25px-Disambig For other versions, see Kirov Airship (Red Alert 3).
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RA2 Kirov Airship Icons
RA2 Kirov Airship Veteran Icons

The Kirov airship is a massive bomber zeppelin used by the Soviet Union, first seen during the Third World War.


These massive zeppelins are the aerial terror of the Soviet force, capable of dropping massive payloads of bombs that tear into enemy structures and decimate nearby units as well. During the initial stage of the Soviet Union's invasion of the United States, a massive fleet of Kirovs entered US airspace from all sides.

Notable deployments

In the Allied campaign they were only encountered in mission Chrono Storm where they attempt to level the chrono shifted allied forces.

In the Soviet campaign they were first made available on mission Red Revolution where they appear both as the commander's and Yuri's main air unit. In Polar Storm, three were seen available after the commander captures the local airport.

Game unit

By far the heaviest and most destructive weapon in the Soviet arsenal, the Kirov can take down even the hardiest land units with just a few bombs. It is also the slowest vehicle in the USSR's employ. Thus, while it can take down an entire base on its own, it can be destroyed, as its low speed allows opponents to effectively target it with anti-aircraft weaponry against which the Kirov can't defend itself fast enough. The Kirov can self-repair.

Any effective assault using Kirovs should bear in mind that while these airships have extremely tough armor, they are not invincible. When attacking, do NOT bunch them up together; they'll take massive damage and splash damage from Flak Tracks, Flak Troopers, and Sea Scorpions. The units mentioned inflict area of effect attacks on all air targets. Also, make sure they do NOT attack just a single target. An effective tactic is to try attacking different targets, on multiple fronts as this can confuse the enemy response.

While extremely resistant, and has destructive firepower, Kirov Airships are dramatically useless for guard duties. They will only drop their bombs when the target is directly underneath, meaning that by the time the bomb reaches the ground and explodes, the hostile unit went far away, therefore, force-firing the ground is a favored tactic.

It would be advisable to destroy all air defenses such as Patriot Missile systems, Flak cannons, and Gattling cannons before sending in Kirov Airships. Also beware of enemy units inside their base: Allied IFVs, Rocketeers, Soviet Flak tracks, Flak troopers, and Apocalypse tanks defending inside the base will make short work of them.

Kirov Airships are known to significantly damage or destroy enemy units due to its death crash. This is unconventionally effective against anti-air units (i.e. IFVs) grouped too close together as the Kirov Airship is shot down by them.

In skirmish, the AI occasionally sends out 1-3 Kirov Airships as a wave to destroy the enemies' base, depending on their difficulty (None for Easy AI, 1 Kirov for Normal AI, 3 for Brutal AI). They will always prioritize any production buildings, especially the Construction Yard before moving on to destroy the rest of the base. This can be exploited to bait them by continuously constructing cheaper production buildings such as Barracks and Naval Shipyards away from more important structures in order to buy more time to destroy the Kirov fleet.


Kirov Airships are one of the most powerful Soviet units in the game, and as such it can be difficult to defend against them. Multiple large air defense systems like allied Aegis Cruisers and/or Elite IFVs are critical for success against Kirov Airships. Rocketeers are effective against them as well.

A battalion of 5 IFVs/Flak Tracks/Gattling Tanks can use the hit and run tactic. They can open fire on a Kirov Airship and when the Airship is about to reach them, the battalion will move to a safer location and open fire again. The cycle would repeat until the Airship was destroyed.


After the Psychic Dominator Disaster, the Soviets introduced a new design of their Kirov airship. It was still powerful, but more vulnerable to anti-air defenses.

After Cherdenko's trip to 1927, Kirov airships were modified and somewhat less heavily armored than their predecessor, but were still able to sustain a great deal of damage. Also, they were slightly faster, and didn't have to alter their height to be in position to bombard.



  • Very effective against infantry and structures.
  • Very heavy armor.
  • Causes splash damage.
  • Can self-repair.
  • Can defeat an Apocalypse Tank in one-on-one matches.
  • When elite, drops Tesla bombs.
  • Cheaper than Floating Discs if an Industrial Plant is constructed.
  • Unimaginable power in large numbers.
  • Deadly if combined with V3 Rocket Launchers and Dreadnoughts since the Kirov will distract anti-air defenses.
  • Causes heavy damage even when hitting the ground as it crashes.
  • Can destroy any type of buildings instantly when above it directly (except base defenses).


Selected Quotes

Kirov reporting
- Kirov Airship ready to take off
- When selected
Airship ready
- When selected
Helium mix optimal
- When selected
Setting new course
- When moving
Maneuver props engaged
- When moving
Bearing set
- When moving
Bombing bays ready
- When ordered to attack
Target acquired
- When ordered to attack
Closing on target
- When ordered to attack
Bombardiers to your stations
- When ordered to attack
Mayday! Mayday!
- When being shot down
We're losing altitude!
- When being shot down
She's going to blow!
- When being shot down



  • Interestingly, while the opening of Red Alert 2 depicts massive groups of Kirovs attacking the United States, none are encountered in the Allied campaign until the final mission in Moscow. In the Soviet campaign, the player doesn't get to use them until the second to last mission, which is also set in Moscow. In Yuri's Revenge, one can be seen in the first Allied Mission, if playing on medium or hard difficulty.
  • The painted shark face of the Kirov are not always seen during the opening of Red Alert 2.
  • In Yuri's Revenge, it is used in the Black Forest assault when the Soviets came back from time, but they were never seen used in the Red Alert 2 Allied Commander's time.
  • A single bomb from a Kirov can destroy any structure except naval yards, base defenses and ultimate weapons (like Weather Machine) if the bombs are dropped right in the middle of the building, making a Kirov capable of destroying even a Construction Yard in one hit.
  • The nature of the Kirov's immense armour is not all fiction. In one experiment, the British tested a single blimp as an air target for anti-aircraft guns shooting a large amount of armour piercing bullets (about 200 rounds). The ship safely continued its navigation and landed on its designated target without major setbacks. However, a single direct hit with anti-aircraft missiles would completely shatter the Kirov's structure (which doesn't happen in-game). It is possible that some sort of miniaturized Iron Curtain technology would be equipped inside the airships to strengthen their hulls and thus greatly increase their structural integrity.
  • The Kirov Airship is one of the few units in the game that cannot attack an enemy version of itself.
  • The Germans did use bombing airships in World War One. They dealt high damage, but were inefficient due to their construction and running cost, its explosive gas fill (mostly hydrogen), and British invention of incendiary rounds and a vast network of search lights.
  • In C&C Reloaded, Kirovs can land. This ability can make Kirovs able to be affected by Iron Curtains, Chronospheres, Ion Cannon, etc. The ability to land can save Kirovs from Ion Storms, too. The Floating Discs and the Jumpjet Infantry are still unable to land down in that mod, however.
  • Interestingly, if you sell your War Factory before the Kirovs fly, there's a chance that they stay on land, this can also be done on Floating Discs, and Siege Choppers.
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