Airstrikes are available to the Commander at any point from the Y menu provided you have airstrikes available. They provide a quick and highly mobile support function in the form of close air strikes from anywhere on the map. Use caution when calling an airstrike, however, as it is very difficult to aim where exactly the strike occurs even though you can mark reference points on the map, and explosive imprecise munitions are used. In addition, the aircraft deployed for the airstrike is always a light aircraft (no A-10s or Frogfoots for the rebels) which is quite slow and easy to shoot down.
Unlocking and Accumulating Airstrikes
You are required to possess at least one airbase to be able to call in airstrikes. Once you’ve taken control of at least one airbase, you can begin to accumulate airstrike points. The number of airstrikes available to your faction is shown at the top information bar to the commander. You can accumulate airstrike points by:
Trading in aircraft at airbases will gain you one airstrike point. This can be done from the same Y menu for ordering airstrikes
You will accumulate .25 airstrike points for each income tick per airbase owned
Types of Airstrikes
There are three types of airstrikes available to your faction:
The airstrike will drop a series of high explosive bombs that will do damage in a straight line
The airstrike will drop incendiary bombs which will create a line of blazing napalm that will burn for an extended period. The napalm fire does damage over time to all targets. It will damage vehicles but not destroy them. A vehicle in the middle of a napalm strike will have all its components go red, its inventory deleted, and the crew will be killed. In addition, ground weapon holders (vests, etc.) will be destroyed and ammo boxes (including loot crates in outposts etc.!) will be destroyed.
The airstrike drops a series of bomblets that spread out over a wider area than HE which sprays shrapnel that is deadly against soft targets.
Details on Airstrike Mechanics
The direction and landing of the ordinance will be affected by the aircraft maneuvering to avoid crashing into terrain. The plane will fly at a minimum elevation of 100m above the terrain of the start position and try to keep that altitude while still accommodating for terrain. The ability of the aircraft to maintain a steady altitude will impact the landing position of the ordinance. Be careful, the airstrike pilot is not a fighter ACE and cannot compensate for steep elevation differences particularly well.
For accurate airstrikes, you should call in bomb runs along terrain corridors with relatively flat terrain, with the start position being roughly 100m from centre target.