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After Action Reports => Digital Gaming AARs => Topic started by: Airborne Rifles on August 01, 2017, 06:55:21 PM

Title: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Airborne Rifles on August 01, 2017, 06:55:21 PM
Hey all, after a long break enforced by the happy growth of my family by one more child, here is the next installment in my AARs for Gunner98’s excellent Northern Fury scenarios. This one is called Anteater’s Revenge. It covers the first night of the NATO aerial offensive to gain air superiority over Soviet-occupied Iceland. For those of you who have been reading (or haven’t), here’s a recap of the situation:

-Since the war began, the Soviet offensive in the Arctic/North Atlantic theater has resulted in the loss to NATO of northern (AAR: H-Hour) and central (AARs: Bardufoss Blues and Trondheim Express) Norway, Iceland (AAR: Keflavik Capers), and the Shetland and Faroe Islands (AAR: Plug the Gap). They accomplished these feats via an unconventional lightning offensive that caught NATO with little naval strength in this vital theater, with the US carriers either in port or elsewhere at the start of hostilities. The nearest US carrier, the Enterprise, was rushed to stem the Soviet breakout into the North Atlantic (see my AAR for Hold the Line) but (different outcome from my AAR) the CVBG was savaged by Soviet missile attacks and forced to withdraw, saved only by the timely arrival of the carrier Carl Vinson.

However, NATO’s strength is gathering, and the Americans are about to go on the offensive for the first time in this theater. Last night, Navy SEALs conducted a daring raid to shut down the Soviet air bridge to Iceland (AAR: Cutting the Tether). Today the naval aviators from the Vinson, along with the recently arrived Eisenhower (AAR: Eisenhower Moves North) CVBG air group, accomplished the feat of seriously attritting Soviet air power in Iceland in a series of savage air battles south of the island (AAR: Here Comes the Cavalry). During the fight, however, the Navy detected a seriously formidable Soviet integrated air defense system (IADS) setting up to protect Iceland’s vital Reykjanes peninsula, home to Keflavik airbase, along with Reykjavik and its airport.

To overcome this threat, the USAF is about to launch Operation Swamp Cobra. In a fortuitous turn of events, the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, composed of three squadrons of F-111 Aardvarks, nicknamed “Anteaters” for the airframe’s distinctively long nose, is transiting tonight from the US to RAF Laknehenheath in England, from whence they will support the effort to turn back the Soviet offensive in Germany. Along the way, they will unload ordnance over targets in Iceland.

Of course, the Anteater drivers won’t be alone. F-15Cs from the 27th Fighter Squadron, flying from Goose Bay, will be providing top cover, while F-16s from the 79th Fighter Squadron and F-4G Wild Weasels from the 561st Fighter Squadron, both flying out of Thule Airbase in northern Greenland, will provide SEAD support. Finally, the whole strike will be led by the stealth F-117 Nighthawks from the 8th Fighter Squadron, flying from Gander. The whole effort will be made possible by massive tanker support flying from both North America and England, as well as various AWACS, ELINT, and EW aircraft assigned to this mission.

The concept of the operation is simple: gain air superiority over Iceland, suppress the Soviet air defenses, hit key targets around the island but especially the airfields at Keflavik and Reykjavik, and continue on to England with minimal losses so that the 27th TFW is postured to add its weight to the fight in Germany. This will let the Navy his other key targets during the short February daylight hour tomorrow.

Easier said than done. Despite their heavy losses to the Vinson and Ike air groups today, the Soviets still possess at least 60 high performance fighters on Iceland, with numerous other support aircraft, including a pair of A-50 Mainstay AWACS. Furthermore, a Tomahawk strike by the Navy yesterday was easily swatted aside by SA-20 (S-300PMU) SAM battalions positioned around Iceland’s vital southeast. These powerful systems appear to be supplemented by shorter-ranged SA-19s and SA-22s at key sites, as well as ZSU triple-A systems for low-level defense, all linked by a network of radars. Overcoming this IADs will be a tall order. Finally, while most of the Soviet fleet has withdrawn to either Norway or he Kola to rearm and refit, a small SAG consisting of a Sovremeny-class destroyer and a Kresta II-class cruiser might be in the area as well.

Are the Anteater drivers in their 1970s airframes up to the task of overcoming the best of what a resurgent 1990s Soviet military can throw at them? Will the USAF crack the Soviet defenses on Iceland? Or will the volcanic snowscape of that island be littered with the wrecks of American jets? Read on to find out!
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: mirth on August 01, 2017, 06:56:18 PM
WOOHOO!!!
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Gunner98 on August 01, 2017, 07:55:37 PM
Ok here we go!  Looking forward to this one AR.  And congrats on the new little one! :clap: :bd:
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Sir Slash on August 01, 2017, 09:24:10 PM
Got my helmet on so I don't hurt myself if I suddenly jump out of my chair in excitement.
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Airborne Rifles on August 03, 2017, 05:57:28 PM
Two hundred miles south of Iceland, over the dark waters of the North Atlantic, the RC-135 Rivet Joint ELINT aircraft droned westward, its suite of advanced sensors sniffing the air to the north for any hints about how the Soviet defenses of Iceland. The crew onboard searched their displays with urgency. They needed to map the Soviet defenses, and quickly. Over the southwest horizon, where the last orange light of day was just fading, an aerial armada was approaching. The pilots of the fighters and fighter-bombers departing Newfoundland and Greenland would need all the help they could get if they were o overcome the powerful Soviet defenses on the island and still live to tell about it. But for now, the Soviet defenders were being cagy, licking their wounds after the drubbing they had received over these very waters several hours earlier.

