Confederation F-57 Sabre Heavy Fighter (Wing Commander):


The F-57A was developed as a replacement for the F/A-14 Raptor which was reaching obsolescence towards the end of the older heavy fighter's career. The fighter was developed by Douglas Aerospace and many considered the new heavy fighter to be one of the finest space superiority fighters ever to serve in the Confederation Navy. The first prototype entered service in the mid 2650s and officially entered squadron level service just a few years after being first introduced. The F-57A Sabre heavy fighters quickly replaced the F/A-14 Raptor in front line service with the older fighter being relegated to secondary roles. The Sabre had many advantages over the previous fighter including heavier armor, longer range beam weapons, more missile hard points, a rear turret, and even a tractor beam. The Sabre was considered more than a match for heaviest Kilrathi fighters in service such as the Jalkehi and the Gothri. Many Kilrathi Imperial Guardsmen met their doom at the hands of Sabre pilots. As the war continued, the F-57 Sabre took on an additional role as an offensive strike fighter and many were modified to carry torpedoes. The first modifications were field modifications but were made standard on many later models. All models of the Sabre retain the ability to dogfight and the fighter continued in service until replacement by the Thunderbolt VII after the Battle of Earth. The final standard model F-57 Sabre was the F-57C which carried improved electronics but was otherwise identical to the original model. Most surviving F-57A models were upgraded to F-57C standards and the Sabre is considered to have served the Confederation and its pilots very well.


When the Confederation developed their escort carrier to fill losses in carrier forces, the ship's limited hanger capacity forced Bureau of Ships (BuShips) to come up with a new type of fighter with anti-capital ship firepower. The A-17 Broadsword, the Confederation's primary torpedo bomber, was simply to large to escort from escort carriers. The first attempt resulted in the F-57B, a radical re-engineering of the basic Sabre heavy fighter from a space superiority fighter into a strike fighter/bomber. The fighter was virtually completely reconstructed to perform the role of strike bomber. The strike model of the Sabre was later refined and improved upon in the variant designated the F/A-57D to represent the attack ability of the space craft.


Most pilots use the unofficial name of the "Strike Sabre" for the F-57B and the F/A-57D. The ship is modified with upgraded shielding, additional side armor plating, additional hard points including a pair of fixed torpedo hard points, a weapons officer backseat for additional systems, and latest model computer acquisition systems and electronics equipment. Tradeoffs include reduced speed and agility when compared to the original Sabre due to increased mass. Unlike the normal Sabre, the Strike Sabre is still in service onboard the Confederation's present escort carriers and are the only small ship from its generation still with active duty status.


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:F-57CSabre
F/A-57DStrike Sabre
Vehicle Type:F-57CHeavy Space Superiority Fighter
F/A-57DLight Fleet Attack Fighter-Bomber
Crew:F-57CTwo (Pilot and Tail Gunner)
F/A-57DThree (Pilot, Weapons Officer, and Tail Gunner)

 
M.D.C. By Location:F-57C Sabre:F/A-57D Strike Sabre:
Mass Driver Cannons (2):40 each40 each
Particle Cannons (2):50 each50 each
Missile Hard Points10 each10 each
Tail Mounted Neutron Cannon (2, in turret)50 each50 each
Rear Ball Turret (1)100100
[1] Engines (2):220 each240 each
Landing Struts (3):10 each10 each
[2] Main Body:750900
Reinforced Pilots Cockpit:250320
[3] Variable Force Field:200 per side (1,200 total)210 per side (1,260 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% (60 / 63 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.
F-57C Sabre: Fighter can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.8 percent of light per melee maximum. Fighter has auxiliary thrusters which can be used a maximum of 15 minutes before fuel is exhausted. On auxiliary thrusters, the fighter has a maximum acceleration of 1.6 percent of light per melee maximum.
F/A-57D Strike Sabre: Fighter can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.77 percent of light per melee maximum. Fighter has auxiliary thrusters which can be used a maximum of 15 minutes before fuel is exhausted. On auxiliary thrusters, the fighter has a maximum acceleration of 1.5 percent of light per melee maximum.
Atmospheric Propulsion: The fighter is fairly aerodynamic and is quite capable in an atmosphere. As a result, the fighter can achieve escape velocity (Mach 32.6 / 25053 mph / 40320 kph) but normally operates at Mach 5.70 (4,225.3 mph / 6,800 kph) or less. The fighter also has Gravitic propulsion systems enabling it to leave an atmosphere even at low velocities.
Maximum Range: Effectively unlimited by internal fuel (10 year duration) although auxiliary thruster range is limited to approximately 15 minutes. Fighter uses a very small fusion cell system for power systems. The fighter carries one week of consumables for fighter's crew.


