Proof of Surface Pilot is a short story included as part of TSFiA, article #29.
Dust from bricks and concrete enshrouded the vicinity, mercilessly pressing down and wrapping around the soldiers. Although long accustomed to the gritty taste of sand, the bitterness felt through the protective mask and on the tip of the tongue was in no way due to the grit.
Taking cover behind a church's walls that had collapsed from support fire, listening to allied communications amidst the occasional reverberating gunshot, Sergeant Stanislav Zerenov made full use of the moment he had allowed himself to think and catch his breath.
(As one would expect, they’re quite proficient... it seems that they’re incomparable to the militia wannabes up until now.)
After rushing into the settlements, in particular with the heart of the enemy strength within several blocks, there shouldn’t have been much trouble until they were boxed in. Although they had been stumped numerous times, it was likely that the suppression of the “volunteer troops” that a few days ago only had AK-47s, and were rushing on without any strategy, could be plainly called a simple combat maneuver.
However, it could be seen that the enemies that they’ve been facing for the past few hours up until now had completely changed into something detestable.Keeping the pressure upon the Soviets, and incessantly repeating their maneuvers, it was clear that they were no amateurs from the way they were doing their best to prolong the battle.
“Really, this street is just too troublesome.”
A new explosion resounded, and the sight of a dust cloud dancing upwards on the other side, one of his subordinates muttered to himself. Lined up on the leased land of Alaska, was a townscape; although modest, it was reminiscent of the former commonwealth - due to the reconstruction and expansion that covered the old town from when it was a US territory, and which was summoned out from the Soviet government’s wallet, which could no longer be said to be affluent.
“... ...dammit! Do you desire play-like autonomy in this toy-like street that much?”
The materials that were being destroyed by “they”, who came from those that had escaped the same way as the refugees, and which had been prepared with all of them in mind, was a bitter contradiction outside the soldiers’ scope of logic.
In reality, it could have been said that this one-time uprising of a meager movement to increase autonomy in settlements comprised of the same ethnicity, as they were, could have been arrested all at once by deploying the police force; that was, until someone had brought weapons and military personnel onto the streets.
“What they wanted couldn’t have been this...”
While he prepared his equipment to use in the next attack, the grumblings of Sergeant Zerenov’s men added to his own misgivings.
“I don’t know if it’s the Refugee Liberation Front or the Separatists, but those guys aren’t stupid. They know that they won’t be able to get anything if they just hole up inside these streets; shame on those who live here that their propaganda has worked so well.”
In fact, the political ideas and principles of the main group of the enemies was of no concern to the sergeant. The important thing was, the autonomy activists and the civilians were the ones who were set up as militiamen, and in the end they would probably confront the professional soldiers that were Zerenov‘s group. Thus, in order to divulge the truth of “those guys” themselves, the harsh reality was that they should at least capture the core group of the enemy alive. If they kept moving slowly, intervention by the US Forces might be a concern.
(If the enemy’s D.o.A weren’t a question, I’d have immediately hit them with a 120mm to kill all of them off easily-)
Zerenov shook his head to put an end to his flight of fancy, and opened the mobile data-link on his neck.
“Alright you bastards, I hope you’re ready - Sava 1-5 to Lisitsa-1, do you hear me? You can continue to proceed to avenue K ＝Л (K-L) intersection, and put both the entirety of K and Л within your range of suppressive fire. Afterwards, the infantry teams will handle it somehow.”
The shockwaves rumbling underfoot and the distinctive drive sound of a machine moving on low power neared, and for an instant the large shadow of an MiG-29 Lastochka fell upon Sava 1-5 - the special mission infantry platoon led by Sergeant Zerenov. This TSF, with its selling points being its mobility, characteristic of the 2nd generation, and as a lightweight unit, was now assigned to clearing operations in the streets.
“Lisitsa-1 to Sava 1-5, affirmative on your assistance request... … however, as things are going, the estimated damage to the infantry will be too heavy.”
From the start, Sergeant Zerenov was resigned to that. He wasn’t going to needlessly expose to danger a TSF that was pivotal for the war against the BETA; as well, they were also proud of their area of expertise in urban combat.
“Lisitsa-1, that risk has already been factored in. If it ends with someone taking aim at you from behind, that would be considered quite-”
“Sava 1-5, you won’t mind us attacking up to to the west of K street then? We’ll lure out the enemy’s counterattack and pulverize them.
“Wh... it’s absurd to go alone in a TSF! On the contrary, if the enemy is completely concealed, then even a TSF-!”
Now that those words were set in his mouth, Sergeant Zerenov’s lack of concern right now made him think about the political circumstances. Perhaps; however-
“I expect that those fellows want the fame and glory that comes with defeating a TSF. They’ll definitely take action.”
Infantryman and pilot, while with varying standpoints as two people, drew the same conclusion as soldiers.
