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Viper Ordnance for Runways


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Hi - what’s the best ordnance for cratering runways with the Viper? Not seen any durandals in DCS World so do we choose Mk-82 drag ordnance for decent number of craters. Only issue is whether they can penetrate the tarmac?


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Since Durandal are not a thing for our variant, i think i'd go with HD82s too and a nice interval. Not sure GBU-31 (3/B) penetration is modeled/useful for runways.

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In the real world, basic High-drag bombs would probably represent one of the worst options for runway cratering. Dropped at low altitude, they would be coming in at a low angle and relatively low velocity. Even with a delay fuze they are likely to skip off the surface, or at very least not penetrate very far due to low impact speed, causing superficial damage. If you need to use unguided, use LD's delivered in a dive of at least 30-45 degrees. And deliver the string of bombs 30 degrees offset from the runway axis.

 

Your best modern realistic bet is multiple JDAM targeted at runway/taxi-way intersections and evenly spaced along the runway. Pretty sure in DCS a crater is a crater though.

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1 hour ago, AvroLanc said:

And deliver the string of bombs 30 degrees offset from the runway axis.

Why? Seems like most of the bombs would miss on either side.

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2 hours ago, Machalot said:

Why? Seems like most of the bombs would miss on either side.

Because most bombs missing on either side is better than risking being off by a small amount, and having the whole string of bombs miss. At least, this is what RB's SMEs have been saying about the Mirage employing BAP-100s.

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2 hours ago, Machalot said:

Why? Seems like most of the bombs would miss on either side.


Yeah but if you aim for a string along the axis, if one misses they all miss. 
 

With an offset you stand the most chance of getting at least 1 bomb on target even with aiming inaccuracies. One bomb/crater might be enough to put the runway out of action for a few hours. 

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49 minutes ago, AvroLanc said:


Yeah but if you aim for a string along the axis, if one misses they all miss. 
 

With an offset you stand the most chance of getting at least 1 bomb on target even with aiming inaccuracies. One bomb/crater might be enough to put the runway out of action for a few hours. 

 

Tornado attack with JP233 cans against an good sized airbase would typically use a 4 ship split into two elements - two fly along the runway (one may be offset to take a long taxiway that could double as a runway), whilst the other element would come in as mentioned typically 30* off axis of the runway to make 'cuts'.

Using HD iron a 30* slice would almost guarantee a direct hit with at least one munition.

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2 minutes ago, Dannyvandelft said:

The most fun way is to fly nap of the earth, pop up to 500 ft or so, and streak over the enemy runway with 12 snakeyes set at 500-700 feet spacing.

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(Viper pilots secretly wishing they were Viggen pilots)  

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If you want fun, use Mk-82 snakeyes. In reality, you would likely get blown out of the sky flying low over the length of an enemy runway in a straight line: which is why no one does that (and why Tornado pilots took such heavy casualties in DS with their runway munitions). Modern Doctrine is to drop 2000lb GBU-31 jdams with a delayed fuse on the taxi-ways. Usually there are 3-4 bottlenecks that all aircraft must pass through coming from parking to any runway. 

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GBU-31v3. If you're really into weaponeering you target just short of the runway with a low angle of impact so the bombs enter and tunnel through the soft dirt and explode under the runway. GBU-24A also acceptable.

 

With high drag bombs (Durandal, BAP-100, Beta-500, etc.) you don't drop down the axis of a runway. Instead you target an intersection of taxiway/runway and cut across at an angle. If the runway is 150' wide then you put ~75' spacing on your bombs so early/late still disables that node. For one going down the axis is really predictable (where would the enemy put their ZSUs and MANPADSs?) and you spend a long time not able to maneuver.

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13 hours ago, Mikeck said:

 (and why Tornado pilots took such heavy casualties in DS with their runway munitions). 

U⁷

 

Hmm the RAF lost 6 Tornados during GW1, 4 while dropping dumb bombs, 1 dropping laser guided weapons and 1 dropping Jp233.  The jp233 Tornado was hit after it had finished its run and dumped the weapons bodies.  Not sure 1 loss equates to heavy.

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Thanks all - fascinating information here. Will try JDAMs 😎

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20 hours ago, whiteladder said:

Hmm the RAF lost 6 Tornados during GW1, 4 while dropping dumb bombs, 1 dropping laser guided weapons and 1 dropping Jp233.  The jp233 Tornado was hit after it had finished its run and dumped the weapons bodies.  Not sure 1 loss equates to heavy.

