Soviet Kirov on display
|For other units of the same name, see Kirov airship.|
|“|| I don't think we've met!|
- Kirov Airship when ordered to attack
During the War of the Three Powers, Kirov Airships of a similar design (and similar notoriety) to the Third World War version were used by the Soviet Air force. Unlike its predecessor, however, Soviet engineers included "Gastroburner" engines which could be activated, burning a highly volatile gas giving it a brief boost in speed.
The Kirov is a Soviet icon and one of the most feared units in the Soviet arsenal. A handful of these zeppelins can destroy a base; the ones armed with 50 megaton bombs can destroy entire cities with a single blow.
|“|| Aw... look, is that your house?|
- Kirov on a bombing rampage.
Highly destructive and able to repair itself, should it sustain damage, the WWIV Kirov is very similar to the GWWIII one, right down to its famous shark mouth markings on the nose. Although somewhat less heavily armoured than its predecessor, this version of the Kirov can still sustain a great deal of damage. While somewhat faster than the GWWIII Airship, it is still abysmally slow, although this can be mitigated to an extent using the Gastroburners (see below).
The WWIV Airships are deployed from Airfields. They cost $2500 and also require the construction of a Battle Lab to enter the battlefield.
|“|| *sniffs* Can you smell that?...|
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 titanium compact frame and heavy-duty envelope make the massive vessel virtually indestructible, and its oversized cargo hold packs thousands of armor-piercing bombs, while an industrial-strength engine block and maneuver 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. 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-meter 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.
|“|| Where are my escorts?!|
- Kirov under attack
As mentioned above, the Gastroburner is the special ability for the Kirov which allows it to use a new volatile compound to propel it at much faster speeds. The compound damages the Kirov, however and slowly eats away at the structure. Prolonged use will eventually destroy the Kirov and the ability should be used sparingly. It still doesn't give the Kirov enough speed to outrun fighters, however. In game, a Kirov Airship at maximum health can use the Gastroburners for 30 seconds before it destroys itself.
|“|| Get away from me!|
- Kirov under enemy fire
The Kirov is the Soviet's Heavy Bomber. The airship proves to be a devastating offensive weapon against infantry battalions and bases. Unlike the Allies' Century Bomber, the behemoth zeppelin doesn't need to reload thanks to it's near-infinite bomb supply. When really close to a structure, the pilot begins unleashing a stream of iron bombs to turn a normal structure into nothing more than burning pieces.
Rather than its overpowered method of blasting any structure to kindgom come, the massive machine can also send infantry flying, while direct hits usually results in a kill, others caught in the blast radius simply get knocked over whilst suffering damage as a result, but however the unit may not escape if the pilot relentlessly attempts to blow the unit off the face of the earth.
Due to the poor manuverability and slow speed of the airship, it will have trouble blasting away fast moving vehicles such as multigunner IFVs and rogue Sickles. But has a better chance against static ones and slowing moving targets, especially the Athena Cannon and the Wave Force Artillery. It also can be utterly shredded by large groups of AA and especially AA fighters which can bring down an unprotected Kirov within mere seconds.
|“|| Leave... nothing!|
Kirovs were deployed by General Krukov in the final wave of the ultimately failed attempt to invade Brighton Beach and were modified to carry 50 megaton thermonuclear bombs (which evidently was only recently developed, due to Einstein being erased from the space-time continuum) in a planned attack from Havana against major Allied cities, but Allied Apollo Fighters shot them all down before they could reach the mainland. They were launched from modified sports arenas and were only stopped once all the arenas were destroyed. Due to the airships' inability (because of low speed) to safely clear the blast zone of a 50 megaton nuclear explosion, they were probably drone-piloted and programmed to detonate their thermonuclear cargo once they reached optimum altitude for airburst nuclear explosion over an Allied city designated as a target.
|The following is based on the Soviet campaign of Red Alert 3 and contradicts canon sources.|
The Kirov was first granted to the Soviet Commander during the invasion of Von Esling Airbase, Iceland, after General Krukov was accused of attempting to murder Premier Cherdenko. Kirovs were also used against Cherdenko's volcanic fortress at Easter Island after the Premier in turn betrayed his commanders. They too spearheaded the invasion of New York, destroying Fort Bradley, in the final operation Blight on the Big Apple.
|The following is based on the Empire of the Rising Sun campaign for Red Alert 3 and contradicts canon sources.|
In the Imperial Campaign, they were used to try to destroy the Shogun Executioner, and were a very dangerous threat to it that had to be guarded against by Striker VXs and Jet Tengus. They were also used in an attempt to defend the Kremlin from invading Imperial forces but were shot down.
Notes from the fieldEdit
Battlefield reconnaissance has revealed at least these facts about the Kirov Airship:
• 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.
• 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 the compound is toxic, and slowly corrodes the Kirov from the inside.
• Explosive Potential -- While no Kirov has ever been shot down according to official records, physicists theorize that the volatile chemical compound and sheer number of bombs contained within these vessels would likely explode catastrophically in the unlikely event one should ever fall. Be prepared to move your units out of the blast zone otherwise they get caught in one massive bang!
|“||I don't think we've met...||”|
|“||Hehehe, that's right!||”|
|“||Why are they so unfriendly?!||”|
|“||We have to rack 'em up!||”|
|“||Any friends along the way?||”|
|“||That one looks good...||”|
|“||I'm a giver||”|
|“||Aww look, is that your house?||”|
- Time-proven extremely destructive bombs
- Heavy armour, requires large groups of anti-air units to take it out
- Not limited to the number of empty slots on an Airfield
- Never needs to rearm
- Special ability speeds it up
- Threat to all naval and ground forces
- Kirov's bombs do splash damage
- Even when shot down Kirov still can seriously damage enemy units/structures with it's massive body
- Incredible devastating power in large numbers
- Slow speed
- Special ability damages the Kirov
- Causes damage to friendly units close to enemy units with bombs or when crashing
- Vulnerable to everything AA, especially fighter jets.
- Easy prey for Yuriko Omega
- Can be Hit By Orbital Drop First Strike
- Can be crushed in one hit if Giga-Fortress transform to Sky-Mode and the Kirov goes near it.
- All airships use a variety of gases in order to make it float, these gases are usually helium or hydrogen. Hydrogen is flammable, able to destroy the airship should it catch fire. Modern airships stay aloft exclusively on helium because it doesn't react with any element or compound.
- The Kirov, compared to other "ultimate" aircraft (Harbinger Gunships and Giga-Fortress) is the weakest. Being slow, enemy fighters and AA fire could bring them down from the sky before they could even touch the enemy's units. The Kirov's slow speed brought failure to some Soviet missions.
- In real life, airships used as bombers are only used during World War 1 because of their ability to carry heavy loads. Airships were soon replaced by plane bombers as airships were too brittle and a well placed rocket can send an airship down to the ground.