Metalworks Incorporated FB-144 Thunderhawk Fighter / Bomber:


Metalworks Incorporated is a company that is west of the city of Tolkeen that constructs 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.


A wrecked Pre-Rifts aircraft was found by a group of adventurers and they sold what was salvageable to Metalworks Incorporated. After a lengthy examination of the aircraft, the engineers at Metalworks Incorporated were able to piece together the frame of a variable geometry (swing wing) medium bomber /heavy fighter that was designed with stealth in the aircraft's features. Because the hull was not saved, Metalworks did not have the materials to construct the radar absorbent skin of the aircraft until they were able to purchase a captured Coalition Talon stealth fighter.


Research and Development came up with the F-144 Thunderhawk stealth fighter. It fills much the same role as the F-111 Aardvark did in the late twentieth century. The aircraft is an excellent ground attack aircraft and high speed bomber but the size of the aircraft limits its usefulness as a fighter. Unlike the F-500 Tigerhawk, the systems in the aircraft are top of the line sensor systems and computers. The flight controls of the aircraft are fly by wire which improves the fighter's maneuverability. The aircraft is fast and can reach just over Mach 3 on maximum power. This coupled with a super cooling system that prevents the engines from heating is a large percentage of this aircrafts high cost. The fighter is fitted with both vectored thrusters and smaller thrusters that output thrust downwards and the aircraft can take off and land vertically. The main weaponry of the aircraft are the aircraft's missile bays. The aircraft has two large missile bays in the main body of the aircraft and two smaller missile bays in the supports of the wings. The aircraft also has two mounts for gun pods in the front of the fighter. The mounts may be fitted to carry either two laser cannons or two rail guns. By theory, one rail gun and one laser cannon could be mounted but over a long term it would probably add addition strain to the aircraft's frame. Like the F-111, the whole cockpit ejects if the pilot decides to eject.


Metalworks Incorporated will only sell these aircraft to groups that the owners are not too concerned about using the aircraft against Metalworks Incorporated. Only a few of the aircraft have been sold so far. The cities of Tolkeen and Lazlo has purchased a few, Larsons Brigade has purchased a few to replace Aircastle bombers, and Triax is negotiating the purchase of them as well although the negotiations are stalled because Metalworks does not want the New German Republic to share the design with the Coalition. The Coalition has already responded to the existence of the design and have orders that these aircraft will be shot down if seen.


Model Numbers: FB-144
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Fighter-Bomber
Crew: Two


M.D.C. by Location:

Forward Mounted Rail Guns/Laser cannons (2):50 each
Large Belly Ordnance Bays (2):150 each
Small Wing Support Ordnance Bays (2):100 each
[1] Wings (2):250 each
[2] Elevators (2):120 each
[2] Rudders (2):120 each
Landing Gear (3):20 each
Cockpit/ Reinforced Pilot Compartment:150
[3] Engines (2):350 each
[4] Main Body:575


Notes:
[1] Destroying a Wing will cause the plane to crash
[2] Destruction of the rudder or one elevator will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines 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.
[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. Crew may attempt an emergency landing or Crew 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. Damage to the main body will also reduce the aircraft's stealth, for every 10% of damage to the main body, reduce the aircraft's stealth by 10% of its total.


Speed:
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: Can hover and go up to a maximum speed of Mach 3.1 (2,298.5 mph/3,699.1 kph). Its cruise speed is up to Mach 1.0 (741.4 mph/ 1193.3 kph) and has a maximum altitude is about 20 Miles (105,600 feet/ 32190 meters). Due to the fact that all ordnance is carried in internal bays, the aircraft's performance reduction when fully loaded is negligible.
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited. Unlike most Coalition and other governments aircraft, the FB-144 Thunderhawk does not overheat and can run indefinitely and is mainly limited by pilots endurance. This is because the engine has a high efficiency cooling system.


Statistical Data:
Height: 12 feet (3.7 meters)
Wingspan: 70 feet (21.3 meters)  with wings extended and 35 feet (10.7 meters)  with wings swept back.
Length: 85 feet (25.9 meters)
Weight: 55 tons (49.9 metric tons) fully loaded
Power System: Nuclear, Should have an average lifespan of 20 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include ordnance bays. Heavy Ordnance bays, if emptied of ordnance can carry up to 20,000 lbs (9071.8 kg) of cargo each. Light Ordnance bays, if emptied of ordnance can carry up to 5,000 lbs (2,268. kg) of cargo each.
Black Market Cost: Metalworks Incorporated sells the aircraft for 100 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.


