Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

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

Post by Zeonista » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:25 pm

I would never gargle- Oh right, I'm not involved in creating, just supporting the rise of The Age of Giants. :D The ultimate problem with trying to be real with conventional weapons in our UC alt-history is that a new reality of MS has been created, re-defining "real" in a way that most of us born in the latter half of the 20th century cannot fully understand because we haven't had our own reality on or off the battlefield changed in such a stark & monumental way. But in UC 0079, MS are very real, and any attempts to combat MS with real methods often having a real cost attached to them. I don't see the fear of Zakus by the EFF troops in the third IGLOO series as denigration, but as a genuine reaction of soldiers who have done their utmost against the enemy, and found it wanting, even useless. One of the components of blitzkrieg is the effect on enemy morale as the powerful enemy attacking force suddenly appears when & where it is not expected, and bowls over troops not equipped or prepared to face them. The fleeing EFF soldiers of April & May 0079 are the fleeing soldiers of April & May 1940 in different uniforms.
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...
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.
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.)
The development of the Mongoose in the decade preceding the OYW makes the most sense to me.
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.
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! :o 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? :)

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

Post by toysdream » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:06 pm

Zeonista wrote: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? :)
Exactly. In fact, the MSV books mention a series of Federation bombing raids on the California Base around October-November of U.C. 0079, in which the Zaku Cannon was first used in combat. The total Federation losses in these raids came to 12 Deprogg bombers, 7 Fly Mantas, one Flatmouse spy plane, and 11 Mongooses. So clearly the poor Mongoose is still in the frontlines at this point.

Along the same lines, the recent MSV-R profile of the Zaku Cannon Gatling Gun Type mentions a Federation bombing raid against a major Zeon air base in which the Federation deployed 74 Fly Mantas and 12 Deproggs. Federation losses in that raid came to 16 Fly Mantas, 14 of them shot down by Zaku Cannons and two intercepted by Dopps that had managed to scramble at the beginning of the raid.

These factoids give us a little hint as to the nature of these offscreen battles. In the first one, the Fly Mantas actually take relatively few casualties; since Deproggs are high-altitude bombers, they must have been intercepted by enemy aircraft rather than ground forces. In the second one, which came later in the war, the Deproggs are largely unscathed, while the Fly Mantas take a lot of casualties as they perform low-altitude bombing. No Mongooses are mentioned in this battle, so the Fly Manta is probably filling the gap by playing the role of a ground attack aircraft. It sounds like the Zeon base was taken by surprise and was barely able to scramble any Dopps, which is probably why the Deprogg bombers were unharmed.

In other words, these stats suggest a tactical trend in which Zeon's air defenses collapse completely, giving Federation aircraft the run of the battlefield. The hapless Mongoose is phased out, and the trusty Fly Manta takes over its ground attack role, putting it in the crosshairs of the newly deployed Zaku Cannon. The high-flying Deprogg becomes basically untouchable, and can bomb Zeon bases with impunity.

-- Mark

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

Post by manwiththemachinegun » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:25 pm

toysdream wrote: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
To which I counter: Zeon may kill fodder, but they'll never win a war. :lol:

