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About Rick50

  • Birthday 01/02/1973

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    Calgary Alberta Canada

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  1. Tutorials for the Strike Eagle?!!??!! Cool!!! Not ready yet... but... the start of tutorials is a good sign that it's not 3 years away, maybe 6 months is more realistic! (Maybe when they're done we can ask them for a "C" !!) Reminds me that Janes had a Beagle... and a SuperBug... and a Longbow... and WW2 fighters... just like DCS does soon! Hmm... so once the planes are done, maybe we can get a 688(I) sub Hunter/Killer, as well as command a fleet... I mean, we are also getting a Euro Typhoon for the ATF portion... !!! Maybe after that they can make entire airforces... like maybe the Israeli Air Force, USAF and U.S. Navy Fighters '05 (hint hint!!)
  2. Right... but interceptors are not based anywhere near your friendly ground forces that are avancing on territory. And they aren't airborne much of the time. It's not like there's always an Eagle buzzing overhead. In my time in the Army, the number of times I saw fast air could be counted on my fingers and toes... granted, it was peacetime service, not the crazy sandbox action we have seen the last two decades, but still. The thing was, they DON'T loiter, which is not always a good thing: the Eagle gets to run away from the fight, to the nice safety of a SAM and CAP protected airfield hundreds of miles away... the armored crewman, the grunt, the artilleryman... we're on the frontline still, an hour from now, a day from now, all week all month and possibly into next year. Armies loiter 24/7/365... interceptors don't. Maybe that Eagle will return, maybe it won't. Maybe it won't see the Hind in time to do anything, maybe it was hiding from line of sight. The other thing is, enemy jets looking to CAS us to death aren't at high altitude appearing on AWACS and interceptor radars hundreds of miles away... they are quick, close, fast, and VERY low. Pop up to drop some iron, and duck down behind the trees and hills. Sure, today sattelite surveillance and other modern airborne platforms are likely to detect these aircraft, and direct interceptors to do their thing... but that takes time. And there's no guarantees that you'll have that cover even half the 24hr period. Interceptors have a lot of other taskings than protect ground forces, escorting strike packages, target ID unknows, and so on. Then they need maintenance, lots of it. Fuel coverage too. The idea, IMO, isn't to "rely" on any one system. But rather to have different platforms provide their own unique level of coverage. Interceptors yes. Ground based SAM type systems yes. But I'd also like to see CAS based aircraft also be able to punish intruders for daring to bomb the ground forces. Why CAS aircraft? Because they are often near ground forces, either coming or going and can quickly turn around and be back on station in minutes or seconds. Because they tend to have longer loiter times measured in hours instead of minutes. Also, their focus on the airborne threats right in the vicinity: generally the Air Force is concerned about the entire sky, the Army concerned about ground threats and enemy ambushes, while the CAS crew is focused on the imediate ground situation AND the local air situation, and would likely know within seconds, of an enemy CAS asset arriving... fire a heater at him. You mention correctly that a heli is basically stationary to an enemy jet... sure, in terms of airspeed it is. But the pilots are dynamic, engaged. They can point that rotorbird 180 degrees in seconds. Probably faster than most SAMS if they detected at the same time. Look, you make good points, and maybe putting AA on gunships is not the way to go. Maybe gunships themselves are not the way to go in a general sense for the battlefield of the future. But just counting something as being vulnerable doesn't mean it'll be abandoned, anyone entering war is vulnerable to some extent or another! Forget the Apache, I'M vulnerable in this IFV, this tank, this transport cargo truck. This fuel truck, this kitchen truck and trailer. We dont' have stealth, we don't have afterburners to dive and extend, we don't have search radars for the most part either. We are almost entirely vulnerable, and totally dependent on another service to have enough priority to protect us. I do remain sceptical of remote systems that need heavy bandwidth datalinks uninterupted, for high end conflicts between peers... I'm not saying they don't have their place, but... with modern EW and ELINT able to pinpoint emissions locations, the drone operators themselves may be vulnerable to attack. Even if doing so from a Sea Can in Nevada. We put hundreds of billions of dollars into protecting small numbers of airmen with stealth tech, but ground forces that can number from tens to into the hundreds of thousands get... Humvees with Stingers on them? Seems a bit imballanced to me is all.
