Thoughts on night fighting in TacOps

dhuffjr

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There was a suggestion some time ago for illumination rounds. I'm not a programer but I think it would be hard.....who knows it may be a piece of cake.

Mortars, artillery, 40mm grenade launchers etc are the launchers.

Logic.

User selects aim point. Developer determines the deflection routine appropriate for each weapon which determines the actual "impact" location.
For an appropriate distance from that 'impact' point units may be visable. In my thinking it should not be 100% of daytime vision range say maybe 70%. I've not read much on the subject and have no real experience so I can't say what is 'should' be.
 

fbscheuer

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Not sure what you need Major H, but isn't there Night Vision Goggles capabilities in TacOps5?
Yes, you would need to consider other forms of night vision equipment except thermals:

Unaided (only moonlight and starlight)

Passive and active IR and

Other forms of light enhancing optics (don't know the correct name in english)

And also artificial light sources, like illumination rounds and fires.

Plus firing at only gun flashes.

Seems to be a lot to think about...
 

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You've got 90% of it

There was a suggestion some time ago for illumination rounds. I'm not a programer but I think it would be hard.....who knows it may be a piece of cake.

Mortars, artillery, 40mm grenade launchers etc are the launchers.

Logic.

User selects aim point. Developer determines the deflection routine appropriate for each weapon which determines the actual "impact" location.
For an appropriate distance from that 'impact' point units may be visable. In my thinking it should not be 100% of daytime vision range say maybe 70%. I've not read much on the subject and have no real experience so I can't say what is 'should' be.
Basically correct as we are reverse engineering the smoke routine.
Units in the illumination pattern [research on effective radius needed] have their spotting range and percent to be spotted raised to at least 50% of daytime levels for the duration of the flare [even more research needed].

We might have to experiment with percentages. It's been many years since I last saw an illumination mission fired and the main thing I remember is the distortion vs daylight.

I may have to consult a few old time cannon cockers on ACG.
 

GCoyote

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Now for the hard part - searchlights

US tanks without thermal sights still had search lights into the early 1980's. Absolutely no one was real eager to use them, we likened it to Russian roulette with most of the chambers loaded.

In operation a designated tank lights a narrow wedge of the engagement area based on pre-assigned sectors of coverage or a direct fire TRP. Illumination is for 3 - 5 seconds then they turn it off and run-like hell to an alternate position. Everyone else gets a 10 - 30 second warning to load the correct ammo and lay their guns on the TRP before the light comes on. The basic idea is that in all the shooting the guys who turned on their lights will have a chance to get away.

I've read about searchlight use in Korea and Vietnam where the anti-tank threat did not include many other tanks or ATGMs. How well this would have worked in WWIII is any one's guess.

Using the searchlight would normally be my last tactical choice as it guarantees the enemy will get at least 1 - 2 seconds warning before the first round goes down range.
 

dhuffjr

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Infrared searchlights have a similar problem. Anyone with an imager will see that searchlight sticking out like a sore thumb.

But those infared searchlights were heavily used in the arab israeli wars as I recall.

H
 

fbscheuer

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Infrared searchlights have a similar problem. Anyone with an imager will see that searchlight sticking out like a sore thumb.

But those infared searchlights were heavily used in the arab israeli wars as I recall.

H
Yes, but the Israelis had only binoculars for their commanders. The Syrians had IR sights on their tanks.
(I solved this by giving the Israelis a few OP teams with thermals that represented the company and battalion COs and XOs).
 

dhuffjr

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Yes, but the Israelis had only binoculars for their commanders. The Syrians had IR sights on their tanks.
Good point. I don't remember reading that part. :cool:

For other applications the opposing side may have those IR sights, so do you factor in increased visability of the using side in addition to giving that vehicle increased vision?
 

pmaidhof

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I'm intrigued by Gary's idea of reverse engineering the smoke coding to allow for the effect of artillery, mortar, and maybe even pop up flares.
 

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Another thought . . .

A unit inside the illumination pattern will have a harder time spotting non-illuminated targets outside the pattern. The bright light will interfere with their normal night vision.
 

dhuffjr

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A unit inside the illumination pattern will have a harder time spotting non-illuminated targets outside the pattern. The bright light will interfere with their normal night vision.
I simplish solution will be sorta easy maybe like using the smoke code reversed.

Getting into the details such as this probably is going to require the old fall back of abstraction. But the Major is a smart guy so I won't say impossible!
 

TacCovert4

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Another issue you have to consider is the effect of different types of illumination.

Normal flares would improve visibility downrange, while destroying the night vision of the enemy caught in their radius. The effect would be somewhat as follows:

1--AFVs would have no effect
2--vehicles (with windscreens) would lose partial night vision
3--infantry would lose night vision
4--helos would be visible and would go evasive if orders allowed
5--units in wooded terrain would lose less night vision
6--units hit with a flare would experience some level of suppression, as drivers cannot see effectively, and infantry would dive for cover. However, vehicles caught in flares would end the turn in defilade if they stopped moving.

