RTC – MOD-07 – Pt.02 – Overview
ABM or Aerospace Battle Management, is the art of controlling the airspace over and around a Strategic area. This can be done from either ground based Early Warning (EW) or Air Defence (AD) Radars, or Airborne Early Warning (AEW) platforms such as the A-50/KJ-2000 (Redfor) or E-2/3 (Bluefor) aircraft. Collectively and individually these systems are also known Command and Control (C2) systems. Both setups have advantages and disadvantages.
GBAD or Ground Based Air Defence Radars have the advantage that they can be harder to take out (require Anti-Radiation Missiles, ARMs, which can only be carried by a small number of aircraft. Or regular AG munitions which forces the aircraft to get closer and therefore is easier to take out.) Additionally it’s more realistic to have several GBAD radar sites giving good coverage of the area.
The Downsides of a GBAD setup are the lack of range of the radars due to them being on the ground. It’s also much easier to sneak past a ground based setup by flying low level. And it won’t always be possible to place GBAD sites close to the target area if the mission is an Air Interdiction one.
Finally if you’re relying on AI ABM controllers, this won’t be possible using a BLUFor GBAD system and is only supported by the use of AEW platforms. REDFor are capable of using AI GBAD systems.
The advantages of AEW platforms are clear, they have a much longer ranged radar, and you can move them to where ever you want through the mission editor. This is in addition to the fact you can always utilise the AI ABM Controller if no human one is present.
The downsides of relying on AEW platforms are their vulnerability to attack from both enemy aircraft and GBAD systems. Also unless using a program like LotATC, AEW platforms’ radar does not show in the DCS F10 map.