Wednesday, May 31, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 3: The Fast and the Furious

The Soviets have mobilised numerous motorized rifle divisions, artillery divisions, and an airborne division, which have been positioned to ensure rapid assaults towards critical objectives in northern Norway.

These have been backed up by an amphibious group, which has now been spotted about 140 nautical miles off the coast of Norway, heading directly for the Banak area.

Powerful Northern Fleet fast-attack craft squadrons have sortied from their bases and sailed into the Norwegian Sea 12 hours ago, screening ahead of the amphibious group.

Can Banak be saved?

Orders for Cmdr NATO Forces
An attack on Norway is imminent. Two Soviet amphibious groups believed to be carrying the Northern Fleet's Naval Infantry Brigade and a complete Soviet mechanized division are heading toward the Norwegian coast.

In addition, Soviet missile boat groups are reported to be heading into your patrol area. The submarine threat is unknown. No hostile air units are expected in the patrol area.

Enemy Forces
1. At least a dozen Soviet Osa I and Osa II missile boats are believed to be operating in the area, armed with SS-N-2 Styx missiles.
2. Amphibious units with heavy escort are heading towards Banak.

Friendly Forces
Hunter Group: HNoMS Trondheim FF, HNoMS Sleipner FFL
21st MTB Squadron det: HNoMS Snøgg, HNoMS Rapp, HNoMS Snar
22nd MTB Squadron det: HNoMS Arg, HNoMS Blink, HNoMS Brann
24th MTB Squadron Det: HNoMS Teist, HNoMS Tjeid, HNoMS Skarv

Banak air base:
  • 718 Sqn (F-5A Freedom Fighter)
  • 717 Sqn (RF-5A Freedom Fighter)
  • 330 Sqn Det (SeaKing Mk.43)
1. Seek out and destroy the amphibious units before they reach Banak. The amphibious units are your highest priority targets.
2. Destroy the enemy missile boats.
3. This is a prelude to an invasion, so make your missile shots count.

Engage all Soviet units encountered. Torpedoes are largely ineffective against small boats, so you may have to rely on missiles and guns to counter smaller enemy warships.

Several neutral fishing boats may be in the area so be careful on target identification.

Command and EMCON
Command: HNoMS Trondheim
EMCON: Alpha-limited emissions
HNoMS Trondheim

Initial disposition of Norwegian forces

August 20, 1975 050000Z Set up a recon mission of RF-5s on a barrier north of Vardo. Ship squadrons to patrol the area west of there and guarding the entrance to Porsangerfjorden.
OSA I Missile Boat
053716Z Recon Squadron F-5 detects four surface contacts and IDs them as 3 OSA Is (R-49, R-65, R-77) and 1 OSA 2 (R-163). The OSA ASuW weapons outrange that of the Norwegian ships, so I don’t want to engage until ready. There are plenty of other targets lurking out there--I don’t want to waste my ships on this--I need to save them for the primary target.

An RF-5 scouts for the enemy fleets
053735Z Contact. Perhaps a second cluster of ships. RF-5 investigates.

054100Z The new contact is an OSA I, R-12.

A second group of ships is found

054214Z Contact.

054230Z Another contact. The first is IDed as R-1, an OSA I, by the RF-5. The other is detected by the Sea King’s radar. The F-5 goes to investigate.

The second contact is determined to be a fishing vessel.

A third contact is detected by the Sea King and investigated by the RF-5. This is determined to be OSA R-9.

060208Z Two more contacts detected. One is a fishing boat, the other, another OSA. There are now 8 OSAs detected. At least four more are hiding somewhere...and then the Amphibious invasion fleet. I don’t want to commit to any attack until that fleet is located.

The contacts continue to pile up
060933Z Another contact. I suspect it’s the 10th OSA, as they seem to be forming a SW to NE skirmish line. My suspicions prove correct--it’s an OSA II.

061614Z Two more contacts, relatively close. My guess is that this is another part of the barrier--perhaps 3-4 more OSAs in a group.

Might have found the invasion flotilla...
061618Z Looks like three of them. All three are IDs as OSAs. That’s 12 now. There’s likely to be more out there--probably with the invasion fleet.

062314Z Another contact. Looks like this one is a civilian.

Trondheim detects a lone helo...far from home.
070305Z Contact. This one is a helo, detected by the Trondheim. An aircraft like that couldn’t have gotten that far out on its own… Must be part of the invasion fleet. The RF-5 on patrol is sent to investigate the area.
Norwegian F-5A
070823Z The helo contact is localized. Perhaps a Helix? A Hormone?

