Golden Age Weaponsmiths F-15 Strike Eagle:

In the year 2018, the last of the older F-15 fighters were retired except for the Strike Eagle having been replaced by the F-22 Raptor. The Strike Eagle was stronger built than older F-15 Eagles and was still considered a viable aircraft. As well, the Strike Eagle had just received a number of modest upgrades keeping it more capable than the older F-15 fighters. The numbers of fifth generation fighters which the United States Air Force had been able to acquire fell short of their goals. As such, the F-15E Strike Eagle continued soldier on for a bit longer. Even so, the revolution in super strong materials eventually caught up with the fighter.

Eventually though the aircraft was retired. It was not consider worth refitted in United States service with the new armor alloys and composites although so other nations refitted the fighters. It was an amazing service spanning almost sixty years total for the Eagle line but time had caught up the old fighters. A few were operated by Air National Guard Squadrons but eventually they were retired too. A number of these aircraft were put into deep storage in the desert and a handful even found their way into private hands. Well spread out, a number of these fighters somehow survived the coming of the Rifts.

Like with several other old American fighters, a number of these Strike Eagles have found their way into Golden Age Weaponsmiths hands and have been refitted with new armor materials. For some reason, the Strike Eagle is not as popular as some of Golden Age's other designs. As such, Golden Age Weaponsmiths has been forced to reduce the cost of the fighter even though a quite capable aircraft in most categories and in some ways better than some of the fighters which sell better. While Golden Age Weaponsmiths is considering producing a "new" version of pre-rifts fighters, the F-15E is not a likely candidate due to it not selling as well as many others. Some mercenaries do like the design due to excellent range and heavy payload.

Before being retired, the Strike Eagle had been refitted with the APG-82 active scanned array radar system. This makes the radar far harder to detect as well as being able to penetrate the aircraft's own jamming. The Strike Eagle also was a fly by wire design which gave it greater maneuverability than one might expect from such a large fighter. The F-15E has several features which are unique compared to most Pre-Rifts aircraft. This includes that the aircraft has a large missile pylon where most of the ordnance is carried. As well, the aircraft usually carries a pair of "fast packs." These are conformal fuel tanks mounted on either side of the engines. Their drag is minimal and the range of the fighter is greatly increased over the original Eagle with them. Still, it does have the capability of being refueled in the air.

In addition to the aircraft being reinforced, the F-15E is refitted with a new "skin" of high strength composites and alloys by Golden Age Weaponsmiths to enable it to survive in the world after the coming of the Rifts. This is a virtually identical process to what is done on other aircraft models although is not nearly as strong as a new build fighter would be. The aircraft otherwise have to be thoroughly reconditioned including the two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engines and the aircraft's electronics. They are not really ungraded to any large extent but in some cases old components have been replaced by much newer components. Golden Age Weaponsmith engineers have become experts at refitting Pre-Rifts aircraft.

Weaponry is also upgraded with the outdated missiles and other ordnance being replaced by most standard missiles and bombs found on Rifts Earth. Replacing the missile control links is far easier than developing new missiles for the fighter based on older missiles. It would also be a logistical nightmare to support the older type missiles in the field. The one weapon which is retained is the 20 mm Mk 61 Vulcan Gatling Cannon. This weapon was once carried on virtually all United States fighters at one time including the F-14 Tomcat, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and F/A-18 Hornet. Special Wellington Industries Ramjet ammunition replaces the original ammunition and the weapon remains viable even when compared to modern rail guns. It carried just over five hundred rounds of ammunition for the 20 mm cannon.

Model Number: F-15E
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Fighter-Bomber
Crew: Two (Pilot and Electronics Officer)

M.D.C. by Location:

FAST Packs (2, Fuselage):40 each
Ordnance Pylon (2, Center Wing)10 each
[1] Wings (2):70 each
[2] Elevators (2):40 each
[2] Rudders (2):40 each
[3] Engines (2):100 each
Landing Gear (3):5 each
[4] Main Body:160

[1] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash
[2] Destruction of rudders or one elevator will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines 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 Strike Eagle can reach a top speed of Mach 2.5 (1,609.7 knots/ 1,853.6 mph/2,983.1 kph) on full afterburner (the fighter can only last a few minutes at that speed). Top speed is reduced by about 10% when fully loaded. The fighter’s normal cruise is about 400 knots (460.6 mph / 741.3 kph) but varies on the situation. The fighter has a maximum altitude of 65,000 feet (19,697 meters).
Range: 1,500 nautical miles (1,726.2 miles/2,778 km) with no external ordnance load. Fast Pack tanks add 200 nautical miles (230.2 miles/370.4 km) each for 400 nautical miles (460.3 miles /740.8 km) total. The fighter can carry up to three fuel tanks (center and bottom of wing pylons) that extend range by about 160 nautical miles (184.1 miles/296.3 km) each. Reduce aircraft's range by 15% if partially loaded (two long range missiles, four medium range missile or eight short range missiles, or more) and by 25% if fully loaded. The F-15E Strike Eagle can be refueled in the air.

