- This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Operation Blackout.
Deep Strike is the seventh campaign mission of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. This mission is mainly an air-to-ground operation; it is also the first time the player encounters an attack from Stonehenge.
Your next mission is to attack the solar powered generator plants in the Faith Park region. These generators equal nuclear ones in output, and provide about 60% of the energy for the Erusians' military industrial complexes. Since they do not require oil or uranium supplies, we cannot stop power production by interdicting their supply lines. This deep strike mission will not only cripple the Erusians' industrial output, but also divert attention from our own imminent invasion plans.
While there are numerous surface targets that can be destroyed—the majority of which are low-point-rewarding solar panels—there are only three facilities labeled TGT. All the player has to do is destroy these three targets to complete the mission. However, if the player wishes to achieve an S rank, it's best to first take out the AA defenses, such as the flak guns and SAMs, and then perform a bombing run on the clusters of solar panels. The bandits flying around the facility can also be shot down for additional points.
Once the three TGTs are destroyed, Stonehenge, the railgun system that was the catalyst for the war, will attack the player for the first time in the game. In order to avoid Stonehenge's attacks, the player must drop to an altitude below 2,000 feet and return to base; the only way to do this is by flying inside the nearby ravines. By evading helicopter and fighter attacks and flying carefully through the ravines, the player completes the mission by safely crossing the return line.
Achieving an S rank is fairly simple in this mission. The player must take out all of the ground facilities and a few aircraft. The solar panels are the lowest value targets, but also the most plentiful and easiest to destroy. A few shots from the aircraft's machine gun are enough to destroy them. RCLs and bomblet dispensers work very effectively as well. Remember to save the three TGTs for last so as to avoid ending the mission too quickly. It is also recommended to shoot down the enemy ace, who is worth a fair amount of points as well.
Additionally, the player can opt to shoot down aircraft and helicopters in the ravine after the mission update, though this is considerably more difficult to do while still avoiding Stonehenge's attacks.
Main article: Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies/Aces
The mission succeeded, but the combat losses due to Stonehenge were higher than expected. Victory will elude us until it is eliminated.
- During the mission briefing, the ISAF arrow crosses over Stonehenge's attack radius; the circle flashes for a brief moment, foreshadowing Stonehenge's impending attack.
- The debriefing officer says that losses due to Stonehenge had been expected, even though nothing was said about Stonehenge attacking in the pre-mission briefing.
- The first wave of attacks from Stonehenge do not cause any harm, so you may fly above 2,000 feet until the next one.
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