hansbroger wrote:IMHO the only nation that should be using LGBs aside from the US in RD is the UK, I'd rather have the rest re-rolled but I guess I'm a bit of a purist in that sense.
You do need to add Israel to the mix, as the Griffin kit was ready by 1990 IRL (tested way earlier iirc). So PGMs loadouts are very warranted here.
Definitely, though it could be argued that they'd also credibly be able to rely upon US war stocks under US statutory guarantees in a regionally constrained conflict (assuming the US isn't using them in an all out war against the Soviets), making Griffin more flavor than anything else.
My opposition to PGMs comes from my lack of conviction that anyone other than the US had enough on hand in war stocks to use on anything other than operational and strategic HVTs in timeframe. Secondly I believe their current proliferation stems from a wider problem of the casual over-estimation of advanced technology integration by (mostly) Western Minors and thus over assignment of high tech weaponry such as PGMs like LGBs to them.
The Soviet Union has a credible, combat tested PGM capability in the form of the KAB-500 and KAB-1500 in timeframe yet I do not advocate their usage on Soviet loadouts. Why? It is difficult to believe there were enough in existing ITF war stocks to make any appreciable appearance on the tactical level. As Operation Cast Lead, Opération Harmattan and others have shown, even most non-US Western majors, among them France and Israel, exhausted most of their war stocks of precision munitions in short, low-medium intensity air campaigns against non-state actors, carried out in the last ten years, which is why the thought of widespread non US/UK use of PGMs in a 1991 timeframe, at least for me beggars all belief.
Sure many nations had this capability in an abstract/limited sense ITF but as late as 2008-2015, when push came to shove 20+ years OOTF in the middle of the glut of cheap, mature precision systems brought on by the War on Terror, you still saw major non-US powers like France, the UK and Israel reducing their war stocks of PGMs in air campaigns lasting respectively little more than a week into an air campaign that had a munitions an target servicing demand that was nothing like what could be expected in great power war.
In any case, in the RD timeframe, it is hard to believe that authority for the use of any of these munitions in non-US/UK air forces would be given for anything other than strikes against high value targets of operational or strategic significance, the thought of these scant munitions being used for tank plinking ITF by a non-US/UK actor seems a stretch of the imagination.
PGM proliferation is a symptom of the general trend of over proliferating highly niche and limited technological capabilities mostly only fielded in appreciable quantities in superpower forces to the wider nation pool in an attempt to make them standalones. Another example of this is are the GPS positioning capability assumptions baked into the rapid aimtimes handed out to most BlueFor high tier Arty pieces and withheld from RedFor. Again this capability and its integration into the aimtime justification for Arty FCS of BlueFor minors outside of the US has demonstrably been shown to be optimistic given that the US was using commercial GPS rectify shortcomings in its own high readiness forces deployed ITF in 1991 to the Gulf.
In general it is often assumed that a technology sometimes even one only attaining interim IOC with US Forces in timeframe, is suddenly widely available to every Western force and seamlessly integrated into their equipment and operating procedures, yet you take similar combat proven systems on the Red side of things and too often they're dismissed under far more discriminating criteria. This is bad for general balance and terrible for Superpower balance as their niche and distinguishing capabilities are democratized and made mundane by the assumption that nearly anyone can afford to plink T-55s with Paveways instead of their being hoarded for HVTs.
I've come to accept them in the current game balance but when it comes to talk about loadout changes, air re-work and WG4 I'm utterly set on getting them replaced by more widely proliferated munitions like AGMs if at all possible, and corraling them within the US and USSR (with their tactical use by the RAF during the Bosnia campaign earning the UK a likely exception).
But that's just my opinion, it's based on a broader philosophy of how unit flavour should be differentiated and less about balance as often these PGMs will be replaced by AGMs of similar performance, many of them even F&F. In many cases as has been mentioned in the Red Dragons thread, the community identified ITF alternatives available to some current PGM users with dubious war stocks such as the PLAAF are actually most likely superior in some roles such as tank busting. It's possible for them to be restored to unique Superpower flavour without hurting general balance.