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ITALD and MALD

 
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ITALD and MALD - 3/31/2021 2:01:05 AM   
trevor999

 

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Greetings

I am hoping to get some help or guidance on the proper deployment/use of MALD OECM and ITALD decoys.
Questions:
Should the carrying a/c be ahead of a strike package?
Why does it seem that SAM systems absolutely ignore the ITALD's?
Is there a simple way to calculate when to deploy them before the strike package's weapons are in range?
Is it better to deploy them in a mass from one direction, or fewer from different diections?

I try to deploy mine somewhat ahead of the strike package. But it's problematic since both the ADM-141C ITALD and the ADM-160C MALD-J have a speed of 400kts, and a F/A-18E cruises at 480kts. So if they're not launched at the appropriate time, the -18's fly past them. Timing them with a weapons launch is just as problematic, as say, an AGM-154A JSOW flies at 530kts, or an AGM-84N flies at 570 kts, or an AGM-88E at 2000 kts, whichs all of them often pass by the jammers and decoys. I try to deploy mine from different bearings.

Any help would be most appreciated. Thanks!
Post #: 1
RE: ITALD and MALD - 3/31/2021 6:18:15 AM   
Zanthra

 

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TALDs are generally only classified as accurately as neutral aircraft to enemy sensors, so if the hostile side has a restricted ROE for their SAM batteries, they will ignore the TALD. They can often take up substantial time of enemy aircraft attempting to identify the decoys, but given their tiny visual detection range, usually they have to get very close, and sometimes they can never get a good ID at night or in poor weather. If the enemy has such a restricted ROE, they are more useful to assist in drawing the enemy fighters into an advantageous trap rather than drawing out SAM fire.

The MALD-J is often identified as hostile by ELINT emissions, and so it's not uncommon for them to be engaged by SAMs, although they can be very difficult for SAMs to lock on to. They are very useful for getting intelligence data and accurate positions of A2AD positions due to their long endurance, ELINT, and datalink, as well as their 0 point loss even in the most aggressive anti-loss scoring of missions. Due to their jamming, and the difficulty for SAMs to lock onto them, you have to fly them pretty much straight over most of the SAM batteries before they will take up any missiles. On the other hand, enemy aircraft can get into range where they can burn through the jamming, and will happily engage air to air which is great if you can follow up with your own jets while they are short on missiles.

(in reply to trevor999)
Post #: 2
RE: ITALD and MALD - 3/31/2021 6:49:59 AM   
guanotwozero

 

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I've found ITALDS & MALD-Js quite effective, though I've not tried them yet in the latest beta so don't know of any changes.

Yes, you should send them ahead of your strike, or maybe from a different direction - whatever method you use to ensure they arrive over target before your aircraft.

I've not observed any SAM reluctance, but I've only used them over naval targets who were very keen to shoot at them. As such the ITALDS seem to be effective SAM magnets. The MALD-Js have decent jamming capabilities too, so used in conjunction they can make the enemy waste a lot of missiles.

I found the best approach was to orbit my launchers just outside the SAM envelope, and drip-feed the decoys inside. I use a ratio of 2:1 ITALD:MALD-J, and try to keep at least one jammer close to the others. Initially fly them into the extreme periphery of the envelope, meaning the SAMs will have less KE to manoeuvre and hit anyway. The jamming seems to be quite effective resulting in a high proportion of misses.

As your strike package approaches, you can them move the decoys closer to the target so as to decrease the likelihood of your planes being obvious targets - try to keep them roughly on the same radials. I'd also use a jamming aircraft or two escorting the strike to maximise the effect.

You can use the distance tool and a calculator to work out flight times, bearing in mind you'll probably launch from just outside that SAM envelope. Better the launchers are there too early than too late, as they can wait. There's a rumour that some of us even use a spreadsheet from time to time!

