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KA-6 Hind Attack HelicopterEdit
|(Minor) faction(s)||Soviet Union|
The Allied introduction of the AH-53 Longbow and their putting into practice the novel concept of "air cavalry" was bound, sooner than later, to provoke a Soviet response. Certainly, the Soviets would not let things stand when their prized tank divisions were being blown into scrap metal by anti tank rockets by Allied Longbows, their bases destroyed by Allied strike teams transported by Bluejay, yet the Soviet Air Force lacked even a single functional attack helicopter.
The Soviet response came soon enough. Shortly after Allied forces supported by Longbows routed the entire 3rd Tank Division (and destroyed a previously unheard number of Mammoth tanks), Stalin himself (or so it is said) ordered Krasna Aerospace to have a working attack helicopter ready for production in six weeks.
However true that may have been, Krasna managed to finalise and submit their design in that time. To put it simply, the engineers at Krasna took the first helicopter they could find and slapped on some armour and weaponry. After five weeks of blowing up helicopters and their pilots, Krasna finally succeeded with one of their prototypes (a KA-1 utility helicopter with a hastily fitted gun pod and its ammunition) didn't crash shortly after takeoff (or indeed, at any other time during the test flight), Krasna took the helicopter, designated it the KA-6 Hind, and sent it to Soviet high command. Unsurprisingly, (considering that they had no other alternative and badly wanted a working gunship on the frontlines as soon as possible) Soviet high command accepted the helicopter. It proved easy to modify the rest of the Union's inventory of KA-1s to KA-6s, and redeploy them to the frontlines for combat duties. Soon, hastily constructed helipads all over the front were servicing and supporting Hinds.
However, the impromptu gunship was only a stopgap solution, and wasn't exactly perfect. Krasna continued to make refinements to the Hind, adding more armour, expanding the cargo bay's ammunition capacity, and so on. Numerous models of the Hind would be produced during the war, but the one that is best remembered in both the minds of Allied and Soviet soldiers is the KA-6D Hind-D, the helicopter's fourth and definitive iteration, and the mainstay attack helicopter of the Soviet Union for the rest of the war.
Unlike the previous iterations, which were all improvised gunships, the Hind-D was the first model that could be considered a true attack helicopter, Krasna having completely redesigned the airframe from bottom up. The Hind-D sported a Yak-B Gatling cannon, a departure from previous models, which had all made use of crudely welded gun pods. It wasn't long before this model of the Hind had become both feared and hated by Allied infantrymen; even more so than the infamous YaK-5 (aka the Infantry Eraser). Successive models would be introduced, but even by the war's end, the Hind-D still outnumbered any other model of the Hind, although newer models began to supplant the Hind-D following the end of the war.
One of the few complaints about the Hind was that its weapons lacked anti tank capability. This would go on to be a major sticking point for the rest of the war, since, as Soviet commanders would point out, the Allied Longbow had anti tank weaponry, yet the Hind didn't (Krasna engineers countered by pointing out that the Longbow lacked any sort of anti infantry weapon).
That is not to say that the designers and engineers at Krasna didn't try. Throughout the war, they tested several prototype variants of the Hind. However, all these had some problem or another. Plans for a missile armed Hind had to be postponed when Krasna ran into problems regarding the mounting of pylons, which could not be solved in any reasonable amount of time (a missile armed attack helicopter, the KA-24, did eventually enter service, but only at the end of the war). Another promising project, a Hind model armed with three 60mm cannons, had to be scrapped, as the Soviets couldn't find a metal that wouldn't be ripped apart by the stresses subjected to the airframe by the firing of the cannons. Some of the other projects involved an experimental hybrid of transport and gunship, a concept that would later be brought to fruition with the Twinblade, and a Hind model which was armed with a folding howitzer that could be deploy while the helicopter was landed (unfortunately, it was found that there was no room for ammo for either the machine guns or the howitzer; besides, the recoil of the howitzer proved too much for the airframe to handle). The introduction of the Twinblade during the interwar period made the Hind obsolete, and as of 1969 it has been largely phased out of Soviet military service, though some other countries continue to make use of the helicopters.
