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#2915432 - 12/07/09 07:29 PM Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties *****  

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Alright, something that I've noticed and I have experience with in Rotary Aviation is what to do when under attack by heat seeking missiles: MANPADS, Trip A, and higher performance missiles, i.e. the sidewinders launched by the Chaparral.
(Actually given the amount I have written, I seem to know a bit more then I thought)

From my experience in Falcon and LOMAC with the A-10, the SA-7/SA-16 (Igla)/Stinger isn't that big of a danger if you have High E and are able to detect it. As missiles go, MANPADS are very low powered, and are only truly effective at short ranges.

Most fixed wing aircraft have significant advantages over rotary aviation:

1. They are faster, more maneuverable, better visibility, better electronics suites (In the case of radar missiles)

2. They can fly higher, avoiding Low E missiles, and triple A, however the trade off is they are in the engagement envelope of higher E missiles, SA-2, SA-6, Hawk, Patriot, SA-10, etc


However, in the KA-50, you've lost most of those advantages. What I would like to do is with input from other users compile a guide in what to do if under attack by dedicated anti air systems. I would like to only include systems such as short range batteries only, given the lack of a RWR, defense against radar SAMS and AAMs seems largly up to situational awareness and luck.

Situational awareness:
If you detect the enemy before they do, they can be avoided! This is much more important if you are not using labels, the Shkval can scan out to 12k?, but further then the naked eye, and much better then you monitor!

Avoiding known enemy locations: now of course given that this is an attack helicopter, your CO will get pretty pissed if you avoid the enemy for fear of contact. However, it is much easier to circumvent a 23mm then fly over it.

If you detect enemy threats at range the KA-50 is more than capable of dealing with stationary targets at standoff range, at altitude, your 30mm cannon can outshoot smaller AAA batteries, the paradox is the higher altitude puts you at risk for radar SAMS and fighters if they are in the area.
Likewise, the AT-16 can easily take out threats, however, whether or not you should waste one of your Vhikhr missiles on a stationary battery when a platoon of Abrams MBTs are breaking through the lines is up to you

- Sun Tzu
The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.

In essence, being aware of your surroundings at all times allows you the freedom to act with initiative. Ideally you should never find out the enemy is at 3:00 by hearing the dings of rounds hitting your canopy. Your field of options will suddenly become quite limited, because you have no idea if its just a guy with a .50 or a guy with a .50 with a pair of Avengers waiting for you to pop up.


MANPADS:
If you are fired upon by a short range SAM, do not panic. First of all, despite what seems to be an enormous performance advantage over your aircraft they are not nearly as effective as their larger brethren. They are strictly defensive weapons.
Even though the SA-16 and Stinger are all aspect missiles, if your nose is facing the missile in flight will decrease the chances of a successful impact. Modern attack helicopters are designed to dampen the IR signature produced by their turbines, facing the threat will provide much less IR signature then giving it a clear view of your exhaust ports.

The KA-50 is equipped with a flare launcher. MANPADS do not have a high resistance to countermeasures as larger SAMs and AA missiles do.

Depending on the situation, you may be able to use the terrain to your advantage, placing obstacles and or terrain features between yourself and the missile. The same hills which may have hidden the enemy battery from visual view may also hide your aircraft from the incoming missile.


A missile flying at mach 2.3 at a low altitude will have a speed of 2510 feet per second. If that missile is fired at the maximum range of 4.3 nm, it will take a hair over nine seconds to reach you. As you read this, count to 9 Mississippi, as you count, calm down. A missile is inbound at 110clock, you clearly see the smoke trail. Pop flares, and begin to evade. Check your surroundings, are there any buildings you can hide behind, hills, fog, turn towards the missile, speed up, begin evasive maneuvers, pop more flares.

A handy trick once you have eyeballed a missile is to note whether it is moving across your canopy or seems to remain stationary. If it is crossing your canopy, that is a good indication that it is not tracking you, either it failed to lock, broke lock, or was even fired at someone else! You can proceed to give it less thought, locate the firing point, watch for a second smoke trail, and decide whether to break contact or if you can engage the battery with hope of destroying any further launch capabilities.

