U.S. FB-22XL Super Raptor Ground Attack Fighter / Bomber:

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

The Raptor and Joint Strike Fighter formed the core of attack aircraft and fighter forces in the United States Air Force from the first decade to the middle of the Twenty First Century. The FB-111 had been taken out of service in the United States Air Force before the end of the Twentieth Century and there had been several proposals for aircraft to fill the same role. One of these proposals was for a delta wing version of the F-22 Raptor. A similar design concept had been designed previously. This was the F-16XL Super Scamp which was a delta wing version of the F-16 Falcon which was used in numerous Air Forces until the 2030s when technology advanced made the fighters obsolete. In the end, the delta wing version of the F-22 was shelved and not revived for almost four decades. When the project was finally revived, it became the FB-22XL Super Raptor.

The F-22XL was originally proposed as a technology demonstrator program in 2039. The Air Force wanted to develop the technology which would be used in the next generation of fighters while having to fight with Congress for the funding. This was a way they could get funding from Congress. There was some hope of a full run of fighters but there was little hope at the time. The plan would be to develop the four fighters incorporating as much new technology as possible. Due to only four aircraft being built, the usual step of developing a prototype was dropped. The FB-22XL was considered to be the equivalent of pre-production aircraft. While the basic design was fairly old, the aircraft was designed to contain many advanced features including the newly developed FT-200 fusion turbine engine, improved materials, tailless configuration, and all new electronics. The fighter/bomber carries much larger bays than the original F-22 fighter and the two main bays were increased in size to be able to carry two cruise missiles each and the smaller bays were enlarged to be able to carry two long range missiles each. Features such as the fly by wire controls and vectored engines were retained although they were also improved. While the Super Raptor was developed as a fighter/bomber, the aircraft is actually fully multi-role. In the years to follow, the aircraft was expected to fill the role of air superiority fighter and long range light bomber in addition to the planned ground attack role. The four technology demonstrators were completed by Lockheed Martin in 2045 and many of the features originally developed for the Super Raptor were later incorporated into the Panther II which was developed soon afterwards.

All kinds of rumors existed about the Super Raptor and the restored Soviet government became concerned about the new American aircraft. The Soviets decided that they needed to develop a response to the new American design. They developed the Su-47 fighter which was based on the S-37 aircraft with forward swept wings. Unlike the Super Raptor, the Soviet fighter was designed as an air superiority fighter. In turn, the Soviet fighter created concern in the United States government and the Air Force was authorized to build more FB-22XL Fighter/Bombers even though the United States aircraft was developed for a different role than the Soviet design. The first FB-22XL reached squadron status in 2053 and production continued until 2085 when development began on the replacement fighter. It is interesting that many in the Air Force preferred the idea of an upgraded Super Raptor over an all new fighter and funds for the development of a replacement instead be used for other purposes.

Like most designs, the electrons were continuously upgraded throughout the aircraft's service life but the basic system remained unchanged. One important upgrade in the fighter/bomber was the gun carried. Initially, the lightweight 20 mm cannon carried on the original F-22 carried was planned but it was decided that the 27-mm cannon carried on the Joint Strike Fighter would be mounted instead. This weapon was more conservative on ammunition and more lightweight. A liquid propellant weapon was considered but was never proceeded with. The conventional 27 mm cannon was replaced in later versions of the Super Raptor with the same rail gun originally developed for the SAMAS power armor. On final production models of the FB-22XL, a pulse laser replaced the rail gun. The laser gives the fighter an unlimited payload compared to the other weapons. Many of the older models have had their cannons or rail guns replaced by pulse lasers.

A special variant of the Super Raptor was developed and will likely be in active service for the immediate future. The variant first entered service in 2062 but had been planned as a possibility since the Super Raptor was first proposed. This was a jamming variant and is designated the EF-22XL. The central bays carry a special jamming array which takes up the entire compartment. The outer bays are retained and the fighter still has six external hard points on the wings. This variant is used to escort strikes and against surface to air missile emplacements.

Interest in the Super Raptor is much less outside the United States and has been exported in much smaller numbers than the Panther II. Since the Aardwolf entered service, it is possible that many of the Super Raptors will be sold as surplus but it is more likely that they will be transferred to reserve units to replace much older fighters and supplement the Panther II fighters already in reserve units. All purchasers of the FB-22XL have been Pacific nations. Australia purchased a number of Super Raptors to fill the role that their F-111 Aardvarks and Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea have also purchased the FB-22XL.