So far, the technicians inside the Rivet Joint’s Boeing airframe could only plot the locations of several air-search radars scattered about Iceland’s southeast quadrant. One in particular, atop a volcanic mountain several dozen kilometers northeast of Reykjavik, would pose particular problem for any raiders trying to use the island’s rugged terrain to approach Reyk and Kef from the landward side. Those radars would need to be dealt with before the main strikes arrived in several hours. The only other emissions detected by the RC-135s sensitive antennae were the emissions from an A-50 AWACS just lifting off from Kef, and a pair of MiG-29s flying CAP over the southern coast, the fighters’ radars radiating as they circled west of Hofn.

The Rivet Joint’s crew kept their four-engine jet on its slow, westward track across the Atlantic as the leading elements of the USAF strike force passed the southern tip of Greenland. The first aircraft to near their stations were to E-3 Sentry AWACS, operating under emissions silence until they were near enough for their large, rotodome-mounted radars to be able to peer into the airspace over Iceland. Behind each AWACS flew a pair of F-15C as escort, and behind the fighters came whole formations of tankers to top off the fuel-hungry strikers further back.

Within an hour, the technicians aboard the RC-135 noted that the pair of MiG-29 radars had been joined by another pair, and that all four radars had stopped oscillating back and forth and were instead emitting constantly southward, towards the Rivet Joint. That could mean only one thing.

“Sentry One, this is Rivet Joint,” called the officer in charge aboard the ELINT aircraft, “Energize your radar. We’re getting a constant bearing on the emissions from Bogeys One through Four.”

“Roger, Rivet Joint,” came the response. The radar aboard the southernmost E-3 AWACS began radiating, and the report from Sentry One quickly confirmed the fears of the technicians aboard the Rivet Joint.

“Rivet Joint, Sentry One,” called the AWACS controller, “You’ve got four bogeys on an intercept course with you. Come to heading one-eight-zero immediately to evade, over.”

The RC-135’s pilot banked his lumbering jet left, away from the Soviet MiGs, who were pouring on afterburner to bag the slow-moving target that had appeared a few minutes ago on the radar screens of the A-50 Mainstay, no approaching cruising altitude over central Iceland. The pilot pushed his throttles to their stops, trying to maintain the distance between his own incredibly valuable aircraft and the oncoming fighters.

The Soviet pilots continued the pursuit for several tense minutes. Then, to the immense relief of crew aboard the RC-135, Sentry One reported the MiGs turning back northwards. The Soviet pilots, wary of hurtling into the unknown in the same area where their comrades had been ambushed by the combined air groups of two US carriers early in the day, decided to return to their patrol stations. Resuming their patrol, this time at a somewhat greater distance from the dangerous Soviet fighters, the RC-135 continued westwards, probing the air to locate Soviet radars.
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Airborne Rifles on August 03, 2017, 07:38:47 PM
As winter darkness fell totally over the North Atlantic, the first US aviators to come to grips with the Soviets did not come from the Air Force, but rather from the US Marine Corps. VMFA-115, the Silver Eagles, comprising a dozen F/A-18 Hornets supported by four KC-130F tankers and two EA-6B Prowler EW aircraft, had deployed to Nuuk airfield on the west coast of Greenland the previous day in anticipation of supporting the Corps’ landings on Iceland in the coming week. But until then, the Marine aviators would be under-employed. 2nd Fleet, eager for the USAF raids over Iceland to be as effective as possible this night, had released them to support 27th TFW. The Marines had taken off from their icy airstrip ahead of the oncoming USAF armada coming from North America, and were now passing a hundred miles southwest of the Reykjanes peninsula, having topped off from the KC-130s over the Denmark Strait.

As the Air Force SEAD strikes would be coming from Thule in the north, the plan was for the Marine aviators to come in over Iceland’s rugged and sparsely inhabited southern coast. Four of the Hornets carried a pair of TALD decoys, while the remaining F/A-18s carried AGM-88C High-Speed Anti-Radiation missiles to target Soviet radars.

The major weakness of the Marine Hornets was their air-to-air armament. They still carried the semi-active radar homing AIM-7 Sparrow missiles instead of the newer, active homing AIM-120 AMRAAMs. The Sparrows had proven very vulnerable so far in this war to the sorts of Soviet jamming aircraft that were even now operating over Iceland. However, the Marine squadron commander believed he would be able to manage an engagement so that his fighters’ radars would be able to direct their AIM-7s in such a way that soviet EW aircraft would not be behind the Hornets’ targets, and thus unable to scramble their guidance systems.

In the first part of the plan, the four TALD-armed Hornets broke off from the formation, circling with the KC-130s a hundred miles off the southwest tip of Iceland. The eight remaining Hornets continued east towards the four MiG-29s that had darted towards the RC-135 earlier. The Soviet pilots, alerted by their own controllers on the Mainstay, turned their jets east and accelerated to intercept the Marines.

The four Russians and eight Americans closed with each other at over a thousand knots. At forty miles range, the first Marine pilot announce “Fox One!” as a Sparrow missile leapt out from beneath wing. Within seconds, seven more AIM-7s were streaking towards the four MiG-29s. Seconds later, the Soviet reposte, four R-27 AA-10 Alamo missiles, streaked out at the F/A-18s.

At that moment, the Marine squadron commander initiated his ambush. A one-word command over his radio alerted the crews of the two EA-6Bs following close behind the Hornets to activate their powerful jammers. Rays of electronic radiation streaked out from the Prowlers, overwhelming the receivers in the Russian missiles’ seeker heads. The R-27s all went wild, corkscrewing wildly off their intercepts tracks and into the dark sky.

At this moment, the Soviet pilots realized they had mismanaged the engagement, badly. The American Hornets outnumbered the MiGs two-to-one, and had the advantage of powerful jammers in close support, which made the Soviet radar-homing missiles all but useless. On the other hand, since the engagement was occurring on an east-west axis, the Soviet pilots lacked even the distant support of their own aerial jammers to the north. Now desperate, the MiG drivers twisted and turned their nimble fighters to evade, but were hampered in their efforts by the fact that they could not visually locate the incoming missiles in the darkness. Five rapid flashes lit of the darkness as five of the eight Sparrows connected with all four Fulcrums.

