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File Name: LCS Goes to War 2, the Real Thing, Spratly Islands, 11 May 2015. Historical Scenario.

File Submitter: broncepulido

File Submitted: 23 May 2015

File Category: WestPac

 

 

LCS Goes to War 2, the Real Thing, Spratly Islands, 11 May 2015. Historical Scenario.

A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for the Western Pacific Battleset and the HCDB-150511 1980-2015 era Platform Database.

Image: USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) trailed by Chinese frigate Yuncheng (571) in the Spratly Islands, 11 May 2015. Official photo released by US Navy and as consequence in public domain.

This scenario is designed to be played from the Blue/US side or from the Red/Chinese side. To avoid spoilers you should play a few times first the Blue side, and only later play the Red side.

After the full of naval and security incidents year of 2014 and the not less eventful first five months of 2015 and with the World beginning the so-called Second Cold War when President of Russia Vladimir Putin (ex-KGB lieutenant colonel) provoked in succession the Crimea, Ukraine, Donetsk, Baltic States, October 2014 Swedish submarine incursion, G-20 Brisbane meeting naval crisis, November 2014 Faslane submarine incident, frigate Yaroslav Mudryy February "Channel Dash", April 2015 Finnish submarine incursion (for many observers causing the pre-mobilization of Finland reserve forces), and constant and multiple overflies with military warplanes entangled in potential incidents with commercial flights. That without counting in other unrelated naval incidents, just as the Iranian seizure of the Maersk Tigris in 28 April 2015 (and neither counting in landlocked actions, as the ISIS operations in Middle East).
But meanwhile, more towards Far East, was China the less perceived problem.
In some places of the South China Sea multiple country claimed Spratly Islands archipelago (Chinese: Nansha islands, Filipino: Kapuluan ng Kalayaan, Malay: Kepulauan Spratly and Vietnamese: Quan dao Truong Sa), China was for years mongering his plans and established a permanent base at least from 1987, and 1988 included a naval battle against Vietnam, the Johnson South Reef Skirmish. Also at least from 1995, as denounced by Philippines, China was building structures with military capabilities, including from 2012 more relevant structures, as the 3000+ meters long (Very Large Airport in Harpoon parameters) runway in Fiery Cross Reef, and more important, building artificial reefs and islands above previous simple shoals. At last in an undetermined date late April 2015 China claims as territorial waters the 12 nautical miles circling his "new" islands.
As the US official doctrine is Freedom of Navigation (FON), and as in this case with fears about a decision not to send naval vessels into the zone would inadvertently help the Chinese build their own case for sovereignty in the area, some air and surface elements of US Navy begin to orbit near the Chinese claims, but not crossing the 12 nm line.
One of the first incidents (another was a VP-45 Pelicans' P-8A Poseidon in surveillance mission carrying a CNN TV team inside, warned by the Chinese to no flight 12 nm near of Fiery Cross Reef on 20 May 2015) was the trailing for some hours of the USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) by the Chinese frigate Yuncheng (571) on 11 May 2015.
This scenario try to show what could have happened, and shows how near was one of the first missions of a controversial LCS to end with the ship placed where she was not designed to be, first line of combat.

Enrique Mas, 23 May 2015.

 

 

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Some sources:

 

On Spratly Islands 2015 conflict:

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/13/politics/south-china-sea-us-surveillance-aircraft/

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/face-chinas-navy-stalks-us-ship-south-china-sea-12882

http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-military-proposes-challenge-to-china-sea-claims-1431463920

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/22/us-warns-next-step-could-be-to-test-beijings-territorial-claims-in-south-china-sea

http://www.trust.org/item/20150515095505-pk98z/?source=hpMostPopularTheWire(including the runway lenght).

 

On USN rotary wing aircraft-launched anti-surface missiles:

 

MQ-8B Fire should be armed with 6xAPWKS II (2012+) missiles probably from late 2013:

 

http://www.shephardmedia.com/news/uv-online/mq-8-tidies-apkws-integration/

 

http://www.navaldrones.com/Fire-Scout.html(mention on the video of the 2x3 APWKS II in MQ-8B).

