Metalworks Incorporated EF-500 Stormhawk:
"One of only two flying prototypes and I end up having to pilot one into the teeth of the Coalition" said Lieutenant Nancy Bock to no one in particular. It was doubtful if Sergeant Stilton could hear her in the back seat. He was closely watching the jamming system displays to make sure they were operating normally. The Stormhawk was half Jamming Aircraft and half Fighter. There was some discussion of using the Ghosthawk instead of the Tigerhawk as a platform for jamming equipment but the two prototypes used the simpler Tigerhawk frame. The jamming systems were purchased for the REEF and were far in advance of anything Metalworks could come up with themselves. The REEF did not use their jamming equipment very much because the preferred stealth in most circumstances over jamming. Nancy was supposed to be the best test pilot working for Metalworks and she and her crew member had been with the test program for the Storm hawk since it was pulled from its hanger for its first flight. They knew how to operate the aircraft better than anyone else and her aircraft was the more ready of the two prototypes.
The owner of Metalworks' mate, whom everyone only knew as Vixen, had come up with a decisive plan to strike back at the Coalition. Nancy Brock thought it was a good plan but she wished that there was someone else who could fly this part of the mission. The concept was simple. The available fighters of every mercenary company on the front had been concentrated together and would strike at one of the major Coalition Air Bases near the front. The problem was that if the Coalition was to detect how many how many fighters were being utilized, the Coalition would either abandon the base or scramble fighters from everywhere instead of just the base itself. Not enough of the fighters that had been gathered were stealth models to make an effective raid on their own and so jamming was needed to hide the actual number of fighters being used. Her Stormhawk cloaked the motley assortment of fighters and hopefully the Coalition would assume that the raid was much smaller than it actually was. While the majority of the fighters were from Larson's Brigade and Vixen's Pride, a large number had been gathered from other mercenary companies. The problem for her was that, as the source of jamming, she would be the primary target. She thought that they had figured out some tactics to deal with the enemy's missiles but none of the tricks she had practiced had been tested under real combat conditions.
Movements of Coalition airborne units were being carefully monitored. While the fighters withing the area of jamming were close to blind, there were several airborne surveillance platforms keeping an eye on Coalition movements. Those aircraft were sending a laser signal to the mercenary fighters so that the pilots informed of any changes. The mercenary companies who owned the fighters could not afford to risk the fighters or the pilots and no one planned this raid to be a high risk mission. The surveillance aircraft reported that the base had just scrambled its squadrons and that they were headed on an intercept course for the mercenary raid. The number of fighters fit within the number thought to be at the base and the mission could proceed as planned.
Time crawled for Nancy Bock. Her electronics warfare operator looked far calmed than she felt she did and it would have surprised her to find out that Sergeant Stilton thought the same way she did. In about one minute, the Stormhawk's jamming would be dropped so the mercenary fighters could accurately target the Coalition interceptors. Of course, the Coalition fighters could target the mercenary companies fighters at the same time.
Time was up and Sergeant Stilton put the jamming pods into standby mode. The leader of the Coalition fighter group almost gasped is surprise when he saw how many aircraft opposed him. Nancy's fighter had been targeting multiple times and eight missiles were headed for the Stormhawk. She pulled hard on the control stick to the point where she started to black out so that the towed decoy would be between her fighter and the incoming missiles. The decoy had a small jammer that any 'Home on Jam' missiles would hopefully target instead of her fighter. Just as she completed the turn, she fired off a chaff package for good measure. She hoped that the blank spot on the radar seekers would make the decoy like the more interesting target. At what seemed to be just a second later, seven of the missile's proximity fuses activated and the decoy was blown into shreds. An eight missile continued only to have its seeker blinded by the cloud of chaff. Unable to lock onto any target, the missile detonated. The missile had been very close to the jamming fighter and the Stormhawk was badly shaken. It took Nancy a few moments to bring her aircraft back under control and she immediately turned her fighter to join the others.
In the first wave, over half of the Coalition fighters were destroyed by missiles. The exchange rate had been heavily in favor of the mercenary fighters and only a total of five of their aircraft had been destroyed. On both sides, many more fighters had been damage but none critically. Most of the medium and long range missiles had been fired and only short range and mini-missiles remained. Most of the fighters of both side carried either energy weapons or rail guns as well. As she came within close range, Lieutenant Bock targeted one of the Coalition fighters in her helmet's displays and ripple fired mini-missiles at the other fighter. The Coalition fighter's starboard wing ripped apart and the aircraft spun out of control. She saw that there were no other Coalition fighters flying. The mission now turned to destroying the airbase and retreating before the Coalition could send reinforcements.
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.
