TW-B-1 Techno-Wizard "Lancer" Heavy Bomber:

Introduction:

Revenge is a dish best served cold. It was very cold here with winter having descended on the upper part of North America. The last few years had been spend converting an old pre-Rifts lancer bomber to strike at the heart if the Coalition. Each of the four techno-wizards who had restored the old bomber had their reasons for having the Coalition. The pilot of the bomber might have had the greatest reason. His whole family had been murdered by the Coalition and he had sworn revenge. Murdered because they had dealt with magic. Well, they might consider him a murder after this attack but he did not care.


He could have chosen to attack the Coalition base using enchantment to make the bomber invisible and came in with complete surprise but had decided that he wanted to have them see him coming. He wanted them to try and stop him to show how useless it was. He had flown over several ground units so that they would see his bomber and report back to base. His wished he could have attacked them as well but his ordnance was finite and could not be wasted on troops. Maybe on his next strike against the Coalition.


The ECM system on the bomber was picking up several radar systems although fairly distant at the moment. It was obvious they had acted on the reports from ground units and had launched a squadron of fighters to intercept his bomber. One of his bomber crew nodded, she had detected a total of twelve radar sources but it was extremely unlikely that they had any sort of radar lock on his bomber. The crew member acting as his electronics officer reports that she also had twelve radar signals and that none of them appear to detect the lancer bomber yet. To further reduce the ability to detect his aircraft, he dropped his huge bomber closer to ground level. While flying at practically treetop level was far more difficult, it would be virtually impossible to detect the stealth bomber against all of the ground clutter. The Coalition squadron, with their radar active desperately seeking his bomber, did not have the same advantage. In fact, their active radar systems made them clear targets. The range was steadily decreasing but it would be a few minutes before ranges would be reduced enough for him to fire. He wanted to wait and reduce their reaction time to the suddenly appearing missiles. Otherwise, their ability to trick the missiles would be greatly increased.


From the radar signature of the Coalition squadron, the fighters appeared to be tired old FA-18 Hornets refitted by Golden Age Weaponsmiths. The Coalition had not been able to produce enough fighters so had purchased large numbers of refitted pre-rifts fighters from the company. The Coalition pilots probably assumed that the bomber was also from Golden Age. A number of B-1 Bombers had been recovered and restored by Golden Age. It was amazing how often aircraft on both sides of a combat would be produced by that company.


Twelve medium range missiles dropped off the racks of the techno-wizard bomber, followed by a second volley, a third, volley, and a final volley. Each volley was programmed to target just three fighters. The Coalition did not like using anti-missile chaff and flare and the Hornet pilots would have four missiles each to deal with. The commanding officer of the Hornet squadron thought he could get a good fire solution based on the position which the volleys of the missiles appear to have been launched from and went to active targeting. He was able to get a shaky lock on a target and fired a load of four medium range missiles. He ordered all of the other fighters in the squadron to launch and and a total of forty-eight missiles were attempting to home on the heavy bomber. It should be enough to knock any aircraft from the air.


In the meantime, the Coalition pilots had problems of their own to deal with. One could try and shoot down one or two and still have two more to deal with. The Hornet could try and outmaneuver the missile but would fail as often as they would succeed. The missiles were smart missiles and even if dodged, the missiles would simply maneuver to hit again. Nine of the twelve fighters targeted were destroyed outright although in all but two of the pilot had been able to eject. Two fighters had been so badly damaged that it could barely fly and incredibly the final was untouched. The executive officer of the squadron ordered the remains of his squadron to pull back and she call for reinforcements. She was flying one of the critically damaged fighters and he commanding officers had just been shot out of the sky so it was to be expected. The bomber pilot was disappointed, he had hoped to shoot down all of the fighters but three had survived despite all the odds against them.


The fighter pilots had nowhere near the luck of the bomber. Half of the missiles launched at the bomber exploded when they hit the magical chaff cloud which the missiles attempted to find their way through. Another quarter of the missiles were confused by the magical cloud and flew in the wrong direction. The bomber pilot pulled hard on the stick as he saw the incoming missile volley. For an aircraft the size of the Lancer, it was incredibly maneuverable due to its fly by wire systems. Only eleven missiles were still seeking the bomber and the pilots quick turn had put the towed decoy behind the bomber as a more juicy target. All but four of the missiles detonated against the towed decoy with a massive explosion which confused the fire control system on the tail mounted point defense laser. Right after the explosion of the towed decoyed, the bomber pilot brought his plane into another high energy maneuver. Incredibly he cobra-ed his huge bomber and rapidly dumped air speed. Two of the four missiles cleanly missed the heavy bomber going through where the bomber would have been if it had dropped in airspeed dramatically. The two remaining missile hit the force field protecting the Lancer bomber. The missiles dropped the force field but bomber only took light damage.


