New Coventry CSF-6X Lightning Medium Starfighter:


The economy of New Coventry is much stronger than it was ten years ago and their fleet is much larger than it has ever been. Because the Scorpion class fighter was not considered adequate to New Coventry's needs, New Coventry engineers developed a new fighter to fill the role of light fighter and the Badger has worked quite well for itself and the fighter has been sold to many other governments as well.


Partially because of this and partially because pilots have commented on several problems with the Black Eagle, Storm Eagle, and the Katana fighters, there was pressure to develop a new medium fighter to replace them as well. The New Coventry defense force wanted their own fighter design instead of buying other companies products. For individual weaknesses, the Katana lacked a heavy energy weapon and is slower than the Black Eagle with no standard faster than light drive, the mini-missile launchers on the Black Eagle were effectively useless in the fleet defense role, and the Storm Eagle has limitations on its missiles due to the bay's configuration.


One fighter that could fill all the roles filled by both fighter was very desirable because carriers only have limited space and a limited number of fighters. Interestingly enough, an upgraded Osprey class fighter could almost perform all required roles except long range scouting. One of the requirements was that the fighter would mount a faster than light drive. New Coventry looked at an upgrade on the Storm Eagle with slightly larger bays which were permit capital missiles as well as long range missiles. New Coventry wanted to manufacture these fighters which it was found to be impossible to acquire permission for manufacturing rights for the fighter. Black Eagle fighters in New Coventry generally are modified to "Fleet Upgrade" standards but still mount mini-missile launchers.


Having gained experience from the Badger light fighter, the engineers sat down and began designing a new fighter from the ground up. What was incredible was that the prototype seems to actually meet or exceeds all standards that were planned for in the initial parameters for the design. The fighter is still in prototype stage having some minor problems worked out but they should enter production within the next couple of years. There are no present plans to sell the fighter and it is planned for New Coventry forces only.


All three fighters which the Lightning is planned to replace, the Black Eagle, Storm Eagle, and Katana fighters were studied before the Lightning was designed and the fighter seems to shows features from all three of them. The truth is that only a few features have been directly copied from those fighters and for the most part, the Lightning is a new fighter design in most respects.


The fighter's hull is a twin boom construction that is both tough and designed to operate in an atmosphere. The shields on the Lightning are as powerful than those on the Katana but while similar in design, they are actually evolved from the shields on the Badger light starfighter. Interestingly enough, the Badger's shields are in reality evolved from the old Human Alliance Osprey medium fighter's shields. The engines have a similar output to those carried on the Black Eagle / Storm Eagle but are actually only slightly modified versions of the engines carried on the Badger light fighter. The engines do require more maintenance than those carried on the Black Eagle / Storm Eagle. The one system which is a copy of the Black Eagle is the faster than light drive. A bit of trickery was performed and New Coventry was able to get permission to manufacture the engine although it reads like a repair contract. This gives the fighter the ability to travel at two light years per hour. The power plant on the Lightning is designed around a shorter time between needing to be refueled compared to the Black Eagle, Storm Eagle, and Katana designs.


The fighter carries the GR-1000 Gravity Rail Gun due to the fact that it is more powerful than most fighter rail guns. Having been under production for decades, it was not hard to get licenced production of the 30 mm gravity rail gun and the same rail gun is mounted on the Badger and most New Coventry destroyers and capital ships. This use of a single ammunition type greatly reduces logistics. This weapon is mounted under the cockpit. The high intensity laser cannons are copies of those on the Black Eagle / Storm Eagle and New Coventry already had a licence to produce them as repairs to their squadrons of Black Eagles. That inspired the previously mentioned contract for the faster than light engines. These lasers are mounted on the sides between the engines and cockpit.


The missile load is heavier than what can be carried on an unmodified Black Eagle and the fighter has a bay under each engine unit that can carry two cruise missiles in each. This can be changed out for eight long range missiles or sixteen medium range missiles as well as the being able to carry weapon pods similar but not identical to those carried on the Katana. Future pods being considered include better sensors equal to those of a heavy fighter and possibly a jamming pod. The sensor suite on the fighter is already excellent due to the fact that the fighter is expected to perform scouting missions as well as standard combat missions. On top of the engine booms are medium range missile launchers that have the capacity for sixteen medium range missiles between the two of them.


