- "Ravens reassured you that the good guys had arrived and were either going to give you something you badly needed, or get you out of somewhere you didn't want to be. There was nothing not to love about them. Their chakka- chakka engine note alone was enough to make hearts leap. Their rust streaks were sacred. And their pilots were all uniformly insane."
- — Dominic Santiago thinking about the Raven chopper
King Ravens, otherwise known as Ravens, choppers or by their KR callsign, formed the backbone of the Coalition of Ordered Governments Air Corps. They were introduced in the late years of the Pendulum Wars and have proven to be an indispensable military asset ever since. It continued to prove its worth during the Locust War, where it was mainly used for transporting Gears in and out of warzones. It also proved to be excellent for assault on enemy infantry and supporting friendly troops on the ground.
- "The backbone of military aviation will always be rotary, and tactical airpower must remain in the hands of ground commanders. Fixed-wing costs too much to do too little—I see no reason to waste any more taxpayers’ money on the Petrel strike-fighter program when we could spend that on helicopter-launched missile systems. These birds represent better value and can do everything we need, and do it better in most cases—transport, combat, observation, maritime, and special mission. We do not need to fragment our defense strategy by creating a separate air force."
- — Gen. Jod Lombard, giving evidence to the COG Defense Committee on the lack of need to create a separate air force and expand fixed-wing procurement, two years before accepting a seat on the board of Helicopter Manufacturer AiglarThe King Raven was introduced in 17 B.E. and saw action at the Kashkur Front. It was used by the COG Army throughout the entire war, replacing the Corva and Terns.
Early Locust War
King Ravens were used extensively throughout the first year as the opening battles began. They were used during the evacuation to Ephyra, as millions of people were rapidly making there way to the city to escape the fighting. They were mainly used as transports, to pick up civilians and make their way towards Ephyra before the Hammer was deployed.
During the Lightmass Offensive, King Ravens were first used to evacuate Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago from the Slab, and to transport Delta Squad to Embry Square. Ravens later provided covering fire for Delta as they began to search for Alpha Squad. After leaving the House of Sovereigns, a King Raven was dispatched to extract the remnants of Delta and Alpha Squads, but was shot down by Nemacyst. When Delta Squad was dispatched to recover lost data from East Barricade Academy, two Ravens transported them and another squad. One was shot down by Nemacyst. As the Lightmass Bomb was being ferried towards its designated target area, a King Raven gave pursuit abreast of the train. After killing RAAM, Marcus activated the bomb and was snatched off the train just in the nick of time.
After the Lightmass Offensive, the COG believed the war to be over and grounded half of their King Raven fleet for repairs. This left the COG unprepared when the Locust Horde returned.
Assault On Landown
King Ravens were used extensively throughout the Assault on Landown. They transported Gears and fresh supplies from the staging point, as well as supporting and escorting infantry and ground vehicles. They were a great asset to the COG Army who participated in the assault. However, a substantial number of Seeders were pocketed throughout the area, as well as Brumaks, in which they took down several Ravens during the assault. Soon, High Command had decided to pull back nearly all King Ravens in the area, advising ground troops and other forces to eliminate Seeders when they took notice of them.
Sinking of Jacinto
In a last ditch attempt to destroy the Locust Horde, the COG decided to flood the Locust Hollows. However, this meant flooding and sinking Jacinto. Originally, the plan was to use a King Raven to transport a Lightmass Bomb to the Locust Sinkhole; however, heavy Seeder and Nemacyst infestation prevented this from happening. Later, when Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago cleared the sinkhole using a hijacked Brumak, Ravens evacuated them from the Brumak. However, the King Raven carrying the Lightmass Bomb was taken down by the Lambent Brumak and sank into the Imulsion. In order to sink Jacinto, Marcus Fenix used the Hammer of Dawn from the side door of a Raven, causing the Lambent Brumak to detonate. Later, Ravens were used extensively to evacuate Jacinto.
