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Old 03-15-2010, 02:28 AM
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Default Killing Carriers

(resurrected from the archive -kato13)

chico20854

Killing Carriers

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One of the topics Law, Jason and I were discussing today was how to explain the canon naval battle and the massive losses inflicted by the Soviet Navy on the NATO forces. The best example of this is the Battle of the Norwegian Sea.

At the start of the war, the US Navy has 8 full strength carrier battle groups (America, Forrestal, JFK, Eisenhower, Roosevelt, Washington, Stennis and Saratoga) in the Atlantic, plus the Coral Sea and the Lexington in lower threat areas. Given that Stennis is working up and newly commissioned and discounting Coral Sea and Lexington (both launched in the 1940s), that still allows NATO to send 4-5 carriers into the Norwegian Sea while still keeping 2 or 3 in the Med. That mass is really hard for the Soviets to overcome.

So some ideas on how the USSR killed carriers or at least tried to neutralize them:

1) Neutralize their air defenses first. Chew up the fighter squadrons (let them try a few strikes on the Kola and let the SAMs have a field day). Use special anti-AEGIS and anti-AWACS missiles (both developed or under development) to limit NATO's technological edge.

2) Mass attacks. Coordinate long range surface, submarine and air launched cruise missile strikes. Hard to do. Satellite recon (if NATO hasn't shot the birds down) could allow launches under ENCOM.

3) Pray for bad weather. Maybe you can get an attack in while there's a blizzard across the decks of NATO carriers and the radar is confused by the reflections off the sea surface. The only problem is the Soviets have to launch (and maybe coordinate) attacks in the same garbage weather. And missile radar seekers and older generation technology are more likely to be confused by rough weather. So maybe pray for bad weather over the Norwegian Sea and clear skies in the Kola!

4) Hide from NATO. No way to do this with Backfires, but surface ships can float among the icebergs and launch attacks by satellite targeting, as in #2 above. Top quality attack subs are probably a reasonable trade for a carrier, so send in an Akula or Sierra II. Maybe the Battle of the Kola was such a slaughter because the NATO fleet was engaged by the surface forces that had been defending boomer bastions - like the Kiev (an anti-sub ship, whose fighters are scarce enough to be used for local air defense and a little bit of national air defense only, but which mounts long-range antiship missiles).

5) Go nuclear. See if NATO will actually buy that 1980s line of thinking about a nuclear strike at sea not being as escalatory as one on land. (In the future, unless the negative reation here is violent, we'll detail a spring 1997 nuclear strike at sea, where the USSR pops a US carrier and the USN pops the Kirov or Ulyanovsk in retaliation, followed by a hotline call from POTUS to Sauroski saying that to make things real clear a nuclear strike at sea is VERY escalatory and further strikes are HIGHLY discouraged. The war stays non-nuclear until the Germans enter the USSR.)

6) Strike the logistics tail. Find where the ammunition ships and oilers are and take them out (submarines?). Strive to catch a carrier when it's replenishing or running for a refuel run - low on fuel, magazines almost empty, only a few Phoenix missiles left and the Aegis cruisers VLSs almost empty. But then again, you're probably in pretty poor condition yourself by then (those VLSs were emptied at either your aircraft, your ships or your bases!). Have your raiders, agents and strategic strike forces take out drydocks, naval warehouses and magazines, fuel depots, missile factories.

These all have a chance to work, but even when combined (especially with a pretty successful NATO defense of northern Norway providing friendly airbases ashore) there's little chance, at the beginning of the war, for the NATO fleet to be defeated in the battle they had prepared for since 1984 or so. The best hope comes after some months of intense war, when prewar stocks of top line munitions are gone, production is still ramping up, older replacement aircraft and munitions are all NATO can field and the ships that you got with your surprise weapons are still in the repair yard.

But again the Soviets are likely to be in even worse shape - they were on the receiving end of the modern munitions and their production system is less efficient and getting worn after two years of war in China. Your ships are on the bottom, not in the repair yard. You have conscripts and recalled reservists manning your ships, and the only reason your shipyard workers are getting anything done is that vodka is reserved for the sailors and soldiers (but boy is the proletariat pissed!). Your MiG-31s, which tangled with the Tomcats and downed Hawkeyes and AWACS at great price, are mostly gone, the pilots frozen in Arctic seas, and they send you 35-year old MiG-21s without pilots and expect you to defend the Kola!

