U.S. RAH-66E Super Comanche Reconnaissance & Attack Helicopter:
Excerpt from Fox's Combat Aircraft of the World, 2090 to 2091:
Although now being taken out service, the RAH-66E was an important part of the United States Army and Marines for much of the later half of the Twenty-First Century. It is expected that the Super Comanche will still be operated until the turn of the century. While virtually a new helicopter, the design is officially simply an upgrade on the older Comanche. Its external appearance is virtually identical to the Comanche but is slightly larger. When the Super Comanche was being developed, virtually all Apache attack helicopters had been retired but the Super Comanche was designed to fulfill a similar role with a heavier payload than existing Comanche attack helicopters. It was also planned to be able to fill the same reconnaissance role as the original Comanche was designed for. There was a large amount of research going into thrust based VTOL aircraft to replace existing helicopters but the Super Comanche was developed as a short term solution to attack helicopters being at the end of their service lives.
The request for the prototype was made to Boeing and Sikorsky in 2046. The first prototype was completed in late 2050 and is was brought through extensive tests before being accepted. Full production was not begun until 2053 and was produced in relatively small numbers with production ending in 2060. In the Army, the Steel Tiger Attack VTOL replaced attack helicopter designs. Still, many Super Comanches remained in service due to being the newest attack helicopter design. Because of the relative newness of the design, many were upgraded with new electronics. For many roles, especially reconnaissance, the Marines preferred the Super Comanche over the Striker attack helicopter due to its stealth characteristics and it believed that some will remain in marine service even when the army retire all of theirs. Most remaining Super Comanches in United States army service are in reserve units. It is believed that when taken out of service, the helicopters will be put in mothball status instead of being scrapped. The attack helicopter was also exported to Canada, Japan, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Australia, and South Korea and still remains in service in most of the countries.
The most important feature of the design was the engines. Previous versions of the Comanche used standard turbine engines but the Super Comanche replaced these with fusion turbines. The fusion turbines produce far more power and the Super Comanche is about twenty percent faster than the non fusion powered versions of the Comanche. Two other added benefits are that the helicopter has virtually unlimited range and allows for an increased payload. The new alloys are more advanced than those used on previous Comanche models and can take slightly more abuse. The helicopter is believed to have a slightly increased radar cross signature than the older and smaller original Comanche but not enough to be any serious concern to designers and the crew. Flight systems are fly-by-wire and the rear rotor blade is partially shielded.
Originally, the Super Comanche carried a 20-mm General Dynamics XM-301 Gatling Gun in a turret under the nose. Payload was increased compared to the original Comanche with 750 rounds. In most models, the Vulcan cannon has been replaced by a single rail gun. The rail gun is more powerful, has a greater range, and a larger number of rounds can be carried. The Super Comanche has enlarged bays compared to older Comanche attack helicopters but cannot carry long range missiles in the bay. Still, the bays can carry up to five medium range missiles each bay or a variety of smaller ordnance. The helicopter can also mount wing stubs to carry additional ordnance but external ordnance greatly reduces the helicopter's stealth.
Model Number: RAH-64E
Vehicle Type: Attack & Reconnaissance Helicopter
Crew: Two (Pilot and Co-Pilot / Gunner)
M.D.C. by Location:
|General Dynamics XM-301 20 mm Gatling Gun (Early Service)||40|
|USA-M38 Heavy Rail Gun (Later Service)||50|
|Missile Bays (2):||40 each|
|Stub wings for additional ordnance (2):||50 each|
| Main Rotor (5 Blades):||60 (12 each blade)|
|Landing Gear (3):||10 each|
| Main Body:||160|
 Destroying the rear rotor or one of the main blades will cause the helicopter to fly at half speed, wobble and is -6 to parry, -3 to strike, and -40% on piloting skill/maneuvers. Smart pilots will land as soon as possible. Destroying the main top rotor will knock the helicopter out of the sky! Roll under the piloting skill -30% for a successful crash landing (due to the reinforced nature of the Comanche, crew takes only half damage from an impact.
 Destroying the main body knocks the helicopter out of the sky and renders it completely useless. Damage to the main body will also reduce the aircrafts stealth, for every 10% of damage to the main body, reduce the aircrafts 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. Helicopter can land and take off from primitive runways.
Flying: Hover to 259.1 mph (417 kph / 225 knots) with a ceiling of 26,260 feet (8,000 meters). Cruising speed is 230.3 mph (370.6 kph/ 200 knots.) The helicopter has great maneuverability and VTOL capabilities.
Range: Fusion power system gives virtually unlimited range but engines must cool down after operating above 115.2 mph (100 knots / 185 kph) for 10 hours and engines overheat after four hours if traveling above 230.3 mph (370.6 kph/ 200 knots.)
Height: 11.8 feet (3.6 meters)
Rotor Width: 43 feet (13.1 meters)
Length: 47.9 feet (14.6 meters)
Weight: 10,913 pounds (4,950 kg) empty and typical mission weight is 13,250 pounds (6,010 kg)
Power System: Nuclear Fusion, Twin FTS-760 Fusion Turbo Shafts, should have an average life span of 10 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment) in cockpit, does not include hard points and ordnance bays. Bays can carry 2,000 lbs (908 kg) each if not carrying ordnance.