The Soviet CAP over southern Iceland was gone. The Marine aviators began descending towards the wave-tops to begin the next phase of their mission.
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: mirth on August 03, 2017, 07:43:15 PM
Nice job by the Marine flyboys
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Airborne Rifles on August 04, 2017, 08:12:49 AM
As the HARM-armed Marine F/A-18s, accompanied by the EA-6Bs, turned north and descended, steering for the mountainous spine of southern Iceland. Further west, the four TALD-equipped Hornets, still at high altitude, turned towards Keflavik.

The commander of the Russian air forces on Iceland, sitting in his command center, had noted with dismay the destruction of his south coast CAP. Now the approach of the four contacts from southwest spurred him into action. A command when out from the Soviet headquarters to launch the ready interceptors at both Keflavik and Reykjavik airport. In minutes a pair Su-27 interceptors were rising from Keflavik, while another pair of dangerous MiG-31s, armed with their long-range R-33 AA-9 Amos missile rocketed down the Runway at Reykjavik. The Soviet commander, lacking good options, decided to feed his remaining aircraft into the fight as they came available. A pilots ran to a hodgepodge of Sukhois and MiGs from different emaciated regiments, readying their aircraft to fly against the expected coming onslaught. More jets began to roll down the runways of both airfields and rising into the cold night sky.

The TALD F/A-18s came on, with a pair of newly-arrived F-15Cs, equipped with AMRAAMs, following behind in support. The pilots of the other pair of F-15s now on station had been vectored north to intercept a Soviet ELINT Su-24 that was circling over the eastern Denmark Strait. Unfortunately, this vector placed the two Eagles out of position to protect the Marine raiders, though they did draw the attention of the MiG-31s. Soon a disorganized gaggle of Soviet jets were streaming southwest to meet the four TALD-carrying F/A-18s, with the two MiG-31s out of Reykjavik rocketing northwest after the isolated pair of F-15Cs at over thirteen-hundred knots.

With the threat from Soviet jets growing, the Marine pilots of the TALD group elected to release their decoys early. Once the TAKD-carrying jets were within sixty miles, each released their two TALDs, even though the decays would travel at best only forty miles. The small engines aboard the decoys initiated, and eight small, unmanned aircraft flew straight towards Keflavik. The Marines banked their aircraft hard back to the southwest and pushed their throttles forward to gain speed as they ran from the oncoming pair of Sukhois.

Unfortunately for the Americans, the Marines, even launching their decoys early, had waited too long. R-27 missiles, streaking out from the oncoming pair of ready Su-27s, forced the Hornet drivers into wild defensive turns. Unaided by jammers, the Marines needed to rely on their own decoys and maneuvering to evade to Soviet weapons. The Soviet pilots had targeted two of the Hornets with two missiles each. The first Marine pilot managed to evade one missile by turning inside its seeker cone and then deflect the other with a well-timed chaff salvo. The second Marine was less lucky. The first R-27 exploded into the Hornet’s cockpit, sending hot shrapnel through plane and pilot. The F/A-18 spun out of control to the water below.

The Soviet pilots did not have long to savor their victory, however. As the surviving three F/A-18 pilots poured on afterburner to escape, a quartet of AMRAAMs, fired by the oncoming pair of USAF F-15s coming up in support, arced back in the other direction. Now it was the Soviet pilots turn to desperately evade. One did so successfully, but the other succumbed to the advanced American missile, and the surviving Russian was soon dropped by a follow-up salvo from the F-15s.

The loss of a Marine Hornet stung, but the developing air battle southwest of Iceland had the important effect of drawing the few Soviet jets away from the HARM-equipped Hornets now approaching the island at wave-top level from the southeast, while the missile-like TALD decoys were just beginning to appear on the screens of Soviet search radars. 
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: mirth on August 04, 2017, 08:16:12 AM
Gonna be a bad day for the Sov radar operators.
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Sir Slash on August 04, 2017, 08:42:23 AM
"Semper-Fly" Leathernecks!  :notworthy:
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: mirth on August 04, 2017, 08:43:40 AM
"Semper-Fly" Leathernecks!  :notworthy:

well played
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Sir Slash on August 04, 2017, 12:34:04 PM
Thank you Good Sir. I try to save my best stuff for the AAR's that deserve it.
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: acctingman on August 04, 2017, 01:46:16 PM
This is friggin awesome!  O0
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Airborne Rifles on August 07, 2017, 11:46:07 AM
The Soviets had not left their southern coast un-watched, however. Two air search radars, positioned atop volcanic mountains along the Reykjanes peninsula, threatened to track the oncoming F/A-18s. They needed to be dealt with, the squadron commander knew. Two of the Marine pilots fed the proper frequencies into the seeker of one of their AGM-88Cs, then they both launched, announcing “Magnum!”

The HARMS rocketed off their pylons and immediately lofted up into an arc, their seekers searching for the telltale frequencies of the Soviet radar emitters. Finding them, the American missiles nosed down and dove. Belatedly, the Soviet radar operators, who had been tracking the TALDs to the west, noted this new threat inbound at nearly Mach 2. Realizing their peril, the Russians switched off their transmitters to deprive the missiles of a signal to home on. Too late. The American weapons bored in on the two radar sites, which were separated by more than a dozen miles, and exploded directly over the sensors’ antennae, the 146lbs of high explosives and shrapnel in each warhead wrecking both radars beyond repair. The Hornets came on, shielded now from the surviving radars transmitting at Keflavik and points further north by the rugged spine of mountains along Iceland’s southwest coast.

The TALDs, gliding in at high altitude from over the Denmark Strait to the west, did not have the benefit of any sort of terrain masking, however. As the decoys approached to within thirty miles of Keflavik, nearing the end of their endurance, they crossed the threshold over which the Soviet defenders could no longer ignore them. At the western end of the airfield, an SA-10 battery powered up its radar. IN seconds, the SAM battery’s operators had locked onto the incoming missile-like threats. Missiles began to explode out of their vertical, tubular launch canisters before arcing up into the night, heading west.

