Earthforce SA-26 Thunderbolt Starfury (Babylon Five):
The SA-26 Thunderbolt Star Fury was designed for both space and atmospheric operations. Previous Star Fury designed could only operate in space and specially designed atmospheric fighters were used within an atmosphere.
Like previous Star Furies, the SA-26 Thunderbolt has four widely spread engines. These widely spaced engines gives the fighter more maneuverability. The difference between the Thunderbolt and earlier Star Furies is that each engine has a wing. Thunderbolt Star Furies were also designed to operate as both an interceptor and as a fighter/bomber. Designed originally as a supplement for the SA-23 Series starfighter, the Thunderbolt Star Fury has been replacing older Star Furies that have been lost in combat or were taken out of service due to structural stress damage.
The older SA-23 Star Fury had a cockpit in which the pilot almost stood upright in the compartment. In the cockpit of the Thunderbolt Star Fury, the pilot and radar officer sit like they do in modern fighters such as both the F-14 and FA-18. In position, The pilot is located in front of the radar officer. The controls have been upgraded from the SA-23 series Star Fury and are more sensitive to the reactions and commands of the Crew. The fighter is operated by a combination of hand, foot, eye, and voice-activated controls. Holographic displays improve the ability of the Thunderbolt's crew to track and identify targets.
The Thunderbolt Star Fury is well armed. Its main weapon is a gatling pulse cannon with six barrels, which has a high rate of fire. This single weapon is mounted under the nose of the Thunderbolt, and can only fire forward. True to its original mission of being a Fighter/Bomber, the Thunderbolt has two hard points for missiles underneath each wing. This gives it the largest payload of missiles of any fighter currently in service, although for reasons of stability only the lower four hardpoints are used in a atmosphere. The Thunderbolt Starfury also has a special grappling claw that allows the fighter to grab objects in space.
When the Thunderbolt Star Fury was designed, newer and more durable alloys were available than when the SA-23E was designed. These were used extensively in the new design and the SA-26 can take more damage in combat than the earlier Aurora Star Fury could.
Listed is the formula to allow player and game masters to calculate the fighter’s velocity and distance traveled:
- Velocity = Acceleration x Time + Initial Velocity
Distance Traveled = Acceleration x ½ x Time ² + Initial Velocity x Time
1 G = 32 feet (9.8 m) per second ²
Vehicle Type: Quad Engine Aerospace Fighter-Bomber
Crew: Two (Pilot and Radar Officer)
M.D.C. by Location:
|Gatling Pulse Cannon:||180|
|Engines (4):||200 each|
| Wings (4):||180 each|
|Reinforced Pilots Compartment:||200|
| Main Body:||525|
 Destroying two wings on the same side of the fighter will cause the vehicle to crash from loss of control if it is flying within an atmosphere. If only one wing is destroyed, the fighter will be -2 to strike and -4 to dodge. Destruction of the fighters wings has no effect on the fighter in space but fighter will be unable to re-enter an atmosphere safely if both wings on a side are lost.
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the aircraft down completely, rendering it useless and causing the fighter to crash if in flight in an atmosphere.
Driving on Ground: Not Possible
Flying; In atmosphere: The fighter can easily achieve escape velocity (Mach 32.6 / 25053 mph / 40320 kph) within 3 minute. The fighter has a maximum acceleration of 10 G. When the fighter is operating within an atmosphere, pilot will normally keep velocity below Mach 10 (7695 mph / 12384 kph). The fighter has enough thrust to be launched from a platform at a standstill position.
Flying; Space: The fighter does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. Fighter can reach a top acceleration of 10 G but is normally limited to 2 Gs except in combat to conserve fuel.
Stardrive: The fighter does not have a jump drive but can use already formed jump points such as those formed by jump gates. While in hyperspace, the fighter can reach a maximum of 5 lightyears per hour. This means that the fighter could theoretically cover the Galaxy in about 24 month (will need to refuel very often and the fighters are not meant to operate very far from their homebase or ship).
Maximum Effective Range: The fighter has enough fuel for 60 minutes (1 hour) at maximum performance. If fighter is operating at less maximum performance, the fighters range is vastly increased. The fighter has 16 hours of endurance if operating at only 2 Gs and for every increase of 2 Gs, the fighter burns reaction mass twice as fast. Fighter uses hydrogen for fuel for a fusion reactor. The fighter can operate with engines on standby to increase fighters range.
Fighter has supplies for pilot for 2 weeks.
Height: 26.2 feet (8 meters)
Length: 64 feet (19.5 meters)
Wing Span: 56 feet (17 meters)
Weight: 24.3 tons (22 metric tons)
Power System: 1 Micro-Fusion reactor and 2 Fusion Batteries (At maximum output, duration is 60 minutes)
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment).
Cost: 15 million to construct
- Gatling Pulse Cannon: This cannon is the fighters main anti
starfighter and missile weapon system. This cannon holds six rotating barrels,
each of which is as powerful as the singular cannons on the older SA-23.
The cannon is capable of firing bursts of up to six pulses at a time, and
has a range better than the older cannons. This cannon fires rapid bursts
of super charged Plasma and is similar in function to the pulse cannons
on the larger Earthforce warships. However, due to it firing bursts, it
has a better overall chance to hit. Weapon is controlled by the pilot.
The cannon is +2 to strike. Author Note: The source on this weapon
system lists the weapons range as 160,000 km. It has been reduces to fit
more with Palladium frameworks and because it is a fighter mounted weapon
Maximum Effective Range: 14 miles (22.5 km) in an atmosphere and 1400 miles (2,250 km) in space.
Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a single pulse, can fire up to six pulses per burst for 6D6x10. Each burst counts as one attack.
Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
- Missiles: The fighter can carry missiles externally under
its wings. In space the fighter normally carries eight long range missiles
with fusion warheads but can carry sixteen medium range or thirty two short
range missiles as well. In a atmosphere the fighter normally only carries
missiles under its lower wings for stability. This halves its payload.
Missiles are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater
than the starships speed when used in space. Missiles can be launched at
non moving targets beyond the powered range of the missiles to hit targets
without the chance of the launching ship being hit by missiles itself but
penalties exist when launching missiles beyond normal missile range. Missiles
can be mixed and matched at the rate of four shot range missiles or two
medium range missiles for one long range missile.
Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, assume power range is 8 x normal in space (Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: Varies with missile types (Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of 2, 4, 6, or 8.
Payload: 8 long range missiles, 16 medium range missile, or 32 short range missiles in space, half those figures in a atmosphere.
- Grapple Claw: The Thunderbolt Starfighter has a grapple claw
that is used for docking with vehicles that do not have landing bays and
to grab items. The Grapple Claw has a breaking strain of 100 tons.
Maximum Effective Range: 30 feet (9.1 meters)
Mega Damage: None (S.D.C. Targets will take 1D4x10 S.D.C.)
Rate of Fire: Once per four melees rounds
Payload: 1 shot but may be retracted and used again.
- The Thunderbolt Starfury is very maneuverable and very accurate. Use
the Phase World Starfighter combat (Elite or Basic) skill. These bonuses
are in addition to those from the piloting skill.
- +1 to initiative
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Technical information sourced partially from Babylon 5 Technical Manual!
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