The co-pilot activated invisibility and the bomber simply disappeared. The remaining Hornet pilots assumed that the attacking bomber had been destroyed. The executive officer thought that even though they had lost most of their fighters, they had managed to down the bomber and she ordered the other two fighters to head back to base and for the base to launch search and rescue. Reinforcements were canceled and the fighters began their slow trip back to their base with the undamaged fighter protecting the badly damaged fighters and crews sent out to rescue the fighter pilots who successfully ejected.


How wrong the executive officer of the Hornets was. Ten minutes brought the invisible bomber to its main target and it became visible as it opened its main bomb bay and began launching ordnance. A volley of twenty long range missiles were launched and all of the base's main defense and tracking installations were flattened. The base defenders were in complete surprise as a second volley was launched. This time is was twenty short range missiles fired at secondary defense installations. This was followed every fifteen seconds by twenty more short range missiles until one hundred and twenty missiles flattened what remained of the facilities after the long range missiles. None of the runways even remained still usable. All of the aircraft hangers had been destroyed and all the aircraft on the ground were destroyed.


The surviving Coalition fighters arrived just as the final volley of missiles struck the last surviving runway. The pilots had been surprised by the sudden loss of communication and had not known what was going on. Now that they were in range to get a visual on the base, they knew what had happened. The base was completely gone. It had been very important and almost a year of constant work to get the base fully set up. The executive officer saw the heavy bomber streaking away. The bomber was already beyond the top speed of her remaining undamaged fighter and it could not chase the heavy bomber of very long anyway. Their fuel state was not great and the other damaged fighter was leaking fuel. There was no point in going after the heavy bomber. It was time to try and find a base to land her remaining fighters although she doubted her damaged wing man could make it with his damaged tanks.


So began the legend of the Techno-Wizard Lancer bomber.



Background:

Only a single techno-wizard converted B-1 Bomber is known to exist, It has been operating for several years and the bomber is among the most feared aircraft by the Coalition. With the ability of the bomber to simply appear on target, fire a huge volley of missiles, and then disappear again, it has been a terror for both Coalition bases and their fighter squadrons. Various tactics have been tried against the bomber but none have worked. The Coalition has searched in vain for the base which the bomber is deployed from but without success and has lost many good aircraft and pilots in the pursuit of the rebuilt heavy bomber.


There are several interesting origin stories for this bomber. One is that the bomber was purchased by a group of techno-wizards from Golden Age Weaponsmiths while the other is that it was discovered as a wreck trapped in the ice of the frozen north and they practically rebuilt the bomber from scratch. Whatever the origin of the bomber, the bomber appears to be a heavily modified version of the B-1S model. The B-1S Model was a later development of the B-1 bomber with greater speed, stealth, and range. It had been decided to develop an improved version of the B-1 bomber instead of relying on the slower B-2 Bomber or developing an all new bomber design. All the stories agree that the bomber was rebuilt by a group of four techno-wizards who are now the crew of the bomber and it is believed that the techno-wizards had technical assistance from Metalworks. Coalition intelligence has attempted to follow this avenue studying this angle but has been unable to develop an new intelligence through Metalworks. Some stories tell that the bomber was inspired by an ancient pre-Rifts book.


The most obvious modification to the bomber is likely the engines. Even the original version of the B-1S Bomber had phenomenal range with around a 10,000 mile range with its super cruise engines. While the replacement engines produce only slightly greater thrust than the original engines, they are fusion turbines which have virtually unlimited endurance and allow the bomber to be based virtually anywhere in the world and attack the Coalition. Compared to most fighter designs, the engines have an improved cooling system which allows for increased endurance before the engines overheat. With the bomber's fly by wire systems and vectored thrust engines, it is incredibly maneuverable, almost that of a fighter. The B-1S was one of the first designs to be made from high strength composites and alloys. As such, the bomber was already incredibly tough and virtually immune to corrosion. It would have been difficult for the techno-wizards rebuilding the bomber to increase the armoring of the bomber without decreasing the stealth so it was decided that the bomber would only be internally reinforced using the space no longer used for the fuel tanks for much of the reinforcement. While this allows the bomber to withstand greater damage, it is not as tough as a new built bomber might be. While quite powerful, the original radar system was considered by the owners of the bomber to not be long enough ranged or as capable as later radar systems. Due to this, the radar system along with virtually all electronic systems were replaced. The replacement systems appear to be similar to those used in multiple aircraft designs operated by Metalworks Industries.


