Author Topic: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR  (Read 23820 times)

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Offline Airborne Rifles

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Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« on: September 20, 2015, 09:07:24 PM »
This scenario takes place 24 hours into the war. Just a little set up: if you read my H-Hour AAR you know that in that battle the Norwegians inflicted crippling losses on the Soviet air strength and essentially annihilated a Soviet parachute assault on the airfield at Banak. This scenario starts with the assumption that the Norges didn’t do quite as well and that the airborne drop on Banak was a success. The Soviets are in control of north Norway, the Red Banner Northern Fleet (2 Kuznetsov-class CVs, 2 Kiev-class CVHs, and 2 Kirov battlecruisers, plus escorts and an amphibious group) has broken out of the Barents Sea (again, no significant casualties, despite my X-Ray Station AAR).

So, after the initial surge the Soviet air offensive quieted down as both sides licked their considerable wounds. The Norwegians are reinforced by American F-15 from the US 493rd Tactical Fighter Squadron and F-16s from the Dutch 332 Squadron. These join the surviving Norge F-16s and F-5s from the previous day’s fighting. More reinforcements are expected, but people are screaming for backup all over the world, so we’ll see what comes. The hub of Norwegian air resistance is now the airbase of Bardufoss, with Andoya, Evenes, and Bodo supporting from further south.

The threat of a ground offensive in north Norway in February is pretty slim, but the bulk of the Soviet airborne strength is still unaccounted for, and that Soviet amphibious group is out there as well. Analysis is it’s heading for Trondheim in Central Norway. Norwegian ground forces are establishing a defensive front at the Lyngen position, but it will be meaningless if the Russians can envelope it from the air or sea.

To defend the coast, there is a picket line of NATO subs extending into the Norwegian sea. The USS Annapolis is the farthest out, then HMS Talent, the Ula-class diesel boat Utsira. Behind these is the older diesel boat Klin. Further back, tucked into the Lofoten islands are several groups of missile boats of various types and a pair of frigates, the Bergen and Stavenger, making their way south to join up with stronger forces. It’s looking pretty thin.

It’s now noon on 14 February, 1994, the second day of World War III. Yesterday a truck bomb blew up the Norwegian parliament, killing the king and the prime minister. Command and control from NATO is working, but the Norwegian national government s in tatters.

All indications are towards a renewal of the Soviet offensive any minute. Will they come by air? by sea? both? Will the battered Norwegians and their NATO allies be able to hold? Read on to find out.

Offline Excroat3

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2015, 02:57:01 PM »
The feeling I got in my chest when I saw this thread  :D  Keep it up!

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2015, 08:06:29 AM »


The battle for control of the air over Bardufoss began for the Norwegians at the airfield with an intel update from HQ, Allied Forces North Norway (AFNN), stating that sources with eyes on the captured airfield at Banak were reporting a major Soviet strike consisting of dozens of Mig-23s and Mig-27s staging from the field. SIGINT was also indicating that the Soviets had been reinforced with regiments of Mig-29s and Su-27s, and that a Long-Range Aviation strike was likely forming up over the Kola. The warning was accompanied by an admonishment to get every ready fighter into the air to meet the threat.

As if to put an exclamation point on this report, the data-link to the E-3 AWACS making racetracks over central Norway began to show numerous contacts rising from Banak. Troublingly, at the same time the technicians on the AWACS also began to pick up significant aerial activity coming north from southern Finland.  The Finns had so far been troublingly quiet, both about the repeated Soviet violations of their airspace on the previous day and the few retaliatory incursions made by NATO jets. This new burst of activity over their major airbases indicated that this passive posture might be changing.

The three airborne NATO F-16s continued to circle over the Lyngen position while additional Norwegian and Dutch F-16s as well as American F-15s began to rotate off the runways of Evenes, Bardufoss, and Bodo and roar upward into the dreary arctic winter clouds which quickly obscured them from view. Unfortunately, the exhausted ground crews were struggling to keep up with the tempo of operations and many of the NATO aircraft were still in various states of readiness, so the numbers rising to meet the new Russian push were paltry and arriving piecemeal. Still, the reports that the NATO pilots were receiving from the controllers on the AWACS gave them confidence about their ability to meet the initial Russian thrust.