There are multiple Desert Storm documentaries on YouTube all saying the Tornado loss was heavy early on in the war due to their role and tactics: aka JP233s. They claim later on the losses severely reduced, when the Tornados started flying at higher altitudes.
Perhaps they all have the same erroneous source, but that's probably why so many of us aviation enthusiasts have that impression.

On topic:

There's also this thread, showing a screenshot of the loadout screen of the Falcon:

 


Edited by Raven (Elysian Angel)
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Having recently read Tornado by John Nichol, I can say the tornado crews were very happy not to be doing those low level missions anymore.

 

They had the element of surprise at first, but that didn’t last long.

 

I think it was more a “if we keep doing this we’re going to take very heavy casualties”


Edited by Digitalvole
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On 10/2/2021 at 8:28 PM, Machalot said:

(Viper pilots secretly wishing they were Viggen pilots)  

 

Most tactics do not belong to any specific airframe. I've been doing low-level high speed dashes before I even knew Viggen was a thing.

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29 minutes ago, SFJackBauer said:

 

Most tactics do not belong to any specific airframe. I've been doing low-level high speed dashes before I even knew Viggen was a thing.

One of my favorite DCS moments ever was in an F-16 with GBU-12s.  My buddy was driving Combined Arms and lasing an SA-10 tracking radar at Sukhumi protected by SA-15s.  I went around low behind the hills to the east, got really low and near Mach 1.  Came over the hill and pulled down hard to the deck out in the flats, acquired LST on his laser spot, made a high speed run straight at the tracking radar, and popped up about a half mile out for a CCRP drop and shacked it.

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On 10/4/2021 at 8:46 AM, Digitalvole said:

Having recently read Tornado by John Nichol, I can say the tornado crews were very happy not to be doing those low level missions anymore.

 

They had the element of surprise at first, but that didn’t last long.

 

I think it was more a “if we keep doing this we’re going to take very heavy casualties”

 

 

 

I agree, I don't think it was about the amount in the real event, but rather what they concluded the future would be if they didn't change tactics.

 

Just days after that shoot-down in '91,  I was at a Canadian airbase... and we suddenly had 4  RAF Tornados (line abreast formation) do a simulated airfield attack, they were doing supersonic on the deck, we had no warning. Then, a minute later, a second 4 ship, same formation, did exactly the same.  It's my belief that the RAF was suddenly VERY concerned about their low level attack method, and wanted to do a test and evaluation of their tactics, against the Canadian Air Defense weapons. No live fire, just see if the radars could track and whther our missiles and 35mm could actually theoretically down them. I'm guessing the test showed our SAM and AAA systems were probably quite deadly, as the tactic actually used became 16,000ft or higher PGM attacks.

 

So Canada was using the ADATs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Defense_Anti-Tank_System

 

and Oerlikon 35mm Skyguard  https://en.rcamuseum.com/35mm-oerlikon-skyguard-swe/

 

I've no proof, but I also suspect that German airfields may also have been used to do a quick test evaluation, say against the Gepard 35mm and whatever other army air defense systems the German Army had at that time... though I'm guessing it might have been too early after re-unification for use of East German Shilka 23mm ? Maybe?  Either way, it really was a treat to see 8 Tornados blast by us supersonic on the deck like that!!  The silence, then BOOM! and now we all had jelly-legs and a queezy stomach! Many nervous laughs ensued! 

 

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1 minute ago, Rick50 said:

 

 

I agree, I don't think it was about the amount in the real event, but rather what they concluded the future would be if they didn't change tactics.

 

Just days after that shoot-down in '91,  I was at a Canadian airbase... and we suddenly had 4  RAF Tornados (line abreast formation) do a simulated airfield attack, they were doing supersonic on the deck, we had no warning. Then, a minute later, a second 4 ship, same formation, did exactly the same.  It's my belief that the RAF was suddenly VERY concerned about their low level attack method, and wanted to do a test and evaluation of their tactics, against the Canadian Air Defense weapons. No live fire, just see if the radars could track and whther our missiles and 35mm could actually theoretically down them. I'm guessing the test showed our SAM and AAA systems were probably quite deadly, as the tactic actually used became 16,000ft or higher PGM attacks.

