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ANZACs Over the Falklands

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Just a fun little scenario I've been working on (probably not for release), thought I'd share-


The setup:


By the end of the 1960s, HMAS Melbourne is aging. Australia begins actively seeking a replacement, wanting to retain the ASW and force projection capabilities naval aviation offers for many years to come. In 1975 the US government offers Australia the recently mothballed USS Bon Homme Richard for the nominal price of $1, having no use for the WWII-era but modernized flattop and wanting to keep the ANZUS pact strong. The Royal Australian Navy acquires the "Bonnie Dick" and finds it relatively easy to transition its mostly American-made fixed wing carrier force to the Essex class ship, which is renamed HMAS Australia. But with the larger ship comes expanded capabilities that the existing force of A-4G Skyhawks and S-2 Trackers cannot fulfill. The decision is made to purchase a squadron of F-4K Phantom fighters from the Royal Navy, which the British are all too ready to be rid of with the impending demise of HMS Ark Royal. These aircraft are specifically built to operate off of smaller carriers and fit in perfectly as a multirole fleet defense/heavy attack fighter.


At the same time, the RAN sees the need for a dedicated but versatile amphibious assault ship, eventually setting on the new Tarawa class LHD being built in America. HMAS Sydney can embark a full battalion of Army troops as well as Army Aviation and Fleet Air Arm helicopters and up to six AV-8A Harriers, operated by the re-formed No. 76 Squadron of the RAAF.


In a surprise move, New Zealand expresses interest in acquiring the Melbourne. The Kiwis are looking for a "Strategic Sealift Vessel," capable of delivering humanitarian aid throughout the South Pacific. The large hangar space and aviation capabilities make Melbourne perfect for this role, despite her age. She is renamed HMNZS Auckland. In a unique twist, however, New Zealand retains Auckland's fixed wing facilities, and modifies the RNZAF Skyhawks to be carrier capable. In times of crisis, a detachment of Skyhawks can embark on Auckland and she can be deployed in her old role as a carrier.


And so it was that in the Spring of 1982, Australia and New Zealand shocked the world by deciding to join their Commonwealth ally's effort to take back the Falkland Islands. A taskforce of 17 ships, already at sea as part of a training exercise, sails halfway around the world through the treacherous Southern Ocean, arriving on stating at roughly the same time as the British. The addition of the ANZAC forces brings fast jets to the Allied side, although with both sides now operating skyhawks, visual identification of bogeys is essential. The battle for the Falklands/Malvinas begins...


(that's the best backstory I could come up with, anyway; I just wanted to fly Skyhawks and Phantoms on the blue side in this campaign!)



Australia steams into battle (wrench's mod)



Auckland with her embarked Kiwi Hawks



Sydney sails for the beachhead



A-4K heads for the Islands



RAAF Harriers (my paint scheme, borrowing some decals from the Aussie Mirage DLC)



Strike package of Phantoms from No. 808 Squadron (Sheriff001's skin)



No. 805 Squadron's venerable Skyhawks


Hope you enjoyed!

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Thank guys, means a lot! The Harrier is the stock GR.1 model and texture with squadron markings off the the Mirage IIIO DLC. simple mod, but I thought it came out well. In this scenario the Aussies use the harrier in a role similar to the USMC, so I envision the RAAF flying CAS for the Army (no Australian Marines). There were proposals to purchase Hermes or a modified Iwo Jima class LPH to replacing Melbourne, in which case you may well have seen some Aussie Shars!


Some more shots in better light:







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