An aerial warship, also referred to as an aerial fortress, is a fictional variant of a warship that can perform flight in Earth's atmosphere. Aerial warships have been featured numerous times in the Ace Combat series, dating back to 1995's Air Combat. In addition to tunnel flights and canyon flights, they are considered a staple of the series.
Aerial warships are incredibly large, dwarfing the size of transport aircraft. They feature multiple propulsion systems (usually many high-powered engines) in order to maintain flight. However, their sizes make aerial warships easy targets for precision attacks by smaller jet fighters; destruction of an aerial warship typically involves destroying their source of thrust, forcing them to crash into the ground.
Most aerial warships feature onboard weapons including Air-to-Air Missiles and anti-aircraft guns that allow them to defend against enemy aircraft, while others have used non-conventional weapons like the Shock Wave Ballistic Missile and Nimbus missiles to attack targets. These non-conventional weapons can be tracked by an Airborne Warning and Control System to provide an estimated time of impact or an exact blast zone and radius.
Some aerial warships have also featured deceptive technology, such as radar jamming or optical camouflage. A select few also act as airborne aircraft carriers, allowing aircraft to take off from the warship and directly engage enemy targets.
List of aerial warships
All units listed here follow the criteria of aerial warships as described in § Description; incredibly large aircraft with a method of attacking or defending against enemy targets. They are listed in order of appearance in the Ace Combat series.
- Sky Fortress
- UI-4053 Sphyrna
- XB-0 Hresvelgr
- Aigaion-class heavy command cruiser (incl. P-1112 Aigaion)
- Kottos-class aerial warship (incl. P-1113 Kottos)
- Gyges-class aerial warship (incl. P-1114 Gyges)
- Arsenal Bird
- The term "aerial warship" comes from AWACS Sky-Eye in Ace Combat Infinity. However, it is not considered an official term since its use in the series has remained ambiguous. The definition of an aerial warship as set out in § Description is community-made to organize these superweapons under one shared term.
- Large spacecraft, regardless of onboard weapons or aircraft carrier capabilities, are not considered aerial warships. These would instead be classified as military spacecraft, but the only unit that could be classified as such would be the Arkbird, which was designed for peaceful purposes rather than military.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 AWACS Sky-Eye: "It's the Gyges and Kottos aerial warships." Aerospace Center Defense, Alps Air Corridor, Weapons Base Assault, Area B7R Dogfight Battle, and Adriatic Sea Landing Operation (and all HARD variants), Ace Combat Infinity.
- ↑ "A Woman of Undying Faith", Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.