Based on the emissions from the Russians’ air-to-air radars, the EW techs on the NATO control aircraft and its accompanying ELINT bird began to decipher two distinct streams of Russian aircraft approaching central Norway. The first, coming from the captured field at Banak, appeared to be composed of about three squadrons of Mig-23s. These would not be overly difficult for the gathering NATO air strength to deal with, but dealt with they must be, and therein lay the tactical problem. Behind the Mig-23s, approaching from bases in the Kola across Finnish airspace, was a second stream of much more lethal Mig-29 and Su-27 fighters accompanied by yet more Mig-23s. These would arrive behind the first stream and after the NATO fighters had been forced to break formation and expend most if not all of their air-to-air ordnance. Yet another concern was the northward movement of several flights of Finnish fighters, who would arrive near the battle space just behind the first wave of Soviet aircraft.

Still, the NATO pilots had learned many lessons from the previous day’s combat, which had allowed several of them to become aces. They began to execute a pre-arranged plan to meet the initial Russian threat. The original three Sidewinder-armed F-16s turned off their radars, turned due north, and dove for the clouds obscuring the Norwegian coast while an AMRAAM armed F-16 and two American F-15s proceeded northeast into the teeth of the Russian onslaught with their radars on. Two more pairs of F-16s, one Norwegian, one Dutch, followed the advancing AMRAAM-armed jets, and a second pair of F-15s were rising to reinforce the battle.

As the first Russian Mig-23s entered the engagement envelope of the AIM-120s, the two American and one Norwegian pilots began to volley off their long-range radar-guided missiles. The Russian pilots, who for the most part had only faced the short-ranged Sidewinders the day before, were dismayed to hear their radar warning receivers begin to warble a lethal threat. They began to scan the skies for tell-tale contrails as the American-made missiles arced towards them. When they spotted the thin contrails, the Soviet airmen broke formation and jinked and dove to try to evade. They lacked any weapons that could match the range of the NATO missiles, and could only try to survive the onslaught at this point.

Several Russians managed to evade their tormentors by violent maneuvering and chaff, but several more had their aircraft blotted from the sky by the cones of exploding shrapnel thrown by the intercepting American missiles. The shaken survivors tried to reform and continue the advance to close with the NATO fighters and try to gain some measure of revenge. Just then, the three F-16s that had detached and flown north burst upwards through the cloud layer into the northwest flank of the Russian fighter stream. The three pilots fired off Sidewinders as quickly as they could bring their noses to bear on new targets, and the Russian formation once again dissolved into chaos as Mig-23 pilots turned in every direction trying to evade the nimble IR-seekers.

The surprise assault from the flank was devastating, and made even more so by the fact that the NATO pilots who had launched the AMRAAMs from the southwest were also following their missiles in, catching the struggling Russians between an anvil and a hammer. The NATO pilots had learned from the previous day’s fighting how to easily evade the semi-active radar homing missiles carried by the Soviet Mig-23s. Today this knowledge allowed the more nimble NATO fighters to close with the more cumbersome Russian jets where they could bring their Sidewinders and cannons to bear. The result was a slaughter. Mig anfter Mig exploded, caught on fire, or simply spun or dove out of the sky as the American, Dutch, and Norwegian jets tangled in a massive furball with the initially more numerous Russians.

The advantage lasted until the NATO jets began to run out of missiles and cannon rounds. As one NATO pilot after another expended his last ordnance and attempted to disengage, he was jumped by surviving Soviet pilots eager for revenge. A Norwegian F-16 was the first to fall, then an F-15, followed quickly by another. The situation was only salvaged by the arrival of the reinforcing Dutch F-16s following the AMRAAM armed jets up from the south. Then the Finns arrived…

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2015, 05:27:08 PM »
Wow!
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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2015, 09:38:18 PM »
Go Finns!!!
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2015, 06:46:51 AM »
Go Finns!!!

Let's hope they pick the right team.
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Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2015, 06:55:16 AM »
Go Finns!!!

Let's hope they pick the right team.

