REEF-F45 Super Hawk VTOL Fighter:


In many ways, the Sea Hawk is one of the best fighters on Rifts Earth but it was in reality due to be replaced in front line service within four years but the coming of the Rifts prevented that. The surviving member of the United States Navy did not have any of the prototypes and it is unknown if any survived. The New Navy made allies with the REEF (Robotech Extra-dimensional Expeditionary Force), who had managed to get samples of the advanced aircraft armor formulas used by Triax. Various negotiations went on between the two powers including trade and mutual protection treaties. One of the items that the New navy was interested in was upgrading their fighters with better armor materials. For trade, the New Navy offered the REEF several units of their phased array aircraft based long range search radar systems.


After long discussions, it was decided that the REEF and the New Navy would work together on an improved fighter for the New Navy. The fighter needed to be a design that could be manufactured by the New Navy with a minimum of retooling so it was decided to simply update the Sea Hawk. The new fighter was nicknamed the "Super Hawk" with the REEF using the designation REEF-F45 and the New Navy designating the fighter FV-55. It would also be useful if already existing fighters could be upgraded instead of replaced. The REEF did not see the need for a fighter that served the same role as one they already had. The REEF had already introduced the Sabertooth into their own forces and while the Sea Hawk could carry more ordnance when ordnance carried on the wings, this greatly reduces the aircraft's stealth and in internal bays, the two fighters can carry about the same loads. In addition to this, the REEF fighter had more powerful and was faster. The design for the updated New Navy fighter would include many of the features first designed for the Sabertooth.


Some peaceful disagreements have come up with the designs although the people in the middle of the discussions would have called them anything but peaceful. The engineers in the REEF consider that Electronics Warfare version of the Hawk design is unneeded and the New Navy could simply carry Jamming pods on the fighters wings instead of ordnance and use the bay for various ordnance. The New Navy engineers disagreed because the pods would reduce the fighter's stealth and would interfere with missions that started out using course involving stealth and only on the final part of the attack mission relied on jamming. The other discussion, which is dividing both sides, is the use of Stealth. Some advocate using increased radar absorbent materials on all versions while others see this is a needless expense. Related is the idea of replacing the engines on the stealth versions with more powerful engines. Some argue against this because of the increased heat signature. As plans stand, the aircraft will retain the same stealth feature as the original versions.


In physical appearance, the fighter design changed very little. The only really visible change is the mounting for the forward firing laser cannons has been changed. This is because the lasers were replaced by variable frequency lasers copied from those designed for New German Republic robots and power armors. Of course, the improvements in the fighter are far more complex than the external view suggests.


Many systems were retained from the Sea Hawk design. These include the internal active ECM jamming system, retractable belly laser, internal ordnance bay (in some sources incorrectly identified as a bomb bay), anti-missile chaff launchers, towed decoys, and the fighters engines. It was initially proposed that the engines would be replaced by an adapted version of the engine designed for the Sabertooth but it would have created an unacceptable delay in construction. It is planned that in the future that the Super Hawks engines will be replaced by these new engines.


The big upgrades to the fighter design include the replacement of the fighters armor, replacing the forward guns, the radar system from the Sabertooth replaces the radar system, and the wing hard points have been adapted so they can use standard R.E.E.F. Aircraft Hard point Pods & Ordnance Loads. The FV-45 was only lightly armored when compared to many of the top of the line fighters of militaries such as those the Coalition fields. The Super Hawk has upgraded armor, partially based on Triax armor materials, to all locations allowing it to take similar abuse to the newer CS fighters. The new forward gun have about twice the firepower of the original cannons and are variable frequency. Many of the electronics of the fighter are all new and are modified versions of those carried on the REEF-F-40 Sabertooth. The new radar system includes the ability to both track and target more targets simultaneously.


