Golden Age Weaponsmiths F-111F Aardvark / EF-111A Raven:


The General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark was originally a United States Air Force project designed to fill the roles of both a fighter and a medium bomber. While the aircraft was not as good an interceptor as the F-15 Eagle constructed around at same time, it was an excellent bomber and ground attack aircraft. The fighter remained in service for over thirty years. Before the aircraft was withdrawn from service in the late Nineteen-Nineties and placed in storage, the aircraft fought in multiple actions including Vietnam, Libya, and Desert Storm. Other than the United States Air Force, the F-111 Aardvark was operated by the Australian Air Force. It continued to be flown for the Australian Air Force for over a decade after being retired in United States service. Originally, the British Air Force planned to buy a number of F-111 Aardvarks as well but the order was canceled.


As with several other aircraft, some of the aircraft were found in storage bunkers and were refitted to more modern standards by Golden Age Weaponsmiths. They have performed well in combat and even the Coalition is concerned because the aircraft are capable of very low level missions. One of these aircraft could easily be used to destroy Coalition fortifications and run away at high speed at low altitude before a Coalition fighter could intercept it. While many would say that this aircraft is inferior to the Aircastle bomber and does not carry enough defensive weaponry, unlike the Aircastle, the Aardvark can run away at high Mach speed, can fly at very low levels, and is still fairly capable in a dogfight against other fighters. The Aardvark is a variable wing geometry aircraft (Swing wings) and whenever the fighter accelerates to Mach One or above, the wings are swept back. Even though popular, the F-111 is not likely to be copied for a new built fighter unlike the F-16 and F/A-18.


The EF-111A Raven is a modified early version F-111 Aardvark with all weapons removed and carrying the ALQ-99E Jamming system, which is a modified version of the system that was carried on Navy EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G Growler, in the aircrafts ordnance bay and multiple other modifications to allow for the operation of the aircraft's ECM equipment. A radome is mounted about the tail. These aircraft were refitted by Grumman and unlike the Aardvark, the Raven was only operated by the United States Air Force. They were retired soon after the Aardvark and put in storage alongside the fighter-bombers. Golden Age Weaponsmiths has found a very small number of these aircraft, basically only a handful, and has refitted them. Because of the aircraft's high performance, they make an excellent Electronic Counter Measure (ECM) aircraft and are incredibly useful when operated with other Aardvarks or similar high performance aircraft. The EF-111A Raven use a older engine then the F-11F Aardvarks does and is slightly slower but is still quite fast and has excellent range.


While the aircraft are not as heavily armored as aircraft built in the time of the Rifts, the refitting of the aircraft with new high strength composite and alloy armor allows the aircraft to have some survivability in the modern combat environment. When the gun is carried, the F-111 Aardvark had a massive payload of ammunition for its 20 mm cannon and the rounds have been replaced by special Wellington Industries ramjet rounds like those that are carried on the other aircraft that they have refitted including the F-14 Tomcat, F-15E Eagle, F-16 Falcon, and F/A-18 Hornet. The aircraft's six hard points have been refitted to carry standard missiles constructed on Rifts Earth. Usually however only the four inner hard points are loaded because the outer hard point is fixed and prevent the fighter from going above about Mach One when loaded. An infra-red sensor system has been integrated into the nose of the aircraft and the ordnance bay has been freed to carry ordnance with the elimination of the Pave Tack system. This enables the aircraft to carry a maximum of eight cruise missiles and two medium range missile or mixtures of smaller ordnance. Unlike the Aardvark, The Raven has no hard points and the main modifications have been to simply upgrade the aircraft's armor so that it can be hit by enemy fire and not be automatically destroyed. Both versions are reconditioned to fully restore the engines and electronics. Radar has limited abilities in air to air combat compared to most fighters although is extremely useful for ground attack.


There was planned a naval version of this aircraft but present versions of this aircraft are not capable of carrier landings itself and were never fitted with a tail hook. Unlike most aircraft, the whole cockpit of the Aardvark ejects and is designed to be used as a shelter on land and has special flotation devices for use in the water. Pilot and weapon's officer also sit side by side unlike most fighters were the pilot and weapon's officer sit with the pilot in front. Like most American pre-Rifts aircraft, the Aardvark and Raven have the ability to be refueled in the air in addition to having an outstanding range. While the aircraft design has variable position wings similar to F-14 Tomcat, it has only a single tail. Both the F-111 and early F-14 share twin Pratt and Whitney TF30 engines. Later, the engines were upgraded on the F-14 Tomcat to the far more powerful General Electric F110-GE-400 engines.


