Metalworks Incorporated A-100 Ironhawk Attack Fighter:

Metalworks Incorporated is a company that is west of the city of Tolkeen that constructed various ground vehicles, robots, and aircraft. Most of their designs are copies of other companies or nations. They have permission from Triax to produce under licence several Triax designs and sell them in North America. An advisor to the senior executive of

Metalworks suggested that an aircraft that was dedicated to close ground support would be a good project. This was partially driven by her seeing that she needed one for her mercenary company and has a dislike for sky cycles as well. Like the F-500 Tigerhawk, this aircraft is available in both a fuel cell and nuclear powered version. Some people have accused Metalworks of stealing the entire design but while the aircraft uses the same cannons used on one of Ironheart Industries tanks, the A-100 is a new design developed by Metalworks Incorporated.

After looking at old pre-rifts aircraft, two aircraft stood out for this role. They were the American A-10 and the Soviet/Russian SU-25 Frogfoot. The A-100 Ironhawk looks in some ways more like the SU-25 than it does the A-10. This is mainly because the engines are placed on the wing supports instead of the rear of the aircraft. The advantage of this is that it is easier to integrate vertical take off and landing thrusters. The Ironhawk has a twin tail so that the aircraft can still operate with the loss of a tail rudder. Like both of these aircraft, the Ironhawk has good glide ability for a jet.

Internally, the aircraft uses features like that of the most aircraft but unlike most standard Rifts Earth aircraft, each system is duplicated multiple times. Because radar is not as important system for a ground attack aircraft as it is for other types of fighters, the system is less advanced than the system placed in some aircraft. The one place the radar system excel is the aircraft has excellent terrain following systems. The flight control systems are fly by wire and the aircraft has two separate fly by wire systems and a hydraulic flight control system to back the other systems up. In order to withstand damage in combat, the Ironhawk is fitted with very heavy armor as well.

Weaponry and ordinance are where this aircraft breaks from the pack of other aircraft and it carries an incredible amount of weaponry. For the main gun, the fighter carries two Vulcan laser cannons. These cannons were taken from the Iron Hammer tank and the two cannons weigh 2400 pounds combined. The cannons are mounted in the front of the aircraft with one on each side of the fuselage. When the first prototype of the A-100 when first attempting to fire the Vulcan laser cannons, it causes the power system to short out most of the other system on the aircraft including the propulsion. This caused the first prototype to crash. On later models, a complicated set of circuit protections had to be added to prevent this from occurring. On the Nuke versions of the fighter, the guns pull power directly from the fighters fusion reactor and in fuel cell version of the fighter it has a fuel cell linked to the gun itself. On the tip of each wing is a fixed mini-missile launcher that each carry 24 mini-missiles for a total of 48 mini-missiles. In addition to these weapon systems, the Ironhawk can carry a huge amount of external ordnance. It has two hard point under the fuselage and four hard points under each wing. Hard Points can carry rail gun pods, more mini missile packs, or missile and bombs. On fuel cell versions of this aircraft, extra fuel tanks can also be carried on hard points.

Unlike most fighters, the Ironhawk is designed with speed as a secondary and to be able to carry a large payload of primary importance. The engine design is fairly simple to allow for the easy maintenance and repair of them. Along the side of the engine is a series of vectored thrusters that allows the aircraft to complete vertical take off and landings.

Like the F-500 Tigerhawk, the Ironhawk can be constructed using either nuclear or fuel cells for the power system for the aircraft. The power system of the nuclear version is a small but powerful fusion reactor. While the fusion reactor takes up less space than the fuel cells do, the fusion reactor has about the same weight as the fuel tanks carried fuel cell version. Like most systems on this fighter, the fusion reactor is relatively simple and does not have the duration of many of the more advanced fusion reactors.

