The Gyges-class heavy airborne defense enforcement system (HADES) is intended purely for close air defense, and as such is armed with various onboard anti-air weapons which include but are not limited to multitarget fire-and-forget missiles, rapid-fire Vulcan machine guns and heavy flak cannons. Special material stretched over the outer skin helps to partially hide it from the prying eyes of enemy radar.
According to records seized after the end of the Anean Continental War and the fall of the Generals, the Gyges-class heavy airborne defense enforcement system began its life in the late 1950s in response to a request from the Yuktobanian Air Force, which had suffered horrendous losses during a devastating surprise attack by the Sotoan military, its arch rival at the time. However, to build such a massive aircraft and deliver it inside a compact package was virtually impossible with the technology of the day. Fortunately, the war petered out in 1968 and the immense airship never made it off the drawing board. The concept was put into the may-need-later folder and then stuffed into the back of the possible-refinement drawer and forgotten.
It was resurrected in 1985 when a global network of radio telescopes detected a massive asteroid that had shifted from its original position in the Mergys Belt on a possible collision course with Strangereal. Designated 1994XF04 Ulysses, the asteroid was confirmed to be large enough to bring about global destruction if it impacted the planet intact. The Gyges and its sister ships, Kottos and Aigaion, were all intended to protect the planet from the danger of the Ulysses asteroid. But as time passed and public awareness to the impending disaster lessened, it was again folded away and forgotten until 2008, when the Generals came to power in Estovakia.
The Gyges was built on land and assembled at sea, as its massive weight kept it from landing on solid ground. Six colossal turbojet engines power the Gyges, though their energy source remains undetermined. Armed with several autocannon turrets and air-to-air missile launchers, and equipped with sophisticated radar fore and aft, it can engage targets both close-in and at range.
The Gyges airborne defense aircraft worked in conjunction with the twin Kottos electronic support aircraft and Aigaion airborne command assault carrier. Only two of these aircraft are known to have been deployed during the Anean Continental War, both of which were destroyed with the Kottos heavy airborne electronic support and early-warning aircraft and the Aigaion superheavy airborne command and control assault carrier during the Emmerian attack over the Glava Islands in the Fuscum Sea between Anea and Verusa. To current knowledge, no effort has been made to salvage or recover the wreckage.
- Dimensions (height, length, wingspan): 143'9"x342'x610'3"
- Maximum Speed: 545 mph (1199 kph, 454 knots)
- Maximum Range: Approximately 10,000 miles (22,000 km)
- Operational Ceiling: 62,500 feet (18,939 m)
- Turning Radius: 10,560 feet (3200 m)
- Powerplant: 6xStrossa-Remskji JLR-76-I15 turbojets
- Weight (empty, loaded): 123,600 lbs (98,100 kg); 205,898 lbs (135,700 kg)
- Crew: 12 (2 pilots, 2 communicators, 2 navigator, 6 engineers)
- 12x20mm Vulcan cannons in 6 turrets
- 4xAIM-12 Cloudripper air-to-air missile launchers
- P-1113 Kottos Heavy Airborne Electronic Support and Early-Warning System (HEASEWS)
- P-1112 Aigaion Superheavy Command and Control Airborne Assault Carrier (SCCAAC)
- The Estovakian Aerial Fleet might also be manufactured by North Osea Grunder Industries (South Belka Munitions Factory) due to its close resemblance to the XB-0 Hresvelgr .
- Despite its size, the Gyges appears to have higher maneuverability than a heavy bomber and even certain "special" aircraft (including some A-10A Thunderbolt II and F-117A Nighthawk variants that are purchased on the Xbox Live Marketplace). It is the second largest aircraft of its size to have such maneuverability, second only to the Orgoi from Ace Combat: Joint Assault.
- The name 'Gyges' stems from Greek mythology, specifically the Hekatonkheires, who were the three children born to the Gods Gaia (Earth) and Uranus (Sky).
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