“Sergeant Zerenov, previously you’ve shown me the spirit of an infantryman. Now it’s my turn to show you a special feature of TSFs.”
At the voice issuing from the radio, the sergeant sent a surprised look at the MiG-29 overhead. A single pilot linked to the Senior Officer Training Program which was temporarily under his command. In his mind, in the special forces training course that even elite pilot candidates complained about, the name of a man who completed it without moving even an eyebrow rose to the surface.
“Lisitsa-1, beginning forward maneuver. Lisitsa-2, provide cover.”
As though to make clear that the discussion on tactics was done, the MiG-29 resumed its slow advance. The sounds of a heavy object grinding up sand and gravel echoed around.
Re-equipped with the A-97 Assault Cannon from its gun rack, it proceeded to move into the un-suppressed area, fully equipped for cannon warfare.
Actually, Lisitsa-1’s actions were not due to recklessness. Certainly, right now the US, Soviets, and some countries were currently proceeding in development with multiple warhead types hypothesized for use against composite armor, or launchers that could be applied against IR sensors, but infantry-use portable anti-TSF weaponry were still a sufficient threat. However, those weapons systems were still in limited deployment, due to the various nations’ concurrent multi-layered confidentiality countermeasures to prevent them from leaking out to third-party nations; but in missions like this one right now, the chances being confronted with such a possibility was close to zero.
That is, in other words-
“Lisitsa-1, RPG, five o’ clock!”
The MiG-29 crossed the K/L intersection by dozens of meters, and began to move after its delay; from the viewpoint of Sava Platoon, they could see the militiaman that was ready to fire the RPG-7 that was aimed towards the MiG-29, reflected on the building window.
(The pre-emtive strike won’t make it in time, at this rate-)
The moment when fire blasted from the two locations where the rockets were fired from, high-sensitivity sensors used for sensing the initial irradiation of Laser-class detected the rapidly-increasing infrared signatures, immediately identifying their directions. The computation device, with the pre-installed tactical situation and infrared pattern, estimated the RPG-7’s attack path, and calculated the hit position - judging that one will miss, and the other would not hit any critical parts, concluding that avoidance measures and the start-up of the active protection system were unnecessary.
1 second. The MiG-29, which shifted the position of its right leg slightly, already began to aim two cannons at the estimated firing positions; at the same time, it exchanged sensor intel using its data-link with Lisitsa-2, further enhancing the accuracy of its measurements.
2 seconds. Both anti-tank rockets intersected in the vicinity of Lisitsa-1; the estimated trajectory of 1 missed horizontally by a few meters, another hit the composite armor of the leg at a shallow angle, and having failed to achieve the initial pressure required for detonation, was deflected, flying off in the wrong direction.
3 seconds. The two cannons that were fully pointed towards the enemy released 120mm HE shells, and the enemy gunner holding the RPG-7 became its namesake, “Suicide Weapon”. The enemies were trapped in the houses and crushed, and became forever silent.
(If firepower of that degree doesn’t kill them, that is. However, that’s not the only thing.)
While feeling the vibrations from the MiG-29’s continued advance, Sergeant Zerenov was full of wonder. Although air evacuation was possible if push came to shove, there was always the risk of a direct hit to a vital part or a saturation attack. With courage from fear, and to quickly direct it towards the enemy, an action that involved a response in force to to not allow another attack and change in position.
(I see, so that was just what he had said, that 2nd Lieutenant Sandek. Hopefully, these kind of pilots can live a long life.)
The edge of his mouth unknowingly crooked, and then he began moving again in order to fully carry out his duty anew.
“Sava1-5 to all platoons, Lisitsa has opened up point K-4! Don’t fall behind in getting into your caskets!”
10 November 1998, West Alaska - in a corner of USSR leased territory, the riot that occurred was safely put down, and the TSFs’ test deployment in anti-terrorist urban combat also achieved exemplary results.
Sergeant Zerenov and 2nd Lieutenant Jerzy Sandek, with a drink of authentic vodka, hereafter continued their headache-inducing actions for the Soviet Interior Ministry, caused by the respective combat achievements they had earned tonight.
- ↑ Dead or Alive, a term referring to an entity's wanted status by authorities indicating whether the offending person(s) can be brought to justice only alive, or if killing them in the process of capture was acceptable.
- ↑ Sava, or сова in the Russian alphabet, meaning owl.
- ↑ Lisitsa, or лисица in the Russian alphabet, meaning fox.
- ↑ APS (original text 散弾防御システム, scattershot protection system) is a term used for a class of countermeasures with the purpose of preventing a projectile from hitting its target. They are split into two types; soft-kill and hard-kill. Soft-kill examples include ECM, flares, and chaff, while hard-kill examples include reactive armor, as well as interception-type systems such as the Russian Arena. This particular system would appear to be an intercepting-type, considering the usage of 散弾.