PBI-36 Spiculum Heavy Starfighter (Wolfen):


Originally, the Wolfen military did not have a heavy starfighter and relied on destroyers and lighter fighters such as the Gladius as escorts for their capital ships. They did not consider a heavy fighter worth the cost of development and generally were not impressed by the Human Alliance Puma class heavy fighter. It appeared to them that the Puma was mostly used for system patrol purposes. There were some military and government leaders who saw something like the Puma as a potential to reduce the cost of system defense and to be able to redeploy existing destroyers into more effective patrols. These leaders where much in the minority and their suggestions never held much weight.


With the introduction of the Proctor into Consortium service, the senior commanders of the Wolfen Armed Forces reevaluated their stance. Suddenly, there was a fighter which could operate completely independently and act as escorts for the vessels carrying them if there were not enough light vessels available. There was a huge amount of argument as to what the best solution would be. Some government and military leaders suggested simply adopting the Proctor for Wolfen service. It would be both less expensive and quicker to manufacture in the large numbers needed. Other leaders wanted the company to develop a new fighter for Wolfen service, pointing to the shortcomings of the Proctor. The two groups were virtually evenly balanced and the two sides fought back and forth over it. Finally, the group who wanted a system fighter without faster than light drives made an agreement with the leaders who wanted an indigenous design that they would throw their support for an indigenous design if a pure in-system version of the heavy fighter was developed.


It took several years for a new heavy fighter to be developed and in the meantime, many Proctors were purchased as a stopgap solution. It also enabled the military to develop tactics for using these new heavy fighters. The Human Alliance at the same time took the easier solution and simply adopted the Proctor class heavy fighter. The Wolfen military retains a number of Proctors although many have been sold to other parties since the introduction of the Spiculum heavy fighter. The name "Spiculum" was named for an ancient Wolfen spear. When finally introduced, the fighter was well liked but initial production was slow. As a result, few groups other than the Wolfen armed forces operate the heavy fighter. Now, of course, there are several new heavy fighter designs with faster than light drive in service but when the Spiculum entered service, the Proctor was the only one in production.


Only a comparatively small number of the in-system version of the heavy fighter have been built. They are usually assigned to systems where there is a large amount of customs work and in system patrols are needed. This allows larger ships to be used for other missions. Often a system with have both faster than light versions of the heavy fighter and in-systems versions assigned to it. Of course, the stripped down version of the fighter is less expensive than the faster than light version. It has been sold to a number of Wolfen system defense forces who feel threatened, especially those along the borders with the Kreeghor Empire.


In some cases, systems were copied directly from the Proctor. One problem with the Proctor when it first entered service was that many of the systems in the heavy fighter being brand new. The use of already existing components allowed some reduction in logistics and allowed for the fighter to reach combat service faster than it might have even though it still took several years for the new Wolfen heavy fighter to enter full service. As well, as many already existing Wolfen systems were integrated into the fighter as well. The fusion reactor is a standard Wolfen reactor along with much of the secondary electronics. The shield generator and faster than light are identical to those carried on the standard Proctor. Of course in-system versions of the Spiculum simply do not mount the faster than light drive. Other systems from the Proctor include the computer systems and sensor arrays. The normal sublight drives had to be developed for the Spiculum although they were based off of previously existing Wolfen systems. The new drives have the fighter a greater acceleration than the Proctor, something which was very important to the military especially the pilots who planned to crew it.


The weapon systems in the fighter were also conservative and the fighter was designed to use weapon systems already in service, first developed for advanced models of already existing fighters. The main weaponry of the fighter are four particle beams and two gravity rail guns firing forward. The fighter also mounts a pair of pulse lasers in a turret on the top of the fighter and in a second turret under the fighter. Instead of having separate launchers for medium range missiles and cruise missiles, the Spiculum simply mounts ten hard points where a variety of Ordnance can be carried. These hard points are partially recessed to reduce atmospheric drag but top speed is still reduced in an atmosphere with loaded hard points. Even so, Wolfen engineers generally prefer external hard points for fighters instead of in bays as was the case with most Human Alliance heavy fighters.


Crew accommodations are even more cramped in the Spiculum than in the Consortium Proctor. In some cases, the Proctor is used as a VIP shuttle. The Spiculum is designed for a crew of five although it is sometimes operated by a crew of four, eliminating the engineer, on the in-system version of the heavy fighter. There is space for two passengers in the cockpit although the fighter is not designed to support them for any long period of time. The Spiculum has only four bunks and even with a standard crew, the fighter crew has to hot bunk. As well, the fighter does not have a relatively large cargo bay as is on the Proctor.


