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KMGU-2 - 96 PTAB-2.5KO -- usage in Oil War Campaign delivers no results


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Happy New Year everyone!

 

I was playing one of the closing missions during the holidays in the default Su-25T Georgian Oil War Campaign... In this mission a flight of Su-25T is to support ground attack against the M1 tanks deployed in the open field. The weather is suboptimal, so the typical distant engagement with Shkval and Vihr' is not advised because the lock is only achieved from a couple of km from the targets, but the area is reasonably well protected with SAMs and Vulcan. So, this mode of engagement quickly ends in fiery plunge to the ground for the full flight of Su-25T (each and every time).

 

A quick single pass over the armored units and peppering them with BKF PTAB-2.5KO cluster munitions seem like a better idea, but it results in no effect to the M1 Abrams tanks on the ground (each and every time), producing only fireworks like effects covering the tanks in affected areas with zero damage.

 

I have been pondering on this topic for a week now and was getting more confused with every new source or forum post I reviewed... very conflicting opinions are expressed by the writers with a lot of unfounded guesswork and even seems to be DCS release (or predecessors) specific. 

Eventually through an extensive google search I came across the old brochure from the "БАЗАЛЬТ" manufacturer and an excellent Wiki in russian which points to the specifics of the use of these munitions. Interesting fact - the weapon concept is an old idea initially implemented against German Panzer divisions on Eastern front by legendary IL-2...

Falling from the sky BKF PTAB-2.5KO 2.5kg (about 10 imperial pounds) HEAT grenades burn sizeable holes in the unprotected roofs of the tanks, where the armour is thinnest and there are many sensitive internal elements under it like charge racks, fuel, engines and crew themselves are located. (ok, one would argue that M1 Abrams armor is able to resist a hit of a grenade like this... but keep in mind that statistically there is a chance that about 5 of these bomblets likely to hit the tank at the same time in different locations from the top, including quite likely the fuel tanks, engine grating and air intake filters).

 

As expected from the name, the KMGU-2 - 96 PTAB-2.5KO munition consists of 96 bomblets (well, actually each is a HEAT grenade with a stabilizer). These are released by 12 bomblets per unit with 8 units in each dispenser pod (giving 96 in total). Drawings of the bomblets, units and dispensers and application instructions confirmed my assumptions. These should be deadly against unprotected tanks in open positions and absolutely devastating against moving tank columns when dropped at 30-50 m altitude during high-speed pass @700km/h. These would be a bit less practical against soft targets, which are much better dealt with another type - KMGU-2 - 96 PTAB-2.5RT which are like rotating tennis balls with wings. BTW, who knows what the RT at the end of the munition name stands for? (My guess - "rotating" or it could be the abbreviation of the explosive type used, but I am not an expert here) 

My question to the forum is why there is 0 effect to the tanks when KMGU-2 - 96 PTAB-2.5KO munitions are used on them in excessive quantities (I have tried simultaneous salvo from 6 KMGU-2 literally turning the open ground for 100 meters around the tanks into a 'thunder carpet fireworks'?

 

Is this a bug, area for the future development and improvements or a feature of the current release?

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Unfortunately, due to DCS’s vehicle damage modeling—or lack thereof—you’ll need to use 6 of the RBK-500AO’s which are PTAB. Set the release to ALL and the interval to .01. You’ll usually get 3 or so with the pass on a column.

 

I’ve never had any luck with the KMGU delivery system against modern tanks because it delivers its payload with too little concentration. It’s effective against softer targets but not what you’re hunting.

 

TRK attached

RBK-500-255 PTAB-10-5.trk


Edited by Ironhand
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YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU1...CR6IZ7crfdZxDg

 

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On 1/7/2021 at 3:15 PM, Ironhand said:

Unfortunately, due to DCS’s vehicle damage modeling—or lack thereof—  

I’ve never had any luck with the KMGU delivery system against modern tanks because it delivers its payload with too little concentration. It’s effective against softer targets but not what you’re hunting.