071102Z I’m beginning to think that the OSA force, rather than a lead screen, is instead a coastal sweeping force, and that the invasion fleet is going to come in from the north.

Unfortunately the RF-5 is Bingo fuel, and so goes RTB. It will be two and a half hours before the other RF-5 will be ready at Banak. In the meantime, it will be up to my Sea Kings to keep recon.

075356Z Contact. My Sea King detects a surface contact. I think this might be the invasion fleet.

075857Z Three more contacts. My suspicions are growing.

075913Z Ten contacts now. Yeah, I think this is it… Preparations begin to launch an airstrike. I need to be careful that I don’t lose my Sea King.

It's time to ready an airstrike
080456Z Uh-oh. Sea King detects what appears to be an attack helo. I’ll have to keep an eye on it and keep my distance.

082517Z The first 2 F-5s, armed with AGM-12B Bullpups, descends to 300ft to begin their attack run.

The F-5s descend to 300ft

AGM-12B Bullpup

082754Z The first 2 F-5s reach 10 miles from the target, the lead LST. No indication yet that they have been detected. The fighters divert their IP a little to the SE to give the FFG a wider berth.

The F-5s prepare to strike
082830Z The FFG is IDed as the Smyshleny, a Kotlin SAM class.
Kotlin SAM-class Destroyer
Bullpups away!

Bullpups away!

082911Z The LST Ropucha I is destroyed by the four missiles. Upon egress, the Smyshleny launches SAMs.

Smyshleny launches SAMs
The lead F-5 is shot down. The second drops to 100 ft and goes to full military power. The second F-5 dodges some gunfire and a pair of SAMs. While in the area, the F-5 IDs several more ships, and relays their locations to the rest of the strike package.

Other ships detected: 2 LSTs, 1 LSM, the Alligator, and the KU Zhdanov, a light cruiser.
Sverdlov-class cruiser Zhdanov

The Smyshleny should have 12 SAMs left with a range of 10nm. The Zhdanov should have 20 SAMs with a 5nm range.

083049Z Strike Mk82 is fired upon by the Smyshleny. Fortunately, both SAMs miss.

"Strike Mk82" is directed to attack the Alligator
083111Z Strike Mk82 is directed to attack the Alligator, while Strike Rockeye goes after the Polnocny C.
Alligator-class LST

083122Z Smyshleny fires two more SAMs. The first one destroys an F-5, while the second misses.

A SAM takes out one of the F-5s
083203Z Bombs away. The second F-5 damages the Polnocny C, starting a fire.

083220Z The Zhdanov launches SAMs at the second F-5, destroying it.

083249Z The Smyshleny fires a pair of SAMs on Strike Rockeye, but both SAMs miss.

083324Z Two more SAMs at Strike Rockeye, and both miss.

Strike Rockeye drops their weapons on the Alligator, lightly damaging it. They evade two more SAMs and then make their escape.

As the F-5s egress, Trondheim lies silent to the west, waiting patiently for the invasion fleet to pass so it can strike.

090328Z Trondheim decides that the time to strike is now, and heads towards the invasion fleet. Its targets are the two Alligators.

Trondheim begins its attack run
091429Z Trondheim closes the distance, and her long range camera IDs a Soviet picket frigate as the Spokoinyy, an SKR Kotlin class.

091953Z Trondheim is in range of the two Alligators. Fire.

092035Z Birds away. Two Penguins each are allocated to the targets.

Birds away
The Soviet fleet’s sensors go on. The missiles close in.

092128Z The first Penguin hits the Alligator, damaging it. The second malfunctions...typical.

The Soviet fleet lights off their radars as the Penguins close in
The remaining two Penguins both impact the second Alligator.

The first Alligator is on fire and its speed drops to 9 kts. The other Alligator is at 4 kts.

094648Z 22nd MTB Sqn moves northeast at Full power, attempting to get a flanking position and launch a similar attack to what the Trondheim did. Several of the Osas has been closing on them, but now seem to be turning away--which is good. I want to eliminate the invasion fleet before worrying about the Osas.

22nd MTP squadron goes to full power to flank the Soviet invasion fleet
In any event, it appears that there are 4 amphibs left: the two damaged Alligators, one Polyonyy Cs, one unidentified LSM, and one Ropucha I.

