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Kirov Airship
File:IconSovietKirov.png
350px
The Kirov
Faction SovietLogoThumb Soviet Union
Unit Type Airship
Designation Anti Surface
Prerequisites
Production Building Airfield
Secondary Ability Switch Gastroburner/Normal movement
File:AbilitySovietKirov.pngFile:AbilitySovietKirov2.png
Higher speed, but damages Kirov/Slow non-damaging movement
Cost $3000
Production Time 0:30
Heroic Upgrade 105mm howitzer (anti-tank weapon)
Dev. Status RA3 Original Unit
Country of Origin  RussianSFSRthumb Russian SFSR
Manufactured at  Krasna Aerospace, Moscow
Key Features  » "BOR-57 Grom" 1500kg bomb payload
 » Self-sealing flame-resistant envelope
 » Gastroburner chemical dispenser
 » Luxurious lounge and kitchenette
 » Intimidating "Shark-Tooth" paint job

"Kirov reporting!"

- Kirov Airship captain

Tactical Analysis Edit

  • Luxury at a premium: Kirov Airships are new and in high demand, and therefore in short supply. While increasing numbers of Soviet airbases are being given authority to manufacture these dirigibles locally, this process is time-consuming and expensive.
  • Limitless bombs: In spite of the huge size of the Kirov, it fits only a small number of individuals. Although it could conceivably carry hundreds of passengers, it instead holds thousands of bombs -- more than enough for any single battle. In addition, a 85mm turret mounted cannon is being trialed on a few highly decorated Kirovs. Preliminary results have shown a significant increase in the number of vehicles killed as a result of the upgrade.
  • Gastroburners: Kirov pilots have access to a special chemical compound that, when released into the engine block, causes the mighty airship to reach a greater-than-usual top speed. The drawback is that this slowly damages the Kirov's airframe.
  • Explosive Potential: While no Kirov has ever been shot down according to official (Soviet) records, it is often theorised that the hydrogen gas within the Kirov's envelope would likely ignite catastrophically in the unlikely event one should ever fail.

WWIII Operational History Edit

"Aw... look, is that your house?"

-A Kirov captain, about to destroy another target
File:KirovArtwork.jpg
The unprecedented new Kirov Airship symbolizes the Soviet military's sheer size, strength, steadfastness, and, some might say, its propensity for excess. Named for its maiden launch over Kirov oblast, this dirigible is specially-built for war. A rigid, unbreakable frame and heavy-duty envelope make the massive vessel virtually indestructible, and its oversized cargo hold packs thousands of armour-piercing bombs, while an industrial-strength engine block and manoeuvre props somehow keep the thing aloft.

By contrast with some other more-conventional Soviet forces, no expense was spared in either the design or the manufacture of these flying behemoths. Krasna Aerospace introduced the Kirov into the Union's arsenal only two years ago, and already it has changed the way modern air combat is waged, while silencing critics who once accused Krasna's past success with its Twinblade gunship to be a one-time fluke.

Given its pure role as a heavy bomber, the Kirov's only real shortcoming is its inarguable lack of speed -- a problem that is partly resolved by the Kirov's posh living quarters and spectacular panoramic viewports, which let their prestigious pilot-bombardiers blissfully pass the time while their aircraft steadily trudge along toward their unfortunate targets.

File:Early Kirov Airship.jpg
Along the way, Kirovs are able to simply shrug off most anti-aircraft fire, including attacks from enemy fighters. It is true, though, that Kirovs have no means of retaliating against enemy aircraft, so the Union does tend to send escort fighters of her own to watch over each mighty vessel, just in case. Further, Krasna Aerospace has equipped this year's Kirov models with special fuel injectors that provide the airship with a significant burst of speed, though this is used sparingly for safety reasons.

Of course, the greatest safety concern lies with the Kirov's enemies. Even but one such gigantic vessel has within it the capacity to bring ruin to an entire military installation or enemy armour division. As if this weren't enough, recent reports claim that the Soviet Union is now exploring new ways of mass-producing Kirovs in an offshore plant, while fitting them with even more powerful munitions. Such reports may well be false. For example, there is simply no physical way a Kirov could be built from a Soviet war factory, despite insistent speculation that one of these tank plants -- so common on the Soviet front -- has within it the capacity to launch aircraft.

Predictably, Kirov Airships are flown only by the most decorated Soviet officers with years of good political standing, who enjoy lavish accommodations and fine dining inside the Kirov's 200-square-metre living quarters. Even so, stories abound about the ruthlessness of Kirov pilot-bombardiers, who -- if the psychological profiling is to be believed -- are so impatient for combat yet feel so removed from it that they tend to use their bombs with liberal, merciless abandon.

Post War Operational History Edit

Each Kirov Airship, as one might expect, is a tremendously expensive asset, constructed at a great cost in raw materials. Their bomb-carrying capacity gives them unrivalled destructive power, and the appearance of even one of these majestic zeppelins can terrify the bravest of soldiers. Naturally, given their expense and value to the Soviet military, the loss of a Kirov is a matter of no small import (especially since they are commonly portrayed as being invincible in Soviet propaganda).

After the war had ended and the Soviets began to count their losses, a review of the number of Kirovs downed during the war quickly led to a short and rather unpleasant phone call from the Kremlin to the Kirov assembly plant. Make sure another debacle like Brighton doesn't happen again, or else.

Eventually, it was determined that one of the biggest weaknesses with the Kirov was that it couldn't reliably hit moving targets. Though stationary buildings didn't stand a chance against the Kirov's massive bombload, anti-air vehicles such as Multigunner IFVs presented targets too small to hit accurately with the bombs--worse, they could just move out of the way before the zeppelin released its payload.

Against such moving targets, another weapon would be needed--while suggestions to mount anti-tank missiles were considered and rejected, the solution that eventually won out was to mount a 155mm howitzer onto the Kirov. This retrofit would not be very costly or take up an unacceptable portion of the Kirov's payload capacity, so it was quickly approved for all Kirov airships to receive the refit. However, the slow pace of retrofitting means that only a few Kirovs have been upgraded thus far.

Just the StatsEdit

Kirov Airship
Regenerator(4)
Heavy Bomber
Cost 3000
Build Time 0:30
Health 1500
Speed 25
Armour Type Thick Skinned
Bombs
Intimidate(100), Knock-Back
Blast
Range 0
RPS 1
Damage 50
Suppression 50
DPS 50
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SovietLogo
Soviet Union Red Army

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