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How many kills typically defines a successful CAS mission?


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Hello! I am a relatively new player to DCS (I have sim experience from IL2 way back when) and have been learning my way around the Su-25 and Su-25T. I feel that I am ready for my first step into longer missions and decided to start with the Su-25 mission "Tskhinvali Interdiction." For those that may not readily know, it is a mission where you have to relieve the peacekeeper compound and destroy Georgian reserves before the ground assault commences.

 

So my question is, basically, how many kills should I be getting? I have 2 500kg bombs and 4 laser guided missiles as well as full ammo for my cannon, though I manage to get 6-8 kills which hardly leaves a dent in the enemy forces. Also, how many kills should I expect to get with my cannon, how many per burst? Also, is the cannon capable of penetrating through the top/rear armor of enemy tanks or is this a waste of effort?

 

Thanks for the help guys, I am very much enjoying my experience in DCS so far and look forward to being a part of the community here on the forums and of course getting much better at the simulation! :)

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The number of kills for successful CAS is only as many as it takes to keep friendlies on the ground alive. If you want to really maximize how many enemy units you can bag in a flight I'd recommend taking guided munitions wherever possible (the Vikhrs on the Su-25T are a good choice, 1 hit kill on any vehicle and you get a whole bunch of them for only taking up 2 pylons), but the definition of successful Close Air Support is just keeping the enemy from overrunning your guys.

 

Dumb bombs are really only any good for attacking buildings or concentrations of infantry. They can be effective for unarmored or very lightly armored vehicles too, but you're much better off going with something guided for anything on wheels. I'm not super familiar with attacking armor with the Su-25's 30 mm cannon, but it is a 30 mm cannon, so I'm sure at some point even the heaviest armor in the game is going to give way. As far as how many infantry you can kill with a burst, it's entirely dependent on how bunched up they are.

 

Glad you're enjoying DCS! If you haven't tried multiplayer you should definitely give it a shot. It's a whole different game when you've got people working with (or against) you.

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Keep in mind also, that most missions task you with a primary objective that is meant to be beneficial to the ground forces, such as eliminating an artillery battery that is shelling allied units. Your job is strictly to complete the primary objective. That usually does not entail being a one-man army and doing the work of the ground forces for them.

 

6-8 kills sounds pretty good as long as that kill count is focused on the primary objective. You can probably squeeze out a bit more with better precision, mission-relevant ordnance selection, and use of your AI wingmen if any are allocated to you. However do not expect to wipe out all enemy armor by yourself.

 

In this regard I find that the fast mission generator is flawed. It gives the impression that a lone ground attack plane is going to take on tons and tons of armor while allied forces sit back and play poker. And while it is possible to kill everything yourself, it will require multiple trips back to base to re-fuel and re-arm. Not very realistic or practical. I usually take a look at the generated units and their positions, decide what the primary threats and objectives are and then tweak unit waypoints and compositions to support some kind of on-the-spot narrative I make up. Then I fly the mission to help the ground forces achieve that objective.

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Thanks for the replies! I was mainly asking because the closest airfield is over 150km away and I have to RTB by 10:45 (I arrive usually around 10:30) because my Su-27 escort will run out of fuel by then. I try to identify the mission-relevant units as best I can, and found like you guys have said it is mainly the artillery causing my ground units the problems, though there are some T72Bs firing on them too.

 

Also, what is the best way to identify enemy ground units without using the highly unrealistic unit marker setting? Thanks again!

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Also, what is the best way to identify enemy ground units without using the highly unrealistic unit marker setting? Thanks again!

 

In short, there is no fancy trick that will make target acquisition easy. It's just a matter of practice. Personally, I do most of my CAS flying in the A-10C, so I'm almost always working with that targeting pod. In the -25T you have Shkval, but I've found it to be nearly impossible to fly and find targets with Shkval without already having a good idea where to look to begin with, and for that you either need some outside help (mission briefing, JTAC, etc.) or you've just gotta pick it up with your own eyes through the canopy. The Su-25T's LLTV pod can help, targets will stand out pretty good in infrared, but it's still a whole lot of work scanning around.

 

The A-10C is a lot easier to work with in this regard. Besides the targeting pod that will let you see an area without needing to fly directly at it, you have a great navigation system to work with. As I'm scanning around an area I constantly use mark points to help keep my bearings on the enemy or various points of interest so I can instantly go back to them at any time. And then of course when you have JTAC support or a wingman that can pass off target information to you, you can input the coordinates and get an exact fix instantly. The Su-25/-25T are cool, but if you don't have the A-10C already, I highly recommend it. And the 30 mm cannon on the A-10C will definitely get you kills on tanks. :P

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Thanks for the replies! I was mainly asking because the closest airfield is over 150km away and I have to RTB by 10:45 (I arrive usually around 10:30) because my Su-27 escort will run out of fuel by then. I try to identify the mission-relevant units as best I can, and found like you guys have said it is mainly the artillery causing my ground units the problems, though there are some T72Bs firing on them too.

 

Also, what is the best way to identify enemy ground units without using the highly unrealistic unit marker setting? Thanks again!

 

Is there a tanker in the area that the Su-27s can use to refuel while away from the base?

 

As for spotting targets without labels, there are a few things to note:

 

1. It is common for A-10 pilots to use binoculars from the cockpit to spot targets. I would get used to using the view zoom functionality to mimic having binoculars. Most online servers allow this.