 

So Canada was using the ADATs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Defense_Anti-Tank_System

 

and Oerlikon 35mm Skyguard  https://en.rcamuseum.com/35mm-oerlikon-skyguard-swe/

 

I've no proof, but I also suspect that German airfields may also have been used to do a quick test evaluation, say against the Gepard 35mm and whatever other army air defense systems the German Army had at that time... though I'm guessing it might have been too early after re-unification for use of East German Shilka 23mm ? Maybe?  Either way, it really was a treat to see 8 Tornados blast by us supersonic on the deck like that!!  The silence, then BOOM! and now we all had jelly-legs and a queezy stomach! Many nervous laughs ensued! 

 

Wow! That is Cool with a capital C!

 

Ive been at Eastbourne air show when 2 tornados flew low over the crowd and that was pretty damn impressive.


What you saw must have been truly awesome.

 

oh and since this is the f16 forum and I don’t want to get in trouble, there was a Belgian F16 there too, it flew formation with a spitfire at one point.

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Yea, it really was cool!!  Those giant shark tails all side by side... I don't remember exact, but I think they were roughly 300ft between them (100m), side by side, 4 wide. The second wave was the same, at about 100-200ft agl, again side by side. Both waves were silent, until well past then BOOM!! and a roar as they disappeared from sight... 

 

I should say, I don't "know" that evaluation/testing was the reason, I'm just taking a guess based on experience and "what I would do if I were in charge of RAF" at that time. What I mean is, though I was on base for some time, while I did know the air defence unit was right beside the main gate, I've no idea if they were "deployed" for the "airbase attack" exercise or not... it might have only been RAF and two people in the base airfield tower and ATC to ensure low alt deconfliction. I didn't see the air defense unit deployed,  but I'm guessing they could have done so in 30minutes prior to the "strike", done the ex, raised the outriggers and disconnected hardlines and been back in the shed in just 1 hour!  Or they could have been out there for 10 hours... And I would have seen none of it, as I was stuck at the gate for 12 hours... But I'm guessing the RAF really did want more from it than just flying low. 

 

Memory is very hazy, but I think it might have been just days after the two airmen were being shown beat up, POW's of the Iraqi military. Might have even been the video of them in that state, "confessing", all beat up, that caused the re-think of tactics... the reality of being shot down alive and captured could have had more psychological effect on decision making than the shootdown itself. 

 

Maybe it was just a "well if we aren't to do low level attack anymore, let's do one last exercise for the memories!", but it was so cool!

 

Hmm... now I wonder if there were pics or video of that exercise... long before Gopros and smartphones... even cell phones were very rare in 1991, but maybe a camcorder? It was in early 1991 at Canadian Forces Base Lahr, southwestern Germany.

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4 hours ago, Rick50 said:

 

 

I agree, I don't think it was about the amount in the real event, but rather what they concluded the future would be if they didn't change tactics.

 

Just days after that shoot-down in '91,  I was at a Canadian airbase... and we suddenly had 4  RAF Tornados (line abreast formation) do a simulated airfield attack, they were doing supersonic on the deck, we had no warning. Then, a minute later, a second 4 ship, same formation, did exactly the same.  It's my belief that the RAF was suddenly VERY concerned about their low level attack method, and wanted to do a test and evaluation of their tactics, against the Canadian Air Defense weapons. No live fire, just see if the radars could track and whther our missiles and 35mm could actually theoretically down them. I'm guessing the test showed our SAM and AAA systems were probably quite deadly, as the tactic actually used became 16,000ft or higher PGM attacks.

 

So Canada was using the ADATs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Defense_Anti-Tank_System

 

and Oerlikon 35mm Skyguard  https://en.rcamuseum.com/35mm-oerlikon-skyguard-swe/

 

I've no proof, but I also suspect that German airfields may also have been used to do a quick test evaluation, say against the Gepard 35mm and whatever other army air defense systems the German Army had at that time... though I'm guessing it might have been too early after re-unification for use of East German Shilka 23mm ? Maybe?  Either way, it really was a treat to see 8 Tornados blast by us supersonic on the deck like that!!  The silence, then BOOM! and now we all had jelly-legs and a queezy stomach! Many nervous laughs ensued! 

 

 

The Raf were well aware of the dangers of Low level tactics, after all they had used them in the Falklands 10 years before and had lost a number of aircraft. But they had a number of problems, firstly most of their weapons were designed specifically for low level use.

