Vector Aerospace Super Puma class Heavy Starfighter:


While never produced in the numbers which the Osprey medium starfighter and the Vixen light starfighter, the Puma was an important fighter for the Human Alliance. The fighter also served with the Consortium armed forces until being replaced by the Proctor class heavy starfighter. The Proctor was one of the first fighters which mounted faster than light drives and as a result had a flexibility which the Puma simply could not match. With the introduction of a fighter with faster than light drives, the Consortium began retiring the Puma. The Human Alliance began retiring theirs a decade or so later. Of course many independent militaries retained theirs and large numbers were sold for next to nothing on the open market.


As with other Human Alliance designs, several companies specialized in maintaining these fighters. One of the best known companies for maintaining old Human Alliance designs is a company called "Vector Aerospace" and they also specialize in upgrading these old fighters. They have designed a standard upgrade package for basically each Human Alliance fighter design. In some cases, the company upgrades fighters for other parties while in other cases they purchase old fighters to restore the fighters and then resell them.


Compared to the Proctor, the Puma has several weaknesses beyond the older fighter's lack of faster than light engines. These include much lighter shields and less armor. One of the most important rebuilds on the fighter is the replacement of the shield generator by a far more powerful unit. The units are reconditioned models identical to those mounted on the Proctor. Armor is slightly increased as well, taking advantage of the fact that the new shield generator is actually smaller than the one it replaces and the use of stronger alloys and composites. One area of specific importance was additional armor around the cockpit. The fighter is completely stripped down to its frame before being rebuilt to check if there is any structural damage. It is believed that around ten percent of the fighters are rejected from being rebuilt for just this reason.


The original engines gave a similar acceleration to the Proctor but the engines were quite a bit larger on the Puma. These engines are upgraded although still basically the same model. The output is increased significantly and in normal space, the Super Puma actually has greater acceleration that the standard Proctor although some advanced models of the Proctor have equal acceleration. Radiation shielding is also increased so that the heavy fighters can safely reach a greater top speed. The fusion reactor is retained although new safety software upgrades increase safety margins on the fighter and power grids are upgraded in many cases.


None of the electronic systems carried on these fighters are cutting edge but they are thoroughly upgraded so that the fighter's systems match most of those carried on standard heavy fighters throughout the Three Galaxies. Computer systems also have also been upgraded and like with shield system, the computer system is identical to those carried on the Consortium Proctor class heavy fighter.


Generally, Vector Aerospace concentrates on missile launchers on fighter designs preferring to retain the original beam and projectile weaponry when possible. The Puma is no exception to this and the fighter retains the four forward firing pulse lasers as well as the electromagnetic rail gun turret. Some other companies replace the rail gun with a gravity rail gun mount although in many cases the replacement weapons are actually less powerful. The electromagnetic rail gun is also far easier to maintain in most cases. The missile launchers are modified so that they can carry a much greater variety of ordnance. The main bays can carry medium range missiles in addition to long range and capital scale missiles. The secondary bays are modified so that they can carry short range missiles in addition to medium range missiles.


This fighter uses modified starship speeds and weapon 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: SF-12 (Upgraded)
Vehicle Type: Heavy Fighter
Crew: Four (Pilot, Co-Pilot, Weapons and Sensor officer, turret gunner) Can accommodate four additional crew / passengers.


M.D.C. By Location:

Nose Laser Cannons (4):50 each
10 mm Electromagnetic Rail Gun Turret:100
Heavy Missile bays (4):120 each
Medium Range Missile bays (2, Fuselage):150 each
[1] Main Body:1,250
Cockpit:350
[2] Variable Force Field:400 per side (2,400 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 ship 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% (120 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 50 percent of the speed of light. Fighter can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 1.2 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum cruise speed is Mach 2.8 (1,848 mph / 2,974.1 kph), can enter and leave an atmosphere because flight system is by contra grav.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by drive system but only has supplies for crew for four months (six with strict rationing.)


Statistical Data:
Length: 78.4 feet (23.9 meters).
Height: 19.5 feet (5.6 meters).
Width: 52 feet (15.8 meters) at the body or 78.2 feet (23.8 meters) at the wing body
Weight: 320 tons (290 metric tons) fully loaded
Power System: Advanced Fusion with 20 year life span.
Cargo: Each crew member has a very small locker for personal items and uniforms.
Market Cost: 150 million credits. Rebuilding a Puma to the "Super" Configuration costs 75 million credits. Original Puma heavy starfighters would cost about 100 Million credits to manufacture in present time in the Three Galaxies. Ships are no longer being produced. These ships normally sell for 100 to 120 million credits.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Four (4) Laser Pulse Cannons: These weapons are mounted in the forward end of ship and fire forward. Each gun has an arc of fire of about 30 degrees. These weapons are identical to those carried on the Vixen and Osprey star fighters. As well as being able to be combined, cannons can each be fired separately.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6 miles (9.7 km) through atmosphere and 600 miles (966 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage: 2D4x10+10 per single blast, 8D4x10+40 for a quadruple blast (Costs one attack)
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. 10 mm Electromagnetic Rail Gun Turret (1): Mounted in a turret on the top of the starfighter. Unlike rail-guns mounted on most phase world star fighters, the rail guns work through the use of electromagnets instead of through gravity. The rail gun still fires projectiles at incredible velocities compared to rail guns on Rifts Earth and projectiles are fired from the rail guns at a significant fraction of the speed of light. It is used as an anti-Starfighter and missile weapon and against targets that are impervious to energy. Rail Gun is in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire.
    Maximum Effective Range: 8,000 feet (2,440 meters) in an atmosphere and 150 miles (240 km) in space.
    Mega Damage: 20 round burst inflicts2D4x10+10 M.D.C., one round does 2D6+2 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the Gunner's combined hand to hand (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 2,000 Rounds (100 Bursts)
  3. Heavy Missile Bays (4): The heavy fighter has four heavy missile bays. Each missile bay can carry two cruise missile or four long range missiles. Each bay must carry all the same type ordnance although different bays can carry different ordnance. A Cruise missile is normally carried when on an anti-capital ship role and long range missiles when fighting other starfighters. 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 has 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, missiles 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 the target does not move and missile when dead at -25% to detect.) Cruise missiles have minuses to hit small targets but all missiles are all considered smart missiles.
    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 and 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.
    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), four (4), or eight (8) missiles.
    Payload: Two Cruise Missiles, four Long Range Missiles, or eight Medium Range Missiles per missile bay (maximum of 8 cruise missiles, 16 long range missiles, or 32 medium range missiles)
  4. Light Missile Bays (2): In the fuselage of the heavy fighter are two missile bays for lighter ordnance. The bays have been modified to be able to carry short range missiles as well as medium range missiles. Weapon system is used for hitting enemy robots, fighters, and long range and cruise missiles. 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. Short Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 4% of light per turn. Normally used for anti-fighter and point defense. Weapon system can be used on multiple targets.
    Maximum Effective Range: Medium Range Missiles range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds) in space and Short Range Missiles range is 10 miles (16.1 km) in an atmosphere and 500 miles (804.7 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage: Varies with medium or short 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) missiles.
    Payload: 16 medium range missiles or 32 short range missiles each bay (maximum of 32 medium range missiles or 64 short range missiles.



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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


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