U.S. FV-45 Sea Hawk Multi-Role VTOL Fighter:

Excerpt from Fox’s Combat Aircraft of the World, 2090 to 2091:

The Sea Hawk continues to be the United States Navies primary VTOL Multi-Purpose fighter and has been in service in both the United States Navy and Marine Corp. for more than two decades. A replacement fighter is not planned to reach the prototype stage until 2095 and not enter service until 2102. The Sea Hawk will probably not be completely replaced until 2112 at the earliest. The Sea Hawk was designed from the beginning for service on both Fleet Carriers and Amphibious Assault Carriers. The aircraft was originally planned as a joint United States Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corp. fighter like the joint strike fighter from earlier in the twenty first century. However, The Air Force dropped out of the program to develop a hypersonic high altitude interceptor known as "Starblade." The Air force design was not compatible with carrier practices and the navy continued on the Hawk program and the first prototype flew in 2064. Several minor bugs needed to be worked out of the program and the aircraft was not operationally deployed until 2070 onboard the USS Kitty Hawk. The fighter entered service with the marines two years later and was first deployed with the marines onboard the USS Tripoli. The increased stealth version of the fighter did not enter service until 2073 and the jamming version entered service in 2078. The fighter is still in production and it is expected that over 3000 fighters will have been completed before production ends in the year 2100. Several other nations have been involved in the project or have expressed an interested in the design. Most countries have purchased the fighters from the United States but several nations had licenced production of the fighter. Nations who have purchased or manufacture the fighter include Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, and Spain. Many of these nations also operate the fighters from a variety of different carrier types. There have been no improved stealth versions of the fighter sold to any countries by the United States and there have been few jamming versions sold to any other countries either. It is likely with the replacement fighter soon to be released that Stealth versions of the fighter may be sold to interests outside the United States as well.

The Sea Hawk is considered by some to be conservative in body style. Part of the reason for this is because the Navy needed a fighter design developed quickly to replace aging fighters that needed to be retired. Some initial design work was done to develop a "Tailless" design but due to problems with stability at slow speeds with prototype designs, it was decided that the Sea Hawk would keep a tail. Released designs for the replacement fighter design appears to be tailless.

The material that the fighter is constructed from is a lightweight woven crystalline and polymer material that was far stronger than steel and was one of the strongest materials available at the type of initial design. New materials have been developed since that are even stronger but the Navy has decided to wait until the new fighter to use new materials. The material is also non reflective to radar waves and gives a reduced radar cross signature. The improved stealth version uses radar absorbent materials in key locations and has a much lower radar cross signature than the standard version of the fighter.

The engines are more powerful than any mounted in any previous United States Navy design and the fusion turbines engines are rumored to allow the fighter to exceed Mach three in level flight. The improved stealth version of the fighter uses a different engine than the standard fighter. While the engine is less powerful, it has a much reduced sound level and has a special system of heat masking for the engines. All versions of the fighter use a redirection system for the rear thrust and uses a large turbo-fan behind the cockpit. The front turbo-fan is protected by doors on both the top and bottom while not hovering or preparing to hover. These covers are both designs to armor the system and to reduce drag.

The Weapon load is very heavy with the ability to carry ordnance in a large bay and the ability to carry more weaponry on wing mounts. When the fighter is operating in a stealth role, ordnance cannot be carried on the wings because they would vastly increase the fighter’s radar cross signature. Because of this, the improved stealth version of the fighter rarely carries wing mounted detachable ordnance. The main ordnance bay, which some sources incorrectly called a bomb bay and gave it a larger capacity that it actually has, can carry eight long range missiles or heavy bombs, sixteen medium range missiles or medium bombs, or thirty two short range missiles or light bombs. The fighter carries two fixed mini-missile launchers on the wings because it was found that rail guns and lasers were not effective at quickly taking down an enemy fighter with the stronger armor materials available. In addition, the ability to target the mini-missiles with a laser makes them incredibly accurate. Under development for the United Navy is a hyper velocity projectile that will be able to fired from a mini-missile launcher. The new projectile is based on the weapon system designed for the Star Talon space fighter and should be ready for service in 2099. These mini-missile pods share the same stealth materials as the fighter and do not reduce the fighter’s stealth. In addition to the various expendable ordnance, the fighters carry forward firing laser cannons and the standard version of the fighter carries a retractable mini turret in the belly of the fighter.

