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Difference between revisions of "DCS Reference/Air Defenses"

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Improved ability to engage incoming missiles, enabling the possibility of covering units from air attack and SEAD, or playing with the sorts of annoying shoot and scoot tactics the SA-8 can accomplish.  The one Achilles heel it retains is that it needs to stop to shoot.
 
Improved ability to engage incoming missiles, enabling the possibility of covering units from air attack and SEAD, or playing with the sorts of annoying shoot and scoot tactics the SA-8 can accomplish.  The one Achilles heel it retains is that it needs to stop to shoot.
 +
 +
In terms of soviet doctrine, a regiment of SA-15 (4 sites) replaces SA-6 or SA-8s within Tanks or Motor-Rifle divisions.
  
 
==== ZSU-23-4 Shilka ====
 
==== ZSU-23-4 Shilka ====

Revision as of 22:03, 26 July 2020

This resource is for players and mission designers to know the capabilities of and set up fully-featured and functional SAM groups using the many various units available under the “Air defence” vehicle category in the DCS mission editor.

Each block describes the system as a whole, the ground units it consists of, the dependencies between these units, and some very rough performance figures (in-game and wiki-based). In addition, optional units and decorative static objects that would complement the system and make them closer to the real setup are listed, even if these units generally serve no added function. The only exception is ammunition-providing M818 and Ural trucks that effectively give nearby units (within 200m) infinite ammunition capacity.

Many systems include some sort of commander unit. The functionality these units is, at best, mythical. No official explanation has ever been offered, and community answers consist of a never-ending string of unsupported claims ranging from increasing detection range, to providing faster reloads or increased rate of fire, to data-linking (…but to what, or for what purpose, no-one knows). They are not necessary to create a working anti-air group, but it is possible that some obscure efficiency parameter will be degraded by leaving them out.

Note that maximum altitudes, in particular, can be a bit vague due to the interaction between maximum sensor elevation, sensor range, and missile flight capabilities. While the maximum altitude may seem sufficient on some systems, it is often a lot lower in practice because there is a rather narrow band between where the missile still has energy enough to climb, and where the (usually) radar is still able to track a target. For maximum skylord murderness, make sure the altitude capabilities are ridiculously above where the target is expected to fly.

Italicised units are optional and not necessary for the functioning of the system. Units (mainly decorative) that can be found outside the Air Defence category have their category indicated in parentheses, as do decorations that only exist as static objects.

Basic Concepts

  • All SAM components must be in the same group in the Mission Editor in order to function.
  • All SAMs have limited ammunition.
  • Placement of an Ammunition truck (such as the Ural-375) of any kind nearby a launcher will allow it to reload.
  • In DCS, most multi-unit SAMs are able to spread units as far as 25nm from each other, enabling dispersed configurations. This is not particularly realistic for many sites in their native time periods, which had the challenges of limited cable runs and electrical power distributions. However, more modern scenarios can believably distribute sites as far as 20nm with "datalink upgrade" related handwaves. Pilots should be aware of this and recognize that missile launches from such sites can approach from angles other than the tracking emitter (including, quite dangerously, from directly below).

Eastern systems

Radar-guided

S-75_Dvina S-75M1 Divina / SA-2 Guideline

Typical Layout of an SA 2 (minus static or nonfunctional objects). Includes Shilkas and an Igla team to cover against low approaches.

The SA-2 is a Soviet Radar guided medium range high altitude SAM system developed in 1957, but continues to see use to this day. The missiles are given remote commands from a ground operator, effectively making them Semi-Active Radar Homing.

S-75M1 Divina / SA-2 “Guideline”
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM SA-2 LN SM-90 6 Single-rail Launcher 1× 13DAM (V-755) Engagement: 3–23nm
Altitude: 980–98,000'
SAM SA-2 TR SNR-75 Fan Song 1 “Fan Song” Search and Engagement Radar Detection: 53nm RWR-2.pngRWR-FS.pngPO1-Medium.png
SAM SR P-19 1 P-19 Danube 1RL134 / “Flat Face B” (search) Detection: 86nm RWR-FF.pngPO1-Medium.png
(Unarmed) CP SKP-11 ATC Mobile Command Post 1 Radio Relay Van
(Unarmed) CP Ural-375 PBU 1 SNR-75 Radar Operation Van
(Unarmed) CP Ural-375 PBU 1 SNR-75 Radar Electronics Van
(Unarmed) GPU APA-80 on ZiL-131 1 ESP-90 Power generator
(Unarmed) Transport Ural-375 1-6 Transporter/transloader
(Static Cargos) Fuel Tank 2 5L22A Fuel Tank
(Static Cargos) Oiltank 2 5L62A Oxidiser Tank
(Unavailable) Rapier FSA Blindfire Tracker 1 RV-10 Konus Heightfinding Radars Detection: 16nm RWR-RT.pngPO1-Short.png
Reload / rearm 2700s per missile.[1]
Acquisition time 40s
ME Notes

The Rapier Blindfire Tracker is a good visual representation of the height-finding radar, but is commonly unavailable to countries that possess the SA-2 and would probably interfere with detection mechanics if mixed in — a better solution is to add it as a Static Ground Vehicle object.

The system is static and cannot be driven using Combined Arms. For further information, see Technical Report APA-TR-2009-0702.

Available to
Russia Algeria Bulgaria Cuba Czech Republic Egypt Ethiopia Georgia Germany Hungary Indonesia Kazakhstan Libya North Korea Pakistan Poland Romania Sudan Switzerland Syria Ukraine USAF Aggressors USSR Vietnam Yemen Yugoslavia
Tactics

Soviet doctrinal placements of units are in a flower pattern, with sensors/logistics units at the center and launchers arranged an a circle around them spaced no more than a few hundred feet apart. However, this is a very easy arrangement to spot from the air, so guerrilla forces throughout history have been known to use other arrangements for the sake of concealment. Since reuse of sites is a common practice, these rules are frequently applied to newer SAM batteries, as well.

