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Kutaisi and the Bear

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Kutaisi and the Bear - Cover Image.jpg

A variable-difficulty multiplayer strike mission in the Caucasus theatre for up to 4× F/A-18C and 8× F-14B.

Alternative scoring is available in single-player, but the brief and general design assumes that multiple intercept aircraft will be available to deal with all targets. In addition, the opposition will scale with the number of escort aircraft active in the mission.

Briefing

In an ongoing offensive to capture central areas of Georgia, an unspecified number of Tu-95 &ldquo:Bears” have been dispatched from Krasnodar to knock out Kutaisi airport. A group of F-14B:s and F/A-18Cs has been assembled to intercept the bombers before they can reach their launch point.

Presumed attack point for the Bears is the tri-state border between Russia, Abkhazia and Georgia (WPT2 and IP). Crossing the border at WPT2 will allow for an earlier intercept of the bombers but will most likely trigger a response from Russian forces. However, any such response is unlikely to follow deeply into Georgian territory.

Heavy SAM presence can be expected around Russian airports, and mobile units are suspected to be in place near Abkhazian airports as well. A narrow corridor should exist between Sochi and Minvody SAM coverage (WPT2-3).

In addition to airstrikes, ground troops have been spotted north of Kutaisi - Harriers have been dispatched to halt their advance until ground attack aircraft can be scrambled out of Soganlug.

Preset UHF (COM1) radio channels for the operation are:

 1. Assembly/divert (Senaki): 261MHz, 31X
 2. CVN-74 (Colt 1 F-14s):    274Mhz, 74X, ICSL 4, NTDS 303.60
 3. CVN-75 (Colt 2 F-14s):    275MHz, 75X, ICLS 5, NTDS 308.70
 4. CVN-76 (Ford 3 F/A-18S):  276MHz, 76X, ICLS 6, NTDS 317.60
 5. TWA-77 (Harrier CAS):     277MHz, 77X, ICLS 7
 6. Wizard (AWACS):           301MHz,              ATDS 302.50
 7. Badger (GCI):             302MHz
 8. Shell (Refuelling):       303MHz, 33Y

COM2 channel 1 is preset to intra-flight frequencies.

Situation

October 1, 2011
Hot start at 0730

Weather: light overcast with the main cloud layer at 6,500–10,000ft, forecast to clear up after sunrise. Ground wind speeds at 3-7m/s.

The carrier group is travelling off the coast of northern Turkey, headed for Georgian waters outside of Kobuleti: (true) heading 59°, 11kts; BRC on return is likely in the 52° region. Friendly CAP is available along the route of the surface group.

In-game kneeboard pages provide a full description of the flight plan and the positioning of the fleet for landing and navigation procedures.

Objectives

  • Identify and shoot down all incoming Tu-95 aircraft.

Bomber escort and Russian border CAP is likely to be present, but do not need to be engaged to complete the mission. Similarly, engaging air defences along the intercept route will offer more room to manoeuvre, but is not part of the mission.

General concept

First conceived as a quickly rushed-together mission to take advantage of the F-14 module free-fly weekend in the Christmas week of 2019, the free period ran out before the mission could be completed. A quick test run with those who could still play it introduced a number of ideas and complications for how to make the mission more interesting and evolve it into more of a full-scale mission.

The rushed-design, first-time-player nature of the initial mission is why it does not lean heavily into switchology and instead just offers hot starts for all aircraft.

Mission file

Kutaisi and the Bear.miz

What's with that name?

It's not a horrible, horrible pun… it's just what the mission is about.