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File - Middle East - Bubiyan Turkey Shoot, January 29, 1991. Historical Scenario.

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File Name: Bubiyan Turkey Shoot, January 29, 1991. Historical Scenario.

File Submitter: broncepulido

File Submitted: 02 May 2017

File Category: Middle East



Bubiyan Turkey Shoot, January 29, 1991. Historical Scenario.

A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for The Middle East Battleset and the new HCDB2-170430 1980-2025 era Platform Database. This scenario is designed with advanced Scenario Editor and to be run with HCE 2015.008+ or later.

Image: The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Leftwich (DD-984) at anchor off Sitra, Bahrain, Persian Gulf, on 16 May 1993, one of the US Navy warships present at the action of Bubiyan. Of interest in this photo is USS Leftwich was one of the only seven Spruance-class destroyers no refitted with VLS vertical missile launcher replacing the forward ASROC mount and its under-deck magazines, but receiving two light ABL armoured containers both sides of the ASROC launcher, each one capable of four diverse types of Tomahawk cruise missiles, of anti-ship or anti-fixed ground installations variants. As in the other Spruances not equipped with VLS, in USS Leftwich the ASROC was deleted circa 1991, as showed on the photo. Also, in the Bubiyan action Leftwich was equipped with two SH-3 Sea King helicopters, no with a SH-2 Seasprite as showed, in the Bubiyan action the US Navy helicopters were not yet armed with anti-surface missiles. Official photo by OS2 John Bouvia, a serviceman on duty, as consequence in public domain, and took from Wikipedia Commons.

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

The Battle of Bubiyan, named by the near Island of Bubiyan, was the greatest naval engagement of the 1991 Gulf War for the liberation of Kuwait, invaded previously from 2 August 1990 by Iraq. It was in part mostly a one-sided and confuse melee where the bulk of the Iraqi Navy was engaged and destroyed by Coalition warships, airplanes and helicopters. A few units fled to Iran, just as in the case of the Iraqi Air Force.
Also related to the Bubiyan action was a simultaneous attempted Iraqi amphibious assault to the coastal town of Khafji in Saudi Arabia, achieving a temporary propaganda victory in that sector with the Iraqi ground forces. This movement was spotted by the Coalition naval forces and subsequently destroyed the amphibious force. The last action of the Iraqi Navy was to fire two supposed Silkworm Chinese anti-ship missiles from a shore launcher at the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63); but one was intercepted midflight by a ramjet-powered Sea Dart surface-to-air missile from the British destroyer HMS Gloucester, and the other splashed on the water.
After the Bubiyan action, the Iraqi Navy ceased to exist as a fighting force at all, leaving Iraq with very few ships, all in poor condition.
This scenario is inspired in that with the same historical name in "Troubled Waters", one of the original 1992 "Harpoon" booklet supplements, I think the only one I have not had (The others were purchased in a real physical game store some twenty-five years ago!) and found and purchased through Internet only two weeks ago.
The scenario represents the first night of the fight, and tries to reflect the chaos and randomness of the historical situation, and just as represented in "Troubled Waters", with very few licenses and historical updates.
Is an apparently simple scenario, but difficult to master.
The forces are a little scarce, appear very randomly in the scenario, and their capabilities are very diverse, for more fun and scenario replayability. Many of the ships and aircraft are of interest, as are modelled in the Harpoon Database depicting the special modifications developed for service in the Gulf War of 1991 campaign.
The scenario can be considered historical, as all the forces present were historically present and the randomness represents the chaos and confusion of the melee.

Enrique Mas, 1 May 2017.



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After Action Report (AAR) ...


Spoilers follow!









This is a quick, clean and enjoyable scenario that will allow you to wipe out the Iraqi Navy in short order.


Operating in the northern of the Persian Gulf on 29 January 1991, I am tasked with clearing out those elements of the Iraqi Navy that have managed to deploy into the area.


Launching a SH-60B Seahawk from the Perry class frigate USS Curts, my intention was to quickly get an idea of the composition and location of enemy vessels, and, of course, to avoid giving away the location of my ship lest I get a Silkworm tossed in my direction for my troubles.


The SH-60B quickly established that there were small groups of fast attack craft (Osa and TNC45) to the west and north, and a cluster of amphibious ships and supporting vessels in the center. None were in immediate danger of counter-detection.


Curts also had an AH-1W SuperCobra aboard, already loaded with Hellfires and 70mm rockets, so - together with Harpoons launched from the frigate - would serve as my initial attack on the priority threat: the Iraqi FACs. The AH-1W would go after the Osas, while the Harpoons would go after the slightly more distant group.


I also launched an OH-58D Kiowa - also armed with Hellfires and Sidearm anti-radar missiles - from the frigate USS Nicholas further east. It would deal with survivors among the FACs.


Meanwhile, an A-6E loaded down with 500 lb Mk 82 bombs was launched from the carrier USS Ranger much further south. It ought to arrive around the same time as I was cleaning up the FACs.


Two of four Harpoons scored hits among the TNC45s, while the SuperCobra ravaged the Osas with Hellfires and rockets. The Kiowa blasted surviving FACs of both flavours with Hellfire and Sidearm.


A Mirage F1EQ was spotted orbiting north of Kuwait and I began to grumble a little about the lack of air cover, but it stayed away. Two coastal defence missile sites were also detected, but they posed no immediate threat.


When the A-6E arrived, I sent it after a pair of Polnocny class landing ships and an elderly T-43. It bracketed the two phibs with sticks of four 500 lb bombs each, and tossed two in the direction of the T-43. All went down quickly. During the effort, an old P-6 torpedo boat also appeared and it received the remaining two bombs to complete the mission.


Victory rapidly followed.


Thanks Enrique for the fun scenario. :)

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