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2 x Mirage 5 verse Perry


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Two Mirages’ are tasked with engaging a Perry class frigate.



In the war room based not far from the coast, the two Mirage pilots go over their plan to attack their Perry class target. Each Mirage has an option to carry one of two weapons, and the pilots have decided to carry one of each in a co-ordinated attack.



Piper 1 will carry an AS-37 missile, which is an anti radiation missile that will home in on the Perrys radar while she has it active. Under this blanket of radar darkness, Piper 2 will launch its AS-30 from a range of 5 miles. The pilots consider the most likely case that the Perry turns her radar off and is unable to direct air defences against the AS-30, which inflicts major damage on the Perry including numerous critical hits. Best case, the Perry leaves her radar on to direct anti-air defences, and the AS-37 hits as well. Neither pilot wishes to consider the worst case scenario.



The Mirages surface search radars are only good out to a distance of 8.0 miles. So they are “vectored” onto the target while cruising at medium altitude. At a distance of 30 miles out both Mirages “hit the deck” and go to low altitude and full military power of 670kts. Piper 1 launches its AS-37 anti radiation missile from a range of 30 miles, and continues to fly towards the Perry in an effort to provide 2 targets and some protection to Piper 2 which is carrying the other guided missile which has a relatively short range of 5.0nm.



The opposition Perry is a very sophisticated vessel. Her air search radar picked up both bogies at a range of over 100 miles and has been tracking them since, even after both Mirages dropped to Low altitude.



The Perry detects the anti radiation launch and has to decide whether to keep her radar on or “go blind”. If the Perry goes blind, her main air defence system (Phalanx) is inoperable while her secondary air defence system (76mm) might actually have a higher chance of success if the radar is off. If he keeps his radar active, he can see what is happening around him but provides the AS-37 with an opportunity to impact his vessel.



The Captain of the Perry decides to trust the technology around him, and keep his radar active. This means the Mirages potentially have 2 missiles which could hit the Perry, however the captain is backing his air defences will keep him safe from harm.



The AS-37 anti-radiation missile arrives at the Perry and is the first combat resolution required. While at a range of 3.5nm the Perry fires her 76mm anti-air gun, and because the AS-37 is non-manoeuvring it becomes an easy “kill” for the large calibre weapon. Splash one anti-radiation missile. Having cleared this hurdle, the Perry is in very good shape to see off Piper 2.



In fact, the Perry is able to go on the offensive. When both Mirages are at a range of 16.0 miles she fires 3 SM1MR missiles at the incoming bogies. 2 missiles are designated for Piper 1 with the remaining missile assigned to Piper 2.



Without any countermeasures, each Mirage has a 60% chance of being hit by the anti-air missile. Missile 1 & 2 both hit Piper 1, bringing it down. Missile 3 hits Piper 2, also ending its mission.



Despite being attacked by an anti-radiation missile, by keeping its radar active the Perry was able to shoot down the incoming missile and engage and defeat 2 opposition aircraft before they could get into range to launch their primary anti-ship missile.



Follow up points


I selected Mirage 5’s (French) because it’s a plane I was familiar with as a kid. Its only now, with all the data and information in Harpoon that I’m able to start to work out its strengths and weaknesses as I see them from my non-military background.



I selected the Perry as a target, because it seems to be a “common” USA ship and so was numerically likely to be in the firing line.



I started the scenario by looking at what the Mirage options were, and I thought I could get the Perry to turns its radar off and see if Piper 2 could get a hit with its own missile without opposition. Of course, it didn’t turn out this way but I don’t see what other options the Mirage pilots had. The SM1MR weapon system really turned the tide in the Perrys favour by allowing her to go on the offensive.



Once the anti-radiation missile was on its way, I put myself in the shoes of the Perry captain, what would he do? It felt strange to turn its radar off, even though initially I thought that’s what I would have to do. What convinced me to keep the radar on though was the Phalanx system and its 80% chance of killing off the anti-radiation missile. If the 76mm missed, there was still an excellent chance the Perry would not “take a hit”. So I kept radars on.



Moving down the options available to the Perry, I came across the SM1MR and its 25.0 mile range, far in excess of the 5.0 mile range the Mirage anti ship missile had, and it was scenario over.



For kicks, I assumed the last Mirage still had its AS-30 anti-ship missile and was able to release it at the Perry from 5 miles. And again, the 76mm was able to knock down the inbound missile. 6.4.1.1 air defense gun hit chance modifiers say non-manouevering aircraft above vlow and slower than 1,000kts have their hit chance doubled, so this works against the AS-30. Making matters worse, it doesn’t qualify for any defensive benefits. Its too slow, too high (ie not sea skimming) and not stealthy to get any defensive benefits and is shot down easily by the Perrys secondary defence system (The Phalanx seems much more capable than the 76mm gun but was never called into action).

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A few questions/issues arising:

 

* Did you consider the radar line of sight between the Perry and the incoming Mirages?

* Why not send in the Mirages at Vlow and radar silent?

* How did the Perry detect the AS.37 Martel (I assume this is the weapon used) launch? Radar detect?

