WEG MediaWiki

Worldwide Equipment Guide

This Worldwide Equipment Guide (WEG) describes the spectrum of worldwide equipment and system trends in the Complex Operational Environment (COE). Tier Tables provide baseline examples of systems with counterparts in other capability tiers. Other systems are added to offer flexibility for tailoring the force systems mix. Substitution Tables offer other system choices versus baseline examples.

The OPFOR in the COE should also include options for portraying “hybrid threat”. Hybrid threat is defined as:

…the diverse and dynamic combination of regular forces, irregular forces, terrorist forces, and/or criminal elements, all unified to achieve mutually benefitting effects.

The OPFOR may use conventional weapons; however regular and irregular forces may also employ improvised systems, as described throughout this guide. Upgrade tables are included to capture WEG systems changes reflecting contemporary upgrade trends.  Systems and technologies in Chapter 10, Countermeasures, Upgrades, and Emerging Technology, can be used in simulations for Near-Term and Mid-Term scenarios.

The pages in this WEG are designed for use in electronic form or for insertion into loose -leaf notebooks. This guide will be updated as often as necessary, in order to include additional systems, variants, and  upgrades that are appropriate  for OPFOR use.

We have attempted to make the information available more user friendly, easily accessible,  and  concise. Therefore, much of the narrative on some systems has been updated and edited. If  you have questions on the presentation of information or anything else included in this guide, contact the help desk.

WEG Tier Table

The OPFOR organization and equipment must support the entire spectrum of Contemporary Operational Environment in U.S. forces training. The COE OPFOR includes “hybrid threats”, and represents rational and adaptive adversaries for use in training applications and scenarios. The COE time period reflects current training as well as training extending through the Near Term. This chapter deals with current time frame systems. Lists of equipment on these tables offer convenient baseline examples arranged in capability tiers for use in composing OPFOR equipment arrays for training scenarios. For guidance on systems technology capabilities and trends after 2018, the user might look to Countermeasures, Upgrades, and Emerging Technology. Those tables offer capabilities tiers for Near and Mid-Term.

OPFOR equipment is broken into four “tiers” in order to portray systems for adversaries with differing levels of force capabilities for use as representative examples of a rational force developer’s systems mix. Equipment is listed in convenient tier tables for use as a tool for trainers to reflect different levels of modernity. Each tier provides an equivalent level of capability for systems across different functional areas. The tier tables are also another tool to identify systems in simulations to reflect different levels of modernity. The key to using the tables is to know the tier capability of the initial organizations to be provided. Tier 2 (default OPFOR level) reflects modern competitive systems fielded in significant numbers for the last 8 to 28 years.

Systems reflect specific capability mixes, which require specific systems data for portrayal in U.S. training simulations (live, virtual, and constructive). The OPFOR force contains a mix of systems in each tier and functional area which realistically vary in fielded age and generation. The tiers are less about age of the system than realistically reflecting capabilities to be mirrored in training. Systems and functional areas are not modernized equally and simultaneously. Forces have systems and material varying 10 to 30 years in age in a functional area. Often military forces emphasize upgrades in one functional area while neglecting upgrades in other functional areas. Force designers may also draw systems from higher or lower echelons with different tiers to supplement organizational assets. Our functional area analysts have tempered depiction of new and expensive systems to a fraction of the OPFOR force. The more common modernization approach for higher tier systems is to upgrade existing systems.

Tier 1 (Date of Introduction after 2015) Systems are new or upgraded robust state-of-the-art systems marketed for sale, with at least limited fielding, and with capabilities and vulnerabilities representative of trends to be addressed in training. But a major military force with state-of-the-art technology may still have a mix of systems across different functional areas at Tier 1 and lower tiers.

Tier 2 (Date of Introduction 2014-1994)  Reflects modern competitive systems fielded in significant numbers for the last 8 to 28 years, with limitations or vulnerabilities being diminished by available upgrades. Although forces are equipped for operations in all terrains and can fight day and night, their capability in range and speed for several key systems may be somewhat inferior to U.S. capability.

Tier 3 (Date of Introduction 1993-1973) Systems that date back generally 29 to 49 years. They have limitations in all three subsystems categories: mobility, survivability and lethality. Systems and force integration are inferior. However, guns, missiles, and munitions can still challenge vulnerabilities of U.S. forces. Niche upgrades can provide synergistic and adaptive increases in force effectiveness.

Tier 4 (Date of Introduction 1972 or earlier) Systems reflect 50 year-old systems, some of which have been upgraded numerous times. These represent Third World or smaller developed countries’ forces and irregular forces. Use of effective strategy, adaptive tactics, niche technologies, and terrain limitations can enable a Tier 4 OPFOR to challenge U.S. force effectiveness in achieving its goals. The tier includes militia, guerrillas, special police, and other forces.

Please note: No force in the world has all systems at the most modern tier. Even the best force in the world has a mix of state-of-the-art (Tier 1) systems, as well as mature (Tier 2), and somewhat dated (Tier 3) legacy systems. Many of the latter systems have been upgraded to some degree, but may exhibit limitations from their original state of technology. Even modern systems recently purchased may be considerably less than state-of-the-art, due to budget constraints and limited user training and maintenance capabilities. Thus, even new systems may not exhibit Tier 1 or Tier 2 capabilities. As later forces field systems with emerging technologies, legacy systems may be employed to be more suitable, may be upgraded, and continue to be competitive. Adversaries with lower tier systems can use adaptive technologies and tactics, or obtain niche technology systems to challenge advantages of a modern force. 

