Impromptu Blue Flag AAR

dcs

#1

Last night I joined @Bogusheadbox on the 1.5.8 Blueflag server for some fighter action. I’d post screenshots if I had them, but it wasn’t that sort of hop.

We decided to do a fighter sweep due to indications of enemy fighters in the area. I chose the F-15C because I like having enough missiles to actually influence a fight. Bogus chose the Mirage 2000 because :man_shrugging:. I take the standard Cold War 4x4 loadout of equal Sparrows and Sidewinders, while Bogus opts for a pair each of Matra Super and Magic missiles. Our take off point is Guadata, and we fall into a lazy radar trail as we head north to sweep over a pair of enemy FARPs. Within ten minutes of take off there are no fighters in sight, but I do get a radar contact relatively low in the mountains, and very slow. I suspect it’s a helicopter moving supplies about, but I take us north east to investigate. A short amount of searching later and I pick him up as he ascends a ridge line. I use the brief moment of visibility to find him visually before he dives back into a valley.

Bogus and I roll in after him, and I’m annoyed to find he’s not where I expected him to be. I snake down the valley searching visually and doing lazy snaking turns hoping my radar’s vertical search mode will save me. About the time I’m wondering if we chose the wrong valley, I see a dot rapidly pass me along my right side. In one of those wonderful moment’s of compression I see a pilot in his glass greenhouse looking back at me.

I immediately tell Bogus, who’s still in trail, to shoot the guy. Bogus replies he’s already passed him as well. Trying my darndest to form a mental picture of everyone’s position and vector, I select afterburner and wrench the aircraft into climbing right turn. As I come over the top I tighten down, intentionally bleeding airspeed. I’ll be boned if there are any MANPADs around, but my plan here is to get slow to give me a bit more time to spot the helicopter visually and shoot. I point my lift vector at where I think the Hip should be, and am rewarded by a solid lock.

The Hip has continued plodding in a straight line. I would have thought being buzzed at half a mile by two fighters would impress the need for evasion, but perhaps the pilot never saw us? Either way his time for action is rapidly passing. I cue my AIM-9s, call a Fox 2, and watch as it tracks directly into the Hip’s rotor hub. The helicopter simply disintegrates and its wreckage tumbles to the valley floor below.

I make a left turn to head west, and begin climbing to get to a more fighter-ly altitude. A little talk on and Bogus and I are back in a lazy radar trail. Our second customer of the day makes its presence known. The reliable APG-63 spots a contact thirty miles ahead, a little to the right of our track. Some switch fu and the better part of the minute later and I’ve got its altitude and heading. It’s nose hot, tracking down the valleys in between Sochi and Guadata. Bogus and I close for the kill.

As we approach the bandit, it remains silent on the RWR, and a oily black trail of smoke reveals itself behind it. At first I think it’s a Viggen or a Harrier, but further investigation seems to indicate it’s on fire. I’m wondering what this is and how it got here, but that’s a question for guys who don’t keep track of their kills. I send a Sparrow its way at 10 NM. No sooner than I shoot I kick myself because I notice a small outcrop in between me and the bandit. I thought I had the angles for the missile to clear it, but sure enough the great white hope smacks directly into it. No matter. I began my maneuvering to convert on this guy’s stern and give him the good news. I get halfway around the circle before the bandit smacks himself into the side of the valley. No credit for me, but one less.

I arrest my turn, call for turn to the south and away from the enemy, and focus on regaining our speed and altitude. Ten or so minutes and fifteen thousand feet later, we’re orbiting at altitude when we get an Intel update that some nastiness might be occurring near Sochi, to our north west. We travel in that direction, and after a short while I resolve a contact on my radar. It’s a single ship, very low, near Maykop.

My initial impression is that the bandit is trying to play way too coy for his own good: he’s weaving in and out of the notch and playing on the deck at a range far in excess of where I can hurt him. I call some course changes to try and give us a clear exit route once the fight kicks off. A minute later a second contact appears close to the first and I realize it’s a two ship taking off and rejoining. I continue to play coy myself for a little bit, keeping them at the edge of my radar’s gimbal and observing.