So that may explain the six month pause in operations in Norway (along with the fact that January is a REAL bad time to lauch an offensive in the Arctic!) between the Battle of the Norwegian Sea and the Battle of the Kola.

Enough rambling! Your thoughts?
-Chico


chico20854





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DeaconR

I have a few ideas too: bad luck and bad leadership. We assume that everything will go according to plan and that no one will screw up too badly, but who knows? Consider Gallipoli (yes I know, different tech and all but consider anyway). The British in effect were winning when they pulled back during the sea battle part of it. This led to the awful situation on the ground that took place later on. The problem was that they had no expected to take hardly any casualties and the ones that they did take horrified them. The Admiral commanding lost his nerve and ordered them to pull back. In fact though they had been pulverizing the Turkish defenses and a landing right then and there would probably have captured the Dardanelles.

A more modern problem is micromanagement; I'm sure that before the nukes really started flying that that might have been a danger in NATO, would be the governments trying to make sure that the political/diplomatic aims were met rather than being entirely concerned with the combat operations.


DeaconR





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FightingFlamingo

Chico... I think massed missile attacks from Subs and Backfires would be the way to do it... also consider the Med Ships... Once Greece and Italy are in the War they've gotta get out because they've no place to hide and the Med would get tight for them fast, At least until Operation Carthaginian, and then they'd primarily be in the Western Med. Net you might be able to add 2 Carriers to the Mid Atlantic after they withdrawl from the MED (Assuming they get out intact) or possibly they could have pushed south through the Suez into the Arabian Sea to support CENTCOM.

but I'd lean towards the Mass Attack ala Red Storm Rising, but repeated continually since the fleet would be closer to RBNF's home operating area's and Land Based Aviation... overwhelm the AEGIS
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FightingFlamingo





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Law0369

the indy will ride again
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Law0369





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Webstral

I like the leadership and micromanagement question. Perhaps the White House and the Pentagon insist pulling all the strings. They make it impossible for the leadership on the scene to do their job.

Here's a possibility: the admiral in charge of the operation gets tired of the higher-ups interfering. He turns his back on the Pentagon so he can fight the battle the way he wants. The Pentagon loses its collective mind and relieves the admiral and his supporters right before the big battle. There is chaos and confusion while all of this gets sorted out. Unity of action is lost at a critical time, giving the Soviets an opportunity they might never have enjoyed. A desperate attack turns into a smashing victory. If one prefers to see the fighting in the Norweigian Sea as a series of battles, the opening attack renders the NATO fleet vulnerable in ways they would not have been otherwise; and follow-on attacks merely finish the job. I don't know the naval world well enough to realistically describe how the process of relieving an admiral on the brink of battle would go, though.

Webstral


Webstral





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Jason Weiser

Ok, here is the transliteration of some handwritten notes I jotted down last night, might cover some territory that Chico and others have already hit, but here goes:

How do you kill 5 NATO Carrier Groups?

Factors to consider?

- What type of carriers and makeup of their airgroups (US CVBG? or UK CVH?)
- Assets left to both sides so far (Remember the Battle of the GIUK Gap, losses were nasty on both sides in that mess, so what's left?)
- Nuclear Weapons: Yes, there is the hard nuclear threshold date in canon, but does the use of such weapons at sea constitute that significant an escalation? And moreover, would the Soviets use first, mainly due to a) Their nuclear superiority at sea, and b) the fact NATO is directly threatening the Rodina (Remember, the Soviets did not nuke NATO troops until German troops were approaching Lvov)?
- NATO Land Based Air is going to play a huge role in its interface with US CVBG assets.

Elements of the Battle of the Barents Sea

- MiG-31 strike against the E-2/E-3 assets (Chico's idea, I mentally wargamed it out and I think it would work, but you're going to gut the regiment(s) involved. Also, what of using some MiG-31s in the fast SEAD role with anti-AEGIS weapons?)

- Loss of one Carrier to either an Oscar or Charlie II class SSGN (Most likely a mission kill, could combine it with the nuke option).

