A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for EC2003 Battle for the GIUK Gap and the HCDB2-170308 new standard 1980-2025 Platform Database. This scenario is designed with advanced Scenario Editor and to be run with HCE 2015.008+ or later.
This scenario is designed to be played from the Blue/NATO side or from the Red/NATO side. You should play a few times first the Blue side to avoid spoilers, and only later play the Red side.
Image: Gulf of Aden February 20, 2009: The Danish flexible support ship HDMS Absalon (L 16, now reclassified as frigate with hull number F 341), right, the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72, first Arleigh Burke-class Flight II ship) transit the Gulf of Aden. Vella Gulf was then the flagship for Combined Task Force 151, a multinational task force conducting counter-piracy operations to detect and deter piracy in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Red Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky/Released, a serviceperson on duty and in consequence in public domain. Took from Wikipedia Commons).
After the Transnitria War of 1990-1992, the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia and the first Russian invasion of Ukraine and its Crimea Peninsula and Donbas from 2014 the World was beginning the so-called Second Cold War or the first stages of WWIII. Against all sensible warnings and erroneous appeasement politics the President of Russia Vladimir Putin (ex-KGB lieutenant colonel) was showing clearly his plan to recover the Russian Empire and later Soviet territories for reinstitute the greatness of his Russia, and to guarantee his passage on the History as saviour of the Rodina ... or more probably as a sad and sadistic clown.
At last the Russian campaign for the invasion of Ukraine started on February 24, 2022, and the surprisingly bad performance of the Russian forces, forecasting a long war, and the Western steadfast support of Ukraine surprised the world.
The two most prominent facts at strategic level on the naval side were the closure of the Bosporus strait by Turkey on February 28, and the Russian naval blockade of the Ukrainian ports from the war start, preventing the export of the very need on other world points of the Ukrainian grains.
Most of the Ukrainian navy was seized, blockaded or scuttled in port the first days of the Russian invasion.
But the more important naval actions at tactical, propaganda and boosting of the Ukrainian morale were the destruction or damage of some Russian ships, the naval use of Baryaktar TB2 drones and many retaliatory air strikes on the occupied Snake Island. And of course as the main and most outstanding action the sinking on April 14 of the guided missile cruiser Moskva, flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, probably by the action of shore launched Ukrainian indigenous R-360 Neptune anti-ship missiles, based in ISTAR information supplied by NATO from day one of the invasion, and also previously to it.
After came the yet unresolved and only partly successful bombing of the Kerch Bridge on October 8, 2022, and as latest relevant naval action the four places Nordstream 1 and 2 gas pipelines sabotage on September 26, 2022. The four blasts took place just outside the Danish territorial waters, east the Island of Bornholm, an interesting touristic resort with many medieval points of interest.
Suspicions of a sabotage by the Russian side are based mainly in the post-attack Russian propaganda blaming the Western countries, the damage use by Gazprom as an excuse to justify any failure and compensation to meet its contractual obligations to supply gas to the European countries, and to make impossible for a hypothetical Putin successor the use of resuming its gas exports to negotiate with the Western countries.
Many current ideas on the sabotage execution are the pre-placement in 2021 by specialists from the Russian Ministry of Defence’s Main Directorate of Deep Sea Research (GUGI military unit no. 45707) of explosive charges, or the use of "pigs" (Autonomous mechanical devices used to clean inside the pipes) loaded with explosives, by the Russian pipes owner and operator Gazprom.
This scenario is based in that last action, with the Russian submarines trying to prevent by force the ulterior deployment of Western deep sea research vessels, looking for debris of the Russian implication in the sabotage, killing previously her meagre available escorts.
Enrique Mas, October 23, 2022.