 

>>> oh, that's a real bummer... KMGU seems like a perfect tool for the job.

 

you’ll need to use 6 of the RBK-500AO’s which are PTAB. Set the release to ALL and the interval to .01. You’ll usually get 3 or so with the pass on a column.

Thanks for the suggestion and clarification, Ironhand! 

Very useful to understand what is going on... so no more efforts go lost in wane.

 

BTW, I have tried your suggestion yesterday night.  Unfortunately, not ending up well in this particular mission - (mission 10 in Georgian Oil War Campaign).

Seems like RBK-500 have a very different delivery profile, because the targeting piper goes off HUD in very low level flight (~30-50M RAlt) and as soon as I pop-up higher than 300m or more for targeting and drop, I get totally blasted off the sky by 2 Avengers, Vulcan and a bunch of IFV and 12,7mm MGs from MBTs in a few seconds...
This mission seems to be really challenging to me due to combination of the weather conditions and particular arrangement of the defending units.

I wonder if anyone has any videos of it published?

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1 hour ago, wfox said:

Thanks for the suggestion and clarification, Ironhand! 

Very useful to understand what is going on... so no more efforts go lost in wane.

 

BTW, I have tried your suggestion yesterday night.  Unfortunately, not ending up well in this particular mission - (mission 10 in Georgian Oil War Campaign).

Seems like RBK-500 have a very different delivery profile, because the targeting piper goes off HUD in very low level flight (~30-50M RAlt) and as soon as I pop-up higher than 300m or more for targeting and drop, I get totally blasted off the sky by 2 Avengers, Vulcan and a bunch of IFV and 12,7mm MGs from MBTs in a few seconds...
This mission seems to be really challenging to me due to combination of the weather conditions and particular arrangement of the defending units.

I wonder if anyone has any videos of it published?

 

I forgot about the very low level requirement for that mission. What's the title of the mission? (Saying it's the 10th mission doesn't help much because it could very well be the 2nd mission in th elist, for instance.) I'll take a look at it, if I get a chance.

 

@Taz1004,

 

It's been awhile, since I've made anything beyond what's on my Flankertraining YouTube site. I only have the opportunity to spend much time with the sim every once in a great while.


Edited by Ironhand

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU1...CR6IZ7crfdZxDg

 

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On 1/9/2021 at 3:51 PM, wfox said:

The mission ATO B.P3.2 in Georgian Oil War campaign.  My lame run with KMGUs is attached.  Feedback and tips are much appreciated.

BTW, I loved your Flaming Cliffs video... very entertaining and educational at the same time.

Su25T_Campaign_oilwar_10_bad_run2-ptab25ko.trk 1.24 MB · 1 download

Didn’t read this until today (Monday). I’ll try to download it tonight and take a look. Thanks.

On 1/9/2021 at 3:56 PM, wfox said:

BTW, nice and clean job with these RBKs, Ironhand!

It’s a easier, when no one is shooting at you.

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU1...CR6IZ7crfdZxDg

 

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I watched your TRK and was interested to see that both the ceiling and your WP altitudes were higher than I expected during ingress. So I started the mission and flew the waypoints as indicated by the HUD.

 

There’s what looked to be a short-range SAM (based on the Berioza’s behavior) along the ingress route. I dog legged to the left and flew around it. It was at WP3 that I realized I have completely forgotten how to do anything in this aircraft except fly her and drop dumb munitions. So I set my wingnut’s tasking and ran mock attacks. It seemed like you have enough altitude available to use the longer range weapons in the “official” loadout. But, since I wasn’t actually using them, I could be wrong.

 

At any rate, when I looked at the mission design itself, flying around that SAM allowed the supporting flights to arrive in the area roughly a minute ahead of me. (The mission WP timings show them arriving about 50 seconds before me and my wingnut.) So I wasn’t the only target in the sky.

 

Not sure what’s required for mission success but I may take an Su-25T refresher course and try it again.

