Probably quite a bit harder than R1.
You start in Antares and the turning point of the war. The Terrans have just managed to halt the EA advance into Antares and are pushing them back into Beta Aquilae. The GTVA prepares to retake its capital system, and then move on to Sol. The main story follows the R1 campaign counterpart, advance a bit, Shivans show up, then the march to Sol. Though things are quite different this time. New characters appear in the main story including two called Carter and Karpinsky. Though I won't tell you anything about them
Your home ship is the Oracle, a Leneaus class carrier under the Independence fleet (can't remember the fleet number off the top of my head) though you'll move around a bit as needed.