Author Topic: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR  (Read 6175 times)

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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2017, 01:58:05 PM »
Sam City. Or Ke-fuck-lik?  :wow:
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.


Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #16 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.

Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2017, 09:27:43 PM »
Is it getting hot in here or is it just me?  :hide:
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2017, 05:22:00 PM »
Gawd! That's intense!
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

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Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #19 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.

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2017, 12:01:23 PM »
A Black Day for the Black Jets.
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Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #21 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.

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2017, 12:25:51 PM »
Perfect Weasel mission!
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #23 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:
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline Commander Cody

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2017, 01:13:45 AM »
Gripping action as usual. Thanks for continuing the series.

Cheers,
CC

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #25 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.

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #26 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.

Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2018, 09:28:43 PM »
Oh Boy! This is gonna be good.  :clap:
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2018, 06:28:50 AM »
Nice to see you back at this one, AR  :bd:
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

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Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 10.2: Anteater's Revenge - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #29 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.”