The technology for the fuel cell design was purchased from Archangel Heavy Industries who got the designs of fuel cells from pre-rifts records. The fuel cells operate by pulling the electrons off of an H2 molecule, splitting it into 2H+ molecules and 2 electrons. The electrons pass through the "load" (engines, weapons, avionics, etc.) creating current and powering the systems. Meanwhile, the 2H+ molecules pass from the anode to the cathode through the electrolyte. At the other "end," the electrons then recombine with the 2H+ molecules and Oxygen (from the air) and are released as water from the rear of the aircraft. Unlike many of the ground vehicles that use the fuel cell system, the main aircraft fuel tank is fixed. The main fuel tank can be refueled by midair refueling but the external fuel tanks cannot be refueled the same way. The fuel tank holds enough Hydrogen to allow the fighter to travel 1,500 nautical miles and the fighter can carry fuel tanks on its external hard points which each extends the range by 300 nautical miles. The fighter also has a fuel cell to provide power to the Vulcan laser cannons. The fuel cell powering the laser guns is much larger than those mounted on the Tigerhawk.

Designation: A-100 Ironhawk
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Ground Attack Aircraft
Crew: One

M.D.C. by Location:

Vulcan Laser Cannons (2):75 each
Wing Mini-Missile Launchers (2):65 each
[1] Wings (2):300 each
[2] Elevators (2):150 each
[2] Rudders (2):150 each
[3] Engines (2):350 each
[4] Main Body:550
Landing Gear (3):80 each

[1] Destroying a Wing will cause the plane to crash
[2] Destruction of the fighters rudders or one elevator will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines and vectoring thrusters but fighter has a penalty of -10 to dodge, and a -30% penalty to all piloting rolls. Destruction of both of the elevators will leave the plane uncontrollable and pilot must eject to survive.
[3] The destruction of one engine will reduce the fighter’s top speed by half and give the pilot a -2 penalty to dodge as well as giving a 10% penalty to piloting. Destruction of both engines will cause the aircraft to crash. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject.
[4] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the Aircraft down completely, rendering it useless and causing it to crash if in flight.

Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing.
Flying: The Ironhawk can hover and go up to a maximum speed of 450 knots (517.8 mph / 833.4 kph). Unlike most fighters, it does not have a high output setting and does not use energy at a high rate. The fighter has a maximum altitude of 40,000 feet (12,192 meters)
Maximum Effective Range: Fusion Reactor: Effectively Unlimited. Thrusters overheat after twenty hours of use below 250 mph (402.3 kph) and 10 hours of use above 250 mph (402.3 kph). Fuel Cell Version: 1,500 nautical miles (1,726.2 miles/2,778 km) with no external ordnance load. The Fuel cell version can carry up to nine external fuel tanks style (on all but the outermost hard points) that extend range by 300 nautical miles (345.2 miles/555.61 km) each. Reduce aircraft's range by 15% if partially loaded (over 50% of capacity) and by 25% if fully loaded. The fighter can be refueled in the air but the external fuel tanks cannot be refueled in the air. With fuel cells, the aircraft has the same problems that the nuclear version aircraft does. The engine will overheat. While normally not a problem, it can be a problem with multiple refueling.

