Golden Age Weaponsmiths F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (Block One & Two):

The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet replaces the F-14D Tomcat in United States Naval service starting in Nineteen-Ninety Nine with the last Tomcats being retired in United States service in Two Thousand Six. There was a far amount of criticism of the new fighter however it was an excellent aircraft. It served for three decades before being retired. In addition to being operated by the United States Navy, the fighters were operated by the Australian Air Force.

Upgrades to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet includes the engines being modified for better fuel efficiency as well as being certified for Bio-Fuels. There was also modernized “Block Three” model which incorporated conformal fuel tanks and a pod to carry ordnance while not increasing the aircraft's radar cross signature. They were not bought in as large numbers as the Block One and Two versions. It was not until the revolution in new materials making the fighters obsolete were the Super Hornets retired.

About a year after Golden Age Weaponsmiths found the F-14D Tomcat and F/A-18C/D Hornet fighters, they got word that there was another cache of F/A-18C/D fighters. Considering their success in selling the F/A-18C/D, they were in a hurry to get the location of the cache. When they arrived there, they received a pleasant surprise: instead of the F/A-18C/D Hornet fighters that they already had, they had found a batch of the rather more advanced F/A-18E/F or “Super Hornet” fighters and a smaller number of EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft.

It was found that the Super Hornet was more structurally sound than the Hornet, and also could carry more ordnance with eleven hard points instead of nine, had a better range, lower radar cross signature, and slightly higher top speed with more powerful engines, at no loss of maneuverability, even though it was almost 25 percent larger than the Hornet. It had a much more powerful actively scanned array radar system than the F/A-18C/D Hornet. The conversion that Golden Age Weaponsmiths performed upon these planes was ultimately much the same as that done on the Hornet and other aircraft, only the Super Hornet was capable of receiving a bit more armor than the Hornet, and as a result has a slightly better survival capability.

This fighter is capable of making carrier landing and takeoff and has a tail hook for the purpose of carrier landings. Just like it's slightly less powerful brother, the F/A-18 Hornet, the Super Hornet has sold very well. It is even more flexible than its smaller brother, and has better survivability and a better maintenance record, due to the improvements in the design. As a matter of fact, the engineers of Golden Age Weaponsmiths were surprised to find that the Super Hornet had forty percent LESS structural parts than the Hornet, while the airframe was actually stronger. The Super Hornet would likely sell better than its smaller brother if it were not for the simple fact that Golden Age Weaponsmiths has found far less Super Hornets than normal Hornets.

Only a handful of the Growler version of Super Hornet have been found. The Growler retains most of the components of the Super Hornet including the radar system and engines. The main addition is extra electronics and most of the ordnance hard points is usually replaced by jamming pods. The jamming aircraft has been found useful for many roles and most have been sold to Mercenary companies with large air forces.

The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet was an instant favorite when Golden Age Weaponsmiths started to sell it, because although it is in a lot of respects a better aircraft than the Hornet, it costs only half a million credits extra. The Coalition bought a small number of the “Super Hornets” to get aircraft strength up but they are planned with newer aircraft as soon as possible. The Growlers sell for much more due to the jamming pods and sell for around ten million credits.

Considering the success that Golden Age Weaponsmiths has had in selling the F/A-18C/D Hornet, and the few F/A-18E/F Super Hornets that they have found, there are some in the company’s management that are pushing to actually start manufacturing Super Hornets. While the E/A-18G Growlers are quite popular as well, many members of the company’s management sees them as selling only a relatively limited group of customers.

