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Old 01-13-2018, 06:53 AM   #1
Skwabie
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Default Soviet SSBN strategy

Completed my second campaign to date. Apparently the only chance one gets to hunt SSBNs is the final campaign mission.

I'd like to have a chance to do so other than that. I'd like to edit in some SSBN missions. Currently I simply replicated the 2 SSBN_patrol final missions and added them as normal missions.



But my question is, what would be the Soviet SSBN doctrine during the 1984 time frame, realistically? Would they stay at the backyard bastion or venture towards American east coast via a breakout? If it's the latter, I ought to make some more missions where an SSBN wolfpack would transit the Norwegian/Greenland sea towards the North Atlantic.

Googling finds very vague answers. Wiki suggests "3rd gen" boomers staying back while older ones go to the eastern seaboard or some such. But I never believe wiki all that much..
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:30 AM   #2
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Soviet front-line boomers during this timeframe had no reason to move any closer to their target areas than the range of their missiles allowed, which was considerable. Their goal was to remain undetected, disbursed, and as close to their own ASW screens as possible.

The only SSBNs allowed into the open ocean, --closer to the US, were the Yankees and Deltas. They were so loud, they were considered sacrificial in a conflict - and likely would have been. The NATO code-named, "Typhoon" class were their "ace-in-the-hole" for deterrence, and patrolled closer to home.

In the 80's the Soviets knew they would lose a large percentage of their SSBNs if a conflict erupted, due to the information they received from the Walker spy ring. They chose a conservative strategy in order to preserve enough deterrence to make the Americans think twice about a pre-emptive attack. They did not have the financial resources to re-build and deploy a stealthy SSBN fleet. As it was, their patrol posture declined considerably as the country fell apart.

Today's Soviet boats, are another story. They are very capable and quiet; what they lack in numbers, they make up for in quality.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:46 AM   #3
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You must edit these entries from the campaign_data.txt file (campaign folder) to change the frequency of missions you get:

[PLAYER MISSIONS]
//Last mission is the FINAL MISSION for the campaign
//Second to last mission is simple RETURN TO BASE
PlayerMissionTypes=SSN_WOLFPACK,SS_WOLFPACK,SS_SPE COPS,INSERTION,LAND_STRIKE,ASUW_STRIKE,LANDING_FOR CE,RESUPPLY_CONVOY,SHIP_RESUPPLY,SUB_RESUPPLY,RETU RN_TO_BASE,SSBN_PATROL
//Last two missions are not included on frequency list
//Sum of frequencies must equal 1
PlayerMissionFrequency=0.1,0.1,0.1,0.1,0.1,0.1,0.1 ,0.1,0.1,0.1
PlayerMissionThreshold=0,0,0,0.5,0.6,0,0,0,0,0

Edit the fore-last line to your liking, the sum must be 1. The order corrisponds to the PlayerMissionTypes above.
Then put all the last line to 0 values.

Cheers,
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:37 AM   #4
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You could always make the argument for the much feared 'depressed-trajectory' launch but honestly I think that was mostly theoretical. Not that it couldn't be done (launching SLBMs at ranges well below their maximum to cut-down on flight / reaction time in hopes of taking out enemy command and control or doing a counter-force strike on their bomber and ICBM bases), but that the Soviets were actually considering a 'first-strike' role for their SSBNs.

From what I recall reading, most of the SSBNs which would have patrolled close to the East Coast (like C-Wolf mentioned) were the old Yankees, and they were there because it was dictated by the relatively short range of their missiles. Further more, these 60s-era SLBMs probably wouldn't have had the accuracy to really accomplish a first-strike mission (i.e. knock-out or completely destroy the counter-force targets she'd likely be aiming at, in hopes of blunting / disrupting the American second-strike response.) so I think the whole thing is basically a non-starter which was more of something that the US was scared / paranoid about what could happen vs. a valid tactic that the Soviets actually planned on using.

