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Harpoon 3 After-Action Reports


World War Three in 1985 - Attack on the Kirov

by Calum Gibson

Looking for a few hours entertainment I came across this one, AAW/ASuW and no ASW... Perfect as I hate ASW :-)) Anyway here goes:

Straight away you know the approximate position of the Kirov and her battle group as she is radiating. Firstly I launched most of my fighters from the UK and Iceland and pushed those already in the air north. I then launched two Nimrods and sent them north. Figuring by the time the strike aircraft got there I would have a good fix on the BG. I launched my six A-6s and A-7s and the EA-6B and sent them on a course to arrive at a point NW of the target area. 30mins later I launched the 10 Buccaneers and sent them on a course to a point SE of the approximate location of the BG.

First contact came with 4 Floggers, my Phantoms came of badly losing 3 for only 1 MiG-23. Another batch of Phantoms cleaned up the 3 for no loss. Next contact was with four fast Foxbats, takings advice on board I sent 2 flights of Phoenix-armed F-14s to Vhigh and reheat, launched two Phoenix per Foxbat and splashed them all for no loss. Another 4 MiG-25s appear and and I had no Phoenix’s left, but I sent the F-14s and some F-4s forward anyway. A series of shots resulted in 3 F-4s and 2 F-14s down and 2 MiG-25s the others ran away to the NW towards my E-2 and chasing a F-4 that was RTBing. Fearing my E-2's life, I dropped him to low turned of the radar and sent him south at max speed. The Foxbat ignored the F-4, E-2 and P-3 and kept heading NW, I guess he was out of missiles.

By Now the Nimrods had located the BG but I had not identified all the ships. The Harpoon armed A-6s and Sea Eagle armed Buccaneers were in range. So I took an uneducated guess on which was the Kiev and fired 20 Harpoons at her and four against another large target. At he same time 16 Sea Eagles were allocated to the Kirov and four to a Kresta I. The Buccaneers with the Martels drove in and unloaded missiles at Kirov, the likely Kiev and some of the the escorts. Once the aircraft had launched their missiles they dropped to low and headed back out.

The Kirov, two Kresta Is and a Kresta II took hits with the Kirov and two Kresta Is sinking. Unfortunately what I had thought to be the Kiev was a Kresta I... I still had 6 A-7s with Walleyes left so I sent them with an escort of F-14s around to the north. The drove in launched 12 Walleyes, 5 of which hit but unfortunately did not sink her.

I returned all aircraft their bases but without the sinking of the Kiev it was not a victory. I also lost 2 fighters to many.

Loses for Blue
3 F-4E
4 F-4 FG.1
2 F-14

I lost no attack aircraft

Losses for Red
2 Kresta I
1 Kirov
12 Flogger Gs
5 Forgers
4 Foxbat Es

Also heavily damaged a Kresta II and the Kiev

This is a highly entertaining AAW/ ASuW scenario that can be played easily in an hour or two. It's not too difficult but also not to easy, and has plenty of action with a variety of differing platforms. (Anything with Buccaneers gets my attention; they are nearly as cool as A-4s )

Lessons learnt:

Positively ID your target if you have to sink a specific vessel to win the scenario (yeah I know this should go without saying).

MiG-25s are hard to kill with Sparrows, go in fast and high, shoot then scoot

Check it out. In fact I’m about to play it again


by Andrew Woff

This is a good scenario - it has a nice setup and clear objectives. On my first attempt I managed to sink both target ships first time but lost a LOT of fighters doing it. My second attempt I preserved my fighters but only got the Kirov and a Kresta II. Third time was the charm and I managed to sink both the Kiev and the Kirov, I also killed one Kresta II and damaged another.

I started off with the setup provided. First I moved AG77 and AG79 (Tomcats) towards the area intell said the Soviet Battlegroup was located. I also moved a Shackleton 250 miles SE and another 250 miles East of the hunting area to give me a view of the area. I backstopped these with a Hawkeye layered behind then to give me 100% radar coverage of the North Sea and Norwegian coastal area. I also created a AAW mission 120 miles East from the hunting zone with F-15's and F-4's from Iceland to protect the E-3 to the East. The Skywarriors were deployed - 1 to the Northwest and 1 ESE of the hunting patch.

It was not long before I started getting radar hits on aircraft and ships. I tagged all unidentified tracks as hostile immediately. A group of four MiG-23G 'Floggers' appeared close to AG79, in a short engagement my forces took them all down in a blaze of Phoenix and Sparrows for no loss. AG79 got in close and showed a formation of 8 ships in the target area - all were maintaining EMCON but when the Tomcats got close one radiated - the Kirov BCGN.

I immediately scrambled 8 Tomcats from the America in four groups. Also I put up the remaining EA-6B and sent it towards points 50-70 miles East, Southeast and South of the center of the kill zone. Then I launched my strike of four Buccaneers (Sea Eagle) on the Kiev with four A-6E's going for the Kirov and another two for the Kiev and the A-7E's split equally between the two ships. I launched a second wave of six Buccaneers about 45 miles behind the first strike to either bore in and finish off either surviving main target or to sink/damage other ships in the Soviet Battlegroup.

Meanwhile things started to get busy - there were more MiG-23's up and active together with some MiG-21's and some Forger A's. Finally a flight of MiG-25's arrived for the party. I lost 1 Phantom to a MiG-23 (Apex kill), 1 Eagle to a MiG-23 (Apex), two Tomcats to Forger A's(!). I get half the Foxbats for no loss and the Icelandic Phantoms/Eagles took two MiG-21's.

By now the F-14A's escorting the strike are in position and start firing Phoenix and Sparrows at the surviving Soviet fighters killing a further two MiG-23's and an RAF Phantom took two Forger A's. The EA-6Bs are on station and jamming, and the strike is just behind. The Bucc's hit the Kiev hard, the Harpoons came in and saturated the Kiev's and Kirov's defenses leaving the A-7E's to batter them to scrap. The Buccaneers in the second wave (Martel armed) launched on the surviving ships in the TF and hit two Kresta II's killing one and damaging the other, I pulled the remaining Buccs out as there were MiG-23's around and I had no fighters in a position to protect them.

I immediately pulled all my aircraft out of the area and sat back to wait for the end - Victory achieved !!!

NATO losses - 2 x F-14A Tomcats, 1 x F-15 Eagle, 1 x F-4 Phantom (RAF), 2 x Buccaneer

Expenditures - 40 Phoenix, 36 Sparrow III, 5 Sky Flash, 16 Sea Eagle, 24 Harpoon, 12 Walleye, 8 Martel.

SOVIET losses - 10 x MiG-23, 12 x Forger A, 2 x Foxbat E, 2x MiG-21, 2 x Hormone B, 1x Kiev, 1x Kirov, 1 Kresta II.

Expenditures - 6x Apex C, 2x Aphid, 8x Acrid D, 4x Acrid C, 13x Goblet, 96x Grumble, 4x Gecko, 42x 30mm Gatling, 27x 76mm/60, 40x 57mm/80, 12x AK-100 frag.