RogerBW's Blog

One for the Brow part 6: scenarios and Harpoon stats 31 May 2014

So that's my fantasy Royal Navy. Who's it going to fight? Practically anybody.

Scenarios

Small ships like the Tribals and Amazons can get into trouble in outlying places; the bigger ships and fleet formations can have "misunderstandings" with the Soviets. (When the Resolutions and TSR-2s come out, though, it's pretty much full-on war.)

A carrier battle group will centre on one Queen Elizabeth; it will contain 2-3 Type 82s, and 3-4 other warships (perhaps County-class destroyers, perhaps Amazon-class frigates) as the situation seems likely to demand. Submarines, as usually in British doctrine, will operate independently, clearing the path of the carrier group rather than being a part of it.

More detailed scenarios will doubtless follow, but here are a couple of examples of how historical incidents can be warped into the pattern of this alternate timeline. Note that several pit the RN against significantly inferior forces, so political factors will determine victory conditions; in effect the RN will have to pull off close to flawless victories in order to be considered the winner. ("Fortunately, this is not hard.")

Falklands, 1971

In an attempt to gain public support (and placate the Navy), Argentine President Alejandro Lanusse decides to invade the Falklands. Queen Elizabeth is coming to the end of her trials period, and if he can arrange a fait accompli the British Foreign Office may be persuaded to accept it. But Victorious is still in service, with the new Sea Lightnings replacing her Sea Vixens.

The Argentine Navy has the carrier Veinticinco de Mayo (UK Colossus class) with new A-4Q Skyhawks, the cruiser General Belgrano (US Brooklyn class), five destroyers Rosales, Espora, Brown, Almirante Storni and Almirante Domecq Garcia (US Fletcher class), and two patrol escorts Azopardo and Piedra Buena. A copy of South Atlantic War will doubtless be helpful here; historically most of these ships were still in service in 1982.

Cyprus, 1974

This generates at least two scenarios: a British attempt to prevent the Turkish amphibious landing (while Greece is under the junta, there's a certain feeling of historical alliance, and Greece would be very much in Britain's debt afterwards), and a Turkish air attack (primarily F-5As, F-100Cs and F-104Gs) against the British evacuation force (Duke of Edinburgh as flagship, the ageing Bulwark on her final deployment to carry the evacuees, plus escorts).

Portugese Timor/East Timor, 1975

After Portugal's revolution in 1974 and effective abandonment of its former colony, civil war breaks out. The Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor declares independence in November. Indonesia under Suharto, concerned about a communist state in the archipelago, invades in December.

But Portugese Timor is still de jure if not de facto a Portugese colony, and there are treaty commitments. The Eagle battle group sails as part of a NATO force under UN auspices, with the goal of restoring the status quo even if that does leave an independent and communist East Timor.

The Indonesian Navy is in a pretty parlous state since the Soviets withdrew their maintenance support ten years earlier, with a variety of early-1960s Soviet equipment in varying states of repair (the core of it being two Riga-class frigates, Nuku and Lambung Mangkurat, and one Whiskey-class submarine Pasopati that's probably unable to submerge). The four destroyer escorts of the Claud Jones class, recently bought from the USA, will be the mainstay of the surface force if they can be got into action. In the air, Indonesia has a variety of second-line aircraft from various nations.

This is going to be a cat-and-mouse game of the Indonesians trying to move troop transports (helicopters and ships) about the place without being spotted.

France, at any time

Well, they're the French, aren't they? Skirmishes will probably start between frigates and destroyers where colonies are close, then escalate as one side or the other brings in the submarines and carriers. The whole French Navy couldn't stand up to the whole Royal Navy, but that's not the sort of fight that's going to happen; it's all about the forces that are on the immediate scene when the balloon goes up.

