U.S. FV-124 Aardwolf VSTOL Stealth Fighter-Bomber:

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


Since the United States Air Force abandoned the Hawk project, which became the Navy Sea Hawk design, there has been pressure to develop an aircraft to fill the ground attack role that was less expensive than the Starblade fighter. The Hypersonic fighters are considered simply too expensive for the use by the Air Force in ground attack roles. The Hypersonic bombers are also considered too expensive and simply do not have the low altitude performance needed anyway. The old B-1E bomber, while much larger than what was desired, could fill this role but had already been retired. Some Air Force senior personnel simply advocated purchasing the Sea Hawk or maintaining the large number of Panther II fighters still in service but it was decided by the Chief of the Air Force that a new aircraft would be developed. His primary reason was that he wanted a higher payload than the Panther II or the Sea Hawk. He did decide to go against the idea of building a full sized bomber like some of his advisors suggested. His design wish list could be considered to be that of an updated F-111 using Stealth Technology and VTOL capability.


Prototypes were requested from the major aircraft manufacturing companies with Boeing and Lockheed Martin being the two major competitors. The Boeing design was developed as XF-124 and the Lockheed Martin design was designated XFB-144. It was a similar situation to the development of the Joint Strike Fighter earlier this century. Each designed a prototype with the Lockheed Martin design having swing style wings similar to the F-111 and the F-14 designs. The Boeing design was delta winged and had only variable geometry in the rear areas of the wings. Unlike the Joint Strike Fighter, the Boeing design won the competition. Many pilots believe that the Lockheed Martin design was actually the better design. Orders for the prototype were begun in 2085 with the testing completely in 2088 when the design was selected. The fighter is suppose to begin low level production in 2091 with the fighter presently scheduled to reach squadron status in 2093. It is unclear if the design will replace the Panther II in service or just supplement the smaller fighter. It is also unknown if the new aircraft will be offered to other nations. There is also some discussion of a possible electronic warfare version but there is not concrete information on this.


The Aardwolf is in many ways a very conservative design using many components from previous designs. The engines on the fighter-bomber are the General Electric FT-425 Fusion Turbines which are a modified version of the engines carried on the Sea Hawk fighter and produce the same thrust. The engines on the Aardwolf have a better cooling system and the fighter-bomber has a slightly longer endurance than the navy fighter. Even though the Aardwolf is larger than the Sea Hawk, the aircraft's top speed is only marginally less and it can still break Mach three in level flight. Like the engines, the electronics are believed to have been adapted from the Sea Hawk design. The Aardwolf carries the nose weaponry as the early model of the SF-72 with a light pulse laser on the left side of the nose of the aircraft and a mini-missile launcher on the right side. These weapons are normally controlled by the pilot. The fighter-bomber carries four ordnance bays with the two larger bays in the main fuselage and the two smaller bays in the supports for the wings. The aircraft also has eight wing mounts for ordnance but there reduce the stealth and performance of the Aardwolf. All ordnance fired from ordnance bays and wings (with the exception of mini-missiles in wing pods) is controlled by the weapons officer who sits behind the pilot although the pilot does have emergency controls.


Model Numbers: F-124
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Fighter-Bomber
Crew: Two


M.D.C. by Location:

Nose Laser Cannon:40
Nose Mini Missile Launcher:60
Large Belly Ordnance Bays (2):125 each
Small Wing Support Ordnance Bays (2):75 each
[1] Wings (2):200 each
[2] Rudders (2):100 each
Landing Gear (3):15 each
Cockpit/ Reinforced Pilot Compartment:120
[3] Engines (2):125 each
[4] Main Body:450


Notes:
[1] Destroying a Wing will cause the plane to crash. Pilot and Radar Officer must eject to survive.
[2] Destruction of one rudder will result in the fighter having a penalty of -3 to strike and dodge and removes the 5% bonus to piloting aircraft. Destruction of both rudders will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels and direction of thrust of the engines but the fighter has a penalty of -5 to strike, -10 to dodge, and a -30% penalty to all piloting rolls.
[3] The destruction of one engine will reduce the fighter’s 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. The crew may attempt an emergency landing or Crew can choose to eject.
[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. 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.


