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Airfield damage/repair brainstorm


TonyE
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I'm interested in hearing how airfield damage and repairs should happen. Obviously we already have damage occurring including reduction in runway size. However that doesn't prevent air operations in the way you might expect.

 

Please suggest your rules for:

1. Repairs (ex. one runway size increase per 12 hours if die roll of ##)

2. Effects of damage (planes requiring runway size x cannot land or take off from runway damaged to size x)

a. Planes in the air divert to nearest friendly airfield

...

 

Thanks!

 

I'm mainly asking because this shouldn't be a terribly difficult thing to implement (runway repair and related effects) and I need something to get my coding flowing again after my time was monopolized by other projects.

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The HCDB uses the following general rule of thumb for runway size:

 

Very large - 3,000 meters (ca 10,000 ft) long or more

Large - 1,500 m (ca 5,000 ft) to 3,000 m (ca 10,000 ft)

Small - less than 1,500 m (ca 5,000 ft)

 

The H4 paper rules make the following observations about damaged runway use:

 

STOL (short takeoff or landing) capable aircraft can still use a 1,000 meter runway with up to 4 cuts (a 'cut' is an obstruction (such as a crater) that makes that section of the runway unusable)

or a 2,000 meter runway with up to 6 cuts

or a 3,000 meter runway with up to 7 cuts

 

Jet fighters can still use a 1,000 meter runway with 2 cuts

or a 2,000 meter runway with up to 4 cuts

or a 3,000 meter runway with up to 5 cuts

 

Twin engine aircraft can still use a 2,000 meter runway with 2 cuts

or a 3,000 meter runway with up to 3 cuts

 

Four engine aircraft can still use a 3,000 meter runway with 1 cut

 

Regarding runway repairs, the same rules talk about minor damage (1 cut?) being repaired in 2-4 hours, while extensive damage (3+ cuts?) might take 24-48 hours.

 

Submunitions or mines (understandably) and number of available repair crews (engineers) complicate the repair process.

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The H4 paper rules make the following observations about damaged runway use:

 

STOL (short takeoff or landing) capable aircraft can still use a 1,000 meter runway with up to 4 cuts (a 'cut' is an obstruction (such as a crater) that makes that section of the runway unusable)

or a 2,000 meter runway with up to 6 cuts

or a 3,000 meter runway with up to 7 cuts

Jet fighters can still use a 1,000 meter runway with 2 cuts

or a 2,000 meter runway with up to 4 cuts

or a 3,000 meter runway with up to 5 cuts

Twin engine aircraft can still use a 2,000 meter runway with 2 cuts

or a 3,000 meter runway with up to 3 cuts

Four engine aircraft can still use a 3,000 meter runway with 1 cut

 

Assuming this makes sense, how could this approach be translated into a form useful for HCE? Maybe, and this is just brainstorming ...

 

STOL aircraft can still use a Small runway damaged up to 50%, a Large Runway damaged up to 66% or a Very large runway damaged up to 80%

Jet aircraft can still use a Small runway damaged up to 33%, a Large runway up to 50%, or a Very large runway up to 66%

Twin engine aircraft can still use a Large runway damaged up to 33% or a Very large runway up to 50%

Four engine aircraft can still use a Very large runway damaged up to 33%

 

Regarding runway repairs, the same rules talk about minor damage (1 cut?) being repaired in 2-4 hours, while extensive damage (3+ cuts?) might take 24-48 hours.

 

Still brainstorming ...

 

10% damage repaired within 2 hours

25% damage repaired within 4 hours

33% damage repaired within 8 hours

50% damage repaired within 16 hours

66% damage repaired within 24 hours

75% damage repaired within 36 hours

>75% damage repaired within 48 hours

 

Submunitions or mines (understandably) and number of available repair crews (engineers) complicate the repair process.

 

Not sure how, or even if, the submunitions or mines can be accommodated code wise. As for repair crew capability, it would make sense that airfields with Very large runways would have better repair capabilities but they would also have better resiliency to damage, so maybe this cancels out the effect?

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Not sure how, or even if, the submunitions or mines can be accommodated code wise. As for repair crew capability, it would make sense that airfields with Very large runways would have better repair capabilities but they would also have better resiliency to damage, so maybe this cancels out the effect?

 

 

Well, submunitions and mines will add a sweep-up time to the repair time, and they will increase the amount of the runway that cannot safely be used. You should be able to simulate both those effects just by increasing the amount of damage they do against runways, no? Is there a 'submunition' flag or category in the DB?

