Yakir Boarding Airship
- Coming Aboard: Made to seize enemy heavy aircraft, the Yakir is armed only with a few machine guns to ward off enemy fighter cover.
- Getting a Boost: The strength of the Yakir is the platoon of elite "Boostermen" stationed inside. Similar to the Allied Rocketeer, the Boostermen fly into battle with EMP grenades capable of disabling enemy vehicles and damaging the vital systems of enemy aircraft.
- Still Just Hot Air: The Yakir only has machine guns to defend itself, and worse the Boostermen detachment has to be deployed by the commander. It takes time for the next batch to deploy, meaning that deploying into a bad situation leaves the ship defenseless.
- It's Got Boarding in the Name: With trial and error, the Boostermen can learn on the fly to actually seize enemy heavy aircraft and turn it to the Soviet cause.
Because war is crazy, the massive airships that should have been dead before the beginning of World War II are seeing a resurgence post-WWIII. Whether as heavy bombers, massive transports, or flying aircraft carriers, the mighty airship is back again and probably to stay. Of course, the Soviets have their Kirovs and Zhukovs and and even Barrage Ballons. Unfortunately, the increase in heavy airframes put out by other factions has created a dangerous situation for the Union. Threatened with the loss of their superiority in the area of heavy aircraft, the Politboro ordered TSEL to come up with a counter.
Looking over their vast array of captured enemy equipment, the scientists realized that the Allies had already given them their solution. Taking the first purposefully-flawed prototypes from Dr. Von Braun, TSEL engineers developed a Soviet equivalent of the PRR-2 Rocket Pack and began modifying previous models of the Kirov to increase passenger capacity. Equipment was initially an issue, as even for TSEL the ability to manufacture and procure the same type of cyclotronic rifles given to the best performing Spetsnaz regiments was difficult, to say nothing of the difficulties in trying to aim in the middle of an air battle. Looking back, it was decided to arm with new troops with a new type of grenade, designed to disable vital systems of enemy heavy ships and, after enough testing, enemy ground vehicles.
Arming the new class of airship with a trio of machine gun turrets for a basic defense, TSEL is now building and launching the new Yakir. The hope is that, with time, the Boostermen carried inside will not simply destroy enemy heavy airships, but seize them for use by the Union for study and combat. Quietly, members of the Talon fear the possibility that the Union will capture and reverse-engineer their Lazarus Air Dreadnaught, and are doing all they can to sabotage the program.