French Aigle STOL Aircraft:


Because the French government had not upgraded much of its military during the first half of the Twenty-First century, the state of their forces dropped to deplorable levels. The majority of their equipment was old, worn-out, and outdated. The resurgence of colonial Britain in 2055 "woke up" the French government and made them realize that they had lost their status as a world power. To make up on lost ground, the French government funded and enormous military build-up program to re-equip its military in all areas. The army, navy, and air force all received funding for projects, especially those dedicated to colonial expansion and enhancing global presence.


Up until the mid 2040’s, the French military had relied on six American built Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft for surveillance and detection from the aircraft carriers Charles de Gaulle (R91) and Richelieu (R92). These had all been retired between 2038 and 2046 and had left a gapping hole in the defenses of the country and its national interests. As a stopgap, a dozen NH110 Panthère helicopters were modified with British built Merlin Eye side mounted phased array radar systems. These craft provided adequate area coverage for the carrier task forces, but, as the British discovered in 2072, they did not posses sufficient capabilities covering a large task force in open waters. The low altitude limit of their Merlin AEW helicopters did not allow sufficient detection range and helped attribute to the loss of the Ark Royal task force. What was needed was a fix-winged aircraft that could reach higher altitudes with a sufficient sensor suite at least equivalent to the Merlin Eye system, if not better. In addition, the increased Soviet blue water threat required longer-ranged Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) aircraft to detect, track, and (if needed) destroy sub-surface threats further out from the task force. Unfortunately, the French military was embarking on over a dozen new projects in the Twenty-Sixties and Seventies, and were lacking in capital to begin funding yet another military project. Funding for what would eventually be called Project Aigle (Eagle) would not become available until 2075. Once funded, Project Aigle jumped off to an excellent start. Using the American Osprey as their major source of inspiration, the engineers drew up plans and built the first prototype in just over a year. After a very intense 9-month evaluation period, the Aigle began production.


The Aigle design began with a wide body fuselage to fit the myriad of electronics and communications equipment required for both the AEW and ASW variants. The wings were constructed as one solid piece and were wide and thick to create a large lifting body. The tail assembly consisted of a single tail rudder with the rear wings topping it off. It was also thicker than traditional standards, but worked well with the main wings in giving the aircraft excellent low speed maneuvering. The engines were fitted to the wings about 1/3 of the way down the wing away from the fuselage. Four nuclear powered turbo-jets were mounted in squared off pods inside of the wing. The pods actually elevated up to sixty degrees while the wings remained completely horizontal. This resulted in the Aigle being capable of incredibly short take-offs and landings. The only way the design could have been built was through the extensive use of super-strength ceramics and poly-fibers developed in the Twenty-Twenties and Thirties. These materials were used throughout the construction of the Aigle, and made the aircraft extremely resistant to damage from both the weather and battle. The aircraft mounted a total of six hardpoints on the wings. These were designed to carry either short or medium torpedoes for use against submarines and long range missiles for anti-ship strikes.


The Aigle was built in three variants. Originally, only the AEW and ASW versions were to be constructed, but a few dozen cargo aircraft were constructed as well to transport materials and personnel to the aircraft carriers and landing ships at sea. As the STOL was not capable of vertical take of and landings, it was limited to larger deck ships and could not operated from smaller destroyers and frigates. This was not considered a problem, as the NH 110 helicopter was used as the primary airborne platform for ASW and combat assault from surface combatants and amphibious ships. The cargo variant was equipped with a large cargo door in the rear and can carry troops or cargo. It was often used to transport paratroops and in some cases Lafayette power armor units. Sixteen paratroops, twelve PA units or up to twelve tons of cargo could be carried. The ASW version has a crew of four with two sensor operator. This version carried magnetic detection equipment and provision to carry one hundred sonar buoys. This takes up all of the aircrafts ability to carry passengers or cargo. The wing hard points normally carry torpedoes for use against submarines. The AEW version carries powerful radar and sensory equipment including two side mounted phased array radar systems. The aircraft has a crew of six including four sensor operators. While most of the passenger space has been removed, the aircraft is designed to carry an extra officer to act as a commander.


