This one can be a bit tricky, and you need to make highly concentrated attacks in order to overmatch the SAMs, with as many missiles arriving simultaneously as possible. Here's how it worked out for me.
"I’ve been assigned to make a desperation attack on the Indian carriers, in the hopes of extracting diplomatic concessions in the wider world. I’ve got a decent number of strike aircraft, only four modern fighters (F-16s), a single P-3, and a bunch of assorted old F-7s and J-8s. I’ve also got three missile boats along my north shore, two missile batteries near Karachi – some slow-movers, and some good YJ-12s, and a single diesel sub. I’ve got no land-based radar left at all, nor any AWACs, so I’ll be mostly blind to enemy air activity.
My P-3 goes up first, and quickly identifies the carrier group about 125 miles SW of Karachi, and a picket destroyer 40 miles NE of the main group. My sub starts heading WSW, hoping to be in a good position if the carrier group turns to head east, while my missile boats are ordered to close in from the north. Once they’re nearing firing range, my aircraft start to launch.
The attack planes from the Karachi airbases head west along the Pakistani coast, bypassing the picket destroyer. They meet up with the Mirages near Pasni, and head SSE, towards the carriers. Meanwhile, my F-7s and J-8s have been sent down around the other side of the carriers, approaching them from the south-east, radars on. My hope is that they will be able to draw the Indian fighters south, away from the incoming attack, and it seems to be working. Unfortunately, my plan to run away safely before they can shoot me is not working well, however, and I lose all my J-8s before they can disengage.
As that happens, I launch my strike from the other side. Between attack planes and patrol boats I have 48 C-802s of various types coming in, plus another 6 Exocets, and 4 glide bombs. I also send in the 6 supersonic YJ-12s from one of my shore batteries, but, sadly, the other one with C-802s is out of range. I could use it to engage the lone picket destroyer, but it would easily shoot the missiles all down, so I hold them for later. I’ve been told the Indians are low on SAMs, but they find swarms of them somewhere, and manage to carve a huge chunk out of my incoming attack. Nonetheless, some of my missiles get through, sinking the Vikrant and one of the destroyers, and wounding the Vikramaditya and a second destroyer. It’s not an all-out success, but the world should definitely pay attention now!
Meanwhile, the Indians have been making an attack of their own, launching a heavy MiG-29 strike against Masroor. They’re coming in from the WNW, eight of them, and all four of my F-16s are launched against them, and they manage to get them all, in one of the most destructive AMRAAM salvoes I have ever seen. Unfortunately, there are more planes coming in, including escorts from the SW, and more attackers and fighters from the south, and my F-16s can’t handle them all. My returning F-7s come burnering in from the south to try and catch the attackers, while my SAMs open fire and send them dodging in all directions. In the middle of all this, my fuel-starved JF-17s are trying to land without getting shot. When the collision is over, I’ve lost two of my F-16s, two of my JF-17s, and three of my F-7s, and I’m almost completely out of SAMs, but my airbase is intact, and all my other strike planes are safely returning to base.
As my planes reload for a second attack, the P-3 reports that the carrier group has slowed down and turned SE, and seems to be paralleling the coast. The picket destroyer has also turned SE, but doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo about the slow carrier group, so it’s pulling ahead, leaving the group open to attack from the east. Once my surviving F-16s have reloaded, they head for the carrier, hoping to dump their AMRAAMs into the nearest MiG-29s, and run back to base for more. Unfortunately, the last of them seem to be landing just as my F-16s arrive, and soon there’s nothing in sight except helicopters. Well, a kill is a kill, and over the next few hours my fighters (particularly the F-7s) have a happy time making low-level attacks, clearing out the AEW and ASW helicopters around the group. (Unlike the carriers, the picket destroyer has his radar on, so he can see me clearly, and he has enough SAMs to engage me. I generally leave his helicopters alone.)
Unfortunately, the carrier group’s turn SE means that my sub probably won’t be able to intercept, unless it starts moving much faster, which it doesn’t have the batteries to do. However, now that the ASW helicopters are down, a new option is available, and orders go out for the sub to come to periscope depth, and snorkel at full speed to try and make the intercept. It looks like this might actually work, but suddenly the sub detects a loud goblin about ten miles out. The captain orders an immediate cut in power and dive, and sonar soon confirms it’s an SSN. But whose? The contact is lost moments later, before we can tell if it’s the Indian Akula or not. Clearly it would be a very bad idea to keep snorkeling around noisily, so my sub spends the next couple of hours vainly trying to re-establish contact. By the time it gives up, the carrier is too far away to catch for a torpedo attack.
Dusk falls, and my planes have reloaded for a second strike. My shore battery is out of range of both the carriers and the lone picket ship, now far to the south, but my sub is still in missile range, so it comes to periscope depth and waits for the command to fire. My planes swing around and attack from the un-escorted side of the formation, all missiles are fired on a close-activation BOL attack, and the remaining four ships in the carrier group (now very low on SAMs) are sunk in a concentrated barrage. Only the lone picket destroyer (and the sub) remain.
The message to the world is clear. We are a force to be respected! We expect negotiations with other nations to proceed much better now."
So it can work out, if you are able to make concentrated attacks and saturate the defences.