C:MANO AAR: Bay of Bengal 1999

Started by IICptMillerII, December 31, 2017, 12:44:12 AM

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Bay of Bengal 1999
Post Combat Review

To begin, I'll start by reiterating a few things:

Logistical/Misc Notes on Scenario:

This is a fictional scenario from Fleet Command, ported to Command: Modern Air Naval Operations that follows a CVBG (Carrier Battle Group) as it attempts to interdict the Indian navy.

Two things to point out first; (1) this is not a 1:1 copy of the mission from Fleet Command to Command: Modern Air Naval Operations (CMANO from here on) as there are differences in the force compositions for both the US Navy and Indian navy, and (2) the CMANO scenario has been modified by me. The base scenario gives you a CVBG that is a bit neutered. The Nimitz only gets half of its air wing, and less surface ships in support. To make the scenario more realistic and fun, I have rebuild Task Force Nimitz based on its September 1, 1997 – March 2, 1998 deployment. I have not modified the Indian forces at all, nor have I opened them up in the editor.

Further, due to the way the Indian airfields were originally made in the scenario, I cannot attack them. As seen later on in the AAR, this proved to be a bit of a problem. Especially considering my CVBG had hundreds of Tomahawks that could only strike land targets. More on this specific missile issue later.

The base version of CMANO does not have any way of simulating downed pilots or sailors in the water after a ship is sunk. However, there are a few community made scripts that adds this feature into specific scenarios. At the time I started this scenario I did not know about such scripts, which is why it was not included. I will try to include the CSAR scripts in any future AARs I do in CMANO.

Losses and Expenditures:

SIDE: India

1x BPK Kara [Pr.1134B Berkut B]
1x BPK Kresta II [Pr.1134A Berkut A]
1x BPK Udaloy I [Pr.1155 Fregat]
1x D 51 Rajput [Pr.61ME Kashin II]
1x D 61 Delhi [Pr.15]
1x EM Sovremenny I [Pr.956 Sarych]
1x EM Sovremenny I [Pr.956A Sarych]
3x Ka-28 Helix A
2x MiG-25PD Foxbat E
1x MRK Nanuchka I [Pr.1234 Ovod]
1x R 22 Viraat [Hermes]
1x Radar (Flat Face B [P-19])
1x RK Osa II [Pr.205U]
1x RKR Admiral Nakhimov [Pr.1144.2 Orlan, Ex-Kalinin]
1x S 44 Shishumar [Type 209-1500]
1x S 71 Chakra [PLARK-670 Charlie I]
20x Sea Harrier Mk51
5x Tu-16K-26PM Badger G Mod
1x Tu-16N Badger A
10x Tu-22M-2 Backfire B
6x Tu-95K-22 Bear G

13x 23mm AM-23 x 2 Burst [50 rnds]
4x 23mm AM-23 x 2 Burst [50 rnds]
18x 30mm Twin Gatling Gsh-6-30K Burst [375 rnds]
5x 40mm/60 Mk3 Single Bofors Burst [2 rnds]
3x AA-6 Acrid C [R-40RD, SARH]
3x AA-6 Acrid D [R-40TD, IR]
20x AK-100 100mm/70 Frag
37x AK-130 130mm/54 Twin Frag Burst [2 rnds]
5x AK-230 30mm/65 Twin Burst [50 rnds]
8x AK-630 30mm/65 Gatling Burst [400 rnds]
10x AK-630M 30mm/65 Gatling Burst [400 rnds]
6x AK-725 57mm/80 Twin HE Burst [6 rnds]
22x AS-4 Kitchen A Mod 2 [Kh-22M ASM]
46x AS-4 Kitchen A Mod 3 [Kh-22N ASM]
20x AS-6 Kingfish A Mod 3 [KSR-5M, ASM]
2x Generic Acoustic Decoy
2x Generic Acoustic Decoy
53x Generic Chaff Salvo [4x Cartridges]
40x Generic Chaff Salvo [8x Cartridges]
5x Generic Flare Salvo [4x Cartridges, Single Spectral]
50x PK-10 Flare [SO-50]
8x PK-2 Chaff [TSP-47]
38x SA-N-11a Grisom [9M311K]
80x SA-N-20a Gargoyle [48N6]
10x SA-N-4a Gecko [9M33]
62x SA-N-7 Gadfly [9M38]
64x SA-N-9 Gauntlet [9M330-2 Kinzhal]
20x SS-N-19 Shipwreck [P-700 Granit]
8x SS-N-22 Sunburn [P-80 Zubr]
8x SS-N-22M Sunburn [P-270 Moskit]

