My first AAR from the first scenario I have completed. I decided to make it into a little story to celebrate my first success.
A quick scan around the available assets revealed that a Task Force comprising of the Iowa class battleship (USS New Jersey – BB-62), a Spruance class Destroyer (USS Deyo – DD-989), a Farragut class destroyer (USS Dewey – DDG-45) and two Knox class Frigates (USS Harold E. Holt – FF-1074 & USS W.S. Sims – FF-1059) was available along with two air bases. The first airbase was home to a number of PC-3 Orions and the second held F-4 Phantoms.
The first order of the day was to launch 2 Orions for recon, both lit off their radars, one headed north-west the other turned to the south-east and set off at a high altitude. All of the available Orions on the ground were setup for ASW so two were rearmed with 4 Harpoon IBs, although it would take almost 6 hours for the rearming to be complete. By this time the Orions on recon had picked up a number of unidentified surface vessels and were ordered to get an ID on the ships. As the ID’s started rolling in nothing but fishing boats were showing up, then a large group of ships were picked up at the very fringes of the northern Orion’s radar range. Seeing such a large group of tightly packed ships was more then a little suspicious so the Orion was directly tasked to ID the group. Soon enough the Orion had revealed the northern group was indeed the PLAN task force, classified as neutral! Not for long something happened and the PLAN ships were classified as hostile.
The Orion to the south meanwhile hadn’t picked up anything but fishing vessels; which was quite frustrating. Not knowing where the Vietnamese task force was, Sims and Deyo were told to form a SAG and move slowly south bound. Another SAG was formed out of the New Jersey, Dewy and Holt (the decision was made to keep Dewy with the New Jersey due to Dewy’s SM-1 SAM armament) and headed north-west to engage the PLAN ships. Planning was well under way for the attack on the PLAN ships when the Southern Orion picked up an airborne contact via ESM. The ESM report indicated that the bogey could possibly be an F-16 Falcon. Not wanting to take any chances the Orion was ordered to head back towards friendlies to the north. At the same time a pair of F-4 Phantoms were scrambled and ordered to intercept the bogey. As time passed the bogey headed south, away from the ensuing F-4s. The Orion was ordered south again to continue the search for Vietnamese. The F-4s remained on station to provide cover should the bogey return.
Meanwhile to the north the Orion was circling the PLAN ships just out of range of their anti-aircraft weapons. Screening the PLAN group was a Luda I class destroyer which along with other ships making up the group were armed with the C-201 SSM. Since the C-201 has a range greater then the Harpoons carried by the northern SAG it was decided to take these ships out using the New Jersey’s longer ranged BGM-109B Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missiles. The order was given and with that the first shots of this conflict were fired. Two Tomahawks blasted out of their armoured box launchers and sped off in the direction of the Luda I, their flight paths tracked from the northern Orion. At around 06:45 the first Tomahawk struck the Luda I which instantly caught fire. The second Tomahawk missed and crashed into the sea. The Orion was ordered to give a BDA on the Luda I and promptly reported the ship was heavily damaged and on fire. Following that valuable information it was decided that no more munitions would be wasted on the Luda I (which would never gain control of the fire and later sink). A Jianghu II frigate screening the group, as well as a C-201 carrying Jiangdong frigate within the group, were the next targets for the New Jersey’s missiles. Four Tomahawks lifted into the sky and raced north-west two targeted to each ship, again tracked the whole way by the Orion. At around 07:00 the first two Tomahawks arrived at the Jianghu II, the first of the cruise missiles disintegrating the frigate. Both missiles were needed from the second flight of Tomahawks to remove the Jiangdong from the ocean. The New Jersey was having amazing success with her BGM-109s and with only 6 fired of the 16 missiles fired it was hoped that all C-201 carrying PLAN ships would be sunk before the SAG was in range of these dangerous SSMs.
Meanwhile the southern Orion continued to search for the Vietnamese ships, a number of unidentified ships were detected to the extreme south and it seemed the logical direction from which the Vietnamese would approach the Philippines. The Orion was ordered to close in for identification, the F-4s never far behind, always within range of their AIM-7 Sparrows. The bogey from before reappeared however it seemed to be flying some sought of CAP mission. The Orion had its radar operating at 100% and could have been detected on the other side of the world yet the bogey never approached. The southern group of ships were identified as the Vietnamese ships and with that the SAG comprising of Deyo and Sims set off south at flank speed.