This was the event that the F/A-18 pilots had been waiting for, though the SA-10 battery wasn’t the exact prey they were after. Southwest Iceland was supposed to be defended by three SA-20 Gargoyle SAM battalions. The SA-20 was a more advance and much more capable version of the already-dangerous SA-10 Grumble, called S-300 by the Soviets. The three SA-20 battalions had been projected to be deployed to cover Keflavik, the southern coast, and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula north of Reykjavik. So far, the SA-20 that had been covering the southern coast near the fishing village of Grindavik and which had shot down yesterday’s Tomahawk strike appeared to have displaced, since the F/A-18s were now well within the SAM systems engagement envelope. Maybe the intel weenies had mistaken one of the SA-10 battalions for an SA-20?

The Marine aviators would find out soon enough. They fanned out into four pairs, approaching the mountainous coast from the south east. Then, just miles from the icy beach, a third air search radar, positioned on a hillside halfway between the other two that had just been destroyed, energized its transmitter.

A beeping in the squadron commander’s cockpit told him that his aircraft was being painted by this new search set. He reacted quickly. Looking down at his HARM Targeting system, he selected the new frequency for the search radar, switching one of his HARMs from the SA-10’s targeting frequency to home in on the search radar. In seconds the missile streaked off its rail, taking a nearly direct path towards the radar just a few miles ahead, which it obliterated in a direct hit.

The squadron commander’s mind barely registered the missile’s detonation ahead. He was too busy pulling back his stick, climbing his fighter up the southern flanks of the mountains that ran along the southern margins of the Reykjanes peninsula. Not waiting to reach the crest, he squeezed the trigger, loosing his second HARM in an arc that would carry it over the mountains and back down towards Keflavik and its defending SA-10. At the same time, the EA-6B crews following several miles behind were ascending just high enough that their powerful jammers could reach over the mountains and interfere with the Soviet air defense radars. Off his wingtip, the commander’s wingman fired off his two HARMs in quick succession. Then both pilots winged over, pulling a tight one-hundred-eighty degree turn so that they would not expose their aircraft to the dangerous Soviet SAMs.   

Suddenly multiple warnings began to blare into the Marine commander’s ears. Looking at his instruments, he saw multiple new emissions from SA-10 and SA-20 batteries lighting off. His jaw dropped open despite himself. In his quick estimation it looked like two whole battalions of SA-20s were deployed around Keflavik, with another two battalions of SA-10s. He had never seen, never even imagined defenses of this strength. In comparison, his eight HARM-equipped jets, a respectable strike force by most standards, now seemed woefully inadequate.

The next pair of Hornet drivers were now launching their HARMs. Less careful than their commander, they waited too long before executing their evasive turn. After loosing their missiles, both jets shot up over the crest of the mountains. For one of the pilots, the mistake was fatal. The engagement computer on the nearest SA-20 noted the new large contact among the smaller ones that were arcing towards it, and launched a pair of missile to intercept. The lead Hornet managed to complete its diving turn back behind the mountains, but the second American jet took the explosion of two missile full in the belly. The Hornet disintegrated into the mountainside in a fiery pyre that lit up the crisscrossing contrails of missiles in the darkness.

Soviet missiles were exploding out of dozens of canisters to meet the incoming HARMs. The third and fourth pairs of American pilots had launched their missiles without incident and were fleeing back out to sea as the first Soviet missile intercepted their commander’s weapon less than a mile from the nearest SA-10. Twelve more HARMs came on against an absolutely awesome salvo of Soviet SAMs. Eleven of the American weapons fell to the impressive Soviet firepower, but luck smiled on the Marines in the case of the twelfth HARM. The explosions of the other SAMs temporarily masked it from the Soviet targeting radars, giving the supersonic missile just the time it needed to reach the closest SA-10 battery, where its warhead exploded directly over that site’s radar, wrecking it and one of the battery’s TELs.

Fleeing back south a wave-top level, the Marine squadron commander radioed the USAF 27th TFW commander, who was airborne near the southern E-3 Sentry in his EC-130 Commando Solo command aircraft.

“Kef is going to be a tough nut,” he reported, still shaken by the sheer volume of Soviet missiles defending southwest Iceland.   
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: mirth on August 07, 2017, 12:09:51 PM
Lotso SAMs!
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Sir Slash on August 07, 2017, 01:58:05 PM
Sam City. Or Ke-fuck-lik?  :wow:
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Airborne Rifles on August 08, 2017, 07:44:32 PM
Aboard the Commando Solo, the 27th TFW’s commander looked at the map, where his staff was starting to map out the shape of the Soviet defenses as reports came in from the sensors converging on the island. The last TALD was just disintegrating within the maelstrom of Soviet missile fire, but the decoys had done their job. Not only had they caused the Soviet SAM batteries around Keflavik to energize their radars, but they had also revealed the location of two Soviet warships cruising off the western tip of the Reykjanes peninsula. As the TALDs neared land, the sensors aboard the American Rivet Joint detected that air search and targeting radars of a Sovremeny-class destroyer and a Kresta II-class cruiser. The two vessels were very inconveniently positioned for the Americans, being directly between the targets in southwest Iceland and the approaching Aardvarks. Since the USAF strike aircraft didn’t carry effective weapons to deal with the Soviet warships from standoff range, they would have to be avoided, particularly the dangerous Sovremeny. The air wing’s staff began readjusting approach vectors, recalculating fuel requirements, and adjusting the locations for the dozens of midair refuelings that would occur during the night, before transmitting the adjustments to the wing’s crews.