If the missile is not moving across your canopy, then you have a problem. This means that it is tracking you. Deploy flares, and take evasive maneuvers. Just because you cant seem to shake the missile off does not mean all is lost though. It is worth noting that both the SA-7 and SA-16 have contact/grazing warheads. This means that the missile must physically touch your aircraft in order to detonate. The FIM-92 stinger has a proximity warhead however. Even so, all three missiles have relatively small warheads, and depending on where they impact/detonate is not necessarily a death sentence. If you are hit, analyze your damage. If the aircraft is salvageable, extinguish fires, pop more flares and disengage, and see if you can limp home. If not, punch out and hope that you didnt piss off the enemy troopers too much that they wouldnt consider not taking you prisoner.

The following information was taken from TAC REF Falcon 4.0

The SA-7 Strela Range 3.2 nm, mach 2.

SA-16 (Igla) Range 4.5nm*, speed mach 2.8, much more effective then the SA-7, and comparable to the FIM-92 Stinger.

Stinger: 4.3 nm*, mach 2.2

*Note, that Range is the max range under ideal circumstances, which for MANPADS are clear weather, daylight hours. A missile fired from 1km away is a much greater threat then one fired at max range as it will have much more potential energy.

**I have not included info on max altitude, because it is doubtful you will be above the maximum engagement envelope.

Speed too is under ideal circumstances, however you can rest assured that even under non-ideal firing conditions, the SAM can still outperform your Kamov 

Triple A:

Evasive Maneuvers: Or how I remembered that I cannot pull 9gs in the Black Shark and fell in love with the fact that I just hacked my rotors off!

I will get to this later. If other users wish to add to any of the sections, please do so!

By all means, if any of the information i have stated is incorrect or additional information can be added, by all means call me out on it or post the correct information


Last edited by Robdcamp; 12/07/09 07:35 PM.
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#2920384 - 12/15/09 01:02 PM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: ]  
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Nice guide, thanks for sharing!


The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. - Douglas Adams
#2920422 - 12/15/09 02:33 PM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: Tbag]  
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Actually in a heli you are expected to avoid contact until your mission target presents itself. Put yourself in a position where you can observe, hopefuly without being observed, and where you'll be shielded from enemy fire at least from one side. This reduces your workload.

Further, you have plenty of flares - you know the MANPADS are there, so program your dispenser and start throwing them out pre-emptively. You don't need to see them ahead of time, not that it hurts to know. Aproach your chosen battle position dropping flares and looking out for missiles. If none were launched at you, you may well be safe! Otherwise, get out of dodge right away and choose another battle position.
Don't fly TOWARDS the enemy in doing so, get out of dodge where it's safe and re-assess.

Avoid tunnel vision.

If a missile is launched at you and you do see it, get some forward speed, if you are hit at least you can autorotate (no, you can't evade. You can only decoy with your flares)

Don't stick around the battle area after you're out of flares. In fact, if you should save some for your exit. Don't get stuck on 'cleaning up the battlefield'. Pick your targets, destroy them, get back.


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#2921104 - 12/16/09 03:07 PM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: GrayGhost]  

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Thanks GrayGhost, unfortunately I have not had much time to play any sims lately (damn medieval term papers! smile )

#2921146 - 12/16/09 04:03 PM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: ]  
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You can probably apply a bunch of medieval cavalry stuff to Ka-50 fighting, but don't quote me on that ... biggrin


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#3056679 - 07/21/10 03:22 AM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: GrayGhost]  

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Ok, so I've decided to add more information: this time covering AAA and SPAAGs, IFVs, and Tanks.

I will rehash on some information that I had written previously.

The first point I'm going to make is that discretion is the better part of valor. Avoid any enemy units which pose a threat by using the terrain to mask your movements.

An attack helicopter is not a flying tank. It is a sniper. Evasion is the key to survival, here is a brief list to keep in mind.