Up north, New Jersey had let loose with another pair of TASMs aimed at a Jianghu II the first missile exploding the frigate at around 07:20. Among the remaining PLAN ships was a newer Jianghu III class frigate, a definite mistake not striking at this ship earlier. The oversight was dealt with another two TASMs from the Jersey. At around 07:38 the frigate was snapped in half under the weight of the Tomahawk’s 1000 pound HE warhead. With only one escort left in the PLAN group the New Jersey launched its last pair of TASMs in this US-PLAN engagement and was detached from the northern SAG to race south at 35kts to join up with Deyo and Sims to take on the Vietnamese (The 6 remaining BGM-109Bs, 16 Harpoons and 16” guns were deemed to be useful assets in that upcoming engagement). As the TASMs approached the remaining escort the Jiangdong fired off 3 HQ-61 SAMs at the incoming missiles, however the cruise missiles were too hard a target for the SAMs and all three missed and trailed off. The first TASM missed somehow however the second made up for it destroying the last of the escorts. Dewy and Holt closed in to clean up the remaining three PLAN cargo ships.
Deyo and Sims were steaming towards a gap in the islands with the New Jersey catching up about 100nm behind them. By this time the rearming of the Orions with Harpoon IBs was complete and they lifted into the morning sky. Once airborne they turned west to assist Dewy and Holt in attacking the remaining PLAN ships. With all the anti-ship action the air defence for the southern Orion had been forgotten the F-4s escorting the Orion were “bingo fuel” and heading back to base however no replacement F-4s were on the way. The decision was made to keep the Orion on station and risk a confrontation with possible enemy fighters (the intelligence information provided by the Orion was too important).
Back up north the Holt had launched 2 Harpoon IPs from its ASROC launcher at the closest Qiongsha cargo ship. The remaining Harpoons on Holt were loaded into the ASROC launcher and were immediately fired as the first two missiles missed their targets. Of the next volley of missiles one struck home badly damaging the cargo ship. Holt closed in to finish it off with her 5” gun. The Harpoon armed Orions had just arrived on the scene and got straight into the action with a Harpoon IB fired at the northern most cargo ship. A short time later the Orions were rewarded with a hit on the Qiongsha class ship. With that the Orions were re-tasked to head south and provide the first wave of attack on the Vietnamese ships. Dewy opened up with her 5” gun on the closest Qiongsha badly damaging it. Holt arrived on the scene and promptly set a Qiongshas alight with her 5” gun and sunk the Qiongsha previously damaged by the Orions with 5 Sea Sparrows. Holt then chased after the Qiongsha damaged by Dewy and sunk it with a combination of 5” shells and her remaining 3 Sea Sparrows. With the PLAN group destroyed the northern Orion providing recon was sent back to base for some well earned rest along with Dewy and Holt.
The Harpoon armed Orions were about 30-40nm out from the Vietnamese group when they launched a spread of Harpoons. All remaining 7 missiles were fired at the Vietnamese escorts. The Turya took a Harpoon hit and caught alight and would later sink. A lucky Petya II class frigate managed to dodge 3 Harpoons much to the dismay of the Orion crew while a second Petya II managed to escape 2 missiles but caught the third broadside and struggled to remain afloat. For a total of 8 Harpoons fired and 3 hits the Orions headed back to base wondering what had gone wrong knowing that the New Jersey’s SAG would finish off what they had started. Even at around 10,000ft the Orions could make out the trails of the remaining TASMs from Jersey hurtling towards the Vietnamese group. At around 18:50 the first of the Tomahawks smashed into a Petya II totally destroying the frigate. This was followed by hits on two Polnocny class ships damaging both. The last of New Jersey’s Tomahawks struck the remaining Petya II, needless to say it didn’t survive. With the Jersey depleted of BGM-109Bs and the SAG still well outside Harpoon range, focus shifted to the 4 TASMs from the Deyo. The missiles were programmed and the order given and with that Deyo officially joined the fight. All 4 TASMs leapt from their armoured box launchers into the night sky. The first of the missiles arrive on target around 22:50 crashing into the side of the already damaged Polnocny and sending it to the bottom. Another Polnocny and the remaining two cargo vessels were hit by the remaining TASMs. None of the ships sank so the SAG closed in at flank speed to bring them within Harpoon range. At around 50nm 7 Harpoon IBs rocketed from their quad launchers aboard the Deyo illuminating the destroyer with a brilliant ball of flames. The remaining damaged cargo ships crumpled under the weight of the incoming Harpoons and with that the Battle of the Philippines was over.
