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Old 10-10-2022, 05:40 PM
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Default Twilight 2000 Anti-tank Missile Gap?

The question of how quickly stocks of ATGMs would run low/out in a Twilight War scenario has been discussed in a few threads here over the years, but the question has come up again based on recent developments in the IRL Ukraine War, which, in itself, might offer up some clues to help answer that question more accurately.

On 60 Minutes last night, the subject of a potential PRC invasion of Taiwan was examined. A former head of the Taiwanese armed forces complained that they had ordered Javelin ATGMs months before the February Russian invasion of Ukraine, but has yet to receive any because orders were preempted and the completed weapons were sent as aide to the UAF instead. AFAIK, Javelin production has been increased to full capacity (without opening new production lines) but supply can hardly keep up with demand, just for Ukraine and NATO. New production has been earmarked to replace US/NATO stock (sent to Ukraine) or sent directly to the UAF. Poor Taiwan is still waiting for the Javelins that they ordered and paid for a couple of years ago! And all of this is in the case of a limited regional war. What would happen in a total/world war?

I imagine that in a v1 timeline scenario, a lot of older systems (TOW I, Dragon, early iterations of the M72 LAW, and equivalent NATO models) would be sent as military aid to China, depleting legacy stocks. At the same time, the USA and others would begin increasing production of current and next gen models as the perceived threat of global war begins to grow. So, NATO ATGM stocks would probably be about the same or smaller as they were prior to the USSR's invasion of the PRC.

I think the net effect, however, would be similar to what we're seeing with the Ukraine War. Supply would barely be able to keep up with demand in the first year of the general war (including NATO engagement in Europe and elsewhere). I imagine that, even with full mobilization/total war economies, supply would lag behind demand in year 2 and, after the nuclear genie is let out the bottle, remaining supply would be more or less exhausted by the end of that year.

Does this seem reasonable? Am I missing factors that would effect the numbers?

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Old 10-10-2022, 07:31 PM
Vespers War Vespers War is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
AFAIK, Javelin production has been increased to full capacity (without opening new production lines) but supply can hardly keep up with demand, just for Ukraine and NATO.
It depends on what one means by full capacity. The Javelin factory is capable of producing 6,480 missiles per year (according to FY23 budget documents). As of May, production was at an annualized rate of 2,100 per year, with a goal of increasing it to 4,000 per year, but that was dependent on component supply increasing (primarily microchips and semiconductors). It's at full capacity with regards to "all available parts are being used to make missiles," but it's not nearly at the point of needing a new production line.

To put that into perspective, the entire amount sent to Ukraine is around 5,000 missiles, and the entire amount the US military wanted for their own use in FY23 was under 600.

With regards to the primary topic, I think there would also be distribution of even older stuff, like the M67 recoilless rifle that saw limited service into the 1990s and the M40s that were transferred to the Forestry Service in the 1990s. South Korea in particular liked both of them and manufactured the M67 under license, so they might be seen as a way to supplement and support recoilless rifles sent to China.
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Old 10-10-2022, 08:04 PM
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By the late 90s TOW had a max shelf life of 22 years (up from an original 5). This meant that ITOWS were being expended by the box car load during live fires in the late 90s as they were being rotated out of stockage.

So, it stands to reason that there’s plenty of older TOWs, at least at first, and at least 100k of the newer TOW-2A.

I agree that the issue comes in as stocks get depleted. ATGMs can’t be cranked out like rifle bullets, and even with a production line ramped up during 1996 I’d doubt there’d be a surplus. With the most capable (2B/2A for example) being used by preference, there’s likely an overall decline in ATGM capability as well as quantity as production dries up post TDM and older stocks of TOW-2 and ITOW are brought out of storage.

TOWs, especially TOW2A/2B and similar weapons probably get carefully husbanded post TDM. This could mean that they are issued based on combat intelligence of suitable targets, reserved for specialist anti-armor units, or held in reserve for named operations. Maintaining the missiles and other high end munitions (APFDSDU/FASCAM and DP-ICM/SAMs) as well as surviving stocks of special weapons in storage will be a priority for surviving ordnance units, and stocks may be dispersed in an efforts to safeguard them from enemy action.

