- "An experimental large-scale bomb that is still in development and goes by the name of "Trinity". An improvement on the average cruising missile, its guidance capabilities enable it to bomb any target. It torches the surrounded area of impact and continues to cause damage for an extended period of time. This extremely powerful weapon will damage both foe and ally alike, so use with caution."
- ―Hangar description.[src]
EW1 is the third secondary weapon of the Russian PAK-FA, itself unlocked after completing the campaign. It is the sole Air-to-Ground weapon of the aircraft.
The weapon behaves like a traditional missile upon firing, heading directly for the target without employing advanced maneuvers. On impact, the missile causes a massive explosion, producing a large fireball and accompanying shockwave. Akin to the original Trinity, its extreme power allows it to destroy whole enemy formations at once. The blast wave lingers after the initial impact and covers the surrounding area with flammable materials, making it a hazard to low flying aircraft, and even the launcher themselves.
The power of the weapon is balanced by a payload of three missiles, which can be enhanced by playing in Rookie mode or with the aid of skills. However, unlike other similar weapons featured in previous games, it reloads at roughly half the speed of a basic missile, giving it enormous combat potential. Moreover, it is unique in that the explosion is able to harm enemies and allies alike.
In any competitive multiplayer mode, an Experimental Weapon 1 may be acquired if a player achieves a killstreak of eight. Once the condition has been fulfilled, the player's callsign will flash on the left-hand side progression window box with the indication that the player has obtained the right to use EW1, and will be given the choice of respawning in a PAK-FA armed with the weapon. Due to the fast-paced nature of multiplayer modes and the small text that the information box uses, it's helpful to keep track of one's own callsign as well as the amount of kills attributed to the player, as it is easy to overlook when one obtains the weapon. Using the "Easy Trinity" skill will allow one to acquire the weapon with a single kill, though this bonus lasts only for a single match and it must be purchased again.Only one Trinity-equipped PAK-FA can be on the field at any time. In Capital Conquest, it is extremely useful for clearing the myriads of anti-air weapons littered around key objectives like HQs, Radar Stations and the like. Once released, even if by mistake, it is then lost and must be reacquired with another killstreak. In addition, if the player is shot down before the EW1 is used, it is lost and must be reacquired.
Upon fielding an EW1-equipped PAK-FA, both team's objectives will change to "Destroy/Protect the EW1 Carrier!". Regardless, the previous objective will remain, and it is suggested, but not necessary to acknowledge the aforementioned player.
- Calamity - fire a Trinity missile and destroy any enemy in Free Mission mode.
- Experimental Weapon 1 is the third special weapon in the Ace Combat series to be derived from a superweapon. It was preceded by the Multi-Purpose Burst Missile from Ace Combat Zero and the Long-range Shock Wave Missile from Ace Combat X.
- When spoken, "EW1" sounds similar to "you won".
- If a Trinity missile is shot at a very long distance, such as in the start of "Siege" a small mushroom cloud can be seen from far away.
- In the mission "Hurricane", the eponymous Hurricane Alex can be "destroyed" by firing an EW1 at its eye.
- In Capital Conquest, EW1's effects on an enemy HQ will vary. The damage caused by an explosion and the blast wave will be minimal if the transmission base is not secured or the missile fired outside Air Strike Mode, but will increased to about 25% of the HQ's health if launched under these circumstances. The explosion may deal heavy damage to the surrounding air defense weapons, or even disable them completely.