Statistical Data:
Height: 18 feet, 8 inches (5.7 meters).
Wingspan: 42 feet, 10 inches (13.1 meters).
Length: 63 feet, 9 inches (19.4 meters).
Weight: 32,000 pounds (14,515 kg) empty and 81,000 pounds (36,741 kg) fully loaded
Power System: Conventional, Two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 afterburning turbofans (Each with 17,800 dry thrust and 29,100 lb thrust on afterburner), uses aviation fuel.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment) in cockpit, does not include hard points.
Black Market Cost: 3.5 million credits (Can occasionally sell for slightly more.)

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) M61A1 20 mm Vulcan Cannon: This is the original Pre-Rifts cannon mounted in the side of the fighter. It is also the same cannon design as is carried on the F-14 Tomcat, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the F/A-18 Hornet. Golden Age has replaced the original ammunition with mega-damage, armor piercing ramjet ammunition manufacture by Wellington Industries which allows the aircraft to hold it own against other Rifts aircraft. Payload is still quite limited when compared to rail guns. The gun mount is controlled by the fighter’s pilot.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
    Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 round, 2D4 for each round.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 510 rounds (17 bursts)
  2. Seven (7) Hard Points: The F-15E can carry a variety of different ordnance types on hard points but the hard points are not laid out like they are on the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18 Hornet and instead a pylon can be used for different types of ordnance at the same time. This is done because the wing pylons have a mounting for missiles on the sides of the pylon and can mount ordnance on the bottom of the pylon as well. Below is a list of hard points and the loads that they can carry. Missiles, rocket packs, and bombs can be mixed or matched but all ordnance on a hard point must be the same type. Weapon officer generally controls missiles and bombs when launched / fired although the pilot also has secondary controls.
    Central Hard Point: Fuel tanks, ECM pod, or missiles/bombs (one long range missile /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each)
    Outer Fuselage Hard Points (2): Missiles / bombs (one long range missile /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each.)
    Wing Pylon Hard Points (Side -2): Missiles only (two medium range missile or four short range missiles each.)
    Wing Pylon Hard Points (Bottom-2): Fuel tanks, ECM pod, rocket packs, or missiles/bombs (two long range / heavy, four medium range/medium, or eight short range/light each.)
    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. Missiles, especially long range missiles, are usually controlled by the weapon officer but can be controlled by the pilot as well.
      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 they 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)
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: A large capacity mini-missile pod. The mini missile pods are normally carried for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missiles used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles. Mini missile pods are controlled by the pilot unlike regular missiles and bombs.
      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), eight (8), or sixteen (16 - all.) 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.
    3. Active Jamming Pod: Pod takes place of all ordnance on the Hard Point. Causes -25% to detection but when it is active, other vehicles/ bases can detect that it is jamming, and some missiles will home in on jamming signals. Jamming also causes a -4 penalty to all radar guided weapons.
    4. Towed Decoys (4): The pod takes place of all ordnance on the Hard Point. The aircraft can carry a special pod that carries four advanced towed decoy drones. 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. 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 each
      Effects: The decoy has an 65% chance of fooling ordinary non military radars and non smart guided missiles, the decoy has a 35% chance of fooling military level radars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 10% chance of fooling advanced military radars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and smart missiles.
      Range: Not Applicable although the 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: Four (4) decoys each pod.
  3. One (1) Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser: Use the same effects as the TRIAX model. However, each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares. 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, missiles are 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: 20 chaff, 40 flares. Each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares.

Special Equipment:
The equipment of the fighter has been upgraded but many of the original systems are still on the fighter. Consider the fighter to carry all standard equipment that robot vehicles carry (not including loudspeaker and microphone) plus the following extra systems:

Combat Bonuses:

[ Altarain TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Horune TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kydian TM, Larsen’s Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Naut’Yll, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk’s Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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