High end munitions could be used as a plot device in either a pre or post Kalisz campaign. Characters could be assigned to escort or interdict a convoy with high end munitions. Issue of the most capable ATGMs and ammo may used to help add to the atmosphere for a particularly risky mission (“to whom much is given much is asked”). Capture of DU or CHEM rounds may be an indicator that of an especially important enemy unit or plan.

Last edited by Homer; 10-10-2022 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 10-10-2022, 09:17 PM
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I am in your camp on this Raellus. I think the vast majority of the material we would be sending to PRC would older and less capable. There might be limited quantities of Tank Breakers, Javelins, etc. to get them combat tested, but the stuff on hand is easiest to send. The alternative is buying systems from someone else and sending them. Overall I can see shortages for a period of time as production ramps up to meet demand. Whether this shortage totally depletes the war reserves is another question.
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Old 10-11-2022, 12:34 AM
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I could see the US manufacturing ammo for Type-69 RPGs en masse rather than sending a bunch of ATGMs. It would let the PRC flood the field with RPGs using existing doctrine rather than try to adapt to US/NATO doctrine around anti-armor. I think Ukraine has been able to more readily accept western ATGMs because they've been receiving western training since 2014. They had nearly a decade to adapt their anti-armor tactics to the availability of western ATGMs.
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Old 10-11-2022, 01:59 AM
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I think if a t2k war broke regardless of which timeline. Based on what we've seen with Ukraine. That both ATGM and tanks would be very rare within 12 months.

Sure, ATGM production cannot keep up. But from what i've seen and also guessing (maybe based on WWII), the production of tanks or other major machinery would be majorly impacted also.

So less missiles, but also less tanks for me.
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Old 10-11-2022, 06:27 AM
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I think using newer filler in the Chinese copies of US recoilless rifles might be a stopgap. Both Brazil and China also made 3.5" bazooka ammo too.
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Old 10-11-2022, 07:51 AM
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China had an “indigenous” heavy ATGM in the form of the HJ-8 Red Arrow, reportedly reverse engineered from the TOW tripod, MILAN TU and Tracker, and the Swingfire missile round. They also fielded a copy of the Sagger that was upgraded to SACLOS guidance.

The war hits the PLA ground forces at an interesting time. In the late 80s the PRC doctrine was beginning to move away from light infantry/militia centric area defense focus and adopt combined arms group armies optimized for counterattacks in NBC environments (that was the idea anyway). Part of this move involved leveraging improved relationships with the west or western aligned states to aid in the purchase/development and fielding of more modern equipment including the type 8x series tanks, wz5xx series IFVs (BMP), and licensed production of select western equipment like the gazelle/HOT helicopter.

The question for T2K is how much of this planned re-equipment was actually completed. It’s a safe bet that significant domestic production comes to a halt soon after hostilities commence. Chinese group army units would need the western style equipment like TOWs, M113s, M48s, and RR rounds to continue implementing their doctrine. Cannon gives us a evidence that they stay effective until the initiation of tactical nuclear warfare by referencing the destruction of Chinese mechanized forces.

By this time OTL, WARPAC spec small arms ammo and infantry support weapons ammo were in regular manufacture in western client states (Egypt, Pakistan, etc). So, keeping the Chinese in WARPAC spec gat fodder is pretty doable, and as others have posted there’s plenty of RR ammo for the US spec stuff out there as well from US stocks and western (Belgian, Singaporean, etc) production. And the US can always retool factories as well (we made some of the ammo already) and probably will once the money starts flowing.


That said, I’m with the majority- once things kick off in Europe, demand is going to skyrocket. And once strategic warfare starts your supply lines are going to dry up rather quickly. Imagine the look when your characters are issued Molotovs, box mines and pole charges for an anti-armor ambush!
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Old 10-11-2022, 09:29 AM
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I did the devices in the combat flames manual for Dark Conspiracy, might need to dig that up......
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Old 10-11-2022, 03:15 PM
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For context, the maximum economic production rate for US anti-tank systems in 1986-7 was 30,000 TOW IIs and 6,720 Hellfires a year and 15,000 AT-4s a month (running that plant with 2 shifts). These numbers vs today's reflect the massive shutdowns of the defense industry post-Cold War and the greater sophistication of today's munitions.

(On the AFV side, the numbers are 1,080 M1s, 792 Brads, 540 M109s, 214 M88s, 180 FAASVs and about 600 AAVP-7s).