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YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU1...CR6IZ7crfdZxDg

 

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Yeah, indeed. In recording I was flying on approach approximately 50-70m high due to HV electric wires (ran into them the first time around). The recommended minimum drop altitude with KMGU is from 30m for PTAB type of loads following the data brochure from the manufacturer. But not enough for RBKs... the targeting piper does not even come to view...

 

This mission looks like a fun challenge and due to campaign arrangement the mission changes from time to time. Sometime you have a radar illumination, sometime not. 

BTW, I flew one mission with Phantasmagoria pod and found that the radar sites are almost always friendly ones (there was friendly OSA nearby) and they do not lock you. 

 

But you gave me a good idea to let the support flights and wingnut to arrive first to act as SAM catchers! 🙂

I am also getting inclined to do it in a boring way now - with the default loadout... while using SAM catching tactic you suggested and picking everything one by one with Vihr's.  But you need a "Berioza" FLIR pod (or whatever it is) because of the mist in this mission - it simply does not want to switch to track (AC) mode from a larger distances without one.

 

Hope you'll have fun and the effort was worth it. 😅

 

P.S. It would have been a realistic mission if it was possible to use KMGUs as should've been in RL... Two very low altitude dash runs from northerly direction following the color smokes by leader and wingman would have taken care of these two lines of tanks with like 50% success rate in seconds, but alas, the KMGUs are ineffective against M1s in DCS and RBKs are not enough to cover sparsely placed MBTs to satisfy the mission win criteria, and Avengers with Vulcans are pretty effective in large quantities too.

 

P.S.2 Also, I have been experimenting with different RBK-xx-PTABs too. One needs a sizeable load (all 8 hardpoints) to produce dense enough coverage to destroy few closely set MBTs as I can see now. I was even missing some MBTs and even light armored vehicles by setting release interval to 0.2sec from 0.1sec in my test runs.

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33 minutes ago, wfox said:

Also, I have been experimenting with different RBK-xx-PTABs too. One needs a sizeable load (all 8 hardpoints) to produce dense enough coverage to destroy few closely set MBTs as I can see now. I was even missing some MBTs and even light armored vehicles by setting release interval to 0.2sec from 0.1sec in my test runs.

That was my finding as well. With a release interval of .1, I usually got 3 for3 but, with .2, the ratio dropped to 1 for 3.

 

Looking forward to taking an Su-25T refresher course.

 

Edit: BTW,

Quote

...But you need a "Berioza" FLIR pod (or whatever it is)...

it’s the “Mercury” pod. 🙂


Edited by Ironhand

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU1...CR6IZ7crfdZxDg

 

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On 1/13/2021 at 9:45 PM, Ironhand said:

That was my finding as well. With a release interval of .1, I usually got 3 for3 but, with .2, the ratio dropped to 1 for 3.

 

Looking forward to taking an Su-25T refresher course.

 

Edit: BTW,

it’s the “Mercury” pod. 🙂

 

Yes, indeed! "Berioza" - is a radar warning system in the bottom right corner. (Looks like I also need a refresher training...)

"Mercury" pod is the one!  Actually it works well in that mission... I only wish it had 32x  or 40x zoom capability, letting me to pick off all the SAM launchers from a safe distance and saving me, wingmen and support flights from doom of fiery death... 

 

Speaking of PBK-xxx-PTAB bombs - looks to me that this topic really needs a separate 'issue' thread. The more I experiment with it the stranger it looks. :-0

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3 hours ago, wfox said:

..,

 

Speaking of PBK-xxx-PTAB bombs - looks to me that this topic really needs a separate 'issue' thread. The more I experiment with it the stranger it looks. :-0

It may, if the issue actually lies with the munitions. Keep in mind that damage modeling for ground units is limited and that may be the actual issue. Don’t know how you might separate the two.


