From: The Netherlands
A good article which can form a basis for a nice scanario:
Baltic Fleet training for amphibious landings - April 2020 by LTZ Van Lokeren (ret.)
On April 20 and 21, Naval Infantry units of the Baltic Fleet conducted a large scale amphibious exercise in the Kaliningrad Oblast as part of a scheduled two-day exercise. The exercise involved embarkation, transit and landing against a defended coast. The exercise started on April 20 at the port of Baltiysk in the Kaliningrad Oblast where 20 BTR-82A Infantry Fighting Vehicles were loaded on board of several amphibious warships. The amphibious warships were identified as the Ropucha class LSTs RFS Kaliningrad and RFS Korolev, supported by the Zubr class hovercraft RFS Eugene Koreshov. At least two Dyugon class landing craft were also seen taking part in the exercise.
BTR-82 being loaded on board of the Ropucha class LSTs
The fast loading of the Ropucha class LSTs was made possible due to the fact that these vessels were moored in the Mediterranean way, meaning stern towards the land and the bow pointed to the open sea. Not only allows this way of mooring an easy and fast departure towards open sea, it also allows the BTR-82A’s to simply drive inside the ship via the stern ramp in the same order as they are to disembark through the bow doors.
Once loaded, the vessels left port and were then escorted by a naval surface action croup comprised of several surface vessels. The vessels were reported to be corvettes, small missile ships and boats and small anti-submarine ships but no specific names were reported. Aircraft and helicopters of the Baltic Fleet Naval Aviation provided air support during the transit towards the landing area. In total, 10 ships, aircraft and helicopters took part in the transit phase.
The amphibious task force underway - visible are two Dyugon lancing craft, a Ropucha class LST, the Eugene Koreshov hovercraft and what appears to be a Steregushchiy class corvette
Once the landing area was approached on April 21, a group of mine-sweepers were send forwards with the amphibious landing ships as they approached the enemy occupied beach. The use of mine-sweepers can be interpreted in two ways. First, there is still a large threat of unexploded bombs and sea mines in the Baltic Sea, the result of two world wars as well as the Cold War where sea mines were used in large quantities. Secondly, it is expected that enemy forces will defend their beach in all possible ways, including the use of sea mines in an attempt to hit amphibious warships approaching the beach. As such, capable demining skills and experience are needed during an amphibious landing. At the same time, the amphibious landing ships trained in defending against an enemy air and surface attack. The vessels reportedly employed active and passive electronic counter measures to disrupt the enemy attacks. In a second part of this exercise, the landing ships engaged the aerial and sea targets with their close in weapon systems and naval artillery guns respectively.
Su-30SM fighter aircraft
Air support prior to the actual landing phase was provided by Su-30SM aircraft and Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters. These aircraft attacked enemy positions in order to soften them up and weaken the enemy resistance. The airstrikes were supplemented by an artillery bombardment conducted by the escorting naval surface group. Ship-borne Ka-27PS helicopter then proceeded to land engineer units on the beach. The engineers were tasked with creating safe corridors through a minefield located on the beach. Once these corridors were in place, the LSTs approached the beach and landed the BTRs who could then safely exit the beach through the marked corridors.
The exercise was further supplemented by an parachute landing behind the enemy positions. This part of the exercise was conducted by the air-assault battalion of the Baltic Fleet Naval Infantry. The size of the unit involved in the parachute drop was however not reported. While the landing phase was taking place, the surface action group conducted their own drills in the naval ranges. The warships practiced anti-submarine warfare and air-defense drills.
The exercise conducted by the Baltic Fleet is a realistic assessment of the kind of operations that will occur during wartime. The exercise not only allowed the training of embarkation, transit and landing, it also allowed training for every possible aspect that can occur during an amphibious landing. Not only was the landing undertaken against a defended beach, it was also conducted in an environment where the enemy was aware of the landing force approaching the beach and who decided to break up the attack with its own surface, subsurface and air assets. This forced the Russian forces to defend against incoming attacks before the ships could actually start the landing.
Aside from the defending actions undertaken on the way towards the landing zone, the Russians also practiced their amphibious doctrine and practiced a specific sequence of events of which they think is the way to successfully and rapidly take a defended beach. The sequence as demonstrated in this exercise involves an airstrike and naval bombardment to weaken and suppress enemy positions. This in turn allowed helicopters to land on the beach and drop of engineers who are then tasked to clear beach obstacles. During this exercise, the engineers had to create corridors through a minefield. Once these corridors were in place, the LSTs approached the beach and landed the BTRs who could then safely exit the beach. To prevent enemy reinforcements from arriving and strengthening the defense, an air assault was conducted to isolate the beachhead.
BTR-82As leaving a Ropuch class LST during the actual landing phase
One should take in account that amphibious landing exercises in the Baltic Region are tied to the larger strategic situation of the Kaliningrad Oblast. Amphibious assaults could be undertaken to directly attack NATO forces besieging Kaliningrad. This would be in line with the traditional use of naval infantry where they serve as a specialized force to establish a beachhead. Army units are then transported towards the beachhead for the breakout and attack against targets deeper inland.
However, this task force, comprised of 20 BTR-82As, can also serve as a scouting or raiding force that can operate further away from Kaliningrad in an effort to force NATO to spread its forces over a large littoral zone, defending several possible landing zones. The raiding force can thus create virtual attrition on the NATO forces besieging Kaliningrad.
The small surface action group could, at least in theory, temporary establish sea control for a limited period. This would allow the naval infantry to conduct their landing and raiding operations, followed be re-embarkation and retreating before a coordinated assault against the Russian forces can be organized.