(These numbers also raise the question of, if they were all fired at Pact AFVs, factoring for misses, misfires, etc., would any Pact AFVs remain?)

I'm kind of working off the basis that the US ramps up to these production rates in early 1996 in response to the war in China and gradually adds more capacity from there (reflecting the relative ease of adding more workers and executing existing plans to ramp up to full production compared to retooling or building new plants all along the production chain).

For China, much of their war industry would come to a screeching halt in late 1995; their only tank plant is located in Harbin, Manchuria, as is much of their other heavy military industry. Starting in the 1960s they dispersed much of their defense production into the countryside, much of it underground, but this would likely result in massive output of small arms, recoilless rifles, mortars and so on rather than ATGMs, MANPADS, tube artillery or AFVs.

Given that NATO planning called for 30-90 days of munitions stocks, and that most nations didn't meet those levels, I figure that ATGMs (and other guided missiles) would become particularly scarce starting in the late spring of 1997. Pulling older stuff out of magazines also raises the issue of the reliability of older rocket motors and explosives... depending on the age and storage conditions the munitions could conceivably be more dangerous to the operator than the enemy!
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Old 10-11-2022, 03:44 PM
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Default Twilight 2000 ATGM

Very good points from all who have posted.

I doubt things would deteriorate to the point that the old 2.35 and 3.5 inch bazookas would make a comeback in US inventories for lots of reasons. Many Third World nations would doubtlessly use them however.
Even with ramped up production (say, doubled from peacetime) I believe there would definitely be shortages before the Thanksgiving Day Exchange.
The Recoiless rifles would have some utility (Ranger Regiment kept them into the 90's IIRC?) and have a new lease on life-if ordnance could still be safely used.
Would any referee allow the cancelled VIPER anti-tank inventories to still be around, waiting to be used?
Nations that licensed anti-tank weapons such as Norway with the M-72 LAW would produce as much as they could, but comparatively small amounts I expect.
Does anyone see US forces in a pinch trading for or "acquiring" rifle grenades which France is so fond of?
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Old 10-11-2022, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToughOmbres View Post
Very good points from all who have posted.

I doubt things would deteriorate to the point that the old 2.35 and 3.5 inch bazookas would make a comeback in US inventories for lots of reasons. Many Third World nations would doubtlessly use them however.
Even with ramped up production (say, doubled from peacetime) I believe there would definitely be shortages before the Thanksgiving Day Exchange.
The Recoiless rifles would have some utility (Ranger Regiment kept them into the 90's IIRC?) and have a new lease on life-if ordnance could still be safely used.
Would any referee allow the cancelled VIPER anti-tank inventories to still be around, waiting to be used?
Nations that licensed anti-tank weapons such as Norway with the M-72 LAW would produce as much as they could, but comparatively small amounts I expect.
Does anyone see US forces in a pinch trading for or "acquiring" rifle grenades which France is so fond of?
At some point it’s probably smoke grenades and satchel charges!

The M67 90mm RR stuck around into the early 90s in some combat engineer units, arctic roled light infantry, and the Berlin Brigade due to shortcomings of the Dragon. They went into storage and made a brief comeback in the 2000s/2010s in Afghanistan as part of infantry platoons before being supplanted by the Carl Gustav. There’s probably plenty of them to go around, the problem is getting them to Europeans keeping them in ammo.

Viper had its funding cut in the early 80s. The AT4/M136 was well established by the 90s, fielding in 87. Truth be told, Viper wasn’t a whole lot better than the early M72s it was supposed to replace. The AT4 has an extremely effective warhead for a disposable anti armor weapon. For my money, you may see more AT4s, or a reopening of the M72 line focusing on the later Norwegian designed M72A5 variant. You could also se the German Armbrust coming in as a substitute standard.

The US military developed and low rate purchased a rifle launched munition, the RAW. With differing procurement and the continued threat of the Soviets this program may have gone into full rate production. Failing that, there are NATO standardized bullet trap grenades. However, there’s also going to be a lot of RPGs laying around, which offer greater range and power.
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Old 10-11-2022, 05:45 PM
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Default Economies of Scale

We've all seen what modern ATGMs do to even the most modern Cold War-era Russian MBTs. Western tanks aren't invulnerable either. Israeli Merkava IVs- arguably some of the best protected MBTs on the planet, at the time- proved vulnerable to Soviet-era ATGMs during the 2006 fighting in Lebanon.

