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Help wanted - knowledge of late 80's Soviet/Russian Navy

 
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Help wanted - knowledge of late 80's Soviet/Russian Navy - 6/20/2019 4:49:42 AM   
Scorpion86

 

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Since the new DB3K dropped, I've been thinking about using the newly created Portuguese units to create a new scenario: Portugal vs. a Soviet aircraft carrier let loose in the Atlantic in a Cold War gone hot! (I know, I know...)

So, taking into consideration the capabilities of the late 80's/early 90's Portuguese Armed Forces, the Kuznetsov is right out. So that leaves the second-line Kiev-class CVs that were decomissioned in the 90's.

The problem is, I have a very reduced knowledge of naval warfare, and much less of naval formations. So I have no idea what a Soviet second-line carrier surface group would look like, or if the Soviet even had such a thing as a CSG!

So I decided to turn to you, knowledgeable forum-goers, for help in this trying task! What would a rag-tag second-line late 80's Soviet Task Force based around a Kiev-class CV look like?

Thanks in advance!
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RE: Help wanted - knowledge of late 80's Soviet/Russian... - 6/20/2019 7:46:02 AM   
lumiere

 

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This is quick reserch - please correct me anyone knows more.
Maybe this thread has something to do: Late 80's Soviet Union SAG composition

OK, at first these website is REALLY USEFUL to check what ship Soviet Navy had for which fleet (Northern, Pacific, Black Sea, or Baltic)
Soviet Armed Forces 1945-1991
"Harpoon 1950-2004 Soviet Naval OOB" of THE ADMIRALTY TRILOGY

At late 80s (I like to set year as 1986 (when "Red Storm Rising" was published) for WWIII scenario BTW), there are four operational carriers (though Ivan consider them as "крейсер/cruiser" with aircraft) in Northen Fleet and Black Sea Fleet -
Moskva, Leningrad (Project 1123/Moskva-class), Kiev, and Baku (Project 1143/Kiev-class).

Aircrafts of each class will be as follows: (from wiki: Крейсера проекта 1123 and Kiev Class Aviation Cruiser | Military-Today.com
Moskva-class - 12*Ka-25PL ASW Helicopter / 2*Ka-25PC SAR Helicopter
Kiev-class - ~20*Yak-38 VTOL Fighter / 10 Ka-27PL ASW Helicopter /
2*Ka-27PS SAR Helicopter / 4*Ka-25Ts Radar surveillance (for long-range SSMs) Helicopter.




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RE: Help wanted - knowledge of late 80's Soviet/Russian... - 6/20/2019 8:43:28 AM   
lumiere

 

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However, only carrier is not enough. We need AAW and ASW escort.

At first, AAW role esortes. Classes I come up with are:
Project 1144/Kirov-class Nuclear Guided Cruiser - Kirov for Nothern Fleet
Project 1164/Slava-class Guided Cruiser - Slava for Baltic Fleet, Marshal Ustinov for Northern Fleet
Project 956/Sovremenny-class Guided Destroyer (sorry but from here, I am tired of siting individual ship name )

Project 61/Kashin-class Guided Destroyer
Project 58/Kynda-class Guided Destroyer - Grozny and Admiral Golovko for Baltic Fleet
Project 57/Kanin-class Guided Destroyer

ASW role
Project 1155/Udaloy-class Destroyer
Project 1134B/Kara-class Guided Cruiser
Project 1134A/Kresta-class Guided Cruiser

Typical aircraft for each escorts is 1-2*Ka-27PL ASW Helicopter / Ka-25Ts Radar surveillance Helicopter.

Note that not all these ships are detached for carrier escorts because of guarding mainland/maintenance, ete. but hope this helps.

Extra: http://russianships.info/eng/warships/ This site helps you to figure out the really variable Soviet ships' hull number
--
Edit: I forgot to site this one: SOVIET MILITARY POWER (1985 Edition)


< Message edited by lumiere -- 6/20/2019 9:05:52 AM >


_____________________________

The first casualty when war comes is truth.
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RE: Help wanted - knowledge of late 80's Soviet/Russian... - 6/20/2019 9:16:36 AM   
Gunner98

 

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I think you need to resolve a few questions:

1) What is the Soviet carrier doing?

