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The aircraft is based off of the F-16C Fighting Falcon, with strong accents of the F-18 Hornet air intakes. It looks very similar to the F-35B Lightning II from the rear, the F-35 is capable of STVL (Short Take-off & Vertical Landing) which may be the cause of many people to believe the Lazer was a new version of the Hydra. The P-996 is equipped with dual cannons with explosive rounds, which is reminiscent of the F-20 Tigershark. It also has lock-on missiles equipped.
- 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.
- Fort Zancudo.
- Used by the Hunters in Top Fun 1, 2 and 3.
- 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 ranks patrolling the base, as they are very accurate and can destroy a Lazer in a single shot.
- If the plane is moving, the player can eject from the plane much like in real life. 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.
- 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.
- 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 most likely resembles the older combat aircraft designation 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 was the Fighter that got removed from GTA IV, 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.