The cockpit is designed for a crew of one although a second crew can be carried for the sensors and weapons. The Black Eagle / Storm Eagle have space for a crew of three even though they can be operated by a crew of one as well. The Katana on the other hand only has space for a single crew. The Lightning also reduced the amount of storage space available for the pilot in case of emergency.


This fighter design uses modified starship speed and ranges. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World for more details


(Note: The power system is fusion not anti-matter because the author's opinion is that anti-matter is to dangerous to be used in vehicles that may be used in an atmosphere. If a starship powered by anti-matter was to detonate in an atmosphere it would cause huge planetary damage. At GM option, this can also be applied to all starfighters or this fighter can be changed to anti-matter.)


Model Type: CSF-6X
Vehicle Type: Medium Interceptor and bomber
Crew: One (has space for one passenger)


M.D.C. By Location:

GR-1000 Gravity Rail Cannon (Center, under cockpit):80
Laser Cannons (2, built into body):100 each
Ordnance Bays (2, underside of "engines"):150 each
Medium Range Missile Launchers (2, Top of "engines"):80 each
[1] Main Body:825
Cockpit:200
[2] Variable Force Field:300 per side (1,500 total)


Notes:
[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the fighter out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The fighter itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
[2] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (75 M.D.C.) per melee round.


Speed:
Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 40 percent of the speed of light. Fighter can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 1.6 percent of light per melee. When the fighter is fully loaded with ordnance, reduce acceleration to 1.5 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum normal speed is Mach 8.0 (5931.6 mph / 9546 kph), fighter can enter and leave an atmosphere because flight system is by contra grav. When the fighter is fully loaded with ordnance , reduce maximum speed to Mach 7.0 (5,190.2 mph/ 8,352.8 kph) in an atmosphere.
Stardrive: The starfighter mounts a Gravitronic Drive system which allows the ship to reach a maximum of two light-years per hour.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by drive system but only has supplies for pilot for four weeks (reduce to two weeks for a crew of two)