Knowing the Finns, they'll shoot at both sides.
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Offline Freyland

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2015, 09:34:00 AM »
Nice cliff hanger. O0

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2015, 12:40:24 PM »
Finland, along with Sweden, had sat out the first day of the war, uneasily watching the conflagration that was enveloping the world and in particular the rapid Russian advance into northern Norway. The offensive had come as a surprise to the Finns, but the Russian government had placed immense pressure on them first to not interfere and then later to actively join the Russian effort. This pressure included aggressive mobilizations and maneuvers along the Finnish border around Leningrad and aggressive naval demonstrations in the eastern Baltic. The tipping point for the Finnish government came with the fall of Banak. With north Norway in Russian hands, and no sign of a letup in the Soviet offensive, the Finns felt they were surrounded and had no choice but to comply with Soviet demands.

The Finnish dilemma did not come as a complete surprise to NATO. Indeed, a warning from AFNN had gone out several minutes earlier that NATO forces were free to engage Finnish aircraft that were behaving aggressively. This warning, however, was slow to reach the NATO pilots now engaged in the desperate battle to hold at bay the masses of attacking Soviet fighters.

A squadron of J-35 Draken fighters rocketed northwest across the Norwegian frontier and into the furball that had begun to dissipate as both NATO and Soviet fighters tried to disengage.  Finnish belligerence came as a nasty shock to the NATO pilots who had just turned back one Russian thrust and were now critically low on ordnance. They ambushed one Norwegian pilot trying to extract himself from the combat and damaged a second F-16 before the NATO pilots began to respond to this new and unwelcome threat. When they did, however, the results were deadly for the Finnish pilots.

The Finns had not had the benefit of the previous day’s combat to learn the unforgiving lessons of modern aerial combat. Worse, their fighters were armed with the obsolescent (American-made) AIM-4 Falcon missile, a weapon that had been ineffective even when it had first been fielded in the 1950s. The inexperienced Finnish pilots placed entirely too much faith in these weapons, attempting to engage the maneuverable NATO fighters at range instead of closing and engaging with cannons. This was a fatal error, as the NATO fliers were able to easily evade the Falcon missiles but still engage the Finns’ attention as two reinforcing flights of Ditch F-16s approached from the southwest.

When the Dutch arrived, they turned the table on the Drakens, plowing into the flank of the furball spitting Sidewinders and Vulcan bursts. In a few short minutes of violent turning combat the Dutch pilots and their nimble craft, along with the NATO survivors of the initial ambush, annihilated the leading Finnish squadron of Drakens and blunted a thrust by a second squadron approaching from the south. This left the NATO fliers on control of the airspace over the Lyngen positions as the surviving Russian Mig-23s and Finnish Drakens fled for their bases. However, they were once again critically short of ordnance, with many fighters down to one missile or completely out, and others critically low on even Vulcan ammo.

This was a critical shortage, because the E-3 radiating over central Norway was tracking a second wave of dozens Russian fighters transiting northern Finland from the Kola. ELINT platforms had pegged at least some of these as first line Mig-29s and Su-27s. Not a single NATO fighter now in the air carried any long-range AIM-120s, and the current allied airborne strength was wholly inadequate to meet the new Soviet thrust. The battle would come down to the ability of the NATO ground crews who even now were frantically readying more flights of F-16s and F-15s at Evenes, Bardufoss, and Bodo. Would they get their jets into the air in time? Or would the capable Russian interceptors sweep through the perilously thin NATO screen and on over their bases to bounce allied pilots as they took off?

Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2015, 09:44:44 PM »
Damn those Finns! I hope NATO drops some ordnance right in their Lapland.
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2015, 07:15:24 AM »
Brave and foolish to take Falcon armed Drakens into combat against F-16s.
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Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2015, 08:48:02 AM »
Damn those Finns! I hope NATO drops some ordnance right in their Lapland.

Careful. If MD sees this he may come to Finnish you off.

Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2015, 09:43:35 AM »
Ouch. Finns belong on fish, not in World Wars. And certainly not flying against Falcons. As the they now know.
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2015, 10:01:12 AM »
Damn those Finns! I hope NATO drops some ordnance right in their Lapland.

Careful. If MD sees this he may come to Finnish you off.

that would be swede
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Offline Freyland

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Re: Northern Fury 5: Bardufoss Blues - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2015, 11:22:41 AM »
Damn those Finns! I hope NATO drops some ordnance right in their Lapland.

Careful. If MD sees this he may come to Finnish you off.

that would be swede

I doubt he'll Dane to respond.