I am the dragon.
—An Iron Dragon driver introduces himself to his enemies
The Iron Dragon is a Soviet stolen tech unit acquired by infiltrating a Foehn Cloud Piercer and Construction Yard. Armed with a particle cannon, it can quickly tear apart infantry and vehicles alike from a distance, though less so against structures.
However, should the enemies manage to destroy an Iron Dragon, it makes nearby friendly vehicles temporarily invulnerable, thus allowing it to provide support to armor battalions upon their demise.
Ever since China was affected by a series of external intrusions, including the incident on the Korean Peninsula, they've been determined to convene the scientist teams residing at the many of their research bases to design a myriad of new weapons, to deal with any possible adverse situations in the future. Their Iron Dragon was one of the most prominent, albeit incredibly resource-consuming ones - a powerful experimental weapon developed in a secret facility in Kashmir, through a combination of the Iron Curtain effects, and a type particle collision technology of unknown origins.
Dealing with trespassing intruders, and performing destructive long-range attacks on enemy positions, the Iron Dragon could tear apart all sorts of targets in mere seconds with its immense cannon. Initially only deployed for protection of the most important research facilities in China, the Iron Dragon units have unfortunately been mostly destroyed by their enemies, before the Chinese could turn the tide.
The Iron Dragon acts as the ultimate Soviet anti-unit weapon once their saboteurs are able to acquire the necessary means to construct them - armed with an obscenely powerful particle collider cannon, they are able to annihilate both infantry and vehicles from absurd ranges, regardless of how well-armored they are.
While the majority of artillery pieces are often used as siege engines against enemy fortifications and structures, the Iron Dragon is the antithesis of them - it is specifically meant to be used to destroy large concentrations of enemy infantry and vehicles. The initial detonation of the projectile fired from its weapon, while already doing considerable splash damage, also leaves a highly damaging field of unstable energy that will continuously damage anything that remains in its area of effect. Like the majority of stolen tech units, it can perform self-repairs and it is also quite durable for an artillery unit.
The Iron Dragon's demise can also be beneficial to vehicles that loiter near it. Should it be destroyed, it will unleash an Iron Curtain field that will apply an invulnerability effect to vehicles around it for a few seconds.
Though they are formidable units that can easily destroy advancing enemy forces without too much trouble, Iron Dragons still have inherent weaknesses. For starters, the requirements to build them require a Soviet saboteur to infiltrate a Foehn Cloud Piercer and Construction Yard, so they are rarely available for construction. In addition, they have relatively large minimum ranges so enemy units that can close the distance will not fear retaliation from them, provided there aren't other Soviet units covering the Iron Dragons themselves. They also have no means of protecting themselves against aircraft so they must be covered from aerial threats at all times. Their effectiveness against structures is mediocre at best, unless they attack in large groups. Iron Dragons also have an exuberant price tag of $2000, but their costs can be lessened to a degree with the presence of an Industrial Plant.
- Iron Dragons appear in Foehn bases (which still use Chinese technology) in Thread of Dread, Machinehead and Blood Rage.
Lorewise, the Iron Dragon is the first unit that employs particle collision technology, followed by the Future Tank Alpha.
So far Iron Dragons are notably absent from the player-controlled Foehn forces.
Behind the scenes
- Prior to version 3.3.5, the Iron Dragon's introduction pointed out that: "A powerful experimental weapon was in development near the border between North and South Korea, where the use of the Iron Curtain Device takes a prominent place in dealing with intruders and performing destructive raids on enemy positions". Being researched in Korean border was a nod to version 2.0, where Iron Dragon is a North Korean exclusive unit.
Other Soviet stolen tech units:
- Official showcase of the Iron Dragon prior to official release of version 3.3, along with other units
- An additional, official video portraying a field test of the Iron Dragon.