Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Short Stories from Small Wars I - LockOn Flamming Cliffs 2 - Georgian Su-25s Attack Russian "Peacekeepers" in Abkhazia - Debrief

Confined by the Caucasus sharp slopes, we entered the Kodori Gorge as fast as we could. We were flying, but it felt more like storming a trench.

This is a continuation from a previous entry.

We were using the same tactics and machines as our Russian enemies, but we were not loving their shortcomings. No matter how sophisticated the technology and powerful the sensors, the Russians count on ground attack aircraft pilots visually identifying their targets. In the worst case, at least corroborate visually that the area in the piper matches reconnaissance pictures or maps. Not fun to go sightseeing when they are shooting at you.

Our Su-25s are armed with cluster bombs, unguided rockets and of course, the gun ...

Our first run. We had to get this close to the target area (right at the center of the piper) to see the tiny shapes of enemy armor. Our RWR is blazing as a Russian Tunguska AAA system paints us with the radar.
I select the cluster bombs, acquire the Tunguska with the laser and hold the pickle. But my aircraft picks up speed and the CCRP solution and release never comes up. We break left and turn around for a second pass, sticking to the mountain slopes like spiders on a wall. The Tunguska fires its guns at us but we spoil every firing solution with our violent jinking, diving and climbing. In this screenshot, the target area is to our left.
As we extend from the target area, we end up showing our rears to the enemy. The Tunguska fires a radar-guided missile to us but we take cover into one of the natural defiles of the mountains. In this screenshot, we are starting to turn back towards the target area, which is located in the background and hidden by one of the mountains' slope. The black puff of smoke towards the right of the screenshot is all that is left from the missile's explosion.

In the second pass, flying at a lesser speed, I toss bomb all four cluster bombs, which move in an almost flat trajectory towards the target.

The cluster bombs fall a bit short, but some of them reach the Tunguska. Target eliminated. Our direction of attack is from the background of this picture.
Now relieved from the major aerial defense threat, we make a third pass and I engage armor targets with rockets.

There is a Russian tank within those explosions ...
This is me breaking left after the rocket run (note the explosions on the road). The relatively long range of the rockets allows us to not overfly the target area. We pump a healthy amount of flares nonetheless, just in case the enemy has portable IR guided missiles.

A fourth run, now with the guns. The run is too shallow-angled and I end up shooting short. The rays are tracers of rounds ricocheting the ground. Note the craters from the previous rocket run.

Out of ammo (only a few gun rounds left in my aircraft), I order my wingman to engage the ground targets. He quickly extends for a run but ends up lost in the maze of valleys and gorges. Fearing I would loose him to some freak flying accident (gotta love the AI!) I order him to rejoin. We fly back south to our airbase. In this screenshot, the Tunguska still on fire and one Russian infantry man who fell to my rockets.
Landing the Su-25 is always exciting.
A really challenging mission, that fell short in the objectives department. Our ground forces still have to deal with plenty of Russian armor down there.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice AAR - brief and interesting