SAMs -- How low can they go?

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DWReese
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SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by DWReese »

This is probably a great question for Sea Queen, but maybe others can answer it before then:

SAMs, as we know, have a certain elevation range listed in the database. Let's say we have a SAM that has a height range from 0-11000 feet. Well, that seems easy to figure out. But, what if the same is sitting on top of a hill (mountain, I'm in Florida where we really don't have either so I don't actually know the difference <lol>) at 3000 feet. If a missile comes in and is targeting something BELOW 3000 feet, does that mean that the SAM can't shoot at it because it is, in effect, below 0 feet?

I was curious about this because it seems as if radar and units and SAMs are USUALLY placed at the highest elevation around a target, and sometimes that elevation may be higher than the missiles coming in to destroy the target.

Does anyone know if that is the case in the game? How about in real life?

Doug
ARCNA442
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RE: SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by ARCNA442 »

In the game a SAM fired from high elevation will definitely descend to engage a target - I just ran a quick test with a SA-6 battery on top of a 6000' peak against an F-16 flying at 4000' (1000' AGL). (interestingly this test actually became a great example of terrain masking, since when I tried to have the F-16 flying at 250' AGL the SAM battery couldn't get a radar track).
DWReese
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RE: SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by DWReese »

Thanks for the info.

Does the SA-6 have a zero as a low altitude? I know that some SAMs have a low limit of 200 feet, so I wonder how that would work out? I doubt that they would descend, but who knows.

I, too, was "flying through mountains" when I thought of this question. I just haven't been able to completely yest it as of yet.

Doug
PN79
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RE: SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by PN79 »

It seems to me that in game the limitation written in database for missile is just for launch. Once the missile is in the air it can follow the target to the lower height as long as guidance works.

I also think that it should stay this way as some height limitations are based more on operation regulations than physical limit of the system.
ARCNA442
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RE: SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by ARCNA442 »

ORIGINAL: PN79

It seems to me that in game the limitation written in database for missile is just for launch. Once the missile is in the air it can follow the target to the lower height as long as guidance works.

I also think that it should stay this way as some height limitations are based more on operation regulations than physical limit of the system.


SAM altitude limitations in game have nothing to do with launch altitude, only target altitude (eg a SAM with a 250' min altitude will launch from a battery at 0' AGL but will not engage a target lower than 250' AGL).

This limitation is not some sort of safety regulation, but the result of the physical difficulty of tracking targets in ground clutter - you will note that earlier missiles have higher min altitudes than more modern ones.
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SeaQueen
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RE: SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by SeaQueen »

ORIGINAL: DWReese
SAMs, as we know, have a certain elevation range listed in the database. Let's say we have a SAM that has a height range from 0-11000 feet. Well, that seems easy to figure out. But, what if the same is sitting on top of a hill (mountain, I'm in Florida where we really don't have either so I don't actually know the difference <lol>) at 3000 feet. If a missile comes in and is targeting something BELOW 3000 feet, does that mean that the SAM can't shoot at it because it is, in effect, below 0 feet?


It depends on the missile system. A "beam riding" SARH missile which can't depress its engagement radar antenna (or the beam pattern if it's an electronically scanned array) sufficiently to illuminate a target flying "under" the SAM site wouldn't be able to lock on or would lose lock. There's also other limitations, such as clutter, which were already mentioned. Depending on the particulars of the system, I suspect it might be possible to duct radar energy lots of places under the right conditions, as well. The atmosphere is a wave guide. I'm not sure if a SAM site could take advantage of that or not to do something fancy. More advanced systems probably could.

PN79
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RE: SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by PN79 »

ORIGINAL: ARCNA442

SAM altitude limitations in game have nothing to do with launch altitude, only target altitude (eg a SAM with a 250' min altitude will launch from a battery at 0' AGL but will not engage a target lower than 250' AGL).

This limitation is not some sort of safety regulation, but the result of the physical difficulty of tracking targets in ground clutter - you will note that earlier missiles have higher min altitudes than more modern ones.

We misunderstood little bit. By that launch altitude I have meant target altitude as it would not make sense for SAM unit itself.

Problem with limitation is that under different situation it has different numbers in reality. E.G. early SA-2 Guideline has 3 km minimum target altitude written in specification (in game and in reality too) but if this SAM is placed on beach firing against target over the sea it could guide missile against target which flies much lower. That doesn't mean that I want to change this specification in the game for early Guideline. That number should stay as it represents standard procedures. I am just noting that it is not some deadly set number in reality.

