Kirovs, named after the great general of the Second Great War Sergei Kirov, are an iconic image recognized by all, representing the overwhelming firepower and intimidating presence of the Soviet Union. Slow, powerful and incredibly durable, a fleet of Kirovs is often a sign of doom for any commander. Only massive amounts of anti-aircraft fire is capable of downing these blimps, and even as they plummet to their deaths, a Kirov can still cause untold destruction in its death throes. Their role in the invasion of the United States brought swift victory in favor of the Soviets.
With an endless supply of bombs and painfully slow top speed, the Kirov Airship is almost exactly the same as in vanilla Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge (except for the increased cost and more importantly, the lack of an announcement of its arrival on the battlefield), and is the most powerful air unit in the Soviet arsenal - and also the slowest. The Kirov drops highly destructive bombs directly onto its targets to annihilate anything below, and its nigh impregnable armour can soak up a large deal of punishment.
The main purpose of the Kirov is base destruction. Its bombs are so powerful it will take only two to three to destroy the most well-armoured structures, and a single Kirov can raze an entire base within seconds if left unattended. It's ineffective, however, against anything that moves, as even the slowest ground units can just simply walk or drive away from under it. The Kirov is also unsuitable for a defensive role, as it's way to slow to intercept attackers and its bombs are quite likely to damage your own forces.
The main drawback of the Kirov Airship is its awful speed. Coupled with the point-blank range of its only weapon, the Kirov is utterly helpless against any mobile anti-air resistance, especially from other air units. While its tough armour can buy it some time, if intercepted en route the Kirov will likely not make it into the enemy base. Thus, it's a good idea to always escort it with other units. A strike force could be used to quickly destroy anti-air units or defenses before the Kirov's arrival, leaving the enemy base helpless.
Against an unaware player the Kirov can be used in mischievous ways, such as sneaking in one through an undefended part of their base. This will give the Kirov enough time to take out key buildings and severely cripple, if not outright eliminate, the enemy.
The Kirov Airship can also be used as a psychological weapon. An unprepared opponent might panic and scramble to stop the Kirov from approaching their base upon detecting it, distracting them and potentially making them waste resources on anti-air defenses.
- Highly effective against structures.
- Extremely durable.
- Unimaginable power in large numbers.
- Deadly if combined with Scud Launchers and Dreadnoughts since the Kirov can distract anti-air defenses.
- Causes heavy damage when it crashes down to earth.
- Practically a guaranteed victory if deployed in large enough numbers.
- Can self-repair.
- Extremely slow.
- Very expensive ($2500), but can be reduced by Industrial Plant so it becomes less expensive ($1875).
- Vulnerable to air-to-air and hit-and-run harassment.
- Can only target ground units directly below.
- Bombs may cause friendly fire.
- Vulnerable to massed anti-air defenses and Tier-3 anti-aircraft units.