Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: ECM Pod

  1. #1
    76th vFS Pilot Ski's Avatar
    United States
       United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    694

    Awards Showcase

    Thanks
    1,344
    Thanked 220 Times in 164 Posts

    ECM Pod

    I know I'm barking up a looooong crooked tree here, but I've been working on threat avoidance and am curious about the ECM pods. What is their effectiveness in DCS? Real life, they appear to be very effective from what I've read. Why do they not stay on once activated? What benefit (RL & DCS) do they offer in combat?

  2. #2
    GOMER 2 Noodle's Avatar
    United States
       United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,508

    Awards Showcase

    Thanks
    563
    Thanked 1,865 Times in 649 Posts
    Most people will tell you that electronic warfare (EW), which includes electronic attack (EA) and electronic protection (EP), is classified and can't be discussed. Poppycock. There is a vast amount of open-source information which fully explains both radio frequency (RF) theory and all of its constituent parts. There is an equally vast amount of open-source information about jamming techniques used to defeat victim radars. The classified stuff is not really important to a theoretical discussion, or even to a simulation of an EW environment; it deals with the specific operating characteristics of threat systems and the specific methods used to exploit weaknesses in that system. DCS is a fictional environment, so there are no intelligence sources or methods to protect, and threat systems can have representative but fabricated characteristics...the kind you find on Wikipedia. But I digress.

    The real world of EW involves stand-off jamming (SOJ) like a Prowler or Growler flying an orbit at standoff range, stand-in jamming (SIJ) like a Prowler/Growler escorting strikers to a target, and self-protection jamming (SPJ) like the A-10's ALQ-131/184 pod. SOJ/SIJ involve numerous techniques which deny acquisition of the protected asset(s); some techniques deny the victim radar's ability to determine range, some azimuth, and others speed/doppler. SOJ can mask entire strike packages if conducted on-axis and with enough effective radiated power (ERP). On the other hand, SPJ typically applies to individual aircraft which are being actively tracked/targeted by a threat radar. Track breaker techniques slowly walk the victim radar away from its target--usually in range or doppler--then abruptly stop transmitting, leaving the victim radar looking at empty space. These techniques are used in conjunction with expendables and maneuvering to either deny a shot opportunity or to generate sufficient miss distance for shots taken. There are even decoys like the ALE-50 and MALD/MALD-J to help out...to say nothing of the HARMs . There are other players too, like RIVET JOINT, but that's another topic.

    In DCS, we get almost none of this. We get an SPJ pod, but it doesn't act like a real SPJ. Instead, it's more like a weak "noise jammer" similar to early SOJs in that it denies range until the victim radar overpowers the jammer, a condition called burn-through. This is not an effective track breaking technique because it does nothing to defeat the acquisition or targeting radar once it is able to track you...it measly decreases the range at which the threat radar can track the aircraft. Oddly, ED chose to model the SPJ's limited time of transmission, which would only be appropriate if it was a track breaker...which it's not.

    DCS doesn't simulate any other jamming technique other than noise jamming, nor any EA effect other than denial of range. Operation of the SPJ temporarily reduces a threat radar's detection/track range by a certain percentage. This is often unnoticeable because SAMs in DCS don't shoot at Rmax anyway, or at least they didnt...I'm not sure if ROE settings in the ME have given more control over the behavior in the past year or so.

    So that's it, really. Radar is wildly undersimulated, therefore it's almost impossible to realistically degrade its operation. Perhaps with the F/A-18's new radar model, we'll begin to see more realistic implementation of radar in general. As it stands, I have yet to identify necessary radar system data in the DCS game files. There are entries for things like scan time, max number of target tracks, doppler notch "size", and minimum detectable RCS, but nothing about a given radar's operating frequency, radiated power, beam width, pulse repetition frequency (PRF), etc. These parameters would be necessary in order to have any sort of realistic EW implementation.
    Last edited by Noodle; 20Dec16 at 08:08.

  3. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Noodle For This Useful Post:

    Dojo (20Dec16),Energy (20Dec16),Hansolo (20Dec16),Howie (20Dec16),Neck (20Dec16),Oliver (20Dec16),Ski (20Dec16)

  4. #3
    65th vAGRS Commander
    Founder
    Eddie's Avatar
    United Kingdom
       United Kingdom
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    5,243

    Awards Showcase

    Thanks
    1,233
    Thanked 3,283 Times in 1,488 Posts
    I'll not do another epic post as Noodle has that covered as usual (and I'm at work typing on the phone).

    The really short summary is that, the ECM systems in DCS are 100% worthless from a tactical point of view. As Noodle explained, they only act as noise jammers and have a burn through distance that is greater than the rMax of any threat system. Put really simply the ecm pod you may old on your A-10 is nothing more than eye candy.