* The AS.37 Martel can be launched as low as 50 meters (perfect for a Vlow approach).

* I note, as an aside, that it was a sailor on lookout that spotted the Exocet(s) that nearly killed Stark and not her ESM or radar.

* Gun kills are notoriously difficult, even against non-maneuvering targets like an incoming AS.37 Martel.

* Note as well that the AS.37 Martel is a terminal diver, executing an 80 degree dive in the terminal approach. This further aggravates the engagement from the Perry's point of view, as it makes the missile a "crossing target" and reduces hit chance by half.

* The AS.37 Martel is also a Vsmall missile, further reducing hit chance.

* The AS.30 command guided missile is also capable of being launched from Vlow, and is Vsmall, but won't be a crossing target like the AS.37.

* I would have left the Perry radars on as well. Can't hit what you can't see, regardless of the threat of anti-radar missiles.

* This was a very risky mission for the Mirages, with the weapons they have chosen, with very low chance of success.

* Note that the SM-1MR had been removed from the remaining Perry frigates by 2003.

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The SM-1MR is a superb system - it proved very capable against Shaddocks in my game.

 

 

Shaddock is a pretty tame contender, though. Lots of range and pretty fast, but shows up like a flying school bus on radar.

 

We only tossed em in the Vampires game because, well, its what we had and we were hoping to complicate the engagement.

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You can test:

- German or Italian Tornado IDS with Kormoran 1 (1977+) or Kormoran 2 (1991+).

- French Atlantic 1 (1965-1996) or Atlantique 2 (1991+) or Super Etendard (1979+) or Super Etendard M with AM.39 Exocet (1979+) or Rafale M F2/3/4 (2008+) with AM.39 Exocet Block 2 (1993+).

- Spanish F/A-18A+ or P-3 Orion with AGM-84C Harpoon (1982+).

- British Buccaneer S.2B (1984-1994) or Tornado GR.1B (1994-2001) with Sea Eagle (1985-2000).

- Norwegian F-16A (1980-2001) or F-16AM MLU (1995+) or P-3C Orion (1998+) with Penguin Mk3 (1987+).

And some others .... ;)

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I cant see that the AS37 is a terminal manouver missile ... total response tonight after i finish work.

I am looking at updated versions of the annexes that you probably don't have. It may have appeared in a SITREP, but I can't confirm that. In any event, you can trust that the AS.37 is a terminal diver.

 

Also, I'm going with the Buccanear using a (da da dummmmm), Harpoon. That is the name of the game, after all.

Afaik, Buccaneer was never cleared for Harpoon. Its primary antiship weapon in the '80s was the BAe Sea Eagle, which is very similar.

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Left my notes at work, so update still to come, including results of Buc with Sea Eagle (!).

 

"Trust" CV32? No worries if its in a SITREP. Just making sure i was reading my Annex correctly.

 

Correct re Harpoon not on a Buc. Sea Eagle was used and it looks similar to Harpoon.

 

Does anyone else play "pen and paper" Harpoon, or mainly the PC version?

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* Did you consider the radar line of sight between the Perry and the incoming Mirages? Yes, Radar LOS was longer than radar and therefore didn’t come into play (shorter radar range is used).


* Why not send in the Mirages at Vlow and radar silent? Minimum altitude the Mirages could fire their AS30 or AS37 at was LOW, I didn’t consider a vlow approach “popping up” to Low in order to fire.


* How did the Perry detect the AS.37 Martel (I assume this is the weapon used) launch? Radar detect? Hmmm, not sure actually. I assumed the Perry would detect the launch automatically, checking the rules it would have used its SS radar and had a 60% chance to detect.


* The AS.37 Martel can be launched as low as 50 meters (perfect for a Vlow approach). My reading of Annex G4 says “Low altitude” is the minimum, happy to be corrected though.


* I note, as an aside, that it was a sailor on lookout that spotted the Exocet(s) that nearly killed Stark and not her ESM or radar.


* Gun kills are notoriously difficult Agreed, the gun kills were way easier than I thought they would be. That ended up being because I applied some of the rules incorrectly , even against non-maneuvering targets like an incoming AS.37 Martel.


* Note as well that the AS.37 Martel is a terminal diver, executing an 80 degree dive in the terminal approach. This further aggravates the engagement from the Perry's point of view, as it makes the missile a "crossing target" and reduces hit chance by half. My annex G4 does not show either AS30 or AS37 having the Terminal Manoeuvre option?


* The AS.37 Martel is also a Vsmall missile, further reducing hit chance. Agreed, I missed this one.


* The AS.30 command guided missile is also capable of being launched from Vlow (I think LOW), and is Vsmall (agreed, and I missed this the first time), but won't be a crossing target like the AS.37 (agreed).


* I would have left the Perry radars on as well. Can't hit what you can't see, regardless of the threat of anti-radar missiles.


* This was a very risky mission for the Mirages, with the weapons they have chosen, with very low chance of success.


* Note that the SM-1MR had been removed from the remaining Perry frigates by 2003.

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