Valkyrie Industries FB-A-24 Thundershrike Fighter-Bomber:
The FB-A-24 (Fighter Bomber-Aerospace - 24 [Design Twenty Four]) Thundershrike, Fighter Bomber: Aerospace, was the standard front line combat aircraft of Kalyaran's Universal Technocracy during it's later years, and was used in direct support of ground forces, escort of long range bombers, interception of enemy bombers, and space combat.
The FB-A-24 was also the first fighter-sized space capable craft to employ a magnetic hydrogen catcher, or "Bussard Ramscoop". the FB-A-24 was incredibly maneuverable for it's size (Slightly larger than an FB-111 Aardvark), and using the latest shielding systems, was highly durable as well.
Likewise, it was armed to the teeth for it's size, and considering the weapons payload, the reaction mass it can carry for space flight is simply incredible; Miniaturization is used extensively in all components of the craft, and it is an exceptionally advanced fighter. The only downside to it is the lack of gravitational technology.
In a way, the FB-A-24 is the perfect aircraft to compete with Naruni Enterprises' Crescent Moon Delta-Wing Space plane. It is interesting to note the primary differences; The maximum speed of the Thundershrike is mach 5,the Crescent Moon mach 5.5. The Crescent Moon is partially stealthy (-25% to ANY sensory rolls to detect it.), while the Thundershrike is not. The Thundershrike has a considerable advantage in weapons payload and firepower, but has a weaker physical structure than the Crescent Moon (500 main body against the CM's 600.). The Thundershrike also has comparatively powerful shielding while the Crescent Moon does not, however, most Naruni products can carry at least a light standard shield, bringing them closer in this respect. Finally, of course, the Naruni Crescent Moon has gravitic drive, something which the Thundershrike lacks.. A lack Kalyaran is not particularly pleased with. The Crescent Moon is cheaper, but only because of Naruni Enterprises' streamlined manufacturing process and larger product base; It sells for 50 million credits, while the Thundershrike (Basic model) sells for 60 million credits.
Kalyaran knows that Naruni Enterprises would have likely been all over her in an instant had she started marketing a fighter that was capable of competing with, and, fully outfitted, quite possibly better than the Crescent Moon, which is why the Crescent Moon has only recently become available; With the beginning of Emperor Prosek's Campaign of Unity, Naruni Enterprises has completely abandoned the North American market, assuring Valkyrie Industries virtual total supremacy there in the market for highly advanced, comparatively expensive military products.
To placate possible Coalition reactions to the selling of her weaponry, or at least, more properly, slow them down, she came up with something which could be called a bit of marketing genius.. Valkyrie Industries advertises it's productions as "Made on Terra by Terrans." Of course, Terra being the Latin word for Earth, anybody, human, D-Bee, monstrous D-Bee, Alien, ect, who resides on Earth, even if their species did not originate there, is aTerran. However, for human supremacists who never see Valkyrie Industries' factories, it can easily be interpreted otherwise. In the areas of the Coalition's Sphere of Influence, Kalyaran is planning on cultivating the image of a human company that will sell to anyone, the bottom line being the motivating factor over pro/anti-coalition sentiments.
Likewise, marketing agents have orders not to sell directly to either the Coalition OR Free Quebec; As long as the two are separated and in a cold war or even actual combat, it will look like an attempt to avoid taking sides ina human conflict instead of intentionally refusing to sell to Human Supremacists. Finally, out of her own personal beliefs, Kalyaran has dictated that no products are to be sold to Tolkeen.
However, it's possible for any of the three combatants, the CS, the Québécois, or Tolkeen, to still acquire Valkyrie Industries' products; As is relatively common, persons looking to make a quick buck could purchase products from Valkyrie Industries and resale them to any of the combatants for a slightly higher rate.
Kalyaran understands this, and is not terribly concerned. Only the actual LRB-70 Valkyrie is the craft that she rather jealously guards in terms of sales. However, one of her goals in selling the Thundershrike is to get a hold of another piece of technology for her to reverse engineer. This is the Naruni Enterprises' Contra-Gravity generator used on the Crescent Moon Space plane. To this effect, Kalyaran is offering the Thundershrike for only ten million (Normal cost of 60 million credits.). This is an incredible deal for most persons who already use the Crescent Moon, as it offers them a comparable craft with can actually be maintained, while the parts for Naruni Enterprises' vehicles are becoming very scarce.
Kalyaran plans to capitalize on the fact that the Crescent Wing does not have self-destruction devices for tampering with the Contra-Gravity generators (Something that Naruni Enterprises considered unnecessary.) by purchasing as many of the Crescent Wings as she can as trade-ins and reverse engineering the technology from them. With several being used for spare parts, they can also provide valuable additional defense for her facilities.
Altogether, the power of the Thundershrike, and it's position in Kalyaran's plans, cannot be stressed enough; The fighter is an excellent combatant despite it's large size, and is incredibly maneuverable for such a size of fighter-bomber.
