Metalworks Industries VAC-33X Firehawk class Gunship:

Metalworks Industries has wanted to produce a Gunship design for a very long time but the Kestrel is too small a design to convert into a gunship so other designs where looked at for conversions to gunships. A gunships in an aircraft used for suppressing enemy troops, supporting ground troops, and for heavy ground assault roles. Many different aircraft designs were looked at but it was not until they looked at Southern Cross Industries Glamour medium transport did they find a good aircraft to modify. The manager of Metalworks got permission to modify and sell the design. Immediately, the engineers set to work. Two months later, the first of the Firehawks came out to be tested. The design had any problems including the fact that the guns originally kept overloading the aircraft power systems but all problems were eventually fixed. The aircraft even had some cargo space remaining which makes the aircraft very useful for dropping troops. The first few were sold at a substantial discount with "Vixen's Pride" a mercenary company who works closely with Metalworks Industries but since then the gunships have been selling as quickly as they come off the manufacturing line. It is known that Larson's Brigade has also bought several of these aircraft.

The propulsion from the Glamour is based off of the engines of the Aircastle bomber and is both smaller and more efficient. The problem was that the system was never designed to take the strain of providing power for seven heavy Vulcan lasers. The output of the power system was increased but it still did not keep enough power for the weapons. The final solution was relatively simple and it was to put a capacitor in each gun system. While the guns have a limited number of shots, they recharge relatively quickly. This gives the aircraft three Vulcan lasers on either side and one in the nose. For saturation bombardment, it was decided that missiles would be useful and on each wing are two mini-missile packs. The Firehawk has greater armor when compared to the Glamour. This allows the aircraft to survive better in dangerous environments. The one environment the Firehawk is not designed to deal with is combat with other aircraft. While the Gunships firepower in incredible, the aircraft is not very maneuverable. For this reason, the Firehawk is normally escorted by fighters.

While the ability of the transport to carry troops and equipment has been reduced, it has not been completely eliminated and the aircraft can carry up to 24 troops or 12 tons of cargo. The aircraft also retains the rear cargo door which allows for the rapid loading and exiting of troops and supplies.

Designation: M.I. VAC-33X Glamour
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Medium VTOL Gunship (Modified Transport)
Crew: Ten (Pilot, Co-Pilot, Navigator, Sensor Manager, and six Gunners)
Troops: 24 (reduced from 72) or 16 in power armor at the expense of other cargo

M.D.C. by Location:

Cargo Door250
Vulcan Laser Mounts (7):75 each
Wing Mini-Missile Launchers (2):80 each
[1] Wings (2):300 each
[2] Tail:300
Landing Gear (3):30 each
Pilots Cockpit:350
[3] Engines (2):350 each
[4] Main Body:600

[1] Destroying a Wing will cause the plane to crash
[2] Destruction of the tail will still allow the aircraft to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines but fighter has a penalty of -10 to dodge, and a -30% penalty to all piloting rolls.
[3] The destruction of one engine will reduce the gunships 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 a 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 maximum speed of the aircraft is 800 mph (1,280 kph) and has a maximum altitude of 50,000 feet (15,240 m). The aircraft is Vertical Take Off and Landing which allows it to take off virtually anywhere and can hover.
Maximum Effective Range: The cooling system has been improved compared to the Air Castle bomber. The Aircraft can fly up to 12 hours if flying at less than 500 mph (256 kph) and can fly for 5 hours at 500 mph (256 kph) or greater.

Statistical Data:
Length: 98 feet (29.5 meters)
Wingspan: 105 feet (32 meters)
Height: 33 feet (10.1 meters)
Weight: 92 tons (83.5 metric tons)
Power Source: Nuclear, Should have an average life span of 20 years.
Cargo: 12 tons or about 24 combat troops
Market Cost: 55 million credits (The Glamour costs 40 Million Credits)


  1. Vulcan Laser Cannons (7): These cannons are a copy of the IH-44L Vulcan Laser on the Iron Hammer Tank that was manufactured by Ironheart Industries. A total of seven of these cannons are carried with three guns to either side and one mounted in the front of the Firehawk. The power needed for these weapons is far more than the aircraft can produce so a capacitor was added to each cannon to store power and a far more powerful fusion reactor was added to the aircraft. This gives the guns a limited payload but usually this is not much of a problem for most mission due to the high payload. All guns on a side are designed to be targeted by individual gunners
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
    Mega Damage: 3D4x10 for an instantaneous burst per gun mount.
    Rate of Fire:Each cannon can shoot up to six times per melee (Normally combined) but is restricted to the gunners number of hand to hand attacks.
    Payload: 400 bursts per mount, recharges at the rate of 1 shot per melee per cannon. If a gun is destroyed, internal equipment on the gun is normally intact and power may be drawn from other gun mounts as well.
  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 missile 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 (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley).
    Payload: Each launcher carries 36 mini-missile for a total of 72 mini-missiles.
  3. Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser: Located at the very tail of the modified transport are two chaff dispenser. 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 against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. 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 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 Gunship has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed.


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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 1999, Kitsune. All rights reserved.