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Two of Five Carriers: Battle for the Eastern Med. Late November 2022. Historical Alternate Scenario.


Two of Five Carriers: Battle for the Eastern Med. Late November 2022. Historical Alternate Scenario.

A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for EC2003 Battle for the Mediterranean Battleset and the HCDB2-170909 (or later) 1980-2025 era Platform Database. This scenario is designed with Advanced Scenario Editor Build 2017.013 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/Russian and allies side. You should play a few times first the Blue side to avoid spoilers, and only later play the Red side.

Image: The Italian navy flagship, aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550), arrives at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, March 26, 2021, deployed to the United States for its initial period of flying trials with the F-35B, and just after when the trial was completed. The Italian Navy received four F-35B in March 2022, the original prevision was to embark them from 2024, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine marked their early naval deploy in the ITS Cavour (CVH 550) from mid-2022, including also many AV-8B+ Harrier II Plus. Italian F-35A/B from March 2018 to 2022 are armed with AIM-120C5 (Meteor probably from 2027), and perhaps with the first AIM-9X-2 requested 2021 as per SIPRI (As in the case of the Norwegian F-35A, very probably IRIS-T will be not integrated on F-35). US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mitchell Banks, a serviceperson on duty and in consequence on public domain.

From the eventful year of 2014 (Mainly from the Russian invasion of Crimea) the world was beginning clearly the so-called Second Cold War, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin (ex-KGB lieutenant colonel) was showing clearly his plan to recover the Russian Empire including previous Soviet territories for reinstitute the greatness of "his" Russia, and to guarantee his passage on the History as saviour of the Rodina.

After the massive Russian build-up of forces from late 2021 in Russia and Belarus near the Ukrainian border, NATO forces were forced to an increased and constant deployment near Ukraine and the Eastern Mediterranean, to deterrent Putin's ambition.

The probably original plan was to avoid an intervention by NATO ground forces but preventing the Russian main forces to enter Ukrainian territory, and to get this target to establish an air and sea exclusion zone around and over Ukraine.

But at last, on February 24, 2022, Russian forces invaded Ukraine against most forecast, sinking the world in a new state of international relations, as consequence of a long and failed campaign of unexpected outcomes.

Aside air elements deployed to near NATO countries and strategic bombers in UK, and a constant monitoring of the Russian movements, after three aircraft carriers (USS Harry S Truman CVN 75, FNS Charles de Gaulle R91 and ITS Cavour CVH550) were deployed on the Eastern Mediterranean on February 2022, to keep at bay the Russian forces in Syria and the Mediterranean, and later to reinforce the possible exclusion zone and to execute offensive actions against the Russian forces in the Black Sea and Ukraine. Later, on November 2022 the forces were expanded to five deployed carriers, with USS Gerald R Ford CVN 78 (On her first deployment) and HMS Queen Elizabeth R08 in the Atlantic, and USS George W H Bush CVN 77 replacing Truman in the Mediterranean, but keeping positions near a possible unrest in Algeria. Included in the Mediterranean forces was the STANDING NATO MARITIME GROUP TWO (SNMG2), flagship USS Forrest Sherman, Italian FREMM frigate Alpino F594, Spanish AEGIS frigate Cristobal Colon F105 and German oiler Spessart A1442.

For the Russian side a great number of elements of the Northern, Pacific, Baltic and Black Sea fleets were deployed in the Mediterranean, including amphibious ships sailing to the Black Sea, dangerously depleting the reserves of all the Russian fleets, but after more than six months sailing most have been retired to their parent fleets (Excluded of course the return to Black Sea).

Also, Tu-22M3 Backfire-C with Kh-32 anti-ship missiles and MIG-31K Foxhound with Kh-47M2 Kinzhal/AS-24 Killjoy were deployed in the infamous Russian base of Khmeimim in Syria. And of course the surviving forces of the Assad regime after the 2011 civil war are in the Russian side, defending its country.

On the paper the Russian forces are weaker, but employing old Cold War era tactics could settle a surprise and propaganda blow to the Western forces.

And with Truman keeping an eye on Algeria, only the French and Italian carriers could keep at bay the residual Russian forces on Eastern Mediterranean.

Enrique Mas, November 27, 2022.


 

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  • 2 weeks later...

