Metalworks Incorporated EF-500 Stormhawk Jamming Fighter:


“One of only two flying prototypes and I end up having to pilot one into the teeth of the Coalition” said Lieutenant Nancy Bock to no one in particular. It was doubtful if Sergeant Stilton could hear her in the back seat. He was closely watching the jamming system displays to make sure they were operating normally. The Stormhawk was half Jamming Aircraft and half Fighter. There was some discussion of using the Ghosthawk instead of the Tigerhawk as a platform for jamming equipment but the two prototypes used the simpler Tigerhawk frame. The jamming systems were purchased for the REEF and were far in advance of anything Metalworks could come up with themselves. The REEF did not use their jamming equipment very much because the preferred stealth in most circumstances over jamming. Nancy was supposed to be the best test pilot working for Metalworks and she and her crew member had been with the test program for the Stormhawk since it was pulled from its hanger for its first flight. They knew how to operate the aircraft better than anyone else and her aircraft was the more ready of the two prototypes.


The owner of Metalworks’ mate, whom everyone only knew as Vixen, had come up with a decisive plan to strike back at the Coalition. Nancy Brock thought it was a good plan but she wished that there was someone else who could fly this part of the mission. The concept was simple. The available fighters of every mercenary company on the front had been concentrated together and would strike at one of the major Coalition Air Bases near the front. The problem was that if the Coalition was to detect how many how many fighters were being utilized, the Coalition would either abandon the base or scramble fighters from everywhere instead of just the base itself. Not enough of the fighters that had been gathered were stealth models to make an effective raid on their own and so jamming was needed to hide the actual number of fighters being used. Her Stormhawk cloaked the motley assortment of fighters and hopefully the Coalition would assume that the raid was much smaller than it actually was. While the majority of the fighters were from Larson’s Brigade and Vixen’s Pride, a large number had been gathered from other mercenary companies. The problem for her was that, as the source of jamming, she would be the primary target. She thought that they had figured out some tactics to deal with the enemy’s missiles but none of the tricks she had practiced had ever been tested under real combat conditions.


Movements of Coalition airborne units were being carefully monitored. While the fighters within the area of jamming were close to blind, there were several airborne surveillance platforms keeping an eye on Coalition movements. Those aircraft were sending a laser signal to the mercenary fighters so that the pilots informed of any changes. The mercenary companies who owned the fighters could not afford to risk the fighters or the pilots and no one planned this raid to be a high risk mission. The surveillance aircraft reported that the base had just scrambled its squadrons and that they were headed on an intercept course for the mercenary raid. The number of fighters fit within the number thought to be at the base and the mission could proceed as planned.


Time crawled for Nancy Bock. Her electronics warfare operator looked far calmed than she felt she did and it would have surprised her to find out that Sergeant Stilton thought the same way she did. In about one minute, the Stormhawk’s jamming would be dropped so the mercenary fighters could accurately target the Coalition interceptors. Of course, the Coalition fighters could target the mercenary companies fighters at the same time.


Time was up and Sergeant Stilton put the jamming pods into standby mode. The leader of the Coalition fighter group almost gasped is surprise when he saw how many aircraft opposed him. Nancy’s fighter had been targeting multiple times and eight missiles were headed for the Stormhawk. She pulled hard on the control stick to the point where she started to black out so that the towed decoy would be between her fighter and the incoming missiles. The decoy had a small jammer that any ‘Home on Jam’ missiles would hopefully target instead of her fighter. Just as she completed the turn, she fired off a chaff package for good measure. She hoped that the blank spot on the radar seekers would make the decoy like the more interesting target. At what seemed to be just a second later, seven of the missile’s proximity fuses activated and the decoy was blown into shreds. An eight missile continued only to have its seeker blinded by the cloud of chaff. Unable to lock onto any target, the missile detonated. The missile had been very close to the jamming fighter and the Stormhawk was badly shaken. It took Nancy a few moments to bring her aircraft back under control and she immediately turned her fighter to join the others.


In the first wave, over half of the Coalition fighters were destroyed by missiles. The exchange rate had been heavily in favor of the mercenary fighters and only a total of five of their aircraft had been destroyed. On both sides, many more fighters had been damage but none critically. Most of the medium and long range missiles had been fired and only short range and mini-missiles remained. Most of the fighters of both side carried either energy weapons or rail guns as well. As she came within close range, Lieutenant Bock targeted one of the Coalition fighters in her helmet’s displays and ripple fired mini-missiles at the other fighter. The Coalition fighter’s starboard wing ripped apart and the aircraft spun out of control. She saw that there were no other Coalition fighters flying. The mission now turned to destroying the airbase and retreating before the Coalition could send reinforcements.




