War Game QB #1: MiG-29M2 vs. F-16CM

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Introduction – What is a Quick Battle (QB)?

We’ve done a couple of war games thus far and this is the second type of war game entry. CMO has a game mode called “Quick Battle” where players can choose different engagement scenarios with minimal setup. Similar to an instant action deathmatch, these quick battles range from surface engagements, submarine duels, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) engagements, or, in this case, an air-to-air engagement.

The player picks an engagement type, chooses some units and scenario conditions from a series of drop-down menus, and then hits play. There are no complex objectives in the quick battles other than to find and destroy the enemy force. Simple and no frills. Although the list of choices is limited, there are ways to change the game’s files to allow for the use of any unit within the game’s databases.

My idea with QB posts is to have a short video and blog post with minimal evaluation. I’ll comment on some of the statistics and decisions I made as I played the battle, but they won’t be as lengthy or in-depth as the normal war game posts.

Quick Battle #1 – Parameters

  • Starting Separation: 50 nm.
  • Adversary EMCON State: Radars Active
  • Local Time: Noon (1200)
  • Weather: Clear, very light clouds, wind state 1, avg. temp. 14C.
F-16CM Blk 50 (USAF) [Player]MiG-29M2 Fulcrum C (Syrian AF) [A.I.]
6 aircraft6 aircraft
Type: Multirole (Fighter/Attack)
Crew: 1
Min Speed: 350 kt
Max Speed: 920 kt
Span: 9.5 m
Height: 4.8 m
Length: 14.5 m
Max Payload: 6894 kg
Empty Weight: 8715 kg
Max Weight: 19200 kg
Operator: Air Force
Commissioned: 2016
Propulsion: 1x F110-GE-129

Type: Multirole (Fighter/Attack)
Crew: 2
Min Speed: 350 kt
Max Speed: 920 kt
Span: 11.4 m
Height: 4.73 m
Length: 17.3 m
Max Payload: 0 kg
Empty Weight: 11200 kg
Max Weight: 18500 kg
Operator: Air Force
Commissioned: 2013
Propulsion: 2x RD-33MK

Sensors:
AN/APG-68(V)9 CCIP – Radar
Radar, FCR, Air-to-Air & Air-to-Surface, Medium-Range
Max Range: 111.1 km
AN/ALR-56M – ESM
RWR, Radar Warning Receiver
Max Range: 222.2 km
Sensors:
OLS-M [IRST] – (OEPS-29, Izdeliye 13Sh) Infrared
IRST, Imaging Infrared Seach and Track
Max Range: 74.1 km
L-201 Gardenya – (MiG-29 9.13) ECM
DECM, Defensive ECM
Max Range: 0 km
Slot Back [N-010 Zhuk-M] – (MiG-29M) Radar
Radar, FCR, Air-to-Air & Air-to-Surface, Medium-Range
Max Range: 203.7 km
SPO-15 Beryoza [L-006] – ESM
RWR, Radar Warning Receiver
Max Range: 222.2 km
OLS-M [Laser Rangefinder] – Laser Rangefinder
Laser Rangefinder for Weapon Director
Max Range: 0 km
*Characteristics from the game database

Video

Comparison of Main Weapons

AIM-120D AMRAAM [P3I.4] – (2016)AA-12 Adder A [R-77, RVV-AE] – (1999)
Air Max: 138.9 km.Air Max: 83.3 km.
Active Radar Seeker – (AAM MR, AIM-120D) Radar
Weapon Seeker, Active Radar
Max Range: 27.8 km
Active Radar Seeker – (AAM MR, AA-12) Radar
Weapon Seeker, Active Radar
Max Range: 9.3 km
Properties: Home On Jam (HOJ), Anti-Air All-Aspect, Capable vs Seaskimmer, Lock-On After Launch (LOAL) – CEC-Capable, Level Cruise FlightProperties: Home On Jam (HOJ), Anti-Air All-Aspect, Capable vs Seaskimmer
*Characteristics from the game database

Statistics

PLAYEROPFOR [A.I.]
Losses:
2x F-16CM Blk 50 Falcon
Losses:
6x MiG-29M2 Fulcrum C
Expenditures:
7x AIM-120D AMRAAM P3I.4
6x Generic Chaff Salvo [5x Cartridges]
Expenditures:
9x AA-12 Adder A [R-77, RVV-AE]
7x Generic Chaff Salvo [5x Cartridges]

Weapon Hits/Misses from the message log

*Local times in parenthesis. Only successful decoys are noted.

