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EW environment in LockOn


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Hi

a question to the devs: are there any chances to see in the future a better modelled EW environment in LockOn?

Today the situation is a bit sad... I've made a mission to test the "new" F-4G (an F-4E with a new skin and AGM-88 :) ) and the results were not really exciting....

 

- The worst thing was to see the Wild Weasels firing HARMs against all the targets of the enemy SAM group, including the launchers and the support vehicles... the HARMs, like all ARMs home on radiation sources, they are not like mavericks... also their warhead is not designed to kill vehicles, but more in general to inflict damage on fragile radar antennas. The further problem was that the Wild Weasels engaged the SAM launchers before the search/track radar.... with the result that until the last SAM launcher was killed that SAM group could engage at will... as a general rule ARMs would

engage radar vehicles, and if they lose the EM signal they try to remember the location to inflict damage on personnel and vehicles with their shrapnel.

 

- In Lockon the SAM batteries don't make anything to avoid being shot at. There is no frequency-hopping nor any radar shutdown. They just make a barrage fire with the SAMs available. Most of the latest conflicts depicted a more complex environment... even the Iraqis back in 1991 monitored US radio frequecies and shut down their radars whenever they just heard a call Magnum-X from a Wild Weasel aircraft (where X stands for the NATO SAM designation). So both over Iraq and former Yugoslavia, a large part of the SAMs fired were optically guided and/or their launchers adopted many other tricks to avoid being sitting ducks for ARMs.

 

- In Lockon there is no EW aircraft. Ok, modelling a modern battle area is very hard.... but if we want realism on radar modes, ECM burnthrough and other things like that, we can't ignore the fact that EW plays a major role in every modern conflict, like do AWACS and GCI. There have been very few missions in the last 20-30 years which were carried out without some EW aircraft flying cover somewhere around the fighters/bombers package. Simply because survival in a well defended area without an EW umbrella, today is quite impossible. So if we set up a mission against some SAMs like Patriot or SA-10 there are really few chances to survive if the SAMs are correctly modelled. Deceptive jamming and chaff are not enough to allow aircraft penetrate enemy airspace. If you add that there's no way to tell AI to fly nap-of-the-Earth, nor to use ground masking or terrain following, the situation get even worse!

 

What do you think about that?

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HARMs against all the targets of the enemy SAM group, including the launchers and the support vehicles...

Actually, apart from a known bug where they fire at Osa reload vehicle, other than that they dont, see the first and second thread .

 

http://forum.lockon.ru/viewtopic.php?t=2916

 

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=400102&f=38610606&m=9551086662

 

The further problem was that the Wild Weasels engaged the SAM launchers before the search/track radar....

As for engaging launchers 1st, read what myself and Ironhand have to say on 2nd page of second thread.

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Sorry Death, you lose! It was Professor Plum....

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Ooops! sorry to write about something already discussed. I lost that thread.

 

I also didn't know that about the Buk (I still call it SA-11 Gadfly ;) ).

 

Anyway the main radar of a battery is the search/track radar.... the radar mounted on each telar seems to be purely for missile guidance purposes. So the first unit to be engaged in SEAD missions should be the search/track radar, then the telars, if they guide some missiles. But if they don't guide missiles, I think the telars should be silent, or at least in some kind of standby-EMCON mode.

I'll investigate when I'll have some time about the other trucks... on a mission I thought they were killed by HARMs, but I may be wrong, maybe they were just strafed. Anyway also this thing of strafing the remaining units (CC & reloaders) is quite stupid, and even more stupid if other threats are still present nearby.

 

The other questions of frequency-hopping, radar shutdown and EW aircraft is also still open.

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the first unit to be engaged in SEAD missions should be the search/track radar, then the telars

AI in Lockon takes out the most immediate threat first - the tracker on the telar, and I can kinda understand that. I wish there was a serving Weasel officer posting on the forums to tell us what their standard OP actually is....

 

thing of strafing the remaining units (CC & reloaders) is quite stupid

Well, stuff I have read about Weasel attacks on SAM sites in 'Nam described a Shrike or Standard ARM entree to knock out the radar followed by a dessert of cluster surprise on the launchers and support vehicles.

Quote - The AGM-78B Standard ARM also carried a smoke flare to mark the target, allowing other aircraft to spot and attack an air-defense site with HE and cluster bombs after the STARM blinded its radar.

It aint just about killing hardware, its about killing those trained operators, maintenance technicians :cry: and their truck full of spare parts.

I mirrored a 1970's engagement as best I could, Kub SAM site attacked by a German F-4E with custom loadout of 2 AGM-45 Shrike and some Mk20 Rockeyes. Fired a single Shrike to take out the STR, then Rockeyed the rest, didnt need to use the cannon.