- "Death ride of the Red Banner Northern Fleet" where Kirov and Ulanovsk trade themselves for a CVBG. Remember, political pressure on the admirals to "keep NATO away from our motherland" is going to limit freedom of action by the Soviet admirals.

- Nuclear option: Probably a desperate one, I would think the Soviets would only try this when all else had failed, but considering the nature of the fight, it's pretty likely that at least one warhead got used.

- Air: This is going to probably be successful, especially if they catch a carrier in a recovery cycle after a strike. But, the fact is, it's going to gut the Backfire regiments involved, not to mention how many Bears are going to be shot down trying to FIND the NATO CVBG.

- The progress of the land battle: How will this affect events at sea?

- NATO's response to any nuclear weapons use by the Soviets? Will there be any targets left to hit?

- Another idea, stolen from Sir John Hackett. Let's say the Soviets modify an early Delta to carry some SLBM with FAE warheads within range of Keflavik, you could also say some attack boat did it with the "Tomahawk-ski" weapons the Soviets were working on in the late 80s. This will play hell with SOSUS and NATO land based air.

- Soviet Tactical Innovation?

- AEGIS proves to be nastier than the Soviets can handle, The Soviets decide they cannot deal with AEGIS force-on-force. So, they organize SSN/SSGN wolfpacks. The SSNs would focus on killing the AEGIS equipped ships, with the SSGN focused on higher value targets.

The SNA “surge” everything that can fly with orders to find and attack all NATO shipping. They do so in such numbers that NATO loses control of the airbattle.
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Jason Weiser





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Matt Wiser

Lots to digest, gentlemen, so here goes:

1) Massed attack with air and sub-launched missiles is how Ivan trained and prepped for anti-carrier ops. Add to that the huge Type-65 "Long Lanceski" 650-mm torpedo was also designed to be an anti-carrier weapon, and most Soviet subs in the '80s were equipped with the weapon.

2) Sacrificing MiG-31 Foxhounds to go after E-2/E-3s makes sense, especially since the MiG-31's main weapon is the AA-9 Amos missile, which is similar to the Phoenix in some respects.

3) You're not going to have carriers sunk; but mission-killed, certainly. Remember: Red Storm Rising had Nimitz take two AS-4 missiles that destroyed her CIC and arrester gear. She was in the yard for most of the war. Two or three carriers winding up in either UK or U.S. yards for a few weeks or months is a likely outcome. The escorts will take a beating, though.
Still, with 4-5 carriers with all their EW and AEGIS assets.....Ivan's going to have a poor hit ratio anyway. Throw in the BACKFIRE and BADGER regiments being gutted, and the BEARs nearly being exterminated (only one MR BEAR regiment in NORTHFLT).

Nukes are not likely this early: it was (and presumably still is) U.S. policy that a nuclear war begun at sea would not be limited to the sea. Strikes with TLAM-N against Soviet air and naval facilities would certainly follow quickly.

I do like Jason's idea of the Northern Fleet's Death Ride. Tblisi and Kirov on such a mission, especially when COMNORTHFLT is under intense pressure to deliver results.....or else. In his place, I'd try anything to avoid a 9-mm brain hemmorage. Kiev and Baku would still be around with the Battlecruiser Yuri Andropov (last of the Kirov-class ships) for the Kola battle. Perhaps the Northern Fleet's death ride influenced ADM Kurchatov and his no-win sortie against the Nimitz group at Kamchatka....

SLBMs with FAE wouldn't be likely, but several Yankee-class boats were being converted to carry the huge SS-N-24 SLCM. Shoot a few of those at a base with mixed HE and cluster munitions and you'll put it out of action for a few days, minimum. The reason: any SLBM launch would be interpeted as a nuclear attack underway....

And then there's just plain luck.


Matt Wiser





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DeaconR

Something that was said: What ABOUT the land/air battle? What precisely are the priorities of CINCLANT and ACCHAN? Will all materiel and reinforcements just be in place? What will Sealift Command in the US be doing at this time? What about the need to land the reinforcements in Norway and Iceland? There's an interesting novel called "Frigate" that deals with NATO operations in Scandinavia at the start of WWIII btw that I recommend.