1. Be aware of where expected enemy concentrations are.
2. Plan accordingly, avoid any concentrations by terrain masking.
3. Fly low
4. Fly slow enough where you can maintain your situational awareness.
5. Use both the Mk. 1 eyeball and the shkval, however note that the effectiveness of both will be increased with altitude, however so will the chance that the enemy can get off a shot at you because of the increased LOS. If possible ensure that there is always a hill behind you to prevent you from being silhouetted against the clear blue sky.
6. When in an engagement, never assume that you have knowledge of the locations of all threats. It is very easy to have missed the tally on a lurking IFV or MANPADS. Never assume the situation is completely safe. It isn't. You just died.
7. Never break cover unless you are absolutely it is safe: See above
8. Always engage at your maximum envelope.
9.
10.

AAA.

In Ka-50 Black Shark there are several types of AAA to be aware of.

-Stationary
-SPAAG (Self Propelled Anti-Air Gun) i.e. Shilka's, Vulcans, Gepards, Sa-19

The previous two are dedicated anti-air units. The stationary guns in Ka-50 are 23mm cannon behind sandbags, optically aimed, and not very effective. Being stationary they can be avoided IF you have knowledge that they are there. Rule 1

SPAAGS are much more dangerous. The guns are radar controlled with optical backup allowing for continued operation in a high ECM environment, not that it matters with the Ka-50 lacking ANY ECM equipment.

Like their stationary counterparts however, SPAAGS can be nullified if you stay out of their engagement range. If you must engage them, use a Vikhr.

more shall follow

-APCs
-IFVs
-Tanks

Different Strategic Outlook between U.S. and Russian equipment in regards to integrated air defense.

Something that is best understood through proper analysis is the differences between the American and Russian air defense systems. Though this may stray lightly from the specific topic of defeating the surface to air threat I feel that understanding at a holistic level is important.

The Americans (not necessarily their NATO allies) depend primarily on air superiority to defeat any airborne threats. This is backed up by the Patriot PAC-1,2,3 theater defense system. A quick look at their arsenal makes it quite clear that between short range IR systems like the Avenger or Linebacker and the Patriot their exists no medium range option equivalent to the Sa-6 or Sa-11 (I am leaving the HAWK out because it does not figure into the modern American IADS)

This is due to the fact that for the most part American doctrine relies on air-superiority to defend their ground forces and in all wars from Vietnam forward they have maintained it with increasing alacrity. American air power is unparalleled at what it does with the exceptions of a few modernized Russian variants which have not yet been engaged in actual combat by American pilots, and short of a large scale war with Russia or China American air supremacy will not be contested enough to place undue strain on the American IADS.

The Russian IADS differs from the American doctrine in several ways for several reasons.

A few points.

-It is composed of highly mobile units which can readily travel with ground forces starting with the SA-6 onwards. This enables an umbrella of SAM coverage to extend with a fluid and dynamic battlefield in order to protect against air power. This is especially important if a side lacks sufficient airforces to defend against the enemy. Let us take for an example the '72 war: the IAF had full air superiority, superior aircraft, but suffered great losses to enemy SAMs which protected enemy ground forces.

-It is highly profitable. It is much easier for the Russians to sell and equip a buyer with a decent IADS than a decent airforce. For the most part, the majority of recent wars have occurred between small, relatively equally matched forces (I am ignoring the Iraqi war, Afghanistan, and the South Ossetian War because the adversaries were not evenly matched) which do not have the finances to equip an airforce capable of extended OCA missions, hence a network of SAMs is often a viable alternative in place of modern fighters.

-The Russian IADS interface very well and independently with an IADS which relies on centralized control without AWACS support. Mobile units are able to function independently even if the central command and control is destroyed and still pose a threat to enemy air forces.

As part of an undamaged IADS the collection of search radars can be used in order to vector fighters by C&C.

Last edited by Robdcamp; 07/23/10 06:28 PM.
#3056886 - 07/21/10 01:27 PM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: ]  
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Thanks for the guide Rob. It's quite informative.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#3057908 - 07/22/10 07:29 PM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Indeed. Any tips on how to approach mobile A2A missile carriers would also be appreciated. I find these hard to tackle when they are travelling with a convoy. Sometimes I get the jump on them... but sometimes I don't.