One of the easier systems to evade, the tracking radar is easily fooled via notching and chaff bursts of at minimum 4 per second. Missiles have no guidance of their own: defeat the track radar to defeat the missile. Missiles guidance is fairly stupid, and can be dragged into the ground. It is also completely unable to track targets at sub 1,000 ft altitudes, leaving it vulnerable to low runs. As a result, sites should also include short range anti-air able to engage at low altitudes, such as AAA guns and MANPADS.

Neva/Pechora / SA-3 Goa

The SA-3 is a Soviet Radar guided Short Range SAM system developed in 1961 as a complement to the SA-2. Missiles are guided by remote command, but DCS treats them as SARHs.

S-125 Neva/Pechora / SA-3 “Goa”
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM SA-3 S-125 LN 5P73 4 5P73 4-rail Launcher 4× 5V27 Engagement: 10nm
Altitude: 700–30,000'
SAM SA-3 S-125 TR SNR 1 SNR-125 UNV “Low Blow” Tracking Radar Detection: 54nm RWR-3.pngRWR-LB.pngPO1-Medium.png
SAM SR P-19 1 P-19 Danube 1RL134 / “Flat Face B” (search) Detection: 86nm RWR-FF.pngPO1-Medium.png
(Unarmed) CP SKP-11 ATC Mobile Command Post 1 Radio Relay Van
(Unarmed) CP Ural-375 PBU 1-4 SNR-125 UNK Radar Operation Van
(Unarmed) GPU APA-80 on ZiL-131 1 5E96 Cabin Power Generator Van
(Unarmed) Transport Ural-375 1 Transporter/transloader
(Static Cargos) ISO container small 1 Missile reloads
(Unavailable) Rapier FSA Blindfire Tracker 1 RV-10 Konus Heightfinding Radars Detection: 16nm RWR-RT.pngPO1-Short.png
Reload / rearm 360s per batch of 2 missiles; 720s total rearm time from a depleted state.[1]
Acquisition time ?
ME Notes
  • Launchers should be placed within 70m of the central guidance area
  • The transporters, containers, and radio relay van should be positioned 100m away from the central guidance area (but no farther away than 200m from any launcher so as to provide reloads); the other units should be part of the central guidance area.

The Rapier Blindfire Tracker is a good visual representation of the height-finding radar, but is commonly unavailable to countries that possess the SA-3 and would probably interfere with detection mechanics if mixed in — a better solution is to add it as a Static Ground Vehicle object.

The system is static and cannot be directly driven using Combined Arms. For further information, see Technical Report APA-TR-2009-0602.

Available to
Russia Algeria Belarus Cuba Georgia Kazakhstan Serbia USAF Aggressors
Tactics

Despite its short range, the missiles are rather maneuverable, and harder to shake off with fancy pilot shit. The system is also somewhat more resistant to ECM than its predecessors, but is still rendered toothless once the track radar is defeated. It can also track at lower altitudes than its predecessors.

2K12 Kub / SA-6 Gainful

The SA-6 is a Soviet Mobile Medium range SAM developed in 1958 intended to cover ground forces from aerial attack.

2K12 Kub / SA-6 “Gainful”
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM SA-6 Kub LN 2P25 4 Transporter Erector Launcher 3× 3M9M Engagement: 13nm
Altitude: 100–30,000'
SAM SA-6 Kub STR 9S91 1 1S91 “Straight Flush” Search/Track Radar Detection: 37nm RWR-6.pngPO1-Medium.png
SAM SR P-19 1 P-19 Danube 1RL134 / “Flat Face B” (search) Detection: 86nm RWR-FF.pngPO1-Medium.png
(Armor) APC BTR-80 1 Site Survey Vehicle
(Unarmed) CP SKP-11 ATC Mobile Command Post 1 Radio Relay Van
(Unarmed) CP Ural-375 PBU 1 Radar Test/repair Station
(Unarmed) Transport GAZ-66 1 Transporter/transloader
(Unarmed) Transport KAMAZ-43101 2 Missile Transporter
(Unarmed) Transport ZIL-131 KUNG 1 Repair/test/assembly Station
(Static Cargos) ISO container small 8 Missile reloads
Reload / rearm 600s per missile; 1800s total rearm time per launcher from a depleted state.[1]
Acquisition time 28s
Notes

P-19 radar optionally added to extend search range.

The system is mobile but cannot be directly driven using Combined Arms. For further information, see Technical Report APA-TR-2009-0701.

Available to
Russia Abkhazia Algeria Belarus Iran Kazakhstan Serbia Ukraine USAF Aggressors
Tactics

This system was designed to be a mobile point defense system to protect ground forces from aerial attack, as such it can move with them and set up within 15 minutes. It is also employed as static point defense around important installations. Soviet doctrine places one SA-6 regiment per tank division.

Missiles are initially guided by remote command, becoming SARH in the terminal phase. The "Straight Flush" is equipped with both a tracking radar and an optical sight, making it a real life possibility to launch and guide until the terminal phase, minimizing RWR warning time and SEAD vulnerability. The possibility of a DCS SA-6 AI of any skill level or scripted behavior doing this is unconfirmed.

9K33 Osa / SA-8 Gecko

Developed in 1971, this short range low altitude SAM is highly mobile and makes for a dangerous escort for ground forces or complement to other defenses.

9K33 Osa / SA-8 “Gecko”
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM SA-8 Osa 9A33 4 Transporter Erector Launcher And Radar 6× 9M33 Detection: 16nm RWR-08.pngPO1-Short.png
Engagement: 5.5nm
Altitude: 21,000'
(Unarmed) CP Ural-375 PBU 1 TELAR Calibration and simulation
(Unarmed) Fuel Truck ATZ-10 1 Tanker
(Unarmed) Transport KAMAZ-43101 1 Loading Crane
(Unarmed) Transport Ural-375 1 Transporter/transloader
(Unarmed) Transport ZIL-131 KUNG 1 Repair/test/assembly Station
Reload / rearm 5s readying time; 310s per missile; 1860s total ream time from a depleted state.
Acquisition time 23s
ME Notes
The system is mobile and can be directly driven using Combined Arms. For further information, see Technical Report APA-TR-2009-0704.
Available to
Russia Abkhazia Algeria Belarus Georgia Kazakhstan Greece South Ossetia Ukraine USAF Aggressors
Tactics

Each TELAR has a radar and optical sight for searching, ranging, and tracking targets as well as for missile guidance. Can launch and track 2 missiles at a time, possibly without RWR warning if optical targeting was used.

