Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

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domtropen
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by domtropen » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:55 am

In 08th MS team Dopp is at least on par with jet corebooster. It looks weak mainly by going against Amuro /Gundam in MSG. Its weapon is too weak against lunar titanium armor on Gundam and RX-79[G] however, allowing even a poor pilot like Miguel to take times shooting it down with beam rifle.

SFS is good for ferrying MS around quickly. MS on SFS however often behaves like a big turret on the SFS, making them of questionable use for aerial fights if lots of fighter aircrafts [or flight capable TMS after OYW] are in the area like what AEUG faces with just a few Asshimars. Perhaps the best option for air defense after OYW is true aerial TMS like Asshimar and Anksha?

According to http://www.mechatalk.net/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=15980 the listed sensor range for MS is not the actual range for MS sensors to detect things, which may be up to 10 times greater than the enemy search range of the main camera listed. BTW is the 08th MS team scene when Norris and his Gouf scans the area for Guntanks the way the active enemy search of the main camera/sensors works?

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by toysdream » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:37 am

I think the "enemy search" function is probably related to the "incoming enemy" alerts that the Gundam provides for Amuro in the original series. This automatic proximity warning seems to go away in later stories, so that the characters can be dramatically ambushed by enemy mobile suits that they should have seen coming miles away. :-)

As far as written sources, we also have this from Mobile Suit Variation 3:
Air power is a major factor in ground combat. The strategic doctrines of ground combat perfected in the latter half of the twentieth century held that obtaining air supremacy could lead to victory. Although some revisions to these strategic doctrines became necessary with the appearance of the mobile suit, they remained fundamentally unchanged. When it came to actual fighting strength, the Federation Forces were superior in both quality and quantity.

The fact that the Principality of Zeon itself occupied the limited space of the colonies where aircraft were an unknown quantity, and the priority given to mobile suit development, are among the reasons suggested for the Zeon forces' inferiority in air power. As a result, despite their mighty ground forces, the Zeon lines rapidly shrank once they were placed on the defensive.

One aspect of the Federation Forces' air power which particularly vexed the Zeon forces was its fleet of anti-submarine patrol planes. This was a weak point for the Zeon forces, which had few surface vessels and relied mainly on submarines for their naval power. These aircraft inflicted heavy damage on the Zeon submarine fleets and greatly restricted their activities.
Interesting stuff. It's been widely claimed that part of the reason Zeon's amphibious mobile suits were kind of a dead end is that the submarine fleets were all hunted to extinction by Federation anti-submarine planes, and this account suggests that Zeon's ground forces (including mobile suits) had a similar vulnerability. Certainly Zeon's mobile suits seem to have been spectacularly impotent to defend Odessa against the Federation's onslaught of conventional tanks and aircraft.

I should note again that I'm not saying the best use of conventional aircraft is destroying mobile suits. There are lots of useful things that aircraft can do in the battlefield, and if mobile suits are largely helpless to stop them doing it, then they should keep right on doing those things! So one possible answer to the original question is that conventional aircraft (and space fighters) are still in use, but for various reasons they seldom end up in close proximity to enemy mobile suits, which are best handled by other mobile suits.

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by domtropen » Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:30 am

Hasn't it been stated earlier that the fed has far more attack aircrafts/bombers than Zeon MS and aircrafts? Eventhough MS can take down several aircrafts it would still be overwhelmed by more aircrafts. Getting enough quality pilots for Zeon fighters [if somehow they can make enough dopps] is likely to be a big problem for Zeon too. Once the fed rebuilds their massive air force, and that MS itself is a rather poor choice for defending battle where its mobility has to be restricted, Zeon's smaller Earth force is eventually doomed.

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by toysdream » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:00 am

I still think attacking mobile suits directly with aircraft is stupid. I've been reading up a bit on the Mongoose, and the various MSV sources indicate that it was actually pretty bad at this - and the Mongoose was the only Federation aircraft even remotely suitable for attacking mobile suits on the ground.

On the other hand, filling the sky with bombers and blowing all the Zeon tanks and mobile suits to kingdom come? That worked great!

So why don't we see this done in later UC stories? Well, first we'd have to look for scenarios where the dominant side (i.e. the Federation Forces or the Titans) is attacking an enemy stronghold. This basically never happens in Zeta or ZZ, where the AEUG and Karaba always seem to be on the offensive, and their only terrestrial bases are constantly moving aircraft.