I imagine that the West would try to arm the PLA on the cheap, as some here have quite reasonably postulated, but I wonder how stocks of older, unguided AT weapons (recoilless rifles, RPG-7s, LAWs, bazookas, and the like) would perform against up-to-date Soviet T-72s and T-64s equipped with reactive armor (or composite add-on passive armors). The trouble with unguided systems, compared to most ATGMs, is that the user has to wait until the enemy AFV is much closer before engaging. If one hopes for a KO, as opposed to a mobility kill, that probably means setting up for a flank or rear shot. These tactics might be effective, but they're extremely hazardous to the LAW user, especially if the OPFOR is properly employing combined arms tactics to deal with infantry armed with light antitank weaponry. I reckon the PLA would demand more powerful, longer-ranged, guided systems, just like Ukraine has. I reckon the West, eager to blunt Soviet aggression, would oblige.

As described in the v1 timeline, the Second Sino-Soviet War would be a larger scale conflict than the current war in Ukraine, so I'd expect that expenditures of Western ATGMs in said would far exceed what we've seen in recent months, IRL. Again, even if production in the west ramped up to full capacity, and new production lines opened as war in the East threatened to metastasize, by the time conflict in Europe erupts, stocks wouldn't be much larger than pre-war (I still think they'd be smaller by then), and early expenditures there would be one a scale not yet seen IRL, rapidly burning through existing stocks and outpacing new production.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854 View Post
For context, the maximum economic production rate for US anti-tank systems in 1986-7 was 30,000 TOW IIs and 6,720 Hellfires a year and 15,000 AT-4s a month (running that plant with 2 shifts). These numbers also raise the question of, if they were all fired at Pact AFVs, factoring for misses, misfires, etc., would any Pact AFVs remain?)
Probably not, but one must also factor in missiles lost in transit (Soviet subs would probably send at least a few hundred to the bottom of the Atlantic) and battlefield losses. I imagine the Soviets would lean heavily on massed artillery fires, to which dismounted ATGM crews would be particularly vulnerable. I also wonder how many missiles a disgruntled or traitorous factory worker could sabotage before being caught.

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Last edited by Raellus; 10-11-2022 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 10-11-2022, 06:43 PM
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In general I agree with the idea that by 2000, likely sooner, both functional tanks and ATGMs are going to be pretty rare. Even at a ratio of 10 ATGMs per killed tank (missed shots, non-kill hits, weapon destroyed, misfire, etc) there's going to be a lot of dead tanks. Let's remember that tanks will also be targeted with AGMs, other tanks, mines, bombs, and Major General Lackofmaintenance. Even tanks that survive fighting won't necessarily be mission capable by 2000 as they're one of the more complicated vehicles to keep running.

I had another thought about US production for the Chinese front. I could see a US equivalent to the RPG-76 being designed and produced. If they can be built in huge quantities they can be used against everything that's not a tank. Such a weapon would be made of stamped parts so it could be cranked out of hastily retooled factories.

As we've seen from Vietnam onwards, mechanized armies have vulnerable supply chains. Disrupting those limits how far or fast the mechanized forces can move.
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Old 10-11-2022, 08:08 PM
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For what it’s worth, the TOW-2A has a quoted hit probability of 90% out to its maximum range of 3750m. That said the missile is in the air for about 20 seconds during that time, and the shooter must continue to track and be exposed to fires and observation. That’s before any evasive maneuvers, jammers, etc are employed. And the wires not fouling on vegetation, wreckage, or buildings, poles, etc. That means the 6 TOW rounds in the back of an M966 (10 on an ITV) give you between 4 and 5 hits, with target kill probability being determined from there. In about 15-20 minutes of contact in a target rich environment, inclusive of repositioning (if you’re still alive), you’ve probably expended your onboard rounds.

All that math is to show that most ATGM units don’t carry a lot of potential kills onboard relative to tanks and they’ll go quickly. Thus, the demand for missile rounds at the sharp end is going to probably be high throughout the war, with most units wanting to carry or cache at least another basic load for rapid replenishment. And, for APC, motorized or light units, the heavy ATGMs will see heavier use due to the relative lack of other long range armor anti armor weapons like tank main guns or auto cannon.