AAR 

 

++++++++++++++++++

SPOILER ALERT

+++++++++++++++++++

This was quite a long game with plenty of action, mostly air based, but a sprinkling of anti surface and sub marine activity to keep you on your toes.

Without giving away too much, here's a cut down of the report file I generated giving a rundown of time spent and spoils.

TotalGameTimeDuration=16Hrs6Mins

[Initial Start]
Actual Date=28/11/2022 13:03:52
(Report Generator=AARdata.dll, downloaded from Harpgamer Forum)
Battleset=HDSJ
Scenario=C:\Matrix Games\HUCE\addons\medc\2003\2022-12 Two CARRIERS.sco

[Session Summary]
Session Start=30 Nov 2022, 07:20:00
GameTimeDuration ThisSession=0Hrs6 Mins
TotalGameTimeDuration=0Hrs6Mins
Session End RealTime=28/11/2022 14:59:31
RealTimeDuration ThisSession=1:55:38
==== =====
Session Start=30 Nov 2022, 07:26:34
GameTimeDuration ThisSession=0Hrs14 Mins
TotalGameTimeDuration=0Hrs20Mins
Session End RealTime=28/11/2022 18:19:43
RealTimeDuration ThisSession=0:35:36
==== =====
Session Start=30 Nov 2022, 07:40:58
GameTimeDuration ThisSession=2Hrs10 Mins
TotalGameTimeDuration=2Hrs31Mins
Session End RealTime=28/11/2022 22:00:01
RealTimeDuration ThisSession=3:19:34
==== =====
Session Start=30 Nov 2022, 09:51:51
GameTimeDuration ThisSession=2Hrs56 Mins
TotalGameTimeDuration=5Hrs27Mins
Session End RealTime=29/11/2022 23:01:32
RealTimeDuration ThisSession=1:57:08
==== =====
Session Start=30 Nov 2022, 12:47:54
GameTimeDuration ThisSession=2Hrs44 Mins
TotalGameTimeDuration=8Hrs12Mins
Session End RealTime=30/11/2022 21:11:48
RealTimeDuration ThisSession=1:21:59
==== =====
Session Start=30 Nov 2022, 15:32:17
GameTimeDuration ThisSession=3Hrs2 Mins
TotalGameTimeDuration=11Hrs15Mins
Session End RealTime=1/12/2022 22:54:21
RealTimeDuration ThisSession=1:20:20
==== =====
Session Start=30 Nov 2022, 18:35:07
GameTimeDuration ThisSession=0Hrs10 Mins
TotalGameTimeDuration=11Hrs25Mins
Session End RealTime=5/12/2022 16:23:40
RealTimeDuration ThisSession=0:06:13
==== =====
Session Start=30 Nov 2022, 20:53:04
GameTimeDuration ThisSession=2Hrs33 Mins
TotalGameTimeDuration=16Hrs6Mins
Session End RealTime=6/12/2022 22:02:51
RealTimeDuration ThisSession=1:21:15
==== =====

[Log]
=====

Game Start=30 Nov 2022, 07:20:00

+++++++++++++++++++++++
Event=30 Nov 2022, 19:48:02  The BLUE side has met their minimum victory conditions
++++++++++++++++++++++
Event=30 Nov 2022, 23:22:02  The BLUE side has met their total victory conditions