Main Article: Twinblade
Fighters & InterceptorsEdit
Mikevich-Gurevoyan MiG-9 bis Jet InterceptorEdit
Main Article: MiG Nine
Mikevich-Gurevoyan MiG-19E Jet FighterEdit
Main Article: MiG Fighter
Konevolev Ko-21 Komet Heavy InterceptorEdit
|(Minor) faction(s)||Soviet Union|
When the Soviets first learnt of the Allied B-9 Artemis project - a precision strike bomber based of the Thrush spy plane - their reaction was one of absolute horror. The Soviets were already all too well familiar with the Thrush - a Mach 3 capable aircraft that proved virtually uninterceptable - it could fly at altitudes beyond the flight ceilings of even the highest performance fighters in the Soviet Air Force, and the only Soviet weapon capable of extending its reach to such heights - the advanced SAM sites that guarded important facilities within the motherland - could be foiled by the immense speed of the Thrush, so great it could simply outrun any surface to air missiles hurled at it. The news that an armed version of this seemingly invincible plane was just too much to bear.
Without anything in their inventory that could counter this new threat, the Soviet Union would find itself in a position where even the most sensitive and guarded targets deep in the heart of Soviet Russia would be completely vulnerable. Such a situation was, of course, completely unacceptable to the officers of the Soviet Union. The general officers of the Soviet armed forces thus initiated several different projects, in the hope that at least one would provide them with a viable defence against the Artemis bomber. Among these were a new, more advanced surface to air missile (which was one of only two projects that actually worked), a magnetic air defence system that would pluck all the aircraft in an area out of the sky (unfortunately, as this weapon affected a large area, it would also down friendly aircraft, and had a nasty tendency to pull aircraft, with fuel tanks and explosive munitions, towards itself, with explosive consequences), a spectrum beam battery that could also be used to shoot down missiles (the Soviets only got so far as one, crude, non functioning replica of a Spectrum Tower before the research facility in Kazakhstan was levelled by several exploding fuel depots. Why the depots were placed so near to the critical buildings, no one knows. A few claim that the facility's destruction was no accident, but the work of saboteurs, armed with submachine guns and explosive charges), and the Ko-21 "Komet" Heavy Ramjet Interceptor project, undertaken by the Konevolev Design Bureau.
The Soviets had already been experimenting with ramjets as early as the 1930s. However, the development of ramjets, while promising, had been halted when funding and manpower was diverted instead to rocketry instead. Now, the designers at the Konevolev Design Bureau put the work done on ramjets to use. Their first step was to design a ramjet engine and attach it to an old MiG-9. It managed to not crash on its first flight, so the designers continued with the next step and built a durable airframe around the engine. Once that was done, the fighter was found to perform extremely well at high altitudes and speeds. However, there was a problem with the design; ramjets performed terribly at low speeds, and couldn't take off under their own power. The attempts at mimicking the hybrid turboramjet used on the Thrush ended rather explosively (several were wounded, though none were killed, fortunately), and the designers racked their brains for several days before realising the solution was staring them in the face.
During testing, they had simply attached crude rocket boosters to propel the craft until the ramjets could take over. They had worked during testing, but would be too crude for the actual production model. Or so they reasoned. It took several days to design a new rocket engine, and this was incorporated into the design. During takeoff, the pilot would use the rocket engine; once they had reached the optimum speed and height, the rocket would cut out, and the ramjets would kick in. Such a mechanism would allow the Ko-21 to accelerate and climb extremely quickly; with the new rocket engine, the interceptor could reach top speeds surpassing the Thrush.
For armament, apart from a pair of 23mm cannon for boring in at close range, the Komet also uses a pair of R99X "Annihilator" air to air missiles - these high performance weapons were designed specifically to intercept fast flying planes such as the Artemis or Thrush. With a massive range of nearly 200 km - the longest range of any air to air missile to date - combined with the capability to reach speeds of up to Mach 4 - more than fast enough to chase down even a Mach 3 capable bomber - and a powerful high explosive warhead more than capable of ripping apart said bomber, the Annihilator, working in conjunction with the Komet's immensely powerful radar, would be able to chase down and shoot down even the formerly invincible Thrushes - in theory, at least.