The presence of the Soviet warships would not affect the next phase of the battle, however. Approaching from the north, the first USAF SEAD package out of Thule in Greenland, comprised of two flight of HARM- and AMRAAM-armed F-16s and one flight of F-4G Wild Weasels, was just making landfall over Iceland’s northwester Westfjords Peninsula. The pilots of these six aircraft had the mission of dealing with the SA-20 battalion that was projected to be deployed on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, which stuck out like a thin branch from the center of western Iceland. They were flying at medium altitude, twelve thousand feet, ready to dive into the fjords at the first sign of the dangerous Soviet system. Unfortunately, the threat to the SEAD package would come from above before it came from below.

Two dangerous MiG-31 interceptors had taken off minutes earlier from Reykjavik airport and were now hurtling northward towards the raiders at nearly Mach 2, joined by the two others that had been involved in the earlier engagement to the west. The Americans had learned from hard experience in the early days of the war that the long-armed AA-9 Amos missiles carried by these Soviet interceptors out-ranged any weapon in the US inventory except the AIM-54. Warned by their controller aboard the northern Sentry, the American pilots turned back and pushed their throttles forward, trying to stay out of the Soviet fighters’ engagement envelope for as long as possible. At the same time, the pilots of a pair of Louisiana Air National Guard F-15As, whose squadron had deployed forward to Thule to safeguard against Soviet bomber raids against North America and who had escorted the SEAD package south, went to afterburner to defend their charges.

The Americans had rehearsed their response to just this situation. As the Sparrow missile-armed F-15s drew within range of the incredibly fast Russians, the pilots energized their radars and locked them onto the MiG-31s, drawing the attention of the Soviet pilots. In seconds, four AA-9s were in the air, arcing northwards through the starlit sky. Immediately, the Eagle drivers put their interceptors into a high-G turn, bringing their jets back around in a northwards heading to open the range between themselves and the Soviet weapons.

But as the F-15As fled north, the pilots of the AMRAAM-armed F-16s of the SEAD package had also reversed course, and were heading back south on afterburner. They managed to get within range of the Soviet Foxhounds before the Russian pilots realized their danger, and in quick succession four AIM-120s were streaking back at the MiGs. The Russians, travelling at nearly Mach 2, could not maneuver effectively to evade, and three of the four jets were shredded by expanding cones of shrapnel from the exploding American warheads. The fourth turned and fled for Reykjavik. One of the Soviet AA-9s connected with a Louisiana ANG Eagle, sending the interceptor hurtling into down towards the fjords.

A pair of Su-27 Flankers were following behind the MiG-31s. These fell to Sparrows and AMRAAMs from the remaining American jets. Now airspace leading to west-central Iceland was clear, but the high-speed maneuvering by the F-16 pilots meant that they needed to withdraw northwards to tank from the KC-135s there. The two Wild Weasels, who had not participated in the missile exchange, now continued south, joined by two more F-4Gs from their squadron, as well as an EF-111 “Spark Vark” electronic warfare aircraft, the leading element of the actual 27th TFW, to provide jamming support. 

The first threat the Wild Weasel pilots needed to deal with were a pair of air search radars covering the northern approaches to Reykjavik and Keflavik. One sat on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the other atop a volcanic mountain further inland. With now sign of the SA-20 on the peninsula, the lead F-4 pilot launched a HARM at the radar there. The weapon homed in on and destroyed the Soviet set. A minute later, a second AGM-88 was arcing eastwards towards the other radar. This site, atop a windswept volcano several dozen kilometers from the coast, did not go so easily. It was defended by a pair of SA-22 Pantsir short-ranged gun/missile systems. These energized as the HARM approached, launching missiles to intercept. But the speed of the HARM was too much. None of the Russian SAMS or 30mm rounds connected, and the American weapon bored in to wreck the last search radar in the Russians’ outer perimeter.

As if a switch had been flipped, every Soviet radar in southwest Iceland now lit up. The Wild Weasel pilots were temporarily overwhelmed by the avalanche of new information that was assaulting their ears in the forms of warning tones and calls from their controller aboard the AWACS. However, they quickly zeroed in on the nearest threat. The SA-20 that had been templated on the Snaefellses was not there. Instead, it appeared to have been moved south to a spot on the coast just across the water from Reykjavik’s harbor, which was at the northern end of the town.

The four Weasel pilots, obeying an order from their lead, pushed their sticks down and dove for the water north of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. This terrain feature was well-positioned to mask their approach to the Russian SAM battery. When they had approached to within a few miles of the mountainous peninsula, the pilots pulled back on their stick, pointing the noses of their jets upwards and over the ridgeline, and in unison launched all of their remaining HARMs at the SA-20’s radar. At the same time, the crew aboard the accompanying EF-111 began sending powerful jamming waves to mask the missiles in an electronic sheath until the last possible moment.

Russian missiles exploded out of launch canisters, fired by the S-300’s automatic engagement computer. While the HARM missiles were small and easily masked by the EF-111’s jamming, the larger F-4Gs presented tempting targets for the Soviets’ advanced radar and missiles. One of the American jets fell to a missile before its pilot could turn and dive back behind the ridgeline, but by then the HARMs were on their terminal approach. The SA-20’s computers and crew tried desperately to save themselves, launching every ready missile they had into the electronic haze. Several connected. But in the end, it wasn’t enough. Four HARMs made it through to wreak havoc on the Soviet SAM battalion, shutting it down completely.

The northern approach to Reykjavik was now open for the SEAD packages, if they used the terrain to their advantage. The forest of Soviet SAM TELs around Keflavik was another matter entirely, however.
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Sir Slash on August 08, 2017, 09:27:43 PM
Is it getting hot in here or is it just me?  :hide:
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: mirth on August 09, 2017, 05:22:00 PM
Gawd! That's intense!
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Airborne Rifles on August 10, 2017, 09:32:50 AM
If any of the American strike aircraft had a chance of penetrated the concentrated anti-air defenses around Keflavik, it was the stealth F-117A Nighthawks of the 8th Fighter Squadron, which were leading the train of attack jets northeastwards from North America. The black jets had earned notoriety by penetrating the dense defenses over Baghdad three years earlier, but that had been against much older and less sophisticated radars than the ones arrayed in their path tonight. Still, the 27th TFW’s commander judged that, supported by heavy jamming support, the stealthy attack jets might be able to get close enough to the Reykjanes Peninsula to start thinning out some of the Soviet SAM defenses.