As far as 'SSBN Wolfpacks' go, while I do remember hearing that the Soviets frequently escorted their boomers, I doubt very much they'd do it in a large numbers (multiple boomers and multiple escorts), especially for something getting sent out into the Atlantic because I think it would just be too easy to detect and put them into an 'all our eggs in one basket' situation. You could say that's exactly what they were doing by staying in bastions, but in that case it was their basket.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:50 AM   #5
Skwabie
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C-Wolf & The Bandit - Thanks! I've currently added a 3rd mission where a Yankee class SSBN would transit into the Atlantic, based on the mission from the 1968 campaign. It is questionable as to its realism but hopefully adds a bit more flavor to gameplay.

XenonSurf - yes, I halved both SHIP and SUB_resupply mission chances which leaves the extra 0.1 for my SSBN missions.

Last edited by Skwabie; 01-13-2018 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:09 PM   #6
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OK, it works. Though probably gotta re-write briefing to state it is a Yankee.




This is after re-doing an amphib landing mission 3 times that is. First time blasted by 4 torpedoes, second time the transports escaped. Third one barely succeeds on 17% hull and bottoming the boat. Just how hard can these missions be??..
(Off topic)
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:24 PM   #7
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I've heard that the Typhoons and later model Deltas could theoretically hit US targets from Pier side at Severodvinsk
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:02 AM   #8
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Long story cut short - SSBNs were viewed as a deep second strike option.

As such the deployment of those submarines would depend on the ranges of their weapons. Due to this consideration the SSBN force would be split between bastion deployment (Deltas, Typhoons) and forward deployement (Yankees and older).

Another point to make is the nature of this deployment, because Soviets (and present day Russia) prefers surge deployment over constant at sea patrol. The reason behind this was simple - the principles of mass and concentration of effort (in time and space), but was based around the capability of Soviet leadership to detect the approaching crisis and shift the forces to the "threatened/special period" stance (which is why Able Archer was such a big no-no).

As Atrina shows, in 1980s NATO had a very limited capability to track then modern Soviet submarines, should those submarines employ wartime tactics.

p.s.
surge deployment is not done only for the SSBNs, but for the mobile launchers too, both during threatened period and training, for example the recent exercise of the SNRFs:
https://function.mil.ru/news_page/co...2157781@egNews
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Last edited by ikalugin; 01-16-2018 at 05:19 AM.
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Old 01-16-2018, 10:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikalugin View Post
As Atrina shows, in 1980s NATO had a very limited capability to track then modern Soviet submarines, should those submarines employ wartime tactics.

As someone who has been and done that in the 80's...

pure B.S.

No issues, no problems.... and no, I can not comment how or why.
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubblehead Nuke View Post
As someone who has been and done that in the 80's...

pure B.S.

No issues, no problems.... and no, I can not comment how or why.
Are you fammiliar with Aport-Atrina?

p.s. Perharps a more expanded statement would help, as I am not familiar with your person, nor can I be expected to verify your statements and as such view them as factual.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikalugin View Post
Are you fammiliar with Aport-Atrina?

p.s. Perharps a more expanded statement would help, as I am not familiar with your person, nor can I be expected to verify your statements and as such view them as factual.
Who am I?

Real Submariner.

Real Deployments.

Real Ops.

As for tracking Soviet SSBN's? Been there.. done that. Tracked Soviet SSN's? Yep, done that many times as well. Done many things that I can never talk about. That is why we are called the Silent Service.

I will tell you this:

You can read anything you want from any source. you can make any conjectures you want.

I just told you the truth.

Unvarnished.

Unfiltered.

We could track anything that could be put in the water that the soviets had.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:52 PM   #12
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I conclude that you are not familiar with those two events then.

The later may be of interest, especially in the light of this:
" We could track anything that could be put in the water that the soviets had." statement.

"I just told you the truth"
This is your opinion. While I respect your right to have one, I could not be expected to verify and as such trust your authority on the topic, nor could I be expected to accept unsubstantiated statements as fact, especially if to disprove them I would have to prove non existance (Russell's teapot).
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Old 01-16-2018, 03:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubblehead Nuke View Post
Who am I?

Real Submariner.

Real Deployments.

Real Ops.

As for tracking Soviet SSBN's? Been there.. done that. Tracked Soviet SSN's? Yep, done that many times as well. Done many things that I can never talk about. That is why we are called the Silent Service.