Model Type:Aigle-CGeneral Cargo / Search and Rescue
Aigle-SAnti-Submarine Warfare
Aigle-EElectronics Warfare
Class: Military STOL Jet General Platform
Crew:Aigle-C2 (Pilot and Co-Pilot)
Aigle-S4 (Pilot, Co-Pilot, 2 Sensor Operators)
Aigle-E7 (Pilot, Co-Pilot, Commander, and 4 Sensor Operators)
Troops:Aigle-C16 Normal and 12 in Light or Medium Power Armor
Aigle-SNone
Aigle-ENone

M.D.C. by Location:
[1] Wings (2):250 each
[2] Elevators (2):80 each
[2] Rudder (1):80
Cockpit:150
Cargo Bay Doors:100
Side Doors (2):60 each
Phased Array Radar Pods (2, Sides - Aigle-E Only):280 each
[2] Engines (4):150 each
[2] Engine Pods (2):250 each
[3] Main Body:500
Landing Gear (3):40 each


Notes:
[1] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash.
[2] Destruction of the rudder or one elevator will still allow the aircraft to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines but aircraft 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 pilot must eject to survive. The destruction of one of the engine will cause the aircraft to crash.
[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. Because of the vectoring of the engines, the aircraft can take off in a short distance.
Flying: The maximum speed of the aircraft is 718.8 mph (1,150 kph) which is just slightly under mach one and has a maximum altitude of 52,500 feet (16,000 m). The Aigle has a minimum glide-speed of 60 mph (96 kph); if it goes any slower, the wings cannot provide sufficient lift and the aircraft will crash. Cruising speed tends to be around 300 knots (345.2 mph, 555.6 km/hour).
Maximum Effective Range: The cooling system is much better than those on many post rifts aircraft but does have its limitations. The aircraft can fly up to 24 hours if flying at less than 500 mph (256 kph) and can fly for 8 hours at 500 mph (256 kph) or greater.


Statistical Data:
Height: 19.6 feet (6 meters)
Width: 48.1 feet (15 meters)
Length: 70.6 feet (22 meters)
Weight: 26 tons (23.6 metric tons) fully loaded.
Cargo: Aigle-C: In place of troops, it can carry 12 tons in cargo hold. Aigle-S: Normally has little cargo space due to carrying sonar buoys. If they are not carried, a maximum of 6 tons may be carried. Aigle-E:Minimal (Storage for small equipment). Cargo loads do not include external hard points on any of the models.
Power Source: Nuclear, Should have an average life span of 20 years.
Black Market Cost: Not Available on the black market. If available, the General Purpose model would be worth around 20 million, the ASW Model would be worth around 50 million credits, and the AEW version would be worth about 80 million credits due to advanced sensor systems.


Weapon Systems:

  1. Ordnance Hard Points (6): The aircraft has six hard points with three hard points on each wing. Missiles, rocket packs, and bombs can be mixed or matched but all ordnance on a hard point must be the same type.
    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. These are usually replaced by torpedoes on the ASW model.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile type and varies by altitude bombs are dropped at (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Torpedoes: 20 miles (32 km) for medium range and 40 miles (64 km) for long range torpedoes.
      Mega Damage: Varies by missile, torpedo (See Revised Rifts Torpedoes) or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.).
      Rate of Fire: Missiles and Torpedoes 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, torpedoes, or bombs in a volley)
      Payload: One Long Range Missile or Long Range Torpedo per Hard Point. Two Medium Range Missiles / Medium Range Torpedoes or four Short Range missiles / Light Torpedoes can be substituted for One Long Range Missile/Heavy Bomb.)
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. Each pod requires one Hard Point. The aircraft normally carries missile pods for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles.
      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: Each pod can fire one at a time or in volleys of 2, 4, 8, or 16 and can be linked with other mini missile pods for greater number of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley)
      Payload: Each pod carries 16 mini-missiles.
  2. Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser: Located at the very tail of the aircraft 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:



Aigle-C:
The aircraft has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot including loudspeaker and microphone on this aircraft) plus these special features listed. These are carried on all models except where it is replaced by a better system.


Special Equipment for the Aigle-S Anti-Submarine Warfare Model:



Special Equipment for the Aigle-E Electronics Warfare Model:




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By Kamikazi (kamikazi_gm@hotmail.com).


Copyright © 2004, Kamikazi. All rights reserved.



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