Valkyrie Industries GAA-89 Scorpion Ground Attack Aircraft:


During one of Kalyaran's expeditions into the ruins of the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area, she discovered, in the "Museum of Flight" near the old "Boeing Field" in the south downtown area of Seattle the ruins of an F-89D Scorpion interceptor; A craft that had been designed in the 1940s and used in the 50s as a long range interceptor to engage Soviet Strategic Bombers with massive rocket salvoes, and, in some cases, the "Genie" unguided nuclear anti-aircraft rocket!


Though the museum craft was a total constructional loss, in the remnants of the lower floors of the facility, she also recovered the complete blueprints for the F-89D design.


When returning to her facility in the former eastern part of Washington State, she had work begun on a Ground Attack Aircraft, of a cheap but sturdy design, based off the F-89D, to begin production for Valkyrie Industries. Capitalizing on the success of the GAW rebuilds of the Thunderbolt before they can begin possible production of a version of the Thunderbolt on their own, Kalyaran intends to release this Ground-Attack version of the Scorpion, the GAA-89.


Though worthless in it's original interception role due to the speed and limited number of strategic bombers on Rifts Earth, the "Hoover" as the Scorpion had been nicknamed for it's huge intakes for it's main jet engines (like a Hoover vacuum cleaner; Also a disparaging remark regarding what would happen to any FOD on the runway when one was taxing for take-off...), heavily modified to be a Vertical Take Off and Landing aircraft, and the internal wing fuel tanks replaced with additional mini-missile storage thanks to the use of a nuclear powerplant, the GAA-89 Scorpion represents a more expensive but likewise more capable alternative to the Thunderbolt.


Currently, however, only two prototypes of the GAA-89 have been built; Both are undergoing flight testing. Plans for the establishment of a production line for the Scorpion are in place, but production will not begin until production of the Thundershrike and the AR-17 Gauntlet (Valkyrie Industries' Assault Robot design.) is established and sales begin. Currently, though, neither the equipment nor the buildings for a full production line for the design exist at Valkyrie Industries' facilities.


Once released to the market, the Scorpion could quickly become a very popular and very deadly Ground Attack aircraft throughout North America. It's abilities to decimate flying power armors and Sky Cycles can also not be understated.


The Mini-Missile payload of the GAA-89 Scorpion in it's maximum load out (Including a full ten 9 mini-missile "rocket pods" on the pylons and hardpoints) is 250 mini-missiles! This may seem like an exceptional amount, but the original F-89D was capable of carrying 104 70mm folding-fin unguided rockets and 16 5.9in high velocity anti-aircraft rockets including hardpoint mounts. Considering the freeing of space in the wings for additional mini-missiles, the GAA-89 is a version of the original Scorpion airframe which could truly come of age in Rifts Earth.


Model Number: GAA-89 "Scorpion"
Vehicle Type: Ground Attack Aircraft.
Crew: Two.


M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Wings (2):200 each
[2] Elevators (2):50 each
[2] Rudder:75
Cockpit:150
[3] Engines (2):200 each
[4] Main Body:400
Mini-Missile Launcher Pods (2):150 each


Notes:
[1] Destroying a Wing will cause the plane to become extremely unstable; Using VTOL thrusters, the pilot has five minutes in which to attempt an emergency landing at -40% piloting rolls before the thrusters overheat from the strain put on them (And the loss of several in the wings.)
[2] Destruction of rudder or elevators will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines but fighter has a penalty of -10 to dodge, and a -20% penalty to all piloting rolls. Destruction of both, -20 to dodge, -40% penalty to all piloting rolls. Destruction of the rudder adds a -20 to dodge, -20% penalty to all piloting rolls, in addition to elevator damage. The VTOL thrusters allow the craft to remain stable, but not by much. Because of the small size of the rudder and elevators, there is a -3 penalty to strike them, but it does not have to be a called strike.
[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.
Pilot may attempt a emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject.
[3] 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


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. Aircraft can land and take off vertically, negating the need for runaways, even when fully loaded; A clearing large enough for the aircraft will suffice for landing and takeoff.
Flying: The Scorpion can reach a top speed of 636 mph. The aircraft does not have an afterburner and the fighters normal cruise speed is 500 mph, but varies on situation. The Scorpion has a maximum altitude of 49,200 feet. The Scorpion is capable of hovering on it's VTOL thrusters, but is awkward at speeds below 50 mph (-20% to piloting rolls.) except during landings.
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively unlimited with fusion reactor.