In the old Universal Technocracy's Army forces, an integrated company included four FB-A-24s, sixteen Gauntlet AR-17 Assault Robots, sixty four troops in advanced body armor, and two "Carryall" heavy APCs. During these close-support missions, in which the FB-A-24 was intended to clear out any aerial opposition over the company it was assigned to, the standard weapons load out was sixteen LRMs, usually the Universal Technocracy's equivalent of the Fusion Anti-Ship missile, with smart-missile programming. With these weapons, the FB-A-24 could exercise a "One shot one kill" capability over virtually any opposition. Of course, large-scale manufacturing for such expensive and rare missiles does not exist in North America except in the Coalition States and Free Quebec, but even using standard fragmentation missiles, the FB-A-24 has the payload to be a dominating factor in the skies over any battlefield.
Currently, there are 22 FB-A-24s in existence on Rifts Earth; Two prototype test models, two "display" models, sixteen of them organized into an interceptor squadron for defense of Valkyrie Industries, and two spares for that squadron. The production lines for the Thundershrike are ready to begin building them to orders, as soon as said orders are received.
Model Type: FB-A-24 Thundershrike.
Vehicle Type: Aerospace Fighter-Bomber.
M.D.C. By Location:
| Engines (2):||200 each|
| Swing-Wings (2):||300 each|
| V-Tail sections (2):||150 each|
|Landing Struts (3):||20 each|
| Main Body:||500|
|Reinforced Pilot’s Cockpit:||200|
| Variable Force Field:||80 per side (480 total)|
 Loss of one of the fighter’s engines will reduce performance of fighter by one third and loss of both engines will prevent fighter from performing beyond 5% of normal. (Thrusters normal; Magnetic maneuvering/propulsion optional.)
 The fighter cannot crash even if a wing is shot off, and can still function with one gone at 55% maneuvering, and with two gone at 35% maneuvering; With one V-tail assembly gone, -10%, with two gone, -20%. With thrusters only, the craft can function for two hours before they overheat, but with all piloting roles at -80% for that period. The wings swing as appropriate for speed, re-entry or atmospheric exit, or space maneuvering. Fully forward for space maneuvering, fully swept for re-entry or orbital attainment, and varying depending on atmospheric speed.
 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. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck. In an atmosphere, the fighter will crash.
 The force field will stop energy attacks and fast moving objects. Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (24 M.D.C.) per melee. The shields are an optional feature on the craft. Tampering with the shield generator by personnel not authorized by Valkyrie industries will result in it's meltdown, though only minor craft damage. Shields will protect against high-speed objects, but an object traveling below 50 mph (80 kph) can "Slip under" the shields without activating them.
Space: The fighter does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. Fighter can reach a top acceleration of 12.0 Gs. The fighter will often travel at an acceleration of 1 to 2 Gs for extended periods for patrol. The versions fitted with shields allow a maximum speed of up to 40% of the speed of light without putting the craft in danger from collisions with sub-atomic particles, radiation, ect; Without shields, 20%. Humans normally black out in the 8 Gs - 10 Gs range, however, a fair number of humanoid races, and also partial conversion or full conversion cyborgs capable of fitting inside the cockpit, can handle the full 12 G maximum acceleration.
Jet Mode, atmosphere: Mach 5 (3707.3 mph / 5966.3 kph) is the standard atmospheric limit for thruster equipped models; allowing it to break into space under its own power. The fighter’s engines do not overheat.
V/STOL Capabilities: The Thundershrike is capable of taking off an landing, fully loaded, by using Thrusters. It is capable of operating at any speed and hovering on thrusters as well; However, the Thrusters will overheat if more than 2 hours is spent at less than 50 mph; An equal time for cooling must be spent with thrusters dis-engaged (-10% for piloting rolls when using maneuvering surfaces only without thruster assistance.)
Maximum Effective Range: Unlimited in an atmosphere, Conditional in space: The fighter carries 8 days of reaction mass for travel at 2 Gs of acceleration. Double the consumption of fuel for 4 Gs of acceleration and double the consumption for every 1.0 G of acceleration beyond 4 Gs. The fighter will often accelerate for a period of time and then shut down the engine and travel using the fighter’s velocity. With the Bussard Ramscoops activated, increase the length of time the fighter is capable of spending at it's current acceleration x80 and double the amount of fuel required to sustain that acceleration (That's the physical reality of the matter; For game play purposes, increase the time by x40.). Range is also limited by life support and consumables, the fighter carries about two weeks worth onboard.
Length: 80.8 feet (24,6 meters).
Height: 21 feet (6.4 meters).
Width/Wingspan: 76.4 feet (23.3 meters) with wings extended and 35 feet (10.7 meters) with wings fully swept back.
Weight: 22 tons (20 metric tons) unloaded.
Power System: Fusion reactor; Effectively unlimited. Needs refueling every twenty five years.
Cargo: Small Storage Space, 6 ft x 4 ft x 2 ft. Used for emergency equipment and weapons.
Market Cost: 60 million credits standard, 10 million extra for optional Shields, 10 million additional extra for optional Bussard ramscoop system (Not normally offered on Rifts Earth; There's virtually no need for it.)
