Reinforcements from above
Polikarpov I-153 |
In 1937, the Polikarpov design bureau carried out studies to improve on the performance of its I-15 and I-15bis biplane fighters without sacrificing manoeuvrability. The new fighter was based closely on the design of the I-15bis, with a stronger structure, but was fitted with a manually retractable undercarriage to reduce drag.
The I-153 saw combat in 1939/40 against Finland where it was the main fighter plane, some were captured and then used by the Finns. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union they destroyed many I-153‘s on the ground. In the later stages the plane was superseded by the Yak-1 and MiG-3. The I-153 was then used as a ground-attack aircraft.
In FHSW 0.5 the I-153 is available as a very maneuverable fighter and bomber, the latter will come with four variants:
4 x 50 kg bomb
2 x 250 kg bomb
8 x 82 mm HE rocket
8 x 82 mm HEAT rocket
The I-195 was planned as a variant of the I-153 with aerodynamcial improvements and a more powerfull engine. The top speed was thought to be as high as 580 km/h which would have made this plane the fastest biplane in the world. No prototype was built.
In FHSW the I-195 is armed with two 12,7 mm machine guns, two 20 mm cannons and one of the following weapons:
2 x 250 kg bomb
8 x 132 mm HE rocket
8 x 132 mm HEAT rocket
The T-40 was an amphibious light tank used by the Soviet Union. It was intended to replace the aging T-37 and T-38 tank light amphibians. It was a superior design, but due to the pressures of war the Soviets favored the production of simpler tank designs, and only a small number of T-40s were built.
In FHSW the T-40 is able to cross rivers and lakes without problem, this can be used to scout enemy positions that are hard to reach usually. It’s also possible to spot targets for the artillery while sitting savely in the tank. The armor is only about 13 mm thick so don’t expect to survive tank battles.
The Russians tried to improve the weak combat value of the T-40 by developing an improved variant with better armament. They modified the hull and redesigned a 23 mm AA gun to fit it in the tank. A prototype was built and tested in 1941 but the cannon didn’t work properly which led to the dismissal of the project.
In FHSW the cannon of this improved T-40 is comparable with the German 2 cm Flak 38 which is enough firepower to penetrate the sides of the Panzer III and IV.
Zveno was a parasite aircraft concept developed in the Soviet Union during the 1930s. It consisted of a Tupolev TB-1 or a Tupolev TB-3 heavy bomber acting as a mothership for between two and five fighters. Depending on the Zveno variant, the fighters either launched with the mothership or docked in flight, and they could refuel from the bomber.
The Zveno in FHSW is equipped with four planes, all differently armed variants of either the I-153 or I-195. It’s possible to enter one of the attached planes during flight by leaving the TB-3 and walking on the wing. The TB-3 is also a mobile spawn point and provides ammunition for nearby planes like a real mothership! The Zveno becomes especially important if you lose your airfield flag.
TB-3/T-40 Airborne drop system
In the early to mid 20th century the Soviets used heavy bombers to land on the battlefield carrying light tanks, and experimented with air-dropping light tanks (both with and without parachutes).
Like with the Zveno project you have to leave the TB-3 and walk on the wing to enter the T-40. This gives you the opportunity to support your troops on the front or generate confusion behind the enemy’s lines. Unlike in reality you can drop it from great height without destroying the vehicle. This technique is also shown in the video above.
FHSW dev blog
and various wikipedia entries
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