The Future

The lessons learned from the fights I hope to play out will affect this alt-RN into the 1980s. Obviously things will become even more divergent from the real-world fleet. Very roughly I expect to see a new and larger carrier; Exocet/Flying Fish replaced by a new British missile, something broadly similar to Harpoon; deployment of the Westland Seagull on smaller vessels; a hydrofoil missile boat in the style of the Pegasus class, used for offshore patrol around the UK as well as ambushes against Soviet or French task forces; and a hovercraft minehunter.

Statistics

This should be enough to use these ships and aircraft with Harpoon 4. (I'm not repeating data for sensors or weapons, or for platforms unmodified from the real world; White Ensign should have most of them. If this turns out to be a major problem, let me know and I'll update this page.) This isn't quite the same CVA-01 as presented elsewhere; I'm merging multiple writeups and choosing what seems to me like the most historically plausible version.

Note also that while many sensors and weapons are listed with American names, they may well be independent British developments with similar performance.

Ships

Queen Elizabeth                                           CVA
Displacement: 54500 std                    In class: 3
Acoustic Counterm: None                    In Service: 1970
Electronic Counterm: 1st Gen J&D           ESM: 1st Gen
Propulsion: Steam Turbine                  Crew: 3250
Size Class: Large                          Signature: Large/Loud

Weapons:                                         ROF
A(2)1 GWS30 w/40 Sea Dart//2 Radar 909            (4)             D
PA/SA/SB/PB(4)4 GWS22
    w/12 Sea Cat//4 Radar 262                     (2)             D
2 Catapults                                                       --
1 Elevator                                                        --

Sensors:
Radar 988                                                         J
Radar 982, 983, 974                                               J

Air Group:
18 Sea Lightning, 18 Buccaneer S.2, 4 Gadfly AEW.1, 4 Weevil HAS.1,
2 Weevil SAR, 1 Gadfly COD

Remarks:
Queen Elizabeth, Duke of Edinburgh, Eagle.

Damage and Speed Breakdown:
Dam Pts:                0    256     512    768      922     1024
Surf Speed:            30     23      15      8        0     Sinks

Invincible                                              CVH
Displacement: 16000 std                   In class: 3
Acoustic Counterm: None                   In Service: 1975-
Electronic Counterm: 1st Gen J&D          ESM: 1st Gen
Propulsion: COGAG                         Crew: 1712
Size Class: Large                         Signature: Large/Noisy

Weapons:                                        ROF
F(1)1 Mk8 114mm/55//1 Radar 903                                   C
F&A(16)2 GWS31 VLS w/see remarks.               (16)              D
   Sea Dart//2 Radar 909    D
F&A(32)1 VLS GWS26 w/32 VL Sea Wolf
   //1 Radar 911                                (15)              D
15 Aircraft
1 Elevator

Sensors:
Radar 988, Radar 978, Radar 992, Radar 1006                       J
Sonar 162, Sonar 184                                              M

Remarks:
Based loosely on _Rebuilding the Royal Navy_ pp. 62-68.
Invincible, Illustrious, Ark Royal. GWS31 VLS can fire Sea Dart,
Ikara, MM38V Flying Fish.

Damage and Speed Breakdown:
Dam Pts:                                                      383
Surf Speed:            28                                    Sinks

Bristol (Type 82)                                        DDG
Displacement: 6700 std                    In class: 8
Acoustic Counterm: None                   In Service: 1971-
Electronic Counterm: None                 ESM: None
Propulsion: COSAG                         Crew: 407
Size Class: Medium                        Signature: Med/Noisy

Weapons:                                        ROF
F(1)1 Mk8 114mm/55//1 Radar 903                                   C
F&A(54)2 GWS31 VLS w/see remarks.               (20)
   Sea Dart//6 Radar 909                                          D
F(3)1 Mk10 Limbo w/17 salvoes//1 Sonar 170                        E
Aft Pad(1)1 Weevil HAS.1

Sensors:
Radar 988, Radar 978, Radar 992, Radar 1006                       J
Sonar 162, Sonar 184                                              M

Remarks:
GWS31 VLS can fire Sea Dart, Ikara, MM38V Flying Fish.
1975: First Gen ECM Decoys added.

