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AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 8/6/2017 9:56:09 PM   
Galahad78

 

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From Matrix product page (Pole Positions)

Summer 2017

Russia is in the 4th year of a 15 year project to install the ‘SHELF’ underwater Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS), a very modern equivalent to the US Navy’s Cold War system of listening arrays in the Greenland-Iceland-UK (GIUK) Gap. The difference this time, however, is that the Russians are emplacing this high tech, nuclear-powered system in the Arctic, and that has the United States quite concerned.


The Arctic

In recent years the increased access to Arctic waters due to receding polar ice has allowed exponential growth into hydrocarbon (oil & gas) exploration and extraction, as well as much improved capacity for mineral extraction in the north of Russia, Canada, Greenland and Alaska.

Since the development of nuclear submarines able to travel under the polar ice cap, the Arctic has been heavily used for both transit of SSNs and others between oceans, and more importantly for stationing of Ballistic Missile Submarines SSBNs. Both the US and Russia routinely position their SSBNs in this region as it provides excellent hiding grounds for these strategic assets; the US is not happy about a Russian detection system limiting their nuclear deployment options.

Neither Russia nor the US wants their operations in the Arctic to become public knowledge. Russia does not have its system fully operational and the US has many other issues on its plate. There is a limited degree of plausible deniability involved in all actions in the north, there are few who can detect them and fewer yet who care to reveal what has been detected.


Environmental Impact

Environmentally the Arctic is one of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet. The receding icepack is seen as forthright evidence of global warming, compounded by enabling more resource exploration which increases both the actual and risk of further deposits of toxic chemicals into Arctic waters, where they take much longer to break down than in warmer climes. The Arctic in summer is home to home to 17 different species of whales, many like the Humpback and Grey whales migrate to the north in order to birth their young in the cold waters. Many others such as the Narwhal, Beluga and Bowhead live in the Arctic all year.

Increased development in the North has invited increased environmental scrutiny by government-sponsored agencies such as the Arctic Council and the less accepted but much more recognised groups such as Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd.

Meanwhile, there is a major European-based environmental campaign ongoing trying to expose nuclear activity in the Arctic. This is causing some difficulty for Russia as it is in multi-lateral negotiations with European countries to take advantage of its new economic position and Brexit based opportunities. The US is adding its voice to this protest, conveniently ignoring its use of the Arctic by nuclear submarines, by pointing out Russia’s intent to use undersea nuclear generation extensively in Arctic development.

Expect your operations to be affected by significant biological and environmental group activity!

Situation

The USN has been authorized to conduct a pre-emptive operation to destabilize Russian construction activities and halt the development of the SHELF project. A major constraint is that the operation must not be detected! Therefore only Special Forces and submarine forces will be available for this operation and it must be carried out without the public or Russia discovering whom is responsible.

Russia knows that something is afoot. There have been mixed messages coming out of Washington but it is clear that naval activity in the Arctic is increasing. The priority for Moscow is to get the summer construction program underway and protect its secrecy as much as possible.

https://youtu.be/D6rv-HGHCgg

< Message edited by Galahad78 -- 8/9/2017 9:08:26 PM >
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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 8/7/2017 11:46:59 AM   
Gunner98

 

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 8/9/2017 9:12:20 PM   
Galahad78

 

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Russian mission is to engage in the preparation, construction and activation of their equivalent of Cold War's SOSUS system. We will control three small submarine task forces, along a SSN as general security. There are other Russian forces in the scenario over which we do not have control, such as some ASW planes and SSBNs.



A nice touch is that task forces' starting positions vary from game to game (understand same happens with American subs), which adds to the replayability of the scenario.

In following posts we'll take a look to our forces.

< Message edited by Galahad78 -- 8/17/2017 8:33:39 PM >

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 8/10/2017 6:54:35 PM   
Zaslon

 

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Great!
A nice and Cold lecture for summer.


