- "Who doesn't remember their first time? It seems just like yesterday: stealing a delicate hypercar, hitting the freeway going north, taking the dirt ramp with enough speed to somersault 200ft over the rear fence of Fort Zancudo, dodging the small arms fire, stealing a P-996, getting a 120mm shell inserted firmly up your intake, and enjoying your ringside seat at the fireworks. But now you're older and wiser, you're ready for a tactical fighter to call your own. Time to come of age."
- ―Warstock Cache & Carry description.
The Jobuilt P-996 LAZER is a military fighter jet featured in Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online. It is the second military jet available in the Grand Theft Auto series, the first being the Hydra in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Grand Theft Auto V
The entire fuselage, from the nose to the rear, with the two rear downward vertical tail fins, cockpit, (with side-mounted control stick), landing gears (main and nose) and wings heavily resemble the equivalent sections of the F-16C Fighting Falcon, with an almost identical air intake to the aforementioned aircraft, albeit split into two separate intakes similar to a Eurofighter Typhoon. Its forward swinging canopy (with zig zag canopy detonation cord), twin vertical stabilizers and horizontal stabilizers are from the Lockheed Martin F-35 and X-35. The aircraft also features a subtle light gray camouflage painting similar to the two tone ghost gray scheme worn by most naval fighters. The Lazer is depicted as carrier-capable, which could possibly be an homage to the Vought model 1600, the carrier capable version of the F-16. It is operated by the United States Air Force, and the United States Navy.
In terms of armament, the P-996 is equipped with dual cannons in its nose firing explosive rounds, which are reminiscent of the F-20 Tigershark (the F-16 has only one cannon, mounted on the port side). The Lazer also features radar guided missiles, but lacks counter-measures. It mounts three missiles on each wing, one on each wingtip, two on the underside wing rails and also mounts two external fuel tanks on the wing pylons closest to the plane's fuselage.
Current Design Gallery
Grand Theft Auto V
Being a fighter jet, the P-996 is an extremely fast aircraft with a top speed of approximately 185 knots while flying above 900 feet MSL and with the third highest acceleration (after the LF-22 Starling and the Besra). In addition to that, it has excellent maneuverability, and is extremely responsive and able to quickly pitch, yaw and roll in any direction. Add to that a short take-off and landing distance and the P-996 is an ideal aircraft for traveling around San Andreas quickly and efficiently with little threat from opposing players, it also does not stall out during a vertical climb, whereas other aircraft will.
However, the P-996 can be lethal to the inexperienced. The fighter jet is sensitive to minor inputs to the ailerons and is very fragile, as the jet can be quickly disabled using a Minigun or a Heavy Sniper. The jet is very nose-heavy, and if the engines are not on the plane will quickly fall out of the sky, as the jet does not glide particularly well. It also frequently "wobbles" in flight due to turbulence and its small size, and thus requires minute corrections to its flight.
By exiting the fighter jet mid-air, the player is ejected out of the cockpit just as pilots would be ejected in real fighter jets. They will be flung upwards considerably, preventing them from hitting the fuselage, unless at low speeds. However, the seat won't launch off the plane, and the player won't automatically earn a parachute unless he has one already, or the mission Predator has been completed.
The P-996 is as durable as every other airplane without armor upgrades, being able to take two homing missiles before being destroyed. However, a direct explosive hit to the plane's rear will usually blast away some of the P-996's control surfaces. While it is still possible to pilot the plane like this, the plane may lose the ability to maneuver along certain axes and the engine will usually have been damaged as well (indicated by the afterburner struggling to ignite or heavy smoke), and another hit to the plane will destroy the aircraft completely.
The P-996 does not have any flares or other types of counter-measures against locked-on missiles that are fired at the jet, forcing the pilot to manually evade the missile.
- Explosive Cannon: the Lazer is equipped with dual explosive cannons, which are extremely powerful and effective, being able to easily finish off an enemy with a single well-aimed burst, capable of destroying even heavily armored targets such as the Avenger, Mobile Operations Center, or the Insurgent Pick-Up Custom, with sustained fire. However, it has a limited range of about 600 feet.
- Missiles: The Lazer can also fire lock-on missiles and non-lock-on rockets. These missiles have a lifespan of about ten seconds, able to chase targets effectively, at the cost of sub par tracking, as they may miss the target. The missiles have a short "reload" time, where if two missiles are fired in quick succession, the pilot cannot fire another one until after a short four-second cooldown.
