U.S. MQ-14 Ghost Scout Navy Helicopter Drone:


During the Nineteen-Sixties and Nineteen-Seventies, the United States operated the QH-50 DASH anti-submarine drone helicopter. Unmanned and smaller than a standard helicopter, the drone helicopter was designed to operate from ships too small to operate a full sized helicopter. It met with limited with many being lost in service. In many ways the technology was not yet mature. The MQ-8 Fire Scout was introduced in the beginning of the Twenty-First Century and was far successful.


In many ways the descendent of these aircraft, the MQ-14 Ghost Scout Helicopter Drone entered service in the middle of the Twenty-First Century. The unmanned "Ghost Scout" was designed to operate in anti-submarine, ground attack, mine hunting, and scout roles. Usually it was operated beside larger aircraft. Several can be carried instead of a single VTOL aircraft. An advantage of unmanned craft is that the loss of the helicopter drone was considered far more acceptable than the loss of manned craft. As such, even with the introduction of flying power armors, the Ghost Scout was retained in service. Thousand of these drones were built in total. While mostly operated by the United States Navy, it was also operated by the United States Coast guard and a number of other nations operated the drone helicopter as well.


Instead of being powered by a fusion power plant, early versions of MQ-14 Ghost Scout helicopter drones were powered by a fuel cell system. The fuel cells operate by pulling the electrons off of an H2 molecule, splitting it into 2H+ molecules and 2 electrons. The electrons pass through the "load" (engines, weapons, electronics, etc.) creating current and powering the systems. Meanwhile, the 2H+ molecules pass from the anode to the cathode through the electrolyte. At the other "end", the electrons then recombine with the 2H+ molecules and Oxygen (from the air) and are release as water from the rear of the vehicle. In later versions of the drone, the fuel cell system was replaced by pure electrical power system using an advanced battery system. A conventional power plant is far cheaper than a fusion power plant would have been. Maximum speed of the drone is around one hundred and fifty knots although general cruise speed was around one hundred and twenty knots. As far as duration, the drone helicopter was designed to be able to operate for up to twelve hours.


There is a number of sensor systems mounted in the nose of the drone including an advanced optic / infrared system, a laser targeting system as the standard systems. In addition, the drone helicopter is designed to be able to carry a number of sensor pods under the main fuselage. These pod include being able carry either a short range search radar for surface search or the combination of a dipping sonar and magnetic anomaly detector for anti-submarine missions.


It is not designed to operate autonomously but instead generally controlled from the ship that the drone helicopter is based. Other units, including both ships and aircraft, can also take control of the drone. If communications are lost with the drone, it is designed to attempt to return to the craft although can be overridden. A long range communication, including satellite communications, are fitted to the drone. Still, with the destruction of virtually all of the satellites during the coming of the Rifts, most crews do not like to operate these drones too far from the command node. The same is the case with the drone's global position systems.


In addition to the under fuselage sensor pod, the MQ-14 drone helicopter mounts a pair of side pods. These pods are designed to add additional lift but also designed to carry either sonar buoys or ordnance. Each pod can carry either four mini-sonar buoys, a single medium range missiles / torpedoes, two short range missiles / torpedoes, or four mini-missiles / mini-torpedoes. The pods can also carry up to fifty kilograms of supplies into the field. The drone helicopter was not really designed for true combat and is only lightly armored.


Model Type:MQ-14AOriginal "Ghost Scout" Helicopter Drone
MQ-14DUpgraded Ghost Scout" Helicopter Drone
Class: Airborne Helicopter Drone
Crew: None (Run by remote or autonomously)


M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Nose Camera Array:15
Sensor Pod (Under Fuselage):30
Side Pods (2):25 each
Landing Skids (2):10 each
[2] Main Rotor (4 Blades):20 (5 each blade)
[2] Tail:20
[3] Main Body:60


Notes:
[1] 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 the main top rotor will knock the drone helicopter out of the sky! Roll under the piloting skill -30% for a successful crash landing. Destruction of the tail will cause the drone helicopter to lose control and crash.
[3] Destroying the main body knocks the drone helicopter out of the sky and renders it completely useless.


Speed:
Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Not possible, takes off vertically
Flying: Hover to 172.7 mph (278.0 kph / 150 knots) with a ceiling of 24,606 feet (7,500 meters). Cruising speed is 138.2 mph (222.4 kph/ 120 knots.) The helicopter drone has great maneuverability and VTOL capabilities.
Range: 1381.9 miles (1,200 nautical miles / 2,223.9 kilometers.) The helicopter drone has a maximum duration of twelve hours.


Statistical Data:
Height: 9.84 feet (3.0 meters)
Rotor Width: 27.89 feet (8.5 meters)
Fuselage Length: 24.61 feet (7.5 meters)
Weight: 2,336.9 pounds (1,060 kg) empty and 3262.8 kg (1,480 kg) fully loaded
Power System: MQ-14A: Conventional Fuel Cell System. MQ-14D: Electrical, has a high capacity battery
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include hard points. Pods can carry up to 110 lbs (50 kg) each if no ordnance or mini sonar buoys are carried.
Black Market Cost: Not available. Other than those operated by the New Navy (and maybe Japan), none are known to have survived the coming of the Rifts. If available, fuel cell versions would likely cell for 400,000 credits and electric versions for 500,000 credits.


Weapons Systems:

  1. Two (2) Ordnance Pods: On either side of the drone helicopter, an ordnance pod can be carried. The pods are designed to provide additional lift to offset the weight of the pods. In addition to ordnance, mini-Sonar buoys are carried. Payloads in ordnance pods cannot be mixed. Missiles are carried for attack missions while torpedoes are usually carried for anti-submarine roles.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile, torpedo (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details) or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.) for details.
    Mega Damage: Varies by missile, torpedo (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details) or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.) for details.
    Rate of Fire: Missiles / Torpedoes can be fired one at a time or in volleys of two (2)
    Payload: One (1) medium range missile / medium range torpedo, two (2) short range missiles / short range torpedoes, or four (4) mini-missiles / mini-torpedoes can be carried per pod. Payloads in ordnance pods cannot be mixed although pods can carry different ordnance.


Special Equipment::
Internal Systems:

Radar Pod: Anti-Submarine Pod: Combat Bonuses:



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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2011, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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