Submarine Detection

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Juergen
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Post by Juergen »

I decided to place the discussion from another thread into here.
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Juergen:
There something I have been thinking about:

If I remember correctly currently an AWACs kind of aircraft as well as any kind of unit with a high spotting strenght would be able to detect submarines,right?

Well an E3 Sentry detecting a submarine is highly unlikely and unrealistic.

Since submarines belong to the most stealthy unit classes in the game wouldnt it make sense to build in an additional "flag" in the game?

What about the "Can detect sub" flag?

Only naval units and some dedicated ASW helicopters and planes would get this flag turned on and for all the other units it wouldnt matter how strong their spotting strenght is.

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George Geczy:
wonder how unreasonable it would be for other spotting planes to be equipped with sonar bouys... Those things do get dropped from planes and heli's, so what limits them to only certain planes and heli's? There can't be all that much electronics involved....
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Juergen:
I think that comparing surface ship and air detection with ASW Warfare is the same like comparing apples with oranges.
As far as I have heard ASW warfare has different equipment and different ways of detecting something than plain radar.
It isnt that easy and takes more time.

Thats all for now but will try to find some information.
I will be back :grin:


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Juergen on 2003-12-22 07:53 ]</font>
Juergen
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Post by Juergen »

So far I have found two site that give short overviews of how ASW works:
http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/asw.htm

http://www.global-defence.com/2000/pages/antisub.html

I will try to put together the things that I have read or found out by playing Harpoon about ASW:

ASW(Anti-Submarine-Warfare) is a joint effort.
Ships,helicopters and planes have to work together to detect,attack and possibly sink a submarine.
Usually it goes like this:
A destroyer sails over the sea until all of a sudden it detects a faint noise over the towed arry (passive sonar).
That might be from another ship or perhaps a submarine,it will a take while to find out by comparing the sound profiles to profiles of known ships.
At that point only very little is actually known about the contact,only its bearing,signal strenght and with a little luck the class.
Not enough to fire a weapon at it.
No if the contact would be close enough (im talking of about 15km at best) then the destroyer captain might decide to send an active sonar ping to get the submarine exact location (range,bearing).
But in case the captain would have to be very lucky to so close to an enemy submarine,usually the submarine hear the ship first.
So lets assume the ship is to far off to take any action other than listen,off course the ship could come closer to the submarine but that would dangerous so either a helicopter or a plane to further pin down the contact.
The aircraft would then use active dipping sonar and drop sonar bouys to set up a kind of perimeter in which the submarine COULD BE.
Harpoon showed this process very nicely by showing an area that gets smaller the more accurate the contact gets.
"Digging out" the submarine is tedious process,it takes time and lots of sonar bouys get dropped.

All in all this takes a lot longer than detecting air or surface contacts with an radar even with the help given by the destroyer.
If a contact is detected by radar then you have the bearing AND the range,so you have the exact location in contrast to just a bearing in the case of an sonar.
Additionally acitve sonars (and those on sonar bouys included) have a much smaller ranges than radars.
One sonar bouy I have found information about had a detection range of about 0,4km.
So in order to pin down a submarine it would take a good guess and a good number of them to pin a sub down.

Yes a plane can set out to hunt submarines but it would have to have a good number of number of sonar bouys,just one or two dont make sense.
The P3 Orion carries 87 of them.

There is also the MAD (Magnetic Anonmaly Detection) which is a sensor that looks for disturbances of the magnetic field of the earth.
Disturbances caused by objects made of iron like submarines.
Great idea,but the plane has to fly more or less directly over the submarine and even if you get a contact it might still only be wreck.

So back to to Georges question:
Cant the planes and helos simply drop sonarbouys?

Yes of course they could!
But they would have to drop quite s few (especially if the are on their own in terms of sensors which the game assumes they are)
AND while they will then be capable of scanning the water they WONT have the spotting range they would have for detecting surface ships.
Their spotting range would be quite small for detecting subs,and Im not sure if it would be possible to implement different spotting ranges for different targets into the game.