The first pair of oddly-shaped F-117As vectored towards Keflavik from the southwest, making sure to keep the pair of Soviet warships well off to their north. These particular Nighthawks carried AGM-65 Maverick missiles in their bomb bays. These weapons possessed a much shorter range than the HARM missiles, but were also smaller and would be harder to intercept, provided that the Americans could get within range to launch them. To achieve this end, the Nighthawk pilots would receive close jamming support from an EF-111 as well as more distant electronic help from an EC-130H Compass Call electronic attack aircraft. Escort would be provided by a pair of AMRAAM-armed F-15Cs.

The F-117s approached southwest Iceland amid an impressive haze of electronic noise, meant to hide the stealth jets from the concentrated radar waves emanating from the Soviets’ advance SAM radars. The Americans, with the EF-111 following several miles behind, closed within forty miles of Keflavik, the maximum range of the SA-20 system, without apparent response from the Russians. Then they closed to thirty miles, then twenty-five. The range of the AGM-65s was a mere eight miles, and both pilots sweated knowing how vulnerable they were here, deep within the engagement envelops of dozens of Soviet launchers.

Just within twenty-five miles, things began to fall apart for the Americans. Two Su-27 Flankers screamed down the runway at Keflavik, twisting up into the sky as they vectored southwest. Seconds later, the lead American pilot cringed as his RWR began blaring that his jet was being painted by a Soviet targeting radar. Looking out over the pointed nose of his jet, the pilot was horrified to see the fiery trails of four missiles rising into the sky from around his target area.

“Break off! Break off!” the pilot shouted into his radio as he threw his ungainly aircraft into a diving turn away from the incoming threat.

The F-117 relied on its low observable technology to keep it safe from enemy threats. As an airframe, it lacked the ability to maneuver violently to evade incoming missiles. Thus, the American pilots could only hope that changing the orientation of their jets to the SA-20’s advanced “Tombstone” radar would cause the Soviet sensor to lose its lock on their aircraft. Unfortunately, the Soviets air defenders had waited until their radars had a firm fix on the black jets before launching. Two missiles bored in on the lead Nighthawk and exploded, riddling the multi-million-dollar aircraft with shrapnel and sending it spinning downward out of control. The pilot had no choice but to bail out over the dark waters of the North Atlantic. The second American fared better. A combination of jamming from the two electronic attack aircraft, chaff dispensed at the last second by the pilot, and the stealthy shape and coating of the Nighthawk, caused the Russian weapons to detonate in the attack jet’s wake, buffeting the American aircraft but leaving it otherwise undamaged.

The surviving American jet was not out of danger yet, however. Fleeing back the way he had come, the pilot heard from the controllers aboard the E-3 that the two Su-27s that had risen from Kef were pursuing on afterburner. If they could get within visual range of the F-117 they would be able to engage, if not earlier.

The controllers on the Sentry immediately ordered the escorting F-15Cs into action. The Eagle drivers had so far stayed beyond the margins of SA-20 SAM range, but now they turned and dashed in to defend their charge. Each American fighter pilot launched a pair of AMRAAMs at maximum range at the Flankers before turning away from the flurry of Soviet SAMs that were rising to intercept them. One of the American missiles connected with an Su-27, causing the Russian jet to explode midair. The other Russian pilot had to turn away from his pursuit to evade, giving the Nighthawk the seconds it needed to disappear into the night sky. Fleeing southwest on afterburner, the F-15 pilots crossed out of the maximum range of the Soviet missiles seconds before the Russian weapons began to drop out of the sky, their rocket motors spent.   

Aboard the Commando Solo, the 27th TFWs commander swore to himself. He had hoped that the stealth jets would be his ace in the hole to deal with Keflavik’s dense defenses. Instead, it looked like they would have to tackle the Soviet SAMs the old fashioned way, although he did have one more card he could play. But that card would need more precise data on the locations of the SA-20 batteries to be effective.
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: mirth on August 10, 2017, 12:01:23 PM
A Black Day for the Black Jets.
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Airborne Rifles on August 13, 2017, 12:01:51 PM
The second SEAD package from Thule, this one composed of F-16s carrying AGM-65 Maverick missiles, made landfall over northwest Iceland escorted by a flight of F-15As. On the northern Sentry, the controllers noted a pair of MiG-23s lifting off from the airport at Akureyri on the island’s north central coast, and vectored the Louisiana Guardsmen in the Eagles east to intercept while the six Falcon pilots took their jets down into the rugged valleys of central Iceland. Their plan was to approach Reykjavik from the landward side. With the SA-20 battalion defending the Icelandic capital neutralized by the earlier HARM-carrying sortie, this new attack was intended to suppress the short range defenses of the city’s airport and harbor.

Several SA-19 Tunguska and SA-22 Pantsir gun/missile systems were arrayed around Reykjavik airport, their radars radiating and revealing their positions to the increasing number of American electronic surveillance and warfare aircraft in the air off the west coast of Iceland. The six SEAD pilots, accompanied by an EF-111 for jamming support, possessed a good picture of where the Soviet SAM systems were thanks to reports from the command cell on the Compass Call. The Americans used this knowledge to good effect in the coming minutes.

Streaking up the Thingvillir valley at sheep-scratching level in three pairs of two, the Americans armed their Mavericks. On reaching the initial point for their attack, the lead pilot spoke a code word into his radio. The two lead F-16s ascended until they could see the buildings of the Icelandic capital on the far side of the ridgeline ahead. Several miles back, the crew of the Spark Vark took their aircraft up as well and activated their jammers. In seconds the two F-16 pilots had locked the IR seekers on their AGM-65s onto the Soviet SAM vehicles and fired. At the same time, Russian IR-guided missiles shot upwards to engage the contacts that had just appeared out of the electronic haze practically on top of the Reykjavik defenses.