 

silent, or at least in some kind of standby-EMCON mode

I've worked on military radar systems, you can't just switch them on and off. Like your TV or your PC, they can take a considerable time to warm up/initialise.

Systems I have worked on in the past, when you hit the big red "Radar Silence" button, it stopped transmission, however the system was still powered up, some radar energy leakage was inevitable. Enough to risk an ARM still homing hence the system had a number of decoys deployed hundreds of metres away (a process we called "tethering the goats" :) ).

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Sorry Death, you lose! It was Professor Plum....

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AI in Lockon takes out the most immediate threat first - the tracker on the telar, and I can kinda understand that. I wish there was a serving Weasel officer posting on the forums to tell us what their standard OP actually is....

 

But in LockOn the search radar is always active, and it has a longer range than the guidance radars so it must be the first threat detected

 

Well, stuff I have read about Weasel attacks on SAM sites in 'Nam described a Shrike or Standard ARM entree to knock out the radar followed by a dessert of cluster surprise on the launchers and support vehicles.

Quote - The AGM-78B Standard ARM also carried a smoke flare to mark the target, allowing other aircraft to spot and attack an air-defense site with HE and cluster bombs after the STARM blinded its radar.

It aint just about killing hardware, its about killing those trained operators, maintenance technicians :cry: and their truck full of spare parts.

I mirrored a 1970's engagement as best I could, Kub SAM site attacked by a German F-4E with custom loadout of 2 AGM-45 Shrike and some Mk20 Rockeyes. Fired a single Shrike to take out the STR, then Rockeyed the rest, didnt need to use the cannon.

 

Yes, I know, but bombing or marking is different from strafing with a gun :)

And SEAD in VietNam was a lot different matter, if you think that in the early years it was carried out by non-dedicated platforms like A-4 skyhawks with rockets and dumb bombs. Later came the Shrike and the Standard ARMs, but they were far from being deadly as todays weapons. That is why early Wild Weasels also carried other weapons than just ARMs.

strafing means you have to descend and maybe slow down. Today very few aircraft strafe, in general they go for bombing runs, which have a different and less demanding procedure. And, AFAIK, the main task of platforms like F-4G was to kill immediate threats flying in "biscuit" or "8-shaped" patterns. They did not have to completely destroy radar sites, they just were tasked to make them switch off (by destroying them or forcing a shutdown)

 

I have a really good book about SEAD, called "IronHand - Smashing the enemy's air defences", I'lll try to finish it when I have some time because I've always been interested about these aircraft doing this damn dangerous job.

 

I've worked on military radar systems, you can't just switch them on and off. Like your TV or your PC, they can take a considerable time to warm up/initialise.

Systems I have worked on in the past, when you hit the big red "Radar Silence" button, it stopped transmission, however the system was still powered up, some radar energy leakage was inevitable. Enough to risk an ARM still homing hence the system had a number of decoys deployed hundreds of metres away (a process we called "tethering the goats" :) ).

 

Yes, I know you can't just turn it on and off, yet if you read reports from real action, you will know that they most of the times the operators switched the radar off. As I told in my first post (it's an extract from a pilot report in "F-16 Viper" by squadron signal) after a few days of war in 1991, the Iraqis learned what ARMs were, and they actually shut down their radars just when they heard the call for an ARM launch, even when it was a fake call made by F-16 pilots who didn't have Wild Weasel cover! And during later ops SAMs were mostly fired with optical guidance (or without any guidance at all, just to scare pilots)

 

That is why I think that including some kind of shutdown procedure would be a good idea. maybe in future developments...

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Decoys and SAM operators entering a silence mode, or just shutting down, when they detect they're under SEAD attack would be a fantastic addition. Right now ARMs are too much of a magic bullet. If you have Kh-25MPs on your Frog, the moment you're lit up by a medium or short range radar, that SAM operator is as good as dead. Jane's FA-18 & F-15 didn't have the decoys, but SAMs did shutdown down when they discovered they were under attack. ARMs would still try to strike their target when the radar beam disappeared, but their pk was greatly reduced. I wouldn't doubt that some of the more advanced ground based radars would be able to at least detect the huge Doppler shift created by a very fast moving ARM heading directly for it.

 

I'd also like to see things like SAMs strobing on and off to confuse RWRs, SAM traps (i.e. SAMs waiting to fire on a target until they're surrounded), and SAMs waiting until targets are within their no escape zone, depending on the situation, before lighting them up continuously.

 

Realistic time between detection and launch would be really sweet too, because, as I mentioned in another post, it is unrealistically fast (see: AI of Ground Units Discussion).