Damage and Speed Breakdown:
Dam Pts:                0      53  105      158     189       210
Surf Speed:            30      22   15        7        0     Sinks

County block2 refit                                       DDG
Displacement: 6200 std                    In class: [8]
Acoustic Counterm: 1st Gen Twd            In Service: 1972-
Electronic Counterm: 2nd Gen J&D          ESM: 1st Gen
Propulsion: COSAG                         Crew: 471
Size Class: Medium                        Signature: Med/Noisy
Weapons:                                        ROF
F(2)1 Mk6 114mm/45//1 Radar 903                                     C
F&A(16) GWS31 VLS w/see remarks.                (16)
P/S(1)2 Mk4 20mm/80                                                 C
A(2)1 GWS1 w/30 Sea Slug Mk1//1 Radar 901 (2)                       D
P/S(4)2 GWS22 w/4 Sea Cat                        (2)                D
Aft Pad(1)1 Weevil HAS.1

Damage and Speed Breakdown:
Dam Pts:        0    50  100  150 180 200
Surf Speed:    30    23  15   7   0   Sinks

Amazon (Type 19)                                            FF
Displacement: 1900 std                   In class: [8]
Acoustic Counterm: None                  In Service: 1971-
Electronic Counterm: 1st Gen J&D         ESM: 1st Gen
Propulsion: CODOGAG                      Crew: 110+30
Size Class: Small                        Signature: Small/Quiet

Weapons:                                        ROF
F(1)1 Mk8 114mm/55//1 Radar 912                                  C
F&A(54) GWS31 VLS w/see remarks.               (20)
   Sea Dart//2 Radar 909                                         D
Aft Pad(1)1 Wasp or Seagull

Sensors:
Radar 965, Radar 994, Radar 1006                                 J
Sonar 162, Sonar 184                                             M

Remarks:
Based loosely on _Rebuilding the Royal Navy_ pp. 102-103. Fitted
with fin stabilizers. Can sprint to 40 knots but is Noisy in this
mode, which cannot be sustained over more than 20 hours total.
GWS31 VLS can fire Sea Dart, Ikara, MM38V Flying Fish.

Damage and Speed Breakdown:
Dam Pts:     0 29 57 86 103 114
Surf Speed: 28 21 14  7   0 Sinks

Aircraft

Sea Lightning FAW.1                             Fighter
Gun Atk: 2                                Man Rtg: 3.0/1.0
Size/Signature: Small/Small               In Service: 1969-
Counterm: 1st Gen D                       Bombsight: Ballistic
Sensors: USA/AWG-10/11/12, RWR
Performance         Speed in Knots
                          Throttle Setting
Altitude      Cruise          Full Mil         Reheat
V/Low:       573(2.4)        573(2.4)         795(3.3)
Med:         511(2.1)        662(2.8)        1133(4.7)
High:        511(2.1)        751(3.1)        1495(6.2)
Ceiling: 18290 meters                     Engine Type: TF
Endurance Data                            Inflight Refuel: Y
Cruise Range: 1900 nm                     Int Fuel: 7364 kg
Ordnance Loadouts:                        Payload: 2000 kg
· 4 AAM
· 2 AG weapons, 2 AAM
· 4 AG weapons
Remarks: these data based on Buttler, British Secret Projects, Jet
Fighters Since 1950, pp. 116-117; this is the Phase III without
overwing pylons and with a fixed belly pack, using RB.168-1R
(Spey) engines. AAMs are Red Top, Firestreak, Skyflash,
France/R.530 or USA/AIM-9G or later Sidewinder. AG weapons are
1,000lb bomb, France/AS.30, USA/AGM-12 Bullpup or 2in rocket pod.

