- This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Liberation of Moscow.
- "I'll send the Air Force my bill. Moving to support ground units."
- ― Doug Robinson
Motherland is the twelfth mission in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. The game's second helicopter mission, it sees Doug Robinson and Task Force 108 and the Russian Army fighting to retake the city of Moscow from the New Russian Federation forces.
The mission opens in evening January 15, 2016. Captain Robinson, the Shooter Squadron and a formation of Mi-24 Hind helicopters of the Osa Squadron accompany the ground-borne Riga Battalion down Kutuzov Street near downtown Moscow. Further down the street, they encounter a large group of tanks, Shilka anti-air guns and armored personnel carriers. After dealing with the first group of hostiles, D-Ray breaks off and goes to assist Riga against an enemy onslaught by the Moscow International Business Center and Kutuzovskiy St, at which point several coup Hinds are detected taking off. During the fight, Osa number 3 is shot down, prompting Riga 2 to move in and secure the crash site.Afterwards, Robinson moves north to attack a group of long-range morttars and rocket launchers attacking Riga 1 from a forest. He then proceeds to the Novoarbatsky Bridge, which is threatened by NRF forces, which include a demolition crew. All Russian enemies present are wiped out. Over the next minutes, Doug proceeeds to eliminate several coup anti-air battalions, some of which have set up positions in rooftops. Later on, several Su-25 Frogfoot aircraft enter the combat area and begin attacking the allied helicopters, but are soon shot down by Warwolf.
The battle soon shifts to west Moscow, where many coup tanks, soldiers and Shilka guns attack Robinson and the loyalists. The fight ends with Riga 1 taking over the area, However, several seconds later a SAM attack kills Osa 4, after which the squadron leader tells his wingmen to retreat. Their high flight altitude exposes them to another missile attack, which claims the lives of the entire team.
Taking cover between the buildings, D-Ray asks Magic the locations of the SAM launchers, despite being told not to engage. However, he soon yields and marks the launchers' location on radar, to which Doug simply replies "Let's do this!". Seconds after, a radar unit moves southbound down the intersection he is at, and is soon destroyed. D-Ray later heads to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where the missile launchers themselves are. When the whole group is taken out, Robinson goes to New Arbat Avenue to intercept the third group. Soon after the radar truck and its escorts are eliminated, several Frogfoots fly down the street opening fire on him, followed by a Hind gunship.
Magic soon marks a fourth enemy target, which is heading for an underground tunnel. Shooter 1 arrives to the scene and destroys the vehicles before their getaway. Afterwards, Robinson flies to the Kremlin to intercept the fifth and final enemy convoy. Upon arrival, the target is revealed to be defended by a massive cluster of AA guns and tanks, which they overwhelm and wipe out. The battle concludes with the destruction of all SAM systems in Moscow. After a sarcastic converstion between D-Ray and William Bishop, Magic detects a squadron of Tu-160 Blackjack bombers approaching the city. Riga 2 soon speaks, mentioning how they are facing light resistance on their way to the Kremlin.
While the Shooter Squadron is leaving the area, co-pilot Jack notices a Trinity missile entering the area. The weapons hits the suburbs of Moscow, the shockwave casuing the whole sector to be covered in a massive dust cloud and several allied Hinds (which are in NRF paint scheme and presumably stolen) to spin out of control and crash, at which point the mission ends.
During flight at low altitude in the vicinity of the Kremlin, propaganda broadcast is heard repeatedly throughout the mission. Gunfire and explosions would make some parts of the speech impossible to be heard. A translation of the speech (alongside the original Cyrillic script and the Romanized version) can be read below.
Слушайте внимательно, если хотите жить! Представьте себе Москву, в которую вошли силы союзников. Представьте себе столицу в руках захватчиков, в руках тех, кому нет дела до её истории. Их задача завоевать мир. Они не остановятся и уничтожат и нас, и весь город. Не верьте их лживой пропаганде! Если вам дорога ваша семья, дорога страна—поддержите нас! Победа любой ценой! Мы встанем на защиту страны! Никогда не забывайте—НРФ последняя надежда страны!
Listen carefully, if you want to live! Imagine Moscow, which included the Allied forces. Imagine a capital in the hands of the invaders, in the hands of those who do not care about its history. Their task is to conquer the world. They do not stop and destroy us and the whole city. Do not believe their false propaganda! If you value your family and the country—support us! Victory at all costs! We stand up to defend the country! Never forget – NRF is last hope of the country!
Slushayte vnimatel'no, yesli khotite zhit'! Predstav'te sebe Moskvu, v kotoruyu voshli sily soyuznikov. Predstav'te sebe stolitsu v rukakh zakhvatchikov, v rukakh tekh, komu net dela do yeyo istorii. Ikh zadacha zavoyevat' mir. Oni ne ostanovyatsya i unichtozhat i nas, i ves' gorod. Ne ver'te ikh lzhivoy propagande! Yesli vam doroga vasha sem'ya, doroga strana—podderzhite nas! Pobeda lyuboy tsenoy! My vstanem na zashchitu strany! Nikogda ne zabyvayte—NRF poslednyaya nadezhda strany!
- It is possible, yet very tough, to destroy at least one of the Frogfoots that arrive on scene after the destruction of the demolition crew at Novoarbatsky Bridge; however, shooting them all down is very hard if not impossible, as they all have different altitudes and Warwolf comes on scene far too quickly.
- In the introductory briefing, as General La Pointe walks up the stairs, it is possible to see portraits of screenshots from the Ace Combat 6-era Su-47 Berkut on the wall behind him.
- Near the end of this mission, Magic says there are six Tu-160 Blackjacks spotted, but in the next mission, Magic says there are only five Blackjacks and the sixth is discovered after all five are destroyed.