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by RGM-79 GM » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:50 am

The only aspect that the Dopp is really shown to be superior in is maneuverability. It has less pilot protection, less range, less weapons, worse aerodynamics, and probably lower speed. Now that is very similar, apart from low range and aerodynamics, to the Zero fighter compared to a Hellcat or Corsair. Which resulted in the Zero being slaughtered by Hellcats and Corsairs. Now you could make the argument that this was due, in part, to pilot skill however Feddie fighter pilots should have more skill than Zeon ones since they had been training on earth a lot longer. We also know for a fact that even though Zeon had large amounts of Dopps they were never able to gain dominance of the air. Now are you trying to tell me that Dopps were superior to Feddie fighters but yet couldn't beat them?

The reasons I think the Dopp is slower are it's aerodynamics, short range, and focus on maneuverability. It would suffer from more drag than Feddie counterparts, a fighter that has short range due to fuel consumption would need to use less fuel for it's main thrusters, and it's design focus was on maneuverability alone rather than mobility.

I don't really remember what the Dopps in 08th MS team did, as it has been years since I've seen it. So could you tell me what shows them as on par? Please keep in mind that shooting some down really isn't acceptable as otherwise we could say the same about Zakus that shoot down a GM during the OYW or that the Juaggu is on par with the Nemo, GM II, and GM III as it was able to shoot down each in Unicorn. Not trying to say they can't get kills against them but if you are saying they are on par simply because they shot some down it really doesn't mean anything as we know Zakus are worse than GMs and the Juaggu is worse than the Nemo, GM II, and GM III out of the water.

I am aware of the sensor ranges however I thought Zeonista was talking about the detection range rather than visual. You'd still have to be looking for them however which considering there are almost always Feddie ground forces around when they have aircraft wouldn't be all that smart since you can't really watch both all that effectively and the more immediate threat should be the priority in most cases.

Looks like according to what Mark posted from MSV 3 the Feds had superior aircraft and more of them than Zeon. Since it says, in terms of air power, that the Feds had better quality and quantity and that Zeon had inferior air power.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by toysdream » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:17 am

The Federation's air forces do seem to be superior in general, but think about the actual aircraft matchups. (Sorry to keep harping on specific combat roles, but it's kind of my thing...)

The Dopp is basically an all-purpose aircraft, capable of dogfighting against other planes or attacking ground targets. The other main Zeon types are the Luggun, which is purely for reconnaissance, and the Dodai, which started out as a heavy bomber and ground attack type, roughly equivalent to the Deprogg. But for most purposes, they use Dopps for everything.

The Federation air force is way more specialized. They have electronic warfare planes, and stratospheric interceptors for shooting down incoming HLVs, and big old bombers, and anti-submarine patrol planes, and ground attack planes, and a bunch of different fighters for different altitudes and environments. Most of these are designed for the pre-Minovsky era, so they don't all work as well during the One Year War, but on the whole they're pretty good and the Federation sure has a lot of them.

But when we're talking about establishing air superiority, with fighters fighting fighters, the question is how these guys will fare against Dopps. (A very different matter than fighting mobile suits, and probably much more relevant for Federation fighter planes!)

Based on a quick scan of the MSV sources, it looks like the TIN Cod is pretty sucky - lots of technical problems, weak armament, late deployment, etc. The Saberfish is actually pretty good, and it can be used both on Earth and in space, but for exactly that reason it was unpopular with the Federation's rival service branches which all wanted their own special aircraft. This leaves the Fly Manta fighter-bomber as the major rival to the Dopp. At first glance, you might think those missile launchers in its nose are for ground attack and that it's not really suited for aerial combat, but the OYW-era Federation Forces seem to be obsessed with building everything into the airframe rather than attaching missiles and whatnot to external hardpoints...

Then we have the Fly Arrow, glimpsed on Cucuruz Doan's island. Maybe that's the real Dopp-killer. :-)

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by RGM-79 GM » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:23 am

Yeah I knew the Tincod sucked pretty bad. My posts were really talking about the Saberfish as I always assumed it was their most common fighter on earth. If it is the Fly-manta then I have no idea how it compares to a Dopp.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by toysdream » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Oh yeah, the Fly Manta is totally their main fighter during the One Year War. Naturally, it's the one we see all the time in the original series, since none of the "Core Fighter Variation" series had been invented yet; the Federation deploys masses of them during Operation Odessa, launches them as interceptors to defend Jaburo, and uses them for raids on the California Base as per the MSV series. Aside from the Core Fighter and Core Booster, the only other Federation fighters in the original series are the Toriarez (designed but never shown in the anime) and the Fly Arrow (a single crashed one is shown in the Cucuruz Doan episode).

