Winter Defensive Counter Air in Lapland: What can we deduct?

AS I have pointed out quite many times, Command Modern Operations is COMMERCIAL software, ie a game, a very simulation oriented, very realistic but still a game. So the scenarios done here will not be 100% accurate representation of actual world. (Well, that is of course every simulation ever) but we can still except 50-65% realistic outcomes from these runs. So not totally accurate, but well within the ballpark.

The Scenario results

Each HX-hopefull was in the simulation 5 times plus extra time for a video (Video is not included in tabulation). All of them had significant edge over VVS (Vojenno-vozdušnyje sily Rossijskoi Federatsii), or Russian Air Force. The TO&E of VVS is generally known, so I used that. The missions the fighters are on are of course open for debate, but I’m pretty sure there would be SEAD/DEAD element and strikes against basing to “gather the eggs into fewer baskets”, ie forcing FAF into bigger concentrations to make striking against them more feasible.

All HX-candidates were put in the air in heaviest possible A2A configuration. This is heaviest with Rafale, 4 Meteor, 2 MICA IR, 2 MICA RF, then Typhoon and Gripen with 6 Meteor, and Typhoon with two ASRAAM and Gripen with two IRIS-T. F-18 E had 6 AIM-260 JATM and two AIM-9X sidewinders. There was two F/A-18 G Growlers there as well, who had a few AMRAAM Ds in their inventory. Least ordnance was carried by F-35 As who had four AMRAAM Ds internally and two Sidewinders externally.

Scorecard of averages. Every HX candidate had five runs, and this is how they fared in average.

If we look first how many fighters got into air with each HX hopefuls scorecard reads Typhoon seven fighters (four pairs) Gripen 8 fighters, (four pairs), Rafale 9 and F/A-18 E’s also 9 which means five pairs in air.(Plus pair of Growlers with Super hornets). F-35 keeps the rear with 11 fighters, so 6 sorties. This is germane for the matter, as this indicates that FAF with F-35 would need to fly a lot of more sorties compared to say Typhoon. This means that Typhoons can keep up the A2A bubble up longer than for F-35 can.

Another thing is damage sustained for infrastructure. It seems to be impossible to come out of this scenario without loosing SOME radar installations. Rafale and F-35 lost 2 as a rule, Typhoon lost 1,67 and JAS-39 Gripen and F/A-18 E lost 1. There also was, more often than not strikes against airfields. (In fact ONLY Rafale lost was lost when it was taking off, but suhois dropped anti runway bombs at the same time.) So F/A-18 E and Gripen won the defensive part of the scenario. then Typhoon and Rafale and F-35 last.

Counter Air combat was of course another big thing in this scenario. And as the whole HX exinstence revolves around counter air cababilities, it is THE yardstick the candidates live and die from. It was not really suprising that Typhoon was very strong in this: It consistently killed most planes, and the missiles had the highest Kp. And all this without a single loss. The second place is detable: Gripen or Rafale? Gripen has better Kp (0,443 vs 0,411), and on average more splashes (19,4 vs 17,6) but lost significanly more fighters than Rafale did (0,7 vs 0,2). And as this lost Rafale was on the ground, one might argue that it should not be included in A2A losses at all. As the ratio of kills to losses goes to Rafale 88 vs 27,71 I give second place to Rafale and third to Gripen. AS the American contenders, F/A-18 had more splashes 18,6 vs 16,2 F-35 had better Pk, 0,356 vs 0,336 and less losses 0,3 vs 1 Fourth spot goes to F-35 and fifth to F/A-18 E. I do point out that F/A-18 had one really abyssmal run, where it lost four planes, and hat missile Kp of 0,224, and lost only one fighter after that, so one can hardly say F/A-18 E is a bust. Same can be said about F-35: in one run F-35s used 9 AIM-9X sidewinders, so VVS got really close, and no matter HOW stealthy you are WVR battle is about manouver and energy, and that was where 1,5 Lightnings were lost. The Americans had inferior performing missiles, and thus could not rack as much kills as the Eurocanards did. AIM-260 JATM has the range yes, and You could easily take out the A-50 Mainstay and Il-22 EW platforms, but the Pk was BAD.

Of course things look a bit different if you for example take the worst run of from each contender. this evens the scores quite a bit.

If you took the worst runs of for each this is most evident in missile Kp and lost fighters categories. For example F/A-18 E would go from average of one fighter lost in each run to 0,2 fighters lost, and JAS-39 Gripen from 0,7 to 0,3. So maybe next time I’ll make seven runs and drop off the best and the worst, to get things more even.

Main points you can draw from this exercise: 1)If your main A2A missile performs badly you will have losses. 2) it is mostly impossible to save everything

About epamuodikkaitaajatuksia

Viisikymppinen jannu, joka on huolissaan siitä miten maanpuolustus ja turvallisuus makaa Lapissa, Suomessa ja Euroopassa. Harrastuksina Amerikkalainen jalkapallo ja SRA ammunta, Defendo ja Krav Maga. A guy about 45, who has a "thang" for military current issues, defense and shooting. Not to forget American football. Also Krav maga and Saario Defendo is done for the kicks.
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