The TOW, HOT, AT-5 etc will doubtless do their jobs well. But they’ll also be in high demand because of that capability.

Last edited by Homer; 10-12-2022 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 10-12-2022, 06:55 PM
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Default Copperhead and M-72 volley fire

Would anyone care to speculate what would become of the Copperhead artillery projectile during the Twilight War/ Ramped up production or used until the inventory is depleted and then dropped?

Doctrine called for volley fire when possible with the M-72 LAW (4 -5 preferred IIRC). Increases the likelihood of hits but would expend more precious ordnance. Do you think this would have an impact during the Twilight War or doctrine (as it do often is) would simply be abandoned for battlefield reality?
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Old 10-12-2022, 08:25 PM
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Here’s what I know-

Copperhead ended its production run in 1990 due to budget cuts with about 20000, but was used successfully in ODS, OIF, and by the Lebanese Army. Used within its parameters and properly planned for, copperhead was effective against stationary or moving point targets using a properly planned shoot. Production could probably be restarted since much of the Copperhead’s form factor was the starting point for the 155mm LRLAP, but it’d have to ramp up. One thing in it favor is a lack of any other artillery delivered PGM at this time; copperhead shoots were frequently pre-planned to support SEAD or defensive operations by targeting ADA or breaching systems.

There’s multiple engagement techniques with LAWs and their kin, in ascending order of effectiveness: single fire, individual sequence fire, firing as a pair using seeing and adjustment, and volley fire (usually a fire team engagement with the team leader giving range). Munition conservation will play a part in determining method of engagement, but at the end of the day, neutralizing the threat is going to be paramount. After all, if your AT4 is stopping the tank, a lot of other things have failed!

What may happen is that engagement ranges will get closer as infantry learn to stalk tanks and use obstacles, mines, and deception to fix the enemy. Reducing engagement ranges will also help offset the lack of training of some late war replacements (ex-USAF ground crew for example). In this case, pair or volley fire may help maximize the effect of the AT fires by placing them under central control. Alternatively, a skilled gunner may engage with individual sequence fire, while the rest of the team/squad provides spotting and suppressive fires, like the chechens did in Grozny. If it all goes pear shaped, there’s always sticky bombs!

Last edited by Homer; 10-13-2022 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 10-13-2022, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer View Post
Here’s what I know-

Copperhead ended its production run in 1990 due to budget cuts with about 20000, but was used successfully in ODS, OIF, and by the Lebanese Army. Used within its parameters and properly planned for, copperhead was effective against stationary or moving point targets using a properly planned shoot. Production could probably be restarted since much of the Copperhead’s form factor was the starting point for the 155mm LRLAP, but it’d have to ramp up. One thing in it favor is a lack of any other artillery delivered PGM at this time; copperhead shoots were frequently pre-planned to support SEAD or defensive operations by targeting ADA or breaching systems.

There’s multiple engagement techniques with LAWs and their kin, in ascending order of effectiveness: single fire, individual sequence fire, firing as a pair using seeing and adjustment, and volley fire (usually a fire team engagement with the team leader giving range). Munition conservation will play a part in determining method of engagement, but at the end of the day, neutralizing the threat is going to be paramount. After all, if your AT4 is stopping the tank, a lot of other things have failed!

What may happen is that engagement ranges will get closer as infantry learn to stalk tanks and use obstacles, mines, and deception to fix the enemy. Reducing engagement ranges will also help offset the lack of training of some late war replacements (ex-USAF ground crew for example). In this case, pair or volley fire may help maximize the effect of the AT fires by placing them under central control. Alternatively, a skilled gunner may engage with individual sequence fire, while the rest of the team/squad provides spotting and suppressive fires, like the chechens did in Grozny. If it all goes pear shaped, there’s always sticky bombs!
I'll add my knowledge to yours.

