Actually this was my second try, the first one was rather short and ended with Leviathan being sunk by a Harpoon after a few minutes. The second time I realized that I couldn't sneak through the straits - I had to fight my way out.
I formed a group with Lahav in front as SAM trap and the three missile boats in trail. Lahav had her radar on. Leviatan followed a few miles behind.
I was prepared to attract a few SSMs but I wasnt prepared for the Harpoon and Otomat shower that followed.
Fortunately each salvo was about 10 minutes apart, but sometimes it was close. The AI tends to under-allocate SAMs so I micro-managed and targeted each sea skimmer with at least 2 Baraks.
Two Harpoons got through, one was shot down by CIWS, the other plainly missed, but finally Lahav had no SAMs anymore and I put her behind the missile boats which still had a few Baraks remaining.
I put my helicopter on reconaissance but it didnt do much good since it had no radar. I finally discovered an Egyptian ASW boat which shot down the helo with Gunfire. So far so good, now I had permission to engage.
By the time my surface group had reached the exit of the Gulf of Akaba, it was payback time:
I sank the ASW boat with a single Gabriel II, then Lahav's Radar started to pick up surface contacts which turned out to be 4 frigates and a missile boat which fired its 2 C-801s at me. The Perry and the missile boat were destroyed by Harpoons and Gabriels.. The far away Saudi Kortenaer caught 3 Harpoons as well. Two Sub Harpoons from Leviathan destroyed the Knox when I ran out of missiles. But the Saudi Lafayette proved to be very tough, I fired about a dozen SSMs at her and none hit (from the log file it seems that all SSMs were shot down by the 40mm Breda Dardo mounts, is this gun really so good???). Finally I had no more missiles, so I closed to gun range. But despite the fact that I had only 76mm guns and the enemy a 100mm, the gun engagement was short and one sided, with about 100 76mm rounds fired by two of my missile boats to turn the stealth frigate into a stealth wreck.
I wanted to sweep the Red Sea for more contacts when suddenly a submarine fired 4 torpedoes (NT-37s) at my group just south of the small island group in the mouth of the gulf of Akaba. Lahav and one missile boat outran the fish, but it was a close call. I fired two of Lahav's NEARTIPs bearing-only down the launch bearing and started running for my life (cursing myself that I had wasted my helicopter). I think one NT-37 was even decoyed by Lahav.
By then, Leviathan had reached deep waters and could dive. I used her to sweep the area in which I had encountered the submarine, but she found nothing.
So I set her to deep at cruise speed to the target area, while the surface group returned to Eilat.
I had sunk every enemy ship and sub I encountered and my only loss was Lahav's Dauphin. I had expended all SSMs on my ships, all Baraks on Lahav and roughly 50% of those on the missile boats:
Al Saddam, Al Hadim sunk by Gabriel missiles
Sharm-Al-Sheik, Rasheed sunk by Harpoons
Khalid sunk by Sub Harpoons
Egyptian Romeo class submarine sunk by bearing-only launched Mk 46 NEARTIP.
Without Barak on the Israeli ships, this scenario would have been impossible. Barak seems to be one of the best defensive systems today, even though I had real problems defending my group against hordes of modern sea skimmers. I allocated at least 2 Baraks on each incoming missile. If there had been another Arab force, my ships would have surely been sunk since they were almost out of Barak missiles at the end of the scenario. I activated the message box for new contacts since I couldnt react that fast in 30 sec time compression if the Vampires just appeared.
All in all, an excellent ASuW scenario (since the sub is what it is all about, you better keep her out of harm's way).Very fast and challenging.