Can lock incoming missiles but only has limited self-defence anti-missile capability in this manner. Human controllers and scripters might consider to instead just turn off the radar and scoot out of the way in event of a perceived SEAD attack. It can track while on the move, but must stop in order to fire. Shoot and scoot tactics can make this unit a very elusive target for SEAD aircraft: units adopting this tactic would be better engaged by a maverick or high altitude laser guided bomb.

Soviet doctrine is to place a regiment of SA-8 within a motor-rifle division.

S-300PS / SA-10 Grumble

Developed in 1979, this system is one of the most dangerous SAMs in the game (and real life).

S-300PS / SA-10 “Grumble”
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM SA-10 S-300PS CP 54K6 1 Command Post
SAM SA-10 S-300PS LN 5P85C 4 Master TEL Launch vehicle 4× 5V55P Engagement: 64nm
Altitude: 50–150,000'
SAM SA-10 S-300PS LN 5P85D 12 Slave TEL Launch vehicle 4× 5V55P Engagement: 64nm
Altitude: 50–150,000'
SAM SA-10 S-300PS SR 5N66M 1 “Clam Shell” Low-altitude Search Radar Detection: 32nm RWR-CS.pngPO1-Long.png
SAM SA-10 S-300PS SR 64H6E 1 “Big Bird” Regiment Search Radar (can also locate missiles) Detection: 86nm RWR-BB.pngPO1-Long.png
SAM SA-10 S-300PS TR 30N6 1 “Flap Lid A” Tracking Radar Detection: 86nm RWR-10.pngPO1-Long.png
(Approximation: SAM SA-10 S-300PS CP 54K6) ? MAZ-543M MOBD accomodation vehicle
(Unarmed) Transport KAMAZ-43101 12 Transport and Loading
(Unarmed) Transport Ural-375 8 Ural 375 towing tractor
(Unarmed) Transport Ural-4320T 4 Ural 4320 component tractor
(Static Cargos) ISO container 8 Missile container
(Static Structures) GeneratorF 4 5I57 Mobile Diesel Power Generator
Reload / rearm 1800s per missile; 7200s total rearm time from a depleted state.[1]
Acquisition time 3s
ME Notes
Firing units and decorations should be divided among 4 firing emplacements evenly (i.e. 1x Master TELAR, 3x Slave TELAR, 3x KAMAZ-43101, 2 Ural-375, 1 Ural 4320, 2 ISO containers)

The system is static and cannot be driven using Combined Arms. For further information, see Technical Report APA-TR-2006-1201 and APA-TR-2008-0601-A.

Available to
Russia Algeria Belarus China Greece Iran Kazakhstan Ukraine USAF Aggressors
Tactics

This is a very expensive and strategically significant air defense system, and absolutely should be backed up with shorter range systems and AAA. This system is very flexible in terms of realistic placement: it is known to inhabit old SA-2 sites (inheriting the "flower" layout), or components can believably placed as far as 21nm from the central command post.

The SA-10 is not a system to be taken lightly: it can track you and up to five other friends from near 0 AGL to high altitude, shoot down HARMS and other missiles, and chew up dozens of aircraft in just a minute. Keeping terrain between yourself and the missile site is about the only real evasion technique. This system can realistically distribute its launchers as far as 21 nm from the command post. If a launch is detected, you may find that the fully active radar missile is approaching from an direction other than the tracking emitter. Since the missiles are fully active, defeating the track radar is not enough to save you: you have to defeat both it and the missile.

Smaller ARMs, such as the LD-10, are too small for this system to fire upon.

9K37 Buk M1 / SA-11 Gadfly

The 1980's successor to the SA-6, this medium range SAM can be extremely hard to kill.

9K37 Buk M1 / SA-11 “Gadfly”
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM SA-11 Buk CC 9S470M1 1 Self Propelled Command Post
SAM SA-11 Buk LN 9A310M1 4-6 “Fire Dome” Transporter Erector Launcher And Radar 4× 9M38M1 Detection: 27nm RWR-11.pngPO1-Medium.png
Engagement: 19nm
Altitude: 450–45,000'
SAM SA-11 Buk SR 9S18M1 1 “Snow Drift” Acquisition Radar (search) Detection: 54nm RWR-SD.pngPO1-Medium.png
(Unarmed) GPU APA-5D on Ural-4320 1 PES-100T Mobile Power Generator
(Unarmed) Transport KAMAZ-43101 2 Missile Reload Transporter
(Unarmed) Transport Ural-375 1 9T31M1 Self Propelled Crane
(Unarmed) Transport Ural-4320-31 Armored 1 9V881M1 Equipment Repair/Test Station
(Unarmed) Transport Ural-4320-31 Armored 1 9V883M1 Equipment Repair Station
(Unarmed) Transport ZIL-131 KUNG 1 9V95M1 Mobile Automatic Test Station
(Static Cargos) ISO container small 2 Missile releoads
Reload / rearm 240s per missile; 960s total rearm time per launcher from a depleted state.[1]
Acquisition time 26s
ME Notes
The system is mobile but cannot be directly driven using Combined Arms. For further information, see Technical Report APA-TR-2009-0706.
Available to
Russia Abkhazia Algeria Belarus Georgia Iran Kazakhstan Serbia Ukraine USAF Aggressors
Tactics

Like the SA-6, this mobile system is designed to move with and cover other ground forces from air attack. As such, many of its upgrades are in the form of the ability to fire on missiles.

SEAD aircraft should be aware that each launcher has its own redundant tracking radar, and will take a ton of ARMs to bring down targeting tracking emitters. Instead, it is better to fire a salvo at the search emitter, as the loss of the search emitter or the command post will render the site inoperative.

9K331 Tor / SA-15 Gauntlet

Introduced in 1986 as a successor to the SA-8, this unit is even more of an annoying ankle biter than its predecessor.

