Thursday, June 15, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 5: Beware the Badger Part 4

In Parts One, Two, and Three of this scenario, NATO forces are attempting to send an amphibious group to reinforce Narvik and Bardufoss. The Soviets are determined to stop them. Their level of determination was demonstrated when they used nuclear weapons to attack both Bodo Airbase and radar sites in northern Norway. NATO has fought its way north through submarines and raids by Soviet Naval Aviation, but it appears that its luck has run out:  the latest raid by Soviet Badgers managed to get their anti-ship missiles off, and those missiles streak past the now ineffective anti-air assets of the NATO fleet. These anti-ship missiles are headed straight for Ark Royal, an indispensable asset to the NATO forces.

183337Z Sheffield opens fire, but it has only 4 Sea Darts left. Behind Sheffield are Galatea and Berwick with Sea Cats, but I have little hope they’ll work. There will likely be 20 Vampires inbound. Ark Royal is in deep, deep trouble.

The Sea Darts do horribly. The angle is poor and they cannot strike the missiles.

Galatea’s Sea Cats will not fire at all, as they are incapable of striking the inbound missiles. I fear Ark Royal is doomed many times over.

The Vampires zoom over Galatea
The Vampires zoom over Galatea, completely ignoring her, making a beeline for Ark Royal.

Impact in seconds...
183504Z Holy crap. Less than two miles from Ark Royal, the four AS-6 Kingfish all run out of energy and crash into the ocean. Unbelievable luck.

Vampires inbound on the Sheffield
That said, Sheffield has 4 Vampires inbound.

183522Z Sheffield is hit by the first Vampire and is sunk. The three remaining vampires turn and go after Galetea.

Sheffield is sunk
In the meantime, the lead F-4 has finally gotten into missile range and fires on the retreating Badgers.

The three Vampires close in on Galatea
183545Z Galatea is hit. The two remaining Vampires head due south and self-destruct. 12 Vampires remain.

Galatea is sunk
183626Z The lead Phantom kills one Badger, but is now down to Sidewinders.

The Phantoms splash one Badger
183744Z Meanwhile, 2 F-104s from 334 Sqn have reached their attack position against the Soviet fleet, and totally botch the attack. They fire 3 out of four Bullpups, which all miss, and one of the Starfighters is shot down to boot. Pathetic.

More Vampires close in on the Ark Royal
183839Z More Vampires close on Ark Royal, but again, 2.8nm away from her, the Kingfish runs out of energy. One by one the Kingfish close in...only to run out of energy. Holy crap that was close.

One by one the Vampires run out of energy
The Phantoms continue their pursuit, but it is clear that some of them are just too far away to catch up. The results of the Sparrows and Sidewinders as embarrassing. It takes something like 7-8 missiles to score a single kill.The Phantoms fire 24 missiles and manage to splash 3 Badgers out of 10 before the remainder escape.

190748Z Late to the party, a pair of F-104s from Bodo are launched and sent on afterburner in an attempt to catch up to the Badgers. One is spotted, and an F-104 fires a Sidewinder at it. Splash one Badger.

F-104s attack the Badgers on their way home

Splash One

The F-104s detect the retreating Badgers
191007Z Contact! The F-104s detect the retreating Badgers. Closing in at 1150kts, time is short, as they have 8.5 minutes until Bingo fuel. The first F-104 enters Sidewinder range and fires four missiles at four targets. One hits. The F-104 closes to gun range, misses its target, and then is destroyed by a lucky shot…The 2nd F-104 closes in, and fires its 3 missiles. Splash one. The other two Sidewinders are spoofed.The F-104 closes into gun range. Again, the F-104 is shot down. Still, the effort was worth it. The raid of 10 Badgers is ultimately reduced to 3.

Splash another Badger
Missiles away

192326Z A followup strike by F-104s with Bullpups on Skromny succeeds in damaging it enough to sink it.

200628Z A P-3B Orion sinks a Whiskey-class sub, likely the one that launched several a pair of Shaddock nukes to take out the Radar S-366.

201355Z Contact. Another raid inbound, designated Raid 4. Raid 4 is four aircraft. An F-104 is launched immediately from Bodo, and the two F-4s currently airborne are diverted to intercept. (Unfortunately one is near Bingo and unable to intercept. The 3 available F-4s on Ark Royal are immediately launched.

201527Z Raid count is 7. Looks like the other F-104 will be Bingo before intercept too. Not good.

202130Z Raid count is now 9. The last F-104 closes on intercept.

The F-104 intercepts the new raid
202220Z The F-104 fires its Sidewinders. The first one is spoofed, but the second splashes a Badger.

One Badger down
202243Z Splash two. One of the Badgers turns away for reasons unknown.

202441Z After a gun pass at a trio of Badgers, the F-104 goes after the Badger that turned, and successfully shoots it down. Splash three.

Splash Three
202811Z Splash four.

Splash four.
202928Z Splash five. 331 Sqn #8 has made Ace in a single sortie.

202934Z Splash six.

Splash Six. Norwegian Starfighters show the British Phantoms how to get things done
203048Z Raid count is down to three, and the lead pair of F-4s are closing into Sparrow range.

203133Z Splash seven.

Missiles close in on the last Badger
203137Z Splash eight. The lead Phantom shoots down a Badger with a Sparrow.

203349Z Splash nine. The two Sparrows fired at the last Badger miss, but then the F-104, with its last burst from its 20mm cannon, makes his eighth kill. This pilot is getting a medal. Raid Four is wiped out.
The Norwegian Ace makes his eighth kill

Continued in Part Five.

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