Most of the other Federation fighters were created as part of the "Core Fighter Variation" family, part of the MSV series. That includes the Mongoose, Flatmouse, Flydart, Saberfish, and TIN Cod. According to the MSV materials, the Core Fighter series are a relatively new line of aerospace machines intended to serve as the "core" of the Federation Forces, encompassing Earth's atmosphere, the stratosphere, and outer space.

Although Entertainment Bible 1 claims that the Core Fighter series began in the U.C. 0050s, and that the prototype TIN Cod rolled out back in U.C. 0062, all the MSV sources indicate that these machines are much newer - especially the TIN Cod, whose FF-6 model number puts it right next to the FF-X7 Core Fighter. The Mongoose attack plane is supposed to be one of the very earliest in the series, and according to the MSV Collection File it was specifically developed with Minovsky particles in mind, on the theory that the old concept of the "tankbuster" plane would thus come back in fashion. In other words, it seems like all these Core Fighter Variations were developed over the ten years between the discovery of the Minovsky particle and the outbreak of the One Year War.

Ironically, though, the most effective Federation aircraft during the war - the Fly Manta and the Deprogg - are older types that weren't part of the Core Fighter series. The Core Fighter types seem to have been too little, too late, and with too little firepower to do any good against mobile suits. The only success story from the Core Fighter series is the Saberfish, which the Federation Space Force belatedly embraces after the war starts.

It seems like the Fly Manta is eventually phased out in favor of new types. In 08th MS Team, those fleets of Jet Core Boosters are playing the same role the Fly Manta did in Operation Odessa, and the TIN Cods and Saberfishes that scramble from Jaburo in Zeta Gundam are launching from the same ramps the Fly Manta used in the original series. By this point, the missile-launching boosters used by the space version of the Saberfish have become standard equipment on the atmospheric version as well, giving it exactly twice the firepower of the Fly Manta...

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by RGM-79 GM » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:57 pm

Yeah that's true, I completely forgot the Fly mantas were at Odessa and Jaburo. I always thought the Fly manta was bad. Is that true or was it effective?
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by toysdream » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:22 pm

Well, during the Jaburo attack, we see them firing their missiles to intercept the descending Zeon mobile suits. It turns out the missiles are pretty small, fire very rapidly, and can decapitate a Zaku with a single hit. So at the very least they have decent firepower.

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Zeonista » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:27 pm

This has become a really great thread, with some interesting scenarios being postulated. :)

The Dopp does come across as a good fighter within its capabilities, and its performance in a couple episodes of MS 08th Platoon makes it a better machine than the original MS Gundam battle when Garma used mostly fast movers to attack White Base. The Dopps seem to have nicely buffaloed noob pilots of the Guncannon & Guntank, so there is something to the idea of fighters suddenly attacking MS to do some damage. Fortunately for Kai, Ryu, and Hayato their MS were well armored, and the Dopp pilots had no prior experience in attacking MS. Amuro swatted a few of them, but he had a more powerful MS & had ample warning of what to expect when he launched in the Gundam. The appearances of the Dopp in 08th Platoon make it seem that the 08th team did well in the encounters, with a lucky break or two. None of Shiro's platoon shrugged off the Zeon fighters as being "only Dopps".

The Dopp's profile cited above makes sense from the Zeon priority decisions. A general purpose fighter-bomber emphasizing handling over top speed & range would be the best thing to send down in the HLVs. In retrospect, we can say the short range was a liability, much as the Luftwaffe suffered from having short-range fighters. (Imperial Japanese fighters had no such restriction, but they had other problems. :P ) A certain lack of foresight considering the EFF's tenacity and the problem of distance on Earth seem to have made the Dopp's combat radius a real liability. I am sure EFF pilots made sure to factor that detail into their mission planning, and to a certain extent EFF commanders like General Revil could concentrate ground forces without having to worry too much about fighter bomber strikes. Also, the Dopps, being true fighters, required runways, so when the Zeons gave up territory in the post-Odessa phase of the war, the Dopp squadrons lost the airfields they required for operation. The MS didn't need such facilities, so it's no surprise we see only MS as Zeon vehicles beyond a certain point on Earth.

