NOTICE - Both Theaters have been updated to be fully compatible with BMS 4.35.3:
ITO now version: 1.05.4v
ITO 1980 now version: 1.7v
I've made this thread, firstly, to check members interest in flying this theater and, secondly, to get members aware of every important feature and issue they might encounter - from installation to tactics and visual reference points - so we can have high quality flights in this challenging scenario.
Firstly then, preferably after reading this post, please comment below if you do show interest in flying (be it a TE or a proper campaign) eventually in this theater.
The 1980's version of the theater is a mod, therefore dependent on the ITO theater itself; nonetheless, the installation is pretty simple:
For the ITO as a whole, here's the forums link:
https://forum.falcon-bms.com/topic/1942 ... r-bms-4-35
It's current and latest version is 1.05.4v, compatible with Falcon BMS 4.35 U3.
You should have no trouble installing it as it comes with an installer. Just make sure after to run Falcon, change the active theater to ITO, restart it and run a session in 3D (TE, Campaign or Dogfight) to make sure it's working (no crashes loading into 3D, no terrain / scenery artifacts).
(Note: just make sure to select the right folder if asked so that the "Add-On Israel" folder is installed inside your "Data" folder).
Now for the 1980's theater, here's the link: https://forum.falcon-bms.com/topic/2015 ... af-edition
Latest version v1.7, fully compatible with ITO 1.05.4v
Installation is a wee bit more complex, but easy nonetheless. I'll be copying the official instruction found both in the benchmark forums linked above, as in the Readme file that comes with it:
- Install ITO v1.05.4, you have to do so for ITO80s to function, this dependency allows ITO80s to only take up ~200MB of disk space instead of repackaging 8GB of ITO;
- Extract "Add-On Israel1980s" from the .zip you downloaded into "Falcon BMS 4.35\Data";
- Open "Falcon BMS 4.35\Data\TerrData\TheaterDefinition\theater.lst" and add the line "Add-On Israel1980s\Terrdata\theaterdefinition\Israel1980s.tdf"
2) Campaigns notes
While we're likely gonna be flying TEs first so enough people can get used to the theater before tackling on a proper campaign, here are some important notes to be aware of:
- There are 2 main campaigns, Peace for Galilee (1982 - IAF / NATO vs Syria and PLO) and Serpents Sting (1988 - IAF / NATO vs Egypt, both sides employ western equipment).
We'll probably be playing the first one firstly!
- After testing and discussion, for proper balance without losing the realism, we opted to fly the EAF Block 32 Viper during most TEs and Campaign, as we'll be flying as US pilots (just like in KTO, being part of the 222nd Gamblers), and we'll be employing mostly the Sparrow (AIM-9F), Sidewinders (AIM-9L/P), Shrike (AGM-45), Early Mavericks (AGM-65A/B) and dumb General Purpose / Cluster bombs.
- Skins may be changed individually by each pilot so we may fly as Red Tails (or another US painting scheme) instead of flying with an Egyptian flag.
- AWACS may not always be present, but to simulate real life Ground-Controlled Interception system (GCI) by ground radars that IAF relies heavily on, we may artificially frag AWACS flights if necessary.
3) Visual References and general orientation:
Both because we're flying older blocks and the ITO has some pretty prominent ground / geological points and features, expect us to using our Mk.I eyeballs for coordination much more than in KTO.
While many more could be included here, these are just some general references and tips that may prove useful (I'll make sure to include them in every mission briefing I make, with pics):
- Turn on Smart Scaling if not on already, it upscales aircraft 3D models logarithmically based on distance, making it more realistic to spot aircraft far away (as it's unrealistically difficult to do so in a 2D screen in the sim): https://why485.itch.io/smart-scaling-demonstration.
In the falcon bms cfg file there's this line: "set g_fSmartScalingThreshold", I suggest setting the value to 1.0 or higher - this is the distance at which Smart Scaling will kick in; a lower value might cause confusion as you won't be able to properly tell the rate a contact is closing in as it's size will be larger than usual, making operations such as tanker interception prior to the AAR a bit more difficult.
- For intraflight coordination - sharing the same navigation steerpoints - reference your position off a steerpoint (distance and general bearing) as it makes it easier for wingmen to make sense of where you are and find you visually (and much easier than giving out a bullseye call that must be interpreted and correlated).
- In a typical scenario flying against Syria, remember that the Mediterranean Sea (to the WEST) is generally safe. If required to hold, prefer to do it so feet wet.
- Sea of Galilee: a "small" body of water in the northeastern portion of Israel, easily visible from the air and can be used as a visual reference point for intra/interflight coordination. It nearly borders Jordan to the SE, Syria to the East and NE, and Lebanon (generally Syria in the campaign) ~ 15 miles to the North.
Friendly territory is to the WEST of the Sea of Galilee!
- Syrian Coastal Mountain Range (SCMR): with an average height of 3,900' MSL and extending north-south throughout Syria/Lebanon, aprox. 20 miles east of the coast, is an important ground feature to be used as terrain masking when conducting deep strikes over hostile territory to the North.
- Krause has made an excellent video a while back detailing many more ground features, including valleys and plains, and it's absolutely worth-it to check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51pd_57VxAE
4) Weaponry employed by us:
To be aware of regarding Air-To-Air weapons:
- AIM-7F Sparrow - Semi Active Radar Homing (SARH), has a 12-17 nm range front and 4-5 nm range rear, requires STT mode to fire and must maintain lock until impact - expect to lose SA / suffer Tunnel Vision while employing this missile. Suggest cranking to reduce closure rate.
