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This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Operation Dual Wielder.
"Trigger, time to show the other guys that we get wet, wild, and do dirty, dirty things."
Clown

Two-pronged Strategy is the third campaign mission of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. The player is introduced to the Arsenal Bird in gameplay for the first time.

Briefing

The surprise attacks carried out after the declaration of war, saw the peacekeeping forces of various countries, including Osea, suffer major damage. The ships moored around the space elevator and near Gandar Bay[note 1] have been hit particularly hard. Numerous ships have been sunk and abandoned. Fortunately, our cutting-edge aircraft carrier Kestrel II was at sea, so it was spared from the attack. Kestrel II is now preparing to launch another attack against Erusea's capital, Farbanti. The aircraft carrier Vulture also managed to escape Gandar Bay[note 1] safely. However, it lost all its aircraft, so it's sailing empty. Today the International Union Peacekeeping Force reclaims its bid to the space elevator. The Fort Grays Island Air Base Squadron will rendezvous with the carrier Vulture for a joint mission. The first objective will be to seize air superiority in Chopinburg in order to secure a route for the support squadrons. The enemy maintains air superiority over Chopinburg, so expect heavy resistance from enemy aircraft. There's more, so listen carefully. Right from the start of the war, the enemy has been deploying drones. They're using a new, advanced type of drone. The unmanned, airborne aircraft carrier the Arsenal Bird carries this new drone, MQ-101. The Osean Army headed up the development of the massive Arsenal Birds and dispatched them to the space elevator to provide support. However, it's been reported that the carriers may have fallen into the hands of the Erusean Forces. If that's true, it could be a significant obstacle for us. We need to regain control of the space elevator ASAP. Good luck out there.

Objectives

Initial

After performing a mid-air refuel (depending on what aircraft the player uses in the mission; a take-off will be performed when the player is using a carrier-based aircraft, otherwise a mid-air refuel will be performed), the player enters the fray between allied Osean and enemy Erusean aircraft. There are eight Erusean aircraft, including F-4Es and F-16Cs, all of which are labeled TGT. Allied aircraft will shoot some of the enemies down if the player fails to.

Upon shooting down all enemy aircraft, the player is suddenly ambushed by long-range missiles and must evade them.

Mission Update 1

The Arsenal Bird escapes a cloud and drops many of its MQ-101 UAVs. Some of the UAVs begin to engage the player and their allies while the rest provide cover for the Arsenal Bird. After a while, the player is ordered to destroy the Arsenal Bird, whose propellers will become labeled as TGT. Besides the UAVs, the player must also dodge the consistent barrage of missiles fired from the Arsenal Bird's AAM launchers. The UAVs providing cover can also intercept any missiles meant to hit the propellers and the launchers.

After 90 seconds of the player engaging the Arsenal Bird, regardless of the damage inflicted, the Arsenal Bird will activate a large energy shield. The player must remain outside of this shield to avoid damage. After a while, the entirety of the friendly Skeleton Squadron is shot down, forcing the IUN command to order a retreat.

Mission Update 2

A group of the Arsenal Bird's MQ-101s will chase down the player's allies. They are marked as TGT and the player must shoot them all down to help their allies retreat. The player will fail the mission if any allies are shot down.

During this stage, an unidentified Su-30 with orange wing tips will enter the combat zone and begin engaging Brownie.

Shooting down all of the MQ-101s in this update will complete the mission.

Enemy Lists

Standard Units

Section Unit Points Count Notes
Initial Icon-AirTGT F-4E 220 3
Icon-AirTGT F-16C 400 5
Mission Update 1 Icon-AirTGT
Icon-AirTGT
Icon-AirTGT
Icon-AirTGT
ARSENAL BIRD
MAIN PROPELLER
SUB PROPELLER
AAM

500
500
500
1
2
6
6
[note 2]
 
 
 
Icon-AirEnemy MQ-101 500 [note 3]
Icon-AirEnemy MQ-101 500 8 [note 4]
Mission Update 2 Icon-AirTGT


Special Unit

Unit Points Notes
Icon-AirEnemy F-16C "BAYONET" 1,100 [note 5]

Debriefing

Unfortunately, the two-front offensive was a failure. The aircraft carrier Kestrel II was sunk during the attack on Farbanti. Carrier-borne aircraft mistakenly bombed urban areas, and this turned public opinion in neutral countries against us. Our own forces have also suffered heavy losses. If it weren't for a few extraordinary fighters, many of us wouldn't have made it home. The situation is grim. We have precious little time, however. We have to get to the space elevator.

S Rank

Earning an S Rank on this mission requires earning a combined score and time bonus of 44,000 points or more.

The maximum time bonus available is 27,640 for completing the mission in a total of 9 minutes or less. This includes time spent retrying from the checkpoint. If the player can complete the mission in that amount of time, they only need 16,360 points from destroying targets in the mission itself to earn the S Rank.

If the player goes past the 9 minutes threshold, the time bonus decreases by 40 points every second, so the player must compensate by destroying more targets to hit the 44,000 point threshold.

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Gandar Bay" is incorrectly named in the briefing. The area's name is actually Gunther.
  2. The Arsenal Bird cannot be shot down in this mission.
  3. The drones will infinitely spawn in waves of 4 until the Arsenal Bird's APS triggers, and will physically defend its propellers.
  4. These MQ-101s turn into TGTs in Mission Update 2. The player can destroy some of them in Mission Update 1.
  5. The player must have completed this mission at least once, and must be playing on Normal difficulty or higher. Complete the first part of the mission by shooting down at least 7 aircraft within 100 seconds. BAYONET spawns in the northwest corner of the map.

References

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