Safe Return is the 13th campaign mission of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. The player must assist a retreating spy plane by eliminating radar jamming in its flight path.


A returning U2 recon plane with engine trouble is currently passing through Gnome Ravine, due to its inability to climb to higher altitudes. However, airship mounted noise jammers in the area are preventing the use of radar. At this rate, a crash is very likely. Destroy as many jammers in the valley as possible, and get that recon plane safely home. Radar won't work, so you'll need to find the airships visually and destroy them with your machine guns.



The first objective is to destroy at least 13 airship jammers in Gnome Ravine. Radar cannot lock-on to these targets, so the player must use machine guns to destroy them. Once 13 jammers are destroyed, the player can continue to search for additional airships while waiting for time to expire.

Mission Update[]

Once the score requirement is met, and the time limit is up, four TGTs (two Typhoons and two F-15s) will attack the recon plane. The player must shoot them down and protect the U-2. Once the hostile fighters are destroyed, the mission is complete.

Enemy Lists[]

Standard Units[]

Section Unit Points Count Notes
Initial Icon-AirEnemy JAMMER 100 115 [note 1]
Icon-GroundEnemy FRIGATE 100 1 [note 2]
Mission Update Icon-AirTGT F-15E 60 2
Icon-AirTGT EF-2000 60 2

Special Units[]

Unit Points Count Notes
Icon-AirEnemy F-15E "GUNN" 240 1 [note 3]

S Rank[]

An S rank on this mission requires earning 2,740 points on Normal difficulty or above (2,340 points on Easy difficulty or below).[1] During the Mission Update, the player will earn 240 points from downing the TGT fighters, leaving 2,560 points that must be earned by shooting down the airship jammers. Each jammer is worth 100 points, which means an S rank requires destroying at least 26 jammers. If the player also shoots down the enemy ace (240 points), only 2,320 more points are necessary, which equates to 24 jammers.


The recon plane brought back data on Megalith. This is the superweapon designed by the Erusians [sic] to replace Stonehenge. Analysis by the Intelligence Unit leads to the conclusion that victory hinges on ending this war before Megalith is deployed.



  • It is theoretically possible to destroy all 115 of the jammer airships in Gnome Ravine, however it has never been done given their sheer numbers and widespread distribution. It's largely considered impossible for a player to accomplish without 3rd party tools.
  • There are several hidden vessels in this mission:
    • A frigate is located on a river that flows north-south in the eastern sector of the jamming net. It can be destroyed for 100 points, equivalent to one jammer unit. In the mission debriefing, the destroyed frigate will be listed as a jammer.
    • Small ships are hidden throughout the area. They appear to be based on Chinese or Japanese style junks, perhaps for fishing. One is located immediately behind and below the player's spawn point. They cannot be destroyed.


  1. Cannot be targeted by missiles. The sporadic dots on the radar will mark the position of a jammer, but not their altitude.
  2. Located on a river that flows north-south in the eastern sector of the jamming net. Counts as a jammer in the debriefing.
  3. The player must have completed the campaign, and must be playing on Normal difficulty or higher. Gunn appears just northeast of the center of the map. Gunn does not appear until the Mission Update.