Combining the need for a stronger air force with the typical Soviet fascination with overwhelming firepower, the siege chopper was meant to be a highly mobile artillery cannon, while at the same time able to fly and attack all unit types.
While airborne, the helicopter relied on a machine gun to shred infantry, aircraft and harass enemy armour. However, the helicopter could also land and deploy a powerful 160 mm howitzer. Though the range was fairly short by artillery standards, the siege chopper could lay waste to an unprepared base or bombard passing columns of enemy troops to oblivion. This aircraft worked to its highest proficiency when deployed in fire groups of four or more, in both defense and offense. The howitzer's range surpasses most standard base defenses, nearly a match to the French Grand Cannon.
It may be fairly costly to mass produce without the aid of the Industrial Plant, however it is one of the most efficient methods for bringing some portable heavy firepower quickly to anywhere that is needed.
Since its only available weapon while airborne is a machine gun, the siege chopper has very little chance against even lightly armoured AA vehicles. Also, it is very vulnerable while grounded, due to its inability to move while firing its 160 mm howitzer cannon. However, the siege chopper's machine gun does make it an effective counter against the weakly-armoured prism tank.
To some extent, it can be used as an anti-aircraft weapon capable of taking on rocketeers, but it can not be used very effectively against Floating Discs, Kirovs, or Harriers, mainly due to a general lack of firepower.
When deployed, its 160mm howitzer can deal heavy damage to most ground units, although it is most effective when targets are stationery and not as accurate against fast moving targets. It can also outrange most base defenses except the grand cannon and excels destroying buildings rather quickly. That said, deployed siege choppers in groups can serve numerous purposes especially on high ground; such as holding down choke points, pinning enemy positions down or defending the player's base or sieging enemy bases.
The siege chopper is vulnerable to mind control when deployed, assuming mind-control-capable units actually survive the artillery barrage and reach the aircraft.
Due to game mechanics and possible engine limitations, the siege chopper cannot be repaired in the service depot. To repair a siege chopper, one might consider capturing an Allied war factory to gain access to the IFV, or forcing the helicopter to fight until it receives the elite rank, which gave it the ability to repair itself. An alternative method is to capture a Tech Machine Shop and enable auto-repair for all vehicle units, should one be available.
Siege Choppers controlled by the AI have the following attack patterns:
- 2x deploying near an Allied power plant or Soviet Tesla reactor before targeting it
- Yuri's Revenge patch 1.001:
- cost decreased from $1400 to $1100
- now properly uses a voice response when attacking ground units while airborne.
- Siege chopper, checking in.
- We've got the big gun.
- Ready for deployment.
- Airborne artillery!
- All systems operational.
- Moving in.
- Transporting siege weapon!
- Let's take over the area.
- Air speed to maximum.
- Looking for clearing.
When ordered to attack (airborne)
- Load up the belts!
- Give 'em some pepper!
- Target spotted!
- Chop them all down!
- Guns unleashed!
When ordered to attack (deployed)
- Time for a hailstorm!
- Deploying cannon!
- Coordinates confirmed!
- Setting trajectory!
- Fire at will!
- We're going to crash!
- We've been hit!
- Mayday! Mayday!
- Abort! Abort!
- Oh no!
- In the game files, the siege chopper uses the same type of machine gun as the Allied NightHawk Transport and the unused Hind transport.
- The Siege Chopper was based on real-world Soviet/Russian helicopter designs. Its cockpit and hull were inspired by the Mil Mi-28, while its side machinegun mount based on the Mil Mi 24P. Its overall shape is also closely linked to the Kamov Ka 50.