- Twin forward particle beam cannons: These long range heavy
assault particle beam cannons are mounted under the nose of the aircraft
and are usually fire-linked for pummeling strikes, especially against enemy
spacecraft; However, they are relatively slow-firing.
Maximum Effective Range: 800 miles (1,290 km) in space and 8 miles (12.3 km) in an atmosphere.
Mega Damage: 2D6x10 per cannon, 4D6x10 for two cannons.
Rate of Fire: Three shots per melee round per cannon.
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
- Six-barreled Gatling Plasma Cannon: This short-range aft-firing
weapon spits out numerous plasma pulses; mounted in an aft turret, it covers
the craft from stern attack, and can inflict incredible damage by the sheer
rate of fire.
Maximum Effective Range: 80 miles (129 km) in space and 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere.
Mega Damage: 6D8 MD per 36 pulse burst.
Rate of Fire: Maximum of Five thirty six pulse bursts per melee round.
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
Notes: +2 bonus for targeting missiles only.
- Multi-purpose missile bay: The aircraft has a mid-sized bay
in the main body that carry a wide variety of different ordnance types.
Ordnance types can include missiles, torpedoes, naval mines, and bombs.
Missile and bombs 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 can vary between a maximum of four cruise missiles or X-Heavy
bombs, eight long range missiles or eight heavy bombs, sixteen medium range
missiles or sixteen Medium bombs, or thirty two short range missiles, or
thirty two small (light) bombs. Ordnance may be carried at the rate of
four short range missile, four light bombs, two medium range missile, 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
Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude 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, five, ten, or twenty but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley.)
Payload: 32 short range missile or light bombs, 16 medium range missiles or medium bombs, 8 long range missiles or heavy bombs, or 4 cruise missiles or extra heavy bombs. Ordnance can be mixed and naval mines may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.
- Wing Hardpoints (8): The Thundershrike has eight hard points
for external ordnance and equipment with four on each wing. 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. They can
also carry one standard mini-missile pod with 9 mini-missiles per hard
Special Notes: Because of the heat of atmospheric re-entry and the speeds required for attaining orbital velocity, these hard-points cannot be loaded in the atmosphere with the craft entering space (As they would be ripped off at speeds above Mach 5), nor, because extreme heat (Unless the weapons have been specifically designed to survive re-entry unprotected), can they be loaded in space and re-enter the atmosphere. However, they can be loaded and used in either the atmosphere or space.
- 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)
- Mini-Missile Pod: A standard capacity mini-missile pod with
nine mini-missiles in a square launcher, streamlined with a pyramid-shape
forward, the holes for the missile mounts inside it. The Pod can be jettisoned
when empty or returned for reloading with 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 missiles one at a time or in volleys of 3, 6, or 9 and can be linked with other mini missile pods for greater numbers of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley.)
Payload: Each pod carries 9 mini-missiles.
- 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.
- Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser: Located at the very tail of
the fighter/bomber 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 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.)
- 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.
Payload: Eight (8).
Sensor systems: All standard for advanced robotic vehicles, plus:
- Long range tracking and imaging radar system: Range of 500 miles (805 km) in an atmosphere and 50,000 miles (80,500 km) in space., the system can identify and track up to 80 targets simultaneously, It is also capable of Terrain Following for low altitude flight. The fighter can fire missiles at up to sixteen targets at the same time using this system.
- E.S.M.: Radar Detector, Passively detects other radars being operated..
- FLIR: Forward Looking Infrared. Allows pilot and weapons officer to get visuals on targets at night.
- Laser Navigational System: Allow flight at low altitude without use of Radar. Gives a map of the Terrain.
- +1 to all targeting
+1 to all sensor rolls
+1 to all maneuver and dodge rolls with thrusters.
- With the Bussard Ramscoop system fitted, in addition to it's range
extended effect, it allows the Thundershrike to, in the atmosphere, be
activated and perform an extreme and sudden de-acceleration. This maneuver
can be used to drop back, reversing positions with a pursuing fighter and
putting one's self in a prime position to fire (+3 bonus to targeting the
enemy it was used against if successful; +7 bonus to successfully complete
this normally very complex and hard to pull off maneuver.) Likewise, the
magnetic fields interfere with incoming magnetically charged objects; There
is a 5% chance that an incoming missile(Unless made of purely non-magnetic
materials), particle cannon/plasma shot, rail gun shot, or gun shot (Unless
made of purely non-magnetic materials) will be deflected by the fields
when activated in the atmosphere. Finally, Rail guns and guns that fire
bursts to do damage will have that damage reduced by 5%. However, engaging
the Bussard Ramscoop in the atmosphere reduces maximum speed to Mach 2;
Mach 3 can be maintaining for two hours, or Mach 5 for eight minutes, before
the engines overheat from the additional strain. Overall, it would generally
be considered not worth it to pay the additional 10 million credits for
the Bussard Ramscoop, though it would be very popular on worlds that are
not interdicted and have comparable technology levels to Rifts Earth (Or
in the Orbital community, for that matter.)
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Initial Writeup by Marina O'Leary (LusankyaN@aol.com ).
Reformatting and revisions by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2000, Marina O'Leary & Kitsune. All rights reserved..