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. The jet has never been recovered by enemies or mercenaries. Such an aircraft would sell for 20 to 40 million credits on the open market.
- One (1) Gun Mount: The cannon is mounted under the nose of the helicopter. The cannon mount can move vertically and horizontally. The gun mount is controlled by the gunner / co-pilot. The mount itself had 120 degrees of movement in azimuth, with 15 degrees of elevation and 45 degrees of depression. Weapon mounts can be used against both ground targets and against aircraft. Early models carried the 20-mm Vulcan cannon but was replaced by the rail gun in most models.
- General Dynamics XM-301 20 mm Gatling Gun: This is the original Pre-Rifts cannon developed for the Apache and is mounted under the chin of the helicopter. Three barrel version of the M61 Vulcan. It is a rotatable mount. Special 20 mm ammunition was developed for the cannon to increase damage.
- USA-M38 Heavy Rail Gun: A single heavy rail gun is mounted in the nose mounted turret replacing the 20-mm Gatling cannon in most models. Rail gun has greater range and damage than original cannon as well as having a much greater payload. As well, the weapon is more powerful than most rail guns carried by power armors.
- Two (2) Ordnance Bays: The attack helicopter has two ordnance bays under the helicopter. Only medium range missiles, short range missiles, and mini-missiles can be carried in these ordnance bays. Ordnance may be carried at the rate of eight mini missiles or two short range missile for one medium range missile. Missiles can be mixed and matched but normally the bay carries all the same type of missiles.
- Six (6) Ordnance Hard Points: The helicopter has a total of three hard points on each detachable stub wing. The helicopter can carry either four short range missiles, two medium range missiles, or one mini missile pod on each hard point.
- Short or Medium Range Missiles: The only restriction is that a hard point must carry all the same type of missile and missile. One medium range missile may be substituted for two short range missiles.
- Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. These pods are not carried on the body of the aircraft but are only carried on the wings. 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.
- One (1) Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser: Located on the sides of the helicopter 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.)
Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 round, 2D4 for each round.
Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
Payload: 750 rounds (25 bursts)
Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,828 meters)
Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 20. Single shot inflicts 3D6 M.D.C.
Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or co-pilot (usually 4-6).
Payload: 2,000 rounds (200 bursts)
Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: Varies by missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired one at a time or in volleys of two (2), or four (4) [except mini-missiles which can be fired in volleys of eight (8)] but must be the same size [all mini missiles, short range missiles, or medium range missiles.]
Payload: Forty (40) mini-missiles, ten (10) short range missile, or five (5) medium range missiles in each ordnance bay.
Maximum Effective Range: Varies by short or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: Varies by short or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired one at a time per hard point. Multiple hard points can be linked as one attack but must all be same range missiles.
Payload: four (4) short range missiles or two (2) medium range missiles per hard point (for a maximum of 24 short range or 12 medium range 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 two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16 - all.) 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 sixteen (16) mini-missiles.
- 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.
Payload: Eight (8)
Consider the helicopter to carry all standard equipment that robot vehicles carry (not including loudspeaker and microphone) plus the following extra systems:
- Stealth Feature: The RAH-66E Super Comanche helicopter in constructed
using RAM materials and has a low radar cross signature and has a -50%
penalty to be detected because of its stealth. Opening the ordnance bay
greatly increase the Comanches radar signature from the underside of the
helicopter and aircraft creates no penalties to be detected in those conditions.
In addition, while the RAH-66 remains hard to detect on radar, the helicopters
external ordnance, if carried, is easy to detect (and the Comanche as a
result) unless the ordnance is designed from radar absorbing materials
as well. Reduce aircrafts stealth by 5% for every hard point carrying ordinance.
For example, if two of the hard points are carrying ordinance the aircrafts
would give a -40% penalty to be detected (50%-10%=40%)
Go to General Detection Penalties for more information on penalties and bonuses to use with stealth.
- Silenced Engine and Rotor Blade System: The RAH-66E Super Comanche is so quiet that at moderate ranges, it gets a prowl roll of 35% in daylight and 60% in darkness.
- Medium Range Radar: Mounted with a short / medium range radar system. Radar system has a range of 30 miles (48 km) and can identify and track up to 48 targets. Also mounts a Terrain Following system for low altitude flight.
- Internal Active Jamming Gear: Causes -25% to detection but when it is active, other vehicles/ bases can detect that it is jamming, and some missiles will home in on jamming signals. Jamming also causes a -4 penalty to all radar guided weapons.
- E.S.M.: Radar Detector, Passively detects other radars being operated.
- FLIR: Forward Looking Infrared. Allows pilot and weapons officer to get visuals on targets at night.
- +1 to Strike with 20 mm Gun (or rail gun) and Mini-Missile Launchers.
+2 to dodge.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
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