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This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Suez Canal boarding operation.

Lock and Load is the seventh mission of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, and the second mission wherein the player takes control of the Door Gunner "Guns".

Plot

While Warwolf Squadron prepares to defend Dubai from Blatnoi, Doug Robinson leads Shooter and Nomad Squadron in a joint operation with US Navy SEALs to interdict SRN cargo ships that may be carrying Trinity weapons.

The helicopters approach a cargo ship, the Harman Orient. Citing Article 42 of the United Nations Security Council, D-Ray orders the ship to stop for the conduction of a strip search, threatening to destroy the bridge if the order is not complied. As the Harman shuts down its engine and stops, the Nomad Black Hawks land on the deck and deploy squads of Navy SEALS, as groups of sailors and crewmen watch. Nomad 61 watches over the soldiers as they check a group of workers when a rocket narrowly misses the chopper, causing another Black Hawk to spin out of control. Nomad 6-1 moves around the ship as Guns and the Apaches attack the rebels.

Upon dealing with the soldiers on the Orient, Nomad 61 heads to a nearby seaside port to intercept SRN-manned fishing boats. They later move onto a second container ship, the Victoria Express, to assist SEAL team Hammer 2. The helicopter descends onto the Victoria and deploys its SEAL unit on the deck, and continue bombarding the ship in conjunction with Shooter. Having cleared most of the ship, a Mi-24 Hind helicopter appears and attacks Nomad 61, only for Guns to fend it off and destroy it.

Afterwards, the team proceeds down the Suez Canal in search of the last transport ship, fighting off a small flotilla of gunboats on the way. They arrive to the target, the Tasman Trader, and fight off an ambush from anti-air guns and SAM platforms on the ship's containers, in which a Shooter helicopter is shot down.

Nomad 6-1 and its allies survive the attack. Shortly thereafter, two Hind helicopters approach the ship and begin firing on the Black Hawk. Guns fights off the first helicopter and destroys it, and focuses on the other aircraft. As 6-1 weaves through a freeway overpass, the gunner attacks the gunship, heavily damaging it. In desperation, the pilot attempts to crash into the MH-60, but is killed by Guns. As the battered helicopter descends into the Suez Canal, a SEAL soldiers contacts D-Ray, telling him that the mission was successful. He asks if any Trinities were found at the targets, however the trooper replies that none were found. The mission ends as the TF108 helicopters depart the canal.

Trivia

  • Chronologically, this mission takes place before Power Play, but is played afterwards.
  • The workers on the Harman Orient are the only civilian ground characters in the game.
  • The final enemy Hind is the only helicopter in the game which is defeated in combat by directly shooting the pilot. Also, this is the only enemy helicopter in the entire game which will spin out of control instead of exploding violently upon destruction
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