Statistical Data:
Length: 48 feet (14.6 meters)
Height: 11.5 feet (3.5 meters)
Width: 45 feet (13.7 meters)
Weight: 15 tons (13.6 metric tons)
Power System: Advanced Fusion with 10 year life span.
Cargo: Utility closet (4 x 2 x 2 feet / 1.2 x .6 x .6 m) for personal effects / emergency supplies. Does not include missile bays.
Market Cost: 65 million credits to produce. If the design is sold, it will likely cost around 85 million credits. Weapon pods cost around 10 million each except mini-missile launchers which cost only about 800,000 credits. Removal of the F.T.L. drive would reduce the fighter cost by 10 million credits.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. GR-1000 Gravity Rail Gun: The Rail gun is mounted in the nose of the starfighter and is the fighters primary weapon system. The rail gun is the same rail gun as is carried in the C.A.F. Scorpion Starfighter. Weapon is mainly used as an anti-starfighter and strafing weapon. Projectiles are fired from rail guns at a significant fraction of the speed of light in space and when used in an atmosphere are fired at a slower but still at hypersonic speeds. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling traveling at faster than light velocities. The gravity rail gun uses a 30 mm projectile. The rail gun can be combined with the laser cannons.
    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (26 km) through atmosphere and 1,600 miles (2,575 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage: Rail gun inflicts 4D6x10 M.D.C. for a 40 round burst (Can be combined with laser cannon and still only costs one attack).
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the Pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 10,000 Rounds (250 Bursts).
  2. Two (2) HI-Laser cannons: These laser cannons are virtually identical to those carried on the standard Black Eagle Starfighter and can be used simultaneously or can be fired individually. They can also be combined with the GR-1000 gravity rail gun for greater damage if both weapon systems are within range. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
    Maximum Effective Range: 5 miles (8 km) through atmosphere and 500 miles (800 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 per single blast or 4D4x10 per double blast (can be combined with rail gun at still the cost of one attack).
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited
  3. Two (2) Medium Range Missile Launchers: On the top of each engine unit are medium range missile launchers. Weapon system is used for hitting enemy robots, fighters, and missiles. Weapon system is also used for anti-cruise missile. Missile has a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Launchers can launch on multiple targets at the same time.
    Maximum Effective Range: Medium Range Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds) in space.
    Mega-Damage: Varies with medium range missile type (See revised Phase World missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16) medium range missiles.
    Payload: Eight (8) medium range missiles per launcher for sixteen (16) medium range missiles total.
  4. Two (2) Ordnance Bays: On the underbelly of the fighter engines are two ordnance bays that allows the fighter to carry missiles or other types of ordnance types such as phase cannons and mini-missile launchers. If carrying weapon pods, the fighter can carry up to two weapons pods. The weapon pods have to extend out of the bay before they are fired.
    1. Missiles: Each bay has two missile pylons. Individual pylons must carry all the same type ordnance but each pylon may carry different types of ordnance. Cruise missile are normally carried when on an anti-capital ship role with long and / or medium range missiles when fighting other starfighters or operating in the defense / missile intercept role. Cruise Missiles have a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship.) Long Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship). Medium Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting starships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead at -25% to detect.) Cruise missiles have minuses to hit small targets but are all considered smart missiles. Missiles can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously.
      Maximum Effective Range: Cruise Missile range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds) in space, Long Range Missile range is 3,400 miles (5,470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space, and Medium Range Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds) in space.
      Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World missile tables for details (Cruise Anti-Matter multi-warheads inflict 5D6x100 M.D.C. each and Long Range Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)
      Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), or four (4) missiles.
      Payload: Two (2) cruise missile, four (4) long range missiles, or eight (8) medium range missiles per ordnance bay. Maximum payload is four (4) cruise missiles, eight (8) long range missiles, or sixteen (16) medium range missiles.
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: This is a pack of mini missiles that can be used against ground targets, infantry, and against starships. Missile has a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 2% of light per turn (slightly faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration). Mini-Missile in the Phase World setting are normally guided.
      Maximum Effective Range: Mini-Missile range is 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere and 100 miles (161 km) in space.
      Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile type ((See revised Phase World missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Can fire mini-missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or twelve (12) mini-missiles.
      Payload: Thirty-Six (36) mini-missiles per pod. Maximum potential mini-missile load of seventy-two (72) mini-missiles.
    3. Plasma Ejector Pod: A very heavy weapon that fired superheated plasma. Very destructive weapon but limited in rate of fire and short ranged. The Ejector Pod is capable against tanks, Giant robots, and large starships.
      Maximum Effective Range: 25 miles (40 km) in space and 1,200 feet (326 m) in an atmosphere.
      Mega-Damage: 1D4x100 M.D. per cannon.
      Rate of Fire: Twice per melee each (each shot counts as two melee attacks, even when linked together).
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
    4. Phase Cannon Pod: The weapon is designed to take out the Crew of target ship without damaging the target ship. Does no damage to inanimate objects but damages personnel and does do damage to force fields. Identical to weapon in star ghost starfighter.
      Maximum Effective Range: 200 miles (320 km) in space and 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere.
      Mega Damage: 4D6 to all living targets in a 50 ft (9.1 m) diameter around blast point or 6D6 to force fields and creatures 10 feet (3.0 m) or larger. The damage is S.D.C. to S.D.C. targets and M.D.C. to M.D.C. targets.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the Pilot (usually 4 or 5).
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  5. Special Bonuses: The fighter is very maneuverable; add +10% to the pilots piloting skill, +1 to strike, +3 to dodge. The fighter also have a very advanced terrain following system. All bonuses are in addition to pilots bonuses (Hand to hand and Starfighter Pilot: Basic or Elite).



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More Duo artwork at The Planet


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


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