(in reply to Zanthra)
Post #: 3
RE: ITALD and MALD - 3/31/2021 7:03:48 AM   
Zanthra

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: guanotwozero

I've found ITALDS & MALD-Js quite effective, though I've not tried them yet in the latest beta so don't know of any changes.

Yes, you should send them ahead of your strike, or maybe from a different direction - whatever method you use to ensure they arrive over target before your aircraft.

I've not observed any SAM reluctance, but I've only used them over naval targets who were very keen to shoot at them. As such the ITALDS seem to be effective SAM magnets. The MALD-Js have decent jamming capabilities too, so used in conjunction they can make the enemy waste a lot of missiles.

I found the best approach was to orbit my launchers just outside the SAM envelope, and drip-feed the decoys inside. I use a ratio of 2:1 ITALD:MALD-J, and try to keep at least one jammer close to the others. Initially fly them into the extreme periphery of the envelope, meaning the SAMs will have less KE to manoeuvre and hit anyway. The jamming seems to be quite effective resulting in a high proportion of misses.

As your strike package approaches, you can them move the decoys closer to the target so as to decrease the likelihood of your planes being obvious targets - try to keep them roughly on the same radials. I'd also use a jamming aircraft or two escorting the strike to maximise the effect.

You can use the distance tool and a calculator to work out flight times, bearing in mind you'll probably launch from just outside that SAM envelope. Better the launchers are there too early than too late, as they can wait. There's a rumour that some of us even use a spreadsheet from time to time!


Do the ships tend to fire 2 missiles at each ITALD per volley and only 1 missile at each MALD-J per volley?


< Message edited by Zanthra -- 3/31/2021 7:04:14 AM >

(in reply to guanotwozero)
Post #: 4
RE: ITALD and MALD - 3/31/2021 7:18:13 AM   
guanotwozero

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zanthra
Do the ships tend to fire 2 missiles at each ITALD per volley and only 1 missile at each MALD-J per volley?

From memory no, it was only one per target for both types. However it's a while ago so I may have misremembered. Last time I tried it was in BeirutDude's excellent "Fiery Cross Reef 2021" with Chinese ships firing (I presumed) HHQ-9s & SA-N-20s. I'm intending to try out the latest version on the latest beta, so I can report back later.

(in reply to Zanthra)
Post #: 5
RE: ITALD and MALD - 3/31/2021 8:16:24 AM   
Zanthra

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: guanotwozero

From memory no, it was only one per target for both types. However it's a while ago so I may have misremembered. Last time I tried it was in BeirutDude's excellent "Fiery Cross Reef 2021" with Chinese ships firing (I presumed) HHQ-9s & SA-N-20s. I'm intending to try out the latest version on the latest beta, so I can report back later.



I took a look at that scenario, and it seems that the decoys can be identified by NCTR. So if a J-15 or J-20 can see the ITALD head on for a JEM identification by radar, they will be marked hostile. None of the PRC ships or SAM units have NCTR capabilities listed for the radars. The ships and SAMs are set to weapons tight, while the PRC aircraft are weapons free, so without identification, only the aircraft will engage the decoys.

< Message edited by Zanthra -- 3/31/2021 8:17:05 AM >

(in reply to guanotwozero)
Post #: 6
RE: ITALD and MALD - 3/31/2021 9:33:39 AM   
guanotwozero

 

Posts: 645
Joined: 12/27/2013
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zanthra
I took a look at that scenario, and it seems that the decoys can be identified by NCTR. So if a J-15 or J-20 can see the ITALD head on for a JEM identification by radar, they will be marked hostile. None of the PRC ships or SAM units have NCTR capabilities listed for the radars. The ships and SAMs are set to weapons tight, while the PRC aircraft are weapons free, so without identification, only the aircraft will engage the decoys.

In which case the latest version must be different, as in the earlier version I played the SAMs were having a very busy day. That would also explain @trevor999's report of SAMs ignoring them. However I didn't check the Chinese side so I'm not aware of the specifics.

