Saturday, October 20, 2012

Insurgency in the North Caucasian Federal District - War Stories From the Front Lines: # 1 Helicopter Attack in Novopavlovsk

Captain Vasily Kashlev, 118th Independent Helicopter Squadron (Russian Air Force), recounts his first mission against insurgents in the town of Novopavlovsk.

High altitude holding station. Waiting for orders.

Our first mission was to conduct an attack on a suspected insurgent roadblock on one of the bridges across the Kura River. Our flight was composed of two Ka-50s and the flight plan had us flying at high altitude to avoid insurgent air defenses, waiting for target data from the mission commander.

Target acquisition and mission command was in charge of a Ka-27. This setup served us very well during the Chechen War.

Unfortunately, this time the Ka-27 proved useless to acquire targets. Mission command cleared us for closing in and develop the situation.

Making use of the powerful navigational system of the Ka-50, I punched the coordinates of the bridge where the insurgent roadblock was reported. 

I designated the bridge as "target point 1" (blue square) and aligned our flight with the target from our holding station. This is in an image of the ABRIS system, which features a moving map with waypoints (blue dots) and our flight path (black line). In this case, we flew over way point four and made a wide turn towards the target area.
The TV-based Shkval targeting system has a magnification power enough to single out infantry (small dots on the near side of the river) from a distance of 13.2 km.
I decided to conduct a medium altitude, high speed gun run to get an idea of the air defenses at the insurgent's disposal. I overrode the firing control system in order to use the gun at a very long range.
Right after we broke from our attack run, the insurgents fired IR-guided portable missiles. Likely Stingers. I got hit and lost hydraulic power shorty after the missile's impact. 
Devoid of hydraulic power, my control of the aircraft quickly deteriorated.  I decided to fly as far as possible from the insurgent's position and conduct a forced landing. I made it as far as 35 km from the target area. My landing gear didn't deploy due to the hydraulic failure and I had (with much effort) to land with the belly of the aircraft. 

My wingman stayed near my position long enough to transmit all the details about my position to our airbase in Mineralnye Vody.
We couldn't conduct any battle damage assessment, but we suspect that at least one enemy vehicle was destroyed. As for the failure of our mission, several factors contributed to it:
- Inadequate countermeasures deployment. I programmed my flares to be deployed too many and two spaced (1 burst of three flares each side every four seconds).
- We could have used the high depression capability of the main gun to conduct the attack run from a higher altitude.


Johan said...

Great idea to use both Arma 2 and Black Shark to show a mission from different perspectives! I wonder how long we'll have to wait for a truly integrated battlefield. A combination of the DCS flight sims, Arma 2 and Steel Beasts would be epic, but the technology isn't here yet to pull that off on a home PC.

Uli said...

i see, you have installed DCS World now (Grass and flowers on the ground).

Keep the war stories coming, i am very interesting in reading more of it.

@Johan, with DCS Combine Arms we are a step closer.... ;-)

Johan said...

Uli, all three sims are taking small steps towards converging. Arma 3 will see improvements to vehicles and physics, Steel Beasts have just introduced 3D infantry, and we have DCS Combined Arms. But we are still a very, very long away from a truly integrated digital battlefield. For instance, the ground vehicles and infantry in DCS Combined arms is extremely simplistic compared to Arma 2 and Steel Beasts, and it's the same with the others compared to the DCS aircraft.

JC said...

Thanks for your comments, folks.

A truly integrated battlefield! That's exactly what I had in mind when I conceived this series. I'm so happy to see you guys sharing the dream! :)

I'm going to keep this series running just because they are fun to play with and write about. The main focus is for now tactics and weapon systems used in a fictional insurgency.

But, until we get a truly integrated battlefield, I can't avoid to wonder if an umpired, linked series of individual missions with the simulators we have is a feasible idea. :p


Anonymous said...

Wow, that landing shot is great, the dust looks impressive.

JC said...


More is coming, stay tuned.