Rejected, but not forgotten
This article (Ursa Major), is about a unit, building or other aspect that has been cut or changed significantly in the game or lore.
Still, lore is a terrible thing to waste, so instead of deleting it, Team Paradox decided to preserve it for all to see. It is, of course, not canon, and not applicable for the game.
|(Minor) faction(s)||Soviet Union|
|Mod Relevance||Cut content|
During the Second World War, Joseph Stalin ordered the research and development of dozens of new and unconventional weapons and technologies, hoping to develop a "wonder weapon" that would allow the USSR to dominate the world. Under the then-newly formed Ministry of Experimental Science, research into numerous fields thrived. Robotics, superheavy tanks, the Iron Curtain, immense aircraft carriers, ballistic rocketry, superguns, orbital weapons, a (failed) nuclear programme; there are even some rumours of a psychic programme that was later purged by Premier Cherdenko. Nothing was insane enough or infeasible enough to deter Stalin, it seemed, and funding flowed to countless self-proclaimed inventors who claimed they had a war-winning idea. Of course, many of these ideas were completely unworkable or outright nonsense, and many people ended up being sent to the gulags when their proposals failed to work. However, out of all these ideas, there were quite a number that turned out to be successful (the Soviet superheavy tanks being one such example).
One of the best known (successful) programmes undertaken by the Soviets was into the field of cybernetics. The fact that the Soviet cybernetics programme was so well-known can be attributed largely to the endeavours of Volkov and Chitzkoi, the two highly successful results of the programme. However, it is not so well known outside of the Soviet Union that Soviet research into cybernetics ground to a complete halt following World War II.
Following the end of the war, the Soviet Union's cybernetic researchers and specialists began dying or defecting; worse still, the main cybernetics research facility burned down in a catastrophic fire, taking with it most of the Soviet Union's collected data on cybernetics. Some of the deaths appear to have been caused by natural causes; others were clearly murder. Some even speculated that Volkov was responsible; no one knows for certain. What is known is that, with the loss of just about everyone related to the Soviet cybernetics programme, the science of cybernetics in Russia had been dealt a crippling blow and would take years to recover. In that period of time, others (namely the Mediterranean Syndicate) were able to catch up and overtake the Soviets.
It wasn't until well into World War III that Soviet cybernetics finally got back on track. It was around this time that researchers were finally able to rediscover how the original cybernetic researchers had managed to keep decapacitated heads alive. While the suggestion of human experimentation was rejected, Soviet scientists were given the go-ahead to experiment on war bears that had been crippled in combat. The results have been mostly successful, enough that the Ministry has green-lighted returning these war bears to active duty.
These bears, dubbed Ursa Majors by some smart-mouthed alec, have had much of their original bodies replaced by robotic parts. Due to this heavy cybernetic augmentation, Ursa Majors have numerous advantages over regular war bears. For one, their physical strength and durability is greatly enhanced; their iridium plated claws and motorised joints allow them to rip steel plates in half, while their augmented bodies can withstand far more punishment than any biological bear possibly could. An added advantage is that Ursa Majors require far less supplies; unlike regular war bears, Ursa Majors do not have an entire body that needs to be nourished; there are less biological parts that require sustenance, though the cybernetic components do require a constant supply of fresh batteries to keep going. Of course, since their heads are still those of bears, the honeyrage inducers of normal war bears still work, driving the bear's brain into a frenzy. The downside is that a robotic war bear costs more than a biological war bear; furthermore, the Ministry of Experimental Science requires that it have a team of observers on the field in order to monitor the effectiveness of the Ursa Majors in battle.
Needless to say, the Ursa Major programme was even more strongly condemned than the war bears. Nevertheless, field trials were initiated close to the end of World War III, and are still ongoing for the time being. Reports from the field have been most promising, with videos showing Ursa Majors tearing vehicles apart; already, Allied soldiers have come to fear Ursa Majors even more than regular war bears. There is a possibility that the programme might end up being shut down in the future, but for the time being, the Ursa Majors will continue to see combat.