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104th Phoenix
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Bushmanni

Overall strategy

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Tried and true fact about past events is that attacking aggressors in one big wave works and attacking them in sequaential small groups doesn't. Other thing is that one big push can buy only about 10 minute window for the strikers. Because we have a safe zone we should use it to organize a big attack taking our time instead of hurry up in small groups.

Things we need to sort out is a plan to get all of us in air efficiently and a way to spread us sufficiently wide but noo too wide just north of the target area to block the aggressors from going around the CAP. Another important thing is communications plan so that we can stay coordinated.

I have some thoughts about these but don't have time to write all of it now. I'll write my ideas later today if I can.

 

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I noticed in last years event the Aggressors came in small waves evenly spaced out. It ended with everyone bunched up on top of the ground AO with a clear do not cross line. However, they only sent like 2/3 or 3/4 of their force. Possibly we should consider leaving 1/4 of our Fighters for mid game? Not a very fun suggestion.

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Thinking about reserves in this kind of mission is useless as reserve doesn't serve any purpose that would benefit the mission, thay only serve as easier targets for the aggressors. What we need to do is secure the target area for sufficient time or as long as possible for the strikers with minimum casualties. Any fighter not providing CAP for the strike target is not doing the right thing. And when the strikers have succeeded with their mission, it's essentially pointless to stay in the air any longer. Although if we manage to kill all the ground targets I think it's reasonable to to keep fighting just for fun but at that point the point is having fun, not doing the mission.

In order to reduce our losses we should have as many fighters at the CAP as possible to provide local numerical superiority at the time when the CAP is active and strikers are in the AO. Aggressors have teamwork and experience advantage that means we will take more losses than them if we engage them with equal numbers. The only advantage we have over aggressors is numerical superiority but we can take advantage of it only if we have all the fighters in the fight at the same time.

We can maintain CAP for only about 15 min maximum which means about 25-40min sortie depending of the time spent on ingress and egress. We have 3 hours of playing time so we can do about 4-5 sorties during the game. In order to maximize the sortie rate we should have all planes taking off with minimum intervals and RTB at the same time so that the first plane to land from sortie doesn't have to wait for 20min for the last one to land and another 10min to get ready for the next sortie.

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Here's more detailed plans for the take-off and CAP.

Elephan walk is a technique where all the strike package planes taxi to the runway together and form on the runway. When everyone is on the runway the lead planes will take-off followed by the planes behind them. This way you can get maximum number of planes airborne in shortest amount of time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_walk_(aeronautics)

We have two runways for us to use so we need to put only 16 planes on each runway. I think the easiest way to organize this is to assing take-off order for each flight and then flight will taxi to the runway in the take-off order. So if flight will takeoff in number order, flight 1 will taxi to the runway followed by flight 2 etc. Flight one and flight two (on the second runway) will taxi far enough along the runway so all the other planes can fit behind them. When the last flight informs being ready for take-off the lead flight announces take-off command and takes off. Planes will have a 5 second intervall during take-off to ensure enough spacing for safety. I'm thinking we should put odd numbers on the left runway and even numbers on the right runway ie. flight 1 is on the left, flight 2 is on the right, flight 3 is on the left, etc. Striker groups would be the last ones to take-off.

Each flight would head straight for their CAP position after take-off. CAP positions will be arranged in a line between Pahute Mesa airstrip and Bald mountain facing Tonopah (310-130) over Groom Lake. The exact position isn't important as long as the flight manages to be in the general area of where they are supposed to be. The center flight will take position on a line connecting BE and Tonopah and other flights will take positions left and right of the center with about equal spacing. Left most flight will use Pahute Mesa as reference point while right most fligh uses bald mountain as reference point. Rest of the flights will take positions in between.

The execution of the CAP will be flying race track orbit between 310 (hot leg) and 130 (cold leg) headings at around 30k feet to save fuel when no enemies are present and taking appropriate altitude (what you like best) when enemies are detected. Lead plane in the orbit will turn back at the line between Pahute Mesa and Bald Mountain (20-25NM distance from BE). Each flight will use grinder tactic to hold the airspace they are assigned to.

Grinder is a tactic where planes fly race track orbit with about 5-10 NM spacing and fire at the enemy at the farthest point and then turns cold and extends to the back of the grinder orbit. When the plane is at the back (about 10-20 NM or 60-120 seconds of flying away from the enemy) he turns back towards the enemy and starts scanning the airspace and reporting enemies the other planes in front of him might have missed. This tactic provides good SA and mutual support for everyone in the grinder as long as people will use their radars and radios.

