An Interesting take on the Dance of the Vampires

Someone on the Reddit was nice enough to post a document detailing Soviet anti-carrier doctrine, written from the soviet perspective. In the west this scenario has been immortalized, at least in civilian circles, by the eponymous chapter in Clancy and Bond’s Red Storm Rising. It’s interesting to see this tackled by some one who is writing from the other side, and especially the differences in tactics and credence put in different methods.

This paper posits that the SANF was much closer to the VVS-DA than I would have expected, and was far less willing to cooperate with other Soviet Naval forces (surface ships and submarines), as well as being rather surprisingly un trusting of secondary reconnaissance sources. In fact it would appear in the minds of the Soviets, any anti-carrier operation would have played out much, much closer to one of the WWII IJN/USN clashes than I would have expected; to the point the Soviets would attempt to achieve visual contact with a carrier before launching their weighted strike.

Obviously take everything you find on the internet with a grain of salt.

So far the favorite quotes are:

[quote]A young second lieutenant, a Backfire WSO fresh from the air college, asked the senior navigator of the regiment, an old major:

“Sir, tell me why we have a detailed flight plan to the target over the vast ocean, but only a rough dot-and-dash line across Hokkaido Island on way back?”

“Son,” answered the major calmly, “if your crew manages to get the plane back out of the sky over the carrier by any means, on half a wing broken by a Phoenix and a screaming prayer, no matter whether it’s somewhere over Hokkaido or directly through the moon, it’ll be the greatest possible thing in your entire life!”

There may have been silent laughter from the shade of a kamikaze in the corner of the room at that moment[/quote]

[quote]"Eavesdropping on the fighterdirection VHF and ultrahigh-frequency radio circuits by reconnaissance vessels and planes gave Soviet analysts in 1973–74 roughly the same results as were subsequently
noted by late Vice Admiral Arthur Cebrowski:

“Exercise data indicated that sometimes a squadron of F-14s operating without a central air controller was more effective in intercepting and destroying attackers than what the algorithms
said centralized control could provide.”[/quote]

[quote]All in all, the expected loss rate was 50 percent of a full strike—meaning that
the equivalent of an entire MRA air regiment could be lost in action to a carrier
task force’s air defenses, independent of the strike’s outcome.[/quote]

[quote]It is no secret that the officers of the surface community who served on the
guided-missile ships counted on surviving a battle against a U.S. Navy carrier
air wing for twenty or thirty minutes and no more. In reality, the abilities of the
surface-to-air missiles (SA Ms) installed on the ships were far less impressive than
the fear they drew from U.S. experts. For example, the bow launcher of the Storm
SAM on the Kresta- and Kara-class AS W destroyers shared a fire-control system
with the Metel ASW missile. It would be quite possible for U.S. aircraft to drop
a false sound target (imitating a submarine) ahead of the Soviet formation to be
sure that the bow fire-control radars would be busy with the guidance of ASW
missiles for a while. The bow SAM launchers of the destroyers of these classes
would be useless all this time, allowing air attacks from ahead. Even “iron” bombs
could mark the targets.[/quote]


I just love old doctrine documents, it shows how woefully unknown the real threats were for either side(see the whole Fulda Gap scenario in the west).

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An excellent article, thanks a lot for posting it. By playing Command Modern Air/Naval Operations you can actualy come up with very similar observations (a testemony on the realism of this game).