The Soviet recon Helo is IDed as a Ka-25Ts Hormone B.

101608Z HMNoS Brann comes into range of Alligator 1, and launches a Penguin at it.

Brann launches a Penguin
The Penguin impacts the Alligator, which slows to 2kts with fire and flooding.

102113Z The RTB Sea King observes a missile launch from one of the Osas...apparently either the Trondheim or the Brann is barely within missile range. Both vessels alter course.

Four Vampires are airborne. Trondheim launches Sea Sparrows to defend itself. It looks like all of the Vampires are targeted at it. Brann launches a Penguin at the Alligator in an attempt finish it off. R-178 is out of Styx.

Trondheim fires 8 Sea Sparrows, and shoots down three of the incoming Styx, but now must reload.

102411Z The Penguin impacts the Alligator, sinking it. In the meantime, the Styx is still inbound to the Trondheim.

Trondheim comes under attack by a Styx missile
Trondheim fires its 76mm Twin Frag Burst, but to no avail...

102420Z Trondheim is hit and sinks.

102617Z RF-5 wanders too close to a DDG in the amphib group. The RF-5 dodges no less than 7 SAMs before it makes it out of range.

102903Z More Styx are launched, this time at Brann. Realizing that its number may be up, Brann fires its remaining Penguins, one each at the Smyshleny and the Spokoinyy, as no amphibious targets are within range. It then goes to Flank speed north to escape.

Smyshleny is hit first, in spite of its point defenses. Spokoinyy is hit next. Both ships slow dramatically.

The Styx approach Brann. Brann opens up with its 40mm gun, to no avail. The first Styx begins to attack...and malfunctions. The 2nd Styx hits...and Brann sinks.

103518Z RF-5 decides to go after the Hormone. It jets in at buster, getting into SAM range. It dodges a SAM, then shoots down the Hormone with guns. Two more SAMs inbound. It dodges both.

With the Hormone gone, the ability of the Soviets to detect the fleet is compromised. Hopefully this will allow me to get off ship attacks better.

103840Z Taking a chance that with the loss of the Hormone, the Soviets will have lost targeting ability, HMNoS Arg goes to flank speed into range of the Osas, preparing to launch its missiles at the amphibs.

104801Z HMNoS Arg is in range of its targets. It launches all four Penguins.

The Soviets light up their radars, and the Arg heads north at flank speed. There’s a good chance some Styx missiles will be inbound shortly.

Arg launches all four Penguins at the Soviet fleet
104852Z Four Styx launches are detected. The Arg is in deep trouble, but it did its job. The first Penguin hits the Alligator and sinks it. The Penguin targeted on the damaged Polnocny C malfunctions. The remaining two Penguins sink the second Polnocny C. The Arg has done well. The Soviet radars go off, and the Arg turns hard starboard in an attempt to evade the incoming Styx. It’s probably far too late, but Arg has little choice. The lead Styx’s seeker goes active. Arg fires its point defenses, but it’s too late. The Arg doesn’t make it.

The Smyshleny sinks.

111340Z A new recon helo is detected lifting off the Zhdanov. This could be very bad news for the Blink and the Sleipner, which are both currently in range of Osas.

111719Z The Hormone lights off its radar. Missiles may be inbound shortly.

112722Z The Hormone investigates the Blink, and almost immediately Styx are detected inbound. Blink launches its missiles, one each for each target in range. The Spokoinyy, the Polnocny C, R-118, and R-255.

Blink launches its Penguins
Blink has four Styx tracking it. It heads north at flank speed.

Blink flees the incoming Styx while its own missiles rocket towards their targets
The missiles pass each other on their way to their targets. The weapons hit their targets at almost the same time.

The Polnocny C is hit first and sunk. R-118 is hit next and sunk. The first Styx misses Blink by ten yards, and damaging it severely. R-255 is hit and sunk. The second Styx hits the Blink and finishes it off. Finally, the last Penguin damages the Spokoinyy, but does not appear to sink it. Blink is 4 for 4, and its sacrifice will not be forgotten.

Storm-class Patrol Boat (similar to HNoMS Blink)

113806Z RF-5 Det 2 goes after the 2nd Hormone. The Hormone appears to be sheltering behind the Spokoinyy, but that ship is so damaged the risk is taken anyway.

The RF-5 goes after the Hormone
Spokoinyy tries to fire its 130mm guns at the RF-5, then its 20mm gun, then its 45mm gun. After several passes, the RF-5 nails the Hormone. Excellent.