_____________________________


Kids think about Iran and Amateurs think about Russia, but professionals think about China

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 8/17/2017 9:38:26 PM   
Galahad78

 

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The first Task Force, with the mission of preparing two SOSUS locations north of Spitsbergen, is composed by the following subs:

BS-64 RFS Podmoskovye

K-371 RFS Pantera

To complete the mission, they need to use the Losharik minisub, on board the Podmoskovye. Each preparation takes 36 hrs



The BS-64 Pdmoskovye, originally launched as the K-64 from Project 667BDRM Delfin (Delta IV for NATO), was retired from active service on 1999 to be refurbished as mother sub for the minisubs of the Paltus class, and replace in this job the aging Yankee class KS-411. However, lack of funds would shelve this plan, although some jobs were completed, like retiring the "hump" housing the 16 nuclear SLBM and replacing it with a smaller hump, which presumably houses research equipment and crew spaces. Also, it looks like the Podmoskovye is nine meters longer than a regular Delta IV.



Podmoskovye at Zvezdochka shipyard, picture taken from Charly015's fantastic blog (http://charly015.blogspot.com.es/)

The Losharik (Projects 10830, 10831 and 210), on the other hand, is a nuclear powered "minisub" (with a length of 60 meters...), for research, rescue and presumably special operations. First of the class was launched in 2003 in Severodvinks, although little else is known about this subs.



Infographic with the internal arrangement of the Losharik, which allows her to reach great depths. Some sources claim diving depths around 6000 meters. Picture taken from Pakistan Defence forum (defence.pk)



Infographic with suspected or alleged capacities and sensors, same source as previous one



Mock-up of a Losharik with her mother sub

The escorting sub, the K-371 RFS Pantera, is an "old" Project 971 Shuka-B, Akula I for NATO, nuclear attack sub. The Akula class was one of the first Soviet designs which could challenge NATO nuclear subs. Armed with eight torpedo tubes, she is a very dangerous opponent: four of these tubes are 533 mm in size and can launch USET-80K torpedos along SS-N-15 Starfish (RPK-6 Vodopad) antisubmarine missiles, while the other four torpedo tubes are 650 mm and can launch the SS-N-16 Stallion (RPK-7 Vodopei) ASW missiles. They are also armed with some SA-N-8 Gremlin (9M36) SAMs. Pantera is one of the three surviving Akula I, from seven built, and she received some improvement on her quietening measures.



RFS Pantera in dry dock, picture taken from bemil.chosun.com forum.

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 9/12/2017 1:00:58 AM   
chops

 

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Thanks for the information. Can you please explain how to use the mini-sub to complete the mission? The Briefing is really lacking information on what to do in this scenario.

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 9/12/2017 1:02:40 PM   
ultradave


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I wonder if they scraped the paint on the side getting it into that dry dock. That's as tight a fit as I've seen.

_____________________________

----------------
Dave A.
"When the Boogeyman goes to sleep he checks his closet for paratroopers"

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 9/12/2017 8:08:41 PM   
mikkey


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Nice and very instructive AAR, thanks.

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 9/17/2017 12:18:49 AM   
Galahad78

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: chops

Thanks for the information. Can you please explain how to use the mini-sub to complete the mission? The Briefing is really lacking information on what to do in this scenario.


You have to just launch it from Podmoskovye, once inside the area using the Boats interface on the Unit Status window, the trigger detects Losharik's presence and starts counting the time. Once completed (you'll get a message), you can recover it (just order RTB and she should berth automatically on Podmoskovye) and proceed to the next area.

Note that you do not have to do anything with Losharik (just stay inside the boundaries of the area, obviously). I like to navigate it to the exact point of interest in each area, a bit of roleplaying, but this is not strictly needed to complete the mission.

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 9/17/2017 4:08:51 PM   
Galahad78

 

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The second Task Force is formed by following subs:

BS-136 RFS Orenburg

K-295 RFS Samara

their mission being the activation of four Cluster Lance sonar arrays, with the help of the Losharik embarked on the Orenburg. The Losharik will need 16 hrs to activate each array.



