Northern Gun DF-2000 Rapier Light Fighter:

The executives at Northern Gun have seen several other manufacturing companies design fighters and sell large numbers and wanted to get involved in the construction of aircraft. They charged their engineers with construction a fighter design that can be manufactured relatively inexpensively yet is capable of combat with most of the fighters in existence. After long research, the prototype for the DF-2000 Rapier came out of the research hanger. The Fighter was originally called the Dagger but when Northern Gun discovered that the Coalition also had an aircraft called the Dagger, Northern Gun renamed their aircraft. As quickly as possible, the executives placed the aircraft in production and the company has been selling large numbers of the fighters to independent nations and mercenary companies. Larson's Brigade has purchased a number of these fighters to replace their Grey Falcons due to a lack of repair parts. Free Quebec has ordered several hundred of the aircraft to strength their own defenses against their former Coalition allies. The leaders of the Mantistique Imperium realized that the Coalition might eventually target them for conquest so they have plans to acquire a small number of them from Northern Gun for their own forces.

The DF-2000 Rapier is a single engine delta wing aircraft with forward canards and two canards under the main fuselage of the aircraft. The aircraft has a tall rear tail fin. The aircraft is similar in appearance to the Pre-Rifts F-16XL Super Scamp, Eurofighter 2000, Saab Gripen, and French Rafale. Under the belly of the aircraft are small thrusters that allow the aircraft to take off and land vertically and to increase maneuverability. The main engines rear exhaust are vectored to further increase the fighter’s maneuverability. The engines themselves are exact copies of the engines originally used on the Grey Falcon fighter that was manufactured by Iron Heart Industries until the manufacturing plants were captured by the Coalition. Even though the fighter is smaller than a Grey Falcon, the Rapier has heavier armor which makes the fighter about the same mass as the Grey Falcon.

The aircraft's avionics are decent but are austere when compared to many other aircrafts. In most ways, they are identical to a robot vehicle but have a longer range radar system than robot vehicles and terrain following radar. For a moderate extra cost, an internal active radar jamming system can be added as well. The aircraft is fly by wire and when added to the small thrusters and the vectored rear exhaust, the fighter has incredible maneuverability. Like most Rifts aircraft, the Rapier is powered by a powerful yet compact fusion reactor.

The fighter is armed with the well tried NG-202B rail gun which is used on their Samson power armor. Like the rail gun on the Samson, it is set for a greater rate of fire so the rail gun does greater damage. The rail gun is mounted in the nose of the fighter. On the outer wing are mini-missile launchers with 24 mini missiles on each wing. The aircraft carries the remainder of its ordnance in inset hard points to reduce the air resistance while in flight. Originally it was planned that the aircraft would carry missiles in fixed launchers but after seeing the effectiveness of other designer's conventional hard points, it was decided to switch to more conventional hard points. While this decreased the fighter’s possible payload, it increased the aircraft's flexibility. In terms of payload, the aircraft's payload is slightly less than the Grey Falcon but the aircraft, along with mostly non-fixed ordnance, has a better main gun, is better armored, and is more maneuverable.

Designation: NG DF-2000 Rapier
Vehicle Type: Single Engine Fighter and Attack Craft
Crew: One

M.D.C. by Location:

Forward Mounted Rail Gun:50
Wing Mini Missile Launchers (2):60 each
[1] Wings (2):150 each
[2] Rudder:80 each
[3] Engine:150 each
[4] Main Body:280
Landing Gear (3):40 each

[1] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash
[2] 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.
[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. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject.
[4] 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.

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: The Rapier can hover and go up to a maximum speed of Mach 2.4 (1,779.5 mph /2,863.8 kph) on full output. The fighter’s normal cruise speed is about 600 mph (965.6 kph) but varies on the situation. The fighter has a maximum altitude of 40,000 feet (12,192 meters). Because the aircraft ordnance is carried in recessed hard points, performance reduction is less then might be expected. With a full load of external ordnance, Maximum speed is reduced to Mach 2.0 (1,482.9 mph /2,386.5 kph) on full output
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited. Thrusters overheat after 10 hours of use from 200 mph (321.9 kph) to 600 mph (965.6 kph), and 4 hours of use over 600 mph (965.6 kph).

Statistical Data:
Length: 51 feet (15.5 meters)
Wingspan: 35 feet 6 inches (10.8 meters)
Height: 22 feet (6.7 meters)
Weight: 14 tons (12.7 metric tons) empty and 18 tons (16.3 metric tons) fully loaded.
Power Source: Nuclear, 10 year fusion reactor.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include hard points.
Black Market Cost: 18.6 million credits. Special internal Active Radar Jamming system costs 500,000 credits additional to the cost of the aircraft

Weapon Systems:

  1. NG-202B Rail Gun (1): Mounted in the nose of the fighter, this rail gun is the same design as is carried on the Samson power and has a greater rate of fire than the Machine-Gun version of the NG-202. The Rail gun is quite powerful and Northern Gun is also experimenting with using depleted Uranium rounds.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
    Mega Damage: Normal Ammo; 1D6x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds (Does not fire single shot). Depleted Uranium Ammo; Ammo; 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds (Does not fire single shot).
    Rate of Fire: Equal to pilots hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).
    Payload: 6,000 rounds (100 Bursts) total
  2. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): Large capacity mini-missile pods are permanently mounted on the outside edge of each wing. The launchers are normally used for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missiles 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 launcher can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), sixteen (16), or twenty-four (24) missiles and both launchers can be linked with the other mini missile launcher for up to forty-eight (48) missiles as one volley (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley).
    Payload: Each launcher carries twenty-four (24) mini-missiles for a total of forty-eight (48) mini-missiles.
  3. External Hard Points (8): The DF-2000 has a total of eight hard points with two hard points under each wing and four hard points on the fuselage of the aircraft. Each hard point may carry one long range missile or heavy bomb, two medium range missiles or medium bombs, or four short range missiles or light bombs. The hard points cannot carry mini missile pods or any other systems. Each hard points must carry the same type of missile but different hard points may carry different ordnance types but ordnance is normally carried in symmetrical pairs. Both unguided and guided bombs can be carried by the aircraft.
    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 - one long range missile or heavy bomb, two medium range missile or medium bombs, or four short range missiles or light bombs (see above - all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance)

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 © 1998 & 2001, Kitsune. All rights reserved.