9K331 Tor / SA-15 “Gauntlet”
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM SA-15 Tor 9A331 4 Transporter Erector Launcher And Radar 8× 9M331 Detection: 13nm RWR-15.pngPO1-Short.png
Engagement: 6nm
Altitude: 60–26,000'
(Unarmed) Transport Ural-4320-31 Armored 1 Missile Transporter/transloader
(Unarmed) Transport Ural-4320-31 Armored 1 Test/repair/assembly station
Reload / rearm 4s readying time; 579s per batch of 4 missiles; 1158s total rearm time from a depleted state.
Acquisition time 9s
ME Notes
The system is mobile and can be directly driven using Combined Arms. For further information, see Technical Report APA-TR-2009-0705.
Available to
Russia Belarus China Greece Iran Kazakhstan Ukraine USAF Aggressors
Tactics

Each TELAR has a radar and optical sight for searching, ranging, and tracking targets as well as for missile guidance. Can launch and track 2 missiles at a time, possibly without RWR warning if optical targeting was used.

Improved ability to engage incoming missiles, enabling the possibility of covering units from air attack and SEAD, or playing with the sorts of annoying shoot and scoot tactics the SA-8 can accomplish. The one Achilles heel it retains is that it needs to stop to shoot.

In terms of soviet doctrine, a regiment of SA-15 (4 sites) replaces SA-6 or SA-8s within Tanks or Motor-Rifle divisions.

ZSU-23-4 Shilka

Produced through the 60's and 80's, this gun is not terribly threatening by modern standards. Despite this, it's cheap and many exist, and so can be found in many arsenals of small nations.

ZSU-23-4 Shilka
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SPAAA ZSU-23-4 Shilka 1 Radar-ranging, self-propelled AAA 2000× 23mm HE+AP Detection: 2.7nm RWR-A.pngPO1-NA.png
Engagement: 1.3nm
Altitude: 6,500'
Reload / rearm 10s reload; 10s rearm from a depleted state.
Acquisition time 8s
ME Notes
Has a radar for ranging, and tracking targets, but offers no search scope in Combined Arms.

For further information, see Technical Report APA-TR-2008-0502.

Available to
Russia Abkhazia Algeria Belarus Cuba Georgia Insurgents Israel Kazakhstan Morocco South Ossetia Ukraine USAF Aggressors
Tactics

By itself, it's rather pathetic. Instead, it tends to be deployed as close cover for larger SAM sites. Goon mission designers also like to stick these over objective sites to catch out people who pull out of a divebomb too low.

Just fly high and it won't hurt you. If that's not an option, you can still reasonably evade its fire by flying fast. The radar is too shit for most ARMs to lock onto, so if you really want to assert your dominance over this thing, a simple bomb drop will do. It should be noted that most eastern RWRs don't even bother alerting you to its radar.

IR-guided

Infrared missiles do not alert pilots on the RWR (though Missile Approach Warning System aircraft like the A-10 and JF-17 may still be warned of an inbound missile). While modern militaries are more than happy to proliferate and sling cheap shots with these, it is recognized that they are a big "Fuck You" to inattentive pilots, and can render a mission unfun if not used judiciously. Many goon missions limit the use IR missiles to catch out pilots who strayed from the briefed course, or as an occasional threat to catch unaware pilots.

9K31 Strela-1 / SA-9 Gaskin

Designed in 1968, this highly mobile rear-aspect SAM is still used in the middle east to present day.

9K31 Strela-1 / SA-9 “Gaskin”
Units Qty Function Stores Range
SAM SA-9 Strela-1 9P31 1 IR-guided, self-propelled SAM 4× 9M31 Detection: 2.7nm
Engagement: 2.2nm
Altitude: 100–12,000'
Reload / rearm 311s per missile; 1244s total rearm time from a depleted state.
Acquisition time 2.5s
ME Notes
Has no special unit integration or special setup and is normally integrated into armoured and mechanised columns alongside ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAGs.

For further information, see Technical Report APA-TR-2008-0502.

Available to
Russia Abkhazia Belarus Georgia Insurgents Kazakhstan Serbia South Ossetia Ukraine USAF Aggressors
Tactics

This unit acquires targets optically, and its guidance system is limited to rear-aspect homing. Since the missiles only have a maximum speed of Mach 1.8, and still have a need to accelerate to that speed after launching, it is conceivable that the missile could be defeated simply by flying fast enough (needs confirmation).

9K35 Strela-10M3 / SA-13 Gopher

Entering service in 1976, the SA-13 is the successor to the SA-9, improving upon it with all-aspect seekers and a radar to augment its targeting capabilities.

9K35 Strela-10M3 / SA-13 “Gopher”
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM SA-13 Strela-10M 9A35M3 4 Transporter Erector Launcher And Radar 4× 9M37 + 4 reserve
100× 7.62mm + 900 reserve
Detection: 4.5nm RWR-13.pngPO1-Short.png
Engement: 2.7nm
Altitude: 75–15,000'
(Armor) APC BTR-80 1 Mobile Command Post
(Unarmed) CP Ural-375 PBU 1 Training Simulator
(Unarmed) Transport GAZ-3308 2 Missile Repair/test Station
(Unarmed) Transport Ural-4320T 1 Transporter/transloader
(Unarmed) Transport ZIP-131 KUNG 1 Radar Repair/test Station
Reload / rearm 130s per missile; 1040s total rearm time from a depleted state. 12s reload per batch of 100× 7.62mm; 158s total to ream a depleted 7.62mm gun.
Acquisition time 2.5s
ME Notes
The system is mobile and can be directly driven using Combined Arms. Despite having a radar, it offers no search scope in Combined Arms. For further information, see Technical Report APA-TR-2009-0801.
Available to
Russia Abkhazia Algeria Belarus Cuba Georgia Kazakhstan Serbia South Ossetia Ukraine USAF Aggressors
Tactics

This system improves upon its predecessor in every way: it retains extreme mobility and adds an all aspect IR seeker to its bag of tricks. It has a radar for acquisition purposes, but is perfectly capable of firing upon targets without it.

9K38 Igla / SA-18 Grouse

The SA-18 is a Soviet Infrared guided mobile short range SAM system.

