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Discussion of ECM pods in DCS


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Well since I'm bored I've decided to start a discussion regarding ECM pods and their implementation in DCS. Obviously ECM units and their capabilities are highly confidential in real life. As in a you don't ask, we don't talk basis. However, I do believe that ECM protection is quite underrated compared to real life. And a question here: Would carrying two ECM pods of different types be beneficial in an aircraft such as the A-10? For example an AN/ALQ-131 on the left outermost pylon and an AN/ALQ-184 on the right outermost pylon.

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Sorry but I think you are wrong.

There are books publicly and legally available that tell you how they work.

 

They will not tell you exactly how an alq131 works but they will give you some insights so someone will be able yo come up with a better way of simulating how they work instead of that ....very mediocre way they work now. The principles how they work are known.

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Sorry but I think you are wrong.

There are books publicly and legally available that tell you how they work.

 

They will not tell you exactly how an alq131 works but they will give you some insights so someone will be able yo come up with a better way of simulating how they work instead of that ....very mediocre way they work now. The principles how they work are known.

 

As I said, they are modeled correctly in this fashion. It gives the enemy your direction but not a distance, it makes blips "dance" on the radar screen(m2000), etc. All of this stuff is readily available on what they do. But the fact remains the details are classified. That's the reason you don't have a pilot or technician come on here and explain it to ED. It would be illegal.

 

We all understand how they work, but what it looks like in practice is classified.

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On the OP...

 

an interesting question to ask, and I don't think there is an easy answer. Plus, no-one would be allowed to give the complex one eve if they did know the answer.

 

In short, I don't think it would make any difference by having multiple different jammers on a fighter or an attacker. They point in the same directions (thus jamming same targets) and a singular jammer is well capable of dealing with a threat radar.

 

On the emerging topic. Jamming in DCS is modelled in the most simple way you can model it without it just preventing locking. You can model a much more realistic jamming system by spending half an hour on google! And I sure hope ED would do that.

 

Since we are not going to be given info on jammers other than on a principle level, no virtual pilot is going to be able to tell if it is modeled like the real thing, or just working "along the lines of" the real thing. And because we can't tell the difference, I would rather ED made a google-jammer than hold onto the dumb, oversimplified system we are presented currently.

 

Regards,

MikeMikeJuliet

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ECM in DCS is overly simplified. There are more than one kind of ECM in use but DCS has only one type. And I can say with confidence that we all do not know how they work although some might have better understanding than others.

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Two pods are usually because one is receiving signals and the other trying to jam them (that's how it knows which signals to jam).

 

Different models on the same plane would be pointless, you'd just use the newest one, it'll jam everything the old one will and then some.

 

 

All that said, ECM in DCS is extremely crude and simplified at present and none of that really applies.

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I would say the classified bits are perhaps the frequencies, and in particular techniques vs. specific threat. Other details are number of simultaneously jammed targets, available power, bandwidth, antenna angles and so on.

 

For a simulation you could probably get or guess a bunch of these parameters, and you could modify them dynamically to give an impression of ECM/ECCM 'cat and mouse' ... or set it up on demand by the mission creator.

 

But that would also be a huge under-taking.

 

 

ECM in DCS is overly simplified. There are more than one kind of ECM in use but DCS has only one type. And I can say with confidence that we all do not know how they work although some might have better understanding than others.

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Here is one old video how ECM works.

 

That was actually a very good video on the subject. And one can now only imagine what technical leaps have been taken to create the modern ECM and ECCM systems.

 

Just with that video alone DCS countermeasures could be made much more interesting.

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Part of the problem is the range of service times for weapons / units modelled along side each other & a tendency to blur capabilities in the LO originator of DCS that's still being cleaned up.

 

Take the SPS-141 jammer.

 

During the Iran-Iraq was, the HAWK SAM Systems failed to hit a single Iraqi aircraft carrying the SPS-141 pod. I don't think a single radar guided missile scored a hit either, and this was when Iran was a top ally, getting what Israel would get now (eg F-14 + Phoenix).

 

So if those are the versions modelled, the pod underperforms & the SPS-141 should get you virtual immunity against any land or air borne system in operation through to around 1985 - 1988.

 

Immediately after the IRAN-IRAQ war, the US rolled out an improved HAWK system specifically to counter the SPS-141 ECM.

 

If the modeling is of these systems, the ECM works fine in SIM works fine.

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As GGTharos sort of mentioned, it's not entirely classified. The different types and how they work is well documented and easily available online. It's the specific working of an individual system that's tightly under wraps.

