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Harpoon 3 After-Action Reports


World War Three in 1985 - First Contact

by Kip Allen

Here's my AAR for First Contact in the WWIII in 1985 battleset. The bad guys won.

At opening, launched two P-3 Orions from Andoya to check out the two Soviet Amphibious groups. Also, launched four F-16s from Bodo in two two-plane elements. Commanded the British TF to take off to the southwest at flank speed. It is no match for a Kirov SAG should this situation get hot. Left naval surface forces, except the British, stationary until Soviet ship ID and intentions made clear. One element of two F-16s diverted from patrol to the Andoya area for CAP and Recon purposes.

Both P-3s airborne at five minutes into the scenario. One is plotted over the Andoya Amphibious group and the other to cross the Bodo Group. Both Orions are at max altitude and speed, but passive. At six minutes into the scenario, both F-16 elements from Bodo are tasked to investigate helicopters and ships from the Bodo Amphip group. Three Soviet Osa IIs are identified in the Andoya Amphib group by a Norwegian P-3. However, Soviets take no hostile action. A total of six Osa IIs identified in the Andoya group. Still no hostile action by the Soviets. Even though not hostile, two Norwegian MTB groups of two Storm-class guided missile boats each are ordered at flank speed to be in attack position if necessary. At seven minutes and 20 seconds into the scenario, the Soviets are classified as hostile. Weapons free.

A RNoAF Falcon 20C ECM is ordered closer to the Bodo Amphib group to increase its jamming. Two MTB groups of two Storm-class guided missile boats ordered at flank speed to approach the Bodo Amphib group on its left flank. The intent is to create a hole in their perimeter defenses that Harpoon-carrying P-3s might be able to penetrate. ESM detects a Soviet Tu-16R Badger D maritime recon aircraft to the northeast of the Royal Navy task force. Vampire contacts detected apparently aimed at a Norwegian MTB group to the east of the Andoya amphib group, identified as SS-N-2b Styx anti-ship missiles. Missile boats Kjekk and Rokk struck by Styx and reported sinking at 9:18 into the scenario.

At 00:11:06, RNoAF F-16 Falcons identify two Soviet Nanchuka IIIs screening the Bodo Amphib group to its front. Those F-16s are now ordered to investigate two other suspected hostile missile boat contacts to the east. At 00:11:22, two skunks ID'ed as Nanchuka IIIs. Two bogies noted near Sea Harrier patrol. More hostile Nanchuka IIIs identified screening Bodo group.

At 00:12:16, a P-3 identifies a Kresta II on the left flank of the Bodo group. This may be a possible target for missile boat attack. Two more Nanchuka IIIs positively identified in Bodo group. F-16s to investigate more targets. Krivak II positively identified in Bodo group at 00:13:16. A few seconds later, the same P-3 identifies a Ro/Ro vessel and an Udaloy I in the Bodo group. With the ID of the Ro/Ro, the Harpoon-carrying Orions will have a priority target. More Ro/Ro vessels and a Sverdlov-class light cruiser also confirmed in the Bodo group. Presence of an Alligator confirmed. SAM launch detected from a Kresta II against the P-3 shadowing the Bodo group. A Ka-27 Helix A from the Andoya group was destroyed by Sidewinders fired from RNoAF F-16s at 00:14:56.

At 00:15:16, two RNoAF F-16s launch two Sidewinders at a Ka-27 Helix A from the Bodo group. At the same time, a Nanchuka III launches an SA-N-4b Gecko SAM at the F-16s. Helix is destroyed; the Geckos miss the F-16s. Spoke too soon; an F-16 was just shot down, suspect one of the Geckos got through after all. A second group of F-16s fires Sidewinders at another Helix to the north east of the Bodo group. The Helix is destroyed at 00:15:13. A second Falcon is lost south of the Bodo Group. I have no idea what got it.

At 00:16:19, two Yak-38 Forgers identified near southern British Harrier patrol. Harriers ordered to intercept. Looks like the Orion shadowing the Bodo group escaped the SAM launch. At 00:17:13, one Forger shot down. Two Harriers Winchester and are RTB. At 00:22:01, vampire launch detected from Nanchuka IIIs in the Bodo group at F-16s. Meanwhile, two Forgers ambushed the northern CAP of the British task force and shot down both Harriers. The F-16s escaped.

At 00:23:44, multiple vampires spotted closing on British task force from the northeast. Probably air-launched. At 25:15, vampires identified as AS-6 Kingfish. Very bad news indeed. HMS Illustrious and Phoebe struck and reported sinking. HMS Argonaut hit and sinking. HMS Exeter struck and sinking. The entire British task force has been destroyed.

At 00:31:03, three Harpoon-carrying P-3 Orions reported ready at Andoya. They are ordered to immediate launch and will be used to intercept the Bodo group.

At 00:32:55, an MTB group of two Storm-class missile boats worked its way into position to strike three groups of Osa IIs in the vanguard of the Andoya group. Six Penguins are launched. Two of the Osa groups return fire immediately. Five Osas are sunk in the immediate exchange. The Storm is lost. The Blink fires its last remaining Penguin at the surviving Osa. The Osa fires a Styx. Both boats sink each other. The Americans finally decide to get into the act by launching a Harpoon at a Soviet intelligence trawler! All three Harpoon-carrying P-3s are airborne from Andoya at 00:37:20. They will make a low-altitude approach to the Bodo group and launch at the Ro/Ro ships.

Vampire detected at 00:37:47. Looks like it is targeting one of the MTB groups closing on the left flank of the Bodo group. The MTB group launches 8 Penguins at a Kresta II in response. More vampire launches, this time targeting the northern MTB group approaching the Bodo group. This MTB group is still too far out to launch, so it will try to run and hide behind a nearby fishing trawler. Both missile boats in the southern-most MTB group approaching the Bodo group have been sunk by incoming vampires. One missile boat from the northern MTB group has been sunk by vampires as of 00:39:12.

At 00:39:31, multiple hits recorded on the Kresta II. Also, incoming vampires detected apparently targeting both an MTB group and the Norwegian frigate Stavanger near Bodo. Stavanger and one missile boat struck and sunk at 00:40:45. Also, more vampires detected aimed at the one surviving missile boat in the north and a group of two in the south near Bodo. Northern missile boat destroyed and one from the southern group destroyed.

At 00:42:17, three Harpoon-carrying P-3s are in range of the Bodo amphibious group and launch. Two Ro/Ros targeted with six Harpoons each. At 00:48:21, something shot down the Orion tailing the Bodo group. At 00:48:48, two Harpoon hits on a Ro/Ro registered.

No further offensive weaponry remains for NATO, so game accelerated to playout. Game lost. No Soviet merchantmen were sunk.