RGM-79 GM: The Zakus & other Zeon MS benefited from having their primary sensors in their heads, far above any tank commander looking out of his hatch. That would be a real advantage in watching for jet fighters or helicopter gunships no matter what the terrain. Experienced Zeon pilots would practice what General Mellenthin referred to as "the German stare", a periodic past-the-shoulder scan of the horizon. Lack of awareness would be painfully punished, so wariness would be constantly called for not matter how confident the MS pilots felt. I imagine that a number of Zeon MS were felled by fighters in the closing stages of the ground war due to pilot inexperience and/or fatigue canceling out awareness.

toysdream: The EFF seems to have done a real upgrade on the old reliable 2.75" rocket pod. :) I am rather surprised that the Mongoose was rated poorly against Zeon MS as an attack aircraft. :? There may have been some adverse circumstances that were not covered in the material, or maybe the designers simply underestimated the true capability of Zeon MS & Magella tanks. The lack of numbers involved in production would have worked against the Core series in any event, but maybe a number of them were destroyed on the ground during the initial invasion blitzkrieg, and the Fly & Arrow Mantas survived to become useful because they were second-rate models posted further away. The eventual Core Booster & Saberfish units seem to have done well, with a number of EFF aces coming from the Saberfish squadrons.

While I agree that directly attacking a unified MS company would not be to the interest of the typical EFF fighter squadron, we often see Zeon MS units in the anime operating solely at the platoon level. So with only 3-4 MS to worry about, harassing aerial attacks would become possible with an acceptable chance of success. The Wehrmacht's General Von Mellenthin (in his excellent memoir) stated that the Allied jabo attacks were most damaging to the panzer columns in forcing lengthy delays when maneuvering to attack or counterattack. Every minute spent cowering in a ditch or under a tree, or spent pushing wrecked & damaged vehicles to the side counted against the chances of success. The delays counted double against the soft-skinned columns that carried infantry and supplies, and which took the brunt of the losses, which does support your claim that the EFF didn't have to match fighters directly against MS to have an effect on Zeon operations.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by domtropen » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:59 pm

Guess I do not need to explain much by now, but basically what ones think is not necessarily what is shown in anime and what is written in various sources. Just like overestimation on Mig-25 and giving a thumb down on A-10 and Harrier.

Perhaps one reason EAF doesn't send fighters and attackers with missiles to take down Audhumla is that the fed's forces is dividing among themselves too? Many may just sit it out or delay the operation even with the order from Titans. After all many in AEUG are their fellow fed's soldiers and there may be quite a number of sympathizers among the fed's forces. In Unicorn we see that saberfish is still in services and it is still likely to be of use against MS or perhaps more against SFS, hence the need to be wiped out while still being on the ground by Zaku sniper.

Mark, I also think bombing group of MS to the kingdom come is a good idea especially when MS is forced to be on defensive that put limiter on their mobility. At Odessa it is a good chance for the fed to do just that?

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by RGM-79 GM » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:34 am

The 08th MS may not have shrugged them off but that really doesn't mean anything when comparing fighter to fighter. I would agree that it's short range is a liability, since that forced them to remain in the Gaws until they got somewhat close to their target which would increase the chances of the Gaw getting shot down. Then if the Gaw got destroyed the Dopps would basically be SOL. That applies more for offensive missions though as with defensive missions being sent from a base would make more sense than a Gaw IMO.

Terrain really wasn't what I meant. Yeah the MS pilots have a better view but most times Federation aircraft are around they are usually working with ground forces. So if MS pilots are busy fighting tanks they can't really take the time to look around for aircraft.

I don't know anything about that General, the German stare, or Zeon using it so I wont comment on that. However while soldiers do need to remain alert it is hard to search for other enemies while something right in front of you is trying to shoot you.