(in reply to Zanthra)
Post #: 7
RE: ITALD and MALD - 4/4/2021 2:35:12 PM   
SeaQueen


Posts: 1368
Joined: 4/14/2007
From: Washington D.C.
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: trevor999
Should the carrying a/c be ahead of a strike package?


It depends. What are you trying to achieve with them?

quote:

Why does it seem that SAM systems absolutely ignore the ITALD's?


That's a software issue, you may need to put an exclusion zone around the defended area(s).

quote:


Is there a simple way to calculate when to deploy them before the strike package's weapons are in range?


Distance = Speed x Time

Work those math skills, kid. People wonder why I play the game with spreadsheet opened. Now you know.

quote:


Is it better to deploy them in a mass from one direction, or fewer from different directions?


It depends on what you're trying to do and who you're trying to do it to. There isn't a single answer to these questions. That's what makes the game interesting. There's probably tradeoffs to both. Against an easily saturated target, there's probably more benefit to different directions than there would be against a threat with lots of guidance channels that can track lots of targets at once. In that case, mass would probably be better, that's just my feel for things, though. Try it! That's how you develop your tactics.

quote:


I try to deploy mine somewhat ahead of the strike package. But it's problematic since both the ADM-141C ITALD and the ADM-160C MALD-J have a speed of 400kts, and a F/A-18E cruises at 480kts. So if they're not launched at the appropriate time, the -18's fly past them. Timing them with a weapons launch is just as problematic, as say, an AGM-154A JSOW flies at 530kts, or an AGM-84N flies at 570 kts, or an AGM-88E at 2000 kts, whichs all of them often pass by the jammers and decoys. I try to deploy mine from different bearings.


Now we're getting to the good stuff! What are you trying to do with the AARGMs, Harpoons, JSOWs, MALDS, and ITALDs? What is the desired effect of this strike? What does the threat look like? What do their defenses look like? All of this is a factor in how you solve this problem. Do you only have F/A-18s or are there other supporting assets as well, like Growler/Prowler, MPA, UAVs, and E-2? This sounds like a fun one.


(in reply to trevor999)
Post #: 8
RE: ITALD and MALD - 4/5/2021 6:07:04 PM   
trevor999

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 6/2/2008
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It's actually workshop scenario: Black Tiger V.

I started wondering whether it was to do with LUA scripts, or lack thereof. Or the opening ROE for Iran. I noticed the WCS ROE is weapons tight. There are also no exclusion zones around the sites.

I'm going to fiddle with the scenario some more (I think the SAM density is way overdone for 2 CBG's) and change them to weapons free and/or set exclusion zones, restart, and see if that helps.

To answer your last question, it's an attack on a SAM site (SA-15d, SA-11, SA-21a/b) from 2 different directions with MALD's, ITALD's, AGM-88C's and E's and AGM-154A's with F/A-18E's and F's with Growler support.

(in reply to SeaQueen)
Post #: 9
RE: ITALD and MALD - 4/6/2021 11:42:40 AM   
maverick3320

 

Posts: 51
Joined: 2/14/2021
Status: online
I've had similar issues with the TALD. In the scenarios I've tried to deploy them, the enemy AA net simply ignores them. I've been playing mostly late Cold War scenarios, though, so maybe it's a timeframe issue.

(in reply to trevor999)
Post #: 10
RE: ITALD and MALD - 4/6/2021 8:20:13 PM   
AndrewJ

 

Posts: 2184
Joined: 1/5/2014
Status: online
It may simply be that the ROE are set to only engage identified enemy targets. If that's the case, a TALD which is a yellow unknown will never be fired on, just like any other unknown airborne contact.

(in reply to maverick3320)
Post #: 11
RE: ITALD and MALD - 4/6/2021 8:53:54 PM   
thewood1

 

Posts: 5905
Joined: 11/27/2005
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quote:

ORIGINAL: AndrewJ

It may simply be that the ROE are set to only engage identified enemy targets. If that's the case, a TALD which is a yellow unknown will never be fired on, just like any other unknown airborne contact.