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#3057916 - 07/22/10 07:45 PM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: pakfront]  
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Think about why you are not getting the jump on them then, and I am assuming mobile SAM batteries is what you meant, not A2A carriers. In the latter case, stay out of the way. wink

Once you see why you are not getting the jump on them, begin to fashion a standard approach method that will prevent you from commiting the same mistakes.


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#3058179 - 07/23/10 03:02 AM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: GrayGhost]  
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Heh, yeah, I meant SAM vehicle... thinking with my fingers, not my brain. I think my main problem in approaching them is popping up to long and too often. But if I don't pop up fairly often I have trouble finding them. I get the best results when I pop up, they fire, I dodge but I can use the smoke trail to approximate their position.
However I'm not certain that is a good idea in a multi-threat environment.
So, I guess the lack of 'jump' is my inability to spot without attracting fire.

Is it best to approach these vehicles from the rear? Do they have a limited scanning semi-sphere?

Last edited by pakfront; 07/23/10 03:13 AM.

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#3064748 - 08/01/10 02:36 PM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: pakfront]  
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Grey Ghost, just wondering what automatic flare popping sequence you prefer to program into the Ka-50 dispenser system (frequency, amount, left/right or both, etc). And thanks for the tip about flying into the launched MANPADS threat . . . in some strange way it reminds me of a scene from Hunt For Red October (though not for the same reason). smile


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#3081773 - 08/27/10 10:17 PM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: letterboy1]  
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Agreed. But like me if you where a Longbow2 fanboy..this is the best there is. I miss throwing my pool cue down after watching the news clip then going off to war. But right now BS is all there is so give it a go like i did.

#3194246 - 01/31/11 04:50 PM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: Anonymous]  
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That is all great material but my problem is in still learning this dog gone Ka-50 and its systems those sneaky MANPAD dudes that pop up and drop a SA-16 on me from less than 3 klicks out and the next thing I know I am getting a missle warning from my wingman and a lost tail, rotor head or simply a ball of flame at the same time. Kinda makes it rough on being calm at that point.


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#3196321 - 02/02/11 03:11 PM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: Anonymous]  
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MANPADS are evil. Small, very difficult indeed to spot, and quite capable of knocking you down with a near miss. The difference between surviving and crashing in BS is usually down to who sees who first.

This is going to sound obvious, and I don't want it to come across that way, but if you're routinely getting splashed by MANPADS at <3km, you only need to do one thing - take your time near the target area.

If there is an approach that has only open fields between you and your target, use it, because this is BRILLIANT news. Stay about 6-7km out and scan all of it. Even a MANPADS dude will stick out like a sore thumb.

Always have something between you and a potential threat zone; either space (out-range them), terrain, or buildings. Don't be afraid to trundle along at 40-50km/h at 5m height keeping a large office block between you and where you are going. It's better to do this moving towards dense areas (groups of buildings), and nowhere near treelines, because in (and behind) treelines be dragons. You can creep up to it and peek over the top. Chances are, something will shoot at you* if you're in the engagement zone. They can run out of ammo and missiles if they do it enough (at least, they defintely stop shooting after a while), and the AI is trigger happy. You can then pick them off. Don't try and outdraw them - your Vikhrs need guidance, IR sams do not.

That being said, if some evil mission designer has put the little guys down between buildings ('Clear Tkvarcheli' is a great example of truly bastardish unit placement) and you get too close, it's hard to do much but turn and run. Don't sweat it too much. Use your wingies to draw them out.



*Sometimes, they will destroy the building you are hiding behind. In the KA50 pilot's manual, this is known as 'bad'.

Last edited by Sulman; 02/02/11 03:13 PM.
#3617975 - 08/01/12 11:26 AM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: Anonymous]  
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#3618220 - 08/01/12 06:12 PM Re: Guide to Surving MANPADS, AAA, and other nasties [Re: Anonymous]  
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