The Airbase is an important Soviet structure which allows them to deploy fighters to provide air support, provides radar, and call in spy planes to reveal the battlefield.
Many long years have passed before the Soviets were able to restore their mighty airforce. Initially, during the Soviet invasion of the United States, the Red Army resorted to using giant blimps to bombard enemy positions from the skies, and not many jets were seen. After their attack on American aeronautics complexes all over the country, necessary tech was acquired to develop the next generation of Soviet jet fighters. The Soviet Airbase exists to produce and maintain them.
The Airbase also provides a commander with the radar mini-map and the authority to develop more advanced technology. Additionally, the owner can call in a spy plane in order to provide intel over unknown enemy territory.
The Soviet Airbase provides the following support power:
An uncontrollable and supersonic Spy Plane is summoned into the battlefield to reveal undiscovered terrain and enemy activity. This support power comes with no cost but needs 4:00 to recharge.
The Soviet Airbase also builds and rearms the following aircraft:
Soviet's fighter jet
Armed with "Scorch" napalm missiles designed to incinerate infantry and armor
"Scorch" missiles can hit 2 more random targets
Soviet's support jet
Armed with smoke bombs that decreases the offensive power of its targets by 50%
However, in The Lunatic, an Airbase appears near the top left corner of the map. During the second part of the mission, as long as this Airbase remains under control of the Chinese enemy, it does not build any jets and will constantly send reinforcements against Volkov and Chitzkoi via Cargo Planes. If Volkov finds the Engineer near the Psychic Beacon, the Airbase can be captured, giving the player access to Foxtrots.
In Singularity, Airbase is one of the target that needs to be destroyed.
In Machinehead, the initial objective is to secure four Chinese Airbases and accumulate enough credits to build 16 Foxtrots in order to destroy the Centurion Siege Crawler. If one is destroyed, the mission will end.
In Earthrise, the Airbase is unbuildable, as neither Foxtrots nor Dustdevils are adapted to function on the Moon. Because of this, radar is also unavailable to the player until a Radar Dome or Radar Spire could be captured.
Behind the scenes
In 3.0 the Airbase was a campaign-exclusive building that only appeared in the final missions of Act 1. It produced the predecessor of the Foxtrot, which was called Hailfox and did not have napalm missiles. The radar was then provided by the Radar Tower.