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The ACS-2 Aquila-class stealth command jet is a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capable aircraft used by the United Liberators Coalition and to some extent the United States Armed Forces. Thanks to its advanced quadruple reactor cores it is capable of sustained flight for weeks at a time and is able to maintain hovering position above ongoing operation sites. It is one of the newest vehicle types in the ULC's arsenal, introduced after complaints that Citadels were failing to meet certain mission profiles and a smaller, more mobile aircraft was necessary.

Because of this, the Aquila is a highly sought-after plane, used by operation teams for instances where a Citadel-class battleship would be too unwieldy or otherwise inappropriate.

Mid-size to large chapters of Liberators have at least one ACS-2, with the larger chapters often having multiple.

The President of the United States uses one of two unarmed ACS-2 Aquila decorated in traditional presidential livery as Air Force One, starting in May 2029 with President Marcus Whitmore.

History Edit

The ACS-2, with its extremely high performance, has replaced and phased out all AC-20 Phoenix command jets, which were the ULC's previous aircraft of choice for the role. No known AC-20s survive except for a refurbished one in the possession of Liberators-830B.

It was named after the Aquila, the Latin word for 'eagle'. In Roman armies, the Aquila was the battle standard, and was extremely important to the empire's military, each legion going to great lengths to protect theirs and to recover it if it was lost. Each Roman Legion had an Aquila. Thus, the Aquila was chosen to represent the role of the aircraft played in Liberators operations, with each chapter ideally being assigned one.

This however did not completely play through as, while the Aquila jet was very high quality, efficient and versatile, it was also very expensive. Thus in the modern Liberators throughout the USA, some chapters, typically the larger ones, operate Citadels while the mid-sized and more mobile ones operate Aquilas, with lesser equipped and funded chapters having no dedicated aircraft at all and only relying on small V-25 jump jets.

In 2028, one member of this class was present for a failed joint ULC-AECIF rescue mission in Dubai.

In 2029, the United States Air Force decided that a sub-class Aquila variant designed for cargo carrying, the C-30 Aquila, would be the replacement for the older, no longer produced C-17 Globemaster IIIs, and has begun the process of ordering units produced for the US military. This new demand, along with the Coalition deciding to equip all existing Liberator chapters with an ACS-2, meant that due to their smaller size and lower priority, the team known as Liberators-830B received a AC-20 Phoenix as their main transport instead.

In January 2029, ACS-2s were seen at the Phoenix Complex when the teams were undergoing orientation and assignment.

In May 2029, numerous ACS-2s were seen at the Bunker, dwarfing the AC-20 that the Liberators-830B team arrived in. Liberators-981 was said to, due to being one of the largest chapters in the United States, have at least three ACS-2s.

Later in May, one variant, reportedly unarmed and configured to serve as a Presidential Air Transport, was seen in Air Force One livery in the USSR during President Marcus Whitmore's state visit to Moscow. This aircraft was later publicly revealed to have replaced the Boeing 2707 previously used by the President and Presidents since 1990. Whitmore described it as being 'much roomier and high tech' compared to the previous aircraft, reflecting its superior capabilities and larger size, and retaining supersonic abilities without having to be narrow and scant on interior space like his previous aircraft.

  • Due to the ACS-2 Aquila's in-flight ability to dock and support smaller 'jump aircraft', Marine One was at the same time upgraded to become a V-25 jump jet, one of the aircraft types that was compatible with the docking mechanism. Due to this change, Marine One and Air Force One are now paired together and the former can deploy from the latter with ease if a motorcade is not viable.
  • In addition to docking Marine One topside, the new Air Force One can carry Cadillac One, the Presidential Limousine itself when the motorcade is a viable option. Other vehicles in the motorcade must be brought by other aircraft, however.

Some criticized the decision to use a disarmed military aircraft instead of a modified civilian airliner, commenting that it represented increasing ties to the military industrial complex (despite Boeing also being a part of said complex) and mocking the United States' recent militarism as a whole. This Aquila is expected to serve at least into the late 2050s.

Liberators-597's ACS-2 Aquila arrived safely at The Bunker after receiving the facility's recall order during the nuclear exchange of the resumed Korean War. This was the only aircraft of that chapter to do so. It was used on numerous missions by L-597 afterwards, and loaned temporarily to Liberators-830B following the loss of their AC-20 Phoenix.

In August, when the ULC-CLAW War climaxed, a splinter faction of survivors from a battle at Ekhota Base fled on this aircraft and used it to lay low and escape CLAW. At the conclusion of the conflict, it was later returned to L-597's ownership and service.

Operators Edit

Armament and Technical Specifications Edit

Weapons and defenses Edit

  • The Aquila possesses two ball-socket turrets with automatic computer-guided targeting, with quadruple mini-guns. One is mounted on the dorsal side of the ship, and one is mounted in the belly. Both retract when not in use, and are concealed.
  • The Aquila also has two missile launchers built underneath her nose. Both are capable of launching a volley of two missiles at once, and reloading in under 30 seconds. The Aquila has a total missile payload capacity of 16 missiles.
  • The Aquila has an electromagnetic defense shield to deflect some EM attacks. It is also shielded from electronic warfare, which it can deploy itself.
  • The command jet has the ability to launch chaff to defend itself by confusing incoming missiles.

In-flight docking Edit

Certain types of small and light aircraft with VTOL capability are capable of docking in midair with the Aquila, and integrating themselves with the fuselage of the larger plane. These are referred to as 'parasite planes' or 'jump jets' due to their piggybacking on the Aquila's body. V-25 Valkyries are one such example.

  • A robotic grappler system will reach out and secure the aircraft before guiding it down to make contact with the fuselage, where docking clamps will lock onto compatible mount points to secure the docked aircraft in place.
  • With some compatible aircraft, a pressurized crew transfer chamber and connector adapter will allow the doors of the smaller aircraft to be opened at high altitude for crew to simply walk onto the larger aircraft after docking. This is true for the V-25 jump jet and its rear ramp.

Interior layout Edit

  • Two SUVs can be stored in its vast cargo bay, or alternatively, a single Juggernaut armored transport. Unlike its predecessor which used a crane, the Aquila simply lowers its rear cargo ramp.
  • It has an onboard command center, field medical bays or science bays, bunks for crew, offices, a bar, dining and lounge, kitchen and a tactical planning room.

The plane is heavily armored and it is equipped with advanced adaptive cloaking technology, enabling it to camouflage into its surroundings. Its black, matte hull also absorbs radar waves, making it difficult to detect using conventional sensors.