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The H4 paper rules make the following observations about damaged runway use:

 

STOL (short takeoff or landing) capable aircraft can still use a 1,000 meter runway with up to 4 cuts (a 'cut' is an obstruction (such as a crater) that makes that section of the runway unusable)

or a 2,000 meter runway with up to 6 cuts

or a 3,000 meter runway with up to 7 cuts

Jet fighters can still use a 1,000 meter runway with 2 cuts

or a 2,000 meter runway with up to 4 cuts

or a 3,000 meter runway with up to 5 cuts

Twin engine aircraft can still use a 2,000 meter runway with 2 cuts

or a 3,000 meter runway with up to 3 cuts

Four engine aircraft can still use a 3,000 meter runway with 1 cut

 

Assuming this makes sense, how could this approach be translated into a form useful for HCE? Maybe, and this is just brainstorming ...

 

STOL aircraft can still use a Small runway damaged up to 50%, a Large Runway damaged up to 66% or a Very large runway damaged up to 80%

Jet aircraft can still use a Small runway damaged up to 33%, a Large runway up to 50%, or a Very large runway up to 66%

Twin engine aircraft can still use a Large runway damaged up to 33% or a Very large runway up to 50%

Four engine aircraft can still use a Very large runway damaged up to 33%

 

Regarding runway repairs, the same rules talk about minor damage (1 cut?) being repaired in 2-4 hours, while extensive damage (3+ cuts?) might take 24-48 hours.

 

Still brainstorming ...

 

10% damage repaired within 2 hours

25% damage repaired within 4 hours

33% damage repaired within 8 hours

50% damage repaired within 16 hours

66% damage repaired within 24 hours

75% damage repaired within 36 hours

>75% damage repaired within 48 hours

 

Submunitions or mines (understandably) and number of available repair crews (engineers) complicate the repair process.

 

Not sure how, or even if, the submunitions or mines can be accommodated code wise. As for repair crew capability, it would make sense that airfields with Very large runways would have better repair capabilities but they would also have better resiliency to damage, so maybe this cancels out the effect?

I'd be thinking skewing out the repair times for the more substantial damage, eg 50% damaged is pretty severe and I'd think large sections would be needing rebuilding - many days work or a week? Are strips concrete? If so then any substantial patch would probably be two days(?) to cure to the hardness that they must require?

Should helo/ vtol be uneffected?

No mention of number of runways. Is this taken into account in HCE? For say a four runway airfield then there could be a fair degree of % damage but at least one strip is probably effectively fully functional? Only take off/ land interval time should be effected but not aircraft runway requirements?

Planes in formation need to get advance warning of need to redirect and adjust time on patrol.

If landing/ takeoff using a damaged strip, should there be a probability of damage/ loss of aircraft?

Don thomas

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Well, submunitions and mines will add a sweep-up time to the repair time, and they will increase the amount of the runway that cannot safely be used. You should be able to simulate both those effects just by increasing the amount of damage they do against runways, no? Is there a 'submunition' flag or category in the DB?

 

The principal problem is that we have no way to simulate the delayed effect of time fuzed submunitions or area denial mines. Everything in the Weapons annex of the DB explodes on impact. You could simulate the effect, perhaps, by putting these kind of delayed action weapons into the 'anti-runway' category but again the effect is immediate (acting like any other anti-runway munition).

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I'd be thinking skewing out the repair times for the more substantial damage, eg 50% damaged is pretty severe and I'd think large sections would be needing rebuilding - many days work or a week? Are strips concrete? If so then any substantial patch would probably be two days(?) to cure to the hardness that they must require?

 

Keep in mind that damage to the Installation as a whole and damage to the runway are, to some extent, modeled separately. You could put a runway out of action (using specialized anti-runway weapons in the Weapons annex) but do little damage to the base. I am trying to correlate the damage factor to the number of 'cuts' in the runway.

 

Runway repair is pretty sophisticated these days, with separate team components comprising crater teams (to fill in the hole), mat teams (patching the surface), airfield lighting team (to install strobe and approach lights), and a mobile aircraft arresting system (much like a carrier's arresting wires) team. They used to employ a lot of steel mat and gravel to fill in runway craters, but nowadays they have aluminum planks, quick set concrete, ready made concrete slabs, even folding fiberglass mats. I understand the goal is to have a 60 x 45 ft mat in place within 1 hour 47 minutes.

 

Should helo/ vtol be uneffected?

 

In the current system, a 'destroyed' runway will permit vertical only landings/takeoffs. I would recommend retaining that arrangement, as a helicopter or VTOL aircraft can potentially land on just about any flat surface that is large enough to accommodate it.