For the techno-wizards who rebuilt the bomber, it was important to increase the abilities of the bomber against attacking fighters. Even though the bomber is incredibly fast, it is not invulnerable and stealth and invisibility can be defeated. Many techno-wizard developed designs have the ability to detect invisible targets and there are psychic talent which allow it as well. Key among the new defense features are a pair of medium range missile launchers located behind the bomber's cockpit. These are primarily controlled by the bomber's pilot or co-pilot although can be controlled by the two other crew members as well and can be fully retracted to reduce drag at high speeds. In addition, the bomber mounts two pulse laser mounts. They appear to be modified versions of the laser elements of the JA-12 Juicer assault rifle. This system is incredibly lightweight yet powerful and used on several other aircraft designs, both other techno-wizard designs and aircraft developed by Metalworks. The mounts have the ability to be controlled by the crew of the bomber or on automatic computer control. One is mounted above the fuselage while the other is located on the rear tail stinger of the bomber. With the upgraded electronic systems, the bomber can also fire the ordnance carried in the bay and on hard points against other airborne targets. The techno-wizards who rebuilt the bomber have flown it against massive numbers of Coalition fighters. The bomber has its towed decoy system upgraded for better ability to decoy missiles.


Even without the enchantments added to the Bomber, the techno-wizards rebuilding the Lancer created a marvel of design. Even so, the enchantments add much to the capabilities of the bomber. The most important enchantment is likely to be the relatively conventional techno-wizard invisibility enchantment. It allows the bomber to sneak up to targets and often attack without even being detected. Due to the huge size of the bomber, the magical energy required to activate the enchantment is double what it would cost to activate on smaller designs. In addition to the conventional enchantment of invisibility, the bomber also carriers the enchantment of impervious to energy. Like the invisibility enchantment, the impervious to energy enchantment requires twice the normal magical energy due to the bomber's huge size. To compensate for this, the bomber carries a battery which stores magical energy. In most cases, only techno-wizard naval vessels carry the magic energy storage batteries. While the magic battery does not automatically recharge, it does siphon magic energy from ley lines and nexus points. As well, the crew can choose to store their own magical energy in the battery. To increase the ability of the bomber to withstand attack, the bomber is protect by an “Armor of Ithan” force field which can be activated up to three times per day. The standard chaff and flare system has been replaced by an enchanted version which has the advantage of not needing to be physically reloaded although the enchantments need to be periodically renewed. In addition to this, the bomber has magical optics which allow the crew to see invisible targets. The crew of the bomber also appear to be the inventors of the Techno-Wizard decoy missile. They have used it to great effect on multiple missions and often replace so of the wing mounted missiles with decoy missiles. A common trick is to send a decoy missile to another target.) while going after a second target.


Model Number: TW-B-1 Techno-Wizard Lancer Bomber
Vehicle Type: Strategic Bomber
Crew: Four (Pilot, Copilot, 2 crew)


M.D.C. by Location:

Ordnance Bay:250
Retractable Medium Range Missile Launchers (2):80 each
Pulse Laser Turrets (2):60 each
[1] Wings (2):320 each
[2] Elevators (2):110 each
[2] Rudders:120 each
Cockpit:180
[3] Engines (4):120
Landing Gear (3):10 each
[4] Main Body:680
Magical “Armor of Ithan” Force Field (3 times per day):150


Notes:
[1] Destroying a Wing will cause the plane to crash. Bomber Crew must eject to survive.
[2] Destruction of rudders or one elevator will still allow the aircraft to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines but bomber 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 Bomber Crew must eject to survive.
[3] The destruction of one engine will reduce the bombers top speed by one quarter and give the pilot a -2 penalty to dodge as well as giving a 5% penalty to piloting. The destruction of additional engines will give cumulative penalties.
Destruction of all four engines will cause the aircraft to crash. Pilot may attempt a emergency landing or bomber 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. Bomber Crew 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. Because of the vectoring of the thrusters, the bomber can take off in a relatively short distance for a heavy bomber.
Flying: The TW-B-1 Lancer Bomber has a top speed of Mach 3.1 (2300 mph/ 3700 kph) and has a maximum altitude of 80,000 feet (24,380 meters). Normal cruise speed is up to mach 1.5 (1112.2 mph/ 1789.9 kph) but bomber's cruise speed depends on mission and situation.
Range: Nuclear powered, giving it continual energy, but the jet engines begin to overheat after 18 hours of continual use. Occasional rest stops every 6 to 9 hours, giving the engines an hour to cool down, will allow the aircraft to travel indefinitely.


Statistical Data:
Height: 34 feet (10.4 meters)
Wingspan: 137 feet (41.8 meter) with wings unswept and 78 feet (23.8 meters) with wings swept back.
Length: 147 feet (44.8 meters)
Weight: 480,000 pounds (21,800 kg) fully loaded.
Power System: Nuclear, Should have an average life span of 20 years
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for equipment for the bomber crew). Does not include hard points and ordnance bay. Ordnance bay, of emptied of ordnance can carry up to 50,000 lbs (22,700 kg) of cargo.
Black Market Cost: Not for Sale but likely cost around 100 to 150 million credits to construct. If sold on the black market would likely cost two to three times construction costs.


