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Old 06-25-2024, 03:31 PM
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Raellus Raellus is offline
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Default Air Support c.2000

Recently, a Cold War-era Ukrainian Yak-52 turboprop trainer variant made headlines by dogfighting with a Russian UAV. It, or sister airframe, has apparently racked up a few aerial victories as evidenced by these kill markings:

https://www.twz.com/air/yak-52-kill-...ines-drone-war

Why is this relevant to T2k? Aircraft such as the Yak-52 would be poised to make a comeback in the late stages of the Twilight War.

As WWIII grinds on, in addition to losses from battlefield attrition, SAMs would be expended (and not replaced) and most surviving AAA would be repurposed for direct fire infantry support. As a result, the FEB would become gradually less and less deadly for aircraft. Also, under the cantonment system, there wouldn't be a solid, continuous FEB. Surviving air defenses would be concentrated around major cantonments and strategic assets, leaving great gaps in AA coverage.

At the same, the quantity of operational modern combat aircraft would also diminish due to attrition, and fuel and spare parts shortages. There would be very few, if any, fighter, attack, and/or strike jets available to take advantage of much thinner land-based anti-aircraft coverage.

Under those late war circumstances, aircraft like the Yak-52 would assume a new and much greater utility. The Yak-52, for example, was plentiful (in common use across the Warsaw Pact), simple (using pneumatically actuated controls instead of hydraulics), sturdy, and wouldn't need jet fuel. It could perform reconnaissance, surveillance, and light attack roles. It, and other aircraft like it, can operate from rough, relatively short airstrips.

On the NATO side, Frank Frey, in his unpublished Kenya material, had the US forces in East Africa utilizing A-1 Skyraiders requisitioned by the US government from the US-based, privately-owned Confederate Air Force (now known as the Commemorative Air Force).

I've incorporated the AN-2 Colt in an adventure module and a couple of campaigns.

What other aircraft might one see over battlefields in 2000 and beyond?

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Author of Twilight 2000 adventure modules, Rook's Gambit and The Poisoned Chalice, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, the gear-book, Baltic Boats, and the co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module
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Old 06-25-2024, 05:45 PM
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ChalkLine ChalkLine is offline
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I've always thought squandering fuel on CAS is not a good idea when the sheer value of observation would outweigh the value of a strike many times over. Small, lightweight airframes that lift two men and a radio would be invaluable.
That said, these are the things that autocannons dream about
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Old 06-25-2024, 08:34 PM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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I think a major problem with air support circa 2000, as much as fuel, would be munitions.

Just about all munitions are downstream from natural gas (ammonia is made from natural gas using the Haber-Bosch process, nitric acid is made from ammonia using the Ostwald process). In the best of times, these places have a tendency to catch fire and burn, and that's without nuclear detonations in the neighborhood. Oh yeah, the neighborhood these chemical plants are in is usually adjacent to refineries.

Now, a decent chemistry department at a small state school (say in Colorado Springs) could probably stand up a small chemical operation, but you're going to need the nitric acid and ammonia to make things like gun cotton (to make gun powder), propellant for rockets/mortars/howitzers/cannon, explosive filler for said rockets/mortar shells/howitzer shells/cannon shells/grenades. 2,000 lbs of explosives used on a bombing run might be a lot more useful turned into small arms propellant given limited resources.

I think Ukraine has proved that munitions stockpiles would have been exhausted very quickly and were probably being burned as quick as they were being made by late 1997 when cities started going up in flames.

That being said, I think there would still be limited aviation in play and available with big players.
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Old 06-25-2024, 09:42 PM
.45cultist .45cultist is offline
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The OV10 Bronco comes to mind, or the old Mohawks.
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Old 06-26-2024, 07:59 AM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .45cultist View Post
The OV10 Bronco comes to mind, or the old Mohawks.
Along the same line, the Oscar Deuce (Cessna O-2 Skymaster).
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Old 06-26-2024, 09:58 AM
Drgonzo2011 Drgonzo2011 is offline
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Default Pucaras in Africa

For a while, I ran a game (v2.2 with a modified v1 timeline) in which the players were pilots and support personnel for a mercenary air unit in Southern Africa, using Pucaras (as well as a couple of Alouettes). The Pucara fits the model of a useful, post-apoc aircraft that you could plausibly still see in the skies of Twilight 2000. Now I want to dust this campaign off and try it with V4.
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Old 06-26-2024, 11:36 AM
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Raellus Raellus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by castlebravo92 View Post
I think a major problem with air support circa 2000, as much as fuel, would be munitions.
Very true. As we've seen in Ukraine, though, all kinds of munitions can be repurposed for delivery by aircraft- mortar shells, various hand grenades, and RPG warheads, to name a few. And then there's good ol' fashioned strafing. With a two-seater like the YAK-52, the passenger could drop munitions by hand, like the early tactical bombers of the First World War.

But to be clear, I see surviving aircraft being used more for recon, surveillance, and other non-attacking support roles than CAS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drgonzo2011 View Post
For a while, I ran a game (v2.2 with a modified v1 timeline) in which the players were pilots and support personnel for a mercenary air unit in Southern Africa, using Pucaras (as well as a couple of Alouettes). The Pucara fits the model of a useful, post-apoc aircraft that you could plausibly still see in the skies of Twilight 2000. Now I want to dust this campaign off and try it with V4.
That's cool. When I lived in Montevideo back in the early 1990s, I got to see Uruguayan Pucara's on the ground and in the air.

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__________________
Author of Twilight 2000 adventure modules, Rook's Gambit and The Poisoned Chalice, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, the gear-book, Baltic Boats, and the co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 06-26-2024 at 03:10 PM.
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