Buccaneer S.3                                               Attack
Gun Atk: --                               Man Rtng: 2.5/1.5
Size/Signature: Large/Large               In Service: 1973
Counterm: 2nd Gen J&D                     Bombsight: Computing
Sensors: Blue Parrot radar, RWR, FLIR.
Performance:             Speed in Knots
                          Throttle Setting
Altitude       Cruise          Full Mil        Reheat
V/Low:        500 (2.1)       610(2.5)         1160(4.8)
Med:          500 (2.1)       574(2.4)         1127(4.7)
High:         500 (2.1)       539(2.2)         1061(4.4)
Ceiling: 12200 meters                     Engine Type: TF
Endurance Data                            Inflight Refuel: Y
Cruise Range: 1870 nm                     Int Fuel: 6535 kg
Drop Tank Desc.                 Fuel Wt.             Range Add.
Slipper tank                    1090 kg               313 nm
Internal bay tank               1918 kg               550 nm
Ordnance Loadouts:                        Payload: 8708 kg
· 4 Sea Eagle, 1 Int bay tank
· 4 AS.37 Martel, 1 Int bay tank 
· 2 AS.37 Martel, 2 AIM-9L/M Sidewinder, 1 Int bay tank
· 8 BL755, 1 Int bay tank, 2 slipper tanks
· 1 Green Parrot nuclear bomb, 2 AIM-9L/M Sidewinder, 2 slipper
  tanks
· 2 GBU-10, Pave Spike Pod, 1 AIM-9L/M Sidewinder, 1 Int bay tank
Remarks: based loosely on rumours of Blackburn's P.150 upgrade
concept, with uprated Speys, stretched fuselage and new wing.

Gadfly Petrel                                          AEW
Gun Atk: --                              Man Rtng: .5/.5
Size/Signature: Large/Large              In Service: 1970
Sensors: APY-1 radar.
Performance:               Speed in Knots
                           Throttle Setting
Altitude       Cruise           Full Mil        Reheat
V/Low:        400 (1.7)        508(2.1)           --
Med:          400 (1.7)        472(2.0)           --
High:         400 (1.7)        440(1.8)           --
Ceiling: 10972 meters                    Engine Type: TF
Endurance Data                           Inflight Refuel: N
Cruise Range: 1580 nm                    Int Fuel: 4884 kg
Ordnance Loadouts:                       Payload: --
Remarks:
COD has similar stats, but without the sensors. APY-1 is spread
between fore and aft radomes.

Weevil HAS.1                                         ASW
Gun Atk: --                             Man Rtg: 1.5/1.0
Size/Signature: Large/Large             In Service: 1971
Counterm: None                          Bombsight: None
Sensors: Sonar 195, AW 391 radar
Performance        Speed in Knots
                        Throttle Setting
Altitude      Cruise        Full Mil         Reheat
V/Low:       221(0.9)      363(1.5)            --
Med:         221(0.9)      363(1.5)            --
Ceiling: 8500 meters                    Engine Type: TS
Endurance Data                          Inflight Refuel: N
Cruise Range: 664 nm                    Int Fuel: 2046 kg
Ordnance Loadouts:                      Payload: 1092 kg
· 4 Mk46 or Stingray torp
· 4 Mk11 DC
Remarks:                               Tiltfan
SAR has similar stats, but without sensors or weapons. No crash
risk at VLow altitude if speed 150kt (0.6) or below, even if
turning and under fire.

  1. Posted by Michael Cule at 10:46am on 31 May 2014

    "Well, they're the French aren't they?"

    I forget, does NATO not exist in this alternate universe? Attacking your ally will cause the Foreign Office to go 'tut-tut'.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 10:50pm on 31 May 2014

    It does, but the French Situationist government took that country comprehensively out of the alliance after 1968. It's distinctly Communist-tinged by now, though it thinks it can walk a tightrope between Soviet and Chinese aid.

  3. Posted by John Dallman at 11:21am on 01 June 2014

    Of the Turkish scenarios, I think the second can only happen if the first does. The historical Turkish invasion was rather careful not to attack the British base areas.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 09:05pm on 01 June 2014

    Yes, I think so; the Turkish government needs to feel it can strike hard and suddenly, producing a situation where the British force is pulled out by nervous politicians.

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