Weapon Systems:

  1. Two (2) High-Powered Laser Turrets: The bomber mounts two of these turrets with one behind the medium range launchers on the top of the bomber with the other in the tail stinger of the bomber. This weapon system is a relatively simple adaption of the laser elements of the JA-12 Juicer Assault Rifle mounted into turrets. In addition to being retractable, the turrets have the ability to rotate 360 degrees and have a 90 degree arc of fire. The laser cannons pull power directly from the fusion reactor of the aircraft. The turrets are both radar and infrared guided and has a +4 to hit when set to automatic firing and uses bonuses of gunner when fired on manual. Primary target for defense laser systems is missiles which is considered to be one of the biggest threats. When controlled manually, weapon mounts are usually controlled by the two secondary crew members.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
    Mega Damage: 4D6 for single shot and 1D6x10+10 for three round burst from cannon.
    Rate of Fire:Equal to gunner's hand to hand (When Automated, can fire up to 6 times per melee and has +4 to strike)
    Payload: Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines).
  2. Two (2) Medium Range Missile Launchers: Mounted in retractable launchers on either side of the bomber just behind the cockpit. The launchers only extend when about to be fired and are virtually concealed when not in firing mode and do not produce drag when fully retracted. Each launcher has two ready to fire missiles. The launchers are reloaded from a magazine by an automatic reload system within the bomber's body. Weapon can be controlled by any of the bomber's crew although most commonly controlled by the pilot or co-pilot.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with medium range missile type; Usually plasma or armor piercing are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with medium range missile type; Usually plasma or armor piercing are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time, or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) missiles.
    Payload: Twenty-Four (24) missiles in magazine for each launcher plus two in each of the launchers.
  3. One (1) Main Ordnance Bay: The bomber has a large bay in the main body that carry a wide variety of different ordnance types. Ordnance types include missiles, torpedoes, naval mines, and bombs. Missile and bombs 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 missile, four light bombs, two medium range missile, or two medium bombs for one long range missile or heavy bomb. One Cruise missile or extra heavy bomb may also be carried instead of two long range missiles or heavy bombs. Both guided and unguided ordnance may be carried. Launching of ordnance is controlled by the weapons officer but the pilot and copilot has emergency controls. When the Ordnance bay is opened, the bomber is far move easily detected by radar from underneath.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude bomb is 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: 200 short range missile or light bombs, 100 medium range missiles or medium bombs, 50 long range missile or heavy bomb, or 25 cruise missile or extra heavy bombs. Ordnance can be mixed and naval mines may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.
  4. Twelve (12) External Hard Points: The bomber has twelve hard points to carry additional ordnance. Each hard point can carry one extra heavy bomb or cruise missile. The hard point can also carry a variety of different ordnance on a hard point. Two long range missiles or heavy bombs, four medium range missiles or medium bombs, or eight short range missiles or light bombs may be substituted on a hard point. Both guided and unguided ordnance may be carried. Launching of ordnance is controlled by the weapons officer but the pilot and copilot has emergency controls. Many bomber crews will carry missile for anti fighter defense on these hard points. Special decoy missiles are also carried on these hard points.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude bomb is 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: 8 short range missile or light bombs, 4 medium range missiles or medium bombs, 2 long range missile or heavy bomb, or 1 cruise missile or extra heavy bomb (all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance) can be carried on each hard point.
  5. One (1) Magical “Fireworks” Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser (1): In many ways this system is similar to technological versions of the Chaff/Flare system. The anti-missile system works by combining three spells. The three spells are Fire Bolt, Apparition, and Telekinesis. The physical effects of the system are identical to the Triax Anti-Missile chaff but instead of being reloaded, it is recharged by spells.
    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: 10 Uses before being recharged. The dispenser is recharged by the spells Apparition (20 P.P.E.), Fire Bolt (7 P.P.E.), and Telekinesis (8 P.P.E.).
  6. Towed Decoys (8): These are mounted in dispensers near the rear of the bombers with four decoys in each of two dispenser on the aircraft. 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 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 the 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: Eight (8) decoys (4 each.)
  7. Techno-Wizard Modifications: The Lancer Bomber has the following Techno-Wizard Modifications built into the Aircraft. These require P.P.E. or I.S.P. from the pilot.
    Special Features:
      Impervious to Energy (8th Level) - 40 P.P.E. or 80 I.S.P.
      Invisibility-Superior (8th Level) - 40 P.P.E. or 80 I.S.P.


Special Equipment:
The equipment of the bomber has been upgraded but many of the original systems are still on the bomber. Consider the fighter to carry all standard equipment that robot vehicles carry (not including loudspeaker and microphone) plus the following extra systems:

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. ]

[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]


Image drawn and copyrighted by Lou Drendel (mentor29@mail.idt.net).

More of his artwork at Artwork by Lou Drendel


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2005 & 2011, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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