    As for the real life stuff, beyond what Noodle covered, I think it's a topic that good to cover in a TS discussion simply because every answer tends to generate 2 more questions. But that said I'm sure between me and Noodle we can explain the dark arts in enough detail for anyone who's interested.

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Eddie For This Useful Post:

    Howie (20Dec16),Ski (20Dec16)

  6. #4
    65th vAGRS Commander
    Founder
    Eddie's Avatar
    United Kingdom
       United Kingdom
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    5,243

    Awards Showcase

    Thanks
    1,233
    Thanked 3,283 Times in 1,488 Posts
    Ski, give this video a watch. It's from the 1960s but has some very good detail, everything in it is still valid but technology and capability have moved on , a lot.

    https://youtu.be/d5T1vPmA-l4

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Eddie For This Useful Post:

    Ski (20Dec16)

  8. #5
    Junior Member
    United Kingdom
       United Kingdom
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Smile ECM

    Quote Originally Posted by Noodle View Post
    Most people will tell you that electronic warfare (EW), which includes electronic attack (EA) and electronic protection (EP), is classified and can't be discussed. Poppycock. There is a vast amount of open-source information which fully explains both radio frequency (RF) theory and all of its constituent parts. There is an equally vast amount of open-source information about jamming techniques used to defeat victim radars. The classified stuff is not really important to a theoretical discussion, or even to a simulation of an EW environment; it deals with the specific operating characteristics of threat systems and the specific methods used to exploit weaknesses in that system. DCS is a fictional environment, so there are no intelligence sources or methods to protect, and threat systems can have representative but fabricated characteristics...the kind you find on Wikipedia. But I digress.

    The real world of EW involves stand-off jamming (SOJ) like a Prowler or Growler flying an orbit at standoff range, stand-in jamming (SIJ) like a Prowler/Growler escorting strikers to a target, and self-protection jamming (SPJ) like the A-10's ALQ-131/184 pod. SOJ/SIJ involve numerous techniques which deny acquisition of the protected asset(s); some techniques deny the victim radar's ability to determine range, some azimuth, and others speed/doppler. SOJ can mask entire strike packages if conducted on-axis and with enough effective radiated power (ERP). On the other hand, SPJ typically applies to individual aircraft which are being actively tracked/targeted by a threat radar. Track breaker techniques slowly walk the victim radar away from its target--usually in range or doppler--then abruptly stop transmitting, leaving the victim radar looking at empty space. These techniques are used in conjunction with expendables and maneuvering to either deny a shot opportunity or to generate sufficient miss distance for shots taken. There are even decoys like the ALE-50 and MALD/MALD-J to help out...to say nothing of the HARMs . There are other players too, like RIVET JOINT, but that's another topic.

    In DCS, we get almost none of this. We get an SPJ pod, but it doesn't act like a real SPJ. Instead, it's more like a weak "noise jammer" similar to early SOJs in that it denies range until the victim radar overpowers the jammer, a condition called burn-through. This is not an effective track breaking technique because it does nothing to defeat the acquisition or targeting radar once it is able to track you...it measly decreases the range at which the threat radar can track the aircraft. Oddly, ED chose to model the SPJ's limited time of transmission, which would only be appropriate if it was a track breaker...which it's not.

    DCS doesn't simulate any other jamming technique other than noise jamming, nor any EA effect other than denial of range. Operation of the SPJ temporarily reduces a threat radar's detection/track range by a certain percentage. This is often unnoticeable because SAMs in DCS don't shoot at Rmax anyway, or at least they didnt...I'm not sure if ROE settings in the ME have given more control over the behavior in the past year or so.

    So that's it, really. Radar is wildly undersimulated, therefore it's almost impossible to realistically degrade its operation. Perhaps with the F/A-18's new radar model, we'll begin to see more realistic implementation of radar in general. As it stands, I have yet to identify necessary radar system data in the DCS game files. There are entries for things like scan time, max number of target tracks, doppler notch "size", and minimum detectable RCS, but nothing about a given radar's operating frequency, radiated power, beam width, pulse repetition frequency (PRF), etc. These parameters would be necessary in order to have any sort of realistic EW implementation.
    I'm a new member, just registering yesterday and I couldn't agree more with your post Noodle (I know it was posted many months ago now) and it was quite refreshing to read.

    A few years ago I helped out a guy building an F-15 pit, who had a new unused ECM panel (C-6631/C-7854) that he was fitting to his pit, but was unsure of how it functioned or the sequence of lamps and there meanings. The cockpit diagram he showed me also had provisions for the newer C-9492A/B so mistakenly researched both of them (actually three versions).

    It was actually quite helpful in understanding more about the systems and I produced quite a lengthy write-up on another forum describing how the system worked. The exact jamming techniques were/are classified, but the basic functioning of modes and technique selection was not, so there was so theory involved. It was quite fun.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Like our website?

You can help us by donating to cover our costs.

Many sincere thanks!


Search

Follow us

Twitter youtube iTunes Subscribe to our Podcast