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kbluck
11 Jun 03, 19:13
I'm a little curious about the AT-5 dismount teams.

By my understanding, the AT-5 is roughly equivalent to the TOW system, both in capability and size. Each missile weighs around 60 lbs, and the launcher about the same. While technically "crew-portable", the team isn't exactly going to be tap-dancing across the landscape. I know the US generally puts its TOW launchers on a vehicle of some kind for transport of any distance, even in the light infantry. I expect the same goes for AT-5.

AT-4 is much more portable, about half the weight of AT-5, and actually intended to be a manpackable system. You can compare AT-4 with the Javelin, which weighs around 25 lbs per missile and 15 for the CLU. While still requiring some humping, that's a whole different class of portability.

I've noticed that when I drop a mortar on AT-5 teams, they pick up and move immediately. It seems to me they would require at least a minute to disassemble that thing for transport. I guess a couple of guys could grab it whole and tote it by main force for a few meters, but I wouldn't expect them to be able to keep it up for long without properly breaking it down. They certainly don't seem to be abandoning their equipment.

So, what gives?

--- Kevin

kbluck
11 Jun 03, 19:28
I've also noticed that AT missile teams in general like to fire their missiles at other infantry. This tactic seems to be quite effective. Personally, I find this unrealistic.

First, these missiles have a significant time of flight. You can see them coming. Sometimes, it is possible for on-the-ball tank crews to duck their entire vehicle under cover or suppress the launcher before impact. Infantry would disappear from the sight picture almost immediately if they spotted a missile launch and it seemed to be headed their way.

Second, the warhead isn't optimized for that purpose. The charge is roughly equivalent to a 120mm mortar shell. And we know how effective *those* are. Unlike the mortar shell, though, it isn't optimized for blast and fragmentation, making it much less effective.

Third, those missiles are darned scarce and the infantry's only hope against armor at range. They're not going to waste them sniping at a few individudal infantrymen except in the most extreme of circumstances.

I think the simplest means of preventing this would be setting the pK to 0 against infantry targets in the database. Wouldn't be too far off the mark, either, in my opinion.

Comments? Rebuttals?

--- Kevin

kbluck
12 Jun 03, 16:51
I did a little research in the materials available to me. I can't find anything about AT-5s ever being carried by IFV dismounts.

Looking at FM 100-60, it asserts that the dismounts in a BMP platoon don't carry any ATGMs at all. Their dedicated AT weapon seems to be the RPG-7 supplemented by RPG-22.

It goes on to say that the BMP company *sometimes* has an ATGM section with 3 AT-7 Saxhorns. The BMP battalion *sometimes* has an ATGM platoon with 6 AT-4 Spigots. As far as I can tell, the first time you encounter AT-5 is on the 9 BRDMs of the regimental AT battery, or sometimes on the BMPs themselves.

So, I'm a little mystified at to where all these AT-5 dismount teams are coming from. Admittedly, my copy of 100-60 is from 1997. Is this now standard OPFOR at NTC?

I sure feel sorry for those poor commie workhorses lugging that load over hill and dale...

--- Kevin

Pat Proctor
15 Jun 03, 11:46
The man-packable AT-5 is a staple at the National Training Center. It's 4 km range renders it the biggest killer on the battlefield here.

As for its utility on the real battlefield, you may in fact be right. I would not consider two guys carrying 60-70 pounds each prohibitive (hell, the average Forward Observer carries more than that).

We have modeled emplacement/displacement times for AT-5 teams. If they are moving without displacing, let us know. It is a bug.

kbluck
15 Jun 03, 16:44
We have modeled emplacement/displacement times for AT-5 teams. If they are moving without displacing, let us know. It is a bug.

See attached savegame from v.1.02. When the shell hits near the AT-5 team (assuming it doesn't kill them) they are up and moving almost immediately. They seem to be respecting the 1sec dismount "time to move" and not the 30 sec "displace". I presume they are emplaced, since they seem to shoot immediately if presented a target at the start of the game.



As for its utility on the real battlefield, you may in fact be right. I would not consider two guys carrying 60-70 pounds each prohibitive (hell, the average Forward Observer carries more than that).

(1 AT-5 laucher + 3 AT-5 missiles) / 2 guys = 110 lbs per man. That's just the ATGM system; any other gear is on top of that. Also, keep in mind the unwieldy dimensions: the launch tube is about 4.5 feet long, the missiles only a little shorter.

The AT-5 is very similar to the TOW system in terms of weight, dimensions, and performance. Would you consider it realistic to have the AT section mounted in the M2 Bradley to be carrying a ground-mount TOW launcher and three TOW-2b missiles instead of their Javelin system? Because, that's pretty much what the game is modeling here for the OPFOR. Frankly, I have my doubts that an AT-5 system would even fit inside the BMP's infantry compartment along with the rest of the dismount squad.

In my opinion, a ground-mount AT-5 would for all practical purposes be a static emplacement without a suitable vehicle nearby, or at least a larger crew to split up the various components.

And, I still think it's absurd to have these guys shooting their missiles at other infantry.

--- Kevin

amrcg
18 Jun 03, 07:09
I had the same doubt some time ago. I even checked at the FAS site and they seem to imply that the AT-5 is only used in vehicle mounts, not by dosmounted infantry teams. The At-4 and AT-7 are more suitable for dismounts.

Regards,
Antonio

Deltapooh
20 Jun 03, 08:43
It can be used by dismounts, but would limit their range, speed, and time to move. However, I think it would be wiser if we just added the AT-4 and AT-7.