Confederation P-64 Ferret Light Starfighter (Wing Commander):
The Ferret was originally designed by Douglas Aerospace as an as an In-System Security patrol fighter. Douglas Aerospace also produces the A-17 Broadsword Bomber. The patrol fighter soon entered service with the Confederation Space Force due to pilots preferring the Ferret over the Epee and due to a shortage of Epee light fighters. The Ferret is more austere than the Epee and is far less expensive to manufacture than the more advanced Epee. Most pilots consider the Ferret a joy to fly and the Ferret is both faster than the Epee and boast about double the armor of the Epee. A common complaint from pilots is the extremely light armor of the Epee and most pilots considered the Ferret to be a very durable and forgiving fighter. The armor is still far lighter than the armor carried on heavier Confederation and Kilrathi fighters of the same time period. Main weaponry of the Ferret was a pair of mass drivers. While not as long ranged as particle beams, the weapons are very reliable and effective. The only real complaint about the Ferret was the patrol fighter mounted no missile hard points compared to four on the Epee.
Douglas Aerospace introduced an upgraded version of the Ferret, the P-64D "Super Ferret." Improvements in the "Super Ferret" include an improved flight control system, better countermeasure systems, and the addition of a pair of missile hard points. While the fighter could still carry less missiles than most fighters, the additional hard points was appreciated by most pilots. Even with upgrades, the "Super Ferret" was still far less expensive to manufacture than the Epee. These new "Super Ferrets" eventually became Confederation's primary light fighter and served very well throughout the war. Due to a smaller footprint, a larger number of Ferrets could be carried than Epee fighters. This was especially useful on escort carriers with very limited hanger deck space.
Virtually all surviving Ferret were upgraded to P-64D standards as they were refitted.
After the Battle of Earth, the new F-96B Arrow light starfighter was introduced. The new fighter was considered to make the Ferret obsolete and all existing Ferrets are now relegated to secondary roles in Home Defense and In-System Security squadrons (which is the role which the fighter was originally designed for.) It is still expected that the Ferret with soldier on for years, if not decades, in secondary roles.
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.
Vehicle Type: Light Starfighter / In-System Security Patrol Fighter
M.D.C. By Location:
|Mass Driver Cannons (2):||40 each|
|Missile Hard Points (2, P-64D only)||10 each|
| Engines (1):||140|
|Landing Struts (3):||10 each|
| Main Body:||320|
|Reinforced Pilots Cockpit:||125|
| Variable Force Field:||60 per side (360 total)|
 Loss of the fighter's engine 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 engine is destroyed.
 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.
 Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (18 M.D.C.) per melee.
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. Fighter can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.9 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 1.8 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 / 25,053 mph / 40,320 kph) but normally operates at Mach 6.54 (4,846.7 mph / 7,800 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.
Length: 33.46 feet (10.2 meters)
Height: 15.75 feet (4.8 meters)
Width: 15.75 feet (4.8 meters)
Weight: 11.57 tons (10.5 metric tons) unloaded
Power System: Fusion power supply with a 10 year duration.
Cargo: Small Storage Space, 1.5 ft x 1.5 ft x 2 ft. Used for emergency equipment and weapons.
Market Cost: P-64C: 19.2 million credits, P-64D: 19.4 million credits
- 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.
- Missile Pylons (2, P-64D Only): On the underbelly of the Super Ferret version of the fighter are two missile racks that allows the fighter to carry missiles. Individual pylons must carry all the same type ordnance but each pylon may carry different types of ordnance. 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.) Missiles can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously and all missiles are normally considered smart missiles.
- 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.
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
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
Maximum Effective Range: 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: Varies with medium range missile types (See revised Phase World missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of two.
Payload: One medium range missile per hard point
- 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.
COMBAT BONUSES: The P-64 Ferret Patrol Starfighter is very maneuverable and very accurate. Use the Phase World Starfighter combat (Elite or Basic) skill.
- +3 to dodge
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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.