- AIM-9P - IR Rear Aspect, short range.
- AIM-9L - IR All Aspect, short range.
- Guns (M61 Vulcan): know that even in perfect firing conditions our AAMs are not as reliable as the AMRAAM and Aim-9X we are used to employing; merges WILL happen more often than not and guns will likely be the main air-to-air weapons enemy fighters will be brought down with.
- General Purpose bombs (Mk-82 and Mk-84), expect loft, DTOS and CCIP diving as preferred employment methods;
- Cluster bombs (Mk-20D): probably the main weapon we'll be using against moving MUD;
- Rockets (LAU-3/A HE or MPSM): relatively inaccurate, employed if cluster bombs are not available and for use against light armor / infantry when enemy air defenses are low or not expected;
- Anti-Runway (BLU-107/B Durandal): the one we're used to already, for low level OCA strikes;
- Air to Ground Missiles (AGM-64 Mavericks A and B): Both have a 12nm range with a 125 lbs impact fuse warhead; B model allows for scene magnification; expect to employ both against armor / moving MUD without TGP Handoff;
- Anti Radar Missiles (AGM-45 Shrike): not as reliable as the AGM-88 HARM but similar in use; 10nm range and 300 sec time of flight; recommended use for timed SEAD and defensive shots, prefer Hunter-Killer tactics with GP / Cluster bombs for actual DEAD missions!
We should definitely get some SEAD and DEAD TEs going before attempting to do so in a campaign!
5) Tactics and expected hostile weaponry employed
Expected enemy air (MAR may be altered as we get more used to fighting these aircraft):
- MiG 21 Fishbed - MAR 08 nm - has good roll rate but poor vertical performance. Avoid horizontal scissors, take the fight in the vertical whenever possible. Radar susceptible to break lock when beaming. Noticeable smoke exhaust. May carry AA-2C (IR Rear Aspect) missiles.
- MiG 23 Flogger - MAR 12 nm - has a better vertical performance than the Fishbed and medium roll rate, try to maintain corner speed when fighting this aircraft and don't waste all of your energy immediately. Don't lose tally! May carry IR Rear Aspect missiles (AA-7B and AA-2C) and low PK SARH missiles (AA-2B and AA-7A). May carry a thermal jammer (SPS-141), slightly ineffective, just don't be surprised if you see jamming bogeys.
- MiG 25 Foxbat - MAR 10 nm - likely our most dangerous adversary while also the rarest. An Interceptor, reaching speeds of 2.6 Mach. While it has a 10 nm MAR, do NOT expect to outrun it. For the kill, force it into a merge as it has a poor turn rate. Capable of employing both IR Rear Aspect (AA-6B) and SARH (AA-6A) missiles, assume you're defending against the latter if launched upon by a ^25.
Expected enemy Air to Air Missiles:
--> AA-7B Apex (R-23T) IR Rear, 1-5 nm rear range, 4g turn into the missile and flare (moderately susceptible to flares);
--> AA-2B Atoll (R-3R) SARH 4-7 nm front range, beam to break lock, 4g turn into the missile with chaffs (highly susceptible to chaff);
--> AA-7A Apex (R-23R) SARH, 7-10 nm range front, beam and chaff in an attempt to break lock, 8g chaff break towards the missile (highly susceptible to chaff, has low maneuverability and loses energy rapidly in turns)
--> AA-6B Acrid (R-40T) IR Rear, 4-6 nm range rear, 7g break w/ flare towards the missile (moderately susceptible to flares, DO NOT let it get to a firing position on your tail, go off burners slightly above corner speed immediately before the break if possible);
--> AA-6A Acrid (R-40R) SARH, 8-20 nm range front, BEAM, 7g chaff break towards the missile (highly susceptible to chaff, low maneuverability). Get used to defeating these missiles when fighting MiG-25s, it's not difficult as the missile has a poor turn rate, but it's important to maintain visual on the missile so you know the time to break into it (in case you don't lose it solely by beaming and chaffing) - I have an ACMI showing this I can upload.
Note: As soon as you have the missile defeated, press into the MiG briefly to make it launch again, then repeat the defensive maneuver - since it's a SARH, "Hunter-Killer" tactics may be used to defeat a MiG if the enemy is outnumbered, so while one pilot is defensive and beaming, his wingman becomes shooter and goes for a Sparrow shot or forces a merge (we should absolutely practice this).
Expected enemy air defenses:
- KS 19 (100mm Flak): may be guided either optically (naked RWR) or through a Fire Can radar (Mud "A" or "1" in the RWR), unable to fire through clouds without the Fire Can!
0-5 nm range, 2,000 to 33,500 ft, jink vertically, either get under it's firing altitute or vacate the area.
- S-60 (57mm Flak): optical guidance or Fire Can.
0-3 nm range, 2,000 to 20,900 ft, defend just like against the KS 19 but maintain high speed.
We should only expect SA-2s, SA-3s, SA-5s and SA-6s. I suggest reviewing the The Vault document and will include tips / tactics in the briefings whenever relevant.
Working on mutual support and Hunter-Killer tactics will be fundamental for successful DEAD missions against these SAM types.
Others (typically found within moving MUD, must be expected to be encountered in every air to ground sortie):
- SA-7, SA-8 and SA-9 (preemptively flare during attack runs!)
- ZSU-23-4 Shilka (extremely dangerous if you're caught by surprise!).
In case I forgot anything or more important info regarding tactics or such are brought up, I'll be sure to edit / include in the thread.