(Author Note: Where the F-111F and EF-111 are identical, there are a single set of figures and only where the aircraft are different are the different values listed separately)


Model Numbers:F-111FAardvark
EF-111ARaven
Vehicle Type:F-111ETwin Engine Fighter-Bomber
EF-111ATwin Engine ECM tactical jamming aircraft
Crew:F-111ETwo (Pilot & Weapon's Officer)
EF-111ATwo (Pilot & Sensor / Jamming Operator)


M.D.C. by Location:

Internal Ordnance Bay100
[1] Wings (2):110 each
[2] Elevators (2):50 each
[2] Rudders (1):50 each
Cockpit:100
[3] Engines (2):100
Landing Gear (3):5 each
[4] Main Body:180


Notes:
[1] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash
[2] Destruction of the rudder or one elevator will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels 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] The destruction of one engine will reduce the fighter’s top speed by half and give the pilot a -2 penalty to dodge as well as giving a 10% penalty to piloting. Destruction of both engines will cause the aircraft to crash. The crew may attempt an emergency landing or Crew can choose to eject.
[4] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the Aarcraft down completely, rendering it useless and causing it to crash if in flight.


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.
Flying:
F-111F: The Aardvark can reach a top speed of Mach 2.5 (1609.6 knots / 1,923.8 mph / 3,096 kph) on full afterburner (the fighter can only last a few minutes at that speed.) Top speed is reduced by about 10% when external hard points are fully loaded. The fighter/bomber's normal cruise is about 400 knots (460.6 mph / 741.3 kph) but varies on situation. The aircraft has a maximum altitude of 60,000 feet (18,300 meters)
EF-111A: The Raven can reach a top speed of Mach 2.15 (1384.3 knots /1,654.4 mph/2,662.6 kph) on full afterburner (the aircraft can only last a few minutes at that speed). The Raven's normal cruise is about 400 knots (460.6 mph / 741.3 kph) but varies on situation. The aircraft has a maximum altitude of 60,000 feet (18,300 meters)
Range:
F-111F: 2,475 nautical miles (2,848.2 miles/4,583.7 km) with no external ordnance load. The Aardvark can carry up to four fuel tanks (on hard points) that extend range by about 155 nautical miles (178.4 miles/287.1 km) each
Reduce aircraft's range by 15% if partially loaded (Over two cruise missiles or four long range missile missiles not including ordnance in bay) and by 25% if fully loaded. The F-111F can be refueled in the air.
EF-111A: 1,740 nautical miles (2,000 miles/3,220 km) with no external fuel tanks. The Raven can carry up to four fuel tanks (on wings where hard points on Aardvarks are) that extend range by about 155
nautical miles (178.4 miles/287.1 km) each. The EF-111A can be refueled in the air.


Statistical Data:
Height: F-111F: 17 feet 2 inches (5.1 meters)
EF-111A: 20 feet (6.1 meters)
Wingspan: 63 feet (19 meters)  with wings extended and 31 feet 11 inches (11.9 meters)  with wings swept back.
Length: F-111F: 73 feet 6 inches (22 meters)
EF-111A: 76 feet (23.16 meters)
Weight: F-111F: 47,481 lbs (21537 kg) empty, 100,000 lbs (45,000 kg) fully loaded.
EF-111A: 55,275 lbs (25,072 kg) empty, 88,948 lbs (40,346 kg) fully loaded.
Power System: F-111F: Conventional, Two two Pratt and Whitney TF30-P-100 turbofan engines with afterburner (each with 17,900 lbs dry and 25,100 lbs with afterburner), uses aviation fuel. EF-111A: Conventional, Two two Pratt and Whitney TF30-P-9 turbofan engines with afterburner (12,000 lbs dry and 19,600 lb thrust each with afterburner), uses aviation fuel.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include hard points and ordnance bay. Ordnance bay, of emptied of ordnance can carry up to 10,000 lbs (4,535.9 kg) of cargo. The EF-111A has the ALQ-99E ECM equipment in it bay and can only carry fuel tanks on its wings.
Black Market Cost: F-111F: 5.8 million credits (Can sometimes sell for double that price)
EF-111A: 12.2 million credits (Can sometimes sell for double that price)


Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) M61A1 20 mm Vulcan cannon (F-111F Only): The cannon is mounted within the fighter bomber's ordnance bay and takes about one quarter of the bay's ordnance capacity when mounted. The gun can be removed to increase the amount of payload that can be carried. Since the entire bay of the EF-111A carries jamming pods, the Vulcan cannon cannot be carried. The weapon is the same cannon design as is carried on the F-14 Tomcat. They have replaced the standard ammo with mega damage, armor piercing ramjet ammunition produced by Wellington Industries which allows the aircraft to hold it own against other Rifts aircraft. Gun mount is controlled by the fighter’s pilot.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 m).
    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 pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 2,070 rounds (69 bursts)
  2. One (1) Ordnance Bay (F-111F Only): The aircraft has a small bay in the main body that carry a wide variety of different ordnance types. The Vulcan cannon is also carried in the bay and when carried, the payload is reduced by one long range missile or its equivalent in other ordnance. On the EF-111A, the ordnance bay contains the ALQ-99E ECM equipment and cannot be used to carry additional ordnance. Ordnance types can include missiles, torpedoes, naval mines, and bombs. Missile and bomb sizes may be mixed between different types of ordnance but an ordnance drop or launch must include the same type and size of ordnance. Ordnance may be carried at the rate of four short range missiles, four light bombs, two medium range missiles, or two medium bombs for one long range missile or heavy bomb. One Cruise missile or extra heavy bomb may also be carried instead of two long range missiles or heavy bombs. Both guided and unguided ordnance may be carried. Launching of ordnance is controlled by the weapons officer but the pilot has emergency controls.
    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: Ordnance is dropped or fired one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), twelve (12), or sixteen (16) but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley.)
    Payload: Sixteen (16) short range missile or light bombs, eight (8) medium range missiles or medium bombs, four (4) long range missiles or heavy bombs, or two (2) cruise missiles or extra heavy bombs. Ordnance can be mixed and naval mines may be carried as well as missiles and bombs [When carrying Vulcan cannon, reduce payload to twelve (12) short range missiles or light bombs, six (6) medium range missiles or medium bombs, three (3) long range missiles or heavy bombs, or one (1) cruise missile or extra-heavy bomb.]
  3. Six (6) Wing Hard points (F-111F Only): the fighter-bomber has three hard points on each wing to carry additional ordnance. The hard points can be used to carry missiles, bombs, rocket packs, and jamming pods as needed by the mission. The outer two hard points are not often used because while ordnance is carried on them, the aircraft's wings cannot be swept back. This prevents the aircraft from going to Mach 1 or above. This is because the hard points are fixed, the other hard points vary their angle based on the position of the aircraft's wings. On the EF-111A, there is no fitting for external ordnance and only up to four fuel tanks can be fitted.
    1. Missiles & Bombs: Each hard point can carry one extra heavy bomb or cruise missile. The hard point can also carry a variety of different ordnance on a hard point. Two long range missiles or heavy bombs, four medium range missiles or medium bombs, or eight short range missiles or light bombs may be substituted on a hard point for a cruise missile. Both guided and unguided ordnance may be carried. Launching of ordnance is controlled by the weapons officer but the pilot has emergency controls.
      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: Eight (8) short range missile or light bombs, four (4) medium range missiles or medium bombs, two (2) long range missiles or heavy bombs, or one (1) cruise missile or extra heavy bomb (all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance) can be carried on each hard point.
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. 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. The mini missile pods are controlled by the pilot.
      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 missiles 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.
    3. Towed Decoys (4): The 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. 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 65% chance of fooling ordinary non military radars and non smart guided missiles, the decoy has a 35% chance of fooling military level radars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 10% chance of fooling advanced military radars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and smart missiles.
      Range: Not Applicable although the 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 each pod.
    4. 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.
  4. Two (2) Secondary Outer Wing Hard Points (F-111F Only): These hard points are effectively part of the middle wing hard points but have a separate ordnance load. This mount is between the main ordnance load of the main hard point and the wing. These hard points can only carry missiles, not bombs. Each hard point can carry either one medium range missile of two short range missiles. These hard points were originally designed for Sidewinder missiles. The hard points are not fitted to the EF-111A
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, medium or short range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies with missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) missiles.
    Payload: One (1) medium range missile or two (2) short range missiles per hard point.
  5. One (1) Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser: Use the same effects as the TRIAX model. However, each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares. This system is carried on both the F-111F Aardvark and the EF-111A Raven. 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: 20 chaff, 40 flares. Each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares.


Special Equipment:
The equipment of the fighter-bomber has been upgraded but many of the original systems are still on the fighter. Consider the fighter to carry all standard equipment that robot vehicles carry (not including loudspeaker and microphone) plus the following extra systems:

Combat Bonuses:



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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 1998, 2001, & 2011, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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