Metalworks Incorporated F-310 Ghosthawk Stealth Fighter:


Metalworks Incorporated is a company that is located 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 have permission from the company Triax to produce under licence several of that company’s designs and sell them in North America.


As far as the Ghosthawk, it is a brand new fighter design from Metalworks Incorporated which combines stealth, maneuverability, and heavy firepower. The aircraft is among the most advanced aircraft designs that the company has produced. A number of experts have theorized that the REEF in Florida had a hand in helping to develop the advanced fighter. So far, the aircraft is in the prototype and testing phase with production planning to start soon.


Due to the sensitive technology involved in the design, it appears as if the fighter will only br made available to a limited number of customers. Two of these customers are likely to be the mercenary companies of Vixen’s Pride and Larson’s Brigade. There have been some suggestions that the aircraft may be offered to Free Quebec but many consider this unlikely.


Compared to most fighters, the Ghosthawk looks unusual with the wings of the fighter actually being forward swept. These forward swept wings give the fighter incredible agility but the same feature created issues with the fighter’s performance at supersonic speeds. In fact, this created issues during development and is believe to have required several years between initial concept and prototype stage as a result. Part of the solution involved two retractable forward canards just behind the cockpit to increase the fighter stability and maneuverability.


The flight controls of the fighter are and advanced fly by wire with the fighter actually having four independent flight systems just in case one of the flight systems goes down. One issue has been that when the Ghosthawk is damaged, the fighter is even harder to fly than most fighters when they are damaged.


There have been a number of aircraft with forward swept wings in the past including the Russian Su-47 and United States X-29. A more contemporary fighter is the Triax / NGR XM-280 fighter, considered the premier fighter in the New German Republic arsenal.


The fighter skin is constructed out of advanced composite materials which are both radar absorbing and able to withstand incredible damage. These composites are copied from captured materials from the Coalition Talon fighter, which are in turn believed to be derived from Pre-Rifts materials used by the old American Empire. The company is believed to have required assistance in the developing an advanced design reducing the radar cross signature.


With concerns over the loss of an engine in a single engine design, it was decided to develop the Ghosthawk as a twin engine design. The intakes of the engines are above the fighter to reduce the problems with foreign debris getting into an engine. With far more powerful engines than those mounted in the earlier F-500 Tigerhawk, the Ghosthawk is capable of speeds just over Mach 3 with no external ordnance. Part of the reason for such a high speed is so that it might be able to act as an escort for the FB-144 Thunderhawk fighter-bomber. An advanced cooling system means that the new fighter’s engines will not overheat even in the most stringent conditions.


In order to further enhance the maneuverability of the fighter, the twin engines are of a vectored thrust design. The Ghosthawk also mounts four vertical thruster nozzles to enable it to take off and land vertically. It can even hover for extended periods of time. The flight system is a modified version of system first mounted on the F-550 Lionhawk and is considered both simple and robust.


Unlike many previous fighter designs built by Metalworks Incorporated, the F-310 Ghosthawk is only available in fusion powered version. The fusion reactor is also of a more advanced design than is mounted on many of the earlier designs. While this makes the new fighter design more expensive, the reactor give virtually unlimited endurance.


Compared to the FB-144 Thunderhawk fighter-bomber, the F-310 Ghosthawk is far smaller. It is however larger than either the F-500 Tigerhawk or F-550 Lionhawk. Compared to aircraft manufactured by other organizations, it is a bit smaller than the F-40 Sabertooth fighter design produced by the REEF in Florida.


The original concept for the Ghosthawk as was fighter primarily designed for intercept missions. As the design further developed, the fighter design was updated to allow for attack roles as well. Special controls which are able to be reconfigured were part of the modification in order to act in both the long range interceptor and attack roles. In addition, the radar needed to be modified for ground attack roles. Unlike many of the company’s previous fighters, the radar system is an actively scanned array radar which is frequency agile, making it both harder to detect and to jam. It can also be used to jam other radar systems in some cases.


In order for the fighter to carry ordnance without reducing the fighter’s stealth, the F-310 Ghosthawk has a central ordnance bay mounted in the fuselage of the fighter. The bay is able to carry up to four long range missiles in the bay or a variety of smaller missiles. While it greatly reduces the stealth of the fighter, there are four hard points on the wings which can carry additional ordnance. Each wing can carry two long range missiles or a variety of smaller ordnance. Mini-missile pods and towed decoys can also be carried.


For close range dogfighting, the fighter carries two forward firing gun mounts in the nose of the fighter. Unlike most of the earlier fighter designs, the forward mounts may be fitted to carry either two laser cannons or two rail guns. In theory, one rail gun and one laser cannon could be mounted but tests have indicated that there are fire control problems with the two guns being linked.


Designation: XF-310 Ghosthawk.

Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Stealth Interceptor.

Crew: One.


M.D.C. by Location:

 

[1] Forward Mounted Rail Guns/Laser cannons (2):

50 each.

 

Large Belly Ordnance Bay:

200 each.