Model Type:F45 / FV-55Standard Super Hawk Multi-Role VTOL Fighter
F45 / FV-55-EWElectronic Warfare (Jamming) Super Hawk Multi-Role VTOL Fighter
F45 / FV-45-SWStealth Warfare Super Hawk Multi-Role VTOL Fighter
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine VTOL Fighter and Attack Craft
Crew: Two (Pilot / Sensor & Electronic System operator)


M.D.C. by Location:

Forward Mounted Laser Guns (2; nose):50 each
Retractable Belly Gun (1; lower nose section):60
Wing Mounted Missile Hard Points (6):10 each
Wing Mounted Mini-Missile Launchers (2):60 each
Internal Ordnance Bay (1; hatch):80
[1] Main Wings (2):175 each
[1] Forward Stabilizers (2):90 each
[2] Rudders (2):100 each
[3] Forward Lift Turbo-Fan Engine (1):60
[3] Protective Doors for Forward Lift Engine (2, top and bottom):75 each
[4] Main Engines (2):125 each
[5] Main Body425
Landing Gear (3):20 each
Reinforced Pilot's Compartment / Cockpit:150
Pilot & Crew seat (2):5 each


Notes:
[1] Destroying a Main Wing will cause the plane to crash. Pilot and Radar Officer must eject to survive. Destroying one or both Forward Stabilizers Wings will result in reducing bonuses to dodge by 2 and removing the 5% bonus to piloting the aircraft.
[2] Destruction of one rudder will result in the fighter having a penalty of -3 to strike and dodge and removes the 5% bonus to piloting aircraft. Destruction of both rudders will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels and direction of thrust of the engines but fighter has a penalty of -5 to strike, -10 to dodge, and a -30% penalty to all piloting rolls.
[3] Destruction of doors protecting front lift engine will increase drag. Reduce top speed by half and the fighter has a -4 to dodge and piloting is at -20% at high speeds (Above 400 mph / 644 kph). To damage the forward lift engine, a called shot at -3 is required and the shielding doors must be either open or destroyed. If forward lift fan is destroyed, fighter cannot hover.
[4] Destruction of one engine will reduce the fighter’s top speed by half and give the fighter a -3 penalty to dodge as well as removing the 5% bonus to piloting. Destroying both engines will cause the aircraft to crash. Pilot may attempt a emergency landing or pilot and weapons officer can choose to eject.
[5] 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. Pilot and Radar Officer must eject to survive. Damage to the main body will also reduce the aircrafts stealth, for every 10% of damage to the main body, reduce the aircrafts 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: Standard and Electronic Warfare versions: The jet propulsion system enables the Sea Hawk to reach a maximum speed of Mach 3.2 (2462.4 mph / 3962.9 kph) and climb to an altitude of 63,000 feet (19,200 meters). When the fighter is carrying ordnance on its external hard points, the fighter has a top speed of Mach 2.8 (2,076.1 mph / 3,341.1 kph)
Stealth Warfare Version: The jet propulsion system enables the improved stealth variant Sea Hawk to reach a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 (1,631.2 mph / 2,625.2 kph) and climb to an altitude of 50,000 feet (15,240 m). When the stealth fighter is carrying ordnance on its external hard points, the fighter has a top speed of Mach 2.0 (1,482.9 mph / 2,386.5 kph)
All versions of the jet has a minimum glide-speed of 120 mph (192 kph); if it goes any slower, the wings cannot provide sufficient lift and the aircraft will crash unless VTOL engines are engaged. Cruising speed tends to be between 250 mph (400 kph) and Mach 1.0 (741.4 mph/ 1193.3 kph).
Maximum Effective Range: Nuclear powered, giving it continual energy, but the jet engines begin to overheat after 18 hours of continual use. Occasional rest stops every 4 to 6 hours, giving the engines an hour to cool down, will allow the aircraft to travel indefinitely.


Statistical Data:
Length: 65 feet (19.8 meters)
Wingspan: 45 feet (13.7 meters)
Height: 12 feet (3.65 meters) with landing gear down and 9 feet (2.7 meters) with landing gear retracted.
Weight: 16 tons (14.5 metric tons) empty, 24 tons (21.8 metric tons) fully loaded
Power Source: Nuclear Fusion, Should have an average lifespan of 20 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment). Does not include hard points and ordnance bay. Ordnance bay, of emptied of ordnance can carry up to 8,000 lbs (3,628.7 kg) of cargo.
Black Market Cost: Not available. The jet has never been recovered by enemies or mercenaries. An upgraded version would sell for about 20 million more than a standard version and go from 100 to 120 million credits on the open market (add 30 to 50 million for the electronics warfare or improved stealth versions).