I will tell you this:

You can read anything you want from any source. you can make any conjectures you want.

I just told you the truth.

Unvarnished.

Unfiltered.

We could track anything that could be put in the water that the soviets had.
22 years and 8 tours...and you discover this strange ability to not only bond with those who served, but you get this gut feeling when you come across someone who knows what he's talking about.
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:46 PM   #14
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Just as any potential 1980's-era adversary's priority naval intelligence target was the location of USN Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups, the USN's primary intel focus was focused toward Soviet's SSBN locations, --especially when they were underway.

A tremendous amount of training, resources, funding, and technological effort was made to ensure: "No more Pearl Harbors." This engrained philosophy has dominated US naval planning and doctrine since 1941.

SLBMs can strike the US mainland much sooner than fixed ICBMs due to their shorter range/decreased flight times, making determining their location paramount. As sonar supervisors, we were updated with the latest "hot cock" regarding potential adversary submarine movements every watch.

With a variety of sophisticated techniques that have never been revealed, I can say with certainty the life expectancy of a Soviet boomer sailor would have been very brief if the US submarine force had been tasked with removing Soviet SSBNs from the playing field at any time during the 70's-80's.

I never heard of a substantiated account of a Soviet SSN holding sustained trail on a US SSBN during the 60's, 70's, or 80's. Ever.

SSBN surge capability? That defeats the nature of forward deterrence using SSBNs. SSBNs are safest when submerged, not tied to a pier, vulnerable to an offshore TLAM strike.

As the 80's progressed, the Soviets went broke trying to keep pace with US/NATO ASW tactics and retreated to the bastions closer to their home waters, (this is called self-preservation) with other forces to help protect them. As money got increasing tighter, deterrent patrols stopped, and their boats rotted. Eventually, there were zero Soviet SSBNs at sea! To this day, there are half-submerged Russian SSNs rusting away in Russia because the will/funding isn't available to dispose of them properly. The Russian economy is still a mess.

Are today's Russia's latest submarines better? Absolutely! While low in quantity, their quality poses a huge challenge for the USN.

But. . .

The US submarine force has never been complacent where potential adversaries are concerned. (Wish I could say that with any conviction regarding the readiness status of the surface forces.) Today's submarine force is ready tonight to perform whatever mission they're assigned, and I would not want to be on the receiving end of their skill sets.

To find us, you must be good.
To catch us, you must be fast.
To beat us, you must be kidding!

(It isn't bragging if one can do it. . . )
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Last edited by C-Wolf; 01-16-2018 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:53 PM   #15
ikalugin
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Quote:
I never heard of a substantiated account of a Soviet SSN holding sustained trail on a US SSBN during the 60's, 70's, or 80's. Ever.
This is probably because you are not familiar with the Soviet experience like your comrade here.

Quote:
SSBN surge capability? That defeats the nature of forward deterrence using SSBNs. SSBNs are safest when submerged, not tied to a pier, vulnerable to an offshore TLAM strike.
Yet this is exactly what the doctrine was and still is, but it does imply, as I have mentioned before, that leadership would conduct the surge before the initiation of the hostilities. This doctine also applies to other assets, for example land mobile ICBM TELs.
The surge stance allows the capability to push more assets into the patrol areas during threatened period that the constant at sea patrol stance would allow, but it does have the disadvantage that you have mentioned.
As to the specific threat that you have mentioned, the SSBN bases (and other nuclear deterent related fascilities) were covered by an air defense zone, with multiple layers, including SAM layer. Here you could see the change in capability vs bombers and CMs between two time periods in multiples (starting period is used as the base):
 

source:
http://www.vko.ru/koncepcii/prikryti...ozdushnyh-sil2

Quote:
As the 80's progressed, the Soviets went broke trying to keep pace with US/NATO ASW tactics and retreated to the bastions closer to their home waters, (this is called self-preservation) with other forces to help protect them.
As I said, as the Soviet SSBNs were deep second strike assets, with the advances in weapons range there was no need for them to deploy forward.

In part, in the later years of the cold war, they were supplimented in the nuclar deterence role with Granat capable SSNs.
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