- "Benefits courtesy of the Golden Axe Plan. Way too much overkill for huntin' scorpions though!"
- ― Oruma
The GAF-1 Varcolac is an experimental delta wing fighter jet, born as a result of Olivieri Life Insurance's Golden Axe Plan. It is the fictional aircraft concept introduced in Ace Combat: Joint Assault.
Valahia Crisis (20XX)
The GAF-1 was first deployed during the closing battle of the Valahia Crisis at San Francisco, manned by the Varcolac Squadron. A tense fight broke out between the Varcolac aircraft and Martinez Security's Antares Squadron, which ended with all pilots killed, except their flight leader, Milosz Sulejmani. As the pilot's situation worsened, all missiles fired towards the GAF-1 unexpectedly exploded before hitting their target; after an airframe analysis from HQ, it was revealed that Sulejmani's GAF-1 was outfitted with a point-defense machine gun, forcing Antares to attack Milosz with gunfire. The machine gun destroyed, the fight resumed while a now insane Milosz brought the aircraft to its limit, performing all kinds of airborne maneuvers to throw off the Antares pilots. Eventually, on the verge of defeat, Sulejmani screamed over the radio how he, having being a child soldier, would use money to "bring back [his] honor, [his] pride, [his] life." Shortly thereafter, the GAF-1 came to grief, and Sulejmani was finally put out of his misery.
The GAF-1 (Golden Axe Fighter type 1) Varcolac is an experimental fighter jet developed as part of the Golden Axe Plan, built solely as a personal fighter aircraft, as its name suggests, for the Varcolac Squadron. Like the Fenrir, it has two self-aiming GAU-22/A cannons that deals the most damage compared to other aircrafts in Ace Combat X2 Joint Assault, and it is one of two aircraft (the other being the Fenrir) whose machine guns have a different sound.
The four known GAF-1 models are customized to each pilot's liking—respectively, Milosz Sulejmani's airframe combines mobility, speed and defense, Daniel Oruma's is geared towards stability and ground combat, Faryd Gaviria's is more biased towards interceptor functions and Tolia Kiriakov's is designed to maximize mobility. Notably, Sulejmani's aircraft is modified with an automated gatling gun serving the role of point defense (that is, destroying any approaching missiles.)
Ace Combat: Joint Assault
The GAF-1 Varcolac is featured in the final mission, "Reprisal", where it is flown by the Varcolac Squadron. The aircraft itself can be unlocked for player use by completing mission 21A/B with an S-rank in Ace difficulty, thus unlocking both the GAF-1 and the Fenrir.
Three of the four GAF-1 combat programs (excluding Sulejmani's personal program) are available by destroying ace aircraft in three of the last four missions, specified below. If you have difficulty beating Sulejmani, use the SU-47 with SASM's to kill him. The Varcolac is very expensive, roughly 1,024,400 credits altogether, making it extremely expensive, probably due to its weaponry, and tunability. The most expensive plane is, however, the FALKEN probably because it can carry 24 TLS charges instead of 14, the plane costs roughly 1,290,000 credits, making it highly unobtainable at first, unless you don't pay any credits for any other aircraft during Campaign.
The Varcolac uses three unique parts, or "programs" that will affect the aircraft's performance. Listed below
GAF-1 Type Defense/AG Program
- Used by Daniel Oruma - destroy enemy ace C-17A Globemaster III "Express" on mission 18 ACE Difficulty.
- Increases Air-to-Ground, Stability, Defense stats.
- Decreases Mobility, Speed, Air-to-Air stats.
- Gives a wide range for missile lock-on.
GAF-1 Type Speed/Intercept Program
- Used by Faryd Gaviria - destroy enemy ace F-15 S/MTD "Kelpie" on mission 19 ACE difficulty.
- Increases Speed, Air-to-Air, Air-to-Ground, Stability stats.
- Decreases Mobility, Defense stats.
- Enables an AAM jammer system.
GAF-1 Type Mobility/AA program
- Used by Tolya Kiriakov - destroy enemy ace Su-47 Berkut "Lily" on mission 20 ACE difficulty.
- Increases AA, greatly increases Mobility stats.
- Decreases Defense stats.
- Gives an Auto Gun reticle.
- 1st paint scheme: Gray.
- 2nd paint scheme: White.
- 3rd paint scheme: Jet black.
- 4th paint scheme: Light gray with red stripes.
- 5th paint scheme: Varcolac paint scheme (blue with white teeth.)
- 6th paint scheme: Purple, with the eyes and the mouth of a shark on the bottom of the nose.
- Varcolac Squadron (Golden Axe Private Army)
- Gun: 2x GAU/22A 25mm Gatling Cannon (Semi-self aiming)
- Missile: 2x AIM-9M Sidewinder
- HACM: 2x AIM-9X Sidewinder
- HVWM: 2x modified ASRAAM
- LGWM: 2x Python 4
- LSWM: 3 Modified Sea Eagle Missile-with extra hardpoint it can carry 5
- QAAM: 13 R-73 (AA-11) Archer
- ODMM: 20 Modified AIM-120C AMRAAM
- IRCM: 13 Plasma Energy Spheres
- The Varcolac is one of the most expensive aircraft in Ace Combat, at over one million credits.
- The GAF-1 Varcolac is, to date, the fastest aircraft in the Ace Combat series in terms of take off.
- The Varcolac reuses the cockpit of the CFA-44 Nosferatu.
- Despite its unusual appearance, the Varcolac is manueverable, making it a good dogfighter.
- The GAF-1 appears to be a hybrid of the mainframes of the XFA-24A Apalis and the MiG-31 Firefox, a highly iconic fictional fighter from the eponymous novel Firefox.
- The Varcolac so far is the only plane in the series that was built solely for one squadron only. The ADFX2 Morgan and CFA-44 Nosferatu were built for 1 pilot only.
- The Varcolac is the only plane in Ace Combat X2 to have different sound effects for the guns.
- The Varcolac's 6th colour scheme uses the eyes and teeth of a hammerhead shark at the front, to make it look like one.
- With only Kiriakov's programme to give it manueverability, the Varcolac is extremely unstable, so tune it following the description above.
- The Varcolac is capable of very high acceleration when tuned with Rocket Motor MOD (however, decreases stability). It is capable of picking up 200 mph every second.
- The GAF-1 Varcolac is a relatively easy super plane to unlock, considering that it is rather easy to complete the Ace difficulty campaign and achieve an S rank on Mission 21 if you utilize the co-op functionality.
- GAF-1 means "Golden Axe Fighter-Type One".
- The GAF-1 Varcolac is one of the only planes that has its forward landing gear significantly higher than its rear landing gear.
- The GAF-1 appeared in mission 21A/B.
- The name "Varcolac" means "Werewolf" in Romanian.