William Bishop, callsign "Warwolf 1"
Voiced by: Paul Mercier (English), Hiroshi Tsuchida (Japanese)The primary Player Character of the game, Bishop is an renowned ace who is plagued by nightmares of his own death at the hands of a Russian plane with a "Sharkmouth" on its nose—the plane that he later discovers to belong to the Russian ace Andrei Markov. He is the leader of the Warwolf Squadron.
- The Ace: Both literally and in terms of personality.
- Ace Pilot: He's an Ace Combat protagonist so this comes naturally.
- Composite Character: According to Jim DeFelice, Bishop's characterization is inspired by an F-105 Vietnam War veteran he personally knew, as well as Lieutenant A.K. Waters (played by Bruce Willis) in Tears of the Sun. His name, meanwhile, may be based on Canadian WW1 ace Billy Bishop.
- Colonel Badass
- Dreaming of Things to Come: "I saw my death in my dreams, many times. A nightmare I'll never forget."
- Foreseeing My Death: The very first mission. Averted, though.
- High-Altitude Battle: His specialty.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: In the second Miami mission, when Guts takes damage to his plane, his canopy won't open to allow him to eject, so Bishop uses his machine gun to shoot off the canopy of Guts' damaged and out of control plane.
- Bishop is also able to snipe an out of control trinity missile seconds from impact with the White House.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Bishop is well endowed in the chin department.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Though he was Canadian, not American, the famous World War I flying ace "Billy" Bishop's full first name was "William."
- Pokémon Speak: Frequently acknowledges orders or events over the radio by simply saying "Warwolf." Which is actually standard military radio discipline to convey that the intended recipient of the message has indeed received it.
- The Rival: To Markov.
- Skilled, but Naďve: His fighter pilot skills are top notch, but unlike Guts, he doesn't hold any suspicions towards Illich, when the latter defects to Markov's side giving "mechanical problems" as an excuse.
José "Guts" Gutierrez, callsign "Warwolf 2"Bishop's loud-mouthed wingman who keeps causing him trouble, much to his own dismay.
- Expy: Fans of the series can discover the traits of both Chopper and PJ in him.
- Gratuitous Spanish
- Heroic Sacrifice: Takes a missile from Akula meant for Bishop. Whilst he manages an unorthodox ejection, his fate is left hanging until the epilogue.
- Like Brother and Sister: Word of God is that this is his relationship with Rehl.
- The Load: Seems to view himself like this sometimes, especially in "Pipeline".
- Sacrificial Lion: It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Guts is going to be the one who takes a hit.
- Wingman: To Bishop.
Janice Rehl, callsign "Spooky 1", later "Razor 1"best of buds with Bishop and Guts. She later gets reassigned to proper bomber duty flying the B1 Lancer or B2 Spirit, hence the callsign change.
- Death from Above: Her specialty.
- Like Brother and Sister: Word of God is that this is her relationship with Guts.
- Majorly Awesome
- Number Two: Her co-pilot Finn in the bomber missions.
- Pokémon Speak: Same as Bishop above, occasionally answers with her callsign.
- Token Girl: The only female character with spoken lines in the game and the first female Player Character in the entire series.
Pierre La Pointe
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted. La Pointe is introduced as a solid, dependable guy and remains so for the duration.
- Cool Old Guy
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- The Brigadier: Technically, a general.
Doug "D-Ray" Robinson, callsign "Shooter 1"
Voiced by: Kenji Nomura (Japanese)Phlegmatic commander of the "Shooter" Apache squadron and "Nomad" Blackhawk squadron.
- Gunship Rescue: His specialty.
- Number Two: His co-pilot Jack.
- One Chopper Airforce: He and Jack fly on a solo mission in enemy-occupied Moscow... and succeed.
- Sergeant Rock: Technically, a Captain, but he fits the personality.
MagicThe Warwolf Squadron's AWACS.
Kei NagaseThe series Legacy Character returns as a cameo as well as having written a Character Blog.
- Ace Pilot: According to her blog she is part of the 19th Task Force ACES.
- Character Blog: Project Nagase is Kei in character describing the real life development and news of the game.
- Expy: Of Edge\Nagase in previous games.
- Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: The ACES portrayal of her is only seen as DLC. See...
- The Cameo: Seen during cutscenes throughout the game.
Ivan Stagleishov, callsign "Big Bear 1"
Voiced by: Graham McTavish (English)Commander of all Russian forces in the Task Force 108 (who don't belong to NATO and thus don't answer to La Pointe) and simultaneously the leader of the "Big Bear" squadron.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Unlike his NATO counterpart, he personally leads a fighter squadron.
- Badass Grandpa: Despite his age, he personally leads the Big Bear Squadron.
- Face–Heel Turn
- Four-Star Badass
Sergei Illich, callsign "Red Moon 1"
Voiced by: Yuri Lowenthal (English)Leader of the Russian "Red Moon" squadron and one of the few Russians to remain loyal to Task Force 108 after Stagleishov's betrayal.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Introduced very early on, and he seems to be one of the few who gets on well with the Americans (unlike his boss).
- The Dragon: To Markov late in the game.
- I Owe You My Life: Illich is ridiculously devoted to Markov as a result of him saving his life back when he served as his Wingman. So devoted, in fact, that he dutifully carries out Markov's orders to stall Bishop and effectively get himself killed, if not by Bishop then by the approaching hurricane. And he does it with good humor.
- Graceful Loser: He congratulates Bishop on shooting him down.
- Majorly Awesome
- The Mole
- Wingman: Flown on Markov's wing before Markov went rogue. Becomes his wingman again after the Moscow offensive.
Andrei "Akula" Markov, a.k.a. "Sharkmouth"The primary villain of the game, a Russian ace pilot decorated with the "Hero of Russian Federation" medal.
- Ace Pilot
- Broken Ace: Comes pre-broken by the death of his wife.
- Colonel Badass
- Composite Character: According to Word of God.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He wants to bomb America (using Trinity warheads, no less) because some American bomber crew accidentally dropped their stuff on his wife.
- The Dragon: To General Stagleishov.
- The Starscream: Markov kills Stagleishov for trying to surrender and takes control over their organization.
- Evil Counterpart: To Bishop. The writers basically started with the idea of a flip-doppelganger and then built his personality, but for a time that's all he was.
- Nose Art: His distinct "Sharkmouth" paint-job.
- Red Baron
- Renegade Russian: Markov is explicitly a former Russian Air Force pilot, with "good Russians" fighting at your side against him.
- The Rival: To William Bishop.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He lost his wife to a U.S. bombing run gone wrong, and now he seeks revenge against America. In the process, however, he also helps the attack on Moscow, meaning he would be willing to get back at anyone to fulfill his task.