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EWR defenses


FlightControl
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Guys,

 

What are good strategies to defend EWR networks.

 

So EWR is there to detect intruders "early" and provide a "warning". And are therefore the first line of defense. Without EWR, a coalition becomes blind.

 

When you setup an EWR network consisting of ground radar vehicles, they become immediately vulnerable because they emit radar and become the first line of attack.

 

I've seen that EWR has a certain limit in range of detection. The distance of detection is not really sufficient to get defense airplanes airborne from defending airbases, especially from a cold start. In other words, it seems that fast planes with long-range A2G ordonnance are able to destroy EWR before an interception can be done, and this is bad and I am not sure that this corresponds with real life ... Don't know.

 

One of the defense methods I already apply is CAP, indeed. But there the problem is that they need to be airborne, and don't provide sufficient defenses when a large group of intruders are approaching the EWR.

 

Maybe the placement of SAM S-300s could help, or are there other tactics that I am unaware of?

 

FC

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I know in South Africa the Air Force had quick reaction fighters ready to spool up and go within a minute or two at all times. They would warm up the engines every 20 or 30 minutes and refuel the planes. Pilots had shifts to wait in / near the planes for a few hours at a time and would take off and investigate when the EW picked up an unknown contact.

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I like to put EWR units behind multiple layers of SAM's. SA-15's nearby to shoot down ARM's. S-300 nearby or ahead of the EWR in the expected direction of enemy attack. Sometimes, medium range SAM's like SA-11 closer to the front lines between the EWR and enemy.

 

I also like to have some of these SAM's stay passive until a threat is detected.

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If you have a look at the Soviet doctrine and all the emplaced radars they used to have, the answer is pretty much... REDUNDANCY :) There are lots and lots of them. You can look at overlays on Google maps for them, The ex Soviet Georgian positions were lining the coastline evenly where you might already expect them, as well as their large missile sites (defunct by '93)

 

In terms of traditional front lines (this isn't something you see much of except historically or in smaller country conflicts) I can tell you the effectiveness of a GCI at Karamara pass in Ethiopia was a key part of the Ethiopian F-5's winning the air war versus Somalian Mig-21's, as they guided the intercepts and baited them, close enough to detect Mig departures at Hargesia. However the EWR was so close to the front line it was eventually captured, changed hands and then reinstated in the Ethiopian comeback. It was only 10km east of Jigajiga, a TPS-45 with a possible 450km "advertised" range, 86 odd NM from the border. It was ahead of the Dire Dawa airbase, in fact, and in terms of front line, they moved F-5's to the Dire Dawa airbase every morning and parked them back in the capital at night.

 

So yeah, it was massively exposed, especially by the time the Somalians came knocking on its door a few weeks after the war started.

 

So as assets, they are more difficult to defend on a moving frontline, their positioning being key and probably acceptable risk. Disposibility, portability and air cover are likely the best defences, as well as redundancy, and of course, defence in depth with interlocking SAM cover. You expect them to be targetted of course.

 

On a non moving front line, like a cold war, it's not a factor, position is the key.

 

I hope we never have to find out what an entire border with rings of EWR has to do versus modern tactical pre-emptive strikes. We skipped the conventional part and we are looking at any tactic that avoids nuclear blasts now, for which you could look at Sweden's defence ring since 1960 was tackling. IE bunkers, redundancy, and sadly survival and delay.

 

Kind of a hard question, things are so specific at any given time.

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Guys,

 

What are good strategies to defend EWR networks.

 

So EWR is there to detect intruders "early" and provide a "warning". And are therefore the first line of defense. Without EWR, a coalition becomes blind.

 

When you setup an EWR network consisting of ground radar vehicles, they become immediately vulnerable because they emit radar and become the first line of attack.

 

I've seen that EWR has a certain limit in range of detection. The distance of detection is not really sufficient to get defense airplanes airborne from defending airbases, especially from a cold start. In other words, it seems that fast planes with long-range A2G ordonnance are able to destroy EWR before an interception can be done, and this is bad and I am not sure that this corresponds with real life ... Don't know.

 

One of the defense methods I already apply is CAP, indeed. But there the problem is that they need to be airborne, and don't provide sufficient defenses when a large group of intruders are approaching the EWR.

 

Maybe the placement of SAM S-300s could help, or are there other tactics that I am unaware of?

 

FC

 

You would have a SAM network front of the EWR, that is capable to even destroy a ARM. The EWR would be protected as well from the usual ground attack, just like against strike forces. So to really get there, it would be more like a special forces in deep recon to do it.

 

And then you would have a constant CAP going on, that is ready to engage strike units, while you have as well a interceptors ready to take off in 2-3 minutes (2-3 minutes for guys to suit up and rush to the aircraft next of the buildin and 1 minute to spool engines and roll off.

 

And all this should be so that the enemy strike force is about 100-300km from your EWR.

 

And of course you would rotate the EWR operation times randomly, relocate them randomly and just have "stuff" and tactics to protect them.

 

None of the radars, operational tactics etc are simulated in the DCS. It is only in principle "There is a EWR, don't go there" or "There is a EWR, go and destroy it".

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Have a look at joint publication 3-52 airspace control.

 

http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/new_pubs/jp3_52.pdf

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None of the radars, operational tactics etc are simulated in the DCS. It is only in principle "There is a EWR, don't go there" or "There is a EWR, go and destroy it".