SIDE: Sri Lanka




1x DDG 51 Arleigh Burke [Arleigh Burke Flight I]
7x F/A-18C Hornet
1x F/A-18C Hornet
3x F-14D Tomcat
1x FFG 36 Underwood [Perry Class]
3x SH-60B Seahawk

280x 127mm/54 HE-CVT [HiFrag]
66x 127mm/54 HE-PD [HiCap]
14x 20mm/85 M61A1 Vulcan Burst [100 rnds]
4x 20mm/85 Mk15 Phalanx Blk 0 Burst [200 rnds]
6x 20mm/85 Mk15 Phalanx Blk 1A Burst [300 rnds]
130x 76mm/62 Compact HE Burst [4 rnds]
88x AGM-84E SLAM
16x AGM-84G Harpoon ICR
12x AGM-88C HARM
104x AIM-120A AMRAAM
75x AIM-54C Phoenix
16x AIM-7P Sparrow III
20x AIM-9M Sidewinder
47x Generic Chaff Salvo [5x Cartridges]
16x Generic Chaff Salvo [8x Cartridges]
3x Generic Flare Salvo [3x Cartridges, Single Spectral]
10x Mk214 Sea Gnat Chaff [Seduction]
4x Mk48 Mod 5 ADCAP
2x Mk50 Barracuda Mod 0 ALWT
4x RGM-109C Tomahawk Blk III TLAM-C
8x RGM-84D Harpoon IC
28x RGM-84G Harpoon ICR
9x RIM-116A RAM Blk 0
35x RIM-66E6 SM-1MR Blk VIB
108x RIM-66M-1 SM-2MR Blk III
108x RIM-66M-2 SM-2MR Blk IIIA
8x RIM-7M Sea Sparrow
17x RIM-7P Sea Sparrow

The data speaks for itself. A massive amount of ordinance was consumed by both sides during the duration of the fighting.

A quick note on the Seahawk losses. One Seahawk was lost as sea due to running out of fuel and having to ditch. The other two Seahawks went down with the DDG.

Combat Analysis:

What did I do wrong?

The single biggest sin I committed was not grounding my CAP aircraft when the enemy BCGN got close to my carrier. It was able to fire loads of SAMs into my patrolling aircraft at ranges that made the SAMs difficult to defeat. As a result, I lost a lot of aircraft. I should have grounded my aircraft sooner, but I was too preoccupied with everything happening all over the map. A poor excuse, and my air wing suffered for it.

A second mistake I made was not having some form of active CAP in the air towards the end of the scenario. If I had had an active CAP in the air, it likely would have been enough to initially interdict the incoming bomber waves. That in turn could have prevented the bombers from getting a chance to fire their VAMPIRES, which may have saved the Ford from her fate. The reason I failed to establish a CAP was not because I thought I wouldn't need it, but because I lost track of my aircraft rearming. Just prior to the bomber attacks, all of my attention was devoted to getting ASuW aircraft armed and in the air to take out the last of the enemy surface ships. By the time this task was accomplished, I had lost track of how many aircraft I had ready for CAP, nor did I have any aircraft assigned to the CAP mission so they were not automatically launching. Again, a poor excuse and oversight that cost me the Ford.

Aside from these two, there are a number of little things I can always be working to improve on. Better mission plans, stricter control over EMCON, keeping and maintaining situational awareness of the whole battlefield, etc.

Overall, considering the number of threats I had to deal with, sometimes all at once, and the complexity of the scenario due to these threats and the size of the scenario, I think I did ok for myself all things considered. Losses are always tough to take, but if you look at what I was up against on paper, its almost a miracle my losses weren't much higher given the circumstances. Of course if anyone has constructive criticism, whether it be tactical, technical or on ways to improve the AAR itself, please feel free to post it!

My Gripes:

This is the part where I complain about things I think caused me to suffer losses/misfortunes, completely ridding myself of any blame.

Just kidding of course, though I do have a few things to complain about.