Once it becomes clear the enemies know Bogus and I are about and have committed, we make a right turn to engage. Best guess is our targets are two Su-27s, both low in Line Abreast with a mile or two separation. I sort the right guy to Bogus, and take the left guy for myself before accelerating into a shallow dive. Thinking he who forces the defensive first, wins, I shoot first at twenty miles. My plan is to force my target onto his back foot so I can close and kill before moving to aid Bogus. I’m fired on at the same time, so I crank, putting the target on the left gimbal of my radar.

My target turns cold and it becomes clear my missile is never going to reach him. More interesting, though it takes me a few seconds to comprehend, is the fact I’m still being guided upon. I turn cold, and the situation is thus: My bandit is running north to avoid my missile. Bogus’ bandit has fired on me, focusing his attention in my direction as I run south to ditch his missile. Bogus is currently fangs out and naked, meaning the enemy isn’t paying attention to him.

Bogus seizes the opportunity and fires on his target. Two missiles result in a kill, freeing me of my pursuer. I immediately crank the jet around in a max performance turn, preconfiguring the radar into a narrower scan where I anticipate my target being. As advertised my target is where I expect, however he’s found Bogus and has begun doing his best J.J. Romulan impression. Complicating matters is the fact we’ve wandered deep into the WEZ of a SA-11 site, and it has also joined the fray, rippling missiles off at Bogus. I fire off my third Sparrow, and then my fourth as I close to within ten miles of the Flanker. I’m rewarded with the sight of one of them catching the Russian fighter in a left hand turn and reducing him to a streamer of fire and smoke. Reminded that I exist, one the he SA-11 TELARS swivels and sends some kontsentrat kommunizma my way as well. Wanting precisely none of that, I put the angry 11 indication on my six, select max AB as I dive for the deck and begin a series of undulating 6G turns punctuated by chaff to confuse and bleed the missiles of any energy.

I manage to dodge my pursuers, Bogus is less lucky. Having expended his CM and smash avoiding the wrath of the Flanker, he’s at the wrong spot at the wrong time, and his Mirage eats a Buk. Luckily the Mirage survives, and he’s able to limp to the south. Replete with energy and a few miles ahead of him, I whip my nose back north, checking to see if there’s any more activity out of Maykop. Seeing my scope empty, and passing Bogus on my right, I convert onto his stern, and do a quick battle damage check.

About the gist of it.

Bogus resolves to nurse the pot marked and burning jet back to base, and I form up on his right, vigorously scanning to our rear for any EMCON threats that might be approaching. We make it over the mountains and back to Sochi, the nearest friendly base. Bogus managed to fulfill the technical definition of bringing the jet back: the french delta makes it back to final approach before the hydraulics give out and it noses into the grass next to an aircraft shelter. I do an expedited overhead with a quick turn onto final, easing the Eagle onto the concrete and aerobraking to a stop.


#2

Note that the visuals up and above in a helo making speedy times(which you do on blue flag) is severely limited unless you are flying a gazelle with mistrels. Especially the hip, you don’t see much up and you try and trace the ground as good as possible to avoid detection!

Besides, what are you going to do? The fighters obviously have not much to fear so, you can’t outrun them and hiding… Well not really.


#3

When I spotted him, I was at his eleven o’clock low. I’d be shocked if he didn’t see me. But you’re right, In the course of things there wasn’t a lot he could do.


#4

I haven’t done Blue Flag but on 104th my standard response to a fighter contact is to immediately throw an energy bleeding turn, set down as fast as possible to drop the MANPAD and if possible skid-drag my way behind a tree / house / bridge if anything is near…then turn throttle down to stop dust rising. When done right, all of the above is done by the time the jet is back nose-on. Works every time, some of the time. :slightly_smiling_face:


#5

Nice write up. Was definitely fun and great communication from @near_blind. Really helped in my situational experience.

I thought my clenched butt cheeks couldn’t get any tighter when turning with the 27. My heart sank when rwr lit up like a Christmas tree. Thanks for taking him out!