 

Like I said in that other post... have a look through the Falcon 4.0 manual to see some of the tricky tactics that can be employed by SAM operators (I'm sure there are much better reference guides out there too). None of this is modeled in LOMAC.

 

ARMs never miss in LOMAC.

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169th Panthers - http://www.169thpanthers.net

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AI in Lockon takes out the most immediate threat first - the tracker on the telar, and I can kinda understand that.

 

Today I tried the same mission, I flew an A-10 placed very close to the SAM site (Buk). As soon as the search radar was destroyed the SAM ceased any activity, and no SAM was fired. I also went away from the site, thinking that maybe I was too close to be engaged... still nothing.

 

Hence I concluded that the entire SAM site depends on the central radar.

 

At this point there are some problems that should be addressed in Lockon. The first is that aircraft with antiradar missiles should really engage first the most immediate threat (in this case the radar, not the launchers)

Then, if the SAM lanchers in lockon are not implemented with their own radar, they shouldn't be treated like targets for ARMs...

 

And if the Sa-11 Buk in RL really has those indipendent TELAR with their own search/track radars, these should be implemented. Today the Sa-11 acts like any other centralized SAM unit (patriot-like). Once the main radar is gone, the launchers are just metal scrap.

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The launchers have a tracking radar, which is why the BuK can rngage multiple targets, AFAIK - each TELAR tracks its own. But you're correct, this isn't implemented correctly in LOMAC - the lock on TEWS from an SA-11 for example shouldn't come from the Snow Drift (SD) but from from the TELAR, showing up as an '11', having a short 'search' time and then a lock onto your aircraft.

 

Similarely, adding TR's to a HAWK system merely causes it to assign multiple missiles to the same target. This should not be the case - multiple missiles can be assigned using a single TR - instead, the TR's should attempt to attack different targets.

 

I think this centers around the whole 'if the leader dies, the group dies' group programming in LOMAC and it would be nice if this was corrected - youcoudl then have TELARs continue their attack despite a Snow Drift radar being taken out, and the HAWK could continue target engagement using its TR if the SR was taken out - the difference would be that it couldn't engage any NEW targets until they were WVR (4-5nm) at which point the TR could be 'optically' aimed, and only the closest target would be engaged.

 

The other issue is that SAMs like to 'lose track' or 'ignore' targets sometimes, despite still having the ability to engage them in all respects - ie, functioning equipment, missiles on the racks, targets within parameters. This REALLY needs fixing! Maybe it is fixed in 1.1, we will have to wait and see.

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Reminder: SAM = Speed Bump :D

I used to play flight sims like you, but then I took a slammer to the knee - Yoda

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But in LockOn the search radar is always active, and it has a longer range than the guidance radars so it must be the first threat detected

I quite agree it would be the first radar detected, but if you are locked up by a tracker as well, the tracker is the most immediate threat to you. I am not saying the Lockon anti-radar AI is perfect, I am merely saying it is reasonable. If it was me in the a/c, I might think about firing at the tracker before a SAM was fired at me (to save my skinny ass :D ), and then worry about the mission and killing the search radar.

 

Later came the Shrike and the Standard ARMs, but they were far from being deadly as todays weapons. That is why early Wild Weasels also carried other weapons than just ARMs.

Well I agree up to a point. Modern ARM's like HARM and ALARM are smarter than early generation ARM's like Shrike and can attempt to track to last known position when the target switches off early enough. But it's really more about the mission criteria. Sometimes you want to clobber the whole site to ensure it is down permanently. Sometimes merely take it off the air for a day. Sometimes only an hour or two to allow friendly a/c to pass freely.

 

I assume they are some sort of simple transmitters which radiate radar energy at some frequency/amplitude as the actual radar.

Yes, but not exactly simple since they needed to be able to duplicate the radars operating modes, like changeable PRF, frequency hopping etc. Wouldn't fool anyone/anything if it didn't look exactly like the actual radar. Seem to recall the decoys were a million dollars (and change) each :shock:

 

...those indipendent TELAR with their own search/track radars...

No, they are track only. So if the SnowDrift is killed, then it is correct that no new engagements are initiated.

 

the lock on TEWS from an SA-11 for example shouldn't come from the Snow Drift (SD) but from from the TELAR, showing up as an '11'

You are correct, and it is not the only simplification like this. Some of the naval SAM radars are simplified in a similar manner. I can understand ED maybe through time pressure making this more simple than real life, but I too would like to see the correct indications on the RWR.

 

...adding TR's to a HAWK system....This should not be the case....instead, the TR's should attempt to attack different targets.