2) How much of a challenge do you want to give the player?

3) Will this be a Portugal only fight or will NATO be involved?


The answers will help with the composition of the Sov force. The Soviets did not use their carriers in the same way as the US or European nations. The primary role was to protect other forces and provide air superiority to allow other elements to do their job, not power projection. I talk a little bit about it in this blog.

So some ideas for question #1): It was returning from a peace time mission when war broke out or it was trapped in the Med and can't get to the Black Sea so is heading north. Or things have gone totally wrong, the US has collapsed and NATO is shattered as a fighting force, thus allowing the Sov carriers to roam free - or something like that.

Some ideas for question #2): Escort for the carrier will require a minimum of two ships and probably three - Soviet groups tended to travel in 4 ship TGs. It should have an air defence escort and some ASW protection - no self respecting carrier would be caught without those two things covered.

AD needs a cruiser so: very tough = Slava class; medium = Kara class; easy = a Kresta class
ASW is generally for destroyers so: very tough = Udaloy, medium = Kashin; easy = Kanin or a Krivak class FFG
Supporting ship: very tough = Sovremenny DDG, Medium = Krivak FFG, easy = none

Question #3 is tricky for your purpose I think - no major Soviet force would be allowed to romp around without some NATO shadow. The Portuguese navy is not designed to fight a high end surface fight, nor is it meant to fight alone - most NATO navies aren't. So you may want to consider adding some NATO punch, a Brit Type 42 or Italian Audace class or more obviously an American cruiser.

Just some thoughts - good luck.

B

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(in reply to Scorpion86)
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RE: Help wanted - knowledge of late 80's Soviet/Russian... - 6/21/2019 2:49:08 AM   
Scorpion86

 

Posts: 134
Joined: 2/26/2017
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Thanks for the kind answers, lumiere and Gunner98! I specially appreciate Gunner98's breakdown of ship classes in difficulty levels, because I really have no notion of naval unit composition. My thing has always been air & land combat, naval is my blindspot.

The idea for this scenario came about when researching the A-7P Corsair of the Portuguese Air Force. Originally, the PAF wanted the F-5E to replace the F-86 as an air defense fighter, but the country was cash-strapped after a 48-year dictatorship and a 14-year, 3-front African colonial war. The only thing we could rely on was the compensation for the American use of the Terceira Air Base in the Azores, which was valued at 72 million USD. A full squadron would cost 120 million USD, an unbearable expense at the time. Since we were a rear guard NATO country, one of our tasks would be to patrol Atlantic shipping lanes to protect US reinforcement. So the US offered refurbished A-7As with upgraded electronics for 64 million USD, which was cheap enough to allow us to buy another C-130, another PAF ambition at the time. And for air defense, the A-7P would do in a pinch.

So that gave me the idea of a Soviet SAG running wild in the Atlantic, raiding NATO supply lines, and the Portuguese Air Force, outgunned and outclassed, flying in Vietnam-era relics to sink those leviathans of sea!

So, in order to give the PAF a fighting chance, it couldn't be the Kuznetsov (the Sukhois would mop the floor with the Corsairs) nor any modern Soviet air-defense ships (ditto for the S-300F).

The Portuguese Navy at the time was more than irrelevant, as it was still an all-gun navy. (The first AShM-equipped vessels in the Portuguese Navy would be the Vasco da Gama Class, acquired in the early 90's!) So this would be mainly an air power scenario, perhaps with a submarine thrown in for good measure.

NATO support would be limited to air-refueling planes. Besides the A-7P, the other PAF aircraft in this scenario would be the Orion, which besides providing long-range radar, is still today the only aircraft in PAF inventory to carry an AShM.

As for the plot, well, you'll have to wait for another day, as this post is getting long enough as it is...

TL;DR: Thank you very much for the info!

(in reply to Gunner98)
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