DCS AV8B Harrier II - Operation Morning Star

Recently @Baltic_Dragon released a new single player(and soon to be multiplayer mission) for the Razbam AV8B Harrier II. I am a big fan of his previous work for modules like the M2000C and the Harrier itself(Operation Fire Brigade). It’s fair to say that I am looking forward to a Harrier campaign created by the legend himself!

You can download the mission here : https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=249524

At the time of writing it has not been included into any of the DCS builds yet, once it has I’ll remove the link and directly refer to that.

Planning

The target of this mission will be to hit and destroy the enemy Control and Command center spotted deep behind enemy lines. The Russians are planning a push in Georgia and our operational objective is to slow down the ability of the amassing force to cross the border by destroying the C&C.

For this mission the VMA-513 ‘Flying Nightmares’ have been recruited. it will consist of 3 Harrier strike aircraft supported by a tanker on the Georgian side of the border on the egress route and a Tornado GR4(Lightning 1-1) that will provide EW capabilities during the push on target.

The AV8B flight has the following loadout:

  • Dodge 1-1: GAU-12, DECM, 6xMK-82, TGP, 2xAIM-9, 1xfuel
  • Dodge 1-2: GAU-12, DECM, 4xAGM-122, TGP, 1xfuel
  • Dodge 1-3: GAU-12, DECM, 4xMK-82, TGP, 2xAIM-9, 1xfuel

We’ve got 2 strike aircraft, Dodge 1-1 and 1-3, with 1-2 providing SEAD support against any Radar based SAM threat we might encounter.

Our route will take us from Kobuleti up north towards Bullseye. There we will take a turn towards Cherokee with the GR4 in support up above. I prefer diving into the valley and run that out up towards the plains where I will take a slight left to engage the target.

We’ve got normal MK-82’s loaded up, so a bomb toss approach might be the safest though limited in accuracy. This will be a single pass attack so there’s no time for loitering around! At WP-7 we can take in some fuel if need be and cruise back to kobuleti.

There’s a possible SAM site in a village north-west-west of the objective Chieftan.

our recce aircraft has provided us with a rough picture that shows IR SAM units surrounding the objective

We cross the border at 27000ft to then dive to 1500ft over target. The option is there to do a level bombing approach giving us a good probability of destroying the objective, though with the SAM site nearby I do not fancy my chances unless they are properly surpressed. I will let Dodge 1-2 loose on them whilst we are overhead the target, hopefully the Tornado will be able to provide sufficient cover for us to sneak in.

Our route takes us close to Nalchik AFB, though it has seen a increase in activity it mostly appears to be helicopter based operations. No fighter relocation has been spotted so far.

The enemy airports have been strengthened with SA-8, SA-11 launchers and SA-6 and -15 systems.

Safe to say our egress route will happen at minimal altitude as well.

I will post updates on this mission as I go along with flying it and taking screenshot and the like. I first want to experiment with toss bombing and see if the harrier is capable of that as it currently is in DCS.

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Toss bombing in the Harrier is quite doable, first mark the target with the TPOD or ARBS/DMT. Then dive down to the deck, setup the bomb release pattern and at about 4nm from the tgt(watch the HUD for distance to target) pull up into a 3 or 4G climb and hold down the release button, it will release the bombs and they will loft over towards the target. They usually fall a bit long in my experience though that might just be my hackjob method so I put the target indicator slightly in front of the area I want to hit.

once bombs are released pull strongly through and sideways to egress. You should be able to minimize visibility by enemy air defences if done properly.

There’s only one thing left to do, learn aerial refueling once more because I’ve lost any ability in that that I’ve had…

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