  3. This is why I was asking. Get a critique, a second opinion! It's true, it would degrade the AH mission capability. And also true that they don't loiter all day and night... though nothing but drones do that either. Interceptors can't loiter for all that long even with extra tanks and tanker support... and gets expensive fast. The inability to "intercept" isn't what I was going for though. I imagined more the enemy jets not being chased down, but rather coming into the trap, as they come to destroy armor, they get shot in the face from an all-aspect missile shot. It's not an offensive move I imagine, but rather a defensive one, make it costly to attack your armored units. Using SAM's as a more "offensive" way also makes a lot of sense but I imagine that to be a different use, different system. I guess the "savings" would be eliminated by systems integration costs, additional training requirements, compared to a quick and dirty upgrade to existing Army vehicles. I'm not so convinced. The Main Battle Tank has been pronounced dead since 1951, then again in 1973 Yom Kippur when Saggers and TOW's destroyed tanks and APC's in significant numbers. And again in the 1980's as ever more ATGM's became available and the Hellfire rode on Apache beasts. Yet even today, with the Brimstone ATGM now having been fired in Ukraine, we still see that armies are NOT abandoning the tank. Upgrades continue to the Leopards and Abrams, the Russian tanks and others. The general public is declaring the tank "done", while tankers are asking themselves "wtf?!? why are they so untrained?!?!? Why aren't they using infantry support?!!". And the headquarters of so many nations aren't thinking "let's ditch these useless tanks", but rather "how can we send tanks to our friends, and get newer better tanks for ourselves, upgrade them and not go broke?" Sure, in current conflict and the last 20 years, it does seem the case that drones and loiters are much better than attack helos. But in none of these have we seen an enemy that is capable of proper electronic warfare. Barely any jamming at all. I expect that platforms that can't operate in radio silence could become so degraded as to be useless half the missions. Will it be that bad? Well not if your worst enemy is a few Technicals with MANPADS or 23mm... but if you suddenly have an enemy that has serious SAM capability, and has done a lot of R&D into EW, and is smart about it's employment... how effective will the drones comms, critical to most phases of the mission, be? At a certain point, it's also a question of whether JDAM will even work, though I do think those are much less vulnerable. I'm not saying that all drones become useless from now on, rather that we shouldn't put all of our eggs in one "drone/loiter" basket. Keep in mind that apparently at one point the whole fleet of Predators and Reapers were infected with a computer worm that they just couldn't ditch. The IT techs struggled with it for a few years. Presumbably in future, such a worm might be more harmful, either rendering a system useless in combat, or worse cause it to target it's own facilities. Then again it could affect attack helos and other manned systems too. That said, attack helos, as you state clearly, ARE indeed very expensive an very vulnerable... and I do expect some changes in strategy employment and focus coming up. I think the future will see a push to "skynet". Advanced AI for targeting decisions... which will make war faster, easier for the humans sending them out on missions... but would have much deeper, darker unintended consequences. Sure, robots rising up and wiping out humanity while wearing leather and cheap sunglasses at night... but also the ease at which one doesn't have any emotional and moral baggage that comes from taking lives. Does this make war easier to initiate if one doesn't have to sacrifice anything? (ok that last one is straying from the topic)
  4. And that's the difference between reading "war stories" vs Pilot Operating Handbook. One might be a great story to tell the boys over a few beers, the other one will keep you and your comrades alive and ready to work! After all, reading POH pages at a BBQ is not all that popular, nor is telling exagerated "war stories" during a class for a new type rating!
  5. Oh, I totally agree with this. There's probably only room for "just" enough tanks on the boat... ditch four tanks into the sea, and it starts to impact future mission planning due to much hobbled range. But I think even the Air Force is not thrilled about buying new tanks to replace ones that got dumped, for nothing. Probably less critical for them though. I can see why conformal tanks are increasingly popular with air wings. Sure, it seemingly started with the Beagle E, then the Viper. And a little before that, Boeing was developing a under fuselage conformal tank for the F-4 Phantom, part of an upgrade dubbed "Super Phantom". But now we see Typhoons with conformals, the latest block of SuperBug has a nice low drag conformal over the wing, and I bet were to see more of this going forward. Stealth needs, for one thing... pods and pylons just make radar stealth more difficult to achieve.
