The two shuttles you have to shoot down are being carried at an altitude of about 34,000 feet in the sky by two R-522s. When you get close enough to the shuttles you will be warned that there is little time and you must hurry. The shuttles will begin to detach from their carrier planes and ignite their boosters so they can exit atmosphere. You must quickly shoot both of them down. It takes six missiles to shoot down a shuttle and watch out for enemy planes while taking out the shuttles. You fail the mission if a shuttle escapes, but you complete it after shooting down both shuttles.
- Shoot down both shuttles before they take off and escape.
The reward for this mission is 140,000 credits plus a variable amount depending on the number of enemies taken out and how they were taken out since all enemies in this level are air targets. Flames from the Sky is unlocked and completing this mission contributes to unlocking Assassin at Mach along with Chase. The MiG-31BM Foxhound and the T-4 are also unlocked for 350,000 credits and 280,000 credits respectively. In the PAL version, a plane exclusive to it, the X-29A, is unlocked as well for 360,000 credits.
An emergency situation has arisen. We have learned of an orbital shuttle that the United Forces has been developing in secret. It already has an attack satellite on board, and is preparing to take off as we speak. The satellite possesses a weapon of mass destruction that could wipe out all of our surface bases in one attack. You are being dispatched to attack the shuttle and prevent it from leaving the atmosphere. Over and out.
Delta Leader: (When mission is selected on the map) We must destroy all the enemy transports and prevent the United Forces shuttle from leaving the atmosphere. Got it? We can't let even one get away.
Orbital 02: This is Orbital 02. Now heading for launch point. All reinforcements, do everything you can to buy time for the shuttle.
United Forces Pilot: Roger.
Other United Forces Pilot: Roger.
[pre-mission cutscene ends]
Delta 2?: (When close enough to the shuttles) There's no time! Hurry!! (When the shuttles ignite their boosters) Shuttle booster ignited!
[mission is failed once a shuttle escapes]
[mission is completed once both shuttles are shot down]
Delta 2: It appears Alpha team failed to shoot down the shuttle.
Delta Leader: We can't afford to let it get away!
Delta 2: It's no good--we won't make it in time!!
[post-mission cutscene ends with the third shuttle successfully taking off and escaping]
Main article: The Rising Threat/Soundtrack