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

Post by Zeonista » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:48 pm

toysdream wrote:These factoids give us a little hint as to the nature of these offscreen battles. In the first one, the Fly Mantas actually take relatively few casualties; since Deproggs are high-altitude bombers, they must have been intercepted by enemy aircraft rather than ground forces. In the second one, which came later in the war, the Deproggs are largely unscathed, while the Fly Mantas take a lot of casualties as they perform low-altitude bombing. No Mongooses are mentioned in this battle, so the Fly Manta is probably filling the gap by playing the role of a ground attack aircraft. It sounds like the Zeon base was taken by surprise and was barely able to scramble any Dopps, which is probably why the Deprogg bombers were unharmed.
That nicely summed up the combat records. The Flatmouse & Deproggs in all cases were in all probability taken down by Dopps, while the Mongoose & Fly Mantas absorbed the bulk of the flak, heat-seeking SAMs, and Zakucannon fire. The losses in the first encounter say a series of raids, so the bases must have gotten a succession of sorties from the EFF with the totals being given from the day's tally. The EFF paid, but spreading the losses among several units was acceptable (except maybe the Mongoose squadron), and they reflect a certain loss of defense effectiveness. The second, specific raid data showed the Fly Mantas took it hard, but most of the AA honors went to the Zakucannons, and the Dopps that managed to score 2 Deproggs. I'd say that the Fly Manta squadrons approaching from the direction covered by the Zakucannons had a very bad day, but the others accomplished their mission, maybe bagging some Dopps trying to get altitude in the bargain. So yeah, the Zakucannons served a purpose and did it well, but it was another case of too little, too late due to attlefield events.
In other words, these stats suggest a tactical trend in which Zeon's air defenses collapse completely, giving Federation aircraft the run of the battlefield. The hapless Mongoose is phased out, and the trusty Fly Manta takes over its ground attack role, putting it in the crosshairs of the newly deployed Zaku Cannon. The high-flying Deprogg becomes basically untouchable, and can bomb Zeon bases with impunity.-- Mark
In the end I suppose the Dopp really did suffer from the need to take off & land like a conventional aircraft, while the MS could engage targets as soon as they started moving, and could walk around bomb craters that pock-marked runways. Dopps caught on the ground were static targets; MS were already on the ground, unless they could get a Dodai, and if the Fly Mantas were already on their attack runs, it's too late to take off! So there would be a period between Odessa & the evacuation of California where the EFF could concentrate assets on the big bases, and the Dopp squadrons were run into the ground. The Zeon MS survived the air raids due to their AA capability and mobility, but they couldn't protect the bases from bombs and were left to face the GM companies without conventional support.

manwiththemachinegun: It is precisely that sort of callous attitude towards deploying "fodder" which gave the EFF such a large butcher's bill in the first place. Some of it was necessary, ordering men to their deaths to halt and hold the Zeon advance to the extent of putting the war in the balance. At least before White Base showed them the Zeon MS were not invincible, and the true limits of Zeon ambition on Earth were known. But some of it was useless waste by commanders who didn't know how the ZMF fought, and didn't care, and so the Federation won a Pyrrhic victory at the end of 0079, having traded many soldiers' lives for each Zeon soldier slain or surrendered.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by RGM-79 GM » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:21 am

the staff tend to be so completely obsessed with Zeon-worship that they just want to show mobile suits stomping Feddies anyway.
This usually seems to be the case even with MS vs MS. Atleast having the Feddies get stomped not always the Zeon-worship. :P
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!
Yeah, sticking it on a wing seems really stupid. What I meant was that even when his ground forces were attacking the Dopps kept attacking even though the Magellas were extremely close to White Base and the V project MS. For some reason I even remember a Dopp accidentally hitting a Magella. Can't remember if that actually happened or not though. Probably just my imagination. :D
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by manwiththemachinegun » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:34 am

I'm switching back and forth between referring to the story side of Gundam and discussing the how things would go in a more detailed way. When I refer to feddie fodder (who I root for), I just mean in story terms all the Zeon fanboying in the world doesn't change the fact they lose almost every major conflict. At the end of the day, OYW Zeon were fanatics and draftees fighting a selfish war that resulted in billions of deaths. They don't have much of my sympathy. That's my personal opinion. :P

In terms of action, I enjoy seeing additional weapons and units used in combination with Mobile Suits, I just wish we'd see more of it. The U.C. is, overall, the BEST of Gundam shows at demonstrating MS are just war machines, but of course "hero" units and super prototypes get most of the spotlight.

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

Post by toysdream » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:44 am

Anyways, I feel like this nitty-gritty tactical discussion does help to address the original question.

We've established that there are a few specific things that aircraft are useful for achieving - dropping bombs, attacking slow-moving ground targets like tanks and bases, reconnaissance, intercepting enemies descending from orbit - and that, in order to help them or stop them from doing these things, it's necessary to maintain a stockpile of fighter planes to struggle for control of the airspace. If you're able to secure complete control of the air - as the Federation does towards the end of the One Year War - then your own air force can do all those things with impunity, and the enemy can't do any of them.