The Stormhawk is an aircraft design just entering prototype stage at Metalworks Incorporated but has already been flown in combat. The jamming systems were purchased from the REEF in Florida under a special agreement that the systems would not be sold to any other parties without permission of the REEF. Metalworks is strongly considering building a sales version of the aircraft but it will carry less powerful jamming equipment adapted from the Pre-Rifts ALQ-99E Jamming Suite carried on the Pre-Rifts EA-6B Prowler, EF-111 Raven, and EA-18G Growler. The F-500 Tigerhawk was chosen as the basis for the jamming aircraft due to the ease of adapting the aircraft compared to some other airframes due to the Tigerhawk fighter carrying all of its ordnance externally. The Sparrowhawk was too small and the Ironhawk was too slow for the intended role. There has been some discussion of a more advanced jamming fighter based on the Ghosthawk frame but the design would require more alteration due to the need to put antennas through the fighter. Metalworks has begun to put out feelers to see if any groups would be interested in purchasing the export model of the fighter and several mercenary companies appear to be interested. There is also a rumor that Free Quebec might be negotiating with both the REEF and Metalworks to produce a jamming version of the Yellow Jacket fighter.
In actual design, the basic frame is virtually unaltered when compared to a standard F-500 Tigerhawk. The only real differences in the actual frame is that each wing has been extended by about three feet on either side to provide more lift and the cockpit and nose is extended by about four feet for the additional crew member. The two prototype Stormhawk jamming fighters are both based on nuclear fusion powered versions of the fighter and it is planned that all production models will be similarly constructed. In most cases, the fighter's hard points will carry four jamming pods on the wings and a sensor pod in the centerline. The central hard point is fitted with a sensor pod that includes a forward infra-red sensor and a high powered forward camera. There is some consideration being given towards the sensor pod being made available for the standard F-500 fighter. The inner and middle wing hard points are usually fitted with the jamming pods. Slightly further out on each wing are two towed decoy dispensers. These dispensers are part of the wing structure and have very little drag. The only hard points that normally carry ordnance are the outer wing mounts. If not carrying sensor pods, the hard points can carry a variety of different ordnance with the outer hard points limited to medium range missiles, short range missiles, and mini-missile pods. Additional towed decoy pods can also be carried on the wingtip hard points. The fighter retains the forward firing laser cannon for use in dogfighting.
Designation: EF-500A Stormhawk
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Jamming Fighter
Crew: Two (Pilot and Sensor / Jamming Operator)
M.D.C. by Location:
| Wings (2):||150 each|
| Elevators (2):||80 each|
| Rudder:||85 each|
| Sensor & Jamming Pods (5 maximum):||60 each|
| Engines (2):||180 each|
| Main Body:||320|
|Landing Gear (3):||40 each|
 Destroying a Wing will cause the plane to crash
 Destruction of the fighter's rudder or one elevator will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines and vectoring thrusters but the 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.
 The loss of a jamming pod will cause the jamming effect to be reduced by 10 nautical mile (11.5 miles / 18.5 kilometers), 20% to radar system range. As well, the loss of a jamming pods will cause the loss of one to penalties against radar guided missiles for advanced jamming system.
The loss of a jamming pod will cause the jamming effect to be reduced by 5 nautical miles (5.8 miles / 9.3 km), 10% to radar system range. As well, the loss of a jamming pods will cause the loss of one to penalties against radar guided missiles for export version of the jamming system.
If all jamming pods are destroyed, all radar jamming effects will be eliminated. The loss of the Sensor Pod will eliminate all special sensors on the aircraft. The ESM system is not considered a special system and will be retained along with all systems carried on a normal robot vehicle.
 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.
 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. Because of the vectoring of the thrusters, the fighter can take off in a short distance.
Flying: The Stormhawk can reach a top speed of Mach 1.75 (1,297.6 mph /2,088.2 kph) on full output. Top speed is reduced by about 10% when fully loaded. The fighters normal cruise is about 600 mph (965.6 kph) but varies on the situation. Stall speed of the fighter is 100 mph (160.9 kph). The fighter has a maximum altitude of 55,000 feet (16,764 meters)
Range: Effectively Unlimited. Thrusters overheat after twenty hours of use below 250 mph (402.3 kph), 10 hours of use from 250 mph (402.3 kph) to 650 mph (1,046.1 kph), and 4 hours of use over 650 mph (1,046.1 kph).
Length: 54.5 feet (16.6 meters)
Wingspan: 34.5 feet (10.5 meters)
Height: 14 feet (4.3 meters)
Weight: 10,862.5 pounds (4,927.1 kg) empty, 15,300 pounds (6,940 kg) light combat load, and 27,514.8 pounds (12,480.5 kg) maximum takeoff load.
Power Source: Nuclear with 5 year fusion reactor.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment) in cockpit, does not include hard points.
Black Market Cost: When sold, Metalworks Incorporated plans to sell the export version of aircraft for 20.5 million credits carrying four jamming pods and the centerline sensor pod. If allowed to sell one of the advanced models, it would likely sell for 28.5 million credits. If one of these aircraft was to become available on the black market, it would probably sell for twice to four times that cost.