All variants share the same avionics for the most part. The fighter has triple redundant fly by wire system with computer support. The fighter’s radar is reported to have a range of 500 miles and can track up to 72 targets simultaneously. The system enables the targeting of up to 16 at any single time which makes the fighter an excellent fleet interceptor. On the standard and stealth version of the fighter, missile fire control normally falls to the sensor operator and the pilot in unburdened by that role. The pilot does control the mini-missile launchers in all versions because is it considered a dogfighting weapon. In the jamming variant of the Sea Hawk, the rear crew member is occupied by operation the jamming array and missile fire control falls to the pilot. The fighters carry a variety of defensive systems which are designed to protect the fighter from missiles. These include an internal active jamming system, chaff and flare packs, and towed decoy dispensers located in approximately the middle of the wings.

Both the stealth version and jammer version of the fighter replace the retractable belly laser with additional sensor and communication equipment. In the jammer version of the Sea Hawk, the ordinance bay is fitted to carry the jamming system instead of bombs or missiles but the aircraft retains the regular wing hard points. These hard points quite often will carry anti-radiation missiles and will fill the role of Twentieth Century Wild Weasel fighters.

The Sea Hawk has two ejection systems to protect the pilot and crew member. Similar to the old American F-111 ejection system, the whole cockpit section can be ejected to bring the crew safely to the water or ground below. Because this ejection system has problems at low altitudes, both seats are equipped with a zero-zero ejection system. With this ejection system, the pilot and crew member can eject with the fighter at very low altitude or even parked and the parachute will still properly deploy. The crew loses the armor protection that the cockpit offers if just the seats are ejected. Both the seats and the whole cockpit are designed to float and keep the crew safe. The cockpit is fitted with an automatic distress beacon and emergency radio (50 mile/80 km range; directional transmitter and receiver) which will transmit non-stop for a week. The pilot seat has a similar system with half the range of the larger unit and has a duration of 36 hours. The distress signal will automatically activate four minutes after the pilot has been ejected although it can be disabled if there is a concern of enemies nearby. Careful activation of the system also increases the duration of the system. Also, a small first-aid kit, one canteen with fresh water, survival knife, and a signal flare gun with three flares are in a special compartment under the pilot’s seat.

Model Type:FV-45Standard Sea Hawk Multi-Role VTOL Fighter
FV-45-EWElectronic Warfare (Jamming) Sea Hawk Multi-Role VTOL Fighter
FV-45-SWStealth Warfare Sea Hawk Multi-Role VTOL Fighter
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine VTOL Fighter and Attack Craft
Crew: Two (Pilot / Sensor & Electronic System operator)

M.D.C. by Location:

Forward Mounted Laser Guns (2; nose):40 each
Retractable Belly Gun (1; lower nose section):60
Wing Mounted Missile Hard Points (6):10 each
Wing Mounted Mini-Missile Launchers (2):60 each
Internal Ordnance Bay (1; hatch):60
[1] Main Wings (2):125 each
[1] Forward Stabilizers (2):90 each
[2] Rudders (2):90 each
[3] Forward Lift Turbo-Fan Engine (1):40
[3] Protective Doors for Forward Lift Engine (2, top and bottom):50 each
[4] Main Engines (2):100 each
[5] Main Body210
Landing Gear (3):10 each
Reinforced Pilot’s Compartment / Cockpit:90
Pilot & Crew seat (2):2 each

[1] Destroying a Main Wing will cause the plane to crash. Pilot and Radar Officer must eject to survive. Destroying one or both Forward Stabilizers Wings will result in reducing bonuses to dodge by 2 and removing the 5% bonus to piloting the aircraft.
[2] Destruction of one rudder will result in the fighter having a penalty of -3 to strike and dodge and removes the 5% bonus to piloting aircraft. Destruction of both rudders will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels and direction of thrust of the engines but the fighter has a penalty of -5 to strike, -10 to dodge, and a -30% penalty to all piloting rolls.
[3] Destruction of doors protecting front lift engine will increase drag. Reduce top speed by half and the fighter has a -4 to dodge and piloting is at -20% at high speeds (Above 400 mph / 644 kph). To damage the forward lift engine, a called shot at -3 is required and the shielding doors either must be open or destroyed. If forward lift fan is destroyed, the fighter cannot hover.
[4] Destruction of one engine will reduce the fighter’s top speed by half and give the fighter a -3 penalty to dodge as well as removing the 5% bonus to piloting. Destroying both engines will cause the aircraft to crash. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot and weapon officer can choose to eject.
[5] 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. Pilot and Radar Officer must eject to survive. 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.