#6

Nice AAR near_blind.

Had my own fun mission on Blue Flag just a few minutes ago. Unfortunately, we only had 30 minutes before the server reset so little chance of a recovery to base.

“Stone Flight” of 4 AV-8Bs launched from Kobuleti, configured with 4 AGM-65Ds + 2 AIM-9M s for self defense. After clearing the runway, Lead pushed us to MAGIC’s freq where we checked in for tasking. They needed a SAM site taken out that was protecting a RED FARP up in the mountains. The kicker was that the BLUE CAP weren’t on comms, so we were pretty much on our own.

We continued at low level toward our target, keeping an eye on the RWR for threats. The occasional chirp would grab our attention but fade out as we terrain masked. About 20 miles out, the Reds must have gotten good vectors as our second section got jumped by a pair of Fulcrums. They dumped their AG ordinance and went defensive, using the mountains as cover. Our lead section continued to target with new found urgency. As we crested the final mountain, our valley target appeared quickly. Several quick target locks and 4 of our 8 Mavs were sent on their way. RIFLE!!

Boom. The floor erupts in explosions as our missiles hit their prey. As we egress north, our RWR is picking up
a SA-6 signal, but slightly farther out than our primary target. Lead gives me the ok to set up a run on it. So I wheel about and head back south. However as I cross back near the FARP valley, I scan and notice some vehicles directly on the FARP that were still intact. Lead clears me to reattack as he and the second section provide cover overhead. I once again pull my Harrier into a hard turn to set up. My Mav gets a quick lock and I send it with a RIFLE call. It hits and takes out several support trucks. Flashing over the top, I catch a glimpse of a tan helicopter trying to hide from me. Oh boy, bonus. I switch to my Sidewinders and rack my jet into a turn to get the seeker looking at the Ka-50 I was lucky to ID. Just as I’m about to launch, he must have gotten nervous and dives straight into the ground and explodes. I claim a maneuver kill which my Lead acknowledges. Keeping my eyes out for more targets, I catch sight of another helo sitting on the ground, rotors turning, hoping I’ll miss him. Nope…

My missiles wont track the remaining Ka-50, so I switch to guns and rake him with 30 rounds of 25mm. Pulling off target, I look back at him and an satisfied to see the pilot eject from the burning helicopter. Kill #2 and I rejoin the my circling division.

Sadly, thats all the time we had as the server reset. We had a nice laugh and called it for dinner.


#7

Epic AAR…I was there with you the whole time.


#8

that video sent me down a rabbit hole where I found this gem.

Two Air Force pilots made a band…


#9

A day someone discovers Dos Gringos is a good day.

^ That might as well be the Mudspike Tactical Anthem.


#10

Shall I resume singing all the Dos gringos songs every time I get on ts? It’s been awhile since I did that


#11

I’ve been picking up your slack when I’m on.


#12

Mildly NSFW, as the rest… :stuck_out_tongue:


#13

Kill?? Vulching poor helicopter on the ground? :wink:

Nice AARs. I thought that BF switched to 2.2. But anyway didnt have luck seeing the server in the 1.5.8 list yesterday.


#14

I’m not above that, nor too proud to vulch :wink:


#15

DEC 29

HOP 1

Bogus and I are operating from Kuitaisi this time, again in the mixed Eagle and Mirage section. Red is pushing it in today, and the sky is awash in bandits. GCI is up, but my comms are a bit borked so I can’t actually talk with him, instead relying on Bogus as a relay.

I’m a bit quicker off the gate, and I don’t want to create a traffic problem for the Beacoup Mirage’s spooling up, so I elect to take off before him and orbit the field. I get exactly one half orbit around before I am indirectly tapped by GCI to turn round and endeavor to kill things.

From Kuitaisi Airbase I head north east, and pick up a single contact on the radar, low, weaving in and out of the hills. I wait until my customary ten miles, and fire my first Sparrow. The bandit, NCTR is calling him a Mirage 2000, stays hot for a few beats before turning cold and plastering himself to the deck. My missile tries to follow, but succeeds only in aggressively remodeling a tenth floor khrushchevyovka. I duck down to follow the Mirage, but in our twisting in turning we both lose one another. The ambiguous position of the mirage, and a constantly approaching 29 spike on my RWR are all the encouragement I need to exit south west towards the air base.

