That's an excellent point, that Mister Minovsky makes things different than what we've expected in the past. The battle of Britain-derived system of radar-directed interception patrols is right out, so we're back to the good old days of constant patrolling. In that case, and using the Gaw as flying carriers, the Dopp's short legs aren't necessarily as big a problem as we might like to believe. The pre-Minovsky trained squadron & wing leaders would be quite frustrated at having to go do daily sweeps of the area, but the younger pilots would take it as a given necessity. Good point that the ZMF was just using what they'd learned in space to apply on Earth in terms of aerial combat. Despite all the big-picture sweeping arrows on the maps, one is left with the impression of OYW combat as a series of unevenly timed skirmishes and small scale battles aimed at getting reconnaissance data or seizing a local objective.toysdream wrote: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...
The development of the Mongoose in the decade preceding the OYW makes the most sense to me.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.)
That seems to have done it for the practicality of fighter-bombers or attack aircraft tangling with MS on a frequent basis, at least for the Mongoose. Space-rolled steel or ceramic-steel sandwich armor plating would nullify anything except a direct penetration hit from the front or flanks, and getting a direct hit would involve getting within easy shooting range of the MS rifle, with a single hit probably fragging the Mongoose instantly, with the pilot maybe getting enough time to eject at low altitude. And that's before we get Ian Graydon aiming that punt gun on his Zakucannon's shoulder, with it's AA-directed targeting system! So, adios Mongoose, although the hit-and-run strafing attack by regular fighter-bombers seems to have remained a viable option. After all, the Zakucannon & field mod AA pack for general MS were developed to counter some EFF tactic, right?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.
domtropen: That's 1,200 kilometers minus mileage expended in confirming a targets of interest, or engaging in combat. Of course that's 200 km more than a Me-109G fitted with a drop-tank (and 350 km without the tank), so it's not so bad.
RGM-79 GM: The Federation does seem to have some well trained FAC teams. The Mongoose does seem off-balance, which I blame more on the designer than anything else. In a sane world it would carry the gun under the hull in a sponson like the Hs-129, or be built around it like the A-10. But no....this is the UC. Garma's use of Dopps against White Base to force a low-level battle against his Magella tanks (and strafing runs by the Dopps again) was a good use of his conventional forces in a battle the EFSF cruiser was not ready to handle. Once the Gundam showed up, the new reality of 0079 promptly re-asserted itself, this time on the Federation's side!