The fighter design 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:PBI-36Standard "Faster than Light" Model
PBI-36-BSystem Defense Model (No Faster than Light Drive)
Vehicle Type: Heavy Fighter / Patrol Craft
Crew: Five (Pilot, Co-Pilot, Engineer, and two Turret Gunner) Can accommodate two additional passengers although fighter does not have berthing for them.


M.D.C. By Location:

Nose Particle Beam Cannons (4):40 each
Side Rail Guns (2):50 each
Twin Particle Beam Turrets (2, Top and Bottom)120 each
Missile Pylons (10, Underside):12 each
[1] Main Body:1,500
Cockpit:275
[2] Variable Force Field:400 a 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.
Stardrive:
PBI-36 Faster than Light Model: Uses a Gravitonic Drive system that allows the ship to reach a maximum of 4 light years per hour.
PBI-36-B System Defense Model: None
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum normal speed is Mach 5 (3,707.3 mph/ 5,966.3 kph), fighter can enter and leave an atmosphere because flight system is by contra grav. When starfighter is carrying missiles, speed is limited to Mach 4.5 (3,336.5 mph / 5,369.7 kph), but can still enter and leave 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: 83.66 feet (25.5 meters).
Height: 21.32 feet (6.5 meters).
Width: 50.85 feet (15.5 meters) at the body or 85.96 feet (26.2 meters) at the wing body
Weight: 551.2 tons (500 metric tons) fully loaded
Power System: Advanced Fusion with 35 year life span.
Cargo: Each crew member has a very small locker for personal items and uniforms. There are tiny coffin style bunks for four crew members at a time.
Market Cost:
PBI-36 Faster than Light Model: 320 million credits (rarely available)
PBI-36-B System Defense Model: 200 million credits.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Particle Beam Cannons (4): These guns are mounted on the none of the fighter. These cannons are similar to those carried on advanced versions of the Gladius and are both more powerful and have a better range than older Wolfen cannon mounts. The particle beam cannons are controlled by the fighters pilot or copilot. When both weapons are within range, the particle beams and rail guns may be combined to inflict greater damage. 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: 1D6x10+10 per single blast, 2D6x10+20 per double blast, or 4D6x10+40 for all four cannons (6D6x10+60 when the particle beams and the rail guns are combined together).
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the Pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited
  2. Gravity Rail Guns (2): These guns are mounted on the middle front of the fighter and are more powerful than electromagnetic rail guns carried on older fighters and are gravity rail guns. They are similar to the rail gun carried on some other fighters in the Three Galaxies. The rail guns do have a longer range than the particle beam cannons. The rail guns are controlled by the fighters pilot or co-pilot and can be combined with the particle beams or inflicting greater damage. The gravity rail guns fire projectiles at incredible velocities compared to rail guns on Rifts Earth and projectiles are fired from rail guns at a significant fraction of the speed of light. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
    Maximum Effective Range: 10 miles (16 km) through atmosphere and 1,000 miles (1,600 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage: 4D4x10 for a 20 round burst from both cannons (2D4x10 if one is destroyed) and 6D6x10+60 when the particle beams and the rail guns are combined together
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the Pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 7,500 rounds (125 burst total)
  3. Twin Mount Particle Beam Turrets (2): One is mounted above the fighters hull and the other is mounted below the fighter. Each mount carries twin particle beams identical to those carried as the fighter's main battery. Each is controlled by an individual gunner. Particle beam turrets have the ability to rotate 360 degrees and have a 90 degree arc of fire. 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: 1D6x10+10 per single blast or 2D6x10+20 per double blast.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the Gunner's combined hand to hand (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  4. Missile Pylons (10): On the underbelly of the heavy fighter are ten missile racks that allows the fighter to carry one cruise missile, two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles each. 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 and long and medium 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 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, three, or four missiles.
    Payload: One (1) cruise missile, two (2) long range missiles, or four (4) medium range missiles per pylon.
  5. Special Bonuses: This fighter is extremely maneuverable; add +5% to the pilots piloting skill, +1 to strike, +1 to dodge energy and projectile fire, and +2 to dodge missiles, obstacles, and stellar debris. 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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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2007, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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