 

2. Most A2G sorties aren't just given a bunch of ammo and told to go blow stuff up. Pilots usually have a good idea of the general area of their targets before they get in the plane. This can be expressed as waypoints, target points (on the Ka-50), map coordinates near target areas or even very detailed descriptions in the mission briefing that walk the pilot's eyes onto a specific region of the map. These will give an area for the pilot to search and he/she can hone on the targets using plain sight or the targeting pod.

 

3. If the pilot does not know the location of the units to attack, he will more than likely be instructed by a JTAC/FAC/AFAC in the front lines.

 

As always, there are exceptions to the rule. But a mission with no direction what-so-ever that forces you to locate and destroy a handful of units hidden inside a city is little more than an exercise in frustration.

 

Of course, there are clever ways to make targets stand out while not seeming as structured. I'm toying with a mission to defend some allied units that are surrounded in a small town. I set one of the units to immortal with a supply truck nearby. His near-constant stream of shots allow you to visually follow tracers to units that threaten your protégé. Of course I'm setting up lose conditions so that you don't auto-win by letting him do all of the work :D

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Is there a tanker in the area that the Su-27s can use to refuel while away from the base?

 

As for spotting targets without labels, there are a few things to note:

 

1. It is common for A-10 pilots to use binoculars from the cockpit to spot targets. I would get used to using the view zoom functionality to mimic having binoculars. Most online servers allow this.

 

2. Most A2G sorties aren't just given a bunch of ammo and told to go blow stuff up. Pilots usually have a good idea of the general area of their targets before they get in the plane. This can be expressed as waypoints, target points (on the Ka-50), map coordinates near target areas or even very detailed descriptions in the mission briefing that walk the pilot's eyes onto a specific region of the map. These will give an area for the pilot to search and he/she can hone on the targets using plain sight or the targeting pod.

 

3. If the pilot does not know the location of the units to attack, he will more than likely be instructed by a JTAC/FAC/AFAC in the front lines.

 

As always, there are exceptions to the rule. But a mission with no direction what-so-ever that forces you to locate and destroy a handful of units hidden inside a city is little more than an exercise in frustration.

 

Of course, there are clever ways to make targets stand out while not seeming as structured. I'm toying with a mission to defend some allied units that are surrounded in a small town. I set one of the units to immortal with a supply truck nearby. His near-constant stream of shots allow you to visually follow tracers to units that threaten your protégé. Of course I'm setting up lose conditions so that you don't auto-win by letting him do all of the work :D

 

Thanks, all the information has helped a lot! Sadly, the mission is supposed to be a "get in get out" kind of set up, so once the clock hits 10:45 everyone goes home but I have made the most of that time. I think I am improving to a degree though, one problem I have so far is moving around the cockpit without TrackIR or any fancy things, so about half my inputs are related to simply moving my head (TrackIR is now on my todo list :)).

 

Anyway, you mention that you can use your wingmate to help get some kills, but the entire time I am over target he simply mimics my movements without firing so much as a cannon shell. I tried to pull up the communication menu and contacted by my flight and my wingman and instructed them to attack ground targets and both times the reply was "negative." How can I get him to do anything? And once again, thank you very much, you guys have been extremely helpful! :thumbup:

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Thanks, all the information has helped a lot! Sadly, the mission is supposed to be a "get in get out" kind of set up, so once the clock hits 10:45 everyone goes home but I have made the most of that time. I think I am improving to a degree though, one problem I have so far is moving around the cockpit without TrackIR or any fancy things, so about half my inputs are related to simply moving my head (TrackIR is now on my todo list :)).

 

Anyway, you mention that you can use your wingmate to help get some kills, but the entire time I am over target he simply mimics my movements without firing so much as a cannon shell. I tried to pull up the communication menu and contacted by my flight and my wingman and instructed them to attack ground targets and both times the reply was "negative." How can I get him to do anything? And once again, thank you very much, you guys have been extremely helpful! :thumbup:

 

With regards to your wingmen, apologies if I'm teaching you the obvious, but did you check in the mission editor that your wingmen have ordnance mounted? It appears that even if you chose an ordnance package for your aircraft, the editor doesn't automatically assign the same ordnance package to your wingmen - you have to assign it manually. If this isn't the case, I'm not sure what to suggest...

System Spec: Cooler Master Cosmos C700P Black Edition case. | AMD 5950X CPU | MSI RTX-3090 GPU | 32GB HyperX Predator PC4000 RAM | | TM Warthog stick & throttle | TrackIR 5 | Samsung 980 Pro NVMe 4 SSD 1TB (boot) | Samsung 870 QVO SSD 4TB (games) | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit.

 

Personal wish list: DCS: Su-27SM & DCS: Avro Vulcan.

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With regards to your wingmen, apologies if I'm teaching you the obvious, but did you check in the mission editor that your wingmen have ordnance mounted? It appears that even if you chose an ordnance package for your aircraft, the editor doesn't automatically assign the same ordnance package to your wingmen - you have to assign it manually. If this isn't the case, I'm not sure what to suggest...

 

Yes, he has 2 cluster bombs and 4 laser guided missiles, as well as a full tank of fuel. He follows my movements almost exactly and even performs the same dives that I do, but refuses to drop any munitions. The only response I get out of him when I try to order him to attack is "negative"... Well, at least he soaks up a few SAMs for me from time to time:P

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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