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Weapon employment


Sam
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Hey everyone,

 

I purchased the A10C about a month ago now and since then I have been reading this forum quite a bit. I'm quite a newbie in the combat world, I fly commercial planes IRL :D

 

I am familiar with weapons and how to employ them thanks to some useful posts here and also to the 476th website/youtube channel.

 

However, I would like to know more about when to employ them and on which target as per real world tactics (if they are made available to public :D)

For example when would I use Mk82s ? Why would I use a GBU 38 instead of a GBU 12 ? GBU 10 ? GBU 31 ? CBUs ? Multiple weapons work on a single target like a tank. Should I take out that tank with guns or with a Maverick or an LGB or a JDAM or with a CBU 97/105 ?

Oh, and what about pop up attacks, when are they used, against what and why ?

 

 

The same goes for CCIP profiles. I understand that you would use a higher angle to minimize bullet dispersion if firing the gun or making yourself harder to hit, but when both a low angle and a high angle do the job, what would you chose ? A low angle would mean lower altitude at the beginning of the dive meaning less chances of detection ?

 

I am sure most answers will be that it depends on the situation and the objective so maybe examples for each ordnance could shed some lights.

 

Looking forward to reading your replies !


Edited by Panther 976
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Hey everyone,

 

I purchased the A10C about a month ago now and since then I have been reading this forum quite a bit. I'm quite a newbie in the combat world, I fly commercial planes IRL :D

 

I am familiar with weapons and how to employ them thanks to some useful posts here and also to the 476th website/youtube channel.

 

However, I would like to know more about when to employ them and on which target as per real world tactics (if they are made available to public :D)

For example when would I use Mk82s ? Why would I use a GBU 38 instead of a GBU 12 ? GBU 10 ? GBU 31 ? CBUs ? Multiple weapons work on a single target like a tank. Should I take out that tank with guns or with a Maverick or an LGB or a JDAM or with a CBU 97/105 ?

Oh, and what about pop up attacks, when are they used, against what and why ?

 

 

The same goes for CCIP profiles. I understand that you would use a higher angle to minimize bullet dispersion if firing the gun or making yourself harder to hit, but when both a low angle and a high angle do the job, what would you chose ? A low angle would mean lower altitude at the beginning of the dive meaning less chances of detection ?

 

I am sure most answers will be that it depends on the situation and the objective so maybe examples for each ordnance could shed some lights.

 

Looking forward to reading your replies !

Personally for me I use the GBU31s and 38s for hitting targets such as buildings/infantry where the targets aren't likely to move rapidly. The GBU-12s for vehicles that require a precision strike with a reasonably sized munition I.e tanks. The AGMs are also great for vehicles even on the move. Guns for infantry strafes and light to medium armoured targets. Hope this helps on some of it.

 

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Most of these things indeed depend on the overall tactical situation, I guess. Low angle and pop-up attacks are preferable in areas you need to avoid detection. Usually when there is a threat of longer-range SAMs or interceptors which can engage you much easier at altitude. If these are either suppressed by other units or not present (for example because your enemy doesn't have access to them at all), you might want to choose a high-altitude approach to give you a better picture of the target area as well as better aim.

The main reason to use Mk82s instead of its guided variations pretty much is that they're cheaper.

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For me, within DCS, is a personal preference. If there are short range SAMs or AAA on the target area, Maverick or JADAM/WCMD would be the easier choices. Light targets or troops, rockets or unguided weapons are good enough. Using the gun is challenging but rewarding when you manage to do it without getting killed.

I suggest that do not load every weapons station and you do not need full fuel load unless you plan to fly form more than 2 hours. Try 5000lbs fuel and only the weapons needed for practice or a mission. This will keep the aircraft light, more maneuverable.

To whom it may concern,

I am an idiot, unfortunately for the world, I have a internet connection and a fondness for beer....apologies for that.

Thank you for you patience.

 

 

Many people don't want the truth, they want constant reassurance that whatever misconception/fallacies they believe in are true..

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Panther, there are no rules, but lots of things to consider which will bring you to the conclusion of what weapon to employ in each situation.

 

Things to consider (non-exhaustive list):

 

1) Effect on target (i.e you can't kills a tank with unguided rockets, or a bunker with a M82)

in DCS this is poorly modelled but in reality "target effects" consist of some mix of blast, fragmentation, heat and also each weapon has different penetration against armour, earth, concrete, etc. In DCS there is only blast, so fragmentation weapons like unguided rockets are minimally effective, and most soft-skinned vehicles are WAY too tough.

