Wednesday, June 21, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 6: The Grey Ghost from the East Coast

Reminiscent of WW2, two Soviet Sverdlov-class cruisers have been sighted by neutral shipping transiting through the Denmark Straits and are hell-bent on getting into NATO's shipping lanes for some commerce raiding. Keflavik airfield has sustained heavy bombing by Badgers launching heavy missiles at the airfield facilities, so no land based recon / surveillance is available at present. The majority of the radar sites in the vicinity have been destroyed, as well as the local SOSUS station. USS Newport News, "the Grey Ghost from the East Coast" (a name she was given during the Vietnam War), is the last 8"-gunned cruiser in service in the US Navy. She was due to decommission in June 1975 but due to tensions increasing in Soviet and NATO relations, and of course with the outbreak of war, her mothballing was postponed. She has now deployed to counter the Sverdlov threat, her escorts a mixture of old and new. Her task: to seek and destroy the Soviet cruisers and their escorts.

Can the Grey Ghost and her group stand up to the Soviet raiding party?
Orders for Cmdr NATO Forces
Two Sverdlov cruiser groups have sortied into the Atlantic, and present a threat to unescorted merchant shipping. The only NATO "heavies" in the area is the Newport News cruiser/destroyer group which was until recently on a NFR (Naval Fleet Reserve) training cruise.

Air assets are limited to shipborne helicopters from your escorts, and aircraft deployed in Greenland.
Enemy Forces Two Sverdlov cruisers, Kotlin, Skory, SAM Kotlin and Kashin destroyers with associated tanker support.

Submarine and air threat is assessed as unknown, so expect some possible visitors.

Friendly Forces
TU 20.01 : USS Newport News CA, USS Henry B.Wilson DDG, USS Manley DD.

TU 20.02 DESRON 28 NFR : USS Cone DD, USS Mullinnix DD, USS Myles C. Fox DD, USS Vogelgesang DD.

Sondrestrom Air Base : VP-26 Dragons (P-3B Orion) Thule Air Base : 960th AEWCS (EC-121H Warning Star)

Seek out and destroy the Soviet cruiser forces. The Sverdlovs are your highest priority.

Using air assets to good use, conduct a sweeping search of the area and engage all detected hostiles with your surface units.

Command and EMCON
Command: USS Newport News
EMCON: Alpha-limited emissions
Initial positions in the Denmark Strait
120300Z I set up air patrols using P-3Bs from Sondestrom, Warning Stars from Thule, and Newport News’s Sea Sprite. I also set both Task Units on patrols as well.
USS Newport News
122016Z Contact. The Sea Sprite detects a surface contact.

122615Z A new airborne contact is detected, which is soon IDed as a Ka-25Ts Hormone B. The Sea Sprite, after confirming that the first surface contact is not a threat, heads to investigate.

The second airborne contact is a Ka-25BSh Hormone A. Both contacts converge on the Newport News.

125250Z Henry B. Wilson fires SAMs at one of the helos. It takes 5 RIM-66A SM-1MR Blk IVs, but the helo (Ka-25Ts Hormone B) is finally shot down. The second helo closes in, apparently oblivious to the danger.

Henry B. Wilson launches SAMs at the inbound helos
130000Z Henry B. Wilson fires at the second helo.

130131Z Contact. Newport News detects a surface contact--probably the source of one of the helos.

The Sea Sprite heads to investigate, but I will be more judicious in its approach.

130304Z Again, it takes five SAMs to shoot down the second helo.

Three surface contacts now. And then another.

Multiple surface contacts
131131Z Multiple surface contacts, and now a submarine contact. Just what I needed. The subsurface contact cannot be friendly, so I mark it hostile immediately.
Two surface groups and a submarine contact...
141047Z Crap. Another submarine contact. What is this? The second contact is IDed as an SSN. The P-3B Orion is approaching, and I intend to drop a lot of sonobuoys soon…

141703Z The SSN is IDed as an PLA-627A November [Kit]. It’s travelling at 30 kts, which is crazy.

142436Z I pinpoint the November with sonobuoys, and Manley fires an ASROC. The November was moving at flank speed, but now has dropped to 15 kts, and is apparently sailing in circles.

The ASROC lands too far away, so the Henry B. Wilson fires one.
USS Henry B. Wilson
In the meantime, I wasn’t paying attention, and my AEWCS Warning Star flies too close to one of the surface groups and is fired upon. Great.

My Warning Star gets too daring for its own good
142702Z It is shot down.