And that whys I suggested to introduce the "detect sub flag" to ensure that only units with "dedicated ASW equipment" and an for ASW appropriate spotting range can find submarines.
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Hellfish6
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Post by Hellfish6 »

I too would like to see specialized ASW equipment modelled. A Burke-class destroyer just does not have the same ASW capabilities as an old Knox-class frigate. Especially since many of the Burke's don't even carry helicopters. The Knox was designed to escort convoys and protect them from subs, the Burke was designed to kill anti-ship missiles and hostile aircraft. The Knox would be a sitting duck for an AS-4, but could hold it's own against a submarine. That should be modelled. :smile:
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tkobo
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Post by tkobo »

I concur.Subs should be difficult to spot in most cases.And even then only by units meant to find them.
madflava13
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Post by madflava13 »

I agree as well... You can't just add sonobuoys to an AWACS - there's too much computer equipment required in the fuselage to hold both ASW and AWACS gear. The mission profiles are completely different as well - ASW is low and slow, AWACS is high... You need two different units
Juergen
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Post by Juergen »

Right :wink:

And this is why a "submarine detect flag" (unit can/cannot detect sub switch)
would be most usefull.

Different sight ranges for different units (air,land,sea,sub) would be perfect but im not sure how possible that would be to add to the game.

Maybe a Dev could comment on this :wink:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Juergen on 2003-12-29 17:07 ]</font>
Nadien
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Post by Nadien »

Hi all
with the detection that is in now for subs i see no use of them (especialy as ICBM are not in too). i have even destroyed subs with my tanks as they was close to shore (with enouth tanks even real fast) this should not be. only some specialse units should see and be able to attacks subs. land units should be very restriced on shoting on subs.

Nadien
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Balthagor
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Post by Balthagor »

I will be double checking this. Currently no land units have a "submerged" attack value so this should not happen at all. BTW, the ICBMs are comming, just not implimented.
Nadien
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Post by Nadien »

On 2004-01-01 20:43, Balthagor wrote:
I will be double checking this. Currently no land units have a "submerged" attack value so this should not happen at all. BTW, the ICBMs are comming, just not implimented.
possible one of my seaharrier or Rotluchs have seen them but i know for sure (90% was realy late) that my tanks have shoot them need to test it again as sometimes a few other units come with my tanks. but my tanks have killed on mass ships and easy too.
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Balthagor
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Post by Balthagor »

Ships maybe, but there should be no case where a tank fires on a sub. Please let me know if you find this situation. And yes, the sea harrier does have a submerged attack values. This was an error. I've adjusted it in the equipment file and this will be changed for the next update. Are there any aircraft that can actually attack submarines or is it only helicopters?
Juergen
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Post by Juergen »

No,there are some aircraft that can attack subs:
S-3B Viking
P-3 Orion
IL-38 May
Nimrod MR2
Atlantique
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Balthagor
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Post by Balthagor »

K, thanks. We've looked at all of this and have made some major changes to the spotting strengths and stealth strengths that should correct all of this and make the player only see subs with ASW platforms. Will be updated for the next version. One more question though, which subs should be good at finding other subs?
Juergen
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Post by Juergen »

"Will be updated for the next version"

Wow thats great :smile:

Well what submarines are good at detecting others?
In general you could say that the more moderm the sub,the better it is at detecting other subs and the harder it is to spot.

As I said before,finding subs is tough work and also depends on technology.
And epecially subs,which will under all circumstances try to remain undetected,will likely stick to their passive sonar.
And a "good" passive sonar requires technology.

The engines of a sub are also quite important since they determine the level of noice a sub makes while travelling at a certain speed.
The louder the engines the easier it will be to spot for the enemies.
And noices from the engine also can offset an otherwise good sonar,so this would also negatively affect spotting strenght and perhaps even range.
Effecient engines can maintain a low noice level even at higher speeds (15-20kts).

A sample case of some good sub hunters would be:

Seawolf
688 LA (most versions)
Akula 1+2
Kilo (very silent)
Trafalgar (it is a nuclear boat BTW,I think it was listed as conventional in the game)
Amethyste
Gotland

While SSBNs may not be designated as "attack submarines" this doesnt mean that they are less capable at detecting and avoiding other submarines.
There is not the strict "bomber-fighter" relation that can be found in aircraft.
There is no reason why a SSBN cannot detect and sink an SSN.
Unlike bombers SSBNS are expected to be able to defend themselves.
Of course SSBNs are not supposed to "get their hands dirty" and therefore they might not always get the latest sonar hardware because that stuff is needed in the SSNs,but in general their sensors and weapons tend to be on the same level with the SSNs.

So in conclusion I would give SSBNs only slighly lower detection values than SSNs and the same (if not even a higher) stealth strenght.





<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Juergen on 2004-01-06 11:57 ]</font>
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