Thursday, December 26, 2013

Command Modern Air and Naval Operations - The Battle for Poti: Fighting the Russian Beachhead, The Seaborne Invasion Comes to a Halt (1 of 2)

Poti, day one of the Second Russia-Georgia War. The events in the morning and early afternoon were key to slow down the Russian effort at the port city of Poti. The decisive blow against the Russians can't be delivered. The Georgians are weak, and so is the US contingent. The strategic surprise of the Russian attack has been of epic proportions and the US can only muster some of their assets available in Turkey. 

For a better view, right click and open in a different window/tab. The tactical air situation during the mid afternoon, as presented to the US airmen operating from facilities in Pazar airbase (Turkey) and Batumi airport (Georgia). Two Patriot SAM batteries have been deployed, one at the Senaki airbase and the other at the Batumi airport (note their radar arcs in red). Airbases and airports in red are in Abkhazia and Russia (Sochi international airport) are considered hostile.
Yes folks, the fake war continues. This time I chose Command over DCS World because the latter has many gaps in the simulation of SAMs, radars and naval weapons and sensors. No pretense of tactical or doctrinal fidelity in this custom/made solo player scenario.

The mid section of Georgia, showing the Kutaisi airport and the Senaki airbase with the Patriot SAM battery. The yellow icons are Russian ships off the coast of Poti. The Russian ships include a Grisha-class corvette, a Neustrashimy-class destroyer and a landing craft which is likely to transport mechanized forces into Poti.

The US assets are concentrated to the south of Georgia (the yellow line is the Georgia-Turkey border). A Hawkeye tactical airborne early warning aircraft is flying alongside the border, with "Group 152" (a pair of F-15s) providing high asset value combat air patrol. Group 165 is a flight of two F/A-18 Super Hornets which just took off from the Pazar airbase, tasked with destroying any Russian landing craft off the coast of Poti. Note the Patriot SAM battery at the Batumi airport.

Early after the start of the scenario, the skies turn unfriendly. In this screenshot, multiple air contacts relayed from the Hawkeye AWE aircraft. The first air contacts to get identified are Su-27s flying through the Abkhazia's coastline. The detection and tracking of these Russian aircraft is being accomplished by the Hawkeye from a distance of ~150 nm.
Despite the heavy enemy fighter presence, the decision was made to continue with the naval strike mission. In this screenshot, the two  F/A-18 Super Hornets of group 165 are vectored towards the target area. A few seconds before, the AN/ASQ-228 advanced targeting forward-looking infrared (ATFLIR) system allowed the pilots to identify the Russian vessels. Having the target identified at a range of 29 nm is a great bonus for the strike aircraft. The Russian warships were notoriously radar-silent during this scenario, which makes it impossible to identify them based on emissions. The risky business of getting close to get a visual identification or to force the Russians to turn on their radars is not needed this time.
The decision of going forward with the strike was not taken lightly. The risk of getting intercepted by the numerous enemy fighters is somehow diminished by the SAM batteries at Senaki and Batumi. The F-15s could eventually be brought into the fray if the situation gets too hot.

To be continued. Stay tuned.



Chris said...

Really interesting JC.

Mike said...

Nice. What's the name of scenario?

JC said...

Thanks for reading.

Mike, this a custom made scenario.