|For other versions, see Kirov Airship.|
Tesla bombs (when elite)
|Produced by||Soviet war factory|
|Requires||Soviet battle lab|
|Ground attack||250 (BlimpHE) (KTSTLEXP when elite)|
|Elite upgrade||Increased strength, firepower, rate of fire, Tesla bombs|
|“||Warning! Enemy air armada detected!
- Zofia warning the commander of incoming Yuri kirovs, Red Revolution
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kirovs controlled by the AI have the following attack patterns:
- 1x targeting production structures
- 2x targeting Grand Cannon
- 3x targeting production structures
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.
- Kirov reporting.
- Kirov reporting.
- Airship ready.
- Helium mix optimal.
- Setting new course.
- Maneuver props engaged.
- Bearing set.
When ordered to attack
- Bombing bays ready.
- Target acquired.
- Closing on target.
- Bombardiers, to your stations!
- Mayday! Mayday!
- We're losing altitude!
- She's going to blow!
In order: English, French/German, Korean, Chinese. Top row is standard, bottom row is veteran.
- While the opening of Red Alert 2 depicts massive groups of Kirovs attacking the United States, none are encountered in the Allied campaign until Chrono Storm. In the Soviet campaign, the player does not get to use them until Red Revolution, which is also set in Moscow. In Yuri's Revenge, one can be seen in Time Lapse, if playing on medium or hard difficulty.
- The painted shark face on the front is not seen on all Kirov airships the opening of Red Alert 2.
- In Yuri's Revenge, it can be used in the Deja Vu mission, but they were never seen used in the original timeline mission Mirage.
- A single bomb from a Kirov can destroy any structure except naval yards, base defenses and superweapons 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 does not happen in the game).
- 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.
- Interestingly, if you sell a war factory before the Kirov ascends, there is a chance that it stays on land, which can also be done with floating discs and siege choppers.