With the Mongoose the only things I can think of are that it is possibly rather slow and that combined with it flying low to the ground would allow Zakus with machine guns to tear it apart. Well the Mongoose was made around 20 years before the OYW so it's designers couldn't underestimate the Zaku or Magella. Another thing is that in it's MAHQ profile it says the cannon was only useful against stationary targets which could mean it was hard to keep on a moving target. So it is a low flying craft, that needs to fly straight at the enemy, is quite possibly slow, and has trouble hitting moving targets and I could see how Zakus and Magellas would inflict heavy casualties.

Oh and the main reason I say it would probably be slow is that I would expect the recoil on the gun to be pretty high which would force the designers to give the aircraft a high weight to help deal with that. Especially since it is mounted to a wing rather than on the body like the A-10's GAU-8.

With the Saberfish in Unicorn I suspect that they were probably a larger threat to the fat uncles. They could probably damage/destroy/disable a MS with a careless pilot but as, based on what we saw, most of the MS were from the Gryps war or later I doubt they'd be a big threat for the MS.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Zeonista » Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:58 pm

RGM-79 GM wrote: I would agree that it's short range is a liability, since that forced them to remain in the Gaws until they got somewhat close to their target which would increase the chances of the Gaw getting shot down. Then if the Gaw got destroyed the Dopps would basically be SOL. That applies more for offensive missions though as with defensive missions being sent from a base would make more sense than a Gaw IMO.
The Gaw's short range was a real liability, not so much for itself, but that when mixed with other elements created an inferior strategic situation which in turn had a negative effect on tactics. I don't want to force the Luftwaffe comparison too much, the Me-109's short operational radius was a key factor in keeping the UK in the war during 1940-41, and was a negative factor in 1942-43 when the Allies began to undertake offensive operations. Another limiting factor would be the number of available Dopps, which would never be enough for the area commanders. Again, the Luftwaffe comparison comes out, albeit for a different reason than basic production. The strategic bombing campaign forced Goring to keep many fighter squadrons in Europe instead of sending them to the Med or the East Front. So at a certain point in any front Allied fighter-bombers and bombers could operate against Axis formations with lessened risk of interception, and Allied fighters flying interception missions had a combat advantage in staying time. That's the area where "the German stare" was developed for the first time.
Terrain really wasn't what I meant. Yeah the MS pilots have a better view but most times Federation aircraft are around they are usually working with ground forces. So if MS pilots are busy fighting tanks they can't really take the time to look around for aircraft.
Ground attack in close support is usually done away from the friendly force, unless the friendlies are in a static defensive position that can be clearly delineated. It prevents mistakes in ID that seem obvious from the ground, but not so obvious from the air. So simultaneous attacks air & ground attacks aren't a good idea. However, sending the air strikes in ahead of the advance before the combatants become too close has some merit to it. At that point the harassing attacks of the fighters will have their chance to disrupt MS teams and put the Zeon pilots into full reactionary mode instead of carrying out effective support of the conventional forces. The conventional forces of course will take it on the chin as their kind have always done since 1939. :)
Oh and the main reason I say it would probably be slow is that I would expect the recoil on the gun to be pretty high which would force the designers to give the aircraft a high weight to help deal with that. Especially since it is mounted to a wing rather than on the body like the A-10's GAU-8.
The GAU-8 actually does cause some drag from its recoil, to the point where the pilots actually feel a pushing effect. It doesn't not count as a negative effect because the pilots claim the drag helps them hold the cannon on target. Whether or not that would be advantageous against a MS is difficult to say for certain. It is worth noting that historical & contemporary attack aircraft with large cannons have tended to center-mount them in the fuselage, The Ju-87D Stuka had paired 37mm cannon under the wings and the Hurricane had a version with 2 40mm cannon slung in/under the wings. However, neither tank-buster airplane had to deal with a MS serving as a mobile target, so again the situation is uncertain.
With the Saberfish in Unicorn I suspect that they were probably a larger threat to the fat uncles. They could probably damage/destroy/disable a MS with a careless pilot but as, based on what we saw, most of the MS were from the Gryps war or later I doubt they'd be a big threat for the MS.
That is a reasonable supposition, since nearly all the Zeon Remnant attack force had come a long way, and without transport aircraft they could not hope to escape if the battle turned against them.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by RGM-79 GM » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:21 pm