The US Army currently has 12K COPPERHEADS in storage (all functional) and the Marine Corps has 3K functional and 1,500 nonfunctional units in inventory. Nonfunctional COPPERHEADS have issues with their sensors not working or failing intermittently. You can test the sensors in the field. When I served, the Special Weapons van of our battery would carry 3 COPPERHEADS and a laser designator for targeting. We were trained to test & maintain the round's sensor in the field. Each round cost $30K in 1989. I'm sure that pricing has dropped as the technology was dispersed among the US military

The COPPERHEAD pioneered the discriminated laser designation system. A discriminated laser homing head allows the user to select one of SEVERAL infrared spectrums that the seeker will home in on. The modern APK "Precision Kill Kit" for the 70mm Hydra rocket and the early JADAM kits both use a nearly identical system. There are 3 screws, each with several settings, on the warhead. By turning the individual screws to various numbers, you set the IR frequency/wavelength that the seeker can "see." This allows you to use multiple designators to paint multiple targets without confusing the rounds. Our most commonly used wavelength was 850nm, compared with 680nm for visible lasers.

Our Laser Designators were large clunky boxes weighing between 4kg and 6kg and emitting an INVISIBLE beam (850nm requires NVGs to see). We would use an optical sight (X25) mounted on the Designator to ensure we were "painting the target." The whole contraption was mounted on a free-moving camera tripod so you could "track" a target. In the 90s, those box designators got a LOT smaller thanks to digital upgrades. If you want to see a clunky 80s-era Designator, just watch the movie BATTLE LOS ANGELES. That's an 80s-vintage Designator that they are using to paint the alien command ship. I was laughing hard when I saw that. Modern Designators are the same size and weight as a modern laser rangefinder sold by sporting goods stores and can be carried in your pocket.

The effective range of a Gen I Designator was around 5km. The upgraded GEN II (digitally enhanced) Designator could reach out to 10km. The "Sniper Pod" the Air Force uses is rumored to be able to designate a target 50km away, but I'm not sure if this is really true. It must be able to do at least 25km since Gen I MAVERICK Missiles could hit targets that far away. In addition, these Designators can be adversely affected by bad weather (such as rain, fog, or snow), smoke (especially HOT smoke from WP or oil/fuel fires), and dust. I give a ONE DIFFICULTY SHIFT down under each of these conditions. Other conditions can completely block the IR laser beam. The Shorta's aerosol grenades (which are clear to normal video and human vision), Dual-Spectrum Smoke Grenades (which block ALL line-of-sight, unlike HC which is transparent to thermal imagers), and certain types of reflective Chaff fall into this category.
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Old 10-13-2022, 11:05 AM
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The question of how quickly stocks of ATGMs would run low/out in a Twilight War scenario has been discussed in a few threads here over the years, but the question has come up again based on recent developments in the IRL Ukraine War, which, in itself, might offer up some clues to help answer that question more accurately.

On 60 Minutes last night, the subject of a potential PRC invasion of Taiwan was examined. A former head of the Taiwanese armed forces complained that they had ordered Javelin ATGMs months before the February Russian invasion of Ukraine, but has yet to receive any because orders were preempted and the completed weapons were sent as aide to the UAF instead. AFAIK, Javelin production has been increased to full capacity (without opening new production lines) but supply can hardly keep up with demand, just for Ukraine and NATO. New production has been earmarked to replace US/NATO stock (sent to Ukraine) or sent directly to the UAF. Poor Taiwan is still waiting for the Javelins that they ordered and paid for a couple of years ago! And all of this is in the case of a limited regional war. What would happen in a total/world war?

I imagine that in a v1 timeline scenario, a lot of older systems (TOW I, Dragon, early iterations of the M72 LAW, and equivalent NATO models) would be sent as military aid to China, depleting legacy stocks. At the same time, the USA and others would begin increasing production of current and next gen models as the perceived threat of global war begins to grow. So, NATO ATGM stocks would probably be about the same or smaller as they were prior to the USSR's invasion of the PRC.

I think the net effect, however, would be similar to what we're seeing with the Ukraine War. Supply would barely be able to keep up with demand in the first year of the general war (including NATO engagement in Europe and elsewhere). I imagine that, even with full mobilization/total war economies, supply would lag behind demand in year 2 and, after the nuclear genie is let out the bottle, remaining supply would be more or less exhausted by the end of that year.

Does this seem reasonable? Am I missing factors that would effect the numbers?

-
Once again, this is why I have ALWAYS espoused a "come as you are war" for Twilight2000 and set my timeline up much more compactly.

Fair Warning: If you are a hardcore Disciple of Cannon, stop reading NOW! You may have a stroke if you read any further...