9K38 Igla / SA-18 “Grouse”
Units Qty Function Stores Range
SAM SA-18 Igla  1 IR-guided MANPADS 3× 9K38 Detection: 2.7nm
Engagement: 2.8nm
Altitude: 12,000'
SAM SA-18 Igla comm 1 Command unit[2], serves as "eyes" for the shooter Detection: 2.7nm
Reload / rearm 15s reload; 43s per missile; 172s total rearm time from a depleted state.[1]
Acquisition time 6s
ME Notes
The system consists of infantry units and cannot be driven using Combined Arms.
Available to
Abkhazia Georgia Insurgents Iran South Ossetia USAF Aggressors
Tactics

Can be found anywhere two guys with a tube can reasonably hide. As such, these all-aspect guided units are particularly dangerous. Best avoided by staying out of range (4-5 miles, below 25,000 ft). If you must cross into its engagement circle, your chances are improved by flying fast and drop flares at a rate of about 1 per second, but be ready to evade just the same.

Most frequently integrated into infantry columns or as a supplement to any fixed installations.

Soviet doctrine dictates:

  • 3 MANPADS for most HQs
  • 3 MANPADS in the technical batteries in SAM units
  • 3 MANPADS per firing battery in all SAM units
  • 6 MANPDAS per artillery/MRL battery (so on average one MANPADS for every artillery piece!)
  • 9 MANPADS per motor rifle battalion

9K338 Igla-S / SA-24 Grinch

9K338 Igla-S / SA-24 “Grinch”
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM SA-18 Igla-S  1 IR-guided MANPADS 3× 9K338 Detection: 2.7nm
Engagement: 2.8nm
Altitude: 12,000'
SAM SA-18 Igla-S comm 1 Command unit[2] Detection: 2.7nm
CP 9S80M1 Sborka 1 PPRU-M1 / “Dog Ear” command unit[2] Detection: 19nm RWR-DE.pngPO1-Short.png
Reload / rearm 15s reload; 43s per missile; 172s total rearm time from a depleted state.[1]
Acquisition time 6s
ME Notes
The system consists of infantry units and cannot be driven using Combined Arms.
Available to
Russia Algeria Belarus China Cuba Iran Kazakhstan Morocco Serbia Ukraine USAF Aggressors


Tactics

Similar to the SA-18, albeit with the addition of Dog Ears.

Optically guided

2A13 / ZU-23-2

The direct predecessor to the ZSU-23-4 Shilka, this weapon continues to see use to present day. Since it's heyday in the 60's, it use has transitioned from AAA to ground fire support, and can be found rigged on the backs of many a pickup truck in third world countries.

2A13 / ZU-23-2
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
AAA ZU-23 Closed ?-6 Revetted static AAA gun 100× 23mm + 400 reserve Detection: 2.7nm
Engagement: 1.3nm
AAA ZU-23 Emplacement ?-6 Employed static AAA gun
AAA ZU-23 on Ural-375 ?-6 Mobile AAA gun
AAA ZU-23 Insurgent ?-6 Revetted static AAA gun with insurgent crew
AAA ZU-23 Insurgent Closed ?-6 Employed static AAA gun with insurgent crew
AAA ZU-23 Insurgent on Ural-375 ?-6 Mobile AAA gun with insurgent crew
CP 9S80M1 Sborka 0-1 PPRU-M1 / “Dog Ear” command unit[2] Detection: 19nm RWR-DE.pngPO1-Short.png
Reload / rearm 10s reload; 10s rearm per batch of 100; 52s rearm from a depleted state.
Acquisition time 3.5s
ME Notes
All firing units have the same offensive capabilities. The difference is mostly cosmetic, other than that the Ural-375 variants can be driven around, whereas the rest are static emplacements. All can be directly controlled using Combined Arms.

Has no special setup and is integrated into infantry or light mechanised columns, or used as static defences for fixed installations. If combined with a Sborka command vehicle, each vehicle coordinates 6 sections of ZU-23:s.

Available to
Russia Abkhazia Algeria Belarus China Cuba Georgia Greece Insurgents Iran Israel Kazakhstan Oman Serbia South Africa South Africa South Ossetia Ukraine USAF Aggressors Venezuela
Tactics

As with the Shilka, just don't get too low while you clown on it and you'll be fine.

2K22 Tunguska / SA-19 Grison

This combination AAA and missile system was designed in the 70's to replace the Shilka and counter new threats like the A-10. Since it's first deployment in 1982, it has been used to provide all-weather day and night protection to infantry and tank regiments against CAS threats and cruise missiles.

2K22 Tunguska / SA-19 “Grison”
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM SA-19 Tunguska 2S6 6 Self-propelled AAA and SACLOS-guided Missile 8× 9M311
1936× 30mm HE/AP
Detection: 9nm RWR-S6.pngPO1-Short.png
Engagement: 2nm / 4nm (gun/missile)
Altitude: 0-16,000'
CP 9S80M1 Sborka 1 PPRU-M1 / “Dog Ear” command unit[2] Detection: 19nm RWR-DE.pngPO1-Short.png
(Unarmed) Transport GAZ-3308 1 Repair/test Station
(Unarmed) Transport KAMAZ-43101 3 Transporter/transloader
(Unarmed) Transport Ural-4320-31 Armored 3 Repair/test/assembly Station
(Unarmed) Transport ZIL-131 KUNG 1 Mobile Workshop
Reload / rearm 134s per missile; 1072s total rearm time from a depleted state.[1] 2570s to rearm depleted 30mm gun.
Acquisition time 4s
ME Notes
The system is mobile and can be directly driven using Combined Arms. For further information, see Technical Report APA-TR-2009-0703.
Available to
Russia Abkhazia Belarus Kazakhstan Morocco South Ossetia Ukraine USAF Aggressors
Tactics

This unit has pretty decent range and can be a dire threat against CAS aircraft, such as the A-10 and Harrier. It's mobility and ability to forgo the radar makes it difficult to target with a SEAD strike, scripters and human drivers might take advantage of this with a shoot and scoot strategy.

Best targeted with high-altitude laser guided weaponry. Note that missiles are optically guided and cannot be defeated by countermeasures: you must maneuver to lose them.