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: Standard and Electronic Warfare versions: The jet propulsion system enables the Sea Hawk to reach a maximum speed of Mach 3.2 (2462.4 mph / 3962.9 kph) and climb to an altitude of 63,000 feet (19,200 meters). When the fighter is carrying ordnance on its external hard points, the fighter has a top speed of Mach 2.8 (2,076.1 mph / 3,341.1 kph)
Stealth Warfare Version: The jet propulsion system enables the improved stealth variant Sea Hawk to reach a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 (1,631.2 mph / 2,625.2 kph) and climb to an altitude of 50,000 feet (15,240 meters). When the stealth fighter is carrying ordnance on its external hard points, the fighter has a top speed of Mach 2.0 (1,482.9 mph / 2,386.5 kph)
All versions of the jet has a minimum glide-speed of 120 mph (192 kph); if it goes any slower, the wings cannot provide sufficient lift and the aircraft will crash unless VTOL engines are engaged. Cruising speed tends to be between 250 mph (400 kph) and Mach 1.0 (741.4 mph/ 1193.3 kph).
Maximum Effective Range: Nuclear powered, giving it continual energy, but the jet engines begin to overheat after 18 hours of continual use. Occasional rest stops every 4 to 6 hours, giving the engines an hour to cool down, will allow the aircraft to travel indefinitely.

Statistical Data:
Length: 65 feet (19.8 meters)
Wingspan: 45 feet (13.7 meters)
Height: 12 feet (3.65 meters) with landing gear down and 9 feet (2.7 meters) with landing gear retracted.
Weight: 16 tons (14.5 metric tons) empty, 24 tons (21.8 metric tons) fully loaded
Power Source: Nuclear Fusion, Should have an average lifespan of 20 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment). Does not include hard points and ordnance bay. Ordnance bay, of emptied of ordnance can carry up to 8,000 lbs (3,628.7 kg) of cargo.
Black Market Cost: Not available. Other than those operated by the New Navy, none are known to have survived the coming of the Rifts. The jet has never been recovered by enemies or mercenaries. Such an aircraft would sell for 80 to 100 million credits on the open market (add 30 to 50 million for the electronics warfare or improved stealth versions).

Weapon Systems:

  1. Forward Mounted Lasers (2): A laser is mounted on each side of the nose. The forward laser cannons are controlled by the pilot. It serves as the one of last line of defense against enemy planes and missile volleys, although some pilots use it for strafing runs against ground targets. Although facing forward, the guns can be positioned up and down 30 degrees.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1220 meters)
    Mega-Damage: A single blast is 5D6 M.D., or a simultaneous dual blast is 1D6xl0 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Equal the pilot’s number of hand to hand attacks.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Retractable Belly Gun (1 - Standard Version Only): This is a small, but powerful laser located in the belly of the aircraft in the nose section. It can rotate 360 degrees, so it can fire at pursuing aircraft behind it, and has a 45 degree arc of fire. This laser is used primarily against close-range targets and for strafing ground targets. The weapon system can be controlled by either the pilot or sensor officer of the fighter. This weapon is mounted only on the standard version of the fighter and is replaced by additional sensors and communication equipment on the stealth warfare and electronics warfare versions of the fighter.
    Maximum Effective Range: 2000 feet (610 m)
    Mega-Damage: A single blast does 4D6 M.D.; cannot fire bursts.
    Rate of Fire: Equal the pilot or sensor officer's number of hand to hand attacks.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): A large mini-missile launcher is mounted on each wing, near the fuselage of the plane. This weapon is mostly used against enemy aircraft, missile volleys, and other aerial opponents, or on strafing runs against troops and other ground targets. The weapon has a much larger punch than the laser cannons and is 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: Equal to the total number of hand to hand attacks per melee. The missiles can be fired one at a time, or in volleys of two, four, or eight.
    Payload: forty-eight (48) total; twenty-four (24) mini-missiles in each launcher.
  4. Internal Ordnance Bay: The fighter has a large bay in the main body that can carry a wide variety of different ordnance types. Ordnance types include missiles, torpedoes, and bombs. While depth charges can be carried, their limited utility means that torpedoes are carried in most ASW missions. 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. An equivalent number of torpedoes or depth charges to the number of missiles and bombs may also be carried. Launching of ordnance is controlled by the weapons officer but the pilot has emergency controls. The electronics warfare version of the fighter replaces the ordnance with four special jamming pods which take up the entire bay and the jamming version of the fighter can carry no ordnance in its internal
    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 to thirty two 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, or 8 long range missile or heavy bomb. Ordnance can be mixed and torpedoes and depth charges may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.
  5. Wing Hard Points (6): The Sea Hawk has six external 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 negate 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 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)
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. The mini missile pods are normally carried 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 missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles, 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.
  6. 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 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.
    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)
  7. Advanced Towed Decoys (4): 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 operate against Phase World weapons due to technological difference.
    M.D.C.: 5
    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 it.
    Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable although 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: 4 Decoys (2 each)

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 below.

Combat Bonuses:

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[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2001, Kitsune. All rights reserved.