Model Number: F/A-18E and F/A-18F (Block One & Two)
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Strike Fighter
Crew: F/A-18E; One F/A-18F; Two

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Wings (2):80 each
[2] Elevators (2):50 each
[2] Rudders (2):50 each
[3] Engines (2):120 each
Landing Gear (3):5 each
[4] Main Body:150

[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. Has a tail hook for carrier landings and designed to be catapult launched.
Flying: The “Block One” can reach a top speed of Mach 1.8 (1,159.0 knots / 1385.2 mph/2221.8 kph) on full afterburner (the fighter can only last a few minutes at that speed and consumes most of the fuel.) Top speed is reduced by about 10% when fully loaded. The fighter’s normal cruise speed is about 400 knots (460.6 mph / 741.3 kph) but varies on situation. The fighter has a maximum altitude of 50,000 feet (15,240 m)
Range: 1,326 nautical miles (1527 miles / 2,457.4 kilometers) with no external ordnance load on internal fuel only. Can carry up to five external 480 gallon tanks in place of ordnance (Centerline and Wing hard points.) Each extends range by 130 nautical miles (149.7 miles / 240.9 kilometers.) Normally a maximum of three are carried unless in the refueling role. 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/A-18E/F Super Hornet can be refueled in the air.

Statistical Data:
Height: 16 feet (4.8 meters)
Wingspan: 44 feet 8 inches (13.5 meters)
Length: 60 feet 1 inch (18.1 meters)
Weight: 32,081 lb (14,552 kg) empty and 69,000 pounds (31,280 kilograms) fully loaded including conformal tanks.
Power System: Conventional, Two F414-GE-400 enhanced performance turbofan engines (14,000 lbs dry thrust and 22,000 lbs thrust each on afterburner), uses aviation fuel
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment) in cockpit, does not include hard points.
Black Market Cost: 4 million credits (Can sometimes sell for double that price.)

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) M61A2 20 mm Vulcan Cannon: This is the original Pre-Rifts cannon mounted in the nose of the fighter. Lighter version of the cannon design carried on the original F/A-18 Hornet, the F-14 Tomcat, the F-15 Eagle, and the F-16 Falcon although otherwise extremely similar. They have replaced the standard ammo with mega damage, armor piercing ramjet ammunition produced by Wellington Industries which allows the aircraft to hold it own against other Rifts aircraft. The gun mount is controlled by the fighters pilot in both the single seat and two seat variants.
    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: 570 rounds (19 bursts)
  2. Eleven (11) Hard Points: The Super Hornet has a total of eleven hard points to carry ordinance. The aircraft has one hard point on the wing tips, three on each of the wings, one hard point on either side of the fuselage, and one centerline. 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. The missile pod is only carried on the central hard point.
    Centerline Hard Point: Fuel tanks, missiles/bombs (one long range /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each.) Originally designed to carry missile pod, heavy bombs, or fuel tanks.
    Outer Fuselage Hard Points (2): Missiles only (one medium range missile or two short range missiles each.) Originally designed to carry the Sparrow and AMRAAM missiles.
    Inner Wing Hard Points (2): Fuel tanks, towed decoy, rocket packs, or missiles/bombs (one long range/heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each.) Originally designed to carry fuel tanks, heavy bombs, JSOW`s, Harpoons, HARMs, Mavericks, Sparrows, AMRAAMs, and Sidewinder missiles.
    Middle Wing Hard Points (2): Fuel tanks, towed decoy, rocket packs, or missiles/bombs (one long range /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each.) Originally designed to carry fuel tanks, heavy bombs, Harpoons, HARMs, Mavericks, Sparrows, AMRAAMs, and Sidewinder missiles.
    Outer Wing Hard Points (2): Towed decoy, rocket packs, or missiles/bombs (one medium range/medium, or two short range/light each.) Originally designed to carry HARMs, Mavericks, Sparrows, AMRAAMs, and Sidewinder missiles.
    Wing Tip Hard Points (2): Towed decoy or missiles (one medium range missile or two short range missiles each.) Originally designed to carry the Sidewinder and AMRAAM missiles.
    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. In two pilot versions, missiles are controlled by either the pilot or the weapons officer.
      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).
    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. In two pilot versions, mini missile pods are 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: 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. 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, 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: 25 chaff, 50 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:

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Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa) and by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 1999, 2001, & 2011, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.