JP233 and BL755 could only be used at low level. Also most of the stocks of dumb bombs they had in the Gulf had retarded tails, they actually ran out normal tails during the war and had to band shut retarded ones.

Secondly they didn't have a dedicated Sead force, Alarm officially hadn't even been introduced into service. There wasn't even a manual written for it!! Bae systems at Stevenage went into overdrive to increase the stocks, even so the Raf fired off the whole stock of 128 missiles before the end of the war. 

Given the whole reason for the Tornado force was OCA really the only choice was low level/Jp233. Although delivering it was a fraught experience (if you read John Nichols book Tornado or Ospreys Tornado units of the first Gulf War for first hand accounts), it is also worth pointing out not only were none of the aircraft shot down delivering it, none were even damaged by flak. The aircraft that had been carrying Jp233 was lost 3 minutes after completing its attack and was 30 miles from the airfield. Having said that low level tactics were a contributing factor in all the losses prior to going the medium level. Once the threat from the Iraqi airforce had been neutralised and the shift away from OCA , going in low level made no sense.

 

As regarding testing their tactics against Canadian or German forces this was probably was just normal training rather than anything specifically to do with Gulf tactics. I worked for the Ministry of Defence during the first Gulf War and through the 90s at the Royal Airforce Signals Engineering Establishment Henlow. Specifically I working with the Electronic Warfare unit at Raf Wyton. 

The Raf had a electronic warfare range at Raf Spadeadam, where I spent most of 90/91. Spadeadam had a selection of Soviet air defence systems that had been "aquired" through various means These were controlled from a central bunker, and were used to train aircrew in defensive tactics. The range controller would lock up a jet with a Sa2 for example and as they broke its lock would then lock with a sa6. They could give them a really tough time.  They also had the skyguard 35mm system from Raf Waddington, manned by a territorial unit. It had been captured during the Falklands.

When the decision to go to medium level was made we did a lot of testing at Spadeadam, without going into details there were some Electronic Warfare systems on aircraft deployed to the Gulf that worked sub optimally at medium level.  There was a lot of very hasty work done.

 


Edited by whiteladder
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On 10/3/2021 at 1:25 PM, whiteladder said:

U⁷

 

Hmm the RAF lost 6 Tornados during GW1, 4 while dropping dumb bombs, 1 dropping laser guided weapons and 1 dropping Jp233.  The jp233 Tornado was hit after it had finished its run and dumped the weapons bodies.  Not sure 1 loss equates to heavy.

The British lost at least 5 tornadoes. 3 in the first three days. Only one to possible enemy aircraft

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1991-01-23-mn-762-story.html?_amp=true

 

here Is a better list. 2 tornados lost attacking same airfield. 3 attacking airfields in general. I wasn’t suggesting the ordinance used made a difference, rather LOW LEVEL delivery of ordinance as executed by Tornado crews (and Most coalition aircraft the first night)

 

http://www.ukserials.com/losses-1991.htm


Edited by Mikeck
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On 10/2/2021 at 8:30 PM, TLTeo said:

Because most bombs missing on either side is better than risking being off by a small amount, and having the whole string of bombs miss. At least, this is what RB's SMEs have been saying about the Mirage employing BAP-100s.

 

German MW1 Tornados also deliverd in a 30° offset.

 

In Napiers "Tornado Gr1: An Operational History" they discribed another reason for quiting the low level technic if I remember correctly.

The problem were not so much the attack runs, but the part of getting there and leaving on the deck, so rather it's about the shere amount of time you spend down there close to the ground.

 

They were flying at night, pitch black night, no light polution or something. That meant using the TFR.

But the TFR was made for european terrain, or at least for more rocky and foresty landscape, not for sand.

There where patches of sand where the size of the sand grains in that region supposedly absorbed the TFRs frequenzy more than it reflected it. (from time to time)

I remember reading one case about a training flight before the war started, also somewhere down there at a sandy place, that aircraft was flying shallow into the ground, fully automatic.

 

In my opinion you guys already mentioned the reason for quiting low level already a couple of times.

 

Back to the topic. I also just like doing low level high drag runs. I would really like to use something like the Durundal or BAP-100 on the F-16.

One other but dangerous option is a Loft. Probelm is, getting there you can stay low, but right in front you expose yourself...

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