With the introduction of the Aardwolf, some of the Super Raptors have been transferred to reserve units but it will be years until all Super Raptors will be replaced in active service. As well, several squadrons of the EF-22XL will likely remain in service. Proposals to replace them with Navy FV-45-EW aircraft have been rejected. The Japanese Air Force is likely to replace the Super Raptor in their inventory with Sea Hawks but the other nations are likely to be retained by the other nations for at least the immediate future.

Model Type:FB-22XLStandard Super Raptor Fighter/Bomber
EF-22XLElectronic Warfare (Jamming) Super Raptor
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Ground Attack Fighter
Crew: Two (Pilot / Sensor & Electronic System operator)

M.D.C. by Location:

Forward Mounted Gun (1; Wing Root):40
Wing Mounted Missile Hard Points (6):10 each
Large Internal Ordnance Bays (2; hatch):60 each
Small Internal Ordnance Bays (2; hatch):40 each
[1] Wings (2):120 each
[2] Engines (2):120 each
Landing Gear (3):10 each
[3] Main Body:180

[1] Destroying a Wing will cause the plane to crash
[2] The destruction of one engine will reduce the fighters top speed by half and give the pilot a -2 penalty to dodge as well as giving a 10% penalty to piloting. Destruction of both engines will cause the aircraft to crash. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject.
[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. Damage to the main body will also reduce the aircraft's stealth, for every 10% of damage to the main body, reduce the aircraft's stealth by 10% of its total.

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 thrusters, the fighter can take off in a short distance.
Flying: The FB-22XL Super Raptor has a top speed of Mach 3.1 (2,298.5 mph/3,699.1 kph) and has a maximum altitude of 80,000 feet (24,380 meters). When the fighter is carrying ordnance on its external hard points, the fighter has a top speed of Mach 2.6 (1,927.8 mph / 3,102.5 kph) but reduction in fighter's top speed is negligible with internal ordnance. Normal cruise speed is up to mach 1.5 (1112.2 mph/ 1789.9 kph) but fighters cruise speed depends on mission and situation.
Maximum Effective Range: Nuclear powered, giving it continual energy, but the jet engines begin to overheat after 12 hours of continual use. Occasional rest stops every 4 to 6 hours, giving the engines an hour to cool down, will allow the aircraft to travel indefinitely.