The Orenburg is practically a twin to the Podmoskovye, although modified from a Delta III. You can see her here:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN61DmHeLc4[/youtube]

The K-295 RFS Samara is a Projeect 971M Akula II (according to the simulator, other sources classify her as an improved Akula I), with a MGK-540 Skat 3 sonar instead of the MGK-500, and some improvements on the radiated noise levels, making her stealthier than the standard Akulas such as the Pantera.



Review of Samara, original picture https://www.pinterest.dk/pin/544935623633141986/ from Scott Weeks

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 9/17/2017 4:21:45 PM   
Galahad78

 

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The third Task Force is centered on the following subs

K-139 Belgorod

K-157 RFS Vepr

with the mission of emplacing for Cluster Lance sonar arrays along Lomonosov underwater ridge. In this case, construction work will be on Belgorod's shoulders, as no minisubs are available within this Task Force. She will need 24 hrs for each array.



The K-139 Belgorod is a former Project 949A Antey (Oscar II for NATO) nuclear submarine, modified under Project 09852 as a scientific research and prospection and mining submarine for the Arctic. She is expected also to be able to lay communication systems. She loses the missile compartiment of her sisters to gain a 30 meter new space, bringing her LOA to 184 m. According to Russian sources, this will make Belgorod the largest submarine in the world, bigger even than the Typhoons. It is reported that the Belgorod might embark several minisubs, includind a Losharik (which is not included in this scenario).



Infography showing the alleged capabilities of the Belgorod, source http://www.hisutton.com/Spy%20Subs%20-Project%2009852%20Belgorod.html very recommended for this scenario

The K-157 RFS Vepr is a Project 971M Akula II, similar to Samara, described earlier.

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 9/17/2017 4:35:23 PM   
Galahad78

 

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Finally, the fourth Task Force comprises only the Project 885 K-329 Severodvinsk (Yasen class for NATO), tasked with the general security mission. This sub is the newest and most advanced SSN of the Russian Navy, fitted with VLS for up to 32 P-800 Onyx cruise missiles, 6 533 mm torpedo tubes and another 2 torpedo tubes of 650 mm.



Severodvinsk during sea trials, via https://news.usni.org/2014/10/28/u-s-navy-impressed-new-russian-attack-boat



RIA Novosti infography with the alleged capabilities of the Yasen class

This ends the review to the units under our control. The scenario includes a couple of Borey class SSBNs on patrol, as well as a handful of ASW aircrafts, all of them under AI control.

First job is to put all task forces underway to their closest responsibility areas. What was deemed a boring underwater cruise was to be proved otherwise rather quickly...

< Message edited by Galahad78 -- 9/17/2017 4:36:03 PM >

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 9/21/2017 5:33:25 PM   
Galahad78

 

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As commented yesterday, our first business is to sail our TFs to their operating areas. Everything goes smoothly until our sensors catch some underwater explosions...



Looks like there is a trigger-happy Yankee skipper in the neighbourhood...

BTW, no Greenpeace complaints I'm aware of

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 9/21/2017 5:36:18 PM   
Galahad78

 

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Hours creep lazily, our TFs have been arriving to their designated areas and started their jobs. Pantera, patrolling around Podmoskovye, detects an underwater contact trolling happily at 20 knots.



We mark it as Unfriendly, just in case, but we are not worried: we are not at war. Pantera's current course will take her close to the predicted course of the contact, so I expect to get an identification. Creeping at 5 knots, the old Akula is still a match for anyone.

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 9/21/2017 5:39:37 PM   
Galahad78

 

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The contact is classified as a US Navy's Virginia class SSN, the most advanced sub on service in any navy. She is so good that, even at 20 knots, she is able to get a sniff on Pantera, and immediately reduces her speed to 5 knots. We lost her contact on Pantera. Then again, as we are not at war, I'm not worried, and I instruct Pantera to continue with her course around Podmoskovye.

Therefore, what happens next catches me with my pants down...


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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 9/21/2017 6:15:27 PM   
Galahad78

 

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The sonofa**** has fired on us without provocation!!!

