Not to be confused with the Confederate Longbow Helicopter MK I.
|AH-53L Longbow "Liberator" Attack Helicopter|
|A pair of Longbow Liberators on an operation.|
|Unit Type||Attack Helicopter|
|Secondary Ability||Activate Missile Pods|
Switches to missiles for 8 seconds, 25 second cooldown
|Dev. Status||In game|
"They out number us five-to-one. If they run away now, they "might" out number us three-to-one."
- - Liberator Pilot
- True Liberation: A speedy attack helicopter benefiting from the full weight of Allied technological prowess, the Liberator bristles with deadly weapons that will make short work of any number of foes. Its primary weapon is a 20mm autocannon that tears infantry, light vehicles, and other helicopters apart.
- No chance on Terra Firma: While the Liberator's autocannon may not be effective against heavy armour, this is no reason for tank crews to rejoice. Should the Liberator encounter heavier targets, it can arm its missiles, allowing it to launch a devastating barrage of anti-tank ordnance capable of punching through any thickness of armour.
- Beware of Fast Movers: However, the platform is not without its weaknesses. Lacking weapons capable of quickly dealing with defensive structures or the armour to stand up to prolonged attack, it must carefully avoid anti-air emplacements. Furthermore, its missiles will expend themselves after eight seconds, and reloads can take quite some time.
- Stealth Copter: Allied research into ways of reducing "radar-cross section" has yielded some interesting discoveries, and some of the fruits of this research have been applied to the latest Longbow Liberator production models. These Longbows are very difficult to detect as a result; however, production has just began, meaning only a few examples exist so far.
Operational HistoryAllied High Command ordered the production of first generation Longbows in 1953. Serving with distinction throughout the Second World War (though admittedly, little more than fodder for MiG or YaK pilots), the Longbow Mk. 1 continued to see action until late 1967, when 13 helicopters were lost in action during the Battle of Cuba to anti-aircraft fire from flak troopers. It was a public relations nightmare, as the Longbow had been pushed at the "face" of the Allied military over the last few years due to its extreme effectiveness.
A new design was ordered and the old Longbows were unceremoniously dumped in the Boneyard. Within the space of a few months, Allied engineers had unleashed a new Longbow design, one that was quickly put into production. From this humble origin, the completely re-worked Longbow Liberator was a masterpiece, passing every test and showing remarkable battlefield performance; the Liberator's 20mm "Pyrocumulus" autocannon was superbly effective against not only infantry but also light vehicles and even helicopters, while its "Dragonblaster" missiles packed enough power to level even the dreaded Apocalypse tanks. They served with distinction for the remainder of the Third World War, though there were never quite enough to go around.
Originally, it was the intention of the designers that the Longbow Liberator should be equipped with a stealth system in order to make it invisible. The initial plans were to use either camoscanners or GAP technology, but camoscanners proved too bulky, and the best engineers of the Allies failed to remove the bubble effect. With pressure to put the design into production at the time, the stealth system was put on hold. A stealth system would only be implemented after the war's end.
Research had already been ongoing into a way of reducing radar-cross sections before the start of the war, in hopes of developing a new bomber that could penetrate the Soviet air defence network. Though a working aircraft was never produced, the Peacekeepers have since shown interest in the possible application of this stealth technology to other aircraft. The most promising results so far have been with special Longbow Liberators redesigned to be more stealthy; Allied Command has already authorised production of these "radar-invisible" Longbow Liberators, though their small numbers means they have yet to make much of an impact.
Just the Stats
|Advanced Attack Helicopter|
|Pyrocumulus 20mm Cannon (Surface)|
|Pyrocumulus 20mm Cannon (Air)|
|Limited Ammo(12), Tracking, Vehicles Only|