GTA V Overview
(0-60 knots in Seconds)
(mph / kmh / knots)
|Vertical Climb/ Descent Rate|
|Engine Type||Engine Location||Mass|
(kg / lbs)
|N/A||6 / 10 / 5||N/A||N/A||N/A||8000 / 17637||65|
|N/A||N/A||N/A||Single turbojet engine w/ afterburner||Middle/Rear||Cannot be observed||Cannot be observed|
(m / ft)
|Reload Mechanism||Reload Speed|
| ( )||0.04||180 / 591||750||N/A||N/A|
|N/A||~ 1,500 RPM||Cannot be determined||2 machine guns (unlimited ammo)||N/A||N/A|
(m / ft)
|Reload Mechanism||Reload Speed|
|0 (Base damage)||2||300||1 ()||N/A||2|
|Explosive||~ 30 RPM||Cannot be determined||6 missile racks w/ 6 missiles (unlimited ammo)||N/A||N/A|
Grand Theft Auto Online
|This article or section refers to "enhanced version" content in the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC renditions of Grand Theft Auto V and/or Grand Theft Auto Online, that is absent on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions.|
For a complete list of the features of the "enhanced" version of Grand Theft Auto V, please see here.
Upon being converted into a personal aircraft, the P-996 LAZER can be repainted with a primary color for the main fuselage, tail and wings of the aircraft, while the secondary color applies to the nose of the fuselage and the tips of the fuel tanks. The camo livery will be also removed, causing it to have a more uniform color.
|Respray||Main article: Los Santos Customs/Respray Colors|
- During Humane Raid - EMP, several unarmed, grounded variants of the P-996 Lazer can be found in the hangar of USS Luxington ATT-16. These variants lack the armory found on normal Lazers, and also sport synthetic covers over the rear jet and front intakes. These jets are merely solid props and cannot be accessed nor interacted with the player.
- Two of the jets are found near the far rear of the hangar, another two are found at the far front, and several located along the sides of the hangar.
Prominent Appearances in Missions
Grand Theft Auto V
- Two P-996 Lazers are featured in the mission Minor Turbulence where the US Air Force use them to chase Trevor Philips after he hijacks Merryweather's cargo plane.
Grand Theft Auto Online
- In Effin' Lazers the players must use two Lazers to destroy seven planes that are flying over San Andreas.
- In Base Invaders the players must infiltrate Fort Zancudo and destroy three Lazers in order to steal a Cargobob without being chased by the military.
- Flight School
- The first lesson, Outside Loop, requires the players to complete two outside loops following the instructor's instructions with this plane. It's weaponry are disabled in the mission.
- It reappears during Follow Leader, whereas both you and your instructor will use this plane. The weaponry is again, disabled during the mission.
- Freemode Events
- Lazers may spawn during Kill List and Kill List Competitive Freemode Events as Merryweather patrols.
- Infinite Lazers will try to shoot down the Pilot in The Prison Break until the land team broke Rashkovsky out of the prison. The Demolition must defend the Pilot by destroying the jets with a Buzzard Attack Chopper.
- In Humane Raid - EMP a fleet of Lazers will respond to the help request of USS Luxington ATT-16 and will chase and try to shoot down the player that is flying the Hydra. Also, other players can steal the Lazers parked on the aircraft carrier in order to defend the Hydra.
- Unarmed prop versions appear inside the aircraft carrier storage during the mission.
- Mobile Operations
- Lazers appear in the Mobile Operations mission Cover Blown, as an attempt to destroy the crew's Mobile Operations Center.
- Air Freight Cargo
Used in some Air Freight Cargo missions as enemy reinforcement:
- Will appear flying in a holding pattern above a specific area of the map. The player is provided a P-45 Nokota to take out two waves of at least 10 Lazers before the Air Freight Cargo is dropped from one of the wreckages.
- Will appear in formation as support for three large all-black Cargo Planes, one of which containing cargo. The Lazers are again hostile towards the player once they attack the Cargo Plane. These Lazers are painted all-black.
- Adversary Modes
- Air Quota (vehicle list 1)
Grand Theft Auto V
- Multiple parked in Fort Zancudo (large hangar, two small hangars, outside some closed large hangars, next to the runway etc.)
- Sometimes on the runway in Fort Zancudo.
- Sometimes flying around Fort Zancudo.
- Sometimes taxiing around Fort Zancudo.
- One can be commonly encountered flying in Raton Canyon. Can very rarely be found flying in groups of 3. It passes through every in-game half-an-hour, though it's almost impossible to hijack them.
Grand Theft Auto Online
- Lazers will be located around Fort Zancudo in the same locations as Grand Theft Auto V.
- Lazers stolen from Fort Zancudo cannot be stored in the player's Hangar, although owning a Hangar in Fort Zancudo would provide easy access to them at any time.
- Enhanced version
- Can be purchased for $6,500,000 on Warstock Cache & Carry, after the P-996 LAZER Week event as part of the Smuggler's Run update. This enables the ability to store the vehicle in the hangar, though the only customization option is the color respray, similar to other aerial Pegasus vehicles.