Thanks that Pantera's skipper is faster than my shocked self: he immediately fires two SS-N-15 over the Virginia's last known position. I then order to fire two conventional torpedoes over the bearing of the incoming torpedoes, to mess with Virginia's fire control. After that, I leave the evasion on the hands of the Master of the Pantera, who has shown faster reflexes and quicker thinking than me

The result is the following:



The Virginia is sunk, and Pantera is running for her life.

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 10/3/2017 11:33:55 AM   
Galahad78

 

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You will be glad to know that Pantera made it, narrowly escaping the detection cones of both American torpedoes.

After the adrenaline rush, we receive the following message, which, wel...



Tell me who you are and what you've done with my President!!

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 10/3/2017 11:37:15 AM   
Galahad78

 

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Afterwards, the situation calms down. Our TFs continue with their jobs. As time requirements are so different, their completion times will be different too.

Here we have Orenburg, who has recovered her Losharik and is sailing hapilly to her next point of interest:


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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 10/3/2017 11:43:55 AM   
Galahad78

 

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Meanwhile, our OTH radar net informs us about a sub contact (guess it's been her periscope) around Chukchi Sea. Don't know if she will approach OP area.


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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 10/3/2017 11:53:33 AM   
Galahad78

 

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Surprise! Uno of our underwater hydrophones detects a contact, at around 14 nm. It is traveling at 20 knots, so I classify her as a sub.



I will send Severodvinsk to investigate. With constant course and speed, I mark her estimated position for each hour (how I miss Silent Hunter 3's tools )



Once done, I establish course and speed for Severodvinsk.

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 10/3/2017 12:14:48 PM   
Galahad78

 

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Now all depends on the contact maintaining course and speed for the interception to be perfect. Severodvinsk stops to listen...



We cannot regain contact, even on CZ. Has she tricked us?

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 10/25/2017 8:05:30 PM   
Galahad78

 

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Happily, when Severodvinsk reaches her new patrol she easily regains contact, and immediately clasifies it as a nuclear attack sub.


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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 10/25/2017 8:07:34 PM   
Galahad78

 

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Some minutes work further clasifies the contact as the SSN-23 USS Jimmy Carter, third and last of the American Seawolf class.



As you know, Jimmy Carter was modified with an extra middle part for the deployment of special forces teams. What is she doing here?

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 10/25/2017 8:10:48 PM   
Galahad78

 

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Jimmy Carter's current heading will bring her here in some hours:



The position of the ATGU. Suspicious. Needless to say, Severodvinsk will shadow her from now on. You can see that, even crossing Severodvinsk's path at 3 nm, Jimmy Carter doesn't show any sign that she has detected Russia's newest attack sub. Good news.

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 10/25/2017 8:12:06 PM   
Galahad78

 

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Jimmy Carter gets on station around ATGU, circling it at 20 knots.





I place Severodvinsk near enough to attack the American sub should the need arise.

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 11/6/2017 9:06:47 PM   
Galahad78

 

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Preparation works continue without problems, two of the TFs having finished their jobs. As they are still some days until scenario end, I decide to send them to their home ports.

In the picture, Podmoskovye and Pantera head to Ostrovnoy.



Samara and Orenburg, outside the picture, are preparing to cross Chukchi Sea for Petropavlosk. Precisely in this sea we have been detecting some periscope, we'll see.

Belgorod is working on her last assignment, while Severodvinsk is still trailing Jimmy Carter, who is happily making holes in the water around the ATGU reactor at 20 knots.

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 11/9/2017 8:12:02 PM   
Galahad78

 

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In the way back, Samara detects a submerged contact



Luckily, the contact doesn't react to the presence of both Russian subs, either because it is a whale, or if a sub, because it hasn't detected our subs, and in some minutes the contact is lost without further notice.

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RE: AAR Pole Positions - Russian perspective - 11/9/2017 8:12:52 PM   
Galahad78

 

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The scenario concludes with the three TFs on their way home, and Severodvinsk at 3 nm from Jimmy Carter, trailing her.

Final score:


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