- Two (2) Laser Cannons: Laser cannons are mounted on either side of the cockpit in the front of the fighter. The fighter's laser cannons are from the barrels and inner working of the JA-12 Assault Rifle. The laser cannons pull power directly from the fusion reactor of the fighter.
- Seven (7) Hard Points (2 "Wingtip" Usually Available): Generally only the two wingtip hard points will be available to carry ordinance with the four under wing hard points and centerline hard points carrying sensor and jamming pod. Below is a list of hard points and the loads that they can carry. Missiles, rocket packs, and bombs can be mixed or matched but all ordnance on a hard point must be the same type.
- 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.
- Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. The Aircraft normally carries missile pods for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles.
- Rail Gun Pods: Copies of the NG-202 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.
- Airborne Integrated Jamming System: Usually four are carried, leaving only two remaining missile hard points. System jams all radars, radios, and all equipment that uses RF waves. This also includes jamming all friendly forces and all equipment in aircraft that is mounting the system and operating it. Laser communications and light-based sensors are unaffected by the jamming pods. Some missile will home on jamming and will go after aircraft carrying them. If the pods are damaged, system range will be reduced.
- Advanced Sensor Pod: Carried on the central hard point. Sensor pod includes a long range camera system, a light amplification system, and a more advanced radar detection system.
- 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.
- 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 decoys systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
Mega Damage: 4D6 for one cannon, 8D6 for both cannons, 1D6x10+10 for three round burst from one cannon, 2D6x10+20 for three round burst from both barrels (6 total shots)
Rate of Fire:Equal to the pilots combined hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).
Payload: Effectively Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines)
Central Hard Point: Sensor pod or missiles/bombs (one long range missile / heavy bomb, two medium range missile / medium bomb, or four short range missile / light bomb) - Usually carries a sensor pod.
Inner Wing Hard Points (2): Jamming / ECM pod, towed decoy pod, rocket packs, rail gun pods, or missiles/bombs (one long range missile /heavy bomb, two medium range / medium bombs, or four short range missile / light bombs).
Middle Wing Hard Points (2): Jamming / ECM pod, towed decoy pod, rocket packs, rail gun pods, or missiles/bombs (one long range missile / heavy bombs, two medium range missiles / medium bombs, or four short range missiles / light bombs).
Wing Tip Hard Points (2): Towed decoy pod, rocket packs or missiles (one medium range missile or two short range missiles).
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 revised 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)
Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
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 - all.) 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 sixteen (16) mini-missiles.
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.
Advanced Version: One pod has a effective radius of 40 nautical miles (46.1 miles / 74.1 kilometers) with each additional pod increasing range by 10 nautical mile (11.5 miles / 18.5 kilometers) radius per additional jamming pod (Usually jamming field with four pods is 70 nautical miles / 80.6 miles / 129.7 kilometers.) Reduces range by 35% for one pod and 20% for each additional pod to a maximum of 95% when within jamming area (for four pods.) In addition, radar systems will have a -25% penalty to detect all targets within their reduced range. Jamming also creates a penalty of -4 for one pod and -1 for each additional pod for a maximum penalty of -7 to all radar guided weapons within the jamming area (for four pods.).
Export Version: One pod has a effective radius of 20 nautical miles (23.0 miles / 37.1 kilometers) with each additional pod increasing range by 5 nautical mile (5.8 miles / 9.3 kilometers) radius per additional jamming pod (Usually jamming field with four pods is 35 nautical miles / 40.3 miles / 64.9 kilometers.) Reduces range by 35% for one pod and 10% for each additional pod to a maximum of 65% when within jamming area (for four pods.) In addition, radar systems will have a -25% penalty to detect all targets within their reduced range.. Jamming also creates a penalty of -4 for one pod and -1 for each additional pod for a maximum penalty of -7 to all radar guided weapons within the jamming area (for four pods.)
V. A. S.: Visual magnification that multiplies all images by about 300 times which allows visual identification and tracking of fighter sized objects out to 30 to 40 miles (48.3 km to 64.4 km). System has low light amplifications to allow for the systems use during night time conditions. System is mounted in central sensor pod
FLIR: Forward Looking Infrared. Allows the pilot and weapons officer to get visuals on targets at night. System is mounted in central sensor pod.
E.S.M.: Radar Detector, Passively detects other radars being operated. Most sophisticated that the standard system and has +10% to read sensory instrument rolls.
M.D.C.: 5 each
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.
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: Four (4) Decoys.
- 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 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.
Payload: Eight (8)
M.D.C.: 5 each
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 it.
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: Four (4) Decoys (2 each)
- The fighter has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same
as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone)
- +2 to strike
+2 to dodge
+5 to dodge while traveling over 300 mph
+10% to piloting.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
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