Destroying mobile suits, however, isn't something that aircraft do well. In the anime, we see them intercepting descending enemies during airborne landing operations, and we see them bombarding big targets like the White Base and Ginius's mountain lair, but that's about it. If aircraft have no useful job to do in a given combat situation, then you'd be an idiot to send them out, and if neither side is trying to do stuff with their aircraft then there's no need to dispatch fighters to control the airspace.

Once you accept that "destroying mobile suits" is not, and never has been, a job for aircraft then their disappearance from the later UC anime starts to seem pretty logical.

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

Post by Kuruni » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:07 am

AFAIK, MSV-R shred some light on this subject. Of three G-Fighter's variants, the Space Type and Bomber Type are considered to be obsoleted at some point after OYW. However, the Assault Landing Type, being troops carrier, remain in service much longer.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Tangerine » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:34 pm

Problem seems to arise that when Zeon MS came everything was done to fought them but oddly not involving designing and producing better aircraft, related aerial weaponry, artillery or any other hardware that's not MS-related. If BVR guidance missile if obsolete you could always try high speed IR seeker missile, barrage of rockets or just plain bombs. If Zaku's 120mm or Gm's 100mm can do enough damage against MS, I don't see why air launched aerial rockets, the one that without need of guidance cannot be as effective. It can launched from 3km away, and if accuracy is a problem even today aircraft can bring as many as 100+ of them. and they packed quite a lot of punishing power be it single or in swarms.

I can even imagine that attacking a 18m giant is easier at least on flying terms than doing it against low silhouette tanks. at least you don't have to worry about having to pull out or the ever present stalling speed. In high speed run the Zaku's 120mm visually computer aimed guns accuracy should be mediocre anyway comparable to AA guns but not as effective as SAMs. So, I don't think the odds is actually disfavor the pilot completely. OFC the fact that in UC we usually seen combat airplane using the ever ineffective short range guns in suicidal run against MS is actually quite hopeless.

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

Post by Zeonista » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:51 pm

An online news post quoting an all-but-ignored Air Force announcement https://medium.com/war-is-boring/2bde2d6dce25 has stated that the USAF will retire over 500 currently active aircraft by 2019, while replacing them with about 200 new aircraft. All 340 of the A-10s deployed overseas or at home will have been replaced by 2019 with F-16 fighter-bombers, which will be replaced in turn (theoretically at this point) by F-35 JSF fighters by 2030. So it's official; tankbusters belong to history. I imagine some of them will go to the Mothball Air Fleet in Arizona just in case. :)
toysdream wrote:Anyways, I feel like this nitty-gritty tactical discussion does help to address the original question.

We've established that there are a few specific things that aircraft are useful for achieving - dropping bombs, attacking slow-moving ground targets like tanks and bases, reconnaissance, intercepting enemies descending from orbit - and that, in order to help them or stop them from doing these things, it's necessary to maintain a stockpile of fighter planes to struggle for control of the airspace. If you're able to secure complete control of the air - as the Federation does towards the end of the One Year War - then your own air force can do all those things with impunity, and the enemy can't do any of them.

Destroying mobile suits, however, isn't something that aircraft do well. In the anime, we see them intercepting descending enemies during airborne landing operations, and we see them bombarding big targets like the White Base and Ginius's mountain lair, but that's about it. If aircraft have no useful job to do in a given combat situation, then you'd be an idiot to send them out, and if neither side is trying to do stuff with their aircraft then there's no need to dispatch fighters to control the airspace.

Once you accept that "destroying mobile suits" is not, and never has been, a job for aircraft then their disappearance from the later UC anime starts to seem pretty logical.-- Mark
This is an excellent summary of the analysis to date. I will use it in future gaming & general fan discussions. 8) There will always be a role for aerial transport, but aerial combat craft will be down-graded, mothballed, or scrapped if the Powers That Be decide they have no useful purpose.