Early-warning / GCI systems

These units can be turned into ground-based GCI radars by assigning the advanced waypoint actions:

  • Start Enroute Task > EWR
  • Perform Command > Set Callsign
  • Perform Command > Set Frequency

They are all static units and cannot be driven using Combined Arms, but offer detection capabilities that tie into the more realistic simulation modes of LotATC 4 DCS. The editor detection ring displays an artificial limit of how far detection scripting will report a target; actual ranges for the EWR task are much longer.[3]

1L13-3 Nebo-SV Box Spring

1L13-3 Nebo-SV “Box Spring”
Units Function Stores Range / Symbol
EWR 1L13 Early-Warning Radar Detection: 65nm (scripting) / 160nm (AI EWR Tasking) RWR-S.pngPO1-EWR.png
Acquisition time N/A
Notes
Has no offensive or defensive capabilities beyond what air assets it can guide towards a threat, and should be paired with layered AA and ground assets for protection.
Available to
Russia Algeria Belarus Georgia Kazakhstan Serbia Ukraine USAF Aggressors

55ZH6 Nebo Tall Rack

55ZH6 Nebo “Tall Rack”
Units Function Stores Range / Symbol
EWR 55G6 Early-Warning Radar Detection: 65nm (scripting) / 215nm (AI EWR Tasking) RWR-S.pngPO1-EWR.png
Acquisition time N/A
Notes
Has no offensive or defensive capabilities beyond what air assets it can guide towards a threat, and should be paired with layered AA and ground assets for protection.
Available to
Russia Algeria Belarus Kazakhstan Ukraine USAF Aggressors

Western systems

Radar-guided

Flakpanzer Gepard

From the 1970's until 2010, this unit was the cornerstone of the air defense of the German Army.

Flakpanzer Gepard
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SPAAA Gepard ? Self-propelled AAA 660× 35mm HE Detection: 8nm RWR-A.pngRWR-L.pngPO1-NA.png
Engagement: 2nm
Reload / rearm 1940s rearm from a depleted state.
Acquisition time 4s
ME Notes
Has a radar for searching, ranging, and tracking targets. Note that most eastern RWRs do not display this threat.

Has no special setup and is instead integrated into armoured or mechanised columns.

Available to
Germany USAF Aggressors
Tactics

Not particularly threatening unless you are flying low. Since the 1980's, it is standard procedure to accompany these with Stinger MANPADs, who would take advantage of the Flakpanzer's radar as an early warning system.

M163 Vulcan Air Defence Systems (VADS)

In service from 1969 to 1993, this AAA gun is comparable to the Shilka. Despite its designation as a AAA gun, in practice it tended to be used more as a ground support weapon, as its range was simply insufficient against air threats.

M163 Vulcan Air Defence Systems (VADS)
Units Qty Function Stores Range
AAA Vulcan M163 1 Radar-ranging, self-propelled AAA 1180× 20mm Detection: 2.7nm RWR-A.pngPO1-NA.png
Engagement: 1.4nm
Altitude: 1,500m / 4,500'
Reload / rearm 1280s
Acquisition time 6s
ME Notes
Optical sight with radar ranging. Note that most eastern RWRs do not display this threat.

Has no special setup and is instead intended to complement the M48 Chaparral, and be integrated into infantry/light mechanised columns.

Available to
USA Chile Israel Morocco Oman Saudi Arabia USAF Aggressors
Tactics

Designed as a complement to, and should be deployed alongside the M48 Chaparral. By itself, it is basically helpless to a competent bombing run.

MIM-23 Hawk PIP Phase I

First seen in the 1960's, this medium range SARH SAM system was designed to be a more mobile replacement of the MIM-14 Nike Hercules. It was superseded by the Patriot system in the 90's.

The Phase I hawk, as seen in game, is primarily deployed in the hands of both Saudi Arabia and Iran, the latter thanks to US policy misadventures in the 80's.

MIM-23 Hawk PIP Phase I
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM Hawk CWAR AN/MPQ-55 1 Continuous Wave Acquisition Radar (low-altitude search) Detection: 37nm RWR-HK.pngPO1-Medium.png
SAM Hawk LN M192 6 Launcher 3× MIM-23B Engagement: 24nm
Altitude: 200–65,000'
SAM Hawk PCP 1 Platoon Command Post
SAM Hawk SR AN/MPQ-50 1 Pulse Acquisition Radar (high-altitude search) Detection: 48nm RWR-HA.pngPO1-Medium.png
SAM Hawk TR AN/MPQ-46 2 High Power Illumination doppler Radar (tracking) Detection: 48nm RWR-HK.pngPO1-Medium.png
(Approximation: SAM Hawk PCP) 1 Assault Fire Command Console
(Approximation: SAM Hawk PCP) 1 Launcher Section Controls
(Unarmed) Transport M818 3 M501 Loading Tractor
(Static Cargos) Container 12 M390 Missile Pallet 3× MIM-23B
(Static Structures) GeneratorF 4 Battery Control Central
(Static Structures) GeneratorF 2 Information Coordination Central
(Static Structures) GeneratorF 2 SEA 56kVA Generator
Reload / rearm 120s per launcher (3 missiles).[1]
Acquisition time 12s
ME Notes
There exists a Range Only Radar component that is a fall-back system to help with ranging in a high-ECM environment. It is not simulated or present in DCS. Similarly, the AFCC and LSC are distributed systems for redundancy should the command post be eliminated. The effect of these can be approximated by adding additional PCPs.

The system is static cannot be driven using Combined Arms.

Available to
USA Bahrain Belgium Denmark France Germany Greece Iran Israel Italy Morocco Morocco The Netherlands Norway Saudi Arabia South Ossetia Spain Turkey USAF Aggressors
Tactics

The typical setup has redundant radars, requiring a few ARMs to take down. Being a SARH, defeating the tracking radar is enough to defeat the missile.

MIM-104 Patriot PAC-2

The PATRIOT, or, Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target, for those keeping track of the DoDs contributions to the field of tortured acronyms, is the premiere American long range SAM system. Initially conceived as an anti-aircraft system, the PAC-2 variant depicted in DCS features optimizations which make it efficient at engaging cruise missiles.

