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This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Operation Dual Wielder.
"Trigger, time to show the other guys that we get wet, wild, and do dirty, dirty things."
Clown

Two-pronged Strategy is the third campaign mission of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. The player is introduced to the Arsenal Bird in gameplay for the first time.

Briefing

The surprise attacks carried out after the declaration of war, so the peacekeeping forces of various countries, including Osea, suffer major damage. The ships moored around the space elevator and near Gandar Bay[note 1] have been hit particularly hard. Numerous ships have been sunk and abandoned. Fortunately, our cutting-edge aircraft carrier Kestrel II was at sea, so it was spared from the attack. Kestrel II is now preparing to launch another attack against Erusea's capital, Farbanti. The aircraft carrier Vulture also managed to escape Gandar Bay[note 1] safely. However, it lost all its aircraft, so it's sailing empty. Today the International Union Peacekeeping Force reclaims its bid to the space elevator. The Fort Grays Island Air Base Squadron will rendezvous with the carrier Vulture for a joint mission. The first objective will be to seize air superiority in Chopinburg in order to secure a route for the support squadrons. The enemy maintains air superiority over Chopinburg, so expect heavy resistance from enemy aircraft. There's more, so listen carefully. Right from the start of the war, the enemy has been deploying drones. They're using a new, advanced type of drone. The unmanned, airborne aircraft carrier the Arsenal Bird carries this new drone, MQ-101. The Osean Army headed up the development of the massive Arsenal Birds and dispatched them to the space elevator to provide support. However, it's been reported that the carriers may have fallen into the hands of the Erusean Forces. If that's true, it could be a significant obstacle for us. We need to regain control of the space elevator ASAP. Good luck out there.

Objectives

Initial

After performing a mid-air refuel, the player enters the fray between allied Osean and enemy Erusean aircraft. There are eight Erusean aircraft, including F-4Es and F-16Cs, all of which are labeled TGT. Allied aircraft will shoot some of the enemies down if the player fails to.

Upon shooting down all enemy aircraft, the player is suddenly ambushed by long-range missiles and must evade them.

Mission Update 1

The Arsenal Bird escapes a cloud and drops many of its MQ-101 UAVs. Some of the UAVs begin to engage the player and their allies while the rest provide cover for the Arsenal Bird. After a while, the player is ordered to destroy the Arsenal Bird, whose propellers will become labeled as TGT. Besides the UAVs, the player must also dodge the consistent barrage of missiles fired from the Arsenal Bird's AAM launchers. The UAVs providing cover can also intercept any missiles meant to hit the propellers and the launchers.

After 90 seconds of the player engaging the Arsenal Bird, regardless of the damage inflicted, the Arsenal Bird will activate a large energy shield. The player must remain outside of this shield to avoid damage. After a while, the entirety of the friendly Skeleton Squadron is shot down, forcing the IUN command to order a retreat.

Mission Update 2

A group of the Arsenal Bird's MQ-101s will chase down the player's allies. They are marked as TGT and the player must shoot them all down to help their allies retreat. The player will fail the mission if any allies are shot down.

During this stage, an unidentified Su-30 with orange wing tips will enter the combat zone and begin engaging Brownie.

It is presumed, but not yet confirmed, that shooting down all of the MQ-101s in this update will complete the mission.

Enemy List

The following enemy list is only an estimation from footage of the mission, and is subject to change upon the game's release.

Section Unit Points Count Notes
Initial Icon-AirTGT F-4E 220 3
Icon-AirTGT F-16C 400 5
Mission Update 1 Icon-AirTGT
Icon-AirTGT
Icon-AirTGT
Icon-AirTGT
ARSENAL BIRD
MAIN PROPELLER
SUB PROPELLER
AAM

500
500
500
1
2
6
6
[note 2]
 
 
 
Icon-AirEnemy MQ-101 500 8 [note 3]
Icon-AirEnemy MQ-101 500 8 [note 4]
Mission Update 2 Icon-AirTGT

S Rank

The requirements for S-ranking this mission will become available after the game's release.

Debriefing

The debriefing is currently unavailable.

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Gandar Bay" is incorrectly named in the briefing. The area's name is actually Gunther.
  2. The Arsenal Bird cannot be shot down in this mission.
  3. These MQ-101s will physically defend the Arsenal Bird's propellers.
  4. These MQ-101s turn into TGTs in Mission Update 2. The player can destroy some of them in Mission Update 1.

References