The first four Mavericks guided themselves across the city to the airport, their seekers homing onto the heat of the Soviet vehicles against the cold backdrop of the Icelandic winter night. One after another, the four American missiles slammed into their targets. Two of the five Soviet SAM platoons defending the airfield were now off the board. The two lead American aircraft made good their escape back behind the ridgeline before the Soviet counter-fire could reach them.

In quick succession the remaining two pairs of the American SEAD package repeated the performance of their lead. When they were done, the Soviet anti-air defenses around Reykjavik’s airport and harbor were completely wrecked. The F-16 pilots took their jets to high altitude over the center of the island, forming a supplementary CAP, as each of the Falcons carried two of valuable AIM-120 missiles. The SEAD packages from Thule had managed to crumble the northern shoulder of southwest Iceland’s defenses. They would now have to do the same around the strength of the Soviet at Keflavik if the approaching Aardvarks were to have any chance of shutting down the runways there.
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: mirth on August 13, 2017, 12:25:51 PM
Perfect Weasel mission!
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Sir Slash on August 13, 2017, 09:11:35 PM
Cause they came in at 'sheep-scratching' level. Not easy on the planes or the sheep.  :bd:
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Commander Cody on August 28, 2017, 01:13:45 AM
Gripping action as usual. Thanks for continuing the series.

Cheers,
CC
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Airborne Rifles on September 02, 2017, 06:21:37 PM
Thanks CC. I'll be getting back to this soon. Rhythms of life get in the way now and then.
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Airborne Rifles on April 25, 2018, 07:59:07 PM
Uffda, it's been forever since I wrote for this AAR, but I've been meaning to finish it. So here's the next installment. More to follow tomorrow:

The 27th TFW commander aboard the Commando Solo had been working to adjust the night’s complex strikes to compensate for the formidable defenses that the strikers had so far encountered around Keflavik. The density of the advanced Soviet SAM systems was a nasty shock, but the American had a card up his sleeve and now he intended to use it.

One of the striking elements was a pair of B-52H Stratofortresses, each with eight AGM-86 conventional air-launched cruise missiles (CALCMs) in their rotary launchers. The missiles were intended for the facilities around Keflavik, but the staff aboard the Commando Solo had been busy over the past several minutes sending new coordinates to the crews aboard the bombers, who were punching them into the missiles’ guidance systems as fast as they could.

The two BUFFs were a hundred and fifty miles south of Iceland. Once all of the CALCMS were re-programmed, the pilots banked their big birds in a lazy turn northwards, towards Keflavik. Once in level flight again, the bombers began to launch, the rotary launcher in each bomb bay releasing a missile, then revolving like a six-shooter from the old west and launching another. Within a few seconds sixteen of the cruise missiles were diving for the dark surface of the sea below and turning, each following a slightly different course that would bring the weapons to Keflavik at approximately the same time.

The 27th TFW commander monitored the launch from his command plane, along with the announcement from the BUFF pilots that they were turning for home, their ordnance expended. He crossed his fingers and prayed. The missiles were targeted at random points around the airfield rather than any structured within its perimeter. The commander’s home was that, given how densely packed the Soviet defenses had to be, the 1,300kg warheads on the missiles would at least knock out some of the SA-10s’ and -20s’ sensitive radars long enough for the squadrons of Aardvarks, now passing south of the tip of Greenland, to get in and do their work.

The CALCMs settled onto their courses a few feet above the waves of the North Atlantic. A few miles south of Iceland the missiles picked up an escort of two HARM-armed F-16s and four F-4Gs, also carrying HARMs. The cruise missiles and Wild Weasels made landfall together, the AGM-86s snaking their way through the rugged valleys of the southern range while the jets nosed up the slope. Just before reaching the crest the Wild Weasel pilots began loosing their HARMs towards Keflavik, already programmed to seek out the radars of the dangerous Russian SAMs.
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Sir Slash on April 25, 2018, 09:28:43 PM
Oh Boy! This is gonna be good.  :clap:
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: mirth on April 26, 2018, 06:28:50 AM
Nice to see you back at this one, AR  :bd:
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Airborne Rifles on April 26, 2018, 10:50:00 AM
Nice to see you back at this one, AR  :bd:
Thanks, mirth. Life has been busy the past few months, and it's about to get busy again.

Next installment:

One of the F-4G pilots had waited too long to release his second missile. His aircraft shot up above the crest of the dramatic volcanic ridge before he could slam his stick over into a diving 180-degree turn to the south. The mistake was fatal, as an SA-10 shredded his aircraft before he could dive back behind cover. The other five jets dipped back below the crest just before nearly a dozen advanced Soviet SAMs streaked overhead, seeking their targets now in vain.

The Americans had lost another jet, but the missiles targeted on the American aircraft detracted from the weight of fire that the Russians now needed to bring to bear against the HARMs that were tipping downward in their terminal dives towards the Tombstone and Flap Lid radars that directed the Soviet missile batteries. Of the twelve HARMs launched, nine fell to the still-formidable Soviet defenses. One of the survivors malfunctioned somewhere in the chaos of electronic jamming, explosions, and 30mm cannon fire, slamming, into the ground. The remaining two both homed in on a single Soviet SA-10 battery, exploding in quick succession and wrecking the batteries radars. The Soviet Keflavik defenses, though still incredibly strong, were now just that much weaker. Then the CALCMs began to explode.

The AGM-86s, flying low and following the contours of the rugged Icelandic landscape, had remained undetected behind the chaos of the HARM engagement. The Soviet SA-10s and -20s, which were set to conduct autonomous computerized engagement, did not see the incoming missiles until they were almost inside the Keflavik SAM perimeter. Even so, the Soviet defensive systems went to work, with impressive results, given the circumstances. In quick succession seven of the American cruise missiles fell to the surviving Soviet SAM batteries and their accompanying short-ranged SA-22s and -19s.