Statistical Data:
Length: F-57C Sabre: 77.43 feet (23.6 meters), F/A-57D Strike Sabre: 80.38 feet (24.5 meters)
Height: F-57C Sabre: 25.25 feet (8.0 meters), F/A-57D Strike Sabre: 29.90 feet (8.2 meters)
Width: F-57C Sabre: 102.69 feet (31.3 meters), F/A-57D Strike Sabre: 103.67 feet (31.6 meters)
Weight: F-57C Sabre: 23.7 tons (21.5 metric tons) unloaded, F/A-57D Strike Sabre: 25.9 tons (23.5 metric tons) unloaded
Power System: Fusion power supply with a 10 year duration.
Cargo: Small Storage Space, 2.5 ft x 2.5 ft x 2 ft. Used for emergency equipment and weapons.
Market Cost: F-57C Sabre: 54.56 million credits, F/A-57D Strike Sabre: 56.86 million credits.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Twin Mass Driver Cannons: These cannons are mounted on the sides of the starfighter. 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 4D6x10 for both cannons firing a 40 round burst (Combined with particle cannons, inflicts 8D6x10+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 Particle Cannons: These cannons are mounted on the sides of the starfighter. Slightly shorter ranged than laser cannons although the pack a much heavier punch. Particle cannons replaced neutron cannons on most Confederation fighters. The weapon inflict about equal damage to most energy weapons carried on most C.A.F. Starfighters and have a much longer range than most fighter weapons in the Three Galaxies.
    Maximum Effective Range: 2,609.8 miles (4,200 km) in space and 13.0 miles (21 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 2D6x10+10 per cannon and 4D6x10+20 for both cannons (Combined with mass driver guns, inflicts 8D6x10+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 Turret: Cannons are mounted in a ball turret in the rear of the starfighter. 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 (8): The Sabre has eight missile racks to carry missiles but the hard points on the Strike Sabre are stressed for heavier loads than those on the standard Sabre. Some versions of the standard Sabre can mount a cruise missile in the place of two long range missiles and most commonly two cruise missiles are carried. 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.
    F-57C Sabre:
      Fuselage Hard Points (4): One Long Range Missile or two Medium Range Missile each. (Can replace two long range missiles with one cruise missile on some models)
      Inner Wing Hard Points (2): One Long Range Missile or two Medium Range Missile each.
      Outer Wing Hard Points (2): One Medium Range Missile each
    F/A-57D Strike Sabre:
      Heavy Inner Fuselage Hard Points (2): One Cruise Missile, two Long Range Missile, or four Medium Range Missile each.
      Medium Fuselage Hard Points (2): One Long Range Missile or two Medium Range Missile each.
      Inner Wing Hard Points (2): One Long Range Missile or two Medium Range Missile each.
      Outer Wing Hard Points (2): 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 fighter 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: Sixteen (16)


COMBAT BONUSES: The F-57 Sabre Starfighter 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 Wing Commander Saga Team. Picture taken from Wing Commander CIC.


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Rifts Conversion Copyright © 2004 & 2013, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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