In Command, the scenario editor doesn’t just limit the player to historical arsenals. Units that appear under one country’s list can easily serve in another’s-not just for substitutes, but for ahistorical additions to their armed forces.

Now, I’m going to focus on fighter aircraft here.

One of the most common and easiest-implemented export potential is late Soviet surplus. Much of this was exported already to get some value out of them in the post-1991 downturn. Here, it can become even more prevalent. Whether you use the “Soviet Union-1991” or “Russia-1992” listing generally doesn’t make much difference. I generally prefer the former to signify its nature, but that’s just a personal opinion.

Besides the usual MiG-29s and Su-27s, one of my scenario concepts even had the oddball export of MiG-23MLDs (in one of those “Hey, look at the low sticker price, we got a ton of planes for-hey wait a minute”) moments.

Of course, you can use new-built planes as well, with advanced Su-30s and the like, for a more difficult opponent/different style.

China has the J-10 for present scenarios, the J-31 for futuristic/what if ones, and even the J-8, which historically was offered for export but got no takers.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

With Western planes, you have American F-16s, and for really high-end cases, F-15s. The Viper is interesting in that one can use the Egyptian and Iraqi models to simulate a downgraded export version with AIM-7s only. Mirages, Eurofighters, and (thanks to recent export orders) even Rafales can be plopped into similarly capable countries.

Those were the obvious choices. Now for the fun part. Pure hypotheticals. I talked about the F-20 on Baloogan Campaign, and there’s also the MiG 1.42-the original Soviet/Russian fifth-gen fighter that sputtered out. Although no match for an F-22 in terms of avionics or RCS, it is still a fearsome opponent. Even the Super Tomcat series I’ve imagined in the hands of Australia, to replace the F-111s with another long-ranged powerhouse.

Basically, unless it’s really implausible, export fighters can beef up any arsenal.

Now for actually using them.

-If the opponent is the USAF (in most cases, the player is the US and their opponent is said arsenal), the experience of 1991 shows in detail what happens when an airforce made of a solidly built system meets one made of scrounged-up shiny hardware. Even acknowledging the mismanagement, a more competent IQAF would still not make the outcome in doubt.

-This kind of ties in with another point-post Gulf War, the chance of deliberately picking a fight with the victorious USAF/USN is increasingly dubious. This isn’t to say it can’t happen, but that it’s vulnerable to the “ideal smackdown foe” problem.

-More interesting is to explore how the weapons would affect the balance of power in a region without external intervention. I like regional conflicts in Command, and many historical arms deals have been controversial for this very reason.

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