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Old 2014-04-20, 18:12   #1
PR:BF2 Developer
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Rhino's Avatar
Arrow Shooting Pheasants with a Drainpipe

As a little special Easter gift from us here at Project Reality:BF2, here's a little something I've been working on for PR:Falklands; the Shorts Blowpipe - Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems (MANPADS).

Design & Info
The Shorts Blowpipe is a Manual Command to Line Of Sight (MCLOS), man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) developed in 1975 for the British Army and Royal Marines.

The missile is shipped as a single round in a storage cylinder/firing tube. The aiming unit is clipped to the launch tube and fired from the operator's shoulder. To reduce the overall size of the container, the rear fins of the missile are stored in the larger diameter cylinder at the front of the tube (this also contains the Yagi antenna for transmitting guidance signals); during firing the fins slip onto the rear of the missile as it flies through and are held there by heat-activated adhesive tapes. This gives the launch container a unique shape, seemingly oversized at the front and extremely thin at the rear. The missile is powered by a short duration solid rocket for launch, then by a main sustainer rocket once it is well clear of the launch tube.

Guidance of the Blowpipe is initially semi-automatic with the missile gathered to the centre of the sight's crosshairs by the infrared optic atop the aiming unit. Two to three seconds after launch, missile guidance is switched to fully MCLOS mode, and the operator regains full control of the missile. The operator has to steer the missile all the way to its target manually via a small thumb joystick.

Detonation is either by proximity or contact fuse. In emergencies, the operator can end an engagement by the operator shutting off the power to the transmitter with the system switch, after which the missile will immediately self-destruct. The aiming unit can then be removed from the empty missile container and fitted to a new round.

Blowpipe was also developed as a SAM for submarines, fitted as a cluster of four missiles into a mast that could be raised from the submarine's conning tower under the name Submarine Launched Airflight Missile (SLAM) trialled on HMS Aeneas (P427) in 1972. These were for a time installed on Israeli Gal class submarines.

Combat performance
Blowpipe was used by both the British and Argentina during the Falklands War in 1982. With the targets being mostly fast, low flying aircraft using the terrain to hide their approach the Blowpipe operator had about 20 seconds to spot the target, align the unit and fire. Brigadier Julian Thompson, initial British land commander during the Falklands War, compared using the weapon to "trying to shoot pheasants with a drainpipe."

The official report stated that of the 95 missiles fired by the British, only 9 managed to destroy their targets and all of these were slow flying planes and helicopters. A later report determined that only two kills could be attributed to Blowpipe: A British Harrier GR3 (XZ972) attacked by Argentine Army special forces (Commandos Company), and an Argentine Aermacchi MB-339 (0766 (4-A-114)) during the Battle of Goose Green.

Blowpipe was found to be particularly ineffective when used to engage a crossing target or to chase a target moving rapidly away from the operator. The poor performance led to it being withdrawn from UK service and replaced by its updated design designated "Javelin" (Not to be confused with the FGM-148 Javelin) in-between 1983 and 1985.

In 1986 some of the mothballed units were sent clandestinely to equip the Mujahideen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. The system again proved ineffective at engaging air targets and ended up mainly being used against ground targets. It was eventually supplanted by the US Stinger missile. Blowpipe missile systems are still being found in weapon caches as recently as May 2012 in Afghanistan.

The Canadian military took Blowpipe from storage to give some protection to their naval contribution to the 1991 Gulf war, although sheer age had degraded the weapons, and nine out of 27 missiles tested misfired in some way.

Blowpipe saw more effective use in the Cenepa War of 1995 between Ecuador and Peru, where it was deployed mainly against Mil Mi-17 and Mil Mi-18 Peruvian helicopters.

The Blowpipe will be Project Reality's first Command to Line Of Sight (CLOS), Surface to Air Missile (SAM) weapon. Although technically we do have one SAM ingame that should be CLOS, the Stormer HVM, its currently coded with the normal heat seeking missile code.

Command to Line Of Sight (CLOS) basically means that the missiles goes where you visually tell it to go, much like many of our Guided Anti-Tank Missiles such as the SRAW, ERYX, TOW Missile, etc, by aiming towards the target while the missile is in flight. The biggest difference however between the Blowpipe and our Guided Anti-Tank Missiles, is that the Blowpipe missile has a proximity fuse like our other Anti-Aircraft Missiles, so it doesn't have to hit the target directly to destroy it.

While CLOS on the face of it may sound like a really bad way to go, there are quite a few advantages to it, as well as some of the obvious disadvantages.
CLOS Advantages
  1. No "Lock-On" Delay until you can fire the missile at the target.
  2. No Missile Tracking/Locked Warning given to the aircraft, the only sign that your being engaged is of the possible sighting of the missile being launched and/or, it flying towards you.
  3. Flares or other countermeasures have no affect on the missile, other than possibly confuse/distracting the missile operator at best.
  4. You can potentially use the weapon against ground targets as an AT weapon with veritable damage rates depending on the missile.

CLOS Disadvantages
  1. Battlefield obscurants, such as smoke, can degrade the ability of the missile operator to see the target and as such, engage it.
  2. The "skill level" of the operator is critical since, unlike infra-red guided missiles, the operator has to track the target exactly with the sighting unit. If the aircraft detects or predicts the missile launch, it has the whole period of the missile flight time to engage in avoidance manoeuvres, which adds additional challenge to the missile operator's target-tracking task.

