|“||Aerial defence countermeasures, installed.
- A Raptor pilot, confirming installation of Countermeasures
Countermeasures is an upgrade available to American generals in Zero Hour.
When equipped on aircraft, it provides them with the ability to deploy decoy flares in an effort to divert incoming guided ordnance. The flares are released automatically on a missile lock being acquired on the said aircraft. The flares have the appearance of a small, bright white 'star' which falls slowly downwards on deployment. The flares themselves cannot be destroyed by firepower, however an individual flare will expire shortly after deployment, as its ignition source is depleted through the burning. The flares produce a thermal signature when deployed, intended to match that of an aircraft's and thus causing the missile to target the flare rather than the deploying aircraft.
This upgrade is available for all American aircraft:
- Raptor/King Raptor
- Stealth fighter
- Aurora/Aurora Alpha
- Chinook/Combat Chinook
- Spectre Gunship
- A-10 Thunderbolt
- C-130 Hercules
- B-3 Bomber
- B-52 Stratofortress
The countermeasures provided additional survivability for aircraft equipped with them. It provided US combat aircraft with volley of decoy flares which drew off roughly half of enemy missile attacks on them along with a fortified airframe for improved durability against direct hits. This upgrade reduced aircraft vulnerability to enemy fire, but they were still very prone to being shot down by anti-air guns. Nonetheless the installation of countermeasures into various aircraft has saved the lives of many US pilots.