But it wasn’t enough. The nine remaining CALCMs, converging almost simultaneously from the southern quarter of the compass, struck the perimeter of the airfield in quick succession. The missiles’ 1,300kg warheads detonated in huge yellow flashed that lit up the night sky and the surrounding subarctic snowscape. Several of the warheads wasted their blasts on the snow and rock of empty spaces around Keflavik, but three exploded close enough to cause damage, particularly to the vulnerable radars. One detonated directly between two SA-20 TELs, shredding the tubular vertical launchers and causing the missiles inside to explode upwards like bottle rockets.

The results were devastating. When the smoke began to clear, only one SA-10 battery was still functional. Aboard the Commando Solo, the 27th TFW’s commander noted with satisfaction the silencing of the forest of Soviet radars, as reported by the crew of the RC-135 Rivet Joint that was turning lazy racetrack patterns south of Iceland. He picked up his radio hand mic and ordered, “SEAD Package Three, looks like the way is clear. Go in and finish them off for us.”
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Sir Slash on April 26, 2018, 12:32:28 PM
Gonna need a shit-load of new screen doors in that place.  :bd:
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Airborne Rifles on April 30, 2018, 01:50:00 PM
The survivor of the two F-117s that had made the failed run at Keflavik earlier in the night was now refueled from a KC-135 over the Denmark Strait and ready to be re-tasked before continuing on to England. Both the leadership aboard the Commando Solo and the pilot were shaken by the failure of the black jets to evade detection against the advanced Soviet radar systems, and so all decided to repurpose the Nighthawk’s ordnance load of two AGM-65 Mavericks to the naval strike role. The two Soviet warships cruising about twenty miles off the western tip of Keflavik’s Reykjanes peninsula were acting as a SAM trap, complicating the geometry of the already complex strikes going into Iceland. They needed to be dealt with, the 27th TFW commander knew, but one of the vessels was a Sovremenny-class destroyer with very potent anti-air armament. Two P-3Cs from Gander, Newfoundland were inbound with Harpoon missiles to strike the Soviet ships, but they would need all the help they could get to overcome the potent SA-N-7 missiles in the destroyer’s magazines.

The pilot of the F-117 brought his aircraft in from the west, shrouded in a haze of electronic noise from several electronic warfare aircraft, including an EF-111 that was escorting the first F-111 strike towards Reykjavik. Using his IR targeting pod, the pilot located the two vessels and locked the seekers for his two missiles onto the smaller one. The attack jet’s bomb bay doors snapped open and two missiles dropped out in quick successions. The Mavericks’ rocket motors ignited as the pilot banked his jet back to the west for another refueling and streaked downwards.

The Soviet ships had been operating under EMCON, trying to remain hidden until a large American strike was within range of their missiles. Their crews had been relying upon the radars at Keflavik to keep them appraised of approaching threats. In the chaos of the CALCM strike at the airbase, no one had informed the navy that they might not be the foremost thought in the minds of Keflavik’s defenders any more. So the American missiles streaked towards the Sovremenny, unnoticed until almost too late.

An alert lookout on the Sovremenny heard the scream of the igniting rocket engines and shouted a warning. The ship’s sensors energized just in time to detect the two missiles nosing into their terminal dives. One of the AK630 CIWS, operating under automatic control, rotated and spewed a stream of 30mm shells towards the first Maverick. One shell connected, exploding the American missile just a hundred meters from the destroyer. The second bored in behind the first, threading between two streams of 30mm fires to impact the part of the superstructure that formed both the single smokestack and the ships hangar. Flaming aviation fuel exploded across the water, and the Sovremenny suddenly sat in the middle of a halo of yellow reflected light on the black sea of the Denmark Strait.

Flowing south of the besieged Soviet ships, the next American SEAD package, two F-16s and a quartet of F-4Gs armed with HARMs, along with another section of F-16s armed with AGM-65s, descended to wave top level for their final approach towards Keflavik. The pilots of this group, like the previous two SEAD packages that had tested Keflavik’s defenses, was using the ridge along the southern to mask their approach. This time, though, the wild weasel pilots felt confident that they could overwhelm the weakened Soviet defenses.

The American jets reached the southern shore and launched their HARMs up and over the ridge. Most of the AGM-88s were programmed to seek out the last remaining SA-10 that had survived the CALCM onslaught, but the Americans felt confident enough now that four of the HARMs’ seeker heads were tuned to seek out the radar emissions of the short-ranged SA-22 Tunguska systems arrayed around the airbase. The twelve HARMs streaked off their launch rails and lofted up and over the ridgeline.

Following close behind the anti-radiation missiles, the two Maverick-armed Falcons also crested the ridge. The pilots immediately began using their FLIR’s to locate targets near the runway to the northwest. Missiles exploded out of the surviving Soviet launchers to stem the assault, targeting both the American HARMs and the F-16s, but this time there just simply weren’t enough. Three HARMs exploded over the last SA-10 battery, silencing the only remaining long-range defense of the island, while three more wrecked SA-22 gun-missile systems on the south side of the runway. However, this did not happen before one of the Maverick-armed F-16 fell to one of the last SA-10s to impact before its battery’s guidance radar went dark.

The surviving F-16 pilot quickly pickled his two AGM-65s against the first target he could find, in this case a ZSU-23 gun system, and then banked his jet back south to get out of danger. He would need to push his jet hard. Just then the controlling AWACS over the Denmark Strait sent out a call to all strikers that two Su-27 Flankers were taking off from Keflavik, and two of the dangerous, long-armed MiG-31s were just then taking off from Reykjavik further north.
Title: Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
Post by: Sir Slash on April 30, 2018, 09:08:54 PM
Houston, we have a problem.