Interestingly, the aircraft uses a triangular airframe, in order to better withstand the stresses of Mach 3 flight, and this had led to it having a uncannily similar appearance to the Allied Apollo, to the point that ACIN mistakenly believed for a time that the Ko-21 was a knockoff of the Apollo. However, whatever its shape, the Komet served its purpose, as its existence proved enough to deter flights of Artemis bombers from mounting any more than a few token strikes on the Soviet hinterland throughout the duration of the war. The high costs and maintenance requirements, not to mention the considerable limitations of the Komet - such as its need for a conventional runway - means that its deployment is restricted to airbases deep within Soviet territory, and is unlikely to be deployed on the frontlines any time soon, if ever.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- Based on the MiG-25, but also the German Me 163 Komet.
Bombers & Ground Attack PlanesEdit
Yakovlev Yak-5 Dive BomberEdit
Main Article: YaK Dive Bomber
Ilyushin Il-8 Shturmovik Attack PlaneEdit
Main Article: Shturmovik Attack Plane
Tu-15 Bear BomberEdit
|(Minor) faction(s)||Soviet Union|
The initial deployment of jet aircraft in 1949 by the fledgling Allied Nations came as somewhat of a shock to the Soviet Union, which lacked anything comparable at the time. The impressive speeds that fighters like the German Vampir could attain convinced Stalin to order that the Soviet Union develop its own jet fighters, in order to counter the advantage the Allies had. This eventually culminated in the deployment of the MiG-9 fighter in 1952, which proved devastatingly effective in combat with Allied fighters.
Of course, the Soviet Union wasn't just going to stop at jet fighters. Equally impressed by the speed of the German made Ar 236 "Blitz" jet bombers, Stalin wanted the Soviet Union to have a jet powered bomber of their own. Early attempts by the Soviets were limited to light and medium bombers due to the low thrust of early jet engines, and it was not until the development of more powerful turbojet engines that the Soviets were able to get a large jet powered bomber up in the air; the Tupelov Tu-15 "Bear".
The Bear's debut was in 1952, around the same time as the MiG-9 fighter. Held aloft by its engines, the Tu-15 could achieve impressive speeds compared to older Soviet bombers or Allied heavy bombers like the B-15 Skyfortress. While it needed a conventional airfield to take off, it possessed the range to get to the frontlines, unlike other, smaller, jet powered bombers. Capable of dropping scores of bombs on targets, the Bear also had the capability to drop Soviet paratroopers behind enemy lines, where they could inflict damage on Allied forces. While the 40mm AA guns of the Allies could shoot these bombers down, doing so was sometimes tricky because of their speed and height ceiling. All in all, the Tu-15 Bears were able to inflict considerable damage on the Allies, carpet bombing dozens of bases throughout the last three years of the war, though their effectiveness was reduced following the introduction of the Hawker Jumpjet in 1954.
Following the war, the Bear was replaced by the newer, turboprop engined Badger bombers, which, among other things, boasted a considerably larger payload and equivalent speeds, as well as a superior range. However, the Bear still lives on as the Tu-106 passenger airliner, a variant of the Tu-15 intended for civilian use.
Tu-24 Badger Strategic BomberEdit
|(Minor) faction(s)||Soviet Union|
|Mod Relevance||In game|
Every year the Soviet Union holds a military parade in Moscow to celebrate its "victory" in World War 2. Western journalists are often invited, as the Soviet Union wants to show off just how powerful the Red Army is. For the 1962 Victory Parade, it was promised that the "Badger" would show up, and make the Allies tremble. The parade was the usual: huge numbers of tanks and artillery, until the real star of the parade soon roared overhead above the cheering crowd. A mighty plane with more engines than it could possibly need, it stunned Allied intelligence. Not only had the Soviets made a bomber in complete secrecy, but intelligence knew if the Soviets were willing to show one, it meant that dozens of "Soviet Centuries" must have been built already, and more would certainly be under construction.The strength of the Badger is its versatility. Instead of the usual Soviet method of making one ungainly machine for each role, it made one ungainly machine for all. Filled with bombs, the Badger is a strategic bomber, assisted by the finest of Soviet bombing equipment (map, some rulers, and a pencil). Armed with one small but powerful bomb, it's a passable dive bomber. With its bay cleared, it can drop paratroopers. With its bay filled with seats and with caviar on hand, it's a fine transport for VIPs. Filled with medicine and doctors, it can land at the front or a disaster area and be converted into a field hospital.