Ground attack in close support is usually done away from the friendly force, unless the friendlies are in a static defensive position that can be clearly delineated. It prevents mistakes in ID that seem obvious from the ground, but not so obvious from the air. So simultaneous attacks air & ground attacks aren't a good idea. However, sending the air strikes in ahead of the advance before the combatants become too close has some merit to it. At that point the harassing attacks of the fighters will have their chance to disrupt MS teams and put the Zeon pilots into full reactionary mode instead of carrying out effective support of the conventional forces. The conventional forces of course will take it on the chin as their kind have always done since 1939.
Yeah having aircraft attacking enemies extremely close to the ground forces should be avoided, except in emergencies, but in Gundam the aircraft almost always are close to the ground forces. More so with Zeon in MSG I think, like with Garma's attack forces. Off the top of my head I can't think of any times they sent in aircraft to soften up the enemy before sending in the ground forces. Unless you want to count when Garma's Dopps forced White Base to lower it's altitude to get attacked by the Magellas. To be fair though fiction in general has aircraft, and other forces, provide support from much closer than reality. Like based on fiction you'd assume danger close means at most 200ft away, usually less, while in reality danger close is usually 600m and under.
The GAU-8 actually does cause some drag from its recoil, to the point where the pilots actually feel a pushing effect. It doesn't not count as a negative effect because the pilots claim the drag helps them hold the cannon on target. Whether or not that would be advantageous against a MS is difficult to say for certain. It is worth noting that historical & contemporary attack aircraft with large cannons have tended to center-mount them in the fuselage, The Ju-87D Stuka had paired 37mm cannon under the wings and the Hurricane had a version with 2 40mm cannon slung in/under the wings. However, neither tank-buster airplane had to deal with a MS serving as a mobile target, so again the situation is uncertain.
I am aware that the GAU-8's recoil affects it, what I meant is that since the Mongoose has it's cannon on the left wing when it fires it should be pushing back on the left side and probably up as well while the right side wouldn't. With the A-10's GAU-8 being on the body and roughly in the center the recoil should affect stability much less than the Mongoose's cannon. The main thing is if the left side is being pushed up and back by the recoil the force would be unbalanced and the right side should move forward and down at the same time. It might not be much but it would still be unbalanced. With the cannon build into the body, the body would be pushed back and up rather than just one side which, to me anyway, would seem to be a more stable position.
That is a reasonable supposition, since nearly all the Zeon Remnant attack force had come a long way, and without transport aircraft they could not hope to escape if the battle turned against them.
Yep, that is exactly what I was thinking. No one wants to get stuck in enemy territory with no way of leaving. That and if they lost their rides home it could affect their morale. Now with how the remnants were waiting so long just to attack the Federation I really doubt their morale would be that badly damaged from losing their rides.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by domtropen » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:27 pm

From Mark's translation of Gundam Century Dopp has cruising range of 1,200 km, and basically pre-OYW fed fighters are at most evenly matched against Dopp.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by toysdream » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:32 pm

On the Dopp and Gaw combo: The Gaw has no problems with range, it's just the Dopp. So yeah, the Dopp does need to be stationed pretty close to the battlefield. That's not necessarily a huge problem, though...

There's a sidebar in the MSV Collection File that draws a distinction between air supremacy (制空権) and air superiority (航空優勢). The former, it says, means maintaining control of the airspace by continually shooting down enemy aircraft; the latter just requires you to have enough distributed air power that you can focus it at any point in the airspace to wipe out the enemy as needed. But the Minovsky particle, by nullifying radar, renders the second concept useless. In other words, you need to have your planes up in the air patrolling, rather than sitting around watching the radar and then all rushing to the battle zone.

So if you need to have your aircraft patrolling the airspace all the time anyway, it actually seems better to station them aboard a flying fortress like the Gaw. In terms of defense, the short range of the Dopp wouldn't be so much of a handicap in a situation where you don't get much advance warning of enemy attacks. And in terms of offense, the Gaw serves as the mothership of an airborne carrier group, so the Zeons are adapting standard naval (and space) tactics to the strange new world of air power...


As for the Mongoose, I don't know where MAHQ got that claim. (Like the claim that the Dolos can't deploy its mobile suits fast enough, it strikes me as fanfic invented to flesh out the profile.) Most of the Japanese sources seem to think its main liability was that the 75mm cannon just didn't have enough firepower to take out a mobile suit - it worked pretty well against Zeon tanks, but couldn't destroy a Zaku.

