New Sovietskiy Mi-221 Firefly Attack VTOL:

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Excerpt from Fox's Combat Aircraft of the World, 2090 to 2091:


In the latter half of the Twenty-First, most combat helicopter designs were replaced by thrust based VTOL aircraft. Yakovlev took an early lead in VTOL aircraft in the reformed Soviet Union but sveral other Soviet companies expressed an interest in developing designs including Mil who was far better known for helicopter designs including the Mi-23 Hind attack helicopter.


The Soviet Army had to operate old converted helicopters for several decades before the could convince their leaders that they needed new designs. The old designs were far more fragile than any new design was and required several times the maintenance as well. The problem was that the Field Marshals wanted to gain political points with their seniors and a cheap way to do this was to assert that their converted designs were as good as the Western nations new designs. As a result, the development on new designs was seriously delayed.


Finally, as replacement for attack helicopters carried on amphibious vessels and as the primary attack aircraft for the newly developed amphibious assault submarines, the development of a light attack VTOL was authorized in the early part of the Twenty-Sixties. Primary role was to act in the role formerly filled by attack helicopters but the wanted the ability for the design to be able to act as an attack aircraft. At the same time, the request for a larger VTOL craft was also requested to fill a similar role to the old Hind attack helicopter including the ability to carry a large number of troops. Mil took on designing aircraft to fill both roles and was able to win government approval for both designs against Yakovlev's designs.


The Mi-221 was first seen by the Western nations in 2066 when it was deployed on the Navirin, a Borodina class amphibious multi-role command ship. Even though it filled the role more of an attack helicopter, it was given a fighter style codename and was called the Firefly. Production appears to have been slow at first but slowly increased. The Soviets sold many of their old attack helicopters to other nations as the Attack VTOL replaced them. Production on the Mi-221 Firefly appears to have slowed but it does not appear that they will be withdrawn from service any time in the immediate future. While most are retained within the Soviet Union, many are also deployed in forward areas.


The most important feature of the design is its small size. Due to being designed for the Krokodil class submersible troop transport, it is designed to be as small as possible and has folding wings to further reduce deck area. Because of this, the armor is lighter than in most other attack VTOL designs. The armor is still far more extensive than in refitted attack helicopters and can take about twice as much abuse as the old helicopters. The lift engines are mounted in the base of the Mi-221 wings and the aircraft mounts two forward thrust engines in the main fuselage of the attack craft's fuselage. Top speed is over twice that of conventional helicopters and has been recorded at speeds up to 550 knots. One item that seems to have been sacrificed is an advanced cooling system and flight time appears more limited than Western designs. The Mi-221 is quite maneuverable and is capable of a host of incredible maneuvers. Flight controls are a quadruple redundant fly by wire system which the cables are also protected under armored sheathing. Electronics are equal to those in most Soviet designs including a limited ability to engage other aircraft. The two person cockpit is well armored and includes ejection seats for both the pilot and the gunner and the whole cockpit is designed to be crash survivable.


The main weapon of the attack VTOL are twin 20 mm rail guns in a nose mounted turret. There are reports that there was some consideration of replacing the rail guns with pulse lasers but the rail guns appear to have been retained. The turret is designed for sixty degree side to side rotation and forty-five degree up and down movement. The turret is normally controlled but does have the ability for the pilot to take control. On the wing tip are permanent large capacity mini-missile pods. The aircraft carries four additional wing hard points on the outer wings outside of the lift engines. These hard points can carry bombs, missiles, additional mini-missile pods, or even additional rail guns. Unlike the nose mounted rail guns, these guns are fixed forward. For additional protection, the Mi-221 is equipped with chaff and flare dispensers. The weaponry on the attack aircraft make it ideally suited to attack troops, protective bunkers, and armored vehicles. To a lesser extent, it is capable of engaging air targets as well.


Model Number: Mi-221 "Firefly"
Vehicle Type: Attack VTOL Aircraft
Crew: Two (Pilot and Gunner)


M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Forward Heavy 20-mm Rail Guns (2)25 each
Nose Ball Turret60
Wing Mini-Missile Launchers (2):50 each
Ordnance Hard Points (4):10 each
[2] Wings (2):175 each
[3] Elevators (2):65 each
[3] Rudders (1):65
[3] Lift Engines (2):125 each
[3] Thrust Engines (2):125 each
Reinforced Pilot's Compartment / Cockpit:125
[4] Main Body:350
Landing Gear (3):15 each


Notes:
[1] All indicated hit locations are small and/or difficult targets to hit. An attacker must make a called shot and has a -3 penalty as well.
[2] Destroying a Wing will cause the plane to crash.
[3] Destruction of rudders 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 lift engine will cause the aircraft to crash and destruction of both of the thrust engines will cause the aircraft to crash. Destruction of one of the thrust engines will reduce to speed by half.
[4] 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.
Flying: The maximum speed of the aircraft is 644.9 mph (560 knots/ 1,037.8 kph) and has a maximum altitude of 32,808.4 feet (10,000 meters). The aircraft is Vertical Take Off and Landing which allows it to take off virtually anywhere and can hover.
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited. Thrusters overheat after 6 hours of use from 200 mph (321.9 kph) to 500 mph (804.6 kph), and 4 hours of use over 500 mph (804.6 kph).