After Jacinto, The Relocation Of The Remnant Of Jacinto
After the sinking of Jacinto, Ravens were used to carry supplies and Gears to Vectes Naval Base. Later, a King Raven took Delta Squad to the island of Vectes, where they encountered a large isolated community. Ravens also took part in numerous military operations against the Stranded, on and around Vectes, and later against the emerging Lambent.
Mission to Halvo Bay
After arriving in Halvo Bay, Damon Baird and his team followed former UIR soldier Garron Paduk to his home, to find his friends had been transformed into formers. The group ended up reaching a flare which resulted in some survivors arriving to the scene in their own King Raven. This Raven picked up the team, taking them near an abandoned police station, before leaving.
Battle of Azura
During the Second Battle of Azura, several Ravens carrying UIR reinforcements arrived to the battle, thanks to Damon and Cole. One King Raven, by the callsign KR Zero-Six, aided Delta with air support before it was shot down by a nearby Siege Beast. During the final minutes of the war, a King Raven carrying Clayton Carmine arrived to help Delta remove Locust and Lambent forces from the top of Pinnacle Tower. However, this Raven was soon taken down by Queen Myrrah's personal mount, the Tempest. Clayton and the pilot survived the crash and were later rescued by a passing Raven.
During the raid on the Tollen Dam Swarm hive, a King Raven piloted by Damon Baird, and Samantha Byrne with Augustus Cole as the gunner, assisted Marcus, JD, Kait, and Del in clearing Swarm resistance with missiles, during a battle with a Hive Beast, the Raven was shot down, but everyone was able to get out. JD salvaged the Raven's rotor to kill the creature.
As an all-around, multi-purpose air transport/assault aircraft, the King Raven was mainly used to transport and deploy soldiers, such as Gears. It was able to carry up to twelve personnel at once. Besides their function as transport vehicles, Ravens also served as close air support to soldiers on foot.
A King Raven's crew consisted of a pilot and a co-pilot, who were responsible for the control over the actual movement, agility and maneuverability of the helicopter, as well as communications and navigation. Furthermore, there were two gunners who manned the Chain Guns mounted on both sides of the Raven. There was also a Crew Chief, who commanded the Raven and its crew, as well as controlling operations that the Raven undertook.
The King Raven had a contra-rotating main rotor, in which two rotors sat on top of each other and turned in opposite directions, canceling out rotational torque and eliminating the need for a tail rotor. The Raven also had no visible cockpit windows, and instead pilots utilized cameras and monitors to pilot the craft. Twin intakes were located directly above the cockpit. The troop bay was open to the elements and had seating for up to 5 Gears, as well as handholds in the cabin for additional troops. It had a set of retractable mid mounted wheels and a fixed single rear wheel for landing gear.
All King Ravens were standardly equipped with armaments on both the front and the sides of the aircraft. Its side armaments included two mounted Chain Guns, operated by either the Gunners or any Gear that happened to be on board; they were used for point-defense and close air support from the air. These Chain Guns could also be replaced with Stomper grenade launchers at any time, used for targeting units with heavier armor. Its frontal armament was a forward-mounted machine gun on the front of the aircraft was controlled by the pilot, which made them capable of performing attacks on oncoming targets.
Every King Raven had relatively dense armor plates, capable of withstanding small-arms fire. However, Ravens were extremely vulnerable to explosions from rockets and, during the Locust War, from exploding Nemacyst. Ravens could not go anywhere where Nemacyst populated the airspace.
Besides its weapons and armor, the King Raven had a number of specialized equipment/features that helped it with supporting itself and friendly forces and to increase combat effectiveness and survival. It could be equipped with a forward-mounted searchlight, to help itself and other friendly forces see through the dark. Like most helicopters, King Ravens are equipped with retractable belly-mounted wheels, used for safe landings and take-offs.