 

As a rule the jamming in DCS is absolutely pointless. The burn through range is further out than your maximum launch range (partly down to the inaccuracy of the missiles) so the jamming has no effect. Aside from annoying your team mates at long ranges. In reality the whole point of ECM is to force your enemy to get closer than they'd like in order to get a launch-able lock.

 

There's a brilliant pdf document out there which covers almost every type of jamming amongst other things. Someone sent it me on reddit but I never saved the link. GGTharos might have a link if he knows which one I'm on about?

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ECM in DCS is overly simplified. There are more than one kind of ECM in use but DCS has only one type. And I can say with confidence that we all do not know how they work although some might have better understanding than others.

 

 

 

That is the point. I did this script... it is not finished, because for me it's ok, and not many people were interested, or they did not know what I was trying to achieve, or simply they don't know the importance of EW in modern warfare.

 

I took about a week researching here and there, and although the distances depends on many factors, i took into account many others.

 

Have a look please and tell me what do you think. You can even try and if you like the idea, I can develop it further (no that I improved my lua skills)

 

For offensive jamming

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?p=2993657

 

for defensive jamming

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=176471


Edited by ESAc_matador
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For those interested, there is a user post on this website stating various parameters of the designs regarding the AN/ALQ-131 and 184. I am not sure if the information he stated is credible but he certainly seems to have a better idea than us.

 

http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12353

Good insight to the systems from a slightly different perspective. The important thing to note there is that the self defence ECM jammers are not made to jam the enemies systems, but to buy time and achieve an acceptable miss distance.

 

For denying the enemy his capability to use his radar or comms you need a full blown jammer aircraft or a ground station.

DCS Finland | SF squadron

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Good insight to the systems from a slightly different perspective. The important thing to note there is that the self defence ECM jammers are not made to jam the enemies systems, but to buy time and achieve an acceptable miss distance.

 

For denying the enemy his capability to use his radar or comms you need a full blown jammer aircraft or a ground station.

 

Such as the EF-111A or the E/A-18. Which we don't have in DCS.

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Such as the EF-111A or the E/A-18. Which we don't have in DCS.

 

Indeed. Or the Ryssian Electronic Warfare aircraft using cargo aircraft hulls. Those can be used for massive background noise jamming and/or for crating chaff corridors to blind radars.

 

I would like to see some of those in the game.

DCS Finland | SF squadron

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Russians also have ground-to-air jammers that have lot more power than airborne jammers.

 

Be it ground- or airborne jammer, those would add a new tactical dimension to the game. Even if they would be just AI or CA-controlled.

DCS Finland | SF squadron

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I'll just repost what I put in this thread ( https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=170600 ) in the sim research section:

 

I'm only going to say I know a thing or two about this stuff.

 

The problem isn't just simply "Hey, let's make it more realistic one thing at a time." Once you breach a certain level of complexity with just one system on one aircraft, you now have a whole host of variables that must be applied to all aircraft/systems in order to properly represent the EW environment, and allow the more advanced EW techniques beyond noise jamming to have purpose. We're talking every pod (external and integrated like MiG-29 and F-15) and every radar (ECCM). What's the point if you're going to add velocity-gate/range-gate techniques if the radars you're trying to jam don't have the proper victim response or ECCM response modeled? Let's not even get started on individual blocks/versions of radars and what was added to them for ECCM.

 

Some of these variables include what's the jammer set to jam, because a lot of them can't do everything they're built to do, all the time. A lot of times, this is only configurable on the ground. What exact channel is each individual A/C operating their radars on so they don't interfere? How fast does a particular pod figure out what it's getting hit with and then counter? There's -so- many variables, the complexity of the sim will increase exponentially the more aircraft you throw at it.

 

As "trollish" as GG sounds sometimes, he's asking very pertinent and important questions, to which the answer will almost always be "I don't know, and there's no way we can find out, because EW is the blackest of black boxes, next to the radars themselves."

 

So where does this leave the game? Break it down into the most basic ideas.

 

1. Since all ECM on player aircraft is self-protection, what capability does it provide?

It denies a shot and/or fouls one taken and obscures what the aircraft is actually doing.

 

2. Can this be counter-acted upon?

Yes. You either burn through for the most part or develop techniques in the radar to automatically or semi-auto sort itself out. The later requires an individual radar to be a generation, at least, ahead of the system that's trying to jam it. It's a constant back and forth between "measures" and "countermeasures".

 

3. Do pilots have control over what these systems are doing?

No, not really. The system is either on or off for the most part and all the signal analysis and transmission is almost completely automatic, and most functions are only able to be programmed on the ground. Often, some intel officers are the ones that determine what capabilities the pods are loaded with, based upon ELINT in-theater.

