U.S. T-65 Tercel Supersonic Trainer:


For over fifty years, the United States Air Force operate the T-38 Talon Trainer. With almost twelve hundred produced, it was the first supersonic trainer and also was modified to become the F-5 Freedom Fighter. The T-38 was operated by a variety of other countries, by NASA, and even a small number ended up in civilian hands. It was replaced by a new design based on the T-50 Golden Eagle developed by South Korea. Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, it though did not last anything near as long as the T-38.


With the introduction of first high strength materials and then miniature fusion plants, it was decided to replace the still fairly new supersonic trainer. This replacement trainer which was developed was the T-65 Tercel. One might have expected a design based on the Golden Eagle to have been developed but instead it was developed by Boeing. One might thing that one could use simulators for all training but a pilot still needed the feel of an actual aircraft flying at Mach speeds.


Unlike most advanced pre-Rifts fighters, the T-65 Tercel was not developed as a stealth design although some efforts were made to reduce the radar cross signature. In large part, the design of the T-65 look like a small single engine version of the F/A-18 Hornet and is twin tailed. Wherever possible, Boeing used systems already developed for their other designs to reduce development and production costs. Many of the new system develop also were later used in the F/A-28 Tiger Hornet. Because the T-65 was developed for both Air Force and Navy service, the aircraft was designed with a tail hook for carrier landings.


The first prototype of the T-65 Tercel flew in 2047 with the trainer entering service in 2052. Originally, the aircraft was conventional take off and landing but a modified version was developed with a pair of lift jets, not lift fans, behind the cockpit for vertical take offs and landings. This was to simulate the flight characteristics of the FV-48 Panther II. First prototype of the VTOL model flew in 2051 and it entered service in 2058. While initially both convention take off and landing models were built, later production was mostly VTOL models.


At least two thousand of the T-65 trainer were built. In addition to Air Force and Navy service, these trainers were exported to a variety of countries and were also operated by NASA. While considered trainers, many nations operated the craft as light fighters. As with the T-38, a handful even wound up in civilian service. As might be expected, the VTOL version was more popular than conventional take off models. The only major problem with the trainer was that it did not simulate some of the really high supersonic speeds, limited to around mach two.


When the the world was wrecked by the coming of the Rifts, most of these trainers were destroyed as were most aircraft. Still, quite a number survived and continue to be operated although mostly as fighters not trainers. A number have found their way into the hands of both mercenary companies, small kingdoms, and even individual adventurers. Especially prize are VTOL versions of the trainer. There is some discussion by several companies about simply copying the trainer as a light fighter and manufacturing it perhaps with some small modifications. Interestingly, the New Navy does not currectly have any of these aircraft. All T-65 trainers were at or near shore facilities when the Rifts hit.


For the power plant, the T-65 uses the FFT-445 fusion turbine. The F/A-28 Tiger Hornet uses the same engine. As previously stated, top speed is around mach two. Big advantage of the fusion turbine over convention jet engines was that it could operate almost indefinitely. The engine would overheat after around twelve hours of operation. Vectored thrust gives the trainer pretty incredible maneuverability. It also helps give even conventional take off and landing versions of the aircraft to have the ability for short take offs and landings. VTOL versions of the T-65 use a modified version of the FFT-445 which can vector fully under the aircraft.


The cockpit is largely based on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet although modernized and simplified to reduce costs. As a trainer, the cockpit is designed for both an instructor and student. Unlike the T-38, the trainer has the AN/APG-87 advanced active electronically scanned array for its radar system. It uses many of the same components as the AN/APG-79 used in the Super Hornet but has a smaller array. As such, the radar has more limited tracking and targeting ability. NASA and civilian versions have the radar system replaced by an extremely simple radar for flight control. A variety of radar have been mounted in handful of these models that survived the coming of the Rifts. Other systems on military versions of the aircraft include infrared gear. As with virtually all modern aircraft, the T-65 Tercel uses a fly by wire system.


As trainers, the aircraft were unarmed but the design was developed with the ability to carry armament in mind. In addition, those which served as light fighters were armed. Initial weapon was the General Dynamic A50, a three barrel version of the 20 mm M61 carried on most American fighters with 270 rounds of ammunition. Firing Ramjet ammunition, the weapon is the equal of most rail guns in damage although has a much lower payload. Due to space concerns with the VTOL versions, the 20 mm cannon was not able to mounted internally. In most cases, they would carry an external gun pod.