While the Blowpipe was arguably one of the worst performing SAM weapons ever to be created, ingame its combat performance will not be anything like as bad as it was in real life. Technically speaking ingame the weapon will be using Semi-Automatic CLOS, where in r/l this weapon was Manual CLOS. The big difference being MCLOS means you have to both visually track, and manually steer the missile with a separate controller onto the target, where SACLOS means you just visually track the target and a computer dose the rest. You will also not have to compensate for things like wind or other factors ingame and while this missile system is hard to use, with a bit of practice you can find that in many cases, especially against helicopters, its easier to score a kill with this than normal IR Missiles.

The Blowpipe wasn't the only MANPAD used during the Falklands War however. The British SAS did deploy the FIM-92 Stinger and the Argentinians the SA-7 Grail, but both in very small numbers and they weren't used much during the war. However because of this and to also give the aircraft a bit more of a hard time each team will be getting a pickup kit of each on all the layers of the Falklands with jets on, to go on top of the normal AA, Blowpipe kits

Its also worth noting that while unrealistic and for the time being at least, the Deployable AAs will stay the same from previous versions with the Brits using the Deployable Stinger and the Argies the Deployable 9K38 Igla so aircraft still have lots of normal, heat seeking AA weapons still to fear from the ground as well as the air.

CLOS Guidance may be applied to other SAM Systems ingame in the future, with some like the Tigercat SAM still in development for PR:F but for the time being the Blowpipe will be the test bed for this new SAM guidance system, although initial testing has shown it to be a pretty decent weapon but we will have to see how it performance under battle conditions and under the stress of 100 player servers.

Cheers for reading and hope you guys like this new weapon as we feel it brings a bit more skill into SAMs and is very fun and rewarding when you hit your target

UPDATE: 29-01-16 in "CLOS SAM Systems"
Nothing much has changed with the weapon itself since then, other than [R-DEV]KaB has done some amazing new animations for this weapon, where before in the video from two years ago, we were having to use the Stinger animations as a place holder. [R-DEV]M42 Zwilling also made a bunch of nice new sounds to fit the new animations.

Model: [R-DEV]Rhino
Texture: [R-DEV]Rhino
Export: [R-DEV]Rhino
Coding: [R-DEV]Rhino & [R-DEV]Mats391
Animations: [R-DEV]KaB
Sounds [R-DEV]M42 Zwilling & [R-DEV]-=anders=-
Video: [R-DEV]Rhino & [R-DEV]Dr Rank + Actors: Spyker, [R-CON]Mats391, DonDOOM, [R-DEV]Jafar Ironclad, [R-COM]Hulabi, Wicca & MaxBoZ[NL]


A bit off-topic but this is what testers get up to when you give them a bit of time to mess around while waiting for people to join the server and RCON spawner access......

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Last edited by Rhino; 2019-01-13 at 09:28..
Old 2014-04-20, 18:33   #2

X-Alt's Avatar
Default Re: Shooting Pheasants with a Drainpipe

Can you release Falklands now, we very jelly? Anyways, best drainpipe ever made (and modeled), looking forward to miss every aircraft that comes near me! WE LUB U (either way you want it )!

BTW: No Rapier, my Skyraider domination plan has been ruined, WAAAAAH??!!!
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Last edited by X-Alt; 2014-04-20 at 18:50..
Old 2014-04-20, 18:44   #3

atom9[CH]'s Avatar
Default Re: Shooting Pheasants with a Drainpipe

love you rhino (no homo)
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Old 2014-04-20, 19:51   #4
Supporting Member

Squirrel[STF]'s Avatar
Default Re: Shooting Pheasants with a Drainpipe

Is it really called the blowpipe........
This is one big 4/20 troll aint it? xD

You got me. You got me.
I'm just gonna hop on my Easter bunny and ride off into the sunset...

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Old 2014-04-20, 20:30   #5

X-Alt's Avatar
Default Re: Shooting Pheasants with a Drainpipe

Originally Posted by Squirrel[STF] View Post
Is it really called the blowpipe........
This is one big 4/20 troll aint it? xD

You got me. You got me.
I'm just gonna hop on my Easter bunny and ride off into the sunset...
*Grabs Blowpipe* *Lines up Easter Bunny with Crosshair* *Fires* YEEEEEEEEEEEEES!
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Old 2014-04-20, 20:33   #6
Default Re: Shooting Pheasants with a Drainpipe

SpectrePR is offline
Old 2014-04-20, 20:39   #7
Supporting Member
Default Re: Shooting Pheasants with a Drainpipe

Will the targeted aircraft still get a lock tone? If so that has a huge deterrent factor even if it isn't likely to destroy them.
Old 2014-04-20, 20:44   #8
Supporting Member

Spook's Avatar
Default Re: Shooting Pheasants with a Drainpipe

That instruction video is so awesome. I saw the original one. Got to love your content Rhino. You always put so much love and detail in your highlights. Keep it up.

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Old 2014-04-20, 20:48   #9

X-Alt's Avatar
Default Re: Shooting Pheasants with a Drainpipe

Originally Posted by PLODDITHANLEY View Post
Will the targeted aircraft still get a lock tone? If so that has a huge deterrent factor even if it isn't likely to destroy them.
NOPE, they will be unaware!

See "CLOS advantages"
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Old 2014-04-20, 21:45   #10
Supporting Member

Redamare's Avatar
Default Re: Shooting Pheasants with a Drainpipe

Lol I love it ;D operation protect the useless cargo ship

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blowpipe, clos, drainpipe, falklands, javelin, manpad, missile, pheasants, prf, sam, shooting
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