- It is classed as a Small aircraft.
Grand Theft Auto V
- Note: This only works if playing the Cletus side mission Fair Game as part of the story mode. This WILL NOT work if replaying the mission.
There is an easy way to steal one without difficulty in the side mission Fair Game. Because of a glitch, after Cletus lets Trevor go off and kill an elk on his own, the player can enter Fort Zancudo without getting a wanted level. From here, it is possible to steal a jet and park it in the hangar in Sandy Shores Airfield. Then, the player can head back and finish the mission as normal. The jet will remain in Trevor's hangar. Notice that if the player were to cause any explosion on the ground, the mission will fail.
Outside of this, another relatively safe way to steal the Lazer is to parachute straight into Fort Zancudo from a high altitude, and into the hangar where the jet spawns. The player should try to land on the cockpit to quickly escape. Alternatively, obtain a Rhino tank, and drive right through the gate and straight to one of the parked aircraft; if the player does not shoot anything with the tank cannon the only armed response will be soldiers with smallarms, not tanks, so the player should be invulnerable until he actually leaves the vehicle to get in the cockpit.
Another way is to jump the fence from the hill on the Northside of the fort with a fast vehicle. Once the player has cleared the jump drive to the left and follow the perimeter along the fence without stopping for anything. This will allow the player to avoid heavy gunfire and easily avoid tanks. Proceed until the player reaches the airstrip. Drive down the airstrip on the right side. There should be some Lazers along the airstrip. quickly drive over and enter the plane. Once the player has taken off they should proceed to dodge missiles as they will be fired immediately after takeoff.
A relatively easier way to avoid the oncoming jets is switching the camera away from the vehicle, planning the escape route and, as soon as one is about to take off, look behind. The game often prevent entities to spawn right in front of the player's view, so they won't see the jets. It is advisable to keep the view of the whole base while flying far away, as jets tend to spawn in a relatively large radius, so one should keep looking at there for at least until the radar shows little to no landmass.
Escaping & Saving
If the player successfully steals a jet with or without cheats from Fort Zancudo and loses their wanted level, they must place it in a hangar as soon as possible, as the plane is likely to be shot up bad enough that the engines would be smoking. If it does, the player has a few minutes before the engine fails and the plane is essentially lost. (This can be avoided by Quick Saving and reloading the game; the plane will be completely repaired, or the player can switch to a different character then switch back after losing their wanted level. However, the jet will save when placed in a player's hangar, but will be lost completely upon switching hangar vehicles.
Grand Theft Auto Online
Obtaining (If cannot purchase)
In GTA Online, the easiest way to steal a Lazer is to call Lester and have the "cops turn a blind eye" for $5,000 once the player reaches level 12. Doing so will prevent the military to attack (as long as the player does not attack or bump into them) and let the player freely roam around the base and take the Lazer for themselves - no jet will pursue the player upon flying away.
Alternatively, the player can jump a vehicle over the perimeter fence in any of at least four locations with natural ramps on the outside perimeter. Although, it's still possible to break through the checkpoints with a vehicle and thus allowing the player to steal a jet.
If the player owns a Hangar at Fort Zancudo, the player may freely steal the Lazer though at the cost of 2-star wanted level if being spotted by military personnel. However, any stolen Lazer cannot be stored in any hangar.
Often when stealing a Lazer from Fort Zancudo players will be shot down by other Lazers in the air. There are three ways to avoid being shot down.
- The player can fly straight up. If they don't look back, the Lazers may de-spawn and the player can easily escape.
- The player can fly low as close to the terrain as possible until well clear of Fort Zancudo, preferably over an uninhabited area such as up a mountain or over the sea to lose the four-star wanted level. This method can be somewhat challenging for novice pilots.
- The player can try to dodge the missiles by doing stunts such as a flip and the missiles may miss. However, because of the unpredictable nature of the missiles' tracking this method can be unreliable.
However, the player must also be careful to not fly close to Rhino tanks, as these are extremely accurate and can easily blast the jet.
- Following the same camera trick for Story Mode prevents being chased by jets and being attacked, as long as there is no Rhino tanks or soldiers nearby.
- The P- prefix of the plane is possibly a reference to the the older combat aircraft designation system of USAF where P- means "Pursuit", which was eventually replaced by today's F- for "Fighter".
- The AI-controlled Lazer has the ability to fire cannons in any direction, regardless of where the nose of the plane is aimed, just like AI-Controlled Buzzard Attack Choppers, having the ability to one shot the player.
- The AI can also hover in mid air at player-unobtainable slow speeds (even with the airbrake and landing gear deployed) and will sometimes strafe sideways when idle.
- 996 is the in-game police codename for an explosion. It appears to be a coincidence, as all the vehicle's weapons are explosives.