 

No mention of number of runways. Is this taken into account in HCE? For say a four runway airfield then there could be a fair degree of % damage but at least one strip is probably effectively fully functional? Only take off/ land interval time should be effected but not aircraft runway requirements?

 

Good question. Need more codespeak here.

 

Planes in formation need to get advance warning of need to redirect and adjust time on patrol. If landing/ takeoff using a damaged strip, should there be a probability of damage/ loss of aircraft?

 

We don't currently model aircraft damage, so that's probably not an option. Total loss is a possibility, but we probably don't want the AI using a damaged airfield without paying any attention to the potential risk. More thought needed here.

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Some real life experience/history to be drawn upon:

 

1. Anglo-French attacks on Egyptian airbases in 1956 (Suez Crisis)

2. Turkish raids on Cyprus airport in 1974.

3. Israeli attacks on Egyptian airbases in 1967 war.

4. Indian air force strikes on Tezgaon airbase during 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.

5. British attacks on Stanley airport during 1982 Falklands war.

6. French attacks on Quadi Doum, Chad, during Operation Epervier in February 1986.

7. Operation Desert Storm, 1991.

8. B-2 strike on Obvra airfield in Serbia in 1999.

9. Israeli strikes on Beirut airport in 2006.

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No mention of number of runways. Is this taken into account in HCE? For say a four runway airfield then there could be a fair degree of % damage but at least one strip is probably effectively fully functional? Only take off/ land interval time should be effected but not aircraft runway requirements?

 

Good question. Need more codespeak here.

 

The code does not currently keep track of # of damaged runways but we certainly know how many runways an installation has. Those of you beta testing know that the saved game format is in flux so yes, we can add a field to the code that denotes # of runways damaged. An alternative would be correlating damage % to # of runways out of commission. In either event we need rules on damaging the individual runways (one could distribute bomb hits randomly via a die roll).

 

 

Planes in formation need to get advance warning of need to redirect and adjust time on patrol. If landing/ takeoff using a damaged strip, should there be a probability of damage/ loss of aircraft?

 

We don't currently model aircraft damage, so that's probably not an option. Total loss is a possibility, but we probably don't want the AI using a damaged airfield without paying any attention to the potential risk. More thought needed here.

 

For reasons of code nightmares and programmer sanity we will avoid at almost any cost the idea of destroying planes that are in the process of taking off or landing. Yes, that means a way to game the system (launch everything when a strike is incoming). However, I have to admit affection for the idea of a chance that planes scheduled to take off from a damaged runway or landing at a damaged runway will be destroyed. That can be accomplished before that horrible interlude during launch and landing. Again we'll need rules to determine % chance of planes being lost.

 

 

I'm liking the discussion so far and a number of items I hadn't considered have been raised and that makes me very happy!

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I think landing in a damaged airbase can be allowed (with some low % penalty), but not take-off, i.e. if the plane don't fits in the remaining runway lenght.

 

I'm not saying I disagree but should a Tu-160 or B-2 be able to land at a runway that was once VLarge but is not bombed to VTOL size? It seems wrong to me but allowing it certainly provides the most opportunity for the AI to live and fight another day.

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I think landing in a damaged airbase can be allowed (with some low % penalty), but not take-off, i.e. if the plane don't fits in the remaining runway lenght.

 

I'm not saying I disagree but should a Tu-160 or B-2 be able to land at a runway that was once VLarge but is not bombed to VTOL size? It seems wrong to me but allowing it certainly provides the most opportunity for the AI to live and fight another day.

 

The takeoff run often exceeds the landing run (for example, a loaded transport) but I don't think I would like to see aircraft that ordinarily require Vlarge runways to be able to land at a Vertical only runway (probably not even a Small runway, for that matter).

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I think landing in a damaged airbase can be allowed (with some low % penalty), but not take-off, i.e. if the plane don't fits in the remaining runway lenght.

 

I'm not saying I disagree but should a Tu-160 or B-2 be able to land at a runway that was once VLarge but is not bombed to VTOL size? It seems wrong to me but allowing it certainly provides the most opportunity for the AI to live and fight another day.

To me this aspect depends whether AI can re direct planes in advent of their home base being sufficiently damaged to prevent landing. IN current situation of a home base being destroyed air craft seem to wonder of looking for Santa (at the north pole) till they are at bingo relative the next closest landing facility and then head off, so I'd think there's some (albeit clumsy) mechanism there already that is pretty close.

If AI can't handle it, could the player only be prevented from landing planes too 'large'?

Good point re AI living to fight on, while these changes need to be fair to both sides, I don't think we can afford to prejudice the AI (actual idiot?).

Don

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