[Kill Detail Red Side ]
Amur (304)/Ship=1
Ka-27M Helix A 17/Helicopter=4
Su-35S Flanker E/Plane=12
Grigorovich (1135.6)/Ship=1
Su-30SM Flanker G 13/Plane=18
MiG-21bis Fishbed N 00/Plane=9
Buyan-M Pr21631 14/Ship=1
MiG-23ML Flogger G 82/Plane=24
Gorshkov Pr22350/Ship=1
Soobraziltelny Pr20381 11/Ship=1
Steregushchiy Pr2038 07/Ship=1
MiG-23BN Flogger H 80/Plane=39
Su-24M2 Fencer D 09/Plane=6
MiG-29 Fulcrum A 88/Plane=14
Su-22M4K Fitter K 96/Plane=20
MiG-21bis Fishbed N 82/Plane=12
Su-22M3K Fitter J 86/Plane=10
Su-24MK2 Fencer D 07/Plane=11
Su-22M Fitter F 80/Plane=6
Su-34 Fullback 16/Plane=6
Tu-22M3 Backfire C 92/Plane=10
Yasen (885)/Submarine=1
MiG-29N Fulcrum 99/Plane=15
MiG-23MF Flogger B 81/Plane=6
MiG-23MLD Flogger K 83/Plane=6
Il-38N May 14/Plane=4
SAM SA-3b Goa Bty/AD Mobile=6
A-50U Mainstay/Plane=2
MiG-25P Foxbat A 80/Plane=2
SAM SA-6a Bty/AD Mobile=6
Osa II Pr205U/Ship=4
Prachand Pr205U/Ship=4
SAM SA-2f Bty/AD Mobile=5
SSC-3 Styx Bty/Armoured=10
Mobile radar medium range/AD Mobile=2
L-39ZA Albatros 83/Plane=20
L-39ZO Albatros 80/Plane=19
SAM SA-20b Bty/AD Mobile=3
SAM SA-21a Btn/AD Mobile=1
MiG-31BM Foxhound 15/Plane=6
Osa I Pr205/Ship=3
Tir IPS-18/Ship=4
SAM SA-22 Bty/AD Mobile=1
Su-57 PAK-FA 19/Plane=2
SAM SA-5b Btn/AD Mobile=2
ELINT Station/Armoured=1
HY-4 SSM Bty/Armoured=2

[Kill Summary Red Side ]
Ships:=21
Planes:=279
Helicopters:=4
Submarines:=1
AD mobile:=26
Armoured:=13

[Kill Detail Blue Side ]
AV-8B Harrier II+ 08/Plane=2
ELINT Station/Armoured=1
SAM Starstreak Team/AD Mobile=2
Mobile radar long range/AD Mobile=2
U-2S Dragon Lady/Plane=2
MH-60R Seahawk 15/Helicopter=1
P-8A Poseidon 17/Plane=1
Type 704 Rhon (95)/Ship=1
Rafale M F3R 19/Plane=1

[Kill Summary Blue Side ]
Planes:=6
Helicopters:=1
AD mobile:=4
Armoured:=1
Ships:=1

[Kill Detail Neutral Side ]
Biological/Submarine=1

[Kill Summary Neutral Side ]
Submarines:=1

Thanks again Enrique another great harpoon scenario for the community to play.

Hmm, now will I try Red side play????

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SPOILER ALERT

 

Two bites of the cherry playing Red side.

Game one, opened the game with the Blue carrier group within missile range of my strong SG and Sub, just outside of gun range of the ships.

Pretty sure I would get an avalanche of missiles in bound any sec so I launched all I had concentrating somewhat on the escorts then the carriers. At flank speed we were about 5 mins from gunnery range so we bit the bullet and charged in the SG and also the sub.

A quick look showed I had some ASUW air assets ready to fly but some way off, so I got them air and queued to reload some ARM loadouts.

After about a minute of missiles inbound and my SAM defense, noting enemy damage and an escort sunk, there was a brief calm then the naval guns came to play. I lost one of my big ships but sank another escort and both carriers. My inbound air units were sent home and we rapped up with a good victory.

Game two was entirely different. The entire eastern Med Sea was devoid of any Blue contacts other than bases. We sent up some big ASWs and  strikers with ASUW loadouts flying high as searching eyes, some fighters in close between us and the myriad of neaby blue bases, and hoped for some targets to be disclosed.

Blue launched interceptors (they took the bait) and we took them down then commenced to neutralise their home base and surrounding support.

A small Blue SG appeared close enough for our now ARM loaded strikers to get in with initial blinding effect before our ASUW planes finished them off.

After some time we had EW contacts coming from far to the west, our intel had said a carrier group so we sent in waves of fighters with long range AAMs until we gauged there was little fighter teeth left in the enemy, by this time our SG and sub were closing in and so too our ARM striker wave with ASUWs staggered behind. By this time Blue bases near our main assets were dust.

We then got a sub contact from our own sub, no positive ID so we brought everyone to a creep and sent in some copters to investigate. We knew there were still some Blue fighters appearing but made the gamble. The sub was confirmed as enemy and in range of ours and one of the copters. Five mins later, approx, it was gone and our entry into history as heros of the mother country was confirmed.

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