Statistical Data:
Length: 55 feet 6 inches (16.9 meters)
Wingspan: 60 feet (18.3 meters)
Height: 15 feet 3 inches (4.6 meters)
Weight: 22,000 pounds (9979 kg) empty and 62,000 pounds (28,122.7 kg) maximum takeoff load.
Power Source: Two versions. Nuclear with 8 year fusion reactor and Fuel cell version that uses Hydrogen as a fuel to produce electricity.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include hard points.
Black Market Cost: Nuclear Reactor: 16.5 million credits. Fuel Cell Version: 6.5 million credits.
Mini-Missile launchers cost 200,000 credits each, Rail gun pods cost 95,000 credits each.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Vulcan Laser Cannons (2): These cannons are a copy of the IH-44L Vulcan Laser on the Iron Hammer Tank that was manufactured by Ironheart Industries. These were mounted as secondary weapons but were still almost too large to be mounted on the fighter. Early in the testing of the aircraft, these weapon systems had many problems but the problems were corrected. The laser cannons are mounted near the front on either side of the fuselage of the fighter. On the nuclear powered version, the laser cannons pull power directly from the fusion reactor of the fighter. On the fuel cell version, the laser cannons are powered by a fuel cell much larger than those carried by the Tigerhawk (the cannons still do not have the payload of the cannons on the tank
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
    Mega Damage: 3D4x10 for an instantaneous burst from one cannon and 6D4x10 for an instantaneous burst from both cannons.
    Rate of Fire:Each cannon can shoot up to six times per melee (Normally combined) but is restricted to the pilots number of hand to hand attacks.
    Payload: Nuclear Reactor: Effectively Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines). Fuel Cell Version: 400 bursts total but normally is 200 double cannon bursts. It takes approximately two minutes for a trained crew to change the hydrogen tank that powers the weapon, assuming that a spare tank is available. Untrained crews will take about six minutes to accomplish this task.
  2. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): Large capacity mini-missile pods are permanently mounted on the outside edge of each wing. The launchers are normally used for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missiles used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Each launcher can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), sixteen (16), or twenty-four (24) missiles and both launchers can be linked with the other mini missile launcher for up to 48 missiles as one volley.
    Payload: Each launcher carries 24 mini-missiles for a total of 48 mini-missiles.
  3. Hard Points (10): The A-100 has ten hard points for external ordnance and equipment with four on each wing and two on the fuselage of the aircraft. Each hard point may carry one long range missile or heavy bomb, two medium range missiles or medium bombs, or four short range missiles or light bombs. The hard points can also carry mini-missile pods and rail guns instead of bombs or missiles. Each hard points must carry the same type of ordnance but different hard points may carry different ordnance types but ordnance is normally carried in symmetrical pairs.
    1. Bombs and Missiles: The only restriction is that a hard point must carry all the same type of missiles or bombs. Both unguided and guided bombs can be carried.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude bombs are dropped at (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies by missile or bomb type (See bomb and missile tables for details)
      Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired and bombs can be dropped one at a time per hard point. Multiple hard points can be linked as one attack but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley)
      Payload: Varies by hard point (see above - all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance)
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: Although smaller than fixed mini-missile pods, this detachable mini-missile pod still has a large capacity. The Aircraft normally carries missile pods for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missiles used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Each pod can fire one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16) mini-missiles and can be linked with other mini-missile pods for greater number of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley)
      Payload: each pod carries 16 mini-missiles.
    3. Rail Gun Pods: Copies of the NG-202 Rail Gun set up in a pod that is designed to be mounted on the hard points. The cannon is set up like the NG-202 on the Samson power armor with a greater rate of fire that the normal NG-202.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
      Mega Damage: 1D6x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds for one rail gun (Multiple rail guns can be combined for greater damage.)
      Rate of Fire: Equal to pilots hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).
      Payload: 3,000 rounds each gun, That is 50 Bursts for each rail gun.
    4. Advanced Towed Decoys (4): Pod takes place of all ordnance on the Hard Point. The aircraft can carry a special pod that carries four advanced towed decoy drones. These drones are dragged about 328 feet (100 meters) behind the aircraft on a thin cable. Each is a specially designed radar lure that creates a radar image to mimic the aircraft. The decoy has a special jammer that is designed to decoy missiles that have been programmed to home on jamming signals. If decoys are not destroyed, they can be recovered and repaired. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World weapons due to technological difference.
      M.D.C.: 5
      Effects: The decoy has an 80% chance of fooling ordinary non military radars and non smart guided missiles, the decoy has a 50% chance of fooling military level radars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 25% chance of fooling advanced military radars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and smart missiles. Against missiles homing on a jamming signal, jamming has an 40% chance of tricking missiles if both the aircraft and missile are jamming and an 80% chance if the jamming system on the aircraft is deactivated before the missile reaches is.
      Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable although decoy is deployed 328 feet (100 meters) from the aircraft
      Rate of Fire: One can be deployed at a time and requires 15 seconds to deploy (Reel Out) another decoy
      Payload: 4 Decoys
  4. Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser: Located at the very tail of the fighter are two chaff dispensers. When tailed by a missile, a cloud of chaff and other obtrusive particles can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference and does not work on smart missiles. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
      01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
      51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of the real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      76-00 No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half. Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: Eight (8).

Special Equipment:
The fighter has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed.

Combat Bonuses:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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