  1. (0503) AIM-120D AMRAAM P3I.4 #14 is attacking Red #6 (MiG-29M2 Fulcrum C) with a base PH of 95%. PH adjusted for distance: 91%. Red #6 has nominal agility: 4.9, adjusted for altitude: 2.5. Agility adjusted for proficiency (Regular): 2. Aircraft has a weight fraction of 0.68 – Agility adjusted to 1.18. High-deflection impact (no effect on agility). Final agility modifier: -12%. Final PH: 79%. Result: 46 – HIT
  2. (0503) AIM-120D AMRAAM P3I.4 #18 is attacking Red #2 (MiG-29M2 Fulcrum C) with a base PH of 95%. PH adjusted for distance: 91%. Red #2 has nominal agility: 4.9, adjusted for altitude: 2.5. Agility adjusted for proficiency (Regular): 2. Aircraft has a weight fraction of 0.68 – Agility adjusted to 1.18. High-deflection impact (no effect on agility). Final agility modifier: -12%. Final PH: 79%. Result: 33 – HIT
  3. (0503) Defensive jammer (L-201 Gardenya; Tech: Late 1980s) on Red #4 is attempting to spoof sensor: Active Radar Seeker (Tech: Early 2010s)(Of: AIM-120D AMRAAM P3I.4 #16). Final probability: 5%. Result: 5 – SUCCESS
  4. (0503) AIM-120D AMRAAM P3I.4 #15 is attacking Red #5 (MiG-29M2 Fulcrum C) with a base PH of 95%. PH adjusted for distance: 89%. Red #5 has nominal agility: 4.9, adjusted for altitude: 2.6. Agility adjusted for proficiency (Regular): 2.08. Aircraft has a weight fraction of 0.65 – Agility adjusted to 1.26. High-deflection impact (no effect on agility). Final agility modifier: -13%. Final PH: 76%. Result: 62 – HIT
  5. (0503) AIM-120D AMRAAM P3I.4 #17 is attacking Red #3 (MiG-29M2 Fulcrum C) with a base PH of 95%. PH adjusted for distance: 87%. Red #3 has nominal agility: 4.9, adjusted for altitude: 2.5. Agility adjusted for proficiency (Regular): 2. Aircraft has a weight fraction of 0.63 – Agility adjusted to 1.24. High-deflection impact (no effect on agility). Final agility modifier: -12%. Final PH: 75%. Result: 64 – HIT
  6. (0503) AIM-120D AMRAAM P3I.4 #19 is attacking Red #1 (MiG-29M2 Fulcrum C) with a base PH of 95%. PH adjusted for distance: 87%. Red #1 has nominal agility: 4.9, adjusted for altitude: 2.7. Agility adjusted for proficiency (Regular): 2.16. Aircraft has a weight fraction of 0.63 – Agility adjusted to 1.35. High-deflection impact (no effect on agility). Final agility modifier: -13%. Final PH: 74%. Result: 8 – HIT
  7. (0504) AA-12 Adder A [R-77, RVV-AE] #20 is attacking Blue #1 (F-16CM Blk 50 Falcon) with a base PH of 90%. PH adjusted for distance: 60%. Blue #1 has nominal agility: 4.9, adjusted for altitude: 2.5. Agility adjusted for proficiency (Regular): 2. Aircraft has a weight fraction of 0.45 – Agility adjusted to 1.45. High-deflection impact (no effect on agility). Final agility modifier: -15%. Final PH: 45%. Result: 86 – MISS
  8. (0504) AA-12 Adder A [R-77, RVV-AE] #21 is attacking Blue #1 (F-16CM Blk 50 Falcon) with a base PH of 90%. PH adjusted for distance: 60%. Blue #1 has nominal agility: 4.9, adjusted for altitude: 2.8. Agility adjusted for proficiency (Regular): 2.24. Aircraft has a weight fraction of 0.45 – Agility adjusted to 1.63. High-deflection impact (no effect on agility). Final agility modifier: -16%. Final PH: 44%. Result: 10 – HIT
  9. (0504) Decoy (Generic Chaff Salvo [5x Cartridges]; Tech: N/A) from Blue #2 is attempting to seduce sensor: Active Radar Seeker (Tech: Late 1990s)(Guiding weapon: AA-12 Adder A [R-77, RVV-AE] #25). Final probability: 15%. Result: 4 – SUCCESS