MIM-104 Patriot PAC-2
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM Patriot AMG AN/MRC-137 4-6 Antenna Mast Group
SAM Patriot ECS AN/MSQ-104 4-6 Engagement Control Station
SAM Patriot EPP-III 4-6 Diesel-Electric Power Plant
SAM Patriot ICC 1 Information Coordination Central
SAM Patrion LN M901 24-36 Launcher 4× MIM-104C Engagement: 54nm
Altitude: 200–80,000'
SAM Patriot STR AN/MPQ-53 4-6 PESA Radar (search and track) Detection: 85nm RWR-PT.pngPO1-Long.png
(Unarmed) HEMTT TFFT 4-6 Guided Missile Transporter
(Unarmed) HEMTT TFFT 4-6 Large Repair Parts Transporter HEMTT
(Unarmed) Transport M818 1 Maintenance Center
(Unarmed) Transport M818 8-12 Small Repair Parts Transporter
(Static Cargos) Container 8-12 Parts containers
Reload / rearm 1800s per missile; 7200s total rearm time per launcher.[1]
Acquisition time ?
ME Notes
The system is static and cannot be driven using Combined Arms.
Available to
USA Germany Greece Israel The Netherlands Oman Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates USAF Aggressors
Tactics

The Patriot system is designed around a battalion echelon, made of up 4-6 platoons. The ICC and Maintenance center are part of the command platoon, which oversees 4-6 "line battery" platoons, each containing one of each radar type, six launchers, and other support units distributed among them. It is a strategically important and expensive system, and as such typically supported by MANPADs.

The system is capable of shooting down missiles and aircraft alike with its fully active radar missiles. Considering the number of redundant sensors used within a properly configured battalion, this system would require a sustained barrage of ordinance to bring down.

Rapier

Entering service in the British Army in 1971 as a replacement for its dated AAA guns, this system would replace most of its other air defense options by 1977. This unique system uses manually guided camera equipped missiles to guide to target.

Rapier
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
Rapier FSA Blindfire Tracker 1 “Blindfire” Field Standard A radar guidance unit and generator. Detection: 16nm RWR-RT.pngPO1-Short.png
Rapier FSA Launcher 1 Launcher, surveillance radar, IFF, and generator. 4× Rapier Mk1 Detection: 16nm RWR-RS.pngPO1-Short.png
Engagement: 4nm
Altitude: 10,000'
Rapier FSA Optical Tracker 1 SACLOS optical tracking unit Detection: 10nm
(Unarmed) Land Rover 101 FC 1 Forward Controller
(Unarmed) Transport M818 1 Missile Supply Trailer
Reload / rearm 240s per missile; 760s total rearm time from a depleted state.[1]
Acquisition time ?
ME Notes
The system should be capable of running pure SACLOS without the Blindfire radar, but will not fire if one is not povided.

The system is static and cannot be driven using Combined Arms.

Available to
Australia Iran Iraq Libya Malaysia Oman Switzerland Turkey United Arab Emirates United Quitters USAF Aggressors
Tactics

Being optically guided, low flyers must be wary RWRs will not alert them to fired missiles, and neither flares nor chaff will do much to help you evade. The only indication you will receive is the tracking radar, especially at night. The system is capable of firing without the radar in real life, but this capability is not reflected in DCS at this time.

Roland 2

Developed jointly by the French and Germans in the 70's, this short range SAM was designed to protect mobile field formations and fixed, high-value targets such as airfields.

Roland 2
Units Qty Function Stores Range / Symbol
SAM Roland ADS ? Marder-mounted Air Defence System 2× Roland + 8 reserve Detection: 6nm RWR-RO.pngPO1-Short.png
Engagement: 4nm
Altitude: 30–19,500'
SAM Roland EWR 1 TÜR Early-Warning Radar Detection: 18nm RWR-GR.pngPO1-Short.png
Reload / rearm 3s readying time after missile detonation; 6s reload; 31s rearm per missile; 310s total rearm time from a depleted state.[1]
Acquisition time 10s
ME Notes
In Combined Arms, reloading and rearming the ADS is very prone to breakdowns, and missiles very rarely track outside of minimum range. The EWR cannot be driven. While nominally supported, the Roland is for all intents and purpose not compatible with or suitable for CA direct control.
Available to
Germany Spain USAF Aggressors
Tactics

While nominally a radar guided missile, it is capable of optical target acquisition and tracking. This mobile system is typically integrated into armoured or mechanised columns.

IR-guided

AN/TWQ-1 / M1097 Heavy HMMWV Avenger

Essentially a Humvee mounted platform to launch Stinger missiles from, this unit started replacing the M163 and M167 VADS in the 90's.

AN/TWQ-1 / M1097 Heavy HMMWV Avenger
Units Qty Function Stores Range
SAM Avenger M1097 ? IR-guided, self-propelled SAM 8× FIM-92 + 8 reserve
200× 12.7mm
Detection: 2.75nm
Engagement: 2.45nm
Altitude: 3,000m / 10,000'
Reload / rearm 40s per missile; 640s total rearm time from depleted state.[1] 30s to rearm depleted 12.7mm gun.
Acquisition time 2.5s
ME Notes
Available to
USA Israel Oman Turkey United Arab Emirates USAF Aggressors
Tactics

Typically embedded among mobile infantry or HMMWV / Stryker-based columns, this system and its all-aspect IR missiles are extremely mobile and dangerous threat to low-flying air targets.

FIM-92 Stinger

Replacing the Redeye MANPAD in 1982, the stinger missile is a cheap and easy point defense option for a variety of situations.

FIM-92 Stinger
Units Qty Function Stores Range
SAM Stinger comm 1 Command unit[2]
Stinger MANPADS 1 IR-guided MANPADS 3× FIM-92 Detection: 2.7nm
Engagement: 2.7nm
Altitude: 3,000m / 10,000'
Reload / rearm 15s reload per missile; ~180s rearm from a depleted state.
Acquisition time 6s
ME Notes
The system consists of infantry units and cannot be driven using Combined Arms.
Available to
USA Bahrain Belgium Brazil Canada Chile Denmark Georgia Germany Greece Insurgents Israel Italy The Netherlands Norway Saudi Arabia Spain Switzerland Turkey USAF Aggressors
Tactics

Able to be hidden anywhere one can reasonably find two guys and a tube, this can deliver an all-aspect infrared homing package of "Fuck You" to flow flying aircraft. Stinger teams can be found in almost any detachment, including infantry columns, supplementing point defense on fixed installations, even on the decks of warships.

