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File Name: Solving the Spratlys problem: Stennis Compromise, March 2016. Alternate History Scenario.

File Submitter: broncepulido

File Submitted: 15 Mar 2016

File Category: WestPac

 

 

Solving the Spratlys problem: Stennis Compromise, March 2016. Alternate History Scenario.

A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for the Western Pacific Battleset and the HCDB-150928 1980-2015 era Platform Database. This scenario is designed with advanced Scenario Editor and to be run with HCE 2015.008+ or later.

Image: An VFA-14 "Tophatters" F/A-18E Super Hornet (Squadron with the only Super Hornets with the old APG-73 radars in the CVW-9, the others have the APG-79 AESA) participates in an air power demonstration near the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) as the ship operates in the Pacific Ocean on April 24, 2013. Photo took from Wikipedia, realized by Seaman Apprentice Ignacio D. Perez U.S. Navy, a serviceman on duty and in 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.

The scenario is based in current historical events, mainly the navigation of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG or Carrier Strike Group Three) from the Luzon Strait on the contested area from 1 to 8 March 2016. But is very improbable the political motivation in either side capable to generate an open war.
Also, one of this complex scenario aims is to show how numerous and modernized are the Chinese forces at the current times, forgetting the usual conception about they're obsolete and simple forces (but including his lack of enough naval helicopters, tankers and EW aircrafts).
Is depicted the more accurate possible Chinese order of battle (March 2016) of his South Sea Fleet, his People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) aviation elements, his People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Southern and Eastern Theatre Commands, and a few strategic elements, as AWACS or ELINT planes.
After the full of naval, military and security incidents year of 2014 the World was beginning the so-called Second Cold War. Mostly as result of President of Russia Vladimir Putin (ex-KGB lieutenant colonel) actions, provoking 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), Russian intervention in Syria from 30 September 2015, March 2016 detection by the French of a Russian submarine near Bay of Biscay, and with constant and multiple overflies with military warplanes entangled in potential incidents with commercial flights in Europe. 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 operati
ons in Middle East).
But meanwhile, more towards Far East was China a less perceived and growing problem.
In some places of the South China or East Philippine Sea multiple countries 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 (now finished, at March 2016), and more important, building artificial reefs and islands above previous simple shoals for claiming territory. 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) worldwide on international waters, 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.
Between the first incidents were 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, and the trailing for some hours of the USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) by the Chinese frigate Yuncheng (571) on 11 May 2015. Late, from 26 October 2015, USS Lassen (DDG-82) implement the Freedom of Navigation (FON) near the Chinese occupied Subi and Mischief Reefs in the Spratlys, and a clash of destroyers was possible, but avoided with the humble and shy behaviour of the US side, transiting without radars illuminating or the helicopter flying.
At last, and after some months without US aircraft carriers in the region, when on 1 March 2016 the JCSCSG (Group AEC) transited the Luzon Strait, everything was possible...

Enrique Mas, 15 March 2016.

 

 

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Spoiler alert:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 March 2016, added USS Russell (DDG-59) as picket, historically present in the theatre (The USS Barry (DDG-52) presence is only a hypotesis in the scenario design):

http://www.update.ph/2016/03/american-destroyer-arrives-in-manila/3320

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I can proudly annonce .... using the catch phrase "Stennis Compromise" in my latest scenario, searching for "Stennis Compromise" in Google Search, the scenario appears in fourth position!

https://www.google.es/search?q=stennis+compromise&oq=stennis+compromise&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i61j69i60j69i59j69i60.4504j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8

 

The historical "Stennis Compromise" (a lucky find):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stennis_Compromise

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Having difficulty getting the victory conditions to trigger in this scenario.

 

I have destroyed all of the offending bases and a number of Chinese SAGs, but no joy yet.

 

Something else has happened, which has been very rare in Harpoon (for me), but its unrelated to the vicconds and will comment on it later.

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Very light modifications 25 March 2016, SPOILER ALERT:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Added YJ-62 (C-602 is the export variant with range limited to 300 Km) anti-ship missiles to Woody Island and perhaps other artificial reefs with airstrip, as refered here: http://www.janes.com/article/59003/imagery-suggests-china-has-deployed-yj-62-anti-ship-missiles-to-woody-island

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Having difficulty getting the victory conditions to trigger in this scenario. I have destroyed all of the offending bases and a number of Chinese SAGs, but no joy yet. Something else has happened, which has been very rare in Harpoon (for me), but its unrelated to the vicconds and will comment on it later.

 

Still no joy on getting the victory conditions to trigger. I have destroyed everything within a 400 nm radius of the USN CSG.

 

That thing that hardly ever happens? ... Zero losses on my part.

 

Moving on now to harass the Chinese mainland ... just because.

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  • 3 months later...

Historically, the next month 5xA-10 Warthog and 3xHH-60G were deployed in Clark AFB from 19 to 28 April 2016, and 4xEA-18G Growler from 15 June 2016:

http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/740671/pacaf-a-10s-hh-60s-fly-first-air-contingent-missions-in-philippines.aspx(1 aircraft more of each type added later, apparently).

http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2016/07/04/navy-growlers-replace--10s-pavehawks-philippine-rotation/86480124/

Air Forces Monthly, August 2016 issue.

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  • 9 months later...

Spoiler alert 15 May 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar Chinese naval KJ-500H AWACS movements from Hainan Island, as forecasted in the scenario:

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/satellite-image-shows-chinese-deployment-of-new-aircraft-to-south-china-sea?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EBB%2005.15.2017&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Early%20Bird%20Brief

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