Later, both conventional and VTOL versions were able to carry first the the USA-M31 rail gun and even later a pulse laser. Both weapons were much smaller and the aircraft was slightly redesigned to be able to mount the smaller weaponry. The USA-M31 was designed originally for the SAMAS power armor. The pulse laser pulled power directly from the fusion plant which gave almost unlimited payload. Those which were unarmed originally usually mount different rail guns or lasers with lasers being the most popular. Some also carry rail gun weaponry on the aircraft's hard points in place of missiles or other ordnance.


Trainer versions are not equipped with any hard points but the aircraft can be easily refitted with hard points. Light fighter models are already equipped with hard points. Conventional take off and landing models have seven hard points while vertical take off and landing models have six hard points with the centerline hard point unavailable due to the position of the lifting jets. There are two light hard points on the wingtips and four heavier hard points on the wings. Wingtips are limited to short or medium range missiles and towed decoys. Wings and centerline can mount anything up to heavy bombs and long range missiles. Other available systems include mini-missile pods, 20 mm gun pods, rail gun pods, jamming pods, and even towed decoys for tricking incoming missiles.


Model Type: T-65 Conventional Trainer Model
TV-65 VTOL Trainer Model
F-65 Conventional Light Fighter
FV-65 VTOL Light Fighter
Vehicle Type: Single Engine Trainer / Light Fighter
Crew: Two


M.D.C. by Location:

Forward Mounted Gun (1; Wing Root): 30
Wing / Fuselage Mounted Missile Hard Points (7): 10 each
[1] Wings (2): 80 each
[2] Elevators (2): 45 each
[2] Rudders (2): 45 each
[3] Forward Lift Turbo Jet Engines (2 - VTOL Model): 10 each
[3] Protective Doors for Forward Lift Jets (2 - VTOL Model): 20 each
[4] Main Engine (1): 80
[5] Main Body 130
Landing Gear (3): 10 each
Reinforced Pilot's Compartment / Cockpit: 40
Pilot Seat (1): 2


Notes:
[1] Destroying a Wing will cause the plane to crash. Pilot must eject to survive.
[2] Destruction of rudders or one elevator will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying direction of the engines but the fighter 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.
[3] Lift doors protects the top and bottom of the lift engine. Destruction of doors protecting front lift engine will increase drag. Reduce top speed by half and the fighter has a -4 to dodge and piloting is at -20% at high speeds (Above 400 mph / 644 kph). To damage the forward lift engine, a called shot at -3 is required and the shielding doors either must be open or destroyed. If one forward lift jet is destroyed, the fighter cannot hover but can still land/take off in conventional fashion.
[4] Destruction of the fighter's engine will cause the aircraft to crash. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot and weapon officer can choose to eject.
[5] 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. Pilot must eject to survive.


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. Because of the vectoring of the thrusters, the fighter can take off in a short distance.
Flying: Conventional take off an landing models cannot hover although VTOL versions can hover. Conventional models lack lift jets. The T-65 Tercel has a top speed of Mach 2.0 (1320 mph/ 1,147.0 knots / 2124.3 kph) and has a maximum altitude of 55,000 feet (16,800 meters.) When the tariner / light fighter is carrying ordnance on its external hard points, the craft has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (1,188 mph / 1032.3 knots / 1,911.9 kph.) The trainer 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.
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:
Length: 43.6 feet (13.3 meters)
Wingspan: 32.5 feet (9.9 meters)
Height: 15.8 feet (4.8 meters) with landing gear down and 10.5 feet (3.2 meters) with landing gear retracted.
Weight: 14,991.4 pounds (6,800 kilograms) empty, 31,967.0 pounds (14,500 kilograms) fully loaded
Power Source: Single FFT-445 Fusion Thrusters (Should have an average life span of 10 years.)
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include hard points
Black Market Cost: Extremely rare. Generally ranges from around 20 to 30 million for a fully armed model available. Decrease by about 5 million for older models especially conventional take off and landing models. Unarmed training models also tend to cost around 5 million less. Also reduce by about two million with civilian sensors (equal to robot vehicles.)


Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Forward Mounted Gun: A fixed forward weapon is mounted on the Wing root of the trainer / light 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. Post Rifts, many training models have been refitted with various other rail guns and energy weapons. The weapon is controlled by the pilot. Early version of the VTOL version of the Tercel did not have the ability to carry an internal gun.
    1. 20 mm General Dynamics A50 Triple Barrel Cannon: Carried on conventional take off and landing early models of fighter models of the T-65 Tercel. Similar to the M61 carried on many American fighters but has three barrels instead of six. Standard ammo is replaced with mega damage, armor piercing ramjet ammunition which allows the aircraft to hold it own against other Rifts aircraft.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
      Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 round, 2D4 for each round (Can be combined with gun pods.)
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
      Payload: 270 rounds (9 bursts)
    2. USA-M31 Rail gun: Mounted on both later conventional take off and VTOL versions of the fighter version of the T-65 Tercel. It is also been refitted on many earlier models of conventional take off and landing models of the Tercel. It does not require any primer and a larger number of rounds can be carried than the original 20 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 (including those flown after the coming of the Rifts) mount different rail guns although the damage is generally approximately the same.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D6x10. (Can be combined with gun pods.)
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: 2,000 round magazine for 50 bursts each.
    3. Pulse Laser Mount: Refitted on both many later conventional take off and VTOL versions of the fighter version of the T-65 Tercel. It is also been refitted on many earlier models of conventional take off and landing models of the Tercel. A variety of similar pulse laser weaponry might be fitted to aircraft operated by other air forces although most have similar statistics.
      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. Six (6) or Seven (7) Wing Hard Points: Conventional take off and landing models can have seven hard points while VTOL versions only can mount six hard points. The hard points can be used to carry missiles, bombs, rocket packs, gun pods, jammers, and towed decoys 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. Different rail gun packs may be substituted for standard USA-M31 rail guns in post Rift aircraft. 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.
    Central Hard Point (Non-VTOL): ECM pod, 20 mm gun pod, rail gun pod, or missiles/bombs (one long range missile / heavy bomb, two medium range missile / medium bomb, or four short range missile / light bomb).
    Inner Wing Hard Points (2): ECM pod, towed decoy pods, 20 mm gun pod, rail gun pod, or missiles/bombs (one long range missile / heavy bomb, two medium range missile / medium bomb, or four short range missile / light bomb).
    Middle Wing Hard Points (2): ECM pod, towed decoy pods, or missiles/bombs (one long range missile / heavy bomb, two medium range missile / medium bomb, or four short range missile / light bomb).
    Wing Tip Hard Points (2): Towed decoy pod or missiles (one medium range missile or two short range missiles).
    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: Varies by hard point (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.)
      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.
    3. SUU-23/A 20 mm Gun Pod: Mounts the M61 Vulcan in a gun pod with 1,200 rounds of ammunition for a much greater payload than the nose mounted 20 mm gun. Carried on the centerline or inner wing hard points. Standard 20 mm ammunition is replaced by mega damage ramjet ammunition. Using ramjet ammunition, the weapon inflicts similar damage to most rail guns. Mostly carried in early service and later most fighters carried a rail gun pod in place of the 20 mm gun pod.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
      Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 round, 2D4 for each round (Can be combined with other gun pods or nose mounts.)
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
      Payload: 1,200 rounds (40 bursts)
    4. USA-M31 Rail Gun Pod: Mostly replacing the 20 mm gun pod, the pod was lighter yet carried far greater ammunition. 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 (including those flown after the coming of the Rifts) mount different rail guns although the damage is generally approximately the same.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D6x10. (Can be combined with gun pods.)
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: 8,000 round magazine for 200 bursts each.
    5. Active Jamming Pod: Pod takes place of all ordnance on the Hard Point. 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. Advanced Towed Decoys (4): Pod takes place of all ordnance on the Hard Point. The aircraft can carry a special pod that carries four advanced towed decoy drones. 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 each
      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 is.
      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: Four (4) Decoys
  3. 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)


Special Equipment:
The trainer / light fighter has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed below. Civilian models may have these systems stripped out.


Combat Bonuses:



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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2013, Kitsune. All rights reserved.