114224Z It will be 3.5 hours until my next airstrike is ready. In that time, there’s no way that the last amphib will be able to reach the coast to make its landing--it’s currently 80nm away from the coast...and at its top speed of 18 kts, it won’t get that far. I could close with 21st MTB Sqn, and probably get the required shots off to sink it, but in doing so I likely would lose the ships to a retaliatory strike from the Osas, who would turn on their radars upon detecting the incoming Penguins, and then detect the MTBs. I must be patient. If the airstrike fails, then I go in with the MTBs.

RF-5 Det 2 gets careless, and wanders too close to the DDG, which is identifies as a Kashin-class, the Stroiny, and finally gets shot down with a SAM.

Kashin-class DDG

121934Z R-178, an Osa that I know is out of Styx, closes to within range of the Sleipner’s guns. Having made sure that it’s out of range of the other Osas, the Sleipner opens fire with its 76mm gun. The 13th round is in the air when the first lands. Sleipner fires 20 rounds total, and then is forced to reload from her magazines.

122418Z Having reloaded, Sleipner fires again. Sleipner’s second salvo is with Twin HE Bursts, and hits with the second shot, causing light damage. A second hit damages R-178 further, slowing it to 15 kts. Sleipner reloads again. On the third barrage, R-178 is hit three more times, starting a fire. Sleipner closes the distance to finish it off. Fourth barrage, R-178 is hit twice more. R-178 comes within range of Sleipner’s 40mm gun. Splashes erupt all around R-178.

Sleipner shoots at the Osa
Sleipner detects an inbound turns away from R-178 and guns its engines to flank speed. A second Vampire is detected, 11nm away, inbound fast.

R-178’s comrades may get revenge…

123342Z The first Styx misses Sleipner by 22ft, damaging her engines, a torpedo tube, and causing light flooding. The second Styx is not so merciful, and Sleipner sinks.

124005Z HMNoS Snar detects a inbound bogey--which fires a missile! It looks to be an attack helo, probably from Zhdanov. It’s an Mi-24A Hind A.

Snar comes under attack by a Mi-24A
Snar ignores the missile and shoots at the Hind A. The first Skorpion missile misses. The Hind fires another, while the Snar continues to fire at the Hind. The AT-2 Swatter B [9M17M Skorpion-M) misses by 28 ft. Once within range, the Hind unleashes its S-5K 57mm rockets, bracketing and annihilating the Snar. The Hind gets away clean.

124159Z The Hind makes a beeline for the Rapp, the lead ship in 21st Sqn. They light off their radars. Perhaps that will make it easier to fight off the Hind. The Hind launches a missile, then turns to flee. The Skorpion misses, and very slightly damages the Rapp.

130000Z Two more hours until the airstrike will be ready.

150000Z The first of 3 F-5s takes off at Banak, Target: Ropucha I

151240Z Bullpup 1 closes in to strike.

Bullpup 1 goes in to strike
151829Z Bullpups away. The first Bullpup hits, the 2nd misses by 58 feet. Still, the Ropucha suffers heavy damage, flooding, and a fire.

Bullpups away
152315Z The second F-5 is inbound. In an act of a happy trigger finger, the F-5 fires a Bullpup at the Otmenny, a EM Skorry Mod...wasting a shot. The missile misses...lightly damaging the ship via blast damage.

152450Z Bullpup away. The missile hits...and the Ropucha sinks! All the amphibious vessels are sunk!

A Bullpup finishes off the last Ropucha
After the Amphibs, the secondary targets are the missile boats. The F-5 goes after a pair of Osas. In the meantime, 24th MTB squadron, armed with torpedoes, decides to charge in after the big ships.

152819Z Bullpups away. Both Osas sunk.

154507Z A Hind returns and starts attacking the torpedo boats. Skarv is hit first, and sunk. The Hind then goes after Tjeid.

Skarv is sunk
RF-5 goes after the Hind. It closes in, and destroys it with its cannon.

Teist and Tjeid close in on the surface ships.

162317Z Teist launches a salvo of four torpedoes against the Otmenny. R-1 launches Styxes at the Teist. Teist’s last torpedo destroys the Otmenny, but it is then hit by a Styx and is lost. Tjeid is hit by a Styx as well and sinks. However, that means R-1 is out of missiles, leaving the 21st MTB Sqn able to close in on the main fleet.

172602Z R-1 closes on 21st MTB Sqn, so Snogg fires a single Penguin at it, sinking it.