DeaconR





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thefusilier

Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854
5) Go nuclear. See if NATO will actually buy that 1980s line of thinking about a nuclear strike at sea not being as escalatory as one on land. (In the future, unless the negative reation here is violent, we'll detail a spring 1997 nuclear strike at sea, where the USSR pops a US carrier and the USN pops the Kirov or Ulyanovsk in retaliation, followed by a hotline call from POTUS to Sauroski saying that to make things real clear a nuclear strike at sea is VERY escalatory and further strikes are HIGHLY discouraged. The war stays non-nuclear until the Germans enter the USSR.

I like this idea as a way to eliminate at least one carrier. It was used in that large high level war game we discussed a while back as well. The US response would be unable to hit a land target without escalating. I believe instead they conventionally bombed a nuclear power plant in near Murmansk that affect power for that area of the USSR.

I think everyone is all on for the massed attacks and knocking out the AWACS, and Matt had a good point that carriers damaged beyond operational use is just as good as sunk. And speaking of Red Storm Rising, the Nimitz was knocked out by sending the first wave of bombers with useless drone missiles (AS Kelts I think) which used up all (most anyways) of the SM2 and other SAMS, and also had the carrier fighters busy... then the second wave showed up with real missiles and hit the fleet hard.

Throw in some pure luck. After losing a few escorts, a CVBG on its way home from operations in the GIUK stumbles across a single sub sitting quietly that scores a couple torp hits on a carrier. NATO ASW is great but not perfect... the Canadian diesel electric boats (old Brit Oberons) used to get pretty lucky when playing OPFOR against the CVBGs.

Either way, you guys really got some good ideas and I look forward to more.
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The Fusilier


thefusilier





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chico20854

Thanks for your input guys! Basically, a combination of political interference and indecision, masssed missile attack, knocking back AEW and AEGIS support, luck and very limited nuclear (1 shot) use will be key for explaining the Battle of the Norwegian Sea.

I'm not ready to get into dealing with that battle yet, but I'll use this when we do.

(What else am I working on, you ask? Well,
- USAF RL 1989 orbat should go on tanknet.org in the next few days. A week or two to adapt it for T2k (update aircraft, throw in some fantasy units!).
- Need to get updated/corrected versions of the Pact maritime stategy and US Naval air orbats up on the web site. Plus a few more links.
- Jason, Law and I are going to try to detail either the early war raid on Cam Rahn Bay or flesh out the 8th Army redeployment to CENTCOM. Or both. Or some other project!
- I need to finish up the last bits of my US SIOP for T2k. I have over 1000 targets with lat-lon locations (gotta love the internet and Google earth). I don't think I'll ever go the next step and try to assign weapons to targets. It's too huge a task, too many assumptions have to be made (or security clearances blown), and no useful return - a GM can assign whatever weapon he wants, the target was nuked, it's gone!
- More naval orbats. The British and Norwegians should be done before trying to do the Battle of the Norwegian sea. Neither is that big and I've got the core of the royal Navy already done. Once I get the Greeks and Turks done we can work on the Med too!
- Oh yeah, having a life, a job, and interests other than a hot end to the Cold War! hahaha!)


chico20854





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Jason Weiser

Well,
The situation reminds me of Leyte Gulf in a way. The RBNF, like the IJN, is still a fleet in being, even after the beating it took in the GIUK fight, but one more defeat like that, and the fleet is destroyed. All they can do is deny NATO the ability to directly project power against Soviet soil or against the boomer bastions.
NATO is rather like the Allied fleets. There's very little the Soviets can do to actually stop them, but they can make the cost VERY prohibative and in so doing, force NATO to suspend operations because of losses? Perhaps as losses mount, NATO's admirals come under political pressure to "not lose everything that is left". Both sides claim victory.
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Jason Weiser





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thefusilier

Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854
Jason, Law and I are going to try to detail either the early war raid on Cam Rahn Bay or flesh out the 8th Army redeployment to CENTCOM. Or both. Or some other project!

Not trying to go off topic but I was thinking about this the other day. In past threads we discussed also how the US Pac fleet would have failed to stop a crossing into Alaska. Many Soviet targets were mentioned that included Cam Rahn and I was trying to think of a way to prevent an attack (just to make it a little harder for USPAC Fleet to do its job).