I give the Mirage ten miles of breathing room before turning back in and catching him on the deck, trying to ingress again. Once more I give him the Sparrow, then seeing we’re close enough, a Sidewinder. A convenient spot of server lag defeat both, but he’s now thoroughly defensive and I have an acceleration advantage. I run him down and give him another two Sparrows, the last of which finally connects. I’ve now been in the air for roughly ten minutes and am down to three sidewinders.

I spot another furball to my south east, over the metropolis of Zestaphoni, and sprint to try and catch what is determined to be a Flanker. A barrage of missiles swats the offending red down before I can get there however, and I instead head back west to rejoin with a now airborne Bogus.

We elect to head east towards Tbilisi, where a major fight is apparently developing. To be fair, it seems a major fight seem is developing everywhere. Enroute we’re briefed of a possible formation of helicopters resupplying an enemy air head at Kaspi, in between Gori and Tbilisi. Hunting helicopters is a wholesome activity for a heater-only F-15, so I readily agree. Spoiling our plans is another Su-27 approaching from the enemy field at Mozdok. GCI vectors Bogus and I to deal with it, and we head north to do so.
My plan is to sprint ahead and draw the Su-27s fire. Once the Flanker has gone STT on me and lost his SA, I’m counting on Bogus to swoop in and bounce him.

Instead what we get is a bit of server lag jumbling the formation, a confused aussie in a french interceptor, and a overconfident yank diving after a better equipped enemy. Then the server coughs again, then the hill fight develops, and cue three minutes of aggressive valley flying before discovering our opponent is a black smudge on white peak. Me 1: Server 1.

Bogus and I rejoin once more, and resume our search for the offending helicopter group. We coordinate a search, but identify nothing. A friendly unit apparently IDs the target, and we’re released to Tbilisi to rearm and refuel. By this point we’re both well into bingo territory.

I begin trying to decide which of the three airfields to land at when I see a ground installation explode. Flipping back into radar search, I find a single contact, low and a slow. An enemy A-10 has appeared. Years of internecine armchair airmanery have instilled a deep dislike of the Hawg in me, and besides: I don’t want a ground pounder anywhere near where I’m landing. I give chase. Five minutes of hot valley hokey pokery and I’m clueless as to where the A-10 went, and I’m fuel critical. I’ve given up on my last intermittent contact with the bandit and decided to sidle home when GCI calls out a three ship of fighters rolling in from Mozdok. I’m caught with a cruel choice. If I land I’m probably going to get killed on the tarmac by this new group, certainly an ignoble way for a fighter jock to die. If I turn to go face this three ship, I’m certainly doomed either by enemy fire or fuel exhaustion.

Seeing two or three friendly fighters rushing north to meet the enemy, I decide to at least try and take some hostiles with me and turn to face them. I find jack squat on my radar. I now feel doubly moronic as I’m most certainly going to lose the jet now for nothing but pride. I stubbornly continue north, frantically slewing the scan zone around the sky trying to find someone, anyone high, low or otherwise. I feel a rush of vindication when my radar breaks out… it’s the goddamn A-10 again, 60 degrees right, within five miles. I whip the nose around, lock him up in STT, and fire an AIM-9. He poops roughly one suns worth of countermeasures and my AIM-9 merrily bites off on the bounty of lies. Annoyed, and fully aware of what an A-10 can do to an unsuspecting fighter who overshoots, I ripple off both remaining heaters. The hawg driver suffers a rapid onset of feces to the brain and forgets how to poop flares. Both AIM-9s arrive within a second of the other, and the A-10 finds itself a solo-winged fighter. Which is a fun way to say it’s dead. Splash 2. I limp back home and make an uneventful landing at Tibilisi-Lochini. By gentleman’s accord Bogus, who had already landed, agree to disconnect to resolve mutual software issues. Thus ends Hop 1.