I screwed around with a scenario that had decoys for a month trying to figure this out. And that was exactly the issue. If you are on a war alert level, you should have exclusion zones set for weapons free on any intrusion. That solved my issues. It not is game friendly, I think it reflects most real life scenarios.

(in reply to AndrewJ)
Post #: 12
RE: ITALD and MALD - 4/6/2021 11:31:34 PM   
SeaQueen


Posts: 1368
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From: Washington D.C.
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: trevor999
It's actually workshop scenario: Black Tiger V.


I don't know it, I get annoyed with most public scenarios. Too many aspiring Tom Clancys.

quote:


There are also no exclusion zones around the sites.


That's going to make it hard to use the decoys to their maximum potential. It's a bit of a simulation-ism sadly, but that's how it goes. Since there's carriers involved, I assume there's escorts. Have you considered integrating TLAM into the strike? You can often achieve similar effects with TLAM.

quote:


I'm going to fiddle with the scenario some more (I think the SAM density is way overdone for 2 CBG's) and change them to weapons free and/or set exclusion zones, restart, and see if that helps.


Regarding the SAM density, it all depends. If they're serious about defending a target, they might layer it up quite heavily.

quote:


To answer your last question, it's an attack on a SAM site (SA-15d, SA-11, SA-21a/b) from 2 different directions with MALD's, ITALD's, AGM-88C's and E's and AGM-154A's with F/A-18E's and F's with Growler support.


Okay, it's a SAM takedown scenario. I'll assume the commander's intent is something like "To degrade the enemy IADS in order to enable future follow-on strikes?" Here's how I'd think through the problem. There's probably more than one way to solve this one, but I'm going to explain my process so that you can adapt your own.

Since all you've got is AARGM, HARM and JSOW with Growlers, and the threat includes an SA-21, you're going to have to trespass on the Iranian WEZ because their max range is 215NM, AARGM/HARM maxes out at 70NM, while the JSOW is even worse at 45NM. The SA-11 and SA-15 are less challenging, because they're only a 20NM and a 9NM missile. There's no reason to get any closer than that to either of them. The only one that ought to ever shoot at your jets is the SA-21. The rest should just be shooting at decoys or weapons. You want to keep your shooters in alignment with the Growlers as you ingress. Keep them behind the shooters because if they do get too close and the SAM engages, the Growlers can cover them with jamming, and maybe follow on with a reactive AARGM shot as the Hornets egress a bit to a safer distance. The whole point of the Growlers, is to get in closer, though.

The SA-21 has to die first, followed by the SA-11 and then the SA-15. To be successful at disabling the SAM sites, you need to induce them to light up their CHEESEBOARD, FIREDOME, and DOG EAR radars. They're only going to do that if they're about to shoot at something. Once they do that, though, your HARM/AARGM shooters are going to be able to kneecap them if they're in range.

Ideally, you could use the MALD/ITALDs to induce them to shoot, but since you can't do that due to simulation-isms, the next best thing is to use TLAMs from the boats, or JSOWS from the jets. Shoot as many of those as you can at the SAM sites you want to knock out. You don't really care if these actually hit, but they can't ignore them because if they do they're dead. The point of these is to get those engagement radars to light up, and kill them with HARM/AARGM. Have the HARM/AARGM shooters orbit so that they're no closer than they need to be to the SAM site and so that they're in alignment with the Growlers protecting them. Once that site lights up, pop it with a HARM or AARGM. Rinse, wash, repeat.

The goal is to place them "on the horns of a dilemma" as they say, and make them make a "damned if I do, damned if I don't" decision, like lighting up their radar to defend themselves. Important consideration: Do you know where they all are? If you have a sense of where they're located, it'll help you plan a lot.

< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 4/7/2021 12:08:11 AM >

(in reply to trevor999)
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