Other flare types, such as WP, IR searchlights, and other would have these effects:

1--Infantry with thermal sights (AT weapons), would lose accuracy in firing, reflecting the spoofing of their thermal imagers
2--AFVs would experience both a loss of mobility, possibly suppression, and a loss of vision range, due to their higher reliance on thermal imaging to acquire targets at night.
 

GCoyote

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Another issue you have to consider is the effect of different types of illumination.

Normal flares would improve visibility downrange, while destroying the night vision of the enemy caught in their radius. The effect would be somewhat as follows:

1--AFVs would have no effect
2--vehicles (with windscreens) would lose partial night vision
3--infantry would lose night vision
4--helos would be visible and would go evasive if orders allowed
5--units in wooded terrain would lose less night vision
6--units hit with a flare would experience some level of suppression, as drivers cannot see effectively, and infantry would dive for cover. However, vehicles caught in flares would end the turn in defilade if they stopped moving..
1, 2 & 3 - I'm interested in hearing your logic. In the absence of any night vision system, your first three items are all using the same technology, the Mark I eyeball. It isn't clear to me why you are treating them differently.

4 - an interesting option. You are treating illumination as hostile fire.

6 - True but very tricky. I can see multiple scenarios depending on whether the unit and it's target are both illuminated or only one or the other is illuminated.
Other flare types, such as WP, IR searchlights, and other would have these effects:

1--Infantry with thermal sights (AT weapons), would lose accuracy in firing, reflecting the spoofing of their thermal imagers
2--AFVs would experience both a loss of mobility, possibly suppression, and a loss of vision range, due to their higher reliance on thermal imaging to acquire targets at night.
I'm not so sure about these two. IR searchlights and flares operate in the near infrared band close to the frequency of visible red light. That technology is essentially unchanged from WWII. In addition, 2nd/3rd generation image intensifier [aka "starlight scopes" and 1970's era tank "passive sights"] can sense some near infrared wavelengths although not as well as a custom IR weapon sight. 1st generation image intensifiers were subject to image blooming from IR or any other light source in their field of view. 2nd/3rd generation image intensifiers had protection circuits that reduced blooming and returned to full sensitivity almost as soon as you panned the scope away from the excess light source.

Thermal sights operate in the far infrared just above millimeter waves [Apache Longbow] and microwaves [radar]. A thermal sight produces an electronic output from a scanned sensor that only responds to a narrow range of wavelengths. There is no image focusing so there is no image blooming. Thermal imagers are also functionally different from image intensifiers and don't benefit from artificial illumination.
 
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TacCovert4

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1, 2 & 3 - I'm interested in hearing your logic. In the absence of any night vision system, your first three items are all using the same technology, the Mark I eyeball. It isn't clear to me why you are treating them differently.

4 - an interesting option. You are treating illumination as hostile fire.

6 - True but very tricky. I can see multiple scenarios depending on whether the unit and it's target are both illuminated or only one or the other is illuminated.


I'm not so sure about these two. IR searchlights and flares operate in the near infrared band close to the frequency of visible red light. That technology is essentially unchanged from WWII. In addition, 2nd/3rd generation image intensifier [aka "starlight scopes" and 1970's era tank "passive sights"] can sense some near infrared wavelengths although not as well as a custom IR weapon sight. 1st generation image intensifiers were subject to image blooming from IR or any other light source in their field of view. 2nd/3rd generation image intensifiers had protection circuits that reduced blooming and returned to full sensitivity almost as soon as you panned the scope away from the excess light source.

Thermal sights operate in the far infrared just above millimeter waves [Apache Longbow] and microwaves [radar]. A thermal sight produces an electronic output from a scanned sensor that only responds to a narrow range of wavelengths. There is no image focusing so there is no image blooming. Thermal imagers are also functionally different from image intensifiers and don't benefit from artificial illumination.

The logic for 1, 2 and 3:

It is all based on the Mark 1 eyeball, but varied according to field of view.

An AFV has periscopes for the driver, which restrict his field of view significantly. Especially in the vertical direction. Ergo, if a flare was popped, less of the glare from it would be visible than from any other point of view, thereby proportionately reducing night vision loss.

Vehicle with windscreen is similar logic, because the roof and/or load in the back would reduce the blinding glare inside the cab, providing some modicum of protection that infantry would not have.

Infantry has unobstructed fields of vision, therefore they will recieve the most blinding glare, even from above or on the obliques.

By this logic, whatever night vision loss is experienced should be factored somewhat as follows:

Infantry at 1
Wheeled vehicles at .6-.9
AFVs at .3 to .6


Helos caught in illum ought to treat it as incoming, as illum makes them suddenly vulnerable to anything with a weapon that can aim upward. Most helicopter doctrine espouses stealth, so helos caught in illum would duck out of it as soon as possible to preserve what stealth they can.

Exceptions might be landing helos, as you might illum an LZ prior to landing, or illum fired from helos.


Thank you for the information on IR. I had wondered quite how that worked, and was taking some educated guesses.
 
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