I was thinking more along the political lines and less of militarily.

Anyways the idea I was messing around with as to why the US decides not to strike Cam Rahn was that Vietnam threatens military action against US allies Thailand and Malaysia if attacked. Those two countries were mentioned as important in helping in protecting the Straights in Indonesia (which could be as a pro-Soviet nation). The US decides not to expand the war further in South East Asia as to prevent the risk of losing allies and adding a new combatant into the war. China also may be interested in keeping Vietnam out of the war as it is facing its own problems on another border.

Usable?
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The Fusilier

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Last edited by thefusilier : 08-05-2006 at 12:31 PM.


thefusilier





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Matt Wiser

One problem with the nukes at sea: the U.S. did not have any anti-ship missiles with nuclear warheads. The old Regulus-I cruise missile (radio-controlled like a drone) could be used against ships, but that was way back in the '50s. How about Ivan trying a nuke but it fails? (Check Larry Bond's Vortex: the U.S/UK/Poland v. France and Germany. The French try using ASMPs against a carrier group, but the only one to survive AEGIS is hit by a non-AEGIS cruiser's SAM shot and detonates on a "salvage-fuse"-at 30,000 feet, so no damage to the Fleet. ) How about an AS-4 or AS-6 in the same way-gets thru most of the defenses, but is taken out before it can do any lethal damage. (The most anyone gets is some minor blast damage and a few unlucky sailors getting 1st-degree burns) AS-4/6 yield in the nuke version was 200Kt.
The only weapon that might be used against Soviet ships in retaliation would be the Sea Lance standoff ASW weapon with the Mk-90 NDB. If the weapon is fused for a really shallow detonation....If I was an A-6 driver, I wouldn't want to get too close to a Soviet carrier group to toss a Mark-43 or Mark-61 gravity bomb....While a nuclear version of Harpoon was kicked around in the late '70s and early '80s, no real development work was ever done. Same with the proposed nuclear Phoenix AAM or the W-81 warhead for the Standard-2 SAM.

Cam Ranh Bay: Had to be struck as Soviet ships and aircraft used it for strikes against China. Just warn the Vietnamese that this is not a strike against Vietnam per se, but against the Soviet base. Unless Vietnam wants to join the war fully, to avoid the attack, give the Viets a warning: 72 hours to force the Russians to leave the base or be interned. If they don't listen, well, what happens after that is their problem.

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Last edited by Matt Wiser : 08-05-2006 at 08:23 PM.


Matt Wiser





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thefusilier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Wiser
Cam Ranh Bay: Had to be struck as Soviet ships and aircraft used it for strikes against China. Just warn the Vietnamese that this is not a strike against Vietnam per se, but against the Soviet base. Unless Vietnam wants to join the war fully, to avoid the attack, give the Viets a warning: 72 hours to force the Russians to leave the base or be interned. If they don't listen, well, what happens after that is their problem.

Right, had to be struck... from a military point of view. But since we are trying to make it more believable that the Soviets pulled off more at sea than we think they could IRL... the US commanders are told not to (kinda like how they couldn't bomb North Vietnam during a few of the war years in the 60s). It would be a good idea to bomb but the government makes the final decision.
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The Fusilier


thefusilier





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Raellus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Wiser
One problem with the nukes at sea: the U.S. did not have any anti-ship missiles with nuclear warheads.

Could a Tomahawk be used? It's not an anti-ship missile per se, but if the location of the Soviet fleet in question was known, the GPS ccordinates could be plugged in and missile programmed to detonate a mile or so away. The blast should be enough to either destroy or disable a Soviet battlefleet.

As for the folks who doubt that the Soviets could have put a U.S. fleet out of action, let me just play devil's advocate:

I know that Aegis is supposed to make short work of ASM/SSM's but recent history has shown that modern warships are extremely vulnerable to even second or third generation ASM's. The Stark (OHP class frigate) got tagged by an Iraqi Exocet in the mid eighties. I know that the Stark did not have Aegis, but Aegis' combat record is not spotless. Didn't a Tico class GMC shoot down an Iranian jetliner it had mistaken for a fighter around '88? (Some folks even believe a Tico class may have mistakenly shot down a TWA 747 off the east coast of the U.S., as I recall). Aegis hasn't really been tested against waves of modern ASM/SSM's in RL.

