Sunday, June 23, 2013

DCS UH-1H Huey - Incident at the Inguri Dam

With Russian support, Abkhazian militias are getting bolder along the border. There is no shortage of uneducated guesses about what Georgia is capable or willing to do about this type of border aggressions. Inaction is not in anybody's calculus. Abkhazian troops are up to something this morning and have crossed the border into the Georgian's side of the Inguri dam/power plant. We are dispatched to affirm Georgia's sovereignty ... Scare them off, or blow them to hell!

This is a debrief for a custom-made mission played with DCS UH-1H Huey. This mission showcases navigation, maneuverability and the use of the M134 7.62 mm minigun.

It's 0700 at the Senaki airbase. Our flight plan is a 45 nm trip to the border with Abkhazia and then a shorter leg upstream the Inguri river towards the dam.

The DCS UH-1H doesn't include any type of satellite-based global positioning system for navigation. It's all down to good ole visual navigation and dead reckoning. I know this area fairly well from previous missions, yet I chose all my waypoints to match an important and recognizable landmark. In this screenshot, I am at steerpoint 2 (crossing the small stream) and soon will start a left turn towards waypoint 3 (the Nosiri railway bridge, in the far background).

The Nosiri railway bridge, just out of the city of Senaki (background). This is steer point 3.
Pilots, be advised, the navigation chart included in the sim (right) is not the most accurate. The chart doesn't include many roads and transmission power lines. In this case, I'm just using the hills (arrows) to find my bearings.
The Inguri river, the undeclared border with Abkhazia, is a great navigation aid. Note the carets marking our previous positions in the navigation chart.

Just past the main bridge over the Inguri river, we dive for a low level flight upstream. There is an Abkhazian anti-air emplacement just a few miles upstream.
Finally, after 40 minutes of flight, the city of Jvari. We are now just a couple of miles from the Inguri dam, our target area.
Approaching the target area. The dam can be seen in the far background, right there near the rotor mast. There are a couple of roads going up towards the dam, and we suspect the Abkhazians are on the one that ends at the dam's wall (star icon). We have no target acquisition systems with magnifying optics, so everything boils down to getting closer. I decided to keep my Huey on the right side of both roads, at a low level (red arrow), in order to use the hill as cover in case we are shot at.
The enemy fire didn't wait ... An Igla portable SAM is immediately fired on us.
I dive for the cover of the hill, yet the missile arches through the crest missing us by a few meters.
The missile exploded right behind us.

This crevice carved by a fast moving stream offered us cover and concealment. Right now all I want is to fly back to Jvari for a new approach towards the target. If this would have been other helicopter, I would have stopped to a hover and just turn back ... However, the Huey is heavy with a full weapons loadout and we are some 1,700 feet ASL already. Hovering is not much of an option right now.
Up in the mountains, I found a good place to turn around. Here, I am heading back to Jvari. Hugging that hill for cover ...
The new approach towards the target will be at a relatively high altitude. Here, we are starting a fast climb. As far as you keep the Huey happy with enough forward air speed, it will love you back with its great power plant.
Approaching the target area. Hopefully, our altitude will provide some protection against the portable surface to air missile launcher.
The M134 miniguns have an aiming flexible sight that allows to vary the azimuth and elevation of the barrels. Here shown, shooting at a relatively flat trajectory.
Needless to say, the miniguns are area weapons. The incredible rate of fire compensates for any defect in aiming.
Never overfly a target area, they say. I got really cocky with the miniguns ... Note the elevation of the guns, pointing almost vertically down. At this point I am flying as the co-pilot and I have my flexible sight aiming through the left chin floor window.
The angle of those rounds is so high that the enemy troops don't know if they are being shot at or being bombarded.
Look at that minigun pointing downward!
We had to do another gun run before heading home.
 After an uneventful flight and landing at Senaki, we found out that we killed only 2 Abkhazian troops (?!). The man who fired at us got killed, for what is worth, and the whole enemy detachment retreated back to the Abkhazian side.


Carlos Ribeiro said...

you know...
They just wanted to know how the Georgians would react. ;)

Johan said...

Great post!! Also, for those of you who wanted to get the Huey module, but were put off by the $50 price tag, there is now a 60 % off sale of all DCS products until June 30. You can now pick up the Huey for only $20.

Link here

JC said...

LOL, Carlos. Now they know!