Weapon Systems:

  1. Gun Pod Mounts (2): Instead of having fixed dogfighting and strafing weapons, the fighter has two special mounts in the nose of the fighter that can use either a laser cannon or a rail gun. Gun pods are controlled by the aircraft's pilot. Because of concerns about frame damage, it is not recommended that one mount carry a laser cannon and the other carry the rail gun. Laser cannons have the advantage of not needing ammunition and pilots can remain in combat longer. Rail guns have the advantage of being useful against targets that are impervious to energy.
    1. Laser Cannons (2): The aircraft'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 aircraft.
      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).
    2. Two (2) NG-202 Rail Guns: The pilot has two copies of the NG-202 as forward firing guns. They are set up like the NG-202 on the Samson power armor with a greater rate of fire. The aircrafts used by Metalworks Incorporated uses APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot) ammo that increases damage
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1200 meter)
      Mega Damage: Normal Ammo; 1D6x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds (Does not fire single shot) for one rail gun or 2D6x10 M.D.C. for both cannons. APFSDS Ammo; 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds (Does not fire single shot) for one rail gun or 4D4x10 M.D.C. for both cannons.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to pilots hand to hand
      Payload: 3000 rounds each gun, That is 50 Bursts for each rail gun.
  2. Large Ordnance Bays (2): The aircraft has two large ordnance bays in the main body of the aircraft The ordnance bays in the aircrafts wing supports will often carry air to air ordnance with the larger bays devoted to air to surface ordnance. Ordnance types can include missiles, torpedoes, naval mines, and bombs. Missile and bomb sizes may be mixed between different types of ordnance but an ordnance drop or launch must include the same type and size of ordnance. Ordnance may be carried at the rate of four short range missiles, four light bombs, two medium range missiles, or two medium bombs for one long range missile or heavy bomb. In the large ordnance bays, one Cruise missile or extra heavy bomb may also be carried instead of two long range missiles or heavy bombs but the smaller bays do not have enough space for cruise missiles or extra heavy bombs. Both guided and unguided ordnance may be carried. Launching of ordnance is controlled by the weapons officer but the pilot has emergency controls.
    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: Ordnance is dropped or fired one at a time or in volleys of two, five, ten, or twenty but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley)
    Payload: 32 short range missiles or light bombs, 16 medium range missiles or medium bombs, 8 long range missiles or heavy bomb, or 4 cruise missiles or extra heavy bombs each bay. Ordnance can be mixed and naval mines may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.
  3. Small Ordnance Bays (2): The aircraft has two small ordnance bays in the wing supports with one in each wing support. The ordnance bays in the aircrafts wing supports will often carry air to air ordnance with the larger bays devoted to air to surface ordnance. Ordnance types can include missiles, torpedoes, naval mines, and bombs. Missile and bomb sizes may be mixed between different types of ordnance but an ordnance drop or launch must include the same type and size of ordnance. Ordnance may be carried at the rate of four short range missiles, four light bombs, two medium range missiles, or two medium bombs for one long range missile or heavy bomb. In the large ordnance bays, one Cruise missile or extra heavy bomb may also be carried instead of two long range missiles or heavy bombs but the smaller bays do not have enough space for cruise missiles or extra heavy bombs. Both guided and unguided ordnance may be carried. Launching of ordnance is controlled by the weapons officer but the pilot has emergency controls.
    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: Ordnance is dropped or fired one at a time or in volleys of two, five, or eight but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley)
    Payload: 8 short range missiles or light bombs, 4 medium range missiles or medium bombs, or 2 long range missiles or heavy bomb each bay. Ordnance can be mixed and naval mines may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.
  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 against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
    Effect:
      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.
    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)
  5. Advanced Towed Decoys (4): These are mounted in two dispensers on the tail of the fighter. 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 it.
    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 (2 each)


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:



[ Altarian TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Larsen's Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk's Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 1998 & 2001, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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