Again I agree wholeheartedly.

 

Finally, to get back to the excellent points raised in the original post, I too would love to see the SAM AI be more clever, tricky, sneaky, challenging as described. It would mean an end to the "magic bullet" ARM's.

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If Lock On simulated everything about every weapons system from every country, AND tactics, we wouldn't have a CPU fast enough to run Lock On for, oh, 20 years. And you can't make the argument that you aren't worried about other features, just this one...........what makes that feature any more important then other features and real world modelling. This is a simulation, not the real world. Computers aren't fast enough to handle all the number crunching that would have to be done.

 

I am not saying this to doubt or put down your idea, it is just there is no such thing as absolute realism. Devs must draw the line somewhere.

Dusty Rhodes

 

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OTHER sims have done it correctly, so it's up to ED to allocate resources to this task - it may not -have- the resources to do so and this I think we will all understadm - we all still support ED. But don't try to shoot us down witht hat argument - people in thisforum have made a LOT of suggestions, and yes, Ithink it may be hard for ED having to choose which they can implement and which they cannot.

 

We're well aware that we may ro may not get our wishes implemented - but we'll continue pouring out wishes and ideas, and we know that ED will do what they can within the allotted time and money contstraints to implement them.

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Reminder: SAM = Speed Bump :D

I used to play flight sims like you, but then I took a slammer to the knee - Yoda

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If Lock On simulated everything about every weapons system from every country, AND tactics, we wouldn't have a CPU fast enough to run Lock On for, oh, 20 years.

 

That simply isn't true. Other older sims have modeled this kind of detail with less than 1/4 the CPU processing power. Modeling nearly-true-to-life system detail and tactics may require some good coding, but it isn't nearly as demanding on the CPU as say the physical and graphic environments. It's main demand is on game production time.

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Not to start a fight, but please do name a sim that modelled in detail all of the tactics and technical uses for every weapon present. And done correctly. There isn't one.

Dusty Rhodes

 

Play HARD, Play FAIR, Play TO WIN

 

Win 7 Professional 64 Bit / Intel i7 4790 Devils Canyon, 4.0 GIG /ASUS Maximus VII Formula Motherboard/ ASUS GTX 1080 8 GB/ 32 Gigs of RAM / Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog / TrackIR 5 / 2 Cougar MFD's / Saitek Combat Pedals/ DSD Button Box FLT-1

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Not to start a fight, but Falcon 4 and JF18 did model SAMs a lot better, and stand off jammers, and so on. K? There's a difference between modelling it perfectly, and modelling the 'visible' effects well, yes. But they can model the effects we're looking for since it's been done before.

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Reminder: SAM = Speed Bump :D

I used to play flight sims like you, but then I took a slammer to the knee - Yoda

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Truce GG, Truce.

 

Neither Falcon 4 nor JF-18 modelled them true to life. As virtual pilots we like to think of ourselves as really shit hot and playing in a virtual world close to life. Simple fact is, it is simplified, even with JF-18 and Falcon 4.

 

Neither shut down their radars nor frequency hop when under or to avoid ARM attack.

 

Falcon 4 had no Jammer aircraft. JF-18, the jammer aircraft had minimal effect if any.

 

No, neither of these sims, and no others model true to life systems and tactics. Very simplified. There is no such thing as 100% realism as, again, there is no hardware out there that could crunch those kind of numbers. You would have a frame rate of 1 FPD (Frame per Day). The Devs have to draw the line someplace of how far to go in realism and still be able to sell there product and make money (Afterall, that is what they are in business to do, make money). Would it be nice to have those things in the sim. ABSOLUTELY. But then everyone has suggestions of what we would like to see in a sim. Can they put them all in? Hardly. They draw a line in the sand, though they frequently cross it god bless them, and have to say in their design plans, this is what we are going to go, and this is how far we are going to model things. Add to this the classified stuff that we all think we know about, but truly know nothing about.

 

Some nice feature idea's, but are they practical? And if they are, are they any more important then someone elses idea? Where do you draw the line? How far do you go in the realism department considering we are talking a 19 inch monitor and making the sim marketable to a wide enough range of audience to sell to a profitable amount of people? Don't say make it a choice, then you have the problem of modelling the with and without, twice the work which will not produce twice the profit. A business doesn't stay in business if it is not profitable and taking care of the share holders.

 

I am sure that as we push through the 10 Gig and 20 Gig CPU speeds in the future, we will see minute detail such as effective Jamming and SAMS channel hopping, hoping not to swallow an ARM. But Devs MUST draw the line in the realism department.