The third ASROC is fired, and this one lands close enough to attack. The torpedo hits, 50% penetration. Henry B. Wilson fires again, and sinks the November. Whew.

150339Z Christ...the goblin is determined to be Biologics. Insane. Manley goes to full and moves to rendezvous with Newport News.
USS Manley
I try some maneuvering to isolate one enemy group from the other, but it proves difficult. As I see them launch a helo, I decide to charge in with both of my groups. There is an enemy sub in the area, so I will have to be careful.

Never mind the maneuvers, just go straight at them!
161530Z Henry B. Wilson shoots down another Hormone.

161601Z Vampire! The fix the Hormone got before it was shot down must have been good enough for a missile launch. Incoming ASM!

Another vampire!

Henry B. Wilson fires SAMs at the inbounds. Fortunately the shots are accurate and both inbound Styx missiles are shot down. In the meantime, the P-3B Orion launches Mavericks at the ships in this group. None of them are IDed as a CL, so both must be in the other group.

The P-3B is shot down, but manages to hit two of the ships, the Altay and the Byvaly.
Henry B. Wilson fires on the second wave of Styx, and takes them out, expending 6 missiles. It has 18 SAMs left.

Taking out inbound SAMs
164114Z The battle lines are drawn.

The battle lines are drawn
164526Z Torpedo in the water!

164550Z USS Manley opens fire on the nearest vessel, the Oberegayuschiy.

Torpedo in the water! It looks like the Oberegayuschiy launched torpedoes ahead of it, potentially unguided.

Soon after Manley opens fire, torpedoes are detected
Nope, definitely guided.

Manley sends splashes all around Oberegayuschiy, then hits 3 times. A spread of torpedoes is detected leaving the Sverdlovs, which have been identified as the Murmansk and the Aleksandr Nevskiy.

Newport News, Henry B. Wilson, and Mullinnix all open fire on the Oberegayuschiy.
The American ships gang up on Oberegayuschiy

The torpedoes run out of energy, so the American ships turn around for another go. Newport News gets within range of the Oberegayuschiy and sinks her.

Sverdlov-class cruiser
171917Z Newport News opens fire on the Aleksandr Nevskiy.

Firing on Aleksandr Nevskiy
Newport News pounds the Nevskiy, without any retaliation whatsoever.

173441Z Newport News fires upon Murmansk as well.

173726Z Alesandr Nevskiy is sunk. All ships turn their attention to Murmansk.

With the Aleksandr Nevskiy sunk, it's time to focus on Murmansk
Ostryy puts up the only resistance, firing its 57mm gun against the Manley, rather ineffectively.

The Murmansk opens fire on the Myles C. Fox, lightly damaging her. As the US ships close in, a few are very lightly damaged, but then the Newport News sinks the Murmansk at point blank range.

SIDE: Soviet Union ===========================================================
 2x Ka-25Ts Hormone B
 1x Ka-25BSh Hormone A
 1x PLA-627A November [Kit]
 1x EM Skoryy Mod [Pr.31 Besshumny]
 2x KR Sverdlov [Pr.68bis]

5x SA-N-1b Goa [M-1M/P Volna-M/P, 4K91 / V-601]
2x Generic Acoustic Decoy
4x SS-N-2c Improved Styx [P-15M]
4x 130mm/58 Twin HE Burst [2 rnds]
27x 45mm/85 Quad Burst [8 rnds]
6x 53-65K WH 211x 57mm/81 ZIF-71 Quad DP [6 rnds]
25x 100mm/70 Twin HE Burst [2 rnds]
36x 37mm/63 Twin Burst [20 rnds]

1x EC-121 K Warning Star 1x P-3B Orion

22x RIM-66A SM-1MR Blk IV
9x AN/SSQ-41B Jezebel LOFAR
15x AN/SSQ-47 Julie Active Range-Only
4x RUR-5A Mod 4 ASROC RTT [Mk46 Mod 2]
1x Mk46 LWT Mod 2
2x AGM-65B Maverick EO
470x 127mm/54 HE-CVT [HiFrag]
354x 127mm/54 HE-PD [HiCap]
354x 127mm/54 WP
455x 203mm/55 Triple
1657x 127mm/38 Twin HE-PD Burst [HiCap, 2 rnds]
468x 76mm/50 Twin HE Burst [2 rnds]

SIDE: Biological
1x Biologic Tuna Fishes
SIDE: Neutral Shipping ===========================================================

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