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Thread: Flying Cap

  1. #1

    Flying Cap

    Among such things as naval or space-borne fleets of ships...or even a single battlecarrier...there is the need for protection; whether from hostile fighters, bombers, or missiles. A wave of enemy fighter squadrons, or land-based artillery or missile batteries can make a bad day, worse very quickly! Your carrier, or fleet often depends on your friendly squadrons of fighters and recce units flying CAP....a protective umbrella; a dome of protection that extends out a radius from center of force whereby you kill them before they kill you.

    Most of us are very familiar with this concept in more operational-sized games, especially in WWII. In modern combat however, an element I've not seen represented yet...and one you may want to consider in your designs for modern and futuristic games...are drones.

    Drilled down to one very elemental basic: Flying CAP costs' money!

    But even today in 2014, the solutions aren't necessarily easy to attain. Take for example one program with the current United States Navy:

    This past summer, the Department of Defense (DOD) was set to release the final request for proposal for the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike, or UCLASS, aircraft, but divisions within the Department about the scope of the program and the Navy’s requirements of the drone have led to repeat delays. The drone has become a symbol of a broader debate within DOD about what capabilities future carrier air wings need, particularly whether they need a long-range penetrating surveillance and strike aircraft.

    But think about this a minute: '....a long-range penetrating surveillance and strike aircraft.' Not manned fighters...drones. When I first read about the problems with UCLASS, looking beyond yet another red-tape nightmare scenario that is known as any nations' military procurement and contracting system, this made me turn on my head in terms of the space combat game I am designing, and the fact that I had my CAP and RECCE mechanics entirely dependent on manned fighters, tactical craft, and scouts. How would long-range, stealthy aircraft drones play into your system?

    Back to real life for a minute...today, the military wants to “develop an unmanned longer-range carrier-based aircraft capable of being air-refueled to provide greater standoff capability, to expand payload and launch options, and to increase naval reach and persistence.” The reason? Threats from long-range ballistic and cruise missiles – especially the kind being fielded by China – are pushing aircraft carriers further from enemy shores, beyond the range of their aircraft. Without a long-range penetrating aircraft, the carrier will be irrelevant against sophisticated adversaries.

    Lessons from today apply to theories of modern and futuristic-combat game design. This, to me, opens up new thought avenues in what I program into both combatant fleets, and how they may want to approach something as heretofore thought, simply flying CAP.
    If you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning

  2. #2
    Super Moderator 50th's Avatar
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    I saw a documentary on this once

    I was at the McDonnell Douglas headquarters in St Louis in the 80's and they showed a documentary on this using Battlestar Galactica as their example of CAP! They were showing vipers on CAP and then landing on BG with other vipers taking their place so that the coverage was constant. I think this was from the episode where their sensors were wiped out by a collision. Then they showed McDonnell Douglas F-18 fighter jets performing this same roll with a carrier group. It was a cool video and I always checked the MCD store to see if I could find it, and I never saw it there.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by 50th View Post
    I was at the McDonnell Douglas headquarters in St Louis in the 80's and they showed a documentary on this using Battlestar Galactica as their example of CAP! They were showing vipers on CAP and then landing on BG with other vipers taking their place so that the coverage was constant. I think this was from the episode where their sensors were wiped out by a collision. Then they showed McDonnell Douglas F-18 fighter jets performing this same roll with a carrier group. It was a cool video and I always checked the MCD store to see if I could find it, and I never saw it there.

    OMG...I think that is the coolest story I've heard all year!!! That would have been so cool t see...and I totally get that this would be a perfect way to expound on the subject.
    If you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning

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