Friday, December 6, 2013

SA-11 Evasion with the A-10C

I recall a Flanker 2.5 scenario that I could never finish with a one-piece aircraft. It was the deadliest, tiniest and most devilish creation. I would take off from an airbase near Sevastopol and the enemy SAMs were right there waiting for me. Gosh, I wish I could fly that mission again! Many years later, I can't say that I am in complete command of the art of defeating the SAM, but my survival rates have increased.

These a few quick notes from a custom-made single player scenario of DCS A-10C. The scenario is simple: I am flying a fully loaded A-10C in hostile territory, against a two launcher battery of SA-11s. No pretense of realism or verisimilitude, just a good ole practice mission about SAM evasion.

Forum discussion threads about SAM evasion are legion. Everybody but me has an opinion on the subject. One of the popular opinions is that a high G turn will do the trick. I could never get that to work in the A-10C because I can barely put 3Gs on it without loosing control of the aircraft.

The TAD displaying the moving map. The enemy SAM battery is at waypoint 2.

Expecting the targeting pod to catch an infrared signature from 20+ Km was a prodigious outburst of optimism.
I'm not exactly light and my maneuvering will suffer. Maverick missiles, CBU 97s and enough fuel to loiter for hours is not the recipe for fancy acrobatics.
After a couple of blips on the RWR. I prep the aircraft for the attack with CBU 97s.

A SA-11 is launched at me at a range of 10 or so Km.
I defeat this first missile with an anemic turn and a trail of chaff.
A second missile is launched at me and I go crazy with a 2.5 G (!?) turn.

I am turning into the missile when it self destructs.
I timidly emerge from a small hill and get emboldened by the lack of enemy fire (note the battery on the background, just above the dorsal antenna).
Still no enemy fire. I am climbing so I can use the CBUs, which have an altitude fuze set at 1,800 ft.

I pickle in a CCRP and I let the CBU to do its job. It takes some 40 seconds for the skeets to find their targets and destroy them. In a clear miscarriage of common sense, I am here overflying the target. Note the explosions.
My job here is done.

Returning to the airbase. This was one steep descent, but what the hell, I just destroyed an enemy SAM battery and I think I deserve a thrill landing.

I love the sensitivity of the trim in the DCS A-10C. My angle of attack is around 20, perfect for a spirited but not too fast approach.

Inbound for landing. I keep watching that G indicator and, no joke, I only pulled a whooping 2Gs during my combat with the SAM battery.

A fraction of a second before touchdown. Ordnance spent: 1 CBU 97.

Braking and getting ready to meet the ground crew.
I don't recall the chaff being so effective in any of my previous flights back early this year. I hope that what happened here is realistic in terms of weapons and countermeasures performance. Although the scenario was not realistic (I didn't fly into an integrated air defense system), I am very happy with the performance of my CBUs. I wonder how many other vehicles I could have killed with just one bomb ...



Anonymous said...

Your loadout is insane, thoes 6 mav will cause huge drag. Try more realistic loadout and take only two mav. Your plane will have lot more better performance.

JC said...

Thanks for reading.

No pretense of realism or verisimilitude, just a good ole practice mission about SAM evasion.


Anonymous said...

You practice something that i dont even dare to try and with extra payload :)

Julian Cottingham said...

This will become harder with the new patch because SAMs will not launch missiles at their maximum range. They will take you trajectory into account and launch at a smarter and more deadly distance!

JC said...

Hi Julian,

Thanks for the heads up. Do you know when this patch is going to be out?