Metalworks Incorporated is a company that has its main facilities west of the city of Tolkeen that constructs various ground vehicles, robots, and aircraft. Many of their designs are copies of other companies or nations. They are one of the main distributors for Triax in North American and produce several of that company’s designs under licence.


The EF-500 Stormhawk is an aircraft design just entering prototype stage at Metalworks Incorporated but has already been flown in combat. Not developed by the company, the jamming systems were purchased from the REEF in Florida under a special agreement that the systems would not be sold to any other parties without the specific permission of the REEF.


Metalworks is strongly considering building a sales version of the aircraft and looking into building a third prototype for such a version. Unlike the existing EF-500 jamming fighter, it will probably carry less powerful jamming equipment adapted from the Pre-Rifts ALQ-99E Jamming Suite. The system was originally carried on the Pre-Rifts EA-6B Prowler, EF-111 Raven, and EA-18G Growler aircraft.


The F-500 Tigerhawk was chosen as the basis for the jamming aircraft due to the ease of adapting the aircraft compared to some other airframes due to the Tigerhawk fighter carrying all of its ordnance externally. There were also concerns that the vertical take off and landing thrusters of the F-550 Lionhawk might cause issues with the inner wing hard points. Otherwise, the F-600 Sparrowhawk was too small and the A-100 Ironhawk was too slow for the intended role.


There has been some discussion of a more advanced jamming fighter design based on the F-310 Ghosthawk frame with the jamming system mounted in the bay but the design would require more alteration due to the need to put antennas through the fighter. As such, any such design will likely be a later development. It is believed that at least some preliminary sketches have been done however.


With regard to the export model, Metalworks has begun to put out feelers to see if any groups would be interested in purchasing the design. There have been a number of inquiries from some mercenary companies, some which operate old salvaged EF-18G Growlers that need replacement. In addition, there has been a persistent rumor that Free Quebec might be negotiating with both the REEF and Metalworks to produce a jamming version of the Yellow Jacket fighter. None of the groups involved will confirm however.


The basic F-500 Tigerhawk design is modified as little as possible with the EF-500 Stormhawk. In fact, the basic frame is virtually unaltered when compared to a standard F-500 Tigerhawk. A couple of changes that can be seen are that each of the wings has been extended by about three feet on either side to provide more lift and the cockpit and nose is extended by about four feet for the additional crew member.


At least the two prototype EF-500 Stormhawk jamming fighters are both based on nuclear fusion powered versions of the F-500 fighter. All suggestions are that the company has no plans to produce a fuel cell version of the Stormhawk. The assumption appears to be that customers willing to purchase the jamming fighter would be willing to pay the extra cost for the nuclear power air frame.


In most cases, the fighter’s hard points will carry two jamming pods on each wing for four total. In addition, the aircraft usually carries a sensor pod in the centerline. The sensor pod’s systems includes a forward infra-red sensor and a high powered forward camera. There is some consideration being given towards the sensor pod being made available for the standard F-500 Tigerhawk as well. Some minor modifications to the fighter would be required however.


While fewer jamming pods can be carried, it is expected that both the inner and middle wing hard points will usually fitted with the jamming pods for maximum output. Slightly further out on each wing are two towed decoy dispensers. These dispensers are part of the wing structure and have very little drag compared to a pod mounted on a hard point.


If the jamming aircraft is being operated in its intended role, the only hard points that normally carry ordnance are the outer wing mounts. There are the fighter’s weakest hard points and are limited on the ordnance that they can actually carry. They are limited to medium range missiles, short range missiles, and mini-missile pods with regard to ordnance. Additional towed decoy pods can also be carried on the wingtip hard points. The other hard points do have the ability to carry a greater payload.


It was decided to retain the forward firing laser cannons from the F-500 Tigerhawk for use in dogfighting. In addition, the two prototype fighters mount the optional conventional radar developed for the Tigerhawk. There has been some consideration to developing an actively scanned array radar in order to be able to operate through the fighter’s own jamming as well as being able to jam other systems.


Designation: EF-500A Stormhawk.

Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Jamming Fighter.

Crew: Two (Pilot and Sensor / Jamming Operator).


M.D.C. by Location:

 

[1] Forward Mounted Laser Cannons (2):

50 each.

