission and one spoofed. The SM-6 does exactly what its designed to do. Where does the SM-6 only get off 1-2 shots? It fired 8-10 missiles in that test.

Edit: The Cs range of 200 nm is also why it had to sit in the Sea of Japan to cover N Korean missile threats. Its also why the IIA was developed and is being deployed. When the C was deployed, the next gen SM-3s were already in development and testing with a range of 1200 nm.

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 3/20/2021 8:31:15 PM >

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 8:12:48 PM   
DWReese

 

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Mike,

Thank you for taking the time to create the scenario. That was very nice of you to do.

I've played your scenario, and many like it, probably 500 times. I usually use the C and E versions of the SM-3.

Did you notice that the TPY-2 took a while to SEE the incoming missiles even though they were only 340 miles (or less) away. The range of the TPY-2 is 540, and it reportedly can "see a baseball being hit out of the park from several hundred miles away." Those missiles are many times larger than a baseball, yet the TPY-2 has trouble finding anything until the target gets within 340 miles (as I said). I would think that they would see them earlier, and at a greater distance than 340 miles.

On the ship end, I've had similar results. But, your scenario was set up under pristine conditions. Had you given the ship a 45 degree heading, instead of 0, the ships would have had to turn. Turning eats up precious time, it cuts into the launch window, and keeps them from being able to get off any shots even longer.
Notice, also, that the ship was only able to get off 7 of the intended 8 missiles BEFORE it could no longer fire because it wasn't able to. It would be much less if they had to turn. And, as I said, there wouldn't be any at all if it adhered to the 330k foot deck.

Also, when the hips begin firing, the DF-21s have already descended to 70 km (or 230k feet). According to the game, the deck for SM-3 is 330k feet, so it is already below the deck, and it should no longer be able to fire at them at all because they are too low.

Additionally, your TPY-2 is strategically placed in between the the target and the shooter. In real life, had the group been sailing into the SCS, any land-based radar would not be so conveniently placed. Units could be placed in Brunei , Malaysia, or the Philippines and they would be (as I said) at least 200 miles further back from the ships, and the land-based radar wouldn't be detecting them any quicker than the ships do.

Your scenario yields similar results, but degrading the situation just a little (heading/TPY-2 positioning) and it will severely alter the results.

Thanks again for making the scenario for me.

Doug

< Message edited by DWReese -- 3/20/2021 8:25:25 PM >

(in reply to BDukes)
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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 9:24:15 PM   
DWReese

 

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Mike,

Just for fun, I tried your scenario once again, but this time I eliminated the TPY-2, and let the ship's ABM radar search find the incoming missiles. I still had the ships on the 0 Heading. The ships observed the DF-26s at 147 miles, and the Manual Firing Method advised that they couldn't shoot for another 8.2 seconds. After 8 and 9 seconds, I checked and the message indicated that the incoming DF-26s were too low to be fired at. No SAM shots were ever fired, and the carrier was struck.

I didn't even attempt to try it on a heading of 45 degrees because if they couldn't get into position heading right for it, then it wouldn't have made any difference. It would have been the same result. NO shots fired.

Doug

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 9:34:25 PM   
BDukes

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese

Mike,

Thank you for taking the time to create the scenario. That was very nice of you to do.

I've played your scenario, and many like it, probably 500 times. I usually use the C and E versions of the SM-3.

Did you notice that the TPY-2 took a while to SEE the incoming missiles even though they were only 340 miles (or less) away. The range of the TPY-2 is 540, and it reportedly can "see a baseball being hit out of the park from several hundred miles away." Those missiles are many times larger than a baseball, yet the TPY-2 has trouble finding anything until the target gets within 340 miles (as I said). I would think that they would see them earlier, and at a greater distance than 340 miles.

On the ship end, I've had similar results. But, your scenario was set up under pristine conditions. Had you given the ship a 45 degree heading, instead of 0, the ships would have had to turn. Turning eats up precious time, it cuts into the launch window, and keeps them from being able to get off any shots even longer.
Notice, also, that the ship was only able to get off 7 of the intended 8 missiles BEFORE it could no longer fire because it wasn't able to. It would be much less if they had to turn. And, as I said, there wouldn't be any at all if it adhered to the 330k foot deck.

