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Old 13-02-2017, 10:36 PM   #1
nighthawk86
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Post F-15 Strike Eagle III - Mission Report!

Just wanted to file a little report of this evenings mission in my all time favourite combat simulator, F-15 Strike Eagle III.

I recently installed the latest disk version 4108.03, as it was some time since I played it the last time. I find myself returning to this old simulator because it is still so immersive and in many ways better than todays offerings. And ever since I got F-15 Strike Eagle for my NES in around 1993, I have been a MicroProse fan. I did not play SEIII until many years later though. I want to do a proper review some day. But for now here is my little summary of a random mission.

So I loaded up F-15 in DOXBox just wanting to have a quick go, a short daylight bomb run maybe. However it was not to be. Selecting single mission in Desert Storm I was assigned 2 targets which at first glance seemed like a cakewalk. A comm tower and a bridge. I soon found out it was a night mission, to downtown Baghdad! Suddenly this looked a lot more like a serious deal.

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Preparing for combat.

A small but sometimes stressful issue with this game is that you are practically alone. No wingman, no flight or cover from allied aircraft. Whereas in the air war in Desert Storm the coalition ruled the skies after a short time, here you have the odds against you, especially with all realism settings on authentic and extreme difficulty. It can be hard to avoid enemy aircraft creeping up on you without constantly sweeping around with radar on, which is already quite difficult in Iraqi territory filled with SAM sites and radars. Sure you get some help from AWACS, and the occasional mission update from JSTARS, codename "Blackjack" (which I think is a neat feature). In real life the Strike Eagles flew with top cover from air superiority fighters, in a flight corridor that was more or less cleared from the beginning phase of the war. Iraqi jets rarely took to the skies as they were painted by radar almost upon takoff. And Wild Weasels carrying HARM missiles kept the remaining radar installations in check.

f15_001.jpg
Late evening. Still over Saudi Arabia, coming off the tanker track.

That issue considered, I sometimes set the TEWS and radar to standard, to get a fighting chance and even the odds. And I have learned that having a full compliment of Sparrows or AMRAAMS can save your life. For this mission I loaded up 8 AMRAAMs and 2 GBU-10s. (Even though the AMRAAM was never fired in the war, but whatever) Taking out the fighters early on will make your life easier when preparing the bomb run, computing HRMs and so on. It is bad enough dodging SAMs and ground fire during this phase.

I flew the mission in real time, no compression. The flight was uneventful until fence in, where my TEWS lighted up and I got radar warnings. The jammer started doing its thing. 2 fighters closing in. I descend from 22k ft down to 6k ft, taking out the first enemies as they came into range. Coming over central Iraq I get swarmed by 6 more MiGs and Sukhoi aircraft, coming in waves. I expend all AMRAAMS, and the air threat is no more. As I close in on Baghdad I descend to around 800 ft, only popping up to 2000 ft to paint my primary target.

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Dark night, approaching the city. And they know I'm coming.

Flying around outskirts of the city I manage to compute a good HRM of the target and put my laser designator on top of the comm tower. Triple A all around me, a nice feature of this game. Warning klaxons go off as I increase altitude to drop my first GBU-10 and avoid the blast. The Roland MT-32 spouts a resounding BOOM! (Not to be confused with the Roland weapons system) "Primary achieved!" They got me on radar, "Mud launch!". We deploy chaff, roll and escape, it is a tense moment as multiple SAMs are launched. Still got another run to go, secondary is also downtown...

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Closing on primary objective.

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Laser is locked on target, moments before impact.

Down again to below 1000 ft, to avoid SAM radar. It is hard not hitting the deck flying with night vision, I have to concentrate generating another target map, while navigating between airfields and SAM sites. AAA is flying everywhere now. This one is a bit worse, as I pop up to around 2000 ft to release my last GBU I get several launch warnings. I score a direct hit on the bridge, drop most my chaff and doing some sharp turns I again avoid getting hit.

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Secondary run, 15 seconds TREL. Laser is locked on the bridge.

Leaving the city I drop to 800 ft with a short burst of afterburner. It is time to leave Iraq. Streams of AAA are still coming up around me. I turn to the tanker track sequence point and with some distance to Iraqi radar I begin to increase altitude. The flight back is long but peaceful, I feel satisfied having almost completed an intense mission. Everything is pitch black and it makes one think about how it must have been in real life. All stores are exhausted and the aircraft is much lighter and quickly gains altitude and speed. Cruising at 24k ft, I finally make contact with the tanker. "Welcome home!". Mission complete!

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Fence out, heading for the tanker and the safety of home.

f15_015.jpg
I turn on my lights approaching the KC-135. It is there, in the distance.

De-briefing time... 8 enemy aircraft shot down, both objectives destroyed without a scratch in the paint. Promoted to 1st lieutenant and awarded the Silver Star! Good mission! I hope you enjoyed this report, I certainly had a lot of fun flying. I hate war, but I like military aircraft and I love this game.

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Last edited by nighthawk86; 13-02-2017 at 11:35 PM.
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