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2nd Fleet» Forums » General

Subject: Backfire and Badger Bomber SSM Ranges rss

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Darren Damant
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Bowmanville
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I am curious as to why the T16 and T26 bombers have SSM ranges of 2 and 3 respectively. The actual ordnance used (the Kingfish missile) has a far longer range than what is represented. Is this range limitation intentional, to somehow balance the small range of CAP missions?
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craig grinnell
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Good question.

I haven't a clue. It's possible that:

a. could be play balance
b. could be capability of the aircraft in question
c. or, more likely, an incomplete knowledge of the true capability of the missile itself.

The Fleet system, and this game in particular, was created during the height of the cold war. As such, there would have been limited info on any Soviet weapon system, especially one that hadn't actually been used in combat.

That's just my take on it.
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Dan Beckler
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In addition to those ones brought up by Craig, another may involve range of detection.

Those hexes, if I recall correctly, are about 50 nautical miles (nm) across, putting those missile ranges at 100 and 150 nm for the Tu-16 and Tu-22M respectively. I believe the actual range for the Kingfish was usually in the neighborhood of 250-400 nm (depending on the variant and your info source).

The missiles themselves had limited radar homing, so they were very dependent upon accurate pre-programming to put them into the correct part of the ocean to find their targets. This data would either come from satellite, advance recon aircraft, or from the radar of the host aircraft itself, which while the Tu-16 and T-22M had very powerful surface search radar, it was nowhere near as wide as the actual missile range itself.

The Fleet games handled detection abstractly - ships would be detected by other ship formations in proximity or by an abstract aircraft detection routine at the start of day - you'd assign recon aircraft to pin a Strategic Detection marker on a particular surface force that would last all day. In game, aircraft themselves could not launch without a valid detected target within range. Even with a strategic detection marker, that targeting info would likely be several hours old before the strike aircraft would get in the area to conduct their attack.

So my theory is that since stacks of Tu-16 & Tu-22 counters were not "activating" with a Recon counter, they were essentially having to use their own onboard surface radar to gain a fix on the target surface ships, forcing them to move in much closer to their targets than their theoretical maximum range for the Kingfish. I believe the Tu-22 had a stronger search radar than the Tu-16, which could account for the extra hex of range on its missiles.

Thoughts?

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James Cox
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It could be an overall limitation of the aggregate systems-of-systems when considered in toto. That is, the quality of aircrew, the host aircraft sensors, training quality, quality of conscripts, some operational or technical limitation of the missile's range or acquisition or performance varying IRL from tested/theoretical. An example, rifle marksmanship: the M-16 (or M4 now, if you like) max effective range might be printed as, say, 500 yards, but in all actuality a typical four-man fire team might not be able to hit jack-squat beyond 250 yds. What good is demonstrating on the bench a 500 yrd max eff range when the hot, wearing bulky equipment, breathing heavily from crawling around, getting shot at, particles flying up in their eyes, sweaty palmed, under duress, dudes can't be stable enough to hit anything beyond 250 yds?
Could be that.

Or, like Craig said, could be a synergistic limitation: are the targeted ships 400mi away currently being lit by some friendly emitter at the moment of launch or are the missiles being aimed "in the blind" at the last known, reasonably predicted forecast estimated point where we think they're at?

If you remember Tom Clancy's book Red Storm Rising, there were advanced Soviet recon aircraft that pinpointed the fleet at the moment of launch. then later (I think, haven't read it in forever) the US wiped the scouts from the skies and the Sovs either fired blind or had to close to fire, resulting in their demise.
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Przemysław Mantay
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Generally agree with Dan and James.

Remember, that the longest range was achieved by missile variants inertially guided with nuke warheads, usually flying on high altitude. Low altitude flight reduced the range, as well as combined hi-lo flight profile.

Here are some data about those missiles (Kingfish (KSR-5) was carried by Tu-16 while Kitchen (AS-4) was carried by Tu-22M2/3):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KSR-5
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kh-22

And here's a sketch of KSR-5 attack profile (one of possible):

 
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