 

1a) Closely linked to effect on target is collateral damage, but because there is no frag in DCS (which would travel way further than the DCS/RL blast radius) this isn't such a concern in the sim.

 

2) Target movement - difficult to hit moving vehicles with unguided bombs, and JDAM goes to a set of co-ordinates so won't work on a moving vehicle. Conversely Maverick and LGBs will work well.

 

3) Weather - You have to be able to see the target, so LGBs and low cloud won't work, etc

 

4) Threat weapons envelope - this consists of two parts:

 

a) Altitude - if there is lots of AAA or low altitude SAMs like MANPADS you might want to employ from high altitude so as not to be in the threat envelope at all. Equally you might have to be down low to terrain mask from a radar SAM or fighter aircraft radar.

 

b)Range - you might need stand-off range in order to employ from outside a threat weapon system range, or perhaps be inside it for the minimum time period possible.

 

5) Weapon system employment work-time - i.e how long it takes you to work the systems on the jet from target acquisition until effects on target. If a JTAC is shouting for rounds on target right now during a troops-in-contact the gun might be best, and a JDAM that takes 2 minutes to set up and use would be bad. Similarly the time pressure might come from closing enemy aircraft, or a desire to minimise time inside a threat weapon system envelope (and here clearly altitude and stand-off range interact).

 

6) Likelihood and consequences of missing - if there is a high value, high threat target that has taken 8 SEAD aircraft, 6 fighters and a 4 ship strike package to get you onto the target, don't try to drop a single unguided bomb and then find out later you have to come back and do it all again. Equally don't use M82s in high winds if there are friendlies just downwind...

 

If you put all those together they will help you work out what weapons and what attack profiles you should be thinking about in each situation.

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To add to what the others already said, I think of these weapons and employment techniques as tools in a toolbox. When I started flying the A-10C, I only ever used PGMs from up high via TGP. While that's surely worth being able to do, I was very limited in the way I could employ the jet.

 

The more ways you can use weapons, the more flexible you'll become and the more tools you'll have at your disposal to accomplish the goal under the given circumstances. RL pilots have to be adept at all kinds of delivery methods with all kinds of weapons. In DCS the cost of making a mistake might be having to respawn, or refly a mission, or get some negative points for blue-on-blue. RL is obviously less forgiving.

 

In any case, it really is up to you. Personally, nowadays I feel that by knowing more about weapons employment than ever before, I feel like I actually know less about it because I'm more aware of all the methods at which I'm still a complete noob. And that's after flying the A-10C for years. So IMHO, this module alone is well worth years and years of fun while learning and improving. :thumbup:

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I think most here have already summed up quite nicely the considerations that you would need to think about when using different tactics and weapons, there is no need for me to repeat what has already been said.

My piece of advice to you would be to study the different enemy air defences you might encounter. Understanding the RWR and what it means will ultimately have a bearing on how you decide to approach a given target and the options available to you with your weapons loadout. Knowing the enemy's capabilities and the stand off range of different SAM sites and AAA will give you vital information you can use to decide what weapon to employ.

 

There are some great documents out there on SAM threats and their capabilities. Have a look on the main ED website under the user files for the A10c and have a little read up, maybe put some units down in the mission editor and fly them and see what they can do first hand.

 

Have Fun!

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Quick question. In real life is it up to the pilot to determine what is loaded on the plane for a mission and how they're to be used for the expected targets?

 

I'm just wondering if an unrealistic load is being put on the pilot in DCS?

Buzz

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Quick question. In real life is it up to the pilot to determine what is loaded on the plane for a mission and how they're to be used for the expected targets?

 

I'm just wondering if an unrealistic load is being put on the pilot in DCS?

There would normally be a standard weapons loadout that they would carry but if needs be they can modify the weapons loadout depending on the type of mission if it requires a type of weapon not normally carried i.e gbu 31 or GBU15

 

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Thanks so much for you replies guys, I couldn't expect for better answers !

I think I will keep practicing for a while and I am actually considering joining a squadron to keep building knowledge and have fun with other enthusiasts.

Maybe it is only me, but I find it quite hard to find (correct) information in order to get as close as possible to the real thing.

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Loadout wouldn't normally be determined by a pilot alone. It would be a component of mission planning which would be conducted by pilots, squadron staff such as the ops officer, etc. Loadout might be specified in the Air Tasking Order (sometimes also called a frag order) in that the task dictated by the theatre air tasking authority might specify a particular weapon on a particular target. This would be less likely in CAS and more likely in a strike role.

 

You are right that in DCS the pilot has unlimited of freedom to alter loadout that they wouldn't have in RL.