Anyway I have tested how it behaves in game and there early SA-2 can launch missile only against target flying 3 km and higher but once the target reduces altitude under 3 km (during evading to missile) and missile is already in the air it will follow the target to lower altitude and have a chance to kill target as long as tracking works. And this is what I want to say in my previous post to describe behaviour in game and at the same time I think that it is realistic.

ARCNA442
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RE: SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by ARCNA442 »

ORIGINAL: PN79

Anyway I have tested how it behaves in game and there early SA-2 can launch missile only against target flying 3 km and higher but once the target reduces altitude under 3 km (during evading to missile) and missile is already in the air it will follow the target to lower altitude and have a chance to kill target as long as tracking works. And this is what I want to say in my previous post to describe behaviour in game and at the same time I think that it is realistic.

Thanks for pointing this out. I just ran a test to confirm it with an SA-6 launcher (min altitude 250') against an AH-64. I had the helo cruise in at 255' then drop to its min altitude of 66' after a missile was launched. Despite being 189' below its supposed min altitude, the SA-6's not only continued to guide but still had a 45-50% PH.

While I understand that in real life missile min altitude is not a hard and fast number, the ability of SAM's to follow targets so much lower than they were designed for (all the way to 0' AGL? what's the lowest flying aircraft in the game?) seems rather optimistic.
magi
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RE: SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by magi »

it tell you that in the unit data box thingy......
LargeDiameterBomb
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RE: SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by LargeDiameterBomb »

ARCNA442

I have noticed this behavior too on several occasions, for instance that
1) if a target is within allowed parameters at launch the weapon launched at the target will continue tracking/following the target even if the target for instance for instance drops below minimum allowed target altitude.
2) if a missile with a pop up ability of 4572 m is launched at a climbing target right at the moment the target passes 4500 m above the shooter the missile can still make an intercept at 5500 m above point of launch.
3) likewise a missile that can only pop down 12192 m can be launched from a a/c flying at 13716 m ASL at a target at 2000 m ASL and continue following the target until impact even if the target immediately after the missile is launched launch goes to 30 m ASL.

I think this is something the devs should take a look at since the model now is completely unrealistic.

It also would be nice if missiles, especially short range IR-guided missiles like a AIM-9L, got a severe range (or height, whatever you want to call it) penalty when they were launched at a target that they have to climb 4500 meters to reach. These missiles are not equipped with long burning sustainer boosters and their performance if they have to climb is severely limited by the extreme amount of kinetic energy that is spent being converted to potential energy (I am sorry if this is not the right term, English is my second language).
This is by the way modeled correctly in the case of the NASAMS SAM system, that launches an AMRAAM missile that only has a modified guidance system. The AMRAAM B has a range of 40 nm when launched from an aircraft - when launched from the NASAMS ground-based launcher it has a range of only 16 nm (Which is completely realistic because it has to spend so much of it's rocket boosters pinherent energy making the climb to the target.

The end-game calculations system now is in many cases completely unrealistic - an especially apparent example is the no penalty for a 4,5 km pop-up maneuver from a IR-guided missile with max range of 18,5 km (10 nm).

Also, to the devs, never think that any critique I offer is malicious, although I have probably at least five, probably many more, things I could spell out that by any reasonable standards are completely unrealistic (Just as unrealistic as the MAD system has been found to be in the excellent thread a couple of months ago - I have a thread upcoming on how unrealistic the AAA system is right now but the forum won't let me post it because the forum software thinks there is a telephone number in it so I have to wait until I have 10 posts).

I absolutely love this game and understand that you are a small team developing this with literally hundreds of possible enhancements to realism to choose from and that there just is not enough time. Any criticism I will offer, and there will be some, is only intended to make this game better.

Last, I used to be a "gamer", now I am just a CMANO player. How's that for a compliment?
PN79
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RE: SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by PN79 »

CMANO has limitations mentioned here and apart of that as I am from the Czech Republic I am not that much happy with Czechoslovak/Czech units in the database.