I have an "uprising" in Poland by a bunch of Russian-supported Communists who kick things off in 96. After the 96 US elections, the US begins supporting the Democratic government of Poland against the rebels (who are armed and supported by Russian SF). Germany and the Uk also step it. Things go hot in the summer of 97 after Poland attacks the rebels on Belarusian soil and Russia and Belarus then advance into Poland. NATO begins "picking sides" as do the non-aligned former PACT members. The war escalates in the fall of 99 as Russia is driven back into Belarus and limited nukes and large numbers of NON-PERSISTENT Chemical weapons begin flying. The US has JUST announced the DRAFT in the US and US industry hasn't even "spun up" to wartime production yet. Thus, to fill the gaps in equipment required, EVERYONE begins to dig out their older tech from the back of the closet. Thankfully, the US has REALLY DEEP closets! After the EXCHANGE (what I call my Thanksgiving day nuclear attack on the US), the US begins to break up. The players pick up in the fall of 2000, just 10 months after the EXCHANGE. I do these things because...

= There is no massive buildup of economic production to support the war. There simply wasn't enough time to mobilize the country.

= There is no massive mobilization of US & Canadian troops to Europe. NATO has what it has, and Russia has the advantage of being able to move troops (who were mobilized for China) into Europe to counter the multiple NATO countries with military commitments to Poland.

= The short timeline fits with modern military operations.

= The short timeline and less than a year since the EXCHANGE means that the CHARACTERS are still learning to "live off the land" just like the PLAYERS are!

I would also mention that I did this timeline in 1996.
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  #20  
Old 10-13-2022, 01:51 PM
Homer Homer is offline
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ATGM use may well become tightly controlled even before TDM. Heavy ATGMs like TOW, HOT, and Spandrel generally provided a higher probability of hit and an similar probability of kill to tank main guns at longer optimal point target engagement ranges throughout the 90s. Once a controlled supply rate gets put on ammo (and it’s usually early for missiles), there will likely be some fairly strict engagement criteria put in. Typical target priorities for TOWs under a CSR include ADA systems, engineer equipment, Artillery OP vehicles, ATGM vehicles, and C2 vehicles. By removing those early you open the way for other systems to operate with lower threat levels and disrupt key elements of the enemy formation.

If you want to have fun with wire guided missiles, remember the artillery or mortar splash call should fall just after or simultaneously with the first volley of TOWs and PGMs hitting so the rounds land just after. Prevents cut wires, interference with lasers, and fratricide of the missile while giving the enemy something to worry about instead of orienting on the AT units.
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  #21  
Old 10-17-2022, 12:54 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Default T34s in WWIII?

This video says it all...

https://youtube.com/watch?v=kT_ljkO3adY&feature=


Swag
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  #22  
Old 10-24-2022, 04:43 PM
ToughOmbres ToughOmbres is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
Once again, this is why I have ALWAYS espoused a "come as you are war" for Twilight2000 and set my timeline up much more compactly.

Fair Warning: If you are a hardcore Disciple of Cannon, stop reading NOW! You may have a stroke if you read any further...

I have an "uprising" in Poland by a bunch of Russian-supported Communists who kick things off in 96. After the 96 US elections, the US begins supporting the Democratic government of Poland against the rebels (who are armed and supported by Russian SF). Germany and the Uk also step it. Things go hot in the summer of 97 after Poland attacks the rebels on Belarusian soil and Russia and Belarus then advance into Poland. NATO begins "picking sides" as do the non-aligned former PACT members. The war escalates in the fall of 99 as Russia is driven back into Belarus and limited nukes and large numbers of NON-PERSISTENT Chemical weapons begin flying. The US has JUST announced the DRAFT in the US and US industry hasn't even "spun up" to wartime production yet. Thus, to fill the gaps in equipment required, EVERYONE begins to dig out their older tech from the back of the closet. Thankfully, the US has REALLY DEEP closets! After the EXCHANGE (what I call my Thanksgiving day nuclear attack on the US), the US begins to break up. The players pick up in the fall of 2000, just 10 months after the EXCHANGE. I do these things because...

= There is no massive buildup of economic production to support the war. There simply wasn't enough time to mobilize the country.

= There is no massive mobilization of US & Canadian troops to Europe. NATO has what it has, and Russia has the advantage of being able to move troops (who were mobilized for China) into Europe to counter the multiple NATO countries with military commitments to Poland.

