The Americans weren't the only ones picking through the rubble. In those feverish days after the fall of Berlin, the Russians found their most valuable spoils of war in the ruins of bombed-out factories and underground laboratories. Though the papers and documents were destroyed, much of the hardware used to build the first German space vehicles was still in working order.
Without knowing what the finished product would be, Russian engineers began tinkering with the recovered machinery. It quickly became clear that the German technology was decades - no, light years - ahead of any other nation. It was also clear that these vehicles were not intended for use on Earth.
With the U.S. and the Soviet Union becoming fast enemies, the first step was to find out what the other side knew. Then, once cloak and dagger had leveled the playing field, the Soviets became consumed with building a new army and getting up there first. The Americans had Dr. Arkin and his firsthand experience, but one man could only know part of the picture for a process as complex as this. The Russians had the tools needed to do the job. The game had begun.
The following vehicles mark the height of Soviet ingenuity. They were every bit a match for what the Americans were building, and worthy successors to the original German designs.
The Flanker was a cheap, fast, and heavily used offensive fighter. Its broad, wing-like appendages made it an easy target, but they also enabled tight maneuverability and effectiveness in close range dogfights. The Flanker best demonstrated the Soviets' ability to blend unique and innovative designs into the less daring templates provided by the Germans.
A clear counterpart to the NSDF's Grizzly, the Czar traded speed and versatility for thicker armor and a higher ammo capacity. With Flankers to keep the enemy moving, the presence of two or more Czars in a skirmish could dominate any combination of NSDF fighters. Enemy pilots could dodge the Czar's attacks with relative ease, but sooner or later they would have to face its awesome endurance in direct combat.
Indicative of the low value placed on the soldier's life, the Stoli was viewed by CCA pilots as a high-yield suicide machine. It carried powerful weaponry that could eliminate weaker enemies before they knew what hit them, but a Stoli pilot caught in an extended melee had little hope of survival. As a result, they were usually found pulling up the rear, with the far more durable Czars pressing through in front.
Used mostly as a siege unit, the Grendel packed the firepower to destroy Recyclers and buildings quickly, but lacked the speed or versatility to defend against moving attackers. It often required a large escort guarding closely to reach its target safely. Nonetheless, it was a vital asset to the CCA in challenging NSDF fortifications.
Influenced heavily by recovered alien technology, the Golem was the strongest and most powerful unit of any Earth-based military. With its thick, tree-trunk legs replacing the standard hover jets, the Golem could carry an enormous blast cannon and fire from high above the battlefield. Its one drawback was speed. This limitation all but ruined its effectiveness as an offensive unit, relegating it primarily to guard and protective duties.