 

On APWKS II use in MH-60S (from March 2014) and MH-60R (from March 2015?), in LAU-61 19xAPWKS/unguided rockets launchers:

From the Wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Precision_Kill_Weapon_System

• April 2013: A UH-1Y Venom fired 10 APKWS rockets at stationary and moving small boat targets, scoring 100 percent accurate hits on single and multiple targets over water. The engagement ranged from 2–4 km using inert warheads, Mk152 high explosive warheads, and MK149 flechette warheads. The UH-1Y had the boats designated by an MH-60S.[22]

• October 2013: APKWS successfully fired from an AH-64 Apache. Eight rockets were fired with the helicopter flying at up to 150 kn (170 mph; 280 km/h) and up to 5 km (3.1 mi) from the target. Launch altitudes ranged from 300 ft to 1,500 ft. BAE wants airworthiness qualification on the Apache for international sales to AH-64 operators.[23]

• March 2014: LAU-61 G/A Digital Rocket Launcher (DRL) deployed with HSC-15.[24]

• July 2014: BAE reveals that the APKWS has reached Early Operational Capability (EOC) with one squadron of MH-60S helicopters. The MH-60R will be outfitted within "12-18 months."[25]

On LAU-61:

http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=80102

 

 

On Johnson South Reef 1988 naval battle:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_South_Reef_Skirmish

 

http://soha.vn/quan-su/nhung-con-tau-viet-nam-tham-gia-hai-chien-truong-sa-gio-o-dau-20140314101315636.htm

 

MQ-8B and MQ-8C parameters (very interesting and detailed site):

 

http://www.navaldrones.com/Fire-X.html

 

On VP-45 Pelicans deployment to Kadena AB, Okinawa:

http://gonavy.jp/VP_Deploy04f.html

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I played this scenario twice now, once each blue and red. As Red. My first action, helo aloft radar, had a good fix on the LCS- fired half (4) my SSMs, the C803- OK I don't remember details - did they miss - or get shot down. Well NO Hits. Next helo ventures to close and shot down. - before I lose my fix- but took long enough to get asked for activate ranges as if a BOL *bearing only" launch - fire rest of teh C803 SSMs. All hit. Sink LCS. My recollection was first 4 missed were not shor down - I could be wrong. If I am not wrong seems weird..

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The idea is LCS should defeat enemy missiles by ECM (and in less measure with RAM missiles, guns and speed), the credibility of that in the real world will depend in the ECM capabilities, at least an almost realistic outcome.

I tested the scenario many times with my personally modified platforms (my idea is to evaluate real world situations with Harpoon and the scalable weapons and ECM), and using LCS speed to evade missiles and keep enemy ship at distance, and at least in one or two times the AI controlled LCS evades missiles and keep enemy ship at distance by speed!

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In the original DB:

- C803 PH =75%

- LCS decoy level 3 value =30

- Final PH is 75-30=45 (very near a 50%)

In consequence is not very probable but possible your result, only half of C803 hits the LCS (in purity only 3.6 C803 should hit LCS: 8 missiles x 45% = 360% = 3.6 missiles).

 

With my modified values (perhaps too optimistic decoys, but the idea in real world is LCS should survive through decoy use):

- C802A/K PH =75%

- LCS decoy level 3 value =60

- Final PH is 75-60=15 , in consequence only 1.2 C803 should hit LCS, in many encounters none hits LCS.

 

 

C-Guard SKWS decoy system in LCS:

http://www.terma.com/defense/c-guard-naval-decoy-system/

The system will effectively counter advanced threats like small range gate Radio Frequency (RF) missiles, imaging Infra Red (IR) seekers missiles, and advanced next generation torpedoes. These threats require fast response and utilization of advanced tactics supporting the latest in decoy technologies available.

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