Edited by Ironhand

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU1...CR6IZ7crfdZxDg

 

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On 1/15/2021 at 3:13 PM, Ironhand said:

It may, if the issue actually lies with the munitions. Keep in mind that damage modeling for ground units is limited and that may be the actual issue. Don’t know how you might separate the two.

 

100% agree. The damage modeling of ground vehicles in DCS is definitely bizarre, as well as mission recording capabilities.

 

I can safely conclude this now because I also own the Combined Arms module, and I have tried this ATO B.P3.2 mission probably close to 100 times, analysing it from the different perspectives. I have literally driven through that mission in a T-80 and BMPs and watched recordings from the perspective of targets and attackers. 

Cases like KMGU example extend to other munition like a SMERTCH artillery rockets, MSTA 125mm HE shells or or even my Kh-29L hitting the area near targets (e.g. SAM launcher Avenger) in approximately 20 m from that HUMVEE and it survives! (common, Kh-29L has +300kg equivalent of TNT - it should make a crater that big, right?)


Another issue is that recordings of the mission going completely wrong quite often, when direct hits are recorded as absolute misses on targets. I will collect more of these irregularities and post in new threads.

 

PS1. BTW, that is one cool mission. With complex potential dynamics if tuned right... It's a treasure for the mission tweaker - I wonder would it violate the license if one tweaks and post the mission in the forum at some point?

 

PS2. I even made a training mission to hone the skills necessary to complete that mission (will share if someone is interested to try it - let me know)

On 1/7/2021 at 3:15 PM, Ironhand said:

 

 

TRK attached

 

 

How to you make the truncated versions of the TRKs? Is there a toolkit or recording editor I should use?

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2 hours ago, wfox said:

How to you make the truncated versions of the TRKs? Is there a toolkit or recording editor I should use?

You don’t—at least not shortened from the front end. There’s no way to start a TRK partway through.

 

You might want to upload the training mission to DCS User Files. In the meantime I’d be interested. Just don’t know how soon I’d be able to get to it.

 

🙂 And it’s amazing how little damage a FAB-500 does when dropped in the middle of a bunch of infantry. The issue is something they’re aware of.


Edited by Ironhand

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU1...CR6IZ7crfdZxDg

 

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On 1/18/2021 at 3:50 PM, Ironhand said:

You don’t—at least not shortened from the front end. There’s no way to start a TRK partway through.

 

You might want to upload the training mission to DCS User Files. In the meantime I’d be interested. Just don’t know how soon I’d be able to get to it.

 

🙂 And it’s amazing how little damage a FAB-500 does when dropped in the middle of a bunch of infantry. The issue is something they’re aware of.

 

 

here it is -- very short and simple mission, but challenging enough to make you sweat. It is based on a take-off practice mission from Robert Sogomonian which I found on Youtube. This one is still work in progress.

Just pick up your weapons and fly to 1st waypoint. The rest is self explanatory. 🙂 Either destroy the softer targets or hard targets slightly down the road (if you can find them). 😉 

Tip: lables will help.

 

I will share it with community once I am happy by adding a bigger choice of mobile and stationary targets and editing the briefing.  Still learning the tools since I did not use DCS in many years.

Su-25T_ground_attack_advanced_mission.miz

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43 minutes ago, wfox said:

Tip: lables will help.

Never use them. The targets usually give their positions away when they shoot at me. 🙂

 

I’ll download it tonight after I get home from work. Still not sure when I can get to it, though.

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU1...CR6IZ7crfdZxDg

 

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Win 10 Pro x64, ASUS Z97 Pro MoBo, Intel i7-4790K, EVGA GTX 970 4GB, HyperX Savage 16GB, Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB SSD, 2x Seagate Hybrid Drive 2TB Raid 0.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Man I remember back in the 1.2.6 days-ish when the KMGU dispensers where da bomb. Very effective and cool effects.

Somewhere along the lines they changed the weapon, removing the cool visuals and completely nerfing it to the point of uselessness.

IIRC it caused performance issues as it was, and thats why they changed it. However, they could have skipped the nerf imo.

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