This is a very difficult target to spot, but its threat can be circumvented by generally flying high. Safety flares and speed during low attack runs can help mitigate the threat from this, but it's no guarantee.

M6 Linebacker

A version of everybody's troop transport that can't carry troops, reconnaissance vehicle that's too conspicuous to do reconnaissance, quasi-tank that has less armor than a snowblower but has enough ammo to take out half of DC: the Bradley. This version was built...with Stingers!

M6 Linebacker
Units 1 Function Stores Range
SAM Linebacker M6 1 IR-guided, self-propelled SAM and IFV 4× FIM-92 + 6 reserve
250× 25mm HE
71× 25mm AP
800× 7.62mm
Detection: 4.3nm
Engagement: 2.45nm
Altitude: 3,000m / 10,000'
Reload / rearm 0s reload per missile; 23s rearm per missile; 230s total rearm time from depleted state.[1] 515s to rearm depleted 7.62mm gun; 1300s to rearm depleted 25mm AP; 830s to rearm depleted 25mm HE.
Acquisition time 2.5s
ME Notes
Available to
USA USAF Aggressors
Tactics

Being yet another vehicle with Stingers strapped to it, one can expect the exact threat profile of a stinger missile.

Opposition should continue assuming that every infantry column has a stinger in some manner in it somehow, and fly high.

MIM-72G / M48 Chaparral

In service from 1969-1998, this vehicle was designed as a ground launch platform for modified AIM-9Ds. It was designed as a complement to the M163 VADS.

MIM-72G / M48 Chaparral
Units Qty Function Stores Range
SAM Chaparral M48 1 IR-guided, self-propelled SAM 4× MIM-72G + 4 reserve Detection: 5.4nm
Engagement: 0.2–4.5nm
Altitude: 25-4,000m / 82–13,000'
Reload / rearm 41s per missile; 335s total rearm time from a depleted state.
Acquisition time 2.5s
ME Notes
Available to
USA Israel Morocco USAF Aggressors
Tactics

While the original Chaparral was rear-aspect, the version depicted in DCS represents a later version that uses FIM-92 Stinger all-aspect seekers. This was designed to operate with, and should be paired with, an M163 VADS in a mechanized infantry column.

Being a very similar platform to the stinger, similar tactics apply.

WWII Systems

All these systems require the WWII Assets Pack. All are optically guided and do not create any kind of firing indication beyond flashes and (minimal) barrel smoke that has to be spotted visually. All are static emplacements that cannot be driven using Combined Arms.

2cm Flak 30

2cm Flak 30
Units Function Stores Range
AAA Flak 30 Fixed AAA 20mm 2,200m / 1.3nm
Available to
Bulgaria Finland Germany Hungary Italian Social Republic Japan Romania Fucking Nazis USAF Aggressors

2cm Flakvierling 38

2cm Flakvierling 38
Units Function Stores Range
AAA Flak-Vierling 38 Fixed AAA 4×20× 20mm Engagement: 2,200m / 1.3nm
Available to
Bulgaria Finland Germany Hungary Italian Social Republic Japan Romania Fucking Nazis USAF Aggressors

8.8cm Flak 18

8,8cm Flak 18
Units Function Stores Range
AAA Flak 18 Fixed “Eighty-eight” Anti-air/anti-tank artillery 88mm Flak Engagement: 14,800m / 8nm
AAA Kdo.G.40 Kommandogerät 40 optical rangefinder command unit[2] Detection: 16nm
Notes
The variant available in DCS only fires anti-air rounds.
Available to
Bulgaria Finland Germany Hungary Italian Social Republic Japan Romania Fucking Nazis USAF Aggressors

8.8cm Flak 36

8,8cm Flak 36
Units Function Stores Range
AAA Flak 36 Fixed AAA 88mm Flak Engagement: 14,800m / 8nm
AAA Kdo.G.40 Kommandogerät 40 optical rangefinder command unit[2] Detection: 16nm
Available to
Bulgaria Finland Germany Hungary Italian Social Republic Japan Romania Fucking Nazis USAF Aggressors

8.8cm Flak 37

8,8cm Flak 37
Units Function Stores Range
AAA Flak 37 Fixed AAA 88mm Flak Engagement: 14,800m / 8nm
AAA Kdo.G.40 Kommandogerät 40 optical rangefinder command unit[2] Detection: 16nm
Available to
Bulgaria Finland Germany Hungary Italian Social Republic Japan Romania Fucking Nazis USAF Aggressors

Bofors 40mm

Bofors 40mm
Units Function Stores Range
AAA Bofors 40mm Fixed AAA 620× 40mm L/60 Flak Engagement: 7,160m / 4nm
Available to
USA Australia Belgium Canada Czech Republic France The Netherlands Poland United Quitters USAF Aggressors USSR Yugoslavia

Scripts and Shenanigans

Skynet-IADS

This script adds your SAM groups to an Integrated Air Defense System, which minimally consists of an Early Warning Radar (EWR) site (a lone long range radar or a long range SAM, ideally) and SAMs operating under its coverage. SAMs under EWR coverage will refrain from turning on their emitters until hostile aircraft reach a (configurable) range, reducing time for victims to react before being fired upon, as well as reducing vulnerability to SEAD. This system also enables a chance based HARM detection ability. SAMs that normally fire upon HARMs will, others will simply turn off their radars. All of these capabilities are configurable, allowing the script to be tuned to the author's taste.

Limitations:

  • Each sam group must have a single SAM.
  • The search radar must be the first unit in the group.

An IADS can be degraded by taking out its search radars, which generally remain online.

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 See https://forums.eagle.ru/showpost.php?p=3674493&postcount=3 for full table;
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 The functionality, purpose, and usefulness of command units have no clear official explanation, only conflicting unsourced community claims.
  3. See https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?p=3117499 for a discussion on the scripting engine bug(?) / limitations.