  6. AFAIK in WW too, many fighter escorts would dump the external tank once empty, because they just made too much drag, and were so cheaply made as to be disposable. I think at one point there was even an experiment to see if they could make drop tanks out of paper mache!! But I can totally understand the Navy being pissed about losing jet drop tanks for random reasons... the carriers have to stay some distance from shore for some reasons, and so tanks are the primary way of giving some standoff distance. Plus the cost of those tanks.
  7. Rick50

    Mirage III info?

    I thought that too! Hype? Uh... it's way WAY WAY too early to start any hype. YEARS too early. The time to start the hype train is roughly about when it's sent to ED for evaluation/testing. Before that they need to sort out the radar and fire controls. Before that the flight dynamics realism. Before that the high detail model. Before that gathering legal data sources and SME's who actually remember real details of flying these VERY old jets. And have time to collaborate with the team. Before that they need to present their case for an M3 to ED and get permission, and possibly licensing from Dassault Aviation S.A. Before that they need to have finished the South Atlantic map, the F-15E Beagle, the Mig-23, and have their people ready to start something new. And that might take another year or two, depending on the 15 and 23. Only then can they begin the multi-year process of creating a Mirage III. So yea, it's gonna be a bit of a wait!!
  8. I'm sure that's how it was written, but I very much doubt that IRL the MH-53 "ACTUALLY" pitched up to 90 degrees nose totally vertical. I'm not even totally sure it could do it in airshow config, but in operational configuaration? Unlikely, with 2/3 fuel remaining, 3 machineguns and ammo, Marine rifllemen, and an exttreme need to "not crash"! I think what's more likely is the pilot, asked by a civie who knows nothing about aircraft or the military, litterally nothing, probably wanted to describe in simple terms that he pulled an unusual maneuver to get things done, and exagerated for effect. Maybe he wasn't even intentionally exagerating, maybe in his mind that's how he remembers it, but I doubt very much he pitched more than say 50 or 60 degrees... at some point he probably saw just skies and watched his airspeed and vertical rate and decided "ok now time to recover NOW!!!". And in a giant helo like that, it really would be an extreme maneuver!
  9. Usually in real life splash damage would only be seen a little bit, for a fraction of a second, only if close to the target... close enough to be injured yourself. At a distance there's nothing to see... plus, that's only for high amounts of large/heavy fragmentation , like a GMLRS or 155mm artillery shell, smaller ordnance frag is near invisible. Fragmentation comes in different sizes, to accomplish different goals in smaller and larger devices. Even with handgrenades, the WW2 Mills or Pineaple frag is HUGE, while a M-67 with notched wire is downright tiny pieces that don't seem like they'd do much of anything. That said, I'd really like to see a different project get started with more varried and random interesting secondary explosions...
  10. True, that whole issue of keeping the Army from buying too many fixed wing vehicles! But I don't think they like it. It seems like a "necessary drudgery" to the top brass. I'm not talking Hog drivers or line crew, or maintenance people, or Viper drivers, or PJ operators, or JTAC operators... they seem to all "get" the need for CAS... but it seems the walls of the Pentagon make it difficult to see how CAS isn't just "solved" purely by a fancy multimode smert-boom with wings an GPS an datalincks. Sometimes, in rare but critical cases, it means going low, getting down in the weeds, either slow or really really fast... just make some NOISE, maybe drop some high drag iron, strafe a little. Might not seem important in the strategic sense to the Pentagon boffins, but it's HUGELY important to ground forces, be they Army, Marines, SOF, or allied ground forces. And yes, I do know that fancy ord does go a long way, brings CAS help from platforms that you'd never expect to help out (for instance Bones, be it from JDAM's, laser pods with Paveways, or just doing a full afterburner low pass as fast as your Bone can go!!). But... for all the Vipers, Bones, Buffs, and Bugs, Litenings and Euro2k's helping out, or the Reapers and , ground guys still request Hogs and Specters often enough to ask "why is that?". I'm guessing that the Marines are calling for Harvest Hawks for similar reasons. I've noticed that several western armies are increasingly investing in their own smart weapons, such as GMLRS, Excalibur 155mm, ATACMS, and now a new generation of ground launched smart ordnance. One such test took the SDB with it's folding wings, GPS and penetrator, and