Summary: Outstanding efforts from the following units:
BB-62 USS New Jersey
FF-1074 USS Harold E. Holt
DD-989 USS Deyo
Both PC-3 Orion recon aircraft
20 x BGM-109B Tomahawk (16 from New Jersey, 4 from Deyo)
4 x Harpoon IP (from Holt’s ASROC box launcher)
90 x 127mm/54 IRGP (40 from Dewy, 50 from Holt)
20 x 127/54 HECVT (all from Holt)
15 x Harpoon IB (8 from Orions, 7 from Deyo)
8 x Sea Sparrow E (all from Holt)
1 x Luda I
2 x Jianghu II
2 x Jiangdong
1 x Jianghu III
3 x Qiongsha
1 x HQ331 Turya
3 x Petya II
2 x Cargo Vessels
2 x Polnocny B
1 x Bulk Carrier
4 x 130/58 Twin Frag
18 x 37mm/63 Twin Burst
4 x 100mm/56 Single DP
3 x HQ-61
76 x AK-276 76mm/60 Twin Frag
7 x 57/70 Twin Frag
1 x Grail
18 x AK-230 30mm/65 Twin Burst
by Mike Mykytyn
Got home today and loaded Charles Berlemann's Battle of the Phillipines and I was not disappointed. Nothing better than choosing your side and seeing a Battleship in your formation. It was a good fight and required some good thought (something I need to work on with my scenarios). Now for the story.
I started by launching 3 Orion's and tasked them to patrol NW, SW, NE. I started getting singular contracts (Manila Bay, Zulu Sea) and the apprehension started. I tasked my SAG North and set EMCON passive in all respects. I then launched a pair of F-4's to cover the group (detected an air contact to the south and got a little paranoid). I felt pretty secure and jacked up my time compression.
Shortly after I got my first "group" detection via the NW bound Orion and moved it close in to ID. Shortly there after I got another good detection form the SW bound Orion and moved to identify. I was rewarded both times by finding neutral PLAN and Vietnamese formations with transports. I was kinda perplexed so moved my Orion's closer and the contacts went hostile... have no idea if it was a missile shot or a gun shot at me... Either way I backed my birds off quick.
I now moved into attack mode but actually had a big decision to make. My formation was made up of a Iowa BB, Spruance DD, a Farragut DDG, and a pair of Knox FF's. My decision was to split the group. I tasked the Iowa, the Farragut and a Knox toward the PLAN group and a the Spruance and other Knox Southwest toward the Vietnamese group.
I moved full speed ahead and my Iowa group was closer to its target so began planning its attack. Looking through my ships inventory I realized that I only had some A model Harpoons and my big guns. I quickly toggled to my Spruance group and saw I had some Tomahawk B's... I felt a little guilty about this but launched one at the lead Chinese FF. I had looked at the Chinese formation and wanted to knock off the C-201 carriers first. That means I will regain a range advantage with my Iowa group (for the most part). My Tomahawk came in and missed... fired another and missed again! I began to re-evaluate my weapons selection and was close enough to fire Harpoon A's from New Jersey. I fired a salvo of two Harpoons and missed. Fired two more and missed again. Finally rippled three off and was rewarded with a hit. That was so uncool but my fault. I underestimated my the Chinese FF's ability and overestimated my Harpoons (they're the A model shmuck!). The Chinese group was getting closer and closer and fired off the remainder of my Harpoons. I scored some hits but more misses overall. The PLAN began firing its missiles and my Farragut started engaging. It was successful but some very hairy moments. I launched two groups of 2 Phantoms each to provide CAP. I was rewarded by chewing up a majority of the longer ranged Chinese missiles. One missile got a bit close to New Jersey but was saved in the end by guns. Iowa was now in range and I began pummeling the Chinese with my guns (right on!). Also managed to get a kill with SAM's off Farragut but unfortunately expended all my SAM's. Not as easy as I thought... very hairy.
My Spruance group rolled south at full speed (while the above action was going on). I moved to intercept the Vietnamese and was fairly successful. That fight was a bit of a mismatch as the Spruance's Harpoon's were quick to waste the Vietnamese escorts and guns were effective enough to do a number on the transports.
The game seemed to be over so I jacked up time compression. The game seemed to go on but realized an enemy ship was still alive but it soon sunk. The game ended in victory.
This was some good work Charles! Can't wait to see what you plan next. This was also an excellent idea for a conflict... definitely something and exciting. Thanks for you hard work, I had a great time:)