A major emphasis in an OPFOR is flexibility in use of forces and in doctrine. This also means OPFOR having flexibility, given rational and justifiable force development methodology, to adapt the systems mix to support doctrine and plans. The tiers provide the baseline list for determining the force mix, based on scenario criteria. The OPFOR compensates for capability limitations by using innovative and adaptive tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP). Some of these limitations may be caused by the lack of sophisticated equipment or integration capability, or by insufficient numbers. Forces can be tailored in accordance with OPFOR guidance to form tactical groups.

An OPFOR force developer has the option to make selective adjustments such as use of niche technology upgrades such as in tanks, cruise missiles, or rotary-wing aircraft, to offset U.S. advantages (see WEG Chapter 15, Equipment Upgrades). Forces may include systems from outside of the overall force capability level. A Tier 3 force might have a few systems from Tier 1 or 2. The authors will always be ready to assist a developer in selecting niche systems and upgrades for use in OPFOR portrayal. Scenario developers should be able to justify changes and systems selected. With savvy use of TTP and systems, all tiers may offer challenging OPFOR capabilities for training. The Equipment Substitution Matrices can help force designers find weapons to substitute, to reflect those best suited for specific training scenarios.

How To Use Guide

The WEG is organized by categories of equipment, in chapters. The format of the equipment pages is basically a listing of parametric data. This permits updating on a standardized basis as data becomes available. For meanings of acronyms and terms, see the Glossary. Please note that, although most terms are the same as in U.S. terminology, some reflect non-U.S. concepts and are not comparable or measurable against U.S. standards. For example, if an OPFOR armor penetration figure does not say RHA (rolled homogeneous armor) do not assume that is the standard for the figure. If there are questions, consult the Glossary, or contact us.

System names reflect intelligence community changes in naming methods. Alternative designations include the manufacturer’s name, as well as U.S./NATO designators. Note  also that  the WEG focuses on the complete weapon system (e.g.,  AT-4/5/5B  antitank  guided missile launcher complex or 9P148 ATGM launcher vehicle), versus a component or munition (9P135 launcher  or  AT-4/5 ATGM).

Many common technical notes and parameters are used in chapters 3 through 6, since the systems contained in those chapters have similar weapon and automotive technologies.   Chapters   2 (Infantry Weapons), 7 (Engineer and CBRN) and 8 (Logistics), offer systems with many unique parameters and therefore may not be consistent with those in other chapters.

WEG Sources

The following is a sample list of the different sources used to create Worldwide Equipment Guided (WEG) sheets and is not a comprehensive list:

  • Air Power Australia
  • Armada Media
  • Army Guide
  • Army Recognition
  • Army Technology
  • Command: Modern Air Naval Operations
  • Defense Tech
  • Global Security
  • Intelink
  • Jane's
  • Military & Aerospace
  • Military Balance
  • Military Equipment Guide
  • Military Factory
  • Military Periscope
  • Military Today
  • National Defense
  • Navy Recognition
  • Naval Technology
  • Radar Tutorial
  • Rand Corporation
  • Ritchie Specs
  • SDDCTEA Joint Equipment Characteristics Database
  • Shepard Media
  • Sinodefense
  • SpaceWar
  • Strategic Bureau of Information on Defense Systems 

Units of Measure

The following example symbols and abbreviations are used in this guide:

  • (°): degrees (of slope/gradient, elevation, traverse, etc.)
  • GHz: gigahertz—frequency (GHz = 1 billion hertz)
  • hp: horsepower (kWx1.341 = hp)
  • Hz: hertz—unit of frequency
  • kg: kilogram(s) (2.2 lb.)
  • kg/cm2: kg per square centimeter—pressure
  • km: kilometer(s)
  • km/h: km per hour
  • kt: knot—speed. 1 kt = 1 nautical mile (nm) per hr.
  • kW: kilowatt(s) (1 kW = 1,000 watts)
  • liters: liters—liquid measurement (1 gal. = 3.785 liters)
  • m: meter(s)—if over 1 meter use meters; if under use mm
  • m3: cubic meter(s)
  • m3/hr: cubic meters per hour—earth moving capacity
  • m/hr: meters per hour—operating speed (earth moving)
  • MHz: megahertz—frequency (MHz = 1 million hertz)
  • mach: mach + (factor) —aircraft velocity (average 1062 km/h)
  • mil: milliradian, radial measure (360° = 6400 mils, 6000 Russian)
  • min: minute(s)
  • mm: millimeter(s)
  • m/s: meters per second—velocity
  • mt: metric ton(s) (mt = 1,000 kg)
  • nm: nautical mile = 6076 ft (1.152 miles or 1.86 km)
  • rd/min: rounds per minute—rate of fire
  • RHAe: rolled homogeneous armor (equivalent)
  • shp: shaft horsepower—helicopter engines (kWx1.341 = shp)
  • mm: micron/micrometer—wavelength for lasers, etc.
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