Dusty Rhodes

 

Play HARD, Play FAIR, Play TO WIN

 

Win 7 Professional 64 Bit / Intel i7 4790 Devils Canyon, 4.0 GIG /ASUS Maximus VII Formula Motherboard/ ASUS GTX 1080 8 GB/ 32 Gigs of RAM / Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog / TrackIR 5 / 2 Cougar MFD's / Saitek Combat Pedals/ DSD Button Box FLT-1

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Non, I agree with you it's truly simplified. I only know enough of this stuff to know there's a whole load of stuff about it I don't know, heh, no matter what I say ;)

 

However, what I did say is essentially correct: You cannot model the actual stuff happening here, I know all too well it's not possible (I worked with 'real' simulators ... so I know. I don't mean AC sims)

 

But you -can- model the effects adequately often. The SAMs shutting down or 'frequency hopping' can easily be modelled using a simple 'awareness' model and some simple modelling for the reaction of missiles to those things. The line is for the devs to draw though, and I don't think it's productive to um, pretty much tell us to stop requesting stuff.

 

We all understand that the devs can only do so much, and we're happy when some features make it in - I think it is very important to request stuff though - at least we will see -some- of them, you know? :D

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Reminder: SAM = Speed Bump :D

I used to play flight sims like you, but then I took a slammer to the knee - Yoda

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We are in total agreeance. We should request away. Nothing like an active community to drive the Devs to higher levels. :D

Dusty Rhodes

 

Play HARD, Play FAIR, Play TO WIN

 

Win 7 Professional 64 Bit / Intel i7 4790 Devils Canyon, 4.0 GIG /ASUS Maximus VII Formula Motherboard/ ASUS GTX 1080 8 GB/ 32 Gigs of RAM / Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog / TrackIR 5 / 2 Cougar MFD's / Saitek Combat Pedals/ DSD Button Box FLT-1

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  • 2 years later...

Retake an issue

 

I would like to retake the issue that the Radars SAM site does not do anything to avoud wild weasels mission. (ij, shut down)

 

I am actually at work, and I will test this evening something to "simulate" a more "real " behaviour of them.

 

we can put few waypoints (all in the same place).

Controlling with the folloing instrucctions.

 

wp1- 12.00 am (attack)

wp2- 12.06 am (turning point)

wp3- 12.15 am (attack)

wp4- 12.19 am (turning point)

 

I dont know how it works, BUT, it could be really good shell, to put a flight JUST looking for te radars, and can you imagine? suddenly it switch off, and you dont know when it will start, do you dare to go inside to bombing? may be it will start in few minutes, seconds, whatever.

 

We can edit traps for flights... and the best thing simulate is you HAVE A CONSTANT THREAT. (vietnam?)

 

Anyone did that already?

 

Please if you try write some coments here.

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At this point there are some problems that should be addressed in Lockon. The first is that aircraft with antiradar missiles should really engage first the most immediate threat (in this case the radar, not the launchers)

Then, if the SAM lanchers in lockon are not implemented with their own radar, they shouldn't be treated like targets for ARMs...

 

 

Are you sure there is a problem. Do you assign your SEAD group a target?

If you assign the targets in the order you want killed then you can control how the AI will run the engagement.

My mission is to fly, fight, and win. o-:|:-o What I do is sometimes get a tin of soup, heat it up, poach an egg in it, serve that with a pork pie sausage roll.

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Not that I want to go off topic, but what hinders me most in mission building that involves SAMs in Lockon is the chicken behaviour of AI strike packages.

 

As long as part of the sams are still active, the strike package is flying circles around the target, dropping all its load and doing some funny aerial ballet.

 

I want them to have more guts and go for THEIR mission, which is deliver payload on target, rather than doing the SAMdance!

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You want the Ai to do something that a human pilot would not do.

 

But that's the cool thing about computers and computer games.

 

 

If you can't bring down the IAD network. A complete mission day can be scrapped!

 

WHen building Mission in Lock On... Space your packages...

SEAD flights should be Singletons not mulitship.

 

That way you can control how puts what where ans the direction

on ingress.

 

For this mission builder you have to really script our SEAD missions to have really good results with the AI. Good Luck!

My mission is to fly, fight, and win. o-:|:-o What I do is sometimes get a tin of soup, heat it up, poach an egg in it, serve that with a pork pie sausage roll.

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I understand, but what I aim for is not so much suicidal strike missions, but a tighter timeframe.

 

SEAD and strike packages DO go into theater together, it's not that any strike mission would mean there is no Air defense left.

 

The problem is that even when there is 5 HARMS in the air and a single launcher left, the AI strike package chickens out, while as a human pilot I can do the mission and come back alive without any substantial risk.

 

But anyway I'll try with your suggestions!

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