You can start Grinder by making all other planes turn cold (away from the enemy) except one and then having them turn hot with 15 second intervals. The first plane that turned cold just keeps turning and essentially makes a 360 turn and the rest will follow with 15 second intervals. This will put the planes in a column with about 5 NM spacing.

Grinder is not effective at providing kills but it's very effective at defending the airspace and it's the tactic the aggressors are expected to use.

It's expected that enemy fighters will be present at the CAP location so they need to be driven off or shot down. I think the best bet is to start the Grinder when at 40 NM distance from the enemy and then just push the grinder forward until the CAP position is reached. Pushing the Grinder forward means not turning cold until you fire on to the enemy. If the enemy will not retreat, they will get overwhelmed by us and get shot down. If they retreat, the lead plane in the Grinder will fly farther towards the enemy airpace taking control of the airpace the enemy gave up.

 

Picture of the approximate CAP locations.

cGLqdXQ.jpg

 

 

Edited by Bushmanni

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I overall agree very much with the strategy behind your plan, our advantage is numbers, so either we sledgehammer them with numbers, or we sledgehammer them with numbers. ;-) 

I fully agree as well with the altitude, although for me personally, M2000c pilot, that will be more 40-50k, you have fuel to basically stay supersonic up there for like, dunno 30 minutes roughly and in testing it turns out it actually levels the playing field a lot between the F15 and Mirage for the the Redflag scenario. 

 

My Idea actually included flank pushes, like not 45 degrees from the side into bullseye, but literally fly around the flank and hit their ingress route 90 degrees. There was basically 0 flanking action last round, which pretty much surprised me. 

Question here would be, can we afford  the numbers for a flanking maneuver in the main push or not/if the disturbance that would cause in their deeper structure would make up for the numbers drawn from the main push.

 

I will try to support the general grinder push as good as possible from my space station, or go make nuisance attacks along the flanks. 

Since we do not have belougas, the a10c has to get way to close for lazor designation [10nm], I would recommend to not have any mirages on a2g, unless our CAS gets nuked or we run out of time. If the situation requires it, we can vary that, but without the clusters it cant really deliver enough punch per time on target to make it a reasonable choice. 

 

The Viggen would be so marvelous in this setup, you can basically burn in at mach 1.7 at Angels 25 with 4 mavs, fire them, turn cold and run away. 

*sad that he cant fly a Viggen*

 

 

 

 

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I would like to see some flanking too as doing grinder along one line probably ends up pretty bad as too many guys will take first slammer to the face and our number adanvatage is gone after that. And for the aggressors fighting on 2 or 3 direction is more difficult than fighting on one where they can support each other better, concentrate their forces better and simply have better SA. Having a threat on one or both flanks all the time would make them more nervous as keeping a good SA in situation like that is difficult and there is a constant fear that someone got too close undetected for a kill shot. 

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I don't think Mirage can fly a Grinder effectively so Mirages could/should try something different, like coming in from high or from flanks. You are more likely to get free entry (get within deadly range undetected) by coming in from low or high than from a flank as radars scan wide hortizontally but narrow vertically. So while engaging it's good for some planes to fly low and some at medium altitude and some above contrails.

We should not push for kills initially but just use enough aggression to push the aggressors north of the target and then defend. We have a good chance of running them out of AMRAAMs if we can keep our guys alive by not taking stupid risks and getting splashed because we have more planes and hence more AMRAAMs. Drawn out battle is highly favorable to us so that's what we should go for initially ie. concentrate on gound targets and keeping our fighters alive.

Edited by Bushmanni

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Hi Gents

I like Bushmanni's idea, also would love to see flanking at least in our first merge (if you all OK with that) and after groups can start work with Grinders.

Also altitude separation will give us good advantage in our merges.

The below image just simple explanation to what i have in mind in terms of the flying shapes for the initial merge and having regroup point to be used for our grinders etc..

79806fff54077b240b9d5277edfe4efe.jpg

 

Also we can use the below sheet link to assign groups and leaders for each group and provide them with the task.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hTV9vVsVcA9mtYXr7-86cwK7Sw49_1rjzt5wsHxPy38/edit#gid=0

 

Adding to the above, we need to insure that our flight leads are using proper communication together on TS for better situation awareness and better team work.

the below link was last round plan, so  you can find from page 7 how to setup whispering key, until we assign the group leader and agree on the best way will be used in our comms.