- The Lazer still uses an RPG's rocket when selected, which does not match the rockets mounted on the wings, which are much larger and more detailed.
- The missiles on the P-996 appear to be modeled after the AIM-120 AMRAAM, a common air-to-air missile fitted on several fighter jets, including those that inspired the Lazer.
- The difficult handling is somewhat realistic since the Lazer's cockpit is directly copied from the F-16. And the F-16 controls does not feature a "one to one" input, i.e., for most fighters, if the pilot moves the stick one degree, the plane moves one degree in the direction inputted. The F-16's stick, however, can be only moved 17 degrees in any direction. This means the stick is highly sensitive, especially to any fighter pilots who got used to the "one to one" input from other fighters.
- The Lazer's nose heavy stance mirrors the F-16 is which is one of the first "relaxed stability" fighters created. During the design phase, the fighter's designer purposely threw the wings some 10 feet to the rear in order to increase the plane's maneuverability. This means without its fly-by-wire computerized controls, the plane's highly nose heavy design makes it very, very hard for the pilot to control.
Grand Theft Auto V & Grand Theft Auto Online
- If a blacklight is shined over Fort Zancudo on the Collectors Edition map of the game, it mentions the P-996 Lazer along with the Titan and the Buzzard Attack Chopper.
- Lazers can sometimes be seen flying on patrol runs around Mount Chiliad. They will engage on the target if they are attacked.
- After patch 1.16, players now have the option to choose homing missiles or lock on.
- The P-996's jet turbine has the ability to project any nearby NPC/player away, sometimes even killing them. This can also be done with the Hydra.
- As of the Smuggler's Run Update, this is no longer possible with players.
- It is possible to take off the plane in backwards by going reverse fast, then tilting down the jet's nose making it do a flip, then engaging the thrusters while airborne.
- The P-996 is carrier-capable as it is seen on board the USS Luxington ATT-16 on the flight deck and in the hangar.
- If Agent 14's statement in Humane Labs Raid: EMP is taken literally, the P-996 entered service sometime in the 2000s, as the Hydra is stated to be 1960s technology and the Lazer is said to be 40 years newer.
- The fact that the Lazer entered service in the early 2000s is another reference to the F-35, which entered service in 2006.
- If the player chooses to put aircraft helmets on, the player will equip a different targeting mode, which is more accurate, it also comes with a helmet-Inclinometer. This mirrors the real life Joint Helmet Mounted Cuing System (JHMCS) that is mounted on all F-16s, one of the planes the Lazer is modeled after. This system not only guides the jet´s guided missiles, but also display all the critical targeting and critical information system on the visor itself, vastly improving the targeting and the pilot's situation awareness. This is also present on armed helicopters as of the Heist Update, and the Hydra.
- This is because armed, especially helicopter gunships also carry their own HOD, Heads Out Display, which again, displays all the necessary targeting and the copter's vital information onto the helmet visor itself.
- As of Patch 1.17:
- Players flying a Lazer will be indicated on the minimap by a special aircraft icon.
- The cannon aim is reset to a small dot, though the player can change it to a complex aim.
- The handling has been slightly smoothed, making it easier to control.
- The Lazer's description references the infamous technique of jumping into the base used by players in GTA V and GTA Online to reach and steal the Lazer. It also references the usual outcome of getting shot by a Rhino Tank in mid-air, usually in the process of boarding the plane.
- The nose gear wheel seems to slightly clip through the fuselage when the landing gears are up.
- When ejecting from the plane, the canopy opens before the player is ejected. However, when looking at the canopy, black squiggly lines can be seen which in reality is explosive coil that would detonate upon ejection to smash the glass, allowing the character to eject through the newly formed hole. This means that the ejection sequence is modeled after the F-16, the main inspiration for the Lazer and that the canopy det cord is mainly for show.
- Hydra - A military VTOL fighter jet featured in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto Online as a part of the Heists Update.
- Besra - A military trainer jet featured in Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online as a part of the San Andreas Flight School Update.
- V-65 Molotok - A Korean War-era jet fighter included in the Smuggler's Run update for GTA Online.
- Pyro - A WWII-era jet fighter included in the Smuggler's Run update for GTA Online.
- LF-22 Starling - A WWII-era rocket-powered fighter plane included in the Smuggler's Run update for GTA Online.
- P-45 Nokota - A WWII-era fighter plane included in the Smuggler's Run update for GTA Online.
- Rogue - A single-prop military trainer plane that can be repurposed as an attack plane, included in the Smuggler's Run update for GTA Online.
- Rustler - A WWII-era fighter plane featured in GTA: San Andreas.
- Vulkan - A cut military VTOL fighter jet that was to appear in GTA V. It shares its physical appearance and performance with the Hydra.