Command video: Convoy attack

December 6, 2010 · Posted in Command · 2 Comments 

Some of our forum members have asked for a video of Command while running a scenario. We prepared a short piece from one of our tests setups; a squadron of “OPFOR” F-4E-2020 strikers attacking a small Greek convoy bound for Cyprus, off the coast of Rhodes. The Phantoms are armed with two AGM-65G missiles each; the convoy is composed of two Jason-class LSTs, escorted by the frigates Hydra and Adrias.

(It is recommended to watch the video in HD at full screen, so that the various text & numbers become easily legible.)

Some time-points to note:

Start – The attacking Phantoms are flying at medium altitude and are detected early, which allows time for a suitable response. The “EL/M-2032” text over each contact is the active emissions detected from it – in this case, the radars of the aircraft as they search for the convoy.

0:32 – We are changing the doctrine option “Engage non-hostiles” doctrinal option for the surface group. This will enable the escorts to start engaging the incoming contacts as soon as they are within their weapon envelope, well before they are positively identified as hostile. Repeated runs of this test scenario have shown this option’s state to be one of the most crucial factors of the outcome.

2:50 – Hydra starts engaging the foremost Phantoms with her ESSM missiles. The dotted red lines are the illumination beams for the SARH seekers of the missiles. Hydra has two STIR illuminators so she is “painting” two aircraft concurrently, guiding two missiles at each.

3:45 – The Phantoms detect the incoming missiles and begin evasive maneuvers. Some escape; others don’t. The complex interactions of weapons, targets, seekers, countermeasures and expendable decoys parade through the message log.

4:08 – We select the Hydra and bring up the weapons window to observe the decrease in her SAM inventory as it is being depleted.

5:53 – The surviving strikers manage to get close enough to begin launching their AGM-65G missiles at the surface group. Things become tricky now; the Mav-Gs are a smaller, faster target than the Phantoms and the window of interception is shrinking rapidly.

6:00 – The incoming missiles are close enough that Adrias, disadvantaged by its position on the other flank, can start shooting her Sea Sparrows at them. Some of the vampires, however, are getting through.

6:47 – As the “leakers” are approaching, all ships begin engaging them with their guns. Despite the “wall” of defensive fire, a single Maverick-G slams into the side of Hydra. Though not taken out of action, she sustains significant damage and some of her systems (including her primary long-range air-search radar) are knocked out.

7:00 – We bring up the damage-control window to inspect the damage on the Hydra in greater detail.

The surviving Phantoms turn for home, while the convoy presses on. The first attack was repulsed, but at a price – and follow-up air/missile attacks will now be much more difficult to counter.