Tangerine: The One Year War did not allow for nifty tech fixes to be made as you have postulated. The sudden attack forced resources into "fix this now" stopgap solutions, or increased production of existing equipment, with the notable exception of Operation Victory and its offshoots. The Saberfish and Core Booster was as good as it got for the EFSF, and they were pretty much planned additions anyway. No one denigrated the rockets and missile usefulness, go read the above posts for acknowledgment of their usefulness, as well as some doubt cast on the effectiveness of iron bombs. Cannons come into play as the attacking aircraft overflies the target(s) within rocket/missile activation range, or as a follow-up attack to maximize damage inflicted to the ground target(s). So the cannon attacks make sense in the animation, even if they do not to have an immediate or useful effect; attacks do miss or have ineffective contact sometimes. ;)

MS, even Zakus, are much more dangerous to attack with meaningful result, as you would have known if you had done better reading above. Any MS of the OYW period, much less later periods, has better visual and non visual sensors than any existing battle tank, and can use them to detect an attacking aircraft before it attacks. I'll say it again; the MS pilot with no immediate distraction would have enough reaction time to evade the strafing run, and shoot back as deemed necessary. If nothing else, a Zaku, Gouf, or GM could interpose the shield, letting an intervening slab of armor take the hit. The MS rifles are deadly dangerous; they are not aimed solely by the Mk I eyeball, but by the MS pilot's HUD targeting system. So a fighter that doesn't get the drop on a MS risks sure destruction from 1 or more large-caliber shells while locked into an attack pattern for little maneuverability. A MS with head guns doesn't even need to aim its rifle; the pilot can look, aim, and shoot, and paired 30-60mm cannon bursts will chainsaw a fighter anyway.

Mark has it right, in the end. Except when circumstances are favorable fighter-bombers will avoid MS and concentrate on mission that end up separating MS from their necessary logistics and conventional support. Despite the Zeon propaganda, on Earth at least the MS could not win the One Year War by themselves, and combat aircraft helped cut the necessary support from under them.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by RGM-79 GM » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:33 pm

Off topic but if the A-10 is actually dropped by the Air Force I hope the Army, & Marines, can get them instead.

Not that it really matters but I doubt a Zaku would bother with it's shield against aircraft all that often, only because then they lose the ability to shoot at the aircraft when it is easiest to hit.

IIRC aircraft, fighters really, only go after MS if they are an immediate threat, there is nothing else, there are no other targets, or if they are trying to support ground forces. I can't really think of a time fighters were sent out specifically to destroy MS.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by Zeonista » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:10 pm

RGM-79 GM wrote:Off topic but if the A-10 is actually dropped by the Air Force I hope the Army, & Marines, can get them instead.
You'd think so, and in a more rational world that might happen. However, the Marines & Army also have to do sequester cuts, and so do not have the ability to acquire more aerial weapons. They have lots of gunship helicopters for tank busting anyway, so I fear that will be the final word on the subject from the Pentagon.
Not that it really matters but I doubt a Zaku would bother with it's shield against aircraft all that often, only because then they lose the ability to shoot at the aircraft when it is easiest to hit.
In a RPG I ran a few years ago, a helicopter came up on the flank of a Zaku and fired upon it. The Zaku (who had not moved yet) used the fixed shield to parry the helicopter's attack. After surviving return fire from the Zaku (the attack roll was rather low, undershooting it completely :oops: ) the helicopter ducked away behind cover. Since the helicopter was providing covering fire for a GM to rescue a comrade who had been shot down, it was a satisfactory result.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by manwiththemachinegun » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:22 pm

A little more information, there's a bombing sequence during U.C. Hardgraph: Iron Mustang where the Federation decimates a group of Zakus while losing only a few planes. The Zeon are taken quite by surprise, and this to me is the biggest advantage of the plane, the sky is a damn big place to keep track of. Not to mention any craft capable of mach speed is going to ideal for hit and run attacks, even if Mobile Suits outclass them 1:1. Some MS in atmosphere can fly, sure, but they're not dogfighters.

