1030-1200 Hours- Following the emergency broadcast from the stricken Tu-95 Bear, and the ill-considered acknowledgements by other Soviet aircraft, the search for signs of the enemy surface action groups intensified. USAF F-15 Eagles did locate and dispatch the second Bear, but the Helix remained airborne and undetected. As time went on, radio traffic between Soviet ships was picked up at briefly at irregular intervals. The big break came when electronic emissions from a Kara class cruiser were detected. By 1200 hours, US P-3s and the Sentry had established a solid fix on a formation of Soviet warships suspected to contain one Kiev class carrier. The data was pushed to Strike Fleet Atlantic’s battle staff on Mount Whitney, and CVW-9 aboard Kitty Hawk. Planning for a Sierra Strike on the group begins immediately.
1300 Hours– CVW-9 aircraft are launched from Kitty Hawk. By launch time, the Soviet formation has been positively identified as the Kiev group. An hour and fifteen minutes later the air wing conducts a successful attack. Kiev, the Sverdlov class cruiser Murmansk, and Kara class missile cruiser Ochakov are all sunk. Another cruiser, and two destroyers receive heavy damage. Twelve Yak-38 Forgers, and three Ka-27 Helix helicopters are destroyed by US Navy F-14s. US losses are limited to a pair of A-7 Corsair IIs.
1430 Hours– News of the attack on Kiev reaches Northern Fleet’s headquarters. Admiral Kapitanets redoubles efforts to find the US carrier responsible for conducting the attack. The fleet commander, and his staff engage in a debate about whether to order the Kirov/Baku group north to protect it, or send it south. No decision is reached.
1500 Hours– The demise of the Kiev group energizes NATO’s efforts to find the other Soviet surface groups.
1630 Hours- With a RORSAT pass expected over the Norwegian Sea shortly, Task Force 20.5 and Task Force 21.3 conduct course changes, and start deception maneuvers.
1800 Hours– Data and photography from the late afternoon RORSAT pass are indecisive. Long Range Aviation, and their naval counterparts press Northern Fleet to get the bomber force involved in the fray even without accurate targeting data. Kapitanets declines, opting to wait for the next RORSAT pass, which will take place in seven hours.
2015 Hours– A Victor II attack submarine discovers the outer screen of Task Force 20.5. Undetected, the sub’s captain maneuvers his boat to penetrate but is soon found. A cat and mouse game with US frigates, destroyers, and ASW helicopters develops.
2100 Hours- Radio comms from the ASW activity are picked up by a Bear one hundred and eighty miles north of the US task force. The aircraft commander sends a message and is rewarded a short while later by having his Tu-95 destroyed by two AIM-54s launched by a Tomcat flying CAP.
2130 Hours- The captain of the Victor II realizes it will only be a matter of time before the Americans sink his submarine. He’s evaded three torpedoes already, but the writing is on the wall. He orders the sub to periscope depth and transmits a message to Severomorsk reporting the current location of his boat, and informing his superiors that a US aircraft carrier is likely nearby. The message was transmitted 120 seconds before a Mk-46 torpedo sent the Victor II class submarine and its entire crew to the bottom of the Norwegian Sea.