The secret to the Badger's capability is its many engines. The Badger is simply one of the most overpowered planes ever built; a comparable, normal plane would only need two. But the extra engines allow it to carry much more than first glance would suggest. Despite being slighter than the Century, it carries a comparable amount. A rugged quintcycle landing gear allows the Badger to land on the crudest airfields, from roads to flattened grass. The one major disadvantage to this fine plane is that the extra fuel carried makes the plane more vulnerable. In the air a fighter would have trouble hitting the fuel tanks. If the Badgers are on the ground, however, accuracy can be assured, so a single Peacekeeper could theoretically destroy an entire squadron!
Behind the ScenesEdit
- The Badger appears when Natasha calls an airstrike, when a commander calls a Desolator Airstrike, and many times in the campaign.
- EA seems to have gotten inspiration from the Kalinin K-7, only with rear facing engines.
Slava Assault AirshipEdit
|(Minor) faction(s)||Soviet Union|
|Designation||Anti Air/Anti Surface|
WWII saw a major reintroduction of airships into aerial warfare. While a scout plane might be able to make a few quick passes and take a few photos, a surveillance blimp could linger over the target, constantly radioing coordinates of targets to artillery regiments based tens of kilometres away, allowing them to zone in on targets and destroy them. Airships played a vital role, especially in the cold and mountainous climates of Northern Europe, where ground based scouts could not traverse the rugged terrain and fast planes struggled to climb in the thin air. However, as usage of airships become more and more widespread, countermeasures for them were also being quickly developed.
Fast response squadrons were quickly drafted, and new aircraft pressed into service to deal with the zeppelin threat. The Soviets responded by arming their spotter ships, but they were still exceptionally vulnerable during the time between them spotting the target and relaying the coordinates to the artillery, to the shells actually landing. The lack of accuracy of Soviet artillery did not help the situation either, and it was often necessary for them to readjust their firing trajectories several times before they could actually hit the target. Soon, this "lag time" became the leading cause of loss of airships, claiming nearly one airship a day.
This continued until the closing days of WWII. A lowly technician was suddenly struck with an idea to eliminate the "lag time" entirely. Simply put, instead of the airship calling for artillery, the airship would become the artillery. He quickly informed his superior of the idea (who was probably drunk at the time), who surprisingly gave his approval. The plan went up to Soviet High Command, whom felt that the design might be strange, but was potentially feasible. Thus, they asked a small department of Krasna Aerospace responsible for making weather surveillance balloons to take up the plan and see how far they could go with it. The design team was naturally baffled by the prospect, as most of them could not even tell one end of a gun from the other. They quickly enlisted the help of their friends next door in the bomber department.
While the response from the bomber designers was hardly enthusiastic, they were able to obtain vital information and parts, such as the bomb release bay as well as the ball turrets being used on Soviet bombers. With these valuable parts in hand, the designers painstaking came up with a way to cobble all the parts together into a functioning war machine. The airship used for the project was the "Slava", the largest meteorological zeppelin in service. By removing most of the scientific equipment and crew lodgings, they were able to free up enough space to put in the bomb bay as well as half a dozen ball turrets. A makeshift bombardier post and bomb sights were installed, and additional engine pods were attached to increase its speed. In a mere two months, the Slava was transformed from a weather forecasting system to a weapons platform, all by using existing technology.
Due to time and resource constraints, the Slava was immediately pressed into service without a trial. Honestly speaking, no one expected it to last very long, not even the engineers themselves. Yet a mere two weeks into its military service, the Slava claimed its first victim, an Allied military outpost situated in a valley flanked by two tall mountains. The Allies attempted to get their fighters into the air to shoot down the airship, but as it turned out, there were no airbases in range. In the next few weeks, the Slava continued to terrorise Allied troops at the front, who had no idea how to deal with it. Pleased by its success, the Soviet command ordered the full production of the new Slava class Assault Airship.
However, as the first batch began rolling off the production line, the war between the two nations came to an end. The Slavas never saw significant action; however, they were proof that airships were in no way obsolete, and were here to stay for years to come. Over time, the Slava would serve as the basis for many new designs, including the Kirov Airship as well as the Barrage Balloon and the Zhukov War Zeppelin. The Slava was truly the father of the Soviet airship armada, and even today it still serves the Soviets as a command vehicle, providing field commanders with an excellent view of the battle as it progresses.
Main Article: Kirov Airship
Main Article: Barrage Balloon
Zhukov War ZeppelinEdit
Main Article: Zhukov War Zeppelin