Statistical Data:
Height: 17 feet 7 inches
Wingspan: 59 feet, 8 inches.
Length: 53 feet 10 inches.
Weight: 54,000 pounds fully loaded.
Power System: Fusion reactor powering twin jet engines; Needs to be refueled once every five years. Otherwise, effectively unlimited.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include hard points
Black Market Cost: 15 million credits.


Weapon Systems:

  1. VI-30M 30mm Railguns (4): Mounted in the same positions as the original 4 x 20mm autocannons were to be in the initial design, but now able to fit thanks to the fact that modern Rifts radars are considerably smaller (Not to mention more effective) than the 50s vintage versions designed to go there. When all four gun is firing 15 round bursts each (60 rounds total), the attack is at -2 to strike and the aircraft is at -2 to dodge any attacks. As well, any radical maneuvers will be at -10%.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
    Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a standard burst of 10 rounds per gun, 2D4x10 for a 15 round burst. 2D6x10 for two guns firing simultaneous with ten round bursts, 4D4x10 for 15 round bursts, and 4D6x10 for all four guns firing simultaneous on ten round bursts, with 8D4x10 for all four guns firing simultaneous on fifteen round bursts.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5); Per gun, or per each grouping of guns chosen to fire. An absolute maximum of five bursts per melee round for each cannon is the limit for the rate of fire.
    Payload: 1,200 rounds total, 300 rounds per gun. (30 10 round bursts per gun; or 20 15 round bursts per gun.)
  2. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): Contained inside two pods, one at the tip of each wing, these Mini-Missile launchers provide an awesome ground-attack punch for the GAA-89 Scorpion. Each one can fire a salvo of up to sixteen mini-missiles, and has four reload salvoes, for a total of 80 mini-missiles apiece! The launchers can also be linked to fire mass-salvoes of 32 mini-missiles at a time. These launchers are normally controlled by the co-pilot/gunner. With them, the GAA-89 Scorpion is capable of blowing through any ground force on Rifts Earth that doesn't possess proper Anti-Air defenses. The weapon is useful against other aircraft, especially sky cycles, in addition to ground targets.
    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: Salvoes of one, two, four, eight, or sixteen mini-missiles per launcher; Launchers can be linked for two, four, eight, sixteen, and thirty two missile salvoes. A maximum of sixteen mini-missiles can be launched from each launcher per melee round; A total of 32 mini-missiles. The launcher is fully reloaded within the same melee round as missiles were last fired from it, available for firing in the next round.
    Payload: 16 Mini-missiles ready to fire per launcher, with four reload salvoes, for 80 mini-missiles per launcher; 160 mini-missiles total. The reload missiles are stored in the aft section of the pods and also inside the wings where the fuel tanks used to be on the design of the original F-89 Scorpion for the USAF.
  3. Missile Hardpoints (8): The aircraft has two heavy wing pylons with one per wing which are capable of carrying a single cruise missile or X-Heavy bomb. These hard points are closest to the main fuselage of the aircraft. The remaining six hard points can only carry up to one long range missile or one heavy bomb. Missiles, rocket packs, and bombs can be mixed or matched but all ordnance on a hard point must be the same type.
    Outer Fuselage Hard Points (2): Rocket packs (2 per Hardpoint) or Missiles/Bombs (1 Cruise Missile / X-Heavy Bomb, 2 Long Range Missile /Heavy, 4 Medium Range/Medium, or 8 Short Range/Light).
    Wing Hard Points (6): Rocket packs or Missiles/Bombs (1 Long Range Missile /Heavy, 2 Medium Range/Medium, or 4 Short Range/Light).
    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: Varies by hard point (see above - all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance)
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: A standard capacity mini-missile pod with nine mini-missiles in a square launcher, streamlined with a pyramid-shape forward, the holes for the missile mounts inside it. The Pod can be jettisoned when empty or returned for reloading with 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 pod can fire one at a time or in volleys of 3, 6, or 9 and can be linked with other mini missile pods for greater numbers of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley)
      Payload: each pod carries 9 mini-missiles.
  4. Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser: Located at the very tail of the attack craft 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 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).


Special Equipment:
The equipment of the fighter is comparatively basic to other Valkyrie Industries designs, intended for ground attack missions, and can be considered largely equal to the systems carried aboard the latest of Rifts Earth robot vehicles.


Bonuses:




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Initial Writeup by Marina O'Leary (LusankyaN@aol.com ).

Reformatting and revisions by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2000, Marina O'Leary & Kitsune. All rights reserved..



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