Confederation A-18A Crossbow Bomber (Wing Commander):


The A-18 Crossbow Bomber was developed by Douglas Aerospace as a potential replacement for the A-17 Broadsword heavy bomber. The Crossbow was designed to be both much more maneuverable and have greater acceleration than the larger Broadsword. The Crossbow is much less massive, only massing forty tons compared to one hundred tons for the A-17 Broadsword. Like the larger Broadsword, the Crossbow is also capable of making jumps and was the smaller craft capable of it when it was developed. Unfortunately, even though the Crossbow was much smaller than the Broadsword bomber, the Crossbow was not small enough to operate from escort carriers in anything like reasonable numbers so a new bomber based on the Sabre heavy fighter.


For the main weapon array, the Crossbow carries five forward firing gun mounts. The bombers adds two forward firing neutron cannons to the three mass drivers carried on the broadsword bomber. While comparatively short ranged, this gave the bomber greater forward firepower than a Sabre heavy fighter. Due to the attempt to reduce the size of the bomber compared to the Broadsword, the Crossbow does not have any side gun turrets but does retain the rear firing turret with a pair of neutron cannons. For missiles, the bomber has seven hard points compared to eight on the larger Broadsword. The Crossbow has four hard points which are usually configured for anti-capital ship ordnance and three which are primarily designed for anti-fighter weaponry.


As far as toughness, the Crossbow could be considered to have been almost as tough as the much heavier Broadsword. Still, the more agile bomber's shields are not as tough as the heavier bomber although the shields were still far tougher than those carried on any other small craft at the time. The Crossbow is also deigned with a much smaller vertical cross-signature to make it a harder target to hit.


Several prototypes of the A-18 Crossbow were onboard the TCS Gettysburg at the time of the ship's well documented mutiny. They were onboard for testing. During the effort to regain control of the ship, the new bombers performed exceptionally well against the mutineers' Epees and Ferrets illustrated its dogfighting potential. Unlike the Broadsword, the Crossbow was able to maneuver almost as well as the light fighters and could take incredible damage


As a result of these combat tests, the Confederation Fleet authorized the production of these bombers. Surprisingly, the bomber received negative reviews from many combat units which transited to the Crossbow. Many Broadsword pilots still trusted the durability and protection of the heavy bomber, and, despite the Crossbow's advantages in speed and maneuverability, saw no immediate need to transit to the Crossbow. Using its minimal defensive missile weaponry and a lack of afterburners as reasons, the Confederation never purchased the new design in as large a numbers as originally planned. Ultimately, the Crossbow was dropped from active service when the newer Longbow bombers entered into full deployment.


Notes of game conversion:


Because of the nature of the Video Game series "Wing Commander" and the needs to put the fighter into game mechanics, the fighter has several modification compared to the Video Game. The most important change it to change top speed to acceleration. Like fighters in Star Wars and original Battlestar Galactica, the fighters appear to act as if they are in the atmosphere even when they operating in space. This is incorrect. The Television series Babylon 5 and the new Battlestar Galactic are good series to watch to get a clearer idea on how space vehicles would probably maneuver although still not a perfect perspective. The fighter has been modified to uses my revised phase world starship rules and can hold their own against most C.A.F and Kreeghor fighters. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World for more details.


Model Type: A-18A Crossbow Bomber
Vehicle Type: Fleet Attack Bomber
Crew: Three (Pilot, Weapons Officer, and Tail Gunner)


M.D.C. By Location:

Nose Mass Driver Cannons (3):40 each
Forward Neutron Cannons (2):50 each
Missile Hard Points (7):10 each
Tail Mounted Neutron Cannon (2, in turret)50 each
Rear Ball Turret (1)100
[1] Engines (2):350 each
Landing Struts (3):20 each
[2] Main Body:1,400
Reinforced Pilots Cockpit:350
[3] Variable Force Field:250 per side (1,500 total)


Notes:
[1] Loss of an engine will reduce performance of fighter by one half and loss of two engines will prevent fighter from performing beyond 5% of normal (This is using maneuvering thrusters and gravitic propulsion). Due to gravitic propulsion systems, fighter will not crash in an atmosphere even if both engines are destroyed.
[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the fighter out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck. In an atmosphere, the fighter will crash.
[3] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (75 M.D.C.) per melee.


