Unit of the Day returns, detailing new units for Act of Aggression. Today we will focus on the Berkut, Cartel’s air superiority fighter.
The Russian Sukhoi Su-47 “Berkut” was designed in the mid-80’s, a few years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. An experimental aircraft, it featured advanced technologies still unused at the time. It ran out of funding in the early 90’s, when the USSR dissolved. Although one working model was built and some of its technologies were reused on fifth-generation fighters, the Berkut project was closed.
Actually, it wasn’t lost for everybody. As soon as the Iron Curtain opened up, Cartel leaders started undermining strategic parts of the Soviet, then Russian, economy. They managed to walk off with large chunks of former strategic technologies, including military ones. Among them the Berkut project, which they terminated officially but only to complete it themselves, according to their needs.
In Act of Aggression, the Berkut is the most specialized of all air superiority fighters (ASF): it likes the fight to be up close and personal. And being stealth helps …
Armed with short-ranged K-74 infrared missiles, the Berkut need to be close from its target to engage combat, closer than any other ASF (US F-22 & Chimera PAK FA). But when it gets in range, it unleashes hell! Missiles first, then cannon (the most powerful of all ASF). And this firepower is not unidirectional, for K-74 missiles can be fired at a very large angle.
One of the original Berkut prototype’s flaws (due to its distinctive forward-swept wing configuration) was to be unstable. But Cartel engineers managed to harness this instability into a boost in both speed and agility. This Computerized Flying Procedure upgrade makes it a match for fifth-generation ASFs.
Another of the Berkut‘s distinctive feature comes with the R-74M upgrade. Not only do this missiles fire rearward, targeting pursuers or finishing off survivors from a frontal attack, but they have the ability to target and intercept enemy missiles, just like CIWS. With this upgrade, the Berkut becomes a kind of “ball of fire”, firing in any direction and even able to deflect enemy missiles!
We will be back next Friday with another “Unit of the Day” …