= The short timeline fits with modern military operations.

= The short timeline and less than a year since the EXCHANGE means that the CHARACTERS are still learning to "live off the land" just like the PLAYERS are!

I would also mention that I did this timeline in 1996.
I believe that in both our real time line and in the Twilight War it would be or have been very much a "come as you are conflict" with the pre-war estimates of ordnance expenditures woefully inadequate. The industrial output would ramp up as much as possible but not nearly enough to meet the staggering needs. Just my 02 cents.
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  #23  
Old 10-25-2022, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToughOmbres View Post
I believe that in both our real time line and in the Twilight War it would be or have been very much a "come as you are conflict" with the pre-war estimates of ordnance expenditures woefully inadequate. The industrial output would ramp up as much as possible but not nearly enough to meet the staggering needs. Just my 02 cents.
A nice game-y aspect of a come-as-you-are war would be that industrial production of weapons would have started to ramp up before TDM. The post-TDM collapse/destruction of infrastructure would have stopped that industrial output.

However PCs could end up finding ISO containers full of fresh high tech weapons delivered before TDM. A truck in the woods full of Javelins could change the local balance of power or be a MacGuffin the PCs are sent to retrieve or investigate. That container wasn't going to tilt the balance of the war but in the post-TDM environment would be pretty valuable.
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Old 10-25-2022, 10:11 AM
LoneCollector1987 LoneCollector1987 is offline
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I would like to add my thoughts.

Yes, you can ramp up production, but to do so, you need the resources (metal, computer chips etc) and of course the technicians and machinery to build the missiles.

Considering that you are at a high state of stress (war has broken out between two nuclear powers) I think that there would be a problem acquiring the necessary resources.
After all, if one side suspects or knows that you will supply the enemy what is going to stop him from meddling with your production?
And that can range from asking people who sympathize with you staging protests like blockading lorries etc, sending sabotage troops up to sinking ships that carry those missiles.
I dont remember, but is ist possible to fire SAMs from submarines to hit a plane at standard flight height?

And another thought:
What is the production time difference between a normal missile (TOW 1) to the most advanced form (TOW 2A)?
And what is the difference in resources?

Example:
What if you can produce 2 TOW1 in the same time you produce 1 TOW-2A?
And what if you need the resources for 1,5 TOW1 to build 1 TOW-2A?
That should be taken into account too.
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Old 10-25-2022, 11:30 AM
shrike6 shrike6 is offline
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Originally Posted by LoneCollector1987 View Post

Example:
What if you can produce 2 TOW1 in the same time you produce 1 TOW-2A?
And what if you need the resources for 1,5 TOW1 to build 1 TOW-2A?
That should be taken into account too.
While this is interesting, youre forgetting one possible variable here. That is (using your example) if the manufacturer is building TOW-2As. Is the manufacturer still capable of making TOW-1 (ie are the components still available to manufacture it.)? The manufacturer and its suppliers may have moved on and no longer making a key component(s) for the TOW-1.
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Old 10-25-2022, 04:35 PM
Vespers War Vespers War is offline
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While this is interesting, youre forgetting one possible variable here. That is (using your example) if the manufacturer is building TOW-2As. Is the manufacturer still capable of making TOW-1 (ie are the components still available to manufacture it.)? The manufacturer and its suppliers may have moved on and no longer making a key component(s) for the TOW-1.
Of note, the US is currently running into this with the AIM-120 AMRAAM. Firing tests are underway for the AIM-120D3, which replaces obsolete components from the earlier AIM-120D variants with parts that are still in production.
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  #27  
Old 10-30-2022, 11:24 AM
LoneCollector1987 LoneCollector1987 is offline
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Originally Posted by shrike6 View Post
While this is interesting, youre forgetting one possible variable here. That is (using your example) if the manufacturer is building TOW-2As. Is the manufacturer still capable of making TOW-1 (ie are the components still available to manufacture it.)? The manufacturer and its suppliers may have moved on and no longer making a key component(s) for the TOW-1.
On the one hand I agree with you.
Why still produce an outdated missile?

The answer:Maybe you want the country you support not have the latest technology (maybe you dont trust them or have another problem with them) and maybe you dont want your latest technology fall into the hands of the enemy so that he can copy your technology which means that he catches up with you technology-wise and if there is a war between you then you will have more casualties.
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