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In addition to what Scaley mentions, it is generally not up to the pilot to determine loadout. A squadron will have a Tactics and Procedures manual (or equiv) with very specific details on all forms of weapons employment etc, which obviously is highly classified.

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Here are a few playlist links to youtube videos that always help me if im stuck or cant remember a particular thing.

 

Ralfi's Idiot Guide to DCS

 

My Own list with a mix of tutorials from Bunyap, JetlinerX &Kmbtkrl

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlhW3lXB2jcm2D91ZSR2yAFp00li_9V7G

 

Dont forget to like their videos if you find them useful :)

 

Hope this helps.

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Thank you Blade !

 

I am coming at you guys with a few other questions :

 

I read plenty of threads about the effectiveness of the GAU-8 vs tanks but there's a lot of contradictory information about it.

 

I find it pretty difficult to kill tanks in one pass in the sim. I use a 30-45° dive angle, start firing at 0.8-0.7 slant range and break off at 0.4.

It usually takes me 2 to 3 passes to get a kill, hence the questions : Is there better techniques ? Is the GAU-8 able to neutralize tanks such as the T72-80-90 in real life ? And is it properly modeled in the sim ?


Edited by Panther 976
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gau-8 is essentially ineffective irl against the t72. i'd like to find it again but i recall some cards made for a-10 pilots basically advising ricocheting shots into the underside. i don't think it works in dcs because the damage models are pretty crude.

 

shredding tracks is doable but mobility kills aren't modelled ingame.

 

EDIT: here we go

http://imgur.com/a/SD8Ew

not even the t-72. i seem to recall there being more than just this, including a diagram of the t-72 but either i had stumbled across a different diagram or i remembered wrong.


Edited by probad
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2-3 passes to kill; almost everything but ships should be toast on one good run.. I would say the munition is not suitable for the job (that is if you are hitting the target).

 

On the training field (the big X, near Batumi), put a SAM in the center and a tank on all 4 corners/ends of the X. Then put something easy like fuel trucks through out the X.

 

This is a simple way to learn to prioritize and test weapons. For example, when I turn toward the X from lets say 15miles out, I can zoom in and find the sam, which is priority 1. As I close in on 5 miles, slave my AGM's and boom. Then I either use the rest of my agm's or practice GBU/etc to rid the tanks, all while watching my altitude or be prepared to be shot. After all the threats are gone, I practice guns and rocket runs on all the fuel trucks. It's like the 4th of July.

 

Anyway, this type of practice mission can teach you a lot about the weapons and of course priority kills in order.

 

As an example.. I was testing bomb types but of course did not write down which bomb this was..ehh But, I dropped it over the X and was wondering why it didn't hit the ground yet, then I noticed it had turned into a cluster of smaller bombs and scattered/covered a huge portion of the X (so obviously mark this one down for infantry kills and such) Maybe someone while let us know what the h#11 I am talking about. ha


Edited by SharkBaztard
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Thanks guys.

 

So I guess we can effectively gun T55s but anything newer than this will require other ordnances... If I am not mistaking a lot of tanks have been killed using the gun in Operation Desert Storm ? I am not sure which tank model though

SharkBaztard, I have been training like this as well in exactly the same location :D I tried gunning all sorts of things like BMPs, Shilkas, tanks, trucks etc. prioritizing them to avoid getting shot down.

The GAU-8 is pretty effective even at 2Nm but tanks require me to get pretty close...

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tanks in the gulf war were primarily accounted for by f-111's dropping lgbs. a-10s used mavericks, not the gau-8.

 

what the gau-8 is really good at is busting mud huts and treelines.


Edited by probad

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Thank you Blade !

 

I am coming at you guys with a few other questions :

 

I read plenty of threads about the effectiveness of the GAU-8 vs tanks but there's a lot of contradictory information about it.

 

I find it pretty difficult to kill tanks in one pass in the sim. I use a 30-45° dive angle, start firing at 0.8-0.7 slant range and break off at 0.4.

It usually takes me 2 to 3 passes to get a kill, hence the questions : Is there better techniques ? Is the GAU-8 able to neutralize tanks such as the T72-80-90 in real life ? And is it properly modeled in the sim ?

 

 

This might not get you much milage on the the subject of the gau8 Vs T-72s but i would consider the direction you attack a target from where permissible. Try to plan and hit any medium or heavy armour from the rear as this is the area most vulnerable and although im not 100% sure if they account for armour thickness in DCS its always good practice to try and achieve this form of approach.

 

Something else to just bear in mind as a side note is that the different types of ammo fired by the gau8 have slightly different ballistic properties and you need to make sure that you take that into account when you are pulling the trigger.

 

Again i hope this helps some.

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