|Vehicle type||Military fighter aircraft|
|Body style||Multi-role Fighter|
|Appearance(s)||Grand Theft Auto V|
The forward fuselage and wings heavily resemble the equivalent sections of the F-16C Fighting Falcon, with an almost identical air intake to the aforementioned aircraft. Its rear fuselage and twin stabilizers are very similar to the F-35 Lightning II . The aircraft also features a considerably subtle light grey camouflage painting.
In terms of armament, the P-996 is equipped with dual cannons firing explosive rounds, which are reminiscent of the F-20 Tigershark. Similar to it's San Andreas ancestor, the Lazer also features lock-on missiles.
Being a fighter jet, the P-996 is an extremely fast aircraft, with acceleration faster than any other vehicle in the game. In addition to that, it has excellent maneuverability, and is extremely responsive and able to quickly steer into any direction. Add to that a short take-off and landing distance and the P-996, in the hands of an experienced pilot, is the perfect airplane for travelling around Los Santos.
By exiting the plane in mid-air, the player is ejected out of the cockpit, much like in real fighter jets. They will be flung upwards a little, preventing them from hitting the fuselage, unless at low speeds. However, despite this, 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.
As mentioned before, the airplane is equipped with with dual explosive round cannons and lock-on missiles. The machine guns are extremley powerful and have a great range, being able to easily finish off an enemy with a single well-aimed burst. This is particularly useful in Online dogfights, giving a strong advantage to experienced pilots. The missiles are also useful, yet the can sometimes miss their target even when locked on, whereas machine guns can be extremely useful as there is little guarantee players will miss their shot.
- 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.
- Found all across Fort Zancudo.
- Used by the Hunters in Top Fun 1, 2 and 3. However, they cannot be obtained.
- The P-996 seemed to have a different appearance in the first trailers, being much more similar to an F-35 Lightning II with some elements based on a AV-8B Harrier II. This could have also been a beta version for the Hydra.
- Stealing a Lazer from Fort Zancudo requires 3-5 seconds, depending on the player's luck. The player needs to jump on top of the jet, see if the hatch is open, and usually, if it's locked, then the player has to kick it open. This makes stealing a Lazer difficult as the time required to open the jet will give nearby military patrol-and maybe even a Rhino-a chance to get to the player and intercept them before take-off.
- Often when stealing a Lazer from Fort Zancudo players will be shot down by other Lazers in the air. There are two ways to avoid being shot down: fly straight up - if the player doesn't look behind them, the tailing Lazer will eventually de-spawn; dodge the missiles - just before a missile hits, climb and then descend rapidly, the missile will climb after you, but when you descend again it will not change course fast enough, and should go right over the player's head). Players should also be mindful towards the multiple Rhino tanks patrolling the base, as they are very accurate and can destroy a Lazer in a single shot.
- If the player successfully steals this jet from Fort Zancudo, 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).
- The jet will save when placed in a player's hangar but will be lost completely upon switching hangar vehicles.
- Two P-996 Lazers intercept Trevor in the mission Minor Turbulence and eventually shoot down his hijacked cargo plane.
- AI-controlled P-996 Lazers can use flares, making it harder for them be shot down with heat-seeking missiles.
- As of the 1.02 patch, the P-996 Lazer, when using missiles, has a realistic lock-on target square on screen.
- 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 Lazer requires a very minimal area to take-off. Take-off is possible within the space of 5 Lazers.
- Many GTA fans thought that the P-996 Lazer was the Fighter that got removed from GTA IV or the Hydra from GTA San Andreas, but it is in fact a separate aircraft.
- The explosive cannon rounds can make short work of any type of vehicle, but the major downside is that it has significantly low range, going as far as seven Lazer lengths. The best technique to use the cannon is to approach the target fairly low, with the gear down (to reduce speed), then fire the cannon, dive quickly and spray the area in front/around the target, then quickly pull up.
- Lazers can sometimes be seen flying on patrol runs around Mount Chilliad. They are passive but will engage the player if attacked.
- 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.
- Given Rockstar's sexual humour, it isn't suprising that the numbers 996 in its name spelled backwards is 669.
- The GTA Online poster incorrectly shows the P-996 LAZER to have an F-16-like intake.