Confederation F-44 Rapier Medium Starfighter (Wing Commander):


The Rapier was developed by Origin Aerospace and was first introduced in 2654 and was considered to be a "Super-Fighter" with a god balance of weaponry, shielding, and speed. The fighter was developed with the firepower to counter the Kilrathi heavy fighter in service at the time such as the Gratha and the Jalthi, while maintaining the acceleration and the agility to dogfight with quick light fighters such as the Salthi light fighter. Before the introduction of the Rapier, the Confederation Space Forces lacked what was considered to be a good strike fighter. The Hornet was too small and vulnerable, the Scimitar did not have the acceleration or the Firepower, and the Raptor lacked range with its guns and was not considered very maneuverable.


The Rapier's only real weakness was that the fighter had light armor, in fact closer to that of a light fighter than a medium fighter. The fighter’s shielding, speed, and firepower offset this weakness and the fighter did incredibly well during it service. Initial beam armament was two laser cannons and two neutron guns. The fighter also mounted five missile hard points. During the fighter’s initial combat deployment, the Rapier was instrumental in helping the Confederation Navy take back control of the Vega Sector. The fighter’s success continued long after that engagement and were the mainstay of virtually all carriers in the Confederation fleet.


The Rapier served longer than virtually any other fighter in the History of the Confederation. During the fighter’s fifteen years of active duty service, the Rapier was constantly updated and upgraded and went through several different models. The Confederation's newest advances in fighter technology were incorporated into the fighter and the fighter remained a capable fighter until its retirement. The F44G, or Rapier II, served as the backbone of the Confederation's fighter forces throughout most of the 2660's. Notable upgrades from the original F-44A model include advanced flight control systems and improved control surfaces, longer range particle cannons replacing neutron guns, and improved armor plating. The improved armor plating is probably most appreciated feature of the upgraded fighter. Other improvements include the increase in missile hard points to six missiles from five on the original F-44A Rapier.


While the basic design of the Rapier II was older than Kilrathi opponents, the Rapier II was more than capable of giving any Imperial Drakhai pilot a worthy fight. In terms of sheer number of fighters produced, more Rapiers were constructed than any other fighter and the Rapier II was the most common fighter in Confederation Service. Virtually all Confederation carriers, whether fleet carriers or escort carriers, were guaranteed to have at least one squadron of Rapier II medium fighters on board. Until its replacement by the F-86C Hellcat V in front line service after the Battle of Earth, the Rapier II was regarded as the best all-purpose dog fighter in the entire fleet.


Notes of game conversion:


Because of the nature of the Video Game series “Wing Commander” and the needs to put the fighter into game mechanics, the fighter has several modification compared to the Video Game. The most important change it to change top speed to acceleration. Like fighters in Star Wars and original Battlestar Galactica, the fighters appear to act as if they are in the atmosphere even when they operating in space. This is incorrect. The Television series Babylon 5 and the new Battlestar Galactic are good series to watch to get a clearer idea on how space vehicles would probably maneuver although still not a perfect perspective. The fighter has been modified to uses my revised phase world starship rules and can hold their own against most C.A.F and Kreeghor fighters. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.


Model Type:F-44ARapier
F-44GRapier II
Vehicle Type: Medium Starfighter / Multi-Role Attack Fighter
Crew: One


M.D.C. By Location:F-44A Rapier:F-44G Rapier II:
Laser Cannons (2):40 each40 each
Neutron Cannons (2):50 each----------
Particle Cannons (2):----------50 each
Missile Hard Points:10 each10 each
[1] Engines (2):120 each180 each
Landing Struts (3):10 each10 each
[2] Main Body:250410
Reinforced Pilots Cockpit:100150
[3] Variable Force Field:70 per side (420 total)115 per side (690 total)


Notes:
[1] Loss of an engine will reduce performance of fighter by one half and loss of two engines will prevent fighter from performing beyond 5% of normal (This is using maneuvering thrusters and gravitic propulsion). Due to gravitic propulsion systems, fighter will not crash in an atmosphere even if both engines are destroyed.
[2] 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 and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck. In an atmosphere, the fighter will crash.
[3] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (21 / 35 M.D.C.) per melee.


Speed:
Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 40 percent of the speed of light. Fighter can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.85 percent of light per melee maximum. Fighter has auxiliary thrusters which can be used a maximum of 15 minutes before fuel is exhausted. On auxiliary thrusters, the fighter has a maximum acceleration of 1.7 percent of light per melee maximum.
Atmospheric Propulsion: The fighter is fairly aerodynamic and is quite capable in an atmosphere. As a result, the fighter can achieve escape velocity (Mach 32.6 / 25,053 mph / 40,320 kph) but normally operates at Mach 6.03 (4,473.8 mph / 7,200 kph) or less. The fighter also has Gravitic propulsion systems enabling it to leave an atmosphere even at low velocities.
Maximum Range: Effectively unlimited by internal fuel (10 year duration) although auxiliary thruster range is limited to approximately 15 minutes. Fighter uses a very small fusion cell system for power systems. The fighter carries one week of consumables for fighter’s crew.