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

Post by Nebfer » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:43 pm

Well the obviously they never bothered in creating the equivalent of a battletech Aerospace Fighter... :P

I would assume part of the issue of the relative pore showings of fighters when facing Mobile suits is that for the most part they only have 2-4 fixed guns of 20-30mm caliber for the most part, effective vs infantry and light armor (not to mention other aircraft), but not so much with heavier armored targets, and that most I would assume also lack armor as well, so any return fire is gonna leave a mark. Worse said guns require one to get in close to the target.

Rockets are good but their inaccurate and require saturation fire to be effective (though considering that mobile suits are fairly agile you probably want area saturation), though depending on the size could be effective if a round or two hit. Bombs while powerful have their own accuracy issues.

Still hitting mobile suits is not the only way to be effective, go after the infantry, their light armor, the command and control units, artillery battery's, their aerial recon units, transport planes and most impotently their logistical units, after all a broken down Zaku with no spare parts is just a 60 ton paper weight.

After all WW2 era study's indicated that airpower was not very effective when it came to knocking out the Panzers but was quite effective in dealing with their softer supporting and logistical units...

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

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:04 am

toysdream wrote: Destroying mobile suits, however, isn't something that aircraft do well. In the anime, we see them intercepting descending enemies during airborne landing operations, and we see them bombarding big targets like the White Base and Ginius's mountain lair, but that's about it. If aircraft have no useful job to do in a given combat situation, then you'd be an idiot to send them out, and if neither side is trying to do stuff with their aircraft then there's no need to dispatch fighters to control the airspace.

-- Mark
Applying more real world view on this.

1st, I declare that the fact that all pre-OYW EFAF warplanes are NOT designed for anti-MS combat, nor combat under influence of Minovsky particle. This is a must in any argument made, no matter pro or against having aircrafts.
This is pretty much the consensus anyway, so I'll move on.

Most of the EFAF aircrafts can be assumed to be designed under the fire-and-forget doctrine, I am basing this assumption on the settings of M61A5, which talks about how the EFGF relies almost solely on BLOS shooting from a really sophisticated network of intel.
Thus most of their main weaponery are missiles, which are basically rendered useless.

The pilots are then of course, heavily trained to use electronics like radar, FBW, etc. systems that aid them in combat, and little training, if any, will be given about when they loss all of these supports.
Usually there will still be some training regarding this, but the ratio of that will be minimal. They know how to use the unassisted systems, but not masters of it like the flying aces in the 2 WWs.

So, without any assist, poor training, it is nigh-impossible to aim the aircraft's guns at a certain target, especially when you have little data on that target(about its size). If one is familiar with WWII tank combats, the tank manuals comes with enemy tank data that tells the gunner how to aim at them, how far they are and the level of damage they can do. Supplementary documents were given when new enemy tanks are seen on the field, but there would always be a time lag. Similar to these, the EFAF pilots would not know the actual size of their targets, and most may have been forced to slow down like a helicopter or WWII, cold war era attack aircrafts in order to aim properly.

MS pilots, on the other hand, are well trained in unassisted combat, and to be honest, they will have much more computer assist because MSs are designed to combat under M particles. Also, they are trained to combat in space, where the relative velocity of their targets and them can be up to 15km/s, yes, 15 kilometres per second.
Ok, I must admit, most of the top speed these pilots will see is likely 2km/s(combat on the lunar orbit against opposite orbit objects) and their blasted sensors has a mere range of 3.2km, so they need to do a pretty fast angular velocity aiming, the most important part would be the MSs are designed to handle that kind of aiming speed, so nevermind the slow and dumb actions they try to convince us in older shows or the so called "realistic" games, the MSs should really be aiming like what we see in SEED and 00, or even fast forward versions of them.

While modern tanks will have little chance of shooting down aircrafts with their main guns, and we are brought to believe MSs are humanoid tanks, don't be fooled by that and they can probably aim their 120mm machine cannons even faster than most of modern AA turrets. If armed with proper AA rounds(like improved version of flak), old aircrafts of the EFAF would be like sitting ducks, practice targets to MS pilots.