But CMANO is awesome in that aspect that it is the only game where I can test WarPac late 1970s/1980s "Air Operation" and "Air Defensive Operation" on operational level. I appreciate that very much.
ARCNA442
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RE: SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by ARCNA442 »

ORIGINAL: LargeDiameterBomb

ARCNA442

I have noticed this behavior too on several occasions, for instance that
1) if a target is within allowed parameters at launch the weapon launched at the target will continue tracking/following the target even if the target for instance for instance drops below minimum allowed target altitude.
2) if a missile with a pop up ability of 4572 m is launched at a climbing target right at the moment the target passes 4500 m above the shooter the missile can still make an intercept at 5500 m above point of launch.
3) likewise a missile that can only pop down 12192 m can be launched from a a/c flying at 13716 m ASL at a target at 2000 m ASL and continue following the target until impact even if the target immediately after the missile is launched launch goes to 30 m ASL.

I think this is something the devs should take a look at since the model now is completely unrealistic.

It also would be nice if missiles, especially short range IR-guided missiles like a AIM-9L, got a severe range (or height, whatever you want to call it) penalty when they were launched at a target that they have to climb 4500 meters to reach. These missiles are not equipped with long burning sustainer boosters and their performance if they have to climb is severely limited by the extreme amount of kinetic energy that is spent being converted to potential energy (I am sorry if this is not the right term, English is my second language).
This is by the way modeled correctly in the case of the NASAMS SAM system, that launches an AMRAAM missile that only has a modified guidance system. The AMRAAM B has a range of 40 nm when launched from an aircraft - when launched from the NASAMS ground-based launcher it has a range of only 16 nm (Which is completely realistic because it has to spend so much of it's rocket boosters pinherent energy making the climb to the target.

The end-game calculations system now is in many cases completely unrealistic - an especially apparent example is the no penalty for a 4,5 km pop-up maneuver from a IR-guided missile with max range of 18,5 km (10 nm).

Also, to the devs, never think that any critique I offer is malicious, although I have probably at least five, probably many more, things I could spell out that by any reasonable standards are completely unrealistic (Just as unrealistic as the MAD system has been found to be in the excellent thread a couple of months ago - I have a thread upcoming on how unrealistic the AAA system is right now but the forum won't let me post it because the forum software thinks there is a telephone number in it so I have to wait until I have 10 posts).

I absolutely love this game and understand that you are a small team developing this with literally hundreds of possible enhancements to realism to choose from and that there just is not enough time. Any criticism I will offer, and there will be some, is only intended to make this game better.

Last, I used to be a "gamer", now I am just a CMANO player. How's that for a compliment?


Good point on how this effects air-to-air weapons as well. It seems that this problem should be fairly easy to fix for surface-to-air weapons by simply not allowing the missile to fly outside of its max and min altitudes, but it might be more complicated for air-launched missiles since pop-up/pop-down has to be calculated based on launch altitude.

Overall, a more realistic modeling of rocket behavior that better takes into account fuel limitations could substantially improve the accuracy of the game (particularly the problem of reliable extreme-range air-to-air shots), but that would likely be a massive undertaking and I can understand why the CMANO team went with the fairly simplistic model the game currently uses.

I'm looking forward to seeing your analysis of how AAA works - that's not a part of the game I've payed much attention to since I mostly play modern/near-future scenarios where AAA isn't that useful. Is there anyway you could creatively edit it so that the number isn't censored?
Dimitris
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RE: SAMs -- How low can they go?

Post by Dimitris »

ORIGINAL: LargeDiameterBomb
It also would be nice if missiles, especially short range IR-guided missiles like a AIM-9L, got a severe range (or height, whatever you want to call it) penalty when they were launched at a target that they have to climb 4500 meters to reach. These missiles are not equipped with long burning sustainer boosters and their performance if they have to climb is severely limited by the extreme amount of kinetic energy that is spent being converted to potential energy (I am sorry if this is not the right term, English is my second language).
This is by the way modeled correctly in the case of the NASAMS SAM system, that launches an AMRAAM missile that only has a modified guidance system. The AMRAAM B has a range of 40 nm when launched from an aircraft - when launched from the NASAMS ground-based launcher it has a range of only 16 nm (Which is completely realistic because it has to spend so much of it's rocket boosters pinherent energy making the climb to the target.

The end-game calculations system now is in many cases completely unrealistic - an especially apparent example is the no penalty for a 4,5 km pop-up maneuver from a IR-guided missile with max range of 18,5 km (10 nm).

That's a nice suggestion, thank you. In fact I have an idea about an energy- (potential <--> kinematic) & drag-based model that would possibly be a good fit for this.

Can you please re-post the above section on a new thread on the tech support forum so that we can keep track of this individually? Thanks.
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