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Forward Variable Frequency High-Powered Lasers: Mounted on either side of the cockpit. The original system has been replaced by a system that copies the Triax TX-41 Laser pulse rifle. The weapon has 12 different possible frequencies to counter laser resistant armor. Number 7 counters USA-10 Glitterboy and all other setting are designed to counter other laser resistant materials. These laser cannons have the ability to be positioned up or down 30 degrees. High powered lasers are controlled by the pilot.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
    Mega Damage: 3D6 for one cannon, 6D6 for both cannons, 1D6x10 for three round burst from one cannon, 2D6x10 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: Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines).
  2. Retractable Belly Gun (1 - Standard Version Only): This is a small, but powerful laser located in the belly of the aircraft in the nose section. It can rotate 360 degrees, so it can fire at pursuing aircraft behind it, and has a 45 degree arc of fire. This laser is used primarily against close-range targets and for strafing ground targets. The weapon system can be controlled by either the pilot or sensor officer of the fighter. This weapon is mounted only on the standard version of the fighter and is replaced by additional sensors and communication equipment on the stealth warfare and electronics warfare versions of the fighter.
    Maximum Effective Range: 2000 feet (610 m)
    Mega-Damage: A single blast does 4D6 M.D.; cannot fire bursts.
    Rate of Fire: Equal the pilot or sensor officer's number of hand to hand attacks.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): A large mini-missile launcher is mounted on each wing, near the fuselage of the plane. This weapon is mostly used against enemy aircraft, missile volleys, and other aerial opponents, or on strafing runs against troops and other ground targets. The weapon has a much larger punch than the laser cannons and is controlled by the pilot.
    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: Equal to the total number of hand to hand attacks per melee. The missiles can be fired one at a time, or in volleys of two, four, or eight.
    Payload: 48 total; 24 mini-missiles in each launcher.
  4. Internal Ordnance Bay: The fighter has a large bay in the main body that can carry a wide variety of different ordnance types. Ordnance types include missiles, torpedoes, and bombs. While depth charges can be carried, their limited utility means that torpedoes are carried in most ASW missions. 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. Both guided and unguided ordnance may be carried. An equivalent number of torpedoes or depth charges to the number of missiles and bombs may also be carried. Launching of ordnance is controlled by the weapons officer but the pilot has emergency controls. The electronics warfare version of the fighter replaces the ordnance with four special jamming pods which take up the entire bay and the jamming version of the fighter can carry no ordnance in its internal
    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 to thirty two 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 missile or light bombs, 16 medium range missiles or medium bombs, or 8 long range missile or heavy bomb. Ordnance can be mixed and torpedoes and depth charges may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.
  5. Wing Hard Points (6): The Sea Hawk has six external hard points for ordnance and equipment. The hard points can be used to carry missiles, bombs, and rocket packs as needed by the mission. Missiles, rocket packs, and bombs can be mixed or matched but all ordnance on a hard point must be the same type. The aircraft can also use standard R.E.E.F. Aircraft Hard point Pods & Ordnance Loads. Carrying ordnance on the aircrafts external hard points negates the aircrafts stealth from the bottom, sides, front, and back of the aircraft. The aircraft will retain normal stealth from the top when carrying wing mounted ordnance. Reduce Stealth by 10% for every hard point carrying ordnance.
    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 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: One long range missile or heavy bomb, two medium range missile or medium bombs, or four short range missiles or light bombs (see above - all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance)
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. The mini missile pods are normally carried 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 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 2, 4, or 8 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-missile.
  6. 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)
  7. Advanced Towed Decoys (4): These are mounted in dispensers near the middle the fighters wings with two decoy in the dispenser on either wing. 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 (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 below.

COMBAT BONUSES: The REEF-F45 is very maneuverable and very accurate. Use the Phase World Starfighter combat (Elite or Basic) skill. These bonuses are in addition to those from the piloting skill.



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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


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



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