Of course there will be oddballs around that can still preform pretty well, but most EFAF pilots will not be doing too well.


However, newer aircrafts will shed new light on this situation. These will be well protected against M particle, has better aiming systems assists, or maybe even sophisticated weapon systems that are capable of space combat level of relative velocity. Yes, I am talking about the Core Fighter, Core Booster family and the G-Fighter.
With these similarly advance tech level aircrafts, and better informed pilots(with more MS data), aircrafts would once again dominate the skies, the EFAF would very likely regain air supremacy very quickly(especially with the beam cannons on the Core Booster) but the Zeon didn't hold out much longer after they test fielded some Core fighters, and the battlefield moved back to space pretty soon, where MSs with AMBAC systems will still have supremacy against any non-AMBAC crafts.
After the OYW, the EFF will not be foreseeing any major combat on Earth, thus there would be much less reason to mass upgrade their EFAF forces, though we still see the FF-08 family fighters they are nowhere mass-produce to a number close to MSs. But hey, even the other Earth based MSs are not upgraded, so I guess its not just the problem of aircrafts but the whole decline of within atmospheric combat.

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

Post by doghunter1 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:37 am

manwiththemachinegun wrote:
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!
If I recall, in Operation Spitbreak (when ZAFT decided to take a gamble and attack JOSH-A, which ended badly thanks to Le Creuset telling the Atlantic Federation brass about it, hence the Cyclops System below JOSH-A), weren't there Linear Tanks (this, BTW) giving GINNS a run for their money, as well as the Archangel's "Valiant Mk.8" 110 cm Linear Cannons shredding a GINN into scrap metal? Also, for a non-Gundam Sunrise IP example, in Metal Armor Dragonar, there was a Gwei that had the misfortune of getting torn tom pieces by a ship's lasers?

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

Post by HalfDemonInuyasha » Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:17 am

toysdream wrote:Your standard-issue jet fighter is designed to shoot down other aircraft, so it's not so relevant to mobile suit combat but should work nicely against those lumbering Dodais and Base Jabbers. When it comes to mobile suits, one of the most useful things an attack plane or helicopter can do is avoid them - mobile suits are pretty slow, and so expensive that the enemy can't deploy a lot of them, so your aircraft can do all kinds of damage to the vast number of places their mobile suits ain't at. :-)

If we were applying real-world logic, rather than anime entertainment value, the first thing you'd do when the enemy sends a team of mobile suits your way on Base Jabbers would be to scramble an entire wing of interceptors (which would probably cost only a fraction as much) and shoot down all their support craft. Then you have a bunch of busted mobile suits hobbling around on the ground, so you can pick them off at your leisure. So it's probably best not to think about this stuff too much.

-- Mark
Wasn't that one of the reasons why Zeon tried to develop a flight-capable MS (with the Gouf Flight Type series) to begin with? The fact that while their MS were quite fast and mobile in the zero gravity of space, they were quite slow and easy targets under Earth's gravity while the Federation also retained air dominance? I mean, even something like the Dom and other hover-capable MS would eventually be hit if you saturate an area with rockets and bombs, or at least be damaged if shrapnel or frag managed to hit the right place(s) or something.
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Re: Jet fighters no more, why stop using them?

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:00 am

HalfDemonInuyasha wrote:
Wasn't that one of the reasons why Zeon tried to develop a flight-capable MS (with the Gouf Flight Type series) to begin with? The fact that while their MS were quite fast and mobile in the zero gravity of space, they were quite slow and easy targets under Earth's gravity while the Federation also retained air dominance? I mean, even something like the Dom and other hover-capable MS would eventually be hit if you saturate an area with rockets and bombs, or at least be damaged if shrapnel or frag managed to hit the right place(s) or something.
I wonder.