King Raven Gunship
The King Raven Gunship was a variant to the standard King Raven, especially designed for close air support. It was notably different from the standard Raven on several specific points: the capacity for transporting infantry had been reduced and the door-mounted Chain Guns had been removed and placed in gunpods. This reduction of the standard weight resulted in a higher capacity for additional ammunition and two wing stubs that accommodated extra weapon hardpoints. It also had much thicker armor than standard Ravens, and a reasonably larger fuel tank. In addition to the standard nose-mounted machine guns, the King Raven Gunship also had a UV-Filter-equipped searchlight, a pair of rocket pods, and a battery of laser-guided, anti-tank missiles. The latter were often used against Brumaks and Reavers during the Locust War. It is known that many King Raven Gunships were deployed in the assault on Landown, many of which were lost because of the Locust resistance.
A specialized King Raven variant that was seen ferrying the Lightmass Bomb at the end of Operation Hollow Storm and evacuating Jacinto after the city was sunk. Unlike other Ravens, it sports an additional rotor assembly on the tail identical to the main assembly. Its side doors are also closed and it does not appear to have any side mounted weaponry. The variant is also noticeably longer than the standard Raven model.
Silverback Carrier Attachment
A specialized dual-rotor King Raven that was seen during the Evacuation of Ilima. It was outfitted similar to that of the Dual-Rotor Carrier except that it kept both of the side doors open which were needed due to this variant having two docking claws on each side of the side doors so it could carry and drop off two Silverbacks into combat. It also had the side-mounted weapons like the regular version of the King Raven.
- Main article: Sea Raven
The Sea Raven was not a variant of the King Raven, but the COG Navy's version of the King Raven. It could hold one Marlin attack boat and was used in the Battle of Aspho Fields. It served all the same functions as its land-based counterpart.
Known King Ravens
- KR A-108
- KR Zero-Zero
- KR Zero-One
- KR Zero-Three
- KR Zero-Four
- KR Zero-Five
- KR Zero-Six
- KR One-One
- KR One-Five
- KR One-Eight
- KR One-Nine
- KR Two-Four
- KR Two-Five
- KR Three-Two
- KR Three-Three
- KR Three-Five
- KR Three-Six
- KR Three-Seven
- KR Four-One
- KR Four-Two
- KR Four-Nine
- KR Five-One
- KR Five-Four
- KR Five-Nine
- KR Six-One
- KR Six-Two
- KR Six-Four
- KR Six-Seven
- KR Seven-Zero
- KR Seven-Two
- KR Seven-Three
- KR Seven-Five
- KR Seven-Seven
- KR Eight-Zero
- KR Nine-Six
- KR Five-Three-Zero
- KR Eighty-Four
- RR One-Seven
Behind the scenes
- King Raven helicopters are seen on heli-pads in the multiplayer maps Rooftops, Jacinto, and Fuel Depot.
- At the start of a match on Jacinto, a trio of King Ravens fly from the Hammer of Dawn/Boomshot spawn, over the grounded KRs, and out of view.
- King Ravens carry blackboxes, or Flight Recorders.
- In October 2012, Erector released a series of Gears of War action figures and vehicles, which included the King Raven.
- Gears of War: Judgment
- RAAM's Shadow
- Gears of War (First appearance)
- Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
- Gears of War 2
- Gears of War 3
- Gears of War 4
- ↑ Gears of War: Act 1: Ashes: 14 Years After E-Day
- ↑ Gears of War: Destroyed Beauty
- ↑ Gears of War 2: Act 2: Denizens: Intestinal Fortitude
- ↑ Gears of War: Anvil Gate
- ↑ Gears of War
- ↑ Gears of War 2: Act 1: Tip of the Spear
- ↑ Gears of War 2: Act 5: Aftermath
- ↑ Gears of War: Aspho Fields
- ↑ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/erector-unleashes-its-gears-of-war-collection-172298911.html
- ↑ http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13201733&prodFindSrc=search
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