 

[2] Wings (2):

150 each.

 

[3] Elevators (2):

80 each.

 

[3] Rudder:

85 each.

 

[4] Sensor & Jamming Pods (5 maximum):

60 each.

 

Cockpit:

120.

 

[5] Engines (2):

180 each.

 

[6] Main Body:

320.

 

Landing Gear (3):

40 each.


Notes:

[1] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot.” Even then the attacker is at -4 to strike.

[2] Destroying a wing will cause the aircraft to crash if in flight.

[3] Destruction of the fighter’s rudder or one elevator will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines and vectoring thrusters 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.

[4] The loss of a jamming pod will cause the jamming effect to be reduced by 10 nautical mile (11.5 miles / 18.5 kilometers), 20% to radar system range. As well, the loss of a jamming pods will cause the loss of one to penalties against radar guided missiles for advanced jamming system.

The loss of a jamming pod will cause the jamming effect to be reduced by 5 nautical miles (5.8 miles / 9.3 km), 10% to radar system range. As well, the loss of a jamming pods will cause the loss of one to penalties against radar guided missiles for export version of the jamming system.

If all jamming pods are destroyed, all radar jamming effects will be eliminated. The loss of the Sensor Pod will eliminate all special sensors on the aircraft. The ESM system is not considered a special system and will be retained along with all systems carried on a normal robot vehicle.

[5] The destruction of one engine will reduce the fighters 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 if in flight. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject.

[6] 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.


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 on the runway / air field and not on take off or landing. Because of the vectoring of the thrusters, the fighter can take off in a short distance.

Flying: The Stormhawk can reach a top speed of Mach 1.75 (1,332.3 mph /2,143.9 kph) on full output. Top speed is reduced by about 10% when fully loaded. The fighter’s normal cruise is about 600 mph (965.6 kph) but varies on the situation. Stall speed of the fighter is approximately 100 mph (160.9 kph). The fighter has a maximum altitude of 55,000 feet (16,764 meters).

Range: Effectively Unlimited. Thrusters overheat after twenty hours of use below 250 mph (402.3 kph), 10 hours of use from 250 mph (402.3 kph) to 650 mph (1,046.1 kph), and 4 hours of use over 650 mph (1,046.1 kph).


Statistical Data:

Length:         54.5 feet (16.6 meters).

Wingspan:    34.5 feet (10.5 meters).

Height:         14 feet (4.3 meters).

Weight:        10,862.5 pounds (4,927.1 kg) empty, 15,300 pounds (6,940 kg) light combat load, and 27,514.8 pounds (12,480.5 kg) maximum takeoff load.

Power Source: Nuclear with 5 year fusion reactor.

Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment) in cockpit, does not include hard points.

Black Market Cost: When sold, Metalworks Incorporated plans to sell the export version of aircraft for 20.5 million credits carrying four jamming pods and the centerline sensor pod. If allowed to sell one of the advanced models, it would likely sell for 28.5 million credits. If one of these aircraft was to become available on the black market, it would probably sell from two to four times normal market cost.


Weapon Systems:

  1. Two (2) Laser Cannons: Laser cannons are mounted on either side of the cockpit in the front of the fighter. The fighter’s laser cannons are from the barrels and inner working of the JA-12 Assault Rifle. The laser cannons pull power directly from the fusion reactor of the fighter.

    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).

    Mega Damage: 4D6 for one cannon, 8D6 for both cannons, 1D6x10+10 for three blast burst from one cannon, 2D6x10+20 for three blast burst from both barrels (6 total blasts).

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited (Draws Power off the main engines)

  2. Seven (7) Hard Points (2 “Wingtip” Usually Available): Generally only the two wingtip hard points will be available to carry ordinance with the four under wing hard points and centerline hard points carrying sensor and jamming pod. Below is a list of hard points and the loads that they can carry. Missiles, rocket packs, and bombs can be mixed or matched but all ordnance on a hard point must be the same type.

    Central Hard Point: Sensor pod or missiles/bombs (one long range missile / heavy bomb, two medium range missile / medium bomb, or four short range missile / light bomb each ) - Usually carries a sensor pod.

    Inner Wing Hard Points (2): Jamming / ECM pod, towed decoy pod, rocket packs (mini-missiles), rail gun pods, or missiles/bombs (one long range missile /heavy bomb, two medium range / medium bombs, or four short range missile / light bombs each) - Usually carries jamming / ECM pod.