175743Z 21st MTB Sqn closes to within range of the Zhdanov and the Stroiny. Penguins away. Four are targeted on the Zhdanov, while three are targeted on the Stroiny.

Penguins away.

Four Penguins hit the Zhdanov, while only two of three hit the Stroiny. Out of missiles, the Rapp and Snogg leave the area.

182311Z It takes a while, but Stroiny sinks.

183654Z The Zhdanov is spotted holding its position off the coast.

204306Z The pilots must be tired. Bullpup 1 launches but then immediately aborts, landing his aircraft. Bullpup 2 launches and attacks the Zhdanov, but both his Bullpups miss. Bullpup 3 is armed with 4 Mk82s, and despite being ordered multiple times to attack the Zhdanov, strikes the Spokoiny instead...misses with all four bombs, and then is shot down.

August 21, 1975 003755Z. Succumbing to a fire, the Zhdanov sinks.

043400Z Bullpup 1 attacks and sinks the Spokoinyy.

The Spokoinyy sinks
051006Z Bullpup 1 attacks and damages R-163 with Mk82s.

And then, the scenario suddenly a Major Defeat? [The end of scenario popup showed a Major Defeat. This is really strange, as I destroyed all the amphibious vessels. It makes me wonder if there was a bug in the scoring]

SIDE: Soviet Union

2x BDK Ropucha I [Pr.775]
2x BDK Alligator [Pr.1171 Tapir]
2x Ka-25Ts Hormone B
2x SDK Polnocny C [Pr.773]
1x EM Kotlin SAM [Pr.56K Spokoinyy]
4x RK Osa II [Pr.205U]
3x RK Osa I [Pr.205]
3x Mi-24A Hind A
1x EM Skoryy Mod [Pr.31 Besshumny]
1x BPK Kashin [Pr.61]
1x KU Zhdanov
1x SKR Kotlin [Pr.56 Spokoinyy]

30x SA-N-1b Goa [M-1M/P Volna-M/P, 4K91 / V-601]
17x 130mm/58 Twin HE Burst [2 rnds]
2x SA-N-4a Gecko [9M33]
59x 57mm/70 Twin HE Burst [2 rnds]
21x 25mm/80 Twin Burst [20 rnds]
10x SS-N-2b Styx [P-15U]
120x 45mm/85 Quad Burst [8 rnds]
201x AK-230 30mm/65 Twin Burst [50 rnds]
11x SS-N-2a Styx [P-15]
6x PK-16 Flare [TST-60U]
8x AT-2 Swatter B [9M17M Skorpion-M]
256x S-5K 57mm Rocket
2x Generic Flare Rocket [Single Spectral]

SIDE: Neutral Shipping




4x F-5A Freedom Fighter
1x F 300 Oslo [Dealey Mod]
3x P 960 Storm
1x RF-5A Freedom Fighter
1x F 310 Sleipner
1x P 980 Snøgg
3x P 343 Tjeld

14x AGM-12B Bullpup A
16x Mk82 500lb LDGP
4x Mk20 Rockeye II CB [247 x Mk118 Dual Purpose Bomblets]
24x RB 12 Penguin Mk1
8x RIM-7H Sea Sparrow
24x 76mm/50 Twin Frag Burst [2 rnds]
51x 40mm/70 Single Breda Burst [4 rnds]
9x 20mm M39 x 2 Burst [80 rnds]
80x 76mm/50 Twin HE Burst [2 rnds]
33x 40mm/70 Single Bofors Burst [4 rnds]
12x 20mm/80 Twin Oerlikon Burst [20 rnds]
4x Mk9 Straight-Runner


Ginge said...

Well that was a frustrating end to read, so I sympathise to how it must have felt to play!

Now, why is it I have an urge to dig out Red Storm Rising for my bedtime reading? :P

Keep the blogposts coming, it's an interesting read :)

Dan Eldredge said...

The developers tell me the victory conditions thing might have been a bug, but they assure me that I successfully completed the mission.

More posts are on the way, never fear. I have 6 in the pipe, and more after that!

Naz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Naz said...

That's good news you've more AARs on the way. Thank you for your efforts.

Anonymous said...

what a bloody fight

I think the best strategy is to use your A/C to take care of OSA, one shot of AGM-12B , one kill. Then you should have the advantage of range thanks to Penguin ASM. Use your ASM to take out the two LST.

Then mission accomplished with 0 casualty.