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PMxYdtJsKq3yJfsPm9RbDo5YFOzKnLRZxywxOitKesk/edit

 

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I don't think Mirage can fly a Grinder effectively so Mirages could/should try something different, like coming in from high or from flanks. You are more likely to get free entry (get within deadly range undetected) by coming in from low or high than from a flank as radars scan wide hortizontally but narrow vertically. So while engaging it's good for some planes to fly low and some at medium altitude and some above contrails.

We should not push for kills initially but just use enough aggression to push the aggressors north of the target and then defend. We have a good chance of running them out of AMRAAMs if we can keep our guys alive by not taking stupid risks and getting splashed because we have more planes and hence more AMRAAMs. Drawn out battle is highly favorable to us so that's what we should go for initially ie. concentrate on gound targets and keeping our fighters alive.

Yep, agreed I will probably stay with the main push initially and then see how stuff is developing and zoom around their flanks. Will just try to annoy them as much as possible ! :D 

Staying _in_ the grinder is not really an option, thats true, since you cant really give the 530 the NEZ you need/want with that flight parameters.

You can extend it pretty well though if you come in high and fast, like that one can get NEZ launches for hot targets of about 12-14n

 

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If we form a wide line like our CAP stations are while aproaching the target we will have flanking flights in place by default. All we need to do is engage the aggressors and take hold of the airspace when they pull back. 104th guys like to extend about 30 NM before turning back so if we extend only 10-20NM our Grinder will slowly push forward as aggressors will be slower to reclaim the no-mans land in between.

I'm thinking about dedicating 1-2 fighters to escort the strikers and having strikers+escort follow about 20 NM behind the fighters. the escort fighter can defend the strikers in case of emergency and provide SA with radar about the situation in front so he can order the strikers to turn around in case of trouble. This way the strikers can get to the target much more quickly.

Good job with the whisper guide. Having similar for Crosstalk plugin would be sweet also.

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The whispers look good.

 

We need to assign someone to be in charge then.

 

Any volunteers?

Bushmanni, offered to lead in the forums, if he is cool with that, so we just follow what he suggest.

I am fine with anything

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If we form a wide line like our CAP stations are while aproaching the target we will have flanking flights in place by default. All we need to do is engage the aggressors and take hold of the airspace when they pull back. 104th guys like to extend about 30 NM before turning back so if we extend only 10-20NM our Grinder will slowly push forward as aggressors will be slower to reclaim the no-mans land in between.

I'm thinking about dedicating 1-2 fighters to escort the strikers and having strikers+escort follow about 20 NM behind the fighters. the escort fighter can defend the strikers in case of emergency and provide SA with radar about the situation in front so he can order the strikers to turn around in case of trouble. This way the strikers can get to the target much more quickly.

Good job with the whisper guide. Having similar for Crosstalk plugin would be sweet also.

mheee I do not fully aggre that a wide push equals flanking, but definitely should put them under more pressure then what we did last time. 

 

For the escort, that works out extremely well in blueflag, to be honest the best so far for us. So I would definitely assign fighters to that. Mirage would be kinda ideal with le yardstick but it cant really stay at striker speed AND effectively combat F15s with AIM120s. 

 

Mirage can also make bullseye calls if needed. 

 

We thought about the plan again, we should space out the grinders more laterally, 5 miles is pretty tight when you consider turning at 30 000ft takes quite some radius.

Edited by microvax

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Spreading out the line is fine as long as we can keep it together. We can also change the outer CAP to be a flanking CAP so thair axis is turned more invards. The important thing is that the guys at the edges don't circle around too far and get cut off from mutual support. Mutual support is more important than trying to surprise by a flanking maneuver. Traditionally the flankers don't manage to surprise the aggressors and then get chased down away from friendlies.

Edited by Bushmanni

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+1 to bushmanni as Battle CO.

It sounds like the fighters have a good plan. The speed difference between the 25's and the a10's needs addressed. I feel the A-10's should take off first, with 25's to follow. IDK how the Hog pilots feel about them Shilka's but to us Rook jockeys... its a cake walk mate! 1 Rook can eradicate all 5 Shilka's in one pass(and the other can chew on the T-72's. ( Maybe leave one for the westerners.... LOL! ) But a dedicated Strike escort is essential. If I could suggest that the escort flight ( 2-3 ship ) bring in the 25's ( After the A-10's leave first of course ) and after clearing the AO, ( Radar sweep W, N, E, high and low ) come back to the hogs and keep them protected. Whisper channels should be kept up especially with the escorts. This is to communicate with the Grinder progress to the strike package and the strike package progress to the Grinder. 

@Flame - Muster 1 hr before game time for briefing on the 104th TS?

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