    Middle Wing Hard Points (2): Jamming / ECM pod, towed decoy pod, rocket packs (mini-missiles), rail gun pods, or missiles/bombs (one long range missile / heavy bombs, two medium range missiles / medium bombs, or four short range missiles / light bombs each) - Usually carries jamming / ECM pod.

    Wing Tip Hard Points (2): Towed decoy pod, rocket packs (mini-missiles) or missiles (one medium range missile or two short range missiles each) - Usually carries jamming / ECM pod.

    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 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.

      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 mini-missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16 - all) mini-missile 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. Rail Gun Pods: Copies of the Northern Gun NG-202 enclosed in a streamlined pod that is designed to be mounted on the hard points of the aircraft. It is modified to fire a longer burst than is standard for the NG-202 in a similar manner to the rail gun carried on the Samson power armor. Main advantage over internal lasers is that the weapon is effective against targets that are impervious to energy.

      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).

      Mega Damage: 1D6x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds with a single rail gun firing - only designed to fire bursts (Multiple rail guns can be combined for greater damage.)

      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).

      Payload: 3,000 rounds each gun, That is 50 bursts for each rail gun.

    4. Airborne Integrated Jamming System: Usually four are carried, leaving only two remaining missile hard points. System jams all radars, radios, and all equipment that uses RF waves. This also includes jamming all friendly forces and all equipment in aircraft that is mounting the system and operating it. Laser communications and light-based sensors are unaffected by the jamming pods. Some missile will home on jamming and will go after aircraft carrying them. In addition, active electronically scanned array radar systems can often find unjammed frequencies against the export version although less likely against the advanced version. If the pods are damaged, system range will be reduced.

      Advanced Version: One pod has a effective radius of 40 nautical miles (46.1 miles / 74.1 kilometers) with each additional pod increasing range by 10 nautical mile (11.5 miles / 18.5 kilometers) radius per additional jamming pod (Usually jamming field with four pods is 70 nautical miles / 80.6 miles / 129.7 kilometers.) Reduces range by 35% for one pod and 20% for each additional pod to a maximum of 95% when within jamming area (for four pods.) In addition, radar systems will have a -25% penalty to detect all targets within their reduced range. Jamming also creates a penalty of -4 for one pod and -1 for each additional pod for a maximum penalty of -7 to all radar guided weapons within the jamming area (for four pods.).

      Export Version: One pod has a effective radius of 20 nautical miles (23.0 miles / 37.1 kilometers) with each additional pod increasing range by 5 nautical mile (5.8 miles / 9.3 kilometers) radius per additional jamming pod (Usually jamming field with four pods is 35 nautical miles / 40.3 miles / 64.9 kilometers.) Reduces range by 35% for one pod and 10% for each additional pod to a maximum of 65% when within jamming area (for four pods.) In addition, radar systems will have a -25% penalty to detect all targets within their reduced range. Jamming also creates a penalty of -4 for one pod and -1 for each additional pod for a maximum penalty of -7 to all radar guided weapons within the jamming area (for four pods.)

    5. Advanced Sensor Pod: Carried on the central hard point. Sensor pod includes a long range camera system, a light amplification system, and a more advanced radar detection system.

      V. A. S.: Visual magnification that multiplies all images by about 300 times which allows for visual identification and tracking of fighter sized objects out to 30 to 40 miles (48.3 km to 64.4 km). System has low light amplifications to allow for the systems use during night time conditions. System is mounted in central sensor pod

      FLIR: Forward Looking Infrared. Allows the pilot and weapons officer to get visuals on targets at night. System is mounted in central sensor pod.

      E.S.M.: Radar Detector. Passively detects other radars being operated. While quite effective against conventional radar systems, it is less effective against actively scanned array radar systems which are frequency agile. Most sophisticated that the standard system and has +10% to read sensory instrument rolls.

    6. 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 in each. 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 be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies 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: Only one decoy can be deployed at a time and requires one melee (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 decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies missiles due to technological difference and not as effective against smart missile. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)

    Effects:

    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).

  4. Four (4) Advanced Towed Decoys: These are mounted in dispensers near the middle the fighter’s wings with two decoys in the dispenser on either wing. 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 be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies 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: Only one decoy can be deployed at a time and requires one melee (15 seconds) to deploy (reel out) another decoy.

    Payload: Four (4) decoys (2 each wing pod).

Special Equipment:

The fighter has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed:

Combat Bonuses:



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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2001, 2011, & 2017, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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