 

[2] Forward Canard Wings (2):

40 each.

 

[3] Wings (2):

160 each.

 

[4] Rudders (2):

80 each.

 

Cockpit:

120.

 

[5] Engines (2):

200 each.

 

[6] Lift Nozzles (4):

60 each.

 

[7] Main Body:

380.

 

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 one or both canard wings will result in reducing bonuses to strike, dodge, and initiative by 4 and giving a -20% penalty to piloting the aircraft.

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

[4] Destruction of rudders 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.

[5] 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 -15% 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] Destruction of a single lift nozzle will prevent the aircraft from hovering. Destruction of a pair of lift nozzles will prevent the aircraft from making short take off and landings. 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.

[7] 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. Damage to the main body will also reduce the aircraft’s stealth. For every 10% of damage to the main body, reduce the aircraft’s stealth by 10% of its total.


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. The aircraft can make both short take off and landings as well as true vertical take off and landings.

Flying: Can hover and go up to a maximum speed of Mach 3.1 (2,360.0 mph/3,797.7 kph). Its cruise speed is up to Mach 1.0 (761.379.4 mph / 1,225.1 kph) and has a maximum altitude is about 20 miles (105,600 feet/ 32190 meters). When the fighter is carrying missiles on its external hard points, the fighter has an effective top speed of Mach 2.6 (1,927.8 mph / 3,185.2 kph).

Range: Effectively Unlimited. Unlike most Coalition and other governments fighters, the Metalworks fighter does not overheat and can run indefinitely.


Statistical Data:

Length:         56 feet 6 inches (17.2 meters).

Wingspan:    53 feet 3 inches (16.2 meters).

Height:         15 feet (4.6 meters).

Weight:        10.5 tons (9.5 metric tons) empty, 14.2 tons (12.9 metric tons) standard combat load, and 18.5 tons (16.8 metric tons) maximum takeoff load.

Power System: Nuclear, Should have an average lifespan of 20 years.

Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include ordnance bays. Ordnance bay, of emptied of ordnance can carry up to 6,000 lbs (2,725 kg) of cargo.

Black Market Cost: When sold, Metalworks Incorporated plans to sell the aircraft for 55 million credits. If one of these aircraft was to become available on the black market, it would probably sell for twice to four times that cost.

Mini-Missile launchers cost 200,000 credits each.


Weapon Systems:

  1. Two (2) Gun Pod Mounts: Instead of having fixed dogfighting and strafing weapons, the fighter has two special mounts in the nose of the fighter that can use either a laser cannon or a rail gun. Due to issues with the fire control system, it is not recommended that one mount carry a laser cannon and the other carry the rail gun. Laser cannons have the advantage of not needing ammunition and pilots can remain in combat longer. Rail guns have the advantage of being useful against targets that are impervious to energy.

    1. Two (2) Laser Cannons: Normally both are fired together in six shot bursts but shorter bursts or a single laser may be fired. 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 aircraft.

      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. Two (2) NG-202 Rail Guns: The pilot has two copies of the Northern Gun NG-202 as forward firing guns. They are 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. The aircrafts used by Metalworks Incorporated uses a special APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot) ammunition which increases the effectiveness of the rail gun further.

      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1200 meters).

      Mega Damage: Normal Ammo; 1D6x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds (Does not fire single shot) for one rail gun or 2D6x10 M.D.C. for both cannons. APFSDS Ammo; 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds (Does not fire single shot) for one rail gun or 4D4x10 M.D.C. for both cannons.

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

      Payload: 3000 rounds each gun, That is 50 bursts for each rail gun.

  2. One (1) Ordnance Bay: The fighter has a large bay in the main body that carry a wide variety of different ordnance types. Ordnance types include missiles 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. Both guided and unguided ordnance may 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: Ordnance is dropped or fired one at a time or in volleys of two (2) to four (4) 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 missiles or light bombs, eight (8) medium range missiles or medium bombs, or four (4) long range missile or heavy bomb. Ordnance can be mixed and torpedoes and depth charges may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.

  3. Four (4) Wing Hard Points: The Ghosthawk has four hard points for ordnance and equipment. The hard points can be used to carry missiles, bombs, and rocket packs as needed by the mission. Missiles, rocket packs, and bombs can be mixed or matched but all ordnance on a hard point must be the same type. Carrying ordnance on the aircrafts external hard points negates the aircraft’s stealth from the bottom, sides, front, and back of the aircraft. The aircraft will retain normal stealth from the top when carrying wing mounted ordnance. Reduce Stealth by 10% for every hard point carrying ordnance.

    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: One (1) long range missile or heavy bomb, two (2) medium range missile or medium bombs, or four (4) short range missiles or light bombs (see above - all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance) per 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.

      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. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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: These bonuses are in addition to those from the piloting skill.



[ Altarain TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kydian TM, Larsen’s Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk’s Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

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Image drawn and copyrighted by Curtis Marquart (outrider1@home.com) .

Artist has no home Page at present.


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 1999, 2001, & 2017, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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