Also, when the hips begin firing, the DF-21s have already descended to 70 km (or 230k feet). According to the game, the deck for SM-3 is 330k feet, so it is already below the deck, and it should no longer be able to fire at them at all because they are too low.

Additionally, your TPY-2 is strategically placed in between the the target and the shooter. In real life, had the group been sailing into the SCS, any land-based radar would not be so conveniently placed. Units could be placed in Brunei , Malaysia, or the Philippines and they would be (as I said) at least 200 miles further back from the ships, and the land-based radar wouldn't be detecting them any quicker than the ships do.

Your scenario yields similar results, but degrading the situation just a little (heading/TPY-2 positioning) and it will severely alter the results.

Thanks again for making the scenario for me.

Doug


This is the point, Doug. If you have other assets in other places that can see the missiles it gives you a better shot. The one I placed in Taiwan isn't unreasonable.

In terms of accurately placing them as thewood mentioned ABM radars are in lots of places and US and Japanese ships with BMD radars could be in lots of other places. Those places are chosen on the basis of giving ABM a good chance of working minus a few territorial things If they're not in your scenario or in the right place by chance, thems the breaks.

I'd pursue your DB change though. I think that's reasonable.


Mike



< Message edited by BDukes -- 3/20/2021 9:54:04 PM >

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 10:35:10 PM   
SeaQueen


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Which satellites? SBIRS? ALL of them? There's a lot of satellites in the database with SBIRS sensors, but aren't designated SBIRS satellites (it's just one of the many tricks they perform).

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 10:46:13 PM   
thewood1

 

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I am not sure which satellites they have been using to track test IRBM intercepts. I do remember that there used to be an issue with satellites detecting launches in CMO. Not sure if that got sorted.

edit: It looks like STSS is what would be used in RL for the test intercepts. I am guessing that is what would be best fit in the db.

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 3/20/2021 10:51:23 PM >

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/20/2021 11:57:56 PM   
BDukes

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

I am not sure which satellites they have been using to track test IRBM intercepts. I do remember that there used to be an issue with satellites detecting launches in CMO. Not sure if that got sorted.

edit: It looks like STSS is what would be used in RL for the test intercepts. I am guessing that is what would be best fit in the db.


Sounds good to me

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/21/2021 1:02:41 AM   
thewood1

 

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The detection works with the STSS units, but not tracking. I thought the STSS purpose was to be able to provide tracks for interception. But I don't know enough about it to say what should and shouldn't be working.

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/21/2021 1:15:38 AM   
DWReese

 

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Mike,

As I said, the TPY-2 has a short range. One thing that doesn't is the seldom-known T-AGM 15 Howard O. Lorenzen missile range instrumentation Ship. This ship has two radars (S=band and X-band) and each has a stated range of 2800 miles. (That stated range number seems to coincide with the stated range of the TPY-2.)

In any case, I have my own testing scenarios, and I placed the TPY-2 (as you did) which was in between the incoming missiles and the target ship. I then placed the Lorenzen about 150 miles behind the target ship.

Well, even though the TPY-2 was only 250 miles away from the incoming missiles, it couldn't pick them up. The Lorenzen, was 650 miles away (with its stated 2800 range) and picked up the missiles with their S-band first, and later the X-band. The target ship, a Tico with SM-3 IIA (long range version with a 1350 mile range) fired at, and destroyed, all of the incoming missiles without a problem.

So, given a searching platform, the ships can defend themselves. But, there is only one Lorenzen in the fleet, and one SBX sea-based platform which has a similar range, so those can't be counted on all of the time. So the TPY-2, which is supposed to be the EYES OF THAAD, should have a great radar, and that would probably be something that was commensurate with the Lorenzen. It only makes sense.

Doug

(in reply to BDukes)
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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/21/2021 3:50:35 AM   
DWReese

 

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Mike,

Added the Lorenzen (I don't know how realistic that is) and when I did, all of the DF-21s were detected a ranges greater than 600 miles away, and the ABM ships fired their SM-3 missiles and destroyed all of the missiles as expected.