 

When you distill what's going on to the above, the current model, while not realistic, provides a decent abstraction of what's going on, in a way that's manageable for the developers to implement. Remember, especially in multiplayer, you have people borking up all the time in the A-10C their individual aircraft IDs. Now you're asking these same people to throw a jammer on their aircraft and, should we stick to realism, figure out what to load it with so it's useful in the field? It would be a cluster bunch, and a bunch of radars operating with identical settings messes it up for everyone. It wouldn't be up to the pilot, but the mission planners anyway, especially in Russian doctrine.

 

It's hard to justify the value-added vs the cost and effort of further developing the EW environment, just to get nearly the same effect of "Push to WVR to nullify ECM".

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When you distill what's going on to the above, the current model, while not realistic, provides a decent abstraction of what's going on, in a way that's manageable for the developers to implement. Remember, especially in multiplayer, you have people borking up all the time in the A-10C their individual aircraft IDs. Now you're asking these same people to throw a jammer on their aircraft and, should we stick to realism, figure out what to load it with so it's useful in the field? It would be a cluster bunch, and a bunch of radars operating with identical settings messes it up for everyone. It wouldn't be up to the pilot, but the mission planners anyway, especially in Russian doctrine.

 

It's hard to justify the value-added vs the cost and effort of further developing the EW environment, just to get nearly the same effect of "Push to WVR to nullify ECM".

 

Some good points, but I'm still of the opinion that not having ECM is preferable to the current modeling. There is also a difference between increasing complexity and changing the focus of a simpler simulation.

 

Right now the only time I use ECM, if ever, is when I RTB. I'm usually far away from the front line so I don't mind giving my position away and most of my allies will have their noses pointed the other way to avoid being jammed by me. I end up being a sort of dedicated jammer more than a fighter and that's kind of backwards.

 

Rather than capture more detail, I think we could gain a lot by just changing how this simple model works. Change ECM so that it jams radars that are actively tracking you rather than blasting white noise at everything. In that case I might be content to flip the switch to on and leave it on, which would be closer to reality than what ends up happening with the current implementation as far as I know. This also leaves room for dedicated jammers to be added to the sim with functionality more like the current jammers, with the addition of the ability to designate targets to jam (ie pick out enemy radars rather than friendly ones). I'm not an EW expert by any means but my limited understanding leads me to believe this suggestion would be a slight improvement.

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The problem would be kind of what we're suffering right now without a proper multi-role on NATO without an F-16/F-18 doing DEAD with HARMS, and then on the reverse not having long range SAMS like the SA-2 and SA-5.

 

You're only simming part of what the over all environment would be which leads to artificial advantages and disadvantages in the system that don't exist in real life. Dedicated jammers and other ESM equipment on the ground and airborne, C&C and GCI, comms issues, etc. are some of what's missing. Those systems, even at a slightly raised level of fidelity would be in an artificial vacuum and wouldn't necessarily make it better, and in worst case, add more holes that the community would also then demand be filled. It'll be the issue with the M2k radar doing the "space invaders dance" and then the FC3 aircraft just a bearing of noise turned up to 11.

 

How exactly are they supposed to justify the development time and expenditures to develop this and then what? Release it as part of a free update to the system? If they try and release it as part of an expansion, good gravy can you imagine the poo storm on the forums? And then how would they integrate it with those that didn't buy it? You'll have servers having to choose between locking players out, or keeping an over simplified system and more occupied player slots. You can see something similar right now with people flying the full fidelity aircraft next to the FC3 in PVP. All that time to get into the air to get blown away by someone spamramming who took less than a minute to get into the air on a taxiway take off.

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i think it would be cool to have *some* differentiation in capabilities ------ look, ED is big on simulating things down to the gnats a55 and only building modules they have docs on

 

that's not going to happen in the EW world - so on some level they just wing it - they wave their hands...

 

the question is.. where do you draw the line

 

i get what you're saying eihort about complexity - but where its at now is too generic - i think they could go a little bit further

 

larger a/c and newer a/c should have more effective ECM - older and less powerful a/c should have less capable systems

 

instead of just noise jamming, yeah they should try to add in a couple/few more types of jammers

 

yes, as you add modules you add complexity - it becomes MxN

 

i think it would make it interesting - it would make it more entertaining

 

i think they should try

 

again, at *some* level they have to acknowledge some level of reality - and on *some* level they have to wave their hands

 

they're already "making up" capabilities and limitations - lets work on that a little bit - lets bring the EW of sim up to some level competence

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