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 jet propulsion system enables the Sea Hawk to reach a maximum speed of Mach 3.05 (2,261.4 mph / 3,639.4 kph) and climb to an altitude of 63,000 feet (19,200 meters). When the fighter is carrying ordnance on its external hard points, the fighter has a top speed of Mach 2.7 (2,001.9 mph / 3,221.8 kph.)
The jet has a minimum glide-speed of 120 mph (192 kph); if it goes any slower, the wings cannot provide sufficient lift and the aircraft will crash unless VTOL engines are engaged. Cruising speed tends to be between 250 mph (400 kph) and Mach 1.0 (741.4 mph/ 1193.3 kph).
Maximum Effective Range: Nuclear powered, giving it continual energy, but the jet engines begin to overheat after 24 hours of continual use. Occasional rest stops every 6 to 8 hours, giving the engines an hour to cool down, will allow the aircraft to travel indefinitely.


Statistical Data:
Length: 82.7 feet (25.2 meters)
Wingspan: 55.1 feet (16.8 meters) with wings extended and 46.6 feet (14.2 meters)  with wings swept back fully.
Height: 17.4 feet (5.3 meters)
Weight: 24.6 tons (22.3 metric tons) empty, 53.5 tons (48.5 metric tons) fully loaded
Power Source: Nuclear Fusion, Should have an average lifespan of 20 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include ordnance bays. Heavy Ordnance bays, if emptied of ordnance can carry up to 20,000 lbs (9071.8 kg) of cargo each. Light Ordnance bays, if emptied of ordnance can carry up to 5,000 lbs (2,268. kg) of cargo each.
Black Market Cost: Not available. None are believed to have survived the coming of the Rifts. If found, the fighter-bomber would probably sell for at least between 100 and 160 million credits. Depending on the purchaser, the aircraft could cost up to 4 times more.


Weapon Systems:

  1. Forward Mounted Laser: A laser is mounted on the left side of the nose. The forward laser cannon is controlled by the pilot. 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. Although facing forward, the guns can be positioned up and down 30 degrees.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1220 meters)
    Mega-Damage: A single blast is 5D6 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Equal the pilot's number of hand to hand attacks.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Mini-Missile Launcher: A large mini-missile launcher is mounted on the right side of the nose. This weapon is mostly used against enemy aircraft, missile volleys, and other aerial opponents, or on strafing runs against troops and other ground targets. The weapon has a much larger punch than the laser cannon and is controlled by the pilot.
    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: Equal to the total number of hand to hand attacks per melee. The missiles can be fired one at a time, or in volleys of two, four, or eight.
    Payload: 30 mini-missiles in the launcher.
  3. Large Ordnance Bays (2): The aircraft has two large ordnance bays in the main body of the aircraft The ordnance bays in the aircrafts wing supports will often carry air to air ordnance with the larger bays devoted to air to surface ordnance. 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 four short range missiles, four light bombs, two medium range missiles, or two medium bombs for one long range missile or heavy bomb. In the large ordnance bays, one Cruise missile or extra heavy bomb may also be carried instead of two long range missiles or heavy bombs but the smaller bays do not have enough space for cruise missiles or extra heavy bombs. Both guided and unguided ordnance may be carried. Launching of ordnance is controlled by the weapons officer but the pilot has emergency controls.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude bombs are dropped at (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies by missile or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Ordnance is dropped or fired one at a time or in volleys of two, five, ten, or twenty but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley)
    Payload: 32 short range missiles or light bombs, 16 medium range missiles or medium bombs, 8 long range missiles or heavy bomb, or 4 cruise missiles or extra heavy bombs each bay. Ordnance can be mixed and naval mines may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.
  4. Small Ordnance Bays (2): The aircraft has two small ordnance bays in the wing supports with one in each wing support. The ordnance bays in the aircrafts wing supports will often carry air to air ordnance with the larger bays devoted to air to surface ordnance. 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 four short range missiles, four light bombs, two medium range missiles, or two medium bombs for one long range missile or heavy bomb. In the large ordnance bays, one Cruise missile or extra heavy bomb may also be carried instead of two long range missiles or heavy bombs but the smaller bays do not have enough space for cruise missiles or extra heavy bombs. Both guided and unguided ordnance may be carried. Launching of ordnance is controlled by the weapons officer but the pilot has emergency controls.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude bombs are dropped at (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies by missile or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Ordnance is dropped or fired one at a time or in volleys of two, five, or eight but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley)
    Payload: 8 short range missiles or light bombs, 4 medium range missiles or medium bombs, or 2 long range missiles or heavy bomb each bay. Ordnance can be mixed and naval mines may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.
  5. Wing Hard Points (8): The Aardwolf has eight 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 (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies by missile or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      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 (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, 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-missile.
  6. 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.)
    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)
  7. Advanced Towed Decoys (4): These are mounted in two dispensers in the fighter's tail 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.



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