The Arkbird (アークバード Ākubādo) is a spacecraft built by the Osean Federation during the Cold War as an ICBM and meteor interception weapon.
In the year 2008, a summit was held by Anea, Federation of Central Usea, Osea, Yuktobania, Verusa, Nordland and Erusean provisional government. This summit aimed not only at easing the tensions between Erusian survivors of the last war and the Independent State Allied Forces, but at resolving the refugee problems that could be ascribed to the war and Ulysses. As for Erusea, the situation was quite precarious, but Osea invited Erusea to the summit for the purpose of bringing peace to the entire world by sweeping out all the political issues that Federal Republic of Erusea had to deal with, gathering up international co-operations.
Though Osea and Yuktobania were once in a cold war, both of them are now trying to rebuild and further their relationship by "joint space development project". Osea's Mass Driver project was realized with the help of Yuktobania's high engineering technology.
Choosing The ArkbirdEdit
During the cold war, the Osean-Yuktobanian relations were getting worse, starting from Mutual Assured Destruction to Countervailing Strategy. At last, both of them reached Strategic Defense Initiative. This was because the qualities of strategic weapons such as ICBM were improved rapidly and the platforms like reconnaissance satellites and alert systems advanced as well. What was more important was that Satellite Based Laser and Anti Satellite Technologies were deployed in addition to the existing ground to air missile defense systems. Arkbird was originally designed to go beyond all these SBLs and ASATs. Arkbird, which is able to keep flying without landing, was expected to detect enemy missile launch, go up to the point where the missile is about fly through and intercept it by means of its hyper laser weapon in any phase.
Just before Arkbird took flight, Ulysses was discovered to be coming close at hand. It was also found that Ulysses would surmount Roche limits of Earth and crash down mainly on the Usean continent. The Usean countries constructed Stonehenge to protect the continent. Stonehenge combated Ulysses, but it never constituted a solution to the space debris that Ulysses left behind, espicially once it was destroyed by ISAF forces during the war. In this phase, Arkbird took its first flight as a suitable replacement of Stonehenge to get rid of these debris which might jeopardize not only Usean continent but also Osea, Yuktobania and others.
Osea was first planning to equip the Arkbird with an Airborne Laser unit of their own, but it was a Yuktobanian Anti Space Debris Hyper Laser unit that was finally chosen. Missiles were also equipped in order to destroy debris too big to remove by laser unit. Arkbird so far met the expectations or more, by removing 80% of Ulysses offspring. The Arkbird then became an infrastructure for a permanent space station building project. Usea and Verusa had already declared participation in this project.
When the cold war ended, improved Osean-Yuktobanian relations drastically encouraged democracy, the market economy and social justice. Disarmament ensued, and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and Strategics Arms Reduction Treaty 2 were respectively ratified. The legacies of the cold war actually became peacemakers and hailed the new era of outer space. This was how the whole world reached the Arkbird Declaration.
Arkbird's use in the Circum-Pacific WarEdit
When the Osean-Yuktobanian Circum Pacific War began in 2010, Yuktobanian forces quickly disabled the Osean Navy and any first-strike capabilities that they had. When Osea had discovered that Yuktobania was operating the Scinfaxi, the decision by the Osean Government to employ the Arkbird in the front-lines was made. Its operations became extremely pivotal and it turned the tide of the war in Osea’s favor. However, it was sabotaged weeks later by unknown operatives and its operations stopped. Contact was lost with the Arkbird afterward.
As the war continued the Arkbird was revealed to have been taken over by a group of Belkan extremists, still angered with the Osean Allied victory in the Belkan War 15 years previously. A nuclear weapon from that time was unearthed from Mount Schirm and shipped to the Arkbird. It then embarked on a mission to destroy Okchabursk, Yuktobania. Over the Ceres Ocean, an unknown captive Osean astronaut escaped from the Arkbird in an escape capsule. Before he escaped he succeeded in tampering with the Arkbird's navigational controls, causing it to dive deep into the atmosphere.
While the Arkbird tried to recover from the dive, it was engaged by four black-and-red aircraft. The "Ghosts of Razgriz" opened fire on the Arkbird and combat ensued. The Arkbird made use of its full weapons capacity to attempt to shoot them down, including its laser weaponry, (namely, the beam cannon underneath and the pulse cannons on top), AAM systems, & newly added UAV launch ports. As the battle ensued the Arkbird lost its engines, making it unable to escape the atmosphere. The Belkans then changed their mission to a suicide mission: they attempted to crash in Osean territory and detonate the nuke on board. After the Razgriz Squadron destroyed its final functioning engine, it crashed into the Ceres Ocean, where it exploded. Thanks to the fail-safe nature of most modern nukes, no fallout was emitted from the crash site.
The Arkbird was destroyed on December 19, 2010. It should be noted that; Kei Nagase mentions Osea building a replacement Arkbird.
The Arkbird is a large space-borne craft, with a sweeping aerodynamic design. It has a vaguely triangular shape, with the fuselage gradually widening and flattening as it goes rearwards. The central fuselage houses a fast firing laser unit on a circular mounting on the dorsal section, with AAM launchers flanking it. UCAV launch units and another more powerful laser are fitted on the ventral section. Upwards sweeping wings reminiscent of bird's wings complement the design, and provide most of the craft's maneuvering capabilities. The Arkbird has at least six main engines, four in two mountings on each side on the ventral rear, two large combined cycle engines on the dorsal rear and with one large auxiliary engine in the center of the dorsal fuselage section.
The Arkbird is featured in the mobile game Ace Combat: Northern Wings. In the game's plot, it is revealed that the Kingdom of Nordennavic secretly supported the development of the Arkbird. In addition, the ship makes a few appearances in gameplay itself.
In the Osean campaign, Grendel 1 assumes control of the A-SAT cannon to attack the invading Yuktobanian fleet during the siege of Sand Island. Later on, the Grendel unit chases the Belkan-controlled Arkbird during the attack on Okchabursk (in the events of "White Bird (Part II)" in The Unsung War), and attacks it together with the Ghosts of Razgriz, in a clear contradiction of established canon.
- Sometimes, during Hard or Ace mode, when the player must destroy the final engine on the Arkbird's back, a glitch causes the Arkbird to start moving around like a standard plane. It was possibly this glitch that inspired the Orgoi of Ace Combat: Joint Assault.
- In Namco´s Ridge Racer series, there is a car parts manufacturer called Arkbird.
- The Arkbird is currently the only superweapon that has ever supported the player on a mission. It is also the only superweapon that has been controlled by the player during the campaign, as seen in Ace Combat: Northern Wings.