For its part, the NATO Task Force has fended off some Soviet submarines but not without cost. But the main attack is about to begin: the Soviets have blasted a path through northern Norway, and raids of Badgers will sent through it.
|AEW detects an inbound strike|
The strike will have to launch now with what I have, otherwise I may lose it. Six Buccaneers from 809 Squadron, four with AS.37 Martels (ARMs) and two with AJ.168 Martels (ASuW missiles) launch. Hopefully Ark Royal will still be around for a follow-up strike.
143206Z Contact. Raid 1 is now 6 aircraft, bearing 054 for 200 miles. 2 Phantoms are airborne and heading to intercept.
|F-4s splash a Bear and are then diverted to go after the incoming raid|
144502Z Not taking any chances, I declare all the contacts hostile. My 8 F-4s, moving at Buster, close in on the Badgers which are doing 425kts.
|F-4s close in on the raid in pairs|
|Closing into missile range|
|Splash One Badger|
|An F-4 is shot down|
|Splash Six. Raid 1 is destroyed.|
150336Z Sevastopol sinks. Neulovimyy takes a hit as well.
|The Martels impact|
151136Z Two more bogeys detected, designate Raid 2, along the same flight path as Raid 1 earlier. One contact is moving at 525kts, the other at 425--probably a Badger. First contact unknown.
151510Z None of the soviet surface contacts have any radars on, so my AS.37s cannot track. Therefore I deliberately send in a buccaneer to do a flyover. The CG takes the bait and fires a SAM, and immediately the trailing Buccaneer launches a pair of AS.37s.
|A Buccaneer does a flyover to bait the Soviets into turning on their radars|
151624Z The strategy works and the CG is hit by an AS.37. Unfortunately, a subsequent SAM launch kills one of the two Buccaneers, and the survivor heads for home.
|The CG is hit by an AS.37|
Sheffield shoots down all the inbound missiles--they appeared to miss Ark Royal’s group, but there was a danger of them hitting the following group.
The Badgers are destroyed. A followup strike is launched to go after the Soviet surface action groups, and the Ark Royal works fast to get the F-4s ready for launch again.
163027Z Torpedo in the water! Apparently my ASW efforts are grossly inadequate. There is panic for a time, but as the torpedo contact forms up, it appears to be far from my fleet. Still, I use the opportunity to beef up my ASW patrols a little bit.
163744Z The follow-up strike on the Soviet SAG is underway.
|The followup strike is underway|
|Marshal Timoshenko is hit|
|Gremyashchiy is hit hard|
170438Z A F-104 splashes another Bear D between Bodo and Andoya.
181632Z More inbounds--designate Raid 3. Most of the F-4s are nearing readiness, so they will be tasked to intercept. Raid count is four.
181910Z Raid count is now 6. This looks to be a major raid in the making.
182020Z Raid count is now 10. One F4 Interceptor is airborne, the others are being launched as fast as possible.
|Raid 3 numbers ten aircraft|
|The fighters move to intercept the raid|
183037Z Vampire! Vampire! Multiple missiles inbound! The lead Phantom sees them first.
|Vampire count increasing...|
|Here they come...|
|Sheffield fires its Sea Darts|
|The angle is terrible and so the Sea Darts miss|
|The Vampires soar over the impotent Galatea|
|Ark Royal is in deep trouble|