And a very modern Israeli Eliat (Saar 5) corvette just got tagged by a shore launched Hizbollah Silkworm or C8. It didn't carry Aegis, but it's systems are based on similar bought/borrowed/stolen technology.

Soviet SSM may not be as sophisticated as U.S. versions in terms of guidance and what not, but they are a lot bigger and a lot faster (some over Mach 3 if I remember correctly). An operation involving waves of shore-based Backfires/Blackjacks and Su-22's firing ASM's and/or decoys, surface elements adding their own SSM's, and subs launching SSM's and torpedoes would stand a pretty good chance of overwhelming the defences of a U.S. carrier airgroup, even if the attackers were to sustain massive losses.

Also, remember the human element. The Soviet navy doesn't have much of a reputation nowadays, but a brilliant individual could have stepped forward to plan and execute an adacious and innovative attack.

Before you flame me, please remember, I'm only playing devil's advocate and giving everyone a couple wrinkles to think about.
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"This one goes to 11." -Nigel Tufnel


Raellus





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chico20854

On Cam Rahn Bay, I was thinking a quick raid - an alpha strike followed by a quick airborne/helicopter raid, total time Allied forces in Vietnamese territory somewhere around four hours. Like Matt suggested, make it known politically that the raid isn't an attack on Vietnam itself, but a necessary military move.

As for how it makes things worse, maybe there was some sort of compromise of the operation, or the Soviets saw the possibility and took action. Kind of like the raid on the North Vietnamese POW camp that was pulled, (or at least within days of execution, details are hazy...) and then when the raid occurred the camp was empty. Bottom line result: no Soviet base in Cam Rahn, Soviet raiders and/or support ships scattered throught the Malay and Indonesian islands, requiring escorts for the remainder of the war (in addition to those needed to combat the rampant piracy that normally occurs in that region). No more Soviet air strikes in the region though, and the PRC is happy because Soviet Long Range Aviation is no longer flying round trip missions from Manchuria to Cam Rahn and back (with a refuel and reload in Cam Rahn, allowing them to hit targets deeper in China than with a normal mission profile).

Good point on the (lack of) US nuclear weapons at sea. There was a nuclear warhead version of Tomahawk in addition to the anti-ship variant, although it was a strictly land-attack missile with the terrain-oriented guidance system. Not the sort of thing that could be readily adapted for an anti-ship strike. Using a strategic system (ICBM, B-1, B-52, Trident) would be seen as escalatory, which leaves either tacair with bombs or a Pershing II (even more of a problem than the Tomahawk re: adapting the targeting system). As much as the A-6 pilot is unhappy, that looks like the best option... can do a toss-bombing attack from a few miles out, but still that's not much help making it past the SU-27s and long-range SAMs protecting the Ulyanovsk.

I'm reluctant to say AEGIS is less effective than we thought. Saturation missile attacks is what the system was designed to counter. The Stark has nowhere near the sophistication of the anti-air system, and it wasn't even turned on when it was attacked. I'm not about the details of the Vincennes incident, but I think again it was human error. The sort that will let a big, fast Soviet SSM leak past and damage/sink a ship pretty bad!

And yes, people now tend to look at the Soviet equipment and organization from a Cold War perspective, but remember that this is the same USSR that managed to defeat most of Hitler's armies with equipment that was just as crude for the time, lower quality soldiers and less professional leadership. So a brilliant leader can develop a audacous plan that has the potential to send NATO reeling!


chico20854





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Raellus

As for the nuke option, would SUBROC work? Maybe this has already been mentioned. If so, my apologies.

To continue as devil's advocate, when has Aegis been combat tested in it's intended role?

History is rife with examples of supposed wonder weapons proving less than advertised upon their combat debut- think Panther tank for example. No amount of computer sims or live-fire drills against drones can substitute for the real Fog of War.

I remember hearing on NPR during the last year or two about a U.S. run military wargame/excercise in which a carrier battle group was defeated in detail by a few fast attack craft and air attacks in the Med. I'll try to find a link.