First, the Harpoon missile. When it first came out in the late 70s, it provided the Navy with a much needed reliable and effective anti-ship capability. Plus, the fact that it could be fired by aircraft, surface ships and submarines was a big bonus as well. However, it is not the 1970s anymore. Anti-missile defense systems, specifically anti-missile missiles and point defense systems have come a long way. By 1999, the base model Harpoon is largely obsolete, and I suffered from that in this scenario. Both the ship and aircraft launched versions of the Harpoon were frankly disappointing. Their range was mediocre at best, and their active radar seekers made them easy targets for enemy defensive systems. Further, the amount of Harpoons I got, specifically the ship launched ones, were not nearly enough to punch through enemy defenses to score hits. All of these factors came together to make the Harpoon a nearly worthless weapon in this scenario.

Note: I am talking about the base model Harpoon here, not the SLAM. The SLAM, as shown in the AAR numerous times, is far superior to the Harpoon. It is in fact an upgraded version of the Harpoon, and really goes to show just how outdated the base model Harpoon is by the time the scenario takes place.

My next gripe is by far my biggest, and its with the Navy itself. Specifically, the concept of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG). First some clarification: the briefing for this scenario labels me as a Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) even though in composition I am in fact a CSG. What is the difference between a CVBG and a CSG? Without delving too deep into the nuance, the primary difference is a CSG is much more focused/outfitted for carrying out land strikes. A CVBG is much more rounded, with a higher emphasis on engaging enemy surface ships. Practically speaking, a CVBG has many more anti-ship missiles (both aircraft and surface ship based) than a CSG does. Seeing as I was primarily up against enemy surface ships and aircraft, I was put in a tough situation from the get go. In my Task Force I had hundreds of Tomahawk missiles, but not a single one of them was capable of striking ships. All of them were the land attack variant (the TLAM). Seeing all those useless munitions was frustrating to say the least. The only ship based anti-ship missile I had were base model Harpoons. A CSG essentially puts the entire burden of sinking enemy ships on the carrier air wing.

Now, in context this shift from the CVBG to the CSG makes sense. The shift happened in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union. At the time, there really were no other large navies that posed a threat to the US Navy, so they switched over to focusing on land strike missions. This makes sense for the decade of the 90's, but I argue that it goes against the primary mission of the Navy in the long run. The primary mission of the Navy is naval supremacy, which means sinking other enemy ships. This AAR (though the scenario is admittedly outlandish and to the extreme) is a very good case study as to why the Navy should always be focused on naval surface (and subsurface) warfare first, ground strike second. If I had a CVBG in this scenario, it would have been much easier. I could have easily sunk the first four enemy destroyers I encountered with long range ship based, anti-ship missiles, as well as some of the other enemy surface ships I was up against. This would have freed up my aircraft to launch massed strikes against hard to kill targets such as the BCGN, while still giving me standoff strike capability with my anti-ship missiles while my aircraft rearmed.

There is a lot of dense information there, so I'll do my best to summarize quickly. I would have been better off with a CVBG configured Task Force as it would have given me much greater anti-ship capabilities. Both due to the size of the surface threat arrayed against me, and due to the fact that I could not strike any of the land based targets due to scenario restrictions.


I didn't mean for this AAR to drag out as long as it did. Between some pesky real life considerations, and the ever constant enemy vote to keep fighting, that's how it turned out. Everything considered, I had a lot of fun doing this AAR. At the least, it shows a CSG going up against every possible conventional threat it could encounter. Attacks from the air, from a large capable surface fleet, and from submarines. The battle also managed to keep interesting, with all the twists and turns it kept throwing me. I hope it was as interesting to read as it was to play!

I'm not sure when I'll be doing another AAR. I need to find a suitable scenario first, and I won't be able to start another one for a little bit. But rest assured, I will definitely be doing more AARs in the future. That is, if there is enough demand for them!

Pete Dero

Quote from: IICptMillerII on March 26, 2018, 12:06:12 AM
But rest assured, I will definitely be doing more AARs in the future. That is, if there is enough demand for them!

Please do !   :bd:

Airborne Rifles

Great stuff, IICptMillerII! I'll be reading!

Sir Slash

"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.


Quote from: Airborne Rifles on March 26, 2018, 08:56:39 AM
Great stuff, IICptMillerII! I'll be reading!

Glad you enjoyed! Your amazing AARs were a large inspiration for doing mine.

Thanks for the kind words everyone!

Old TImer

Very well done AAR.  Thanks for doing it.


Apologies for the necro.

I've compiled and posted this AAR in its entirety to my blog, which can be found here: https://millerswargamingvault.blogspot.com/2022/04/bay-of-bengal-1999.html

For some reason the screenshots no longer work on this forum. For those of you who are so inclined, you can see them in all their glory again!