MAHQ's claim that the Mongoose was introduced in the U.C. 0050s has a better basis - as I noted before, Entertainment Bible 1 says that the Core Fighter series originated in the 0050s, and this is repeated in Gundam Officials. But other sources suggest a much later date for the Core Fighter series, and the MSV Collection File specifically says the Mongoose was designed with Minovsky particles in mind, which means it would have to have been developed in the 0070s. (I find this claim pretty persuasive, since it's obvious that Minovsky particles would make classic "tankbusting" a more attractive tactic.)

So based on the MSV sources, it seems like the Mongoose was actually a pretty good idea in the Minovsky particle age, it's just that the Federation underestimated the durability of its main target. It's been established that even the 150mm guns of the Type 61 tank are pretty feeble against mobile suits, so it stands to reason that an aircraft-mounted gun would be even more ineffective. Yet another reason why "fighting mobile suits with aircraft" is basically a dumb idea. :-)

-- Mark

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by RGM-79 GM » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:21 pm

As for the Mongoose, I don't know where MAHQ got that claim. (Like the claim that the Dolos can't deploy its mobile suits fast enough, it strikes me as fanfic invented to flesh out the profile.) Most of the Japanese sources seem to think its main liability was that the 75mm cannon just didn't have enough firepower to take out a mobile suit - it worked pretty well against Zeon tanks, but couldn't destroy a Zaku.

MAHQ's claim that the Mongoose was introduced in the U.C. 0050s has a better basis - as I noted before, Entertainment Bible 1 says that the Core Fighter series originated in the 0050s, and this is repeated in Gundam Officials. But other sources suggest a much later date for the Core Fighter series, and the MSV Collection File specifically says the Mongoose was designed with Minovsky particles in mind, which means it would have to have been developed in the 0070s. (I find this claim pretty persuasive, since it's obvious that Minovsky particles would make classic "tankbusting" a more attractive tactic.)

So based on the MSV sources, it seems like the Mongoose was actually a pretty good idea in the Minovsky particle age, it's just that the Federation underestimated the durability of its main target. It's been established that even the 150mm guns of the Type 61 tank are pretty feeble against mobile suits, so it stands to reason that an aircraft-mounted gun would be even more ineffective. Yet another reason why "fighting mobile suits with aircraft" is basically a dumb idea.
Interesting, I suppose that it does make more sense that it would be made with the particles in mind. That would explain why it uses a cannon as it's anti-tank weapon rather than missiles. I also find it odd that it uses what is basically a small tank cannon rather than something like the GAU-8. I doubt that would be anymore effective against MS but a weapon like the GAU-8 would be more useful than a 75mm cannon against other targets IMO.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by manwiththemachinegun » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:32 pm

Last I heard, there was considerable resistance from Congress in regards to scrapping the A-10, and the army mentioned they'd "take them off the air force's hands" if they charge forward with the F-35 plans.

But back to giant robots. I think IGLOO does a good job demonstrating that conventional weapons DO work against Zeon wonder weapons, but you need exact timing and accuracy because any mistakes will result in heavy casualties. MS are great weapons, but I'd like it demonstrated more often that they're just weapons, not unstoppable titans. U.C. aint SEED!

For example, The Plot to Kill Gihren has AWESOME examples of conventional weapons being used intelligently and EFFECTIVELY against Mobile Suits. The Deikun revolutionaries ambushed much larger MS units on foot with anti armor weapons, damaged them as much as possible, and then used APCs to cover their retreat with smoke. They used Magella attack tanks with timed shell fuses to scramble the sensors of the elite guard, enabling their own MS units to launch a surprise attack to name just a few examples.

I get that Gundam is mostly marketed towards kids, but in the side stories especially, there's no excuse for not using smart tactics because there really aren't any "wonder weapons" in the One Year War. I've heard people talk extensively about how the Mobile Armors of Zeon for example were all flashy terror weapons that caused high casualties, but were useless for actually fighting a prolonged war.

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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by toysdream » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:03 pm

I honestly think that part of the problem with the depictions is that when they do set out to show a more "realistic" depiction, as in MS Igloo, the staff tend to be so completely obsessed with Zeon-worship that they just want to show mobile suits stomping Feddies anyway. If they showed people using conventional weapons intelligently, it would mean giving a tiny bit of credit to the Federation Forces, and I think a lot of the staff would rather gargle bleach. :-)

-- Mark

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