mounted to the 227mm MLRS rocket, giving a rather substantial range (100km ? I can't recall) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-39_Small_Diameter_Bomb#Ground_Launched_Small_Diameter_Bomb_(GLSDB) Also, the Army is about to award a new longer range ground to ground guided rocket to supplement or replace the ATACMS, one that would be more modular in nature, cheaper to field and maintain, basically it'd be a single rocket per pod, like the ATACMS allowing one in a HIMARS and two in a M270. Then there is the unguided but increasingly accurate and fast to fire new generation of 155mm artillery, such as the Swedish Archer truck 155mm systems that both America and British Army are taking a very serious look at right now, serious enough it might lead to a new sale. It's VERY automated to lay, load, fire and fire several in MSIP missions (fire several shells, that all impact a single target area at the same impact time on target, due to different velocities and trajectories). And if they need raw precision, they can easily direct the selection of a GPS guided EXcalibur shell, that's proven effective in many uses in Afghanistan. Then there is Mojave UCAV drone... basically a Reaper that's got a high lift STOL wing. Carries more Hellfires or other ord, still a lot of loiter, but can operate from a gravel strip thanks to Tundra tires more commonly seen on bush planes like Twin Otters, Beavers and Piper Cub variants! Then there is Spike NLOS, and Switchblade... the 300 is good for dealing with situations that no other platform is effective at... snipers and such. But the 600 is a game changer, almost bringing a small level of CAS right to the grunt. And Phoenix Ghost basically is a Mega-600 that has enough range to do commando raids behind enemy lines. I think this trend of the Army adapting to the needs of CAS will increase a great deal over the next decade. But at the end of the day, troops on the ground still want the comfort of a Hog or Specter on station when the chips are down. A B-2 Spirit isn't going to strafe a technical, or do a fast low-pass to scare away enemy combatants... Regardless of ground-fired ordnance, if you are running away for your life from a kill zone, you hope like hell that someone in the air sees you being chased and decides to put a reticule on the guys trying to kill you, and I just don't see that changing any time soon!!
  11. Yea, I hope the Kiowa will show up for sale. It's just that the drastic decrease in comms from the team has many of us wondering if the project will get to that point. The silver lining is that silence does not equal a dead project. Sometimes silence is just silence while things happen out of view of the many. That's my hope anyway. I can understand the silence of a sim dev team too... the increasing uncertainty of the project's finish time, new bugs to work out... dealing with frustrated fans like myself...
  12. Hmm... makes me wonder if Cobra Command bought the Mig-31 Firefox and asked for a modified variant?
  13. Pretty much. They launched with lots of talk about "release this year" and lots of beautiful screenshots. After a year, they got a lot quieter. And the release date estimate became a lot more murky. After a while of that, with a few assurances that things were coming along nicely, then with no warning they went silent. It's been silent for a while. I'm not sure of the status of this project. But I wouldn't bet money on an eminent release. It's an open question that no one's really asking, as to whether or not the project is still alive or not. It seems that most have embraced the Hind and Apache, and are looking forward to the Bo-105 PAH. While I do think a KW would sell, that requires a product for us to buy!
  14. No, of course not, they clearly found a lone Typhoon in the corner of an airfield and started taking it apart piece by piece, code by code, all while disguising themselves with white labcoats and fake moustaches! Eventually, the wing commander will notice the missing aircraft and discover the plane in pieces and order it assembled ASAP "or else someone's getting posted to Thule AFB!!" (not that it's my place to question why a Luftwaffe airman would be posted to Thule in the first place!) Edit: Just like Fragger certainly has a Bo-105 hidden away in a barn on a hill in the Black Forrest, so he can meticulously recreate that agile fling-wing anti-tank nightmare of Soviet tank crews! Hmm... I'm sensing a pattern...
  15. I think part of the reason I find lack of FF sticks strange, is because with automobile racing simulations, force feedback has grown to absolutely DOMINATE the market. You can spend a few hundred, to a great many thousands, then a beefy frame to keep it all rock solid and sturdy! But for flight? Oh yea, here's some 20 year old sticks you could buy used, take yer chances!
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