  10. (0504) AA-12 Adder A [R-77, RVV-AE] #24 is attacking Blue #4 (F-16CM Blk 50 Falcon) with a base PH of 90%. PH adjusted for distance: 65%. Blue #4 has nominal agility: 4.9, adjusted for altitude: 4.2. Agility adjusted for proficiency (Regular): 3.36. Aircraft has a weight fraction of 0.47 – Agility adjusted to 2.42. High-deflection impact (no effect on agility). Final agility modifier: -24%. Final PH: 41%. Result: 7 – HIT
  11. (0504) AA-12 Adder A [R-77, RVV-AE] #22 is attacking Blue #3 (F-16CM Blk 50 Falcon) with a base PH of 90%. PH adjusted for distance: 61%. Blue #3 has nominal agility: 4.9, adjusted for altitude: 4.5. Agility adjusted for proficiency (Regular): 3.6. Aircraft has a weight fraction of 0.47 – Agility adjusted to 2.59. High-deflection impact (no effect on agility). Final agility modifier: -26%. Final PH: 35%. Result: 39 – MISS
  12. (0504) AA-12 Adder A [R-77, RVV-AE] #23 is attacking Blue #2 (F-16CM Blk 50 Falcon) with a base PH of 90%. PH adjusted for distance: 63%. Blue #2 has nominal agility: 4.9, adjusted for altitude: 4.5. Agility adjusted for proficiency (Regular): 3.6. Aircraft has a weight fraction of 0.47 – Agility adjusted to 2.59. High-deflection impact (no effect on agility). Final agility modifier: -26%. Final PH: 37%. Result: 64 – MISS
  13. (0504) AIM-120D AMRAAM P3I.4 #26 is attacking Red #4 (MiG-29M2 Fulcrum C) with a base PH of 95%. Red #4 has nominal agility: 4.9, adjusted for altitude: 4.7. Agility adjusted for proficiency (Regular): 3.76. Aircraft has a weight fraction of 0.52 – Agility adjusted to 2.6. High-deflection impact (no effect on agility). Final agility modifier: -26%. Final PH: 69%. Result: 50 – HIT
  14. (0505) AA-12 Adder A [R-77, RVV-AE] #27 has run out of energy… self-destructing
  15. (0505) AA-12 Adder A [R-77, RVV-AE] #28 has run out of energy… self-destructing
  16. (0505) AA-12 Adder A [R-77, RVV-AE] #29 has run out of energy… self-destructing

Evaluation

Well, the F-16 is clearly the winner. They fired fewer missiles, used less chaff, and killed more bandits!

However, bear the following in mind:

One thing I’ll say about the Quick Battles is that there’s no ambiguity to them. It’s just the player and the enemy A.I. So, I can turn the radars on and immediately fire at anything within range without fear of shooting down civilians. So, I do just that, and the F-16s get the first shots off.

We sacrifice realism in rules of engagement for the sake of shooting stuff! Yeah, Baby! Nothing like shooting at contacts that we haven’t positively ID’d and have shown no immediate hostile intent towards us! We care not for such diplomatic niceties. Thankfully, in simulations, it’s easy to disassociate ourselves from the real-world ramifications and brutally smite our hapless foes!

…and that kids is why I can’t have nice things and why I’m not a fighter pilot.

All that being said, the F-16 possesses the more modern AIM-120Ds with better performance and electronics than the MiG-29s R-77s. Although, the MiG-29s do have the advantage with their Slot Back radar which has a greater range than the F-16s APG-68. Still, the F-16s got the drop on the MiG-29s which may have been the crucial factor in this dogfight.

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