Statistical Data:
Height: 10.6 feet (3.23 meters)
Wingspan: 46 feet (14.02 meters)
Length: 64 feet (19.51 meters)
Weight: 36,000 pounds (16,329.3 kg) empty and 85,000 pounds (38,555.4 kg) fully loaded.
Power System: Nuclear Fusion, Should have an average lifespan of 10 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include ordnance bays or hard points. Small ordnance bays can carry 2,000 lbs (908 kg) each and large bays can carry 4,000 lbs (1,816 kg) each
Black Market Cost: Not available. None are known to have survived the coming of the Rifts. The jet has never been recovered by enemies or mercenaries. Such an aircraft would sell for 60 to 100 million credits on the open market.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Forward Mounted Gun: A fix forward weapon is mounted on the Wing root of the fighter. It serves as the one of last line of defense against enemy planes and missile volleys, although some pilots use it for strafing runs against ground targets when they are out of missiles. Many pilots do not like being exposed to ground weapons fire so it is an uncommon practice. The weapon is controlled by the pilot.
    1. 27 mm Cannon: Developed originally for the F-35, this cannon is carried in early models of the FB-22XL and is quite effective against most targets. Payload is more limited than it is for the rail gun carried in later models of the fighter. Weapon fires a combination of armor piercing and explosive rounds to inflict heavy damage on targets.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
      Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a burst of 15 round, 2D6 for each round.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
      Payload: 450 rounds (30 bursts)
    2. USA-M31 Rail gun: Mounted on later American FB-22XL models and refitted on many earlier models. It does not require any primer and a larger number of rounds can be carried than the original 27 mm cannon. The weapons design comes from the original Pre-Rifts SAMAS design. The rail gun has fewer bursts and is heavier but the rail gun inflicts more damage than the post Rifts C-40R. Some non-American fighters mount different rail guns although the damage is approximately the same.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D6x10.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: 4,000 round magazine for 100 bursts each.
    3. Pulse Laser Mount: Refitted on many Super Raptor fighters. The weapon replaced both the 27 mm cannon and the rail gun due to having an unlimited payload.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 per pulse.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Main Ordnance Bays (2): The aircraft has two ordnance bays at the bottom of the mid-fuselage. The bays are larger than those carried on the original Raptor and can carry larger amount of ordnance. The Super Raptor can carry two cruise missiles, four long range missiles, eight medium range missiles, or their equivalent in smaller ordnance or bombs. Ordnance types can include missiles, torpedoes, naval mines, and bombs. Missile and bomb sizes may be mixed between different types of ordnance but an ordnance drop or launch must include the same type and size of ordnance. Ordnance may be carried at the rate of eight short range missile, eight light bombs, four medium range missiles, four medium bombs, two long range missiles, or two heavy bombs for one cruise missile or extra heavy bomb. Both guided and unguided ordnance may be carried. The weapons officer controls the missiles but the pilot has auxiliary controls. In the EF-22XL, the main ordnance bays carry electronics equipment and cannot carry other gear.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude 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: Ordnance is dropped or fired one at a time or in volleys of two, five, eight, or sixteen but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley)
    Payload: 16 short range missile or light bombs, 8 medium range missiles or medium bombs, 4 long range missiles or heavy bombs, or 2 cruise missiles or extra heavy bombs in each bay. Ordnance can be mixed and naval mines may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.
  3. Secondary Ordnance Bays (2): The aircraft has two ordnance bays on the intake sides. The bays are larger than those carried on the original Raptor and can carry larger amount of ordnance but are still limited to missiles. The bays are designed to carry two long range missiles, four medium range missiles, or eight short range missiles. Ordnance may be carried at the rate of four short range missiles or two medium range missiles for one long range missile. Missiles can be mixed and matched but normally the bay carries all the same type of missiles. The weapons officer controls the missiles but the pilot has auxiliary controls.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile (Go to Revised bomb and missile table).
    Mega Damage: Varies by missile type (Go to Revised bomb and missile table).
    Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired one at a time or in volleys of two, or four but must be the same size (light or medium).
    Payload: 4 short range missiles, 2 medium range missiles, or 1 long range missile each bay.
  4. Wing Hard Points (6): The Super Raptor has six external hard points for ordnance and equipment. The hard points can be used to carry missiles, bombs, and rocket packs as needed by the mission. Missiles, rocket packs, and bombs can be mixed or matched but all ordnance on a hard point must be the same type. Carrying ordnance on the aircrafts external hard points negate the aircraft's stealth from the bottom, sides, front, and back of the aircraft. The aircraft will retain normal stealth from the top when carrying wing mounted ordnance. Reduce Stealth by 10% for every hard point carrying ordnance.
    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: One long range missile or heavy bomb, two medium range missile or medium bombs, or four short 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.
      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, or 8 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.
  5. Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser: Located at the very tail of the fighter 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 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.)
      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: Eight (8)
  6. Advanced Towed Decoys (4): These are mounted in dispensers on the tips of the fighter's wings with two decoys in the dispenser on either wing. These drones are dragged about 328 feet (100 meters) behind the aircraft on a thin cable. Each is a specially designed radar lure that creates a radar image to mimic the aircraft. The decoy has a special jammer that is designed to decoy missiles that have been programmed to home on jamming signals. If decoys are not destroyed, they can be recovered and repaired. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World weapons due to technological difference.
    M.D.C.: 5
    Effects: The decoy has an 80% chance of fooling ordinary non military radars and non smart guided missiles, the decoy has a 50% chance of fooling military level radars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 25% chance of fooling advanced military radars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and smart missiles. Against missiles homing on a jamming signal, jamming has an 40% chance of tricking missiles if both the aircraft and missile are jamming and an 80% chance if the jamming system on the aircraft is deactivated before the missile reaches it.
    Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable although decoy is deployed 328 feet (100 meters) from the aircraft
    Rate of Fire: One can be deployed at a time and requires 15 seconds to deploy (Reel Out) another decoy
    Payload: 4 Decoys (2 each)

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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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2002, Kitsune. All rights reserved.