Litani River 2017

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Litani River 2017

Post by fitzpatv »

Needed an interlude from Northern Fury, so I played this scenario, which features an Israeli operation to destroy two Grizzly SAM sites emplaced on the Lebanese border by the Syrians. You can only play the Israeli side.

To accomplish the mission, you have 24 F-16 strike planes with a variety of loadouts at Ramat David airbase in the N of the country. Four of these planes have AGM-88 HARMs, four Delilah long-ranged cruise missiles, while the rest have Paveways and iron bombs, which are too risky to use inside the Grizzly systems' 27nm umbrellas. Changing the loadouts would require several hours. Further S at Tel Nof airbase are 12 F-15C Eagles with 60nm ranged AMRAAMs, with six F-15Is available in three hours.

At Nevadim base in the S of Israel, there are support aircraft with AEW, ELINT and tanker capabilities, plus some Hermes UAVs, which are useful for pinpointing the SAM sites in the first place.

You also have a Patriot missile battery near the border and some Arrow anti-ballistic missiles for use against Scuds and similar.

Syria has squadrons of MiG-23, MiG-25 and MiG-29 fighters to contest air superiority and batteries of Scud missiles with which to strike at your bases.

It's a fairly standard process of establishing air superiority, then grinding down the SAM sites. I started by sending a Hermes to find the targets and escorting it with a pair of F-15s, while also scrambling an AEW plane in distant support. Syria launched four MiG-23s, which were engaged and shot down by the Patriot system for 10 VP each.

This stung Syria into action and a volley of 24 Scuds was unleashed, taking-out two radar sites on the border for -20 VP. The Arrow ABMs were ineffective, not least because they mostly failed to arrive in time (should have been sited further forward).

Syrian fighters launched in waves and a series of one-sided air battles ensued. Given their superior missile range and option to 'shoot and scoot', due to the AMRAAM's 'fire and forget' capability, the Eagles completely outclassed their opponents and destroyed 26 enemy aircraft without loss. A couple of times, planes strayed into the Grizzly umbrella, but were able to accelerate clear of the Syrians' rather optimistic shots. Unfortunately, a civilian Boeing 767 followed the same flight path over the Med as the MiG-29s and was shot down in error, which cost me 30 VP.

Meanwhile, the enemy fired another 48 Scuds, which did some non-critical damage to the facilities at Ramat David, the Arrows again failing to score any hits.

With the fighters worn-down, I began to engage the Grizzly sites, now located by the Hermes. The plan was to use Delilahs to get them to illuminate, then hit them with HARMs. I'd assumed from the database that a Grizzly would be unable to engage a HARM on speed grounds, but this proved not to be the case and it became a matter of attrition. Eventually, I broke through and destroyed one of the SAM sites for 150 VP.

Two more pairs of MiG-29s tried to interfere, but were shot down without loss by my CAP. A third Scud strike again failed to do significant damage and one was actually hit by an Arrow!!

It would have needed a 5+ hour wait to destroy the second Grizzly site, but the AI threw-in the towel at this point and the game ended in a Triumph, with a score of +440. Israel lost two radars, but took-out a SAM site and 34 fighters.
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