Generally yes. Much however really depends on the mssion designers. I just believe there could be more attention being paid to better reassembling a cooridnated air defences. Quite often the impression is that there is just many, totally isolated AD units that don't work with each other (maybe they didn't get radios due to budget cuts?).

That's a pitty as some basic tactics like SAM traps, turning the radars off/on is easy to achieve with simple triggers and zones. Maybe it's actually on purpose, as being affraid that people would complain about SAM's going alive out of nowhere and shooting them down without litte prior warning in MP.

 

Anyway, since we have a Caucasus map in DCS - just to learn about a real examples of how the EWR and SAM systems cooperated, I suggest to study the analysis of Russo-Georgian air war and the battle for Tskhinvali.

Georgia didn't had any fighter forces to fend off the Russian flights. Just strike aircrafts - fixed and rotary. While just by the numbers gaining the air superiority by Russia would be something obvious in reality it seemed to be difficult to achieve.

As far as I remember this was mainly due to underestimating the Georgian air defenses, lack of proper reconnaissance as also tactics applied by Georgian AD.

- the SAMs were placed in strategical places, mostly to cover major grouping of ground forces or strategical targets like army bases. IR mobile SAMs were closest to the front line.

- active radar SAM sites were generally kept offline while the scanning was done by EWR. Radar SAM would go online when the target was already in range, potentially in no-escape zone. This tactic was especially applied by the most valuable SAM systems also to preserve them from unnecessary loss. Those SAM’s were also placed further away from the front line in order to reduce a chance of being captured by ground forces.

- when being attacked by ARM missile the SAM's or EWR would just turn off their radars. This would even be a case when detecting a raid of bombers trying to strike an EWR with dumb bombs (IIRC was the case in attack on Tbilisi air radar)

- there are indications of Russia missed attacks of Georgians SAM's and EWR with ARM missiles. Missiles felt short due to being noticed which resulted in radar operators immediately turning the radars off.

 

Another examples can be taken from the Vietnam Iron Hand operation which is probably the most obvious place to check for how the anti-SAM war started and what were the first tactics applied. As an example, North Vietnam SAM operators would turn off and on radars in sequence - DEAD flight notices the first radar and goes after it, radar crew recognized the attempt of attack and turned the radar off while simultaneously a second, close by radar would be go live. The same situation repeated with the second SAM site but now while the attack flight would go after a third SAM site radar, the first and second would come back alive, attacking the DEAD flight with from multiple directions at the same time.


Edited by firmek

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Maybe it's actually on purpose, as being affraid that people would complain about SAM's going alive out of nowhere and shooting them down without litte prior warning in MP.

 

I believe it is simple decision from ED side to just move that complex tasking to the mission designers. You don't need to program the AI logic and communications etc to the game itself, when you can task all of it to user with mission editor and let them to solve the problems with simple tools (triggers) and try to get some kind "smartness" there.

 

This is as well visible in the Multi-Player modes as a result of "air-quake" flying at low level as there are no threats in low level like there would be.

There is simply no mission designers there to distribute a hundreds of MANPAADS across the map areas and moving by the ground troops doing recon and simply patrolling etc. All them would simply push every flight to 3-4km altitude and every single pilot to be in risk to get shot down as there is no one checking others six from sudden missile launches.

 

So much simple and basic things in the air defences and ground troops movements and operations etc are just not there because there is no AI and there is no limits as there should be. In caucasus map currently there is no real ground cover, the small few meter terrain changes, all the small bushes and trees etc blocking line of sight etc. Meaning that while a ground unit can be well concealed and covered by terrain, so is it blocking radar sites visible pieces of sky, but so is every air unit capabilities to spot and detect the ground units limited.

 

So everything ends easily to large scale strategies like EWR being a "key element" or lack of simple SAM site doing something smart like using the optical guidance for unaware enemy when weather and day conditions allows it.

 

And then mission designers that should get something clever done, they are required to fight against all with simple tools and build the logic by themselves as well as they can.

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I believe it is simple decision from ED side to just move that complex tasking to the mission designers. You don't need to program the AI logic and communications etc to the game itself, when you can task all of it to user with mission editor and let them to solve the problems with simple tools (triggers) and try to get some kind "smartness" there.

 

This is as well visible in the Multi-Player modes as a result of "air-quake" flying at low level as there are no threats in low level like there would be.

There is simply no mission designers there to distribute a hundreds of MANPAADS across the map areas and moving by the ground troops doing recon and simply patrolling etc. All them would simply push every flight to 3-4km altitude and every single pilot to be in risk to get shot down as there is no one checking others six from sudden missile launches.

 

So much simple and basic things in the air defences and ground troops movements and operations etc are just not there because there is no AI and there is no limits as there should be. In caucasus map currently there is no real ground cover, the small few meter terrain changes, all the small bushes and trees etc blocking line of sight etc. Meaning that while a ground unit can be well concealed and covered by terrain, so is it blocking radar sites visible pieces of sky, but so is every air unit capabilities to spot and detect the ground units limited.

 

So everything ends easily to large scale strategies like EWR being a "key element" or lack of simple SAM site doing something smart like using the optical guidance for unaware enemy when weather and day conditions allows it.

 

And then mission designers that should get something clever done, they are required to fight against all with simple tools and build the logic by themselves as well as they can.

 

I think I agree and this module exists... But are work in progress...

 

http://flightcontrol-master.github.io/MOOSE/Documentation/AI_A2A_Dispatcher.html#AI_A2A_DISPATCHER

 

Hence my question here :-) It is one of the many to come ...

This is all great feedback!

 

FC


Edited by FlightControl

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