So, the radar is the thing.

That brings me back to the beginning: If the ship-borne radar doesn't have the range (perhaps that needs to be looked at as well), then certainly the land-based portable TPY-2 (which only effectively sees 250-340 miles) should have its range upgraded to the ranges that I have been mentioning previously. These range change would, in effect, correct the issue and allow the carrier group to properly defend itself.

Doug

(in reply to BDukes)
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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/21/2021 1:24:24 PM   
BDukes

 

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Hi Doug

Sounds like you're finding solutions. That's great! I really look forward to seeing your next iteration. What I saw on Kushan's stream looked really great.

SeaQueen mentioned this but be a little careful about radar range calculations. The curvature of the earth (LOS), environment and type of radar matter. I'm not an expert by any stretch but have learned to temper my expectations a bit. I would kind of loosen up on trying to find the exact range and shoot more for getting the effect you want.

Mike

(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/21/2021 2:33:08 PM   
DWReese

 

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Mike,

That's great advice.

Whether the exact range is 2900 miles, 1200 miles, or 800 miles is really irrelevant in most cases as everything other than the SM-3 IIA only has a range of 200 miles. But, in order to shoot at something that will be 200 miles away, you have to first be able to detect it with enough time to be able to maneuver into position to be able to shoot at it. So, if the TPY-2 had REAL range in the neighborhood of 400 to 500 miles, instead of the actual 340 (or even less), the radar/situation would work just fine. In essence, the radar range just needs to be increased just a little bit in order to make it all work.

Sans that, I guess they could just make a bunch of ships equipped like the Lorenzen. <G>

I have a few more scenarios on the way. Most, like the one featured on Kushan's feed, involved ABM, so it is imperative that this issue be resolved before releasing them.

Thanks again.

Doug


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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/21/2021 3:06:03 PM   
thewood1

 

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What is the issue? If thats the way it works in real life, what has to be changed?

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/21/2021 3:28:02 PM   
BDukes

 

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Lucy....




Attachment (1)

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/21/2021 3:30:05 PM   
BDukes

 

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and with this I make my big escape!

Best of luck! Your scenario is gonna be great.

Mike

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/21/2021 3:34:51 PM   
thewood1

 

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I get it, but still confused. Should the game be changed to fit one person's scenario? I guess that is my real question.

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/21/2021 3:55:53 PM   
BDukes

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

I get it, but still confused. Should the game be changed to fit one person's scenario? I guess that is my real question.


Meh...I wouldn't give anybody that hard of a time about it. He's only asking for a range change of one radar in the db. He's asking it to build something cool.

Have a nice Sunday!

Mike

(in reply to thewood1)
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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/21/2021 4:24:04 PM   
thewood1

 

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Thats not all he's asking for. Have you seen the multiple threads he has started complaining about the recent changes? This has been an ongoing issue. He has created four of five threads looking for people to support him. Maybe THAAD in CEC mode is shorted, I actually don't know. But as you said, there are multiple ways around it. But the bone is in the teeth and won't be dropped easily.

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/22/2021 8:16:05 PM   
PaulTheWolf

 

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Hi all! Just wanted to let you know the Team has seen this thread, and we'll be implementing changes to TPY-2 based on this feedback and provided information. In particular an additional version of the TPY-2 will be added to the database with much longer search range to account for the alternate search mode specified in the sources provided. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

Paul.

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/22/2021 8:43:07 PM   
thewood1

 

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A quick question...If the THAAD is in CEC mode, can it still guide its own missiles?

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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/22/2021 10:32:20 PM   
kevinkins


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Thanks DWReese. Your observations move this simulation forward.

_____________________________

“The study of history lies at the foundation of all sound military conclusions and practice.”
― Alfred Thayer Mahan


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RE: The EYES of THAAD (TPY-2) - 3/23/2021 12:16:25 AM   
c3k

 

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@DWReese,

Thanks for pointing this out. I'm no radar expert, but if the TPY-2 has a longer range in real life than the game allows, that's something that should obviously be adjusted.

(in reply to kevinkins)
Post #: 30
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