Statistical Data:
Length: F-44A: 78.74 feet (24 meters), F-44G: 62.34 feet (19 meters)
Height: F-44A: 30.34 feet (9.25 meters), F-44G: 16.07 feet (4.90 meters)
Width: F-44A: 77.92 feet (23.75 meters), F-44G: 48.7 feet (14.85 meters)
Weight: F-44A: 14.88 tons (13.5 metric tons) unloaded, F-44G: 16.53 tons (15.0 metric tons) unloaded
Power System: Fusion power supply with a 10 year duration.
Cargo: Small Storage Space, 2.5 ft x 2.5 ft x 2 ft. Used for emergency equipment and weapons.
Market Cost: F-44A: 27.86 million credits, F-44G: 36.78 million credits


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. F-44A Rapier Model:
    1. Twin Laser Cannons: These cannons are mounted on the sides of the nose of the starfighter. While extremely long ranged, the damage of the weapons is less than most other Confederation weapons. When compared to Phase World weaponry, the lasers inflict less damage than those on most C.A.F. Starfighters but have a much longer range. The cannons can be fire individually or in pairs.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,106.8 miles (5,000 km) in space and 15.5 miles (25 km) in an atmosphere.
      Mega Damage: 1D6x10 per cannon and 2D6x10 for both cannons (Combined with neutron cannons, inflicts 6D6x10+20)
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
    2. Twin Neutron Cannons: These cannons are mounted on the sides of the starfighter. While not as long range as lasers, they pack a much larger punch. Neutron cannons are being replaced by particle beams on most Confederation fighters. The weapon inflict about equal damage to most energy weapons carried on most C.A.F. Starfighters but, even though short range by Confederation standards, have a longer range than most fighter weapons in the Three Galaxies.
      Maximum Effective Range: 1,534.3 miles (2,500 km) in space and 7.8 miles (12.5 km) in an atmosphere.
      Mega Damage: 2D6x10+10 per cannon and 4D6x10+20 for both cannons (Combined with laser cannons, inflicts 6D6x10)
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
    3. Missile Pylons (5): On the underbelly of the fighter are five missile racks that allows the fighter to carry missiles. Individual pylons must carry all the same type ordnance but each pylon may carry different types of ordnance. Long Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship). Medium Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Since starships will no longer engage at rock throwing distances, whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting starships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead is at -25% to be detected.) Missiles can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously and all missiles are normally considered smart missiles.
      Fuselage Hard Point (1): One Long Range Missile or two Medium Range Missile each.
      Inner Wing Hard Points (2): One Long Range Missile or two Medium Range Missile each.
      Outer Wing Hard Points (2): One Medium Range Missile each
      Maximum Effective Range: Long Range Missiles range is 3,400 miles (5470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space, and Medium Range Missiles range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds).
      Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details (Long Range Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)
      Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of two, three, or four missiles.
      Payload: Varies by hard point
    4. Anti-Missile Decoy Dispenser: Located at the very tail of the fighter are two decoy dispensers. When a missile if fired at the fighter, a decoy can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Decoy system works against Phase World missiles although has a -10% penalty against Brilliant missiles.
      Effect:
        01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates on decoy - 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, missile is still on target.
      Payload: Ten (10)
  2. F-44G Rapier II Model:
    1. Twin Laser Cannons: These cannons are mounted on the sides of the nose of the starfighter. While extremely long ranged, the damage of the weapons is less than most other Confederation weapons. When compared to Phase World weaponry, the lasers inflict less damage than those on most C.A.F. Starfighters but have a much longer range. The cannons can be fire individually or in pairs.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,106.8 miles (5,000 km) in space and 15.5 miles (25 km) in an atmosphere.
      Mega Damage: 1D6x10 per cannon and 2D6x10 for both cannons (Combined with neutron cannons, inflicts 6D6x10+20)
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
    2. Twin Particle Cannons: These cannons are mounted on the sides of the starfighter. Slightly shorter ranged than laser cannons although the pack a much heavier punch. Particle cannons replaced neutron cannons on most Confederation fighters. The weapon inflict about equal damage to most energy weapons carried on most C.A.F. Starfighters and have a much longer range than most fighter weapons in the Three Galaxies.
      Maximum Effective Range: 2,609.8 miles (4,200 km) in space and 13.0 miles (21 km) in an atmosphere.
      Mega Damage: 2D6x10+10 per cannon and 4D6x10+20 for both cannons (Combined with laser cannons, inflicts 6D6x10+20)
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
    3. Missile Pylons (6): On the underbelly of the fighter are six missile racks that allows the fighter to carry missiles. Individual pylons must carry all the same type ordnance but each pylon may carry different types of ordnance. Long Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship). Medium Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Since starships will no longer engage at rock throwing distances, whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting starships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead is at -25% to be detected.) Missiles can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously and all missiles are normally considered smart missiles.
      Fuselage Hard Points (2): One Long Range Missile or two Medium Range Missile each.
      Inner Wing Hard Points (2): One Long Range Missile or two Medium Range Missile each.
      Outer Wing Hard Points (2): One Medium Range Missile each
      Maximum Effective Range: Long Range Missiles range is 3,400 miles (5470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space, and Medium Range Missiles range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds).
      Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details (Long Range Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)
      Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of two, three, or four missiles.
      Payload: Varies by hard point
    4. Anti-Missile Decoy Dispenser: Located at the very tail of the fighter are two decoy dispensers. When a missile if fired at the fighter, a decoy can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Decoy system works against Phase World missiles although has a -10% penalty against Brilliant missiles.
      Effect:
        01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates on decoy - 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, missile is still on target.
      Payload: Sixteen (16)


COMBAT BONUSES: The F-44 Rapier Starfighter is very maneuverable and very accurate. Use the Phase World Starfighter combat (Elite or Basic) skill.




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CGI / Artwork of starship created by Klav / Adam Burch. Picture taken from Wing Commander CIC.


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Rifts Conversion Copyright © 2004 & 2013, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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