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Background & Tasks
The GOASIE exercises have been a yearly exercise between the Soviet Navy, Indian Navy and Ethiopian Navy since 1999 and are the largest exercises conducted outside of the USA's RIMPAC exercises. Each year the navies were split into two task forces and given a specific task, for example to capture a specific ship or destroy a certain number of ships.
For GOASIE XI the two largest task forces assembled outside NATO were deployed for the exercise and as a fitting task they were also assigned very hard objectives. The Blue Task Force (As the aggressor) was ordered to capture the Ethiopian Port of Massawa with naval infantry while the defending task force had two objectives, The first was to deny the Blue force Massawa while at the same time had to capture, destroy or critically damage two of the three capital ships in task force Blue (Admiral Kuznetsov, Kirov, Varyag).
Task Force Green was split into two groups from day one with the Indian Navy task force ordered to defend Massawa (Although the carrier INS Viraat was sent with the Ethiopian navy) while the Ethiopian Forces were ordered to sink or capture the Soviet capital ships by any means necessary.
At the beginning of the day the 4 Ethiopian submarines that made up its underwater forces were dispatched to attack the Soviet task group with Frogmen and Torpedoes. In addition, a strike force of Yak-41 aircraft was launched against the Varyag to take her out before she joined up with the rest of the Soviet fleet as when the Varyag met up with the Kuznetsov Karikare new that the Soviet strike force would be nigh on undefeatable. Unfortunately the strike was unsuccessful and while they fixed the small damage done to the engines the Varyag's crew launched a Yak-41 and Su-33 strike on the Ethiopian force. This attack however was intercepted by Sea Harriers and Yak-41's which destroyed five planes while they failed to even damage an Ethiopian ship.
Like Bhasin had predicted Sidenko was convinced that Karikares fleet was the largest threat to his own ships and was also aware of the threat posed by the Ethiopian planes while the Varyag was separated. Therefore he ordered his own submarine force to attack Karikares fleet while his own ships would steam at max speed to meet up with her.
As the sun rose over the Gulf of Aden, Captain Berhanu Legesse of the Ethiopian Navy rose his Kilo submarine ENV Tigray to periscope depth and received a confirmed target lock on the Soviet cruiser Chervona Ukraina. Desperate to avoid detection he quickly fired a spread of eight simulated torpedoes at the Chervona Ukraina scoring four hits and would have destroyed it had it been a combat situation. This was the beginning of what would be a very bad day for the Soviets. Two OSA-II missile boats dispatched by Bhasin from Massawa caught up with the Vayrag while she was still suffering from the effects of last days attack, firing torpedoes at the engine room they crippled the Vayrag's propulsion system and left her dead in the water. While this didn't count as a kill it left the Vayrag wide open to attack by other forces.
Launched from the ENV Eritrea and the INS Viraat a flight of Yak-41's came across the Vayrag and launched a salvo of Anti-Ship-Missiles at the Vayrag. They hit the flight deck and the missile storage which destroyed the Vayrag completely. Following this a group of Frogmen came across the cruiser Komsomolets and captured it, they were eventually sunk by other Russian ships but before sinking destroyed two destroyers and a frigate. Thus at the end on the second day it appeared that Ethiopia would once again be victorious. However, this was not to be the case as Sidenko had one ace up his sleeve that he knew the Ethiopians couldn't counter.
At 09:00 hours Sidenko ordered the submarines Ryazan, Zelenograd, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Podolsok, Svyatoy Georgiy Pobedonosets (Saint George the Victorious), Tomsk, Vilyuchinsk and Omsk to surface and take position alongside the Kirov. Knowing the Anti-Missile defence frequencies of the Ethiopian and Indian fleets gave him one huge advantage. He knew that in terms of skill the Ethiopian crewmen were better than his but his more advanced technology gave him an advantage. The Kuznetsov then launched a heavily modified Yak-41 with a signal jammer, as it came in range of the Ethiopian fleet Sidenko ordered his submarines and the Kirov to fire their missiles. Without adequate missile defenses the ASM's slammed into the Ethiopian fleet destroying most of its large ships. Knowing the battle to over, Bhasin and Karikare surrended and agreed to ceed the trophy to Sidenko. However they both warned that next year things would be different.