Sliders were unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) used by several PMCs, during the time of the war economy. They often moved and attacked in squads. The Sliders still saw some use after the war economy's collapse, being used by the PMC Desperado Enforcement LLC.
Appearance and equipmentEdit
Sliders were flying drones with a small body, to which wings, thruster rockets and weapons were attached. Although primarily utilized as a unmanned combat aerial vehicle, it can also be utilized by personnel as a large elaborate jetpack, especially after the war economy. The Sliders' large wings could flap like a bird's, enabling them to glide over long distances. During the 2018 Desperado Incursions, they were equipped with the same cannon utilized by Mastiff and the Raptor UGs, while their primary weapons were AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles just like the Hammerhead.
The Sliders possessed two small turbojet engines modified from small missiles that were capable of putting out three kilonewtons of propulsion force. The high-aspect ratio wings were likewise composed of artificial muscle, which allowed it full flight and even helicopter-capable hovering. The Sliders were also created with a network-centric system in mind due to the advent of SOP, which made them a large threat when in groups, being capable of extraordinary situational awareness, and being capable of searching wide ranges without missing a millimeter as well as saturate a hotspot with gunfire at multiple angles. Individually, however, they were extremely weak, as the developers sacrificed toughness for compact size and lack of expenses to manufacture. The decision likewise hampered their ability to move at high speeds or perform high-G maneuvers. It also possessed strict limitations to its flight time and range by itself, and its body type also allowed for little stealth due to not being fixed-shape. Its weaponry was also limited to one of two options: semi-active laser-guided AIM-9X Sidewinder rockets, or a combination of 30.0 kilogram-class unguided bombs and 5.56 millimeter mounted gun pods.
During the war economy in 2014, the Slider saw use with various PMCs, including the Outer Heaven-owned PMCs Praying Mantis and Raven Sword, during their missions in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, respectively. In the former, several Sliders were responsible for the destruction of some buildings near the Militia safe house, leading to the instability of the buildings. At least one Slider ended up captured/shot down by the Middle Eastern militiamen, resulting in them studying it inside their safe house. In the latter event, several Sliders pursued Old Snake and Big Mama, along with several Paradise Lost Army members. The Beauty and the Beast Unit member Raging Raven also was equipped with a Slider, acting as her "wings."
In 2015-2018, the PMCs Desperado Enforcement LLC. and World Marshal Inc. possessed several Sliders, several of which were also fused with the cyborg soldiers in a similar manner to Raging Raven before them. There were two variants utilized during this time: One was a completely unmanned version, and the other was utilized by the cyborg soldiers. The former is usually equipped with a Mk 19 grenade launcher on its tail where the pilot would usually sit. It was largely popular among these two as well as other PMCs in large part due to it being extremely inexpensive to manufacture, especially in comparison to the days of manned aircraft manufacturing. Raiden also briefly used a squadron of Sliders as a makeshift stepladder to access the side of the headquarters building to reach the top half of the building, as the regular path was cordoned off by debris due to World Marshal's ambush on Raiden. Raiden later briefly used a Slider to evade death from a fall, also reprogramming it in the process to act as his steed, after Sundowner used a Hammerhead as a last ditch attempt to take down Raiden, during his activities in 2018. He then navigated his way through a burning tunnel within the building before emerging from the heliport, and proceeded to fling the Slider at Sundowner's Hammerhead, destroying it and sending Sundowner flying straight at Raiden, prompting Raiden to finish him off.
Sliders were capable of flying with great speed and maneuverability, even in small spaces such as on streets and inside buildings. They had bombs and missiles in their arsenal that they could use to great effect against buildings, vehicles and personnel. They were also equipped with a spotlight for detecting threats in the dark. They seemed to possess an autonomous AI for acting independently, though B&B member Raging Raven could also command them at her will. She could also use Sliders to fly over an area and conduct recon, using them as an alternate set of eyes to detect enemies.
A huge drawback, however, was that they were created with a network-centric operation such as SOP in mind. This flaw was especially observable during 2018, where individually they were not well suited for combat.
Sliders are fairly weak and easy to destroy by firearms, but they are constantly flying around which can make them quite hard to hit. Easiest way to accurately hit them is to use Auto-Aim and an assault rifle. The Sliders will also sometimes fly in the way of missiles launched at Raging Raven to protect her from harm. Oddly enough, they cannot hit Snake during the motorcycle chase.