Anyway, you guys are doing a really good job so please don't take this as criticism. I'm just throwing in some new ideas and stirring the pot.

Keep up the good work.
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"This one goes to 11." -Nigel Tufnel

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Last edited by Raellus : 08-06-2006 at 06:09 PM.


Raellus





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Matt Wiser

SUBROC was retired as Permits and Sturgeons were refitted with digital fire-control equipment; SUBROC needed analog fire control. Sea Lance was meant to be the replacement-with either a Mk 50 Barracuda torpedo or a Mk 90 NDB with a 10-20 Kt yield. Now, one could fuse a really shallow detonation, say, 50 feet, and you'd get something similar to the second blast at Bikini in 1946. The first bomb (an air burst) only sank five ships; the second bomb (an underwater shot at 50 feet) was the real ship-killer. Without a nuclear TASM or Harpoon, this is the best chance of retaliation without risking aircraft and aircrews.

Chico, the Son Tay POW camp raid was not compromised. What happened was that the POWs were moved six months before the raid was executed as the NVN were concentrating POWs closer to Hanoi. All the SR-71 and drone photography in the world can't see thru walls and tell you the POWs are gone. Benjamin F. Schemmer's The Raid is the best account of the Son Tay operation. One way or another, Cam Ranh Bay gets neutralized; either via air/naval/SOF action, or through diplomacy. Perhaps the PRC, even though they're busy up north, reminds the Viets that there's still half a million PRC troops on the border, just waiting to cross in a screaming human torrent.

Chico, how about a failed nuke shot as I mentioned previously? In Vortex, there was no retaliation for the failed ASMP attack. Just have POTUS mention on the Hot Line to Sauronski that if nukes are used at sea again, the U.S. will consider the war having esclated to a nuclear phase and respond accordingly. Say, an AS-4 or AS-6 with a nuclear warhead is intercepted, and the warhead's salvage fuse goes off out of lethal range of the Fleet. The fact that no damage or casualties resulted from the failed strike eliminates the need for retaliation. (And the Soviet aircrews who were not nuclear-loaded would probably break off the attack as they weren't briefed that someone was shooting nukes-no "need to know", remember?) End result: Battle of the Norweigan Sea ends in a draw as both sides break off.


Matt Wiser





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Blackrider

personal, i believe that the Soviets would through everything they could at the incomming fleets. not carring what thier losses could be, just to cripple the NATO fleets. you never know, they may have even tought that the fleet was really a invasion force to take the Rodina.

also, it was always Soviet dotrine to throw as many missiles at a target to overwhem the enemy defences, (this was thier idea on how to deal with AGEIS)

we are also assuming that the NATO fleet commander made no mistakes, any remember the battle of Midway? the only reason the japanese lost was because the Navy dive Bombers caught the Japanese by suprise while they were refuelling and rearming thier planes on the carrier decks. in less then 10 mins the japanese lost 3 carriers.

the use of Nukes would i believe have been discussed and even prepared. but i dont think were used. if they Soviet Navy and Airforces had crippled the NATO fleet, it would have been a major propaganda victory as well, (but never tell how badly it had cost them)
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"those who speak of the glory of war, have never seen it," Gen. William Tecumsah Sherman


Blackrider





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Matt Wiser

If you're wondering why the U.S. had no anti-ship nuclear weapons other than gravity bombs or the old Regulus-1 missile? Simple; there was no need for such weapons. It wasn't until the Soviet surface navy began its buildup in the late '60s and all through the '70s that such a weapon might be needed, hence the ideas for a nuclear-armed Harpoon. Perhaps if the Cold War had gone on, development might have gone ahead, but the problem was the size of the Harpoon itself. A nuclear TASM variant makes more sense, but there's very little open-source info on that subject. However, it would be likely that the warhead of the TLAM-N (W-80) would have been installed in a TASM, with the same range (350 miles), and a proximity fuse for warhead detonation. Most U.S. Navy tac nukes were either air defense (Terrier and Talos SAMs), ASW (several types of Nuclear Depth Charges, ASROC, SUBROC, and the now-cancelled Sea Lance), and strike (Regulus-I/II, Tomahawk, and various free-fall bombs).

Last edited by kato13; 03-15-2010 at 05:50 PM.
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