#16

Hop 2

I hop back in, radios working to find the situation is even more dynamic. (NSFW). Bogus spawns at Kutaisi again, but listening to the concerted effort of four or more people trying to defend that airbase, I elect to use the Eagle’s greater fuel capacity and select Kobuleti as my home. I rush through the start up sequence and race to get airborne. Bogus and I join up with minimal effort over the Rioni river, and we check in with GCI. Magic (GCI’s callsign) tells me he’s glad I’m finally on comms and please go kill things.

Our specific target is an engagement developing over the Sukhumi-Guadata area, apparently enemy fighters are engaging our ground attack aircraft. I accept and Bogus and I head west to an ever increasing rogues gallery of enemy fighter types. As we cross the Inguri river, the enemy count is up to a Mirage 2000, an Su-27 and a MiG-21. We’re also requested to expedite our travel. I look down and realize and no one put any fuel tanks on my jet. whoops. Nevertheless, I select max AB. Level off just long enough to hit 500 knots, and pull back into a twenty degree climb. I hit 40,000 AGL and begin breaking out our enemies. I pick up the the Su-27 easy enough, he’s playing goose on the deck as is his Flankery wont. The MiG-21 is perhaps ten miles behind and to the south west of him. The Mirage is reported to be at my altitude, thirty degrees right of our track, and twenty miles out. I never spot him, but delegate monitoring him to Bogus whose perhaps ten miles back and struggling to catch up.

Still under the assumption that there are friendlies engaged, I elect to take a max range shot on the Flanker to both inform him I’m here for his butt and discourage him from clubbing the baby seals. GCI informs me the friendlies are long dead. whoops.

The Flanker heads into the hills on the deck, and my radar lock is broken. I begin a steep dive for the deck to begin the hill fight in earnest, and use the opportunity to analyze the situation. Bogus is my nearest support, and he’s still close-ish behind me. I’ve got intermittent contact with the Fishbed, who is now about ten degrees left of my track at twenty or so miles. The Flanker has broken lock, but I know where he’s at, and confident he’s going to follow the Santi School of Flanker tactics: stay low, cut north around the hills and try and get behind me. There’s a real danger of being pincer’d here. I figure if the Mirage knew what he was doing, he’d have already shot by now, and tell Bogus to switch his attention to searching for the Flanker. I’ll focus on the MiG, kill him, and swing back around to focus on the Flanker. The Mirage will be dealt with when and where he appears.

Before we get into the action, let’s set the mood. If you’re over the age of 30, listen to this. If you’re under the age of thirty, listen to that, and then this.

Right. I go from 40,000 feet to 4,000 feet in under a minute. I get a hard lock on the Fishbed, and at a range of close enough, I let go with the first AIM-7. It tracks true, but the target is low enough that before it can intercept, it ends up performing another impromptu remodeling of another babushka’s khrushchevyovka. I select AIM-9, see the target pop up again, range is now very close enough. Fox Two. Splash One.

I crank the jet into a hard left turn, call splash on the Fishbed and watch as a SAM site inside the city begins unleashing missiles on a target overhead. GCI returns that I did not kill the Fishbed, instead splashing some mook in a captured Huey on a milk run. Continuing my turn, I select auto-acq and am rewarded with any number of friendly targets. Spam the unlock key and finally sort out the Fishbed. I close on him in full blower, close the distance, and give him an AIM-7. He kills a friendly. I give him an AIM-9. I don’t know which connects but the Fishbed is reduced to dirty smudge. Splash Two. Also Bogus is dead, not sure what or how.

I report this success to Magic, and inquire to where the Flanker went. On schedule, the Flanker is reported at my six, coming out of the hills on the deck. I anticipate this, and pull the jet into a hard right turn to bring the nose around. I acquire him. He shoots. I continue the turn and spam the chaff button to leave a trail countermeasures, then think better and start adding flares to the mix in case the Flanker follows up with an IR missile. Seeing his first shot is decoyed, I reverse my turn and fire an AIM-7, then another. The Flanker tries to evade, but eats one of the missiles. Splash Three.