If you look at the logic I am using up there, MSs would be facing much hasher situations in space than in the atmosphere. Aiming at an incoming plane would be a piece of cake compared to aiming at targets in space.
Without an aimable weapon and weapons of much longer range, any plane, including space faring ones, would have much easier predictable paths(since they will eventually have to turn and fly towards its target in order to attack), thus making them even easier targets. The only advantage of fighters/attackers/bombers is the potential energy difference, but without a period suitable targetting system(i.e. radar), on top with the fact that the pilots are not well trained to fight in that kind of situations, their hit rate would be really poor. Also, we are talking about at least 3rd generation tank armour defenses here, most fighters' onboard weapons would not be designed to countered that. Fighters nowadays mainly uses ASM instead of their main guns to do this kind of job, rip them of the missiles? There's no sharpnel or frag for spreaded damage, and the 30mm, 40mm class weapons will have a really hard time dealing direct damage, needless to talk about sharpnel.

Roclets? Well, with my limited experience in flight sim games with rockets(including snoopy the flying ace, seriously) you'd need probably thousands to get some of them hit if you want to stay at a relatively safe distance.

Only when newer weapons are developed, pilots are suitably trained, that you can get jet fighters to properly fight against space combat vehicles of any sort designed with a completely new generation of technology and science theory.

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

Post by toysdream » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:05 pm

HalfDemonInuyasha wrote:Wasn't that one of the reasons why Zeon tried to develop a flight-capable MS (with the Gouf Flight Type series) to begin with? The fact that while their MS were quite fast and mobile in the zero gravity of space, they were quite slow and easy targets under Earth's gravity while the Federation also retained air dominance? I mean, even something like the Dom and other hover-capable MS would eventually be hit if you saturate an area with rockets and bombs, or at least be damaged if shrapnel or frag managed to hit the right place(s) or something.
The main reason we're always given for the development of the Gouf Flight Type, the Dom, and the Dodai YS is mobility - mobile suits just aren't as useful if they have to walk everywhere. Based on 08th MS Team, development of the Gouf Flight Type continues even after the introduction of the Dom, so it must have had some additional benefits. But I don't think I've ever seen it stated outright that it was created with anti-aircraft considerations in mind.

-- Mark

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

Post by Zeonista » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:38 pm

toysdream wrote:
HalfDemonInuyasha wrote:Wasn't that one of the reasons why Zeon tried to develop a flight-capable MS (with the Gouf Flight Type series) to begin with? The fact that while their MS were quite fast and mobile in the zero gravity of space, they were quite slow and easy targets under Earth's gravity while the Federation also retained air dominance? I mean, even something like the Dom and other hover-capable MS would eventually be hit if you saturate an area with rockets and bombs, or at least be damaged if shrapnel or frag managed to hit the right place(s) or something.
The main reason we're always given for the development of the Gouf Flight Type, the Dom, and the Dodai YS is mobility - mobile suits just aren't as useful if they have to walk everywhere. Based on 08th MS Team, development of the Gouf Flight Type continues even after the introduction of the Dom, so it must have had some additional benefits. But I don't think I've ever seen it stated outright that it was created with anti-aircraft considerations in mind.
-- Mark
I agree here, the flight-capable MS designs were a directed development for MS that could serve on Earth with a faster degree of reaction time through aerial movement. The Flight Goufs and Dodais for general MS transport nicely complemented the Dom series in terms of providing different options of MS mobility for the troops. As I have indicated before in the discussion, the MS were the ZMF's weapon of decision, and anything that could result in that weapon arriving in a timely fashion under its own power was to be encouraged. Gaws couldn't always be available, and other aerial transports were at risk in combat, so flying MS were to be encouraged. But as toysdream has pointed out, combat aircraft and flight-capable MS during the OYW & its immediate aftermath had differing mission assignments that would keep them apart, aside from incidental meeting engagements.

The widespread use of flight platforms of varying sizes on Earth that occurs during the UC Eighties is pretty much the validation of the utility of more mobile MS, and a strike against the continued active use of fighter aircraft since aerial-mobile MS can do base assault missions on their own without the real need for aircraft to do the softening-up attacks first. The EFF & Titans did not send fighters to intercept Aldomura in episodes 14-20, preferring to use flight-capable MS or the Psycho Gundam instead.
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