Statistical Data:
Height: 15.1 feet (4.6 meters)
Width: 37.7 feet (11.5 meters) wings down and 28.5 feet (8.7 meters) with wings folded.
Length: 34.4 feet (10.5 meters)
Weight: 9.36 tons (8.5 metric tons) fully loaded.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include hard points.
Power Source: Nuclear, Should have an average life span of 8 years.
Black Market Cost: Not available. Models were scatted around the Soviet Union and were deployed forward. Most are operated by the New Sovietskiy but a few are operated by the Warlords and Mercenaries. When available, such aircrafts sell for 20 to 30 million credits on the open market.


Weapon Systems:

  1. Standard Heavy 20-mm Rail Guns (2): Two huge cannon-like guns protrude from the front of the aircraft and are in a ball type turret which can rotate 60 degrees side to side and have a 45 degree up and down movement. Rail guns are normally controlled by the gunner but the pilot also has emergency controls. Rail gun fires standard 20 mm rail gun rounds at a very high speed and is very effective against both other aircraft and ground targets including heavy armor.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,560 feet (2,000 meters / 2 kilometers).
    Mega Damage: 1D4x10 for a half-burst of 10 rounds, 2D4x10 for a full burst of 20 rounds or for both cannons firing linked 10 round bursts, and 4D4x10 for a full burst from both cannons firing linked.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 5 or 6).
    Payload: 250 rounds (25 half-bursts/12 full bursts) per gun, 500 rounds total.
  2. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): Large capacity mini-missile pods are permanently mounted on the outside edge of each wing. The launchers are normally used for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missiles used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (Go to Revised bomb and missile table).
    Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (Go to Revised bomb and missile table).
    Rate of Fire: Each launcher can fire one at a time or in volleys of 2, 4, 8, 16, or 24 and both launchers can be linked with the other mini missile launcher for up to 48 missiles as one volley (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley).
    Payload: Each launcher carries 24 mini-missiles for a total of 48 mini-missiles.
  3. External Hard Points (4): The Mi-221 has a total of four hard points with two hard points under each wing of the aircraft. The hard points can carry two long range missiles each with the ability to carry missile pods and additional rail guns as well. Missiles are most commonly carried when air attack is expected and most gunners prefer mini-missile pods over additional rail guns. Each hard points must carry the same type of missile but different hard points may carry different ordnance types but ordnance is normally carried in symmetrical pairs. Both unguided and guided bombs can be carried by the aircraft.
    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 (Go to Revised bomb and missile table).
      Mega-Damage: Varies by missile or bomb type (Go to Revised bomb and missile table).
      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: range missiles or light bombs (see above - all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance)
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. The mini missile pods are normally carried for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles. In two pilot versions, mini missile pods are controlled by the pilot.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (Go to Revised bomb and missile table).
      Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (Go to Revised bomb and missile table).
      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.
    3. Standard 20 mm Rail gun (1): Carried on hard point in place of other ordinance. Used on all Soviet Frontal Aviation models of the Ka-50 and Ka-52 and on 60% of export versions.) These were the standard Soviet Air to Air weapons mounted on virtually all fighters and attack Helicopters and with a secondary use for ground strafing and tank-busting. Several rail guns can be combined for additional damage and can be combined with the nose mounted rail guns.
      Maximum Effective Range: 6,560 feet (2,000 meters / 2 kilometers).
      Mega Damage: 1D4x10 for a half-burst of 10 rounds, 2D4x10 for a full burst of 20 rounds (Can be combined with nose rail guns and additional hard point mounted rail guns.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 5 or 6).
      Payload: 500 rounds (50 half-bursts/25 full bursts) per gun.
  4. Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser (1): Use the same effects as the TRIAX model. However, each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares. Rifts Earth decoy 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 - Missile 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, missile 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: 20 chaff, 40 flares. Each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares.


Special Equipment:
The fighter has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed below.:

Combat Bonuses:



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Image drawn and copyrighted by Talis D. Merrill (taalismn@pop.tiac.net).

By Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


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