Magic is getting incredulous I’m still alive, I’m getting incredulous he’s still giving me targets. But the work of the day is not done. A Su-25 has assumed the successes of red would continue, and has lumbered into the zone. I rush north to impress upon him the mistakes he has made. The Frogfoot makes a half hearted attempt to turn back west into a friendly SAM WEZ, but it’s too little too late. I give him an AIM-9 and he spirals into the ocean off the coast of Guadata. Splash Four.

It’s been less than fifteen minutes, and I’m now bingo and down to a single AIM-9. I tell Magic I’m Winchester, Bingo, and just not very keen to stick around. I turn back east for Kuitaisi and home. I elect to bypass some residual action over Sukhumi by cutting north around the mountains.

The Mirage makes his appearance ten miles dead ahead of me. Without missing a beat I select my last remaining AIM-9 and bore sight lock him. I debate whether to risk the head on aspect shot or try and maneuver for a higher Pk rear shot. Mr. Mirage decides the issue by shooting a Super 530 into my face at five miles. I return an AIM-9 his way, break towards the notch and release a localized mylar weather event over western western Abkhazia. I see the Super is not distracted by my CM, and begin pulling in a last ditch effort to minimize damage. I hear the sickening thump of a missile impact, and hear Betty begin running through her list of ailments. One ear listens to left. engine. fire. while I instinctively call up guns and wrench the aircraft around for the shot. I’m relieved to see the Mirage also ate my missile, and is smoking heavily. I’m genuinely shocked that Betty is only reporting the left engine is out. My radar, hydraulics and right engine are all operating fine. I push my luck further by pulling the nose ahead for the gun shot. I release an exploratory burst of twenty or so rounds. Before they can reach the Mirage, it tears itself apart of it’s own accord. Splash Five.

I bashfully report my kill to Magic and the tactical channel has a collective wat moment. I begin trying to nurse the jet back to the nearest viable friendly base: Senaki Kolhki. However it’s a non-starter. I was already low on gas, the newly added speed holes in my left wing have drained away more of the precious go-juice. I instead turn for the actual nearest base: Sukhumi. AKA the place I just shot down five aircraft over.

I call an emergency approach, and am equally upset to see more enemy radar contacts march down my scope, and to see a pair of aircraft not on communications dutifully taxi towards the reciprocal runway to mine. I’m tempted to just abort and go die a heroes death, but this is blue flag, and I want to return my jet. Instead I resign myself to fate, and watch with the comedy unfold before my eyes.

An enemy striker with better timing than the Frogfoot begins picking off fortifications on both sides of the runway as I approach short final. The aircraft taking off opposite from me are Harriers it turns out. I try to give them as much runway as possible, they decide to simply do a short STOVL take off directly over me while more things explode. In the last moments before touch down I watch enemy radar contacts over take them.

I roll out, return the life, and seeing as most incoming enemy fire is coming from the north, elect to park myself up close to the south side of a terminal building, hoping it will catch any missiles sent my way. That done I hop out of the jet and leave it to the chiefs as I run for cover.


#17

sounds like fun! this server enforces labels off I take it? That would make it rather hard to do VR :frowning:


#18

Huh, 3 kills in a Fishbed :sweat_smile: report later

EDIT: writing the ‘debriefing’ report is even more time consuming than the sortie it self. I hope I will have the patience to write it down.


#19

(@Bogusheadbox, if you are looking for an inferior wingy who likes baguettes and will gladly bask in the background of your greatness, give me a call!)

I was there! Not airborne as I was at Kutaisi rearming and trying to learn how to program the INS. But listening to the play-by-play on 264 MHz was perhaps even more impressive than @near_blind’s report. There were 28 blue players on during the sortie. But the only action on comms came from @near_blind. If there was an available animated “take a bow” emoji, I’d put it here —>

As an aside, It was funny listening to his voice assume an ever higher pitch as his excitement elevated. The last kill was in falsetto.


#20

I only saw it on the server list once yesterday. At the bottom of the buddyspike “gadget” they recommend entering the IP manually if needed.
91.205.184.66:10308