Speed:
Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 40 percent of the speed of light. Bomber can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.77 percent of light per melee maximum.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Unlike most fighters, the bomber is not very aerodynamic and not very maneuverable in an atmosphere. As a result, the craft can achieve escape velocity (Mach 32.6 / 25053 mph / 40320 kph) but cannon fight effectively in an atmosphere and is generally limited to Mach 2.68 (1,988.4 mph / 3,200 kph) or less and flies through brute force. The bomber also has Gravitic propulsion systems enabling it to leave an atmosphere even at low velocities.
Stardrive: The bomber mounts a jump drive which is capable of jumping instantly from a fixed point in a system to another fixed point in a system. These points are weaknesses in the fabric of space and have been mapped in most cases. The jump drive has enough fuel for two jumps. Fuel is hydrogen.
Maximum Range: Effectively unlimited by internal fuel (10 year duration) although jump drive is limited to two jumps without refueling. Bomber uses a very small fusion cell system for power systems. The bomber carries three weeks of consumables for bomber's crew.


Statistical Data:
Length: 78.74 feet (24 meters)
Height: 12.47 feet (3.8 meters)
Width: 87.93 feet (26.8 meters)
Weight: 44.09 tons (40 metric tons) unloaded
Power System: Fusion power supply with a 10 year duration.
Cargo: Small Storage Space, 3.5 ft x 3.5 ft x 4 ft. Used for emergency equipment and weapons.
Market Cost: 81.06 million credits.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Triple Mass Driver Cannons: These cannons are mounted on the nose of the heavy bomber. Cannons are shorter ranged than lasers but inflict greater damage. The mass driver is a very solid weapon which is basically a rail gun that uses a linear accelerator to fire projectiles of metallic mass at a target. In addition to range, the mass driver needs to use ammunition and has a limited payload.
    Maximum Effective Range: 1,242.7 miles (2000 km) in space and 6.21 miles (10 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 2D6x10 per cannon per 20 round burst and 6D6x10 for all three cannons firing a 60 round burst (Can be combined with forward neutron cannons for 10D6x10+20)
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 10,000 Rounds (500 Bursts) per cannon.
  2. Twin Neutron Cannons: These cannons are mounted on the sides of the bomber. While not as long range as lasers, they pack a much larger punch. Neutron cannons are being replaced by particle beams on most Confederation fighters. The weapon inflict about equal damage to most energy weapons carried on most C.A.F. Starfighters but, even though short range by Confederation standards, have a longer range than most fighter weapons in the Three Galaxies.
    Maximum Effective Range: 1,534.3 miles (2,500 km) in space and 7.8 miles (12.5 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 2D6x10+10 per cannon and 4D6x10+20 for both cannons (Combined with mass drivers, inflicts 10D6x10+20)
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. Twin Neutron Cannons in Ball Turrets (1): The bomber has a single ball turrets on the rear of the bomber. While not as long range as lasers, they pack a much larger punch. Turret can rotate about from centerline to track targets. The weapon inflict about equal damage to most energy weapons carried on most C.A.F. Starfighters but, even though short range by Confederation standards, have a longer range than most fighter weapons in the Three Galaxies.
    Maximum Effective Range: 1,534.3 miles (2,500 km) in space and 7.8 miles (12.5 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 2D6x10+10 per cannon and 4D6x10+20 for both cannons
    Rate of Fire: Equal to gunners hand to hand (Usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  4. Missile Pylons (7): The Crossbow bomber has a total of eight hard points with four stressed for anti-ship torpedoes. Individual pylons must carry all the same type ordnance but each pylon may carry different types of ordnance. Cruise missile are normally carried when on an anti-capital ship role and long and medium range missiles when fighting other starfighters. Cruise Missiles have a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship). Long Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship). Medium Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Since starships will no longer engage at rock throwing distances, whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting starships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead at -25% to detect.) Cruise missiles have minuses to hit small targets but are all missiles are normally considered to be smart missiles. Missiles can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously.
    Heavy Fuselage Hard Points (4): One Cruise Missile, two Long Range Missile, or four Medium Range Missile each.
    Medium Fuselage Hard Points (3): One Long Range Missile or two Medium Range Missile each.
    Maximum Effective Range: Cruise Missiles range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds), Long Range Missiles range is 3,400 miles (5470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space, and Medium Range Missiles range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds).
    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World missile tables for details (Cruise Anti-Matter does 4D6x100 M.D.C. and Long Range Fusion does 2D4x100 M.D.C.).
    Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of two, three, or four missiles.
    Payload: Varies by hard point
  5. Anti-Missile Decoy Dispenser: Located at the very tail of the bomber are two decoy dispensers. When a missile if fired at the fighter, a decoy can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Decoy system works against Phase World missiles although has a -10% penalty against Brilliant missiles.
    Effect:
      01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates on decoy - 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, missile is still on target.
    Payload: Twenty Four (24)


COMBAT BONUSES: The A-18 Crossbow Bomber is very maneuverable and very accurate. Use the Phase World Starfighter combat (Elite or Basic) skill.




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CGI / Artwork of starship created by Deathsnake. Picture taken from Wing Commander CIC.


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Rifts Conversion Copyright © 2006 & 2013, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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