"Quit screwing around. This is war! The enemy's all over and they're gonna eat you alive!"
Marcus Snow

Narrow Margin is the third campaign mission of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. It is the first mission in which the player has control of the Wingman Command system.

The player, who is now the flight lead of Wardog Squadron, must protect Port St. Hewlett and the OFS Kestrel from the surprise attack by Yuktobania. Completing this mission for the first time will unlock the F-4E Phantom II and the MiG-21bis.


No pre-sortie briefing is available for this mission.



"Our naval base at St. Hewlett reports that Yuktobanian aircraft have launched a surprise attack on the port. The situation there is critical with widespread panic. Ships from the 3rd Osean Naval Fleet docked at the port are currently under attack and taking heavy losses. Hurry to Port St. Hewlett and provide air cover for our naval vessels attempting to escape the bay. Among these ships is the aircraft carrier Kestrel. It is the flagship of the 3rd Naval Fleet and a critical combat asset. You must protect the Kestrel at all costs."
― In-flight briefing

The overarching objective for this mission is to protect the friendly ships, especially the Kestrel, from all enemy attacks. Multiple A-6E Intruders and some F-5E Tiger IIs will spawn in this stage. If too many of these aircraft shoot the Kestrel, it will sink and the mission will end in failure. They will spawn in all directions except to the east; players can opt to stay near the Kestrel and protect it, or to fly out and engage the aircraft as soon as they spawn.

Mission Update

"I shouldn't have looked. When that enemy plane crashed and covered the water in flames, there were people floating right there. I could see their faces... so many of them. Somebody stop this. I can't take it anymore."
― Alvin H. Davenport

At this point, the Kestrel will be in open water out of the port, accompanied by four other friendly ships. Yuktobanian vessels will have a blockade ahead, and various more aircraft will be flying in. The player must continue defending the Kestrel from air-to-ship attacks, but must also at least assist in destroying the naval blockade.

Enemies List

Standard Units

Section Unit Points Count Notes
Initial Icon-AirEnemy.svg A-6E 260 14
Icon-AirEnemy.svg F-5E 220 2
Mission Update Icon-AirEnemy.svg MIR-2000 300 1
Icon-AirEnemy.svg NIMROD 750 3
Icon-AirEnemy.svg F-4E 240 4
Icon-GroundEnemy.svg MSSL.BOAT 120 2
Icon-GroundEnemy.svg FRIGATE 400 3

Special Units

Unit Points Minimum
Icon-AirEnemy.svg F-14D "ZIPANG" 1,540 Normal [note 1]

S Rank

Achieving an S Rank on this mission requires earning 9,400 points.[1]


The aircraft carrier Kestrel has survived the enemy attack and has broken through into open waters. Although the 3rd Osean Naval Fleet sustained considerable damage, it's still combat capable.



  • The four allied ships next to the Kestrel in the Mission Update are also vulnerable. If all four of them survive, the player will earn the "GOLD ANCHOR" medal.
  • This mission is likely based on the Attack on Pearl Harbor, as the Japanese had advance knowledge that the U.S.'s three Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers were not present in the harbor but decided to attack regardless. Of the 3rd Osean Naval Fleet's three aircraft carriers - the OFS Buzzard, OFS Vulture, and OFS Kestrel - only the Kestrel was in Port St. Hewlett and it managed to escape.


  1. Sink all DESTROYERs and FRIGATEs, or sink all MSSL. BOATs, in the second phase of the mission. ZIPANG will spawn nearby.[1]