Iron Heart Armament Iron Wasp Light Attack Helicopter:

Iron Heart Armament main attack helicopter was the Iron Eagle and they produced a number of alternatives including the Iron Tiger and Iron Cobra. While the Iron Cobra was a bit smaller than the Iron Eagle, all were still relatively large.

In competition with Iron Heart Armament, several companies converted small civilian helicopters, mostly Pre-Rifts, into light attack helicopters. These included Golden Age Weaponsmiths. Small numbers of light attack helicopters have also been recovered from Pre-Rifts caches. Finally, there appears to be some new manufacturing of these light attack helicopters.

Usually used in the ground support role, these light helicopters are generally cheaper than sky cycles, carry equal or greater firepower, easier to maintain, and having a crew of two allows better multi-tasking by the crew. In addition, these helicopters can be used to transport a limited number of troops. They are generally slightly slower than a sky cycle but this is not considered critical by many interested in these designs. The rotor is something of an exposed target as well but sky cycles all vulnerable to damage to their thrusters on the other side. Some mercenary companies, adventuring groups, and even small nations prefer these light attack helicopters over sky cycles due to its various advantages. In some cases, law enforcement might use these attack helicopters as well.

As one might expect, Iron Heart Armament wanted to get involved in the light attack helicopter market. The helicopter they ended up producing was the Iron Wasp. In most ways, it is similar to the designs produced by other companies. Unfortunately, only limited numbers ended up being produced before the destruction of their facilities by the Coalition. Even so, more Iron Wasp light attack helicopters were produced than Iron Cobras simply because they required less time to complete. Interestingly, there were no civilian or naval designs develop parallel with the Iron Wasp. A civilian design would likely have had a ready market.

The Coalition States completed some of the designs that had been under construction by Iron Heart Armament when the facilities were captured including several larger naval vessels. The Coalition however showed no interest in completing Iron Wasp helicopters in the manufacturing facilities and it is believed that they destroyed all of them. They are firmly committed to operating sky cycles in this role.

Unlike many of the other light attack helicopter designs produced by other companies, the weaponry is fixed. The idea is that fixed weaponry can be heavier than weaponry carried on hard points but lack in flexibility. These include a pair of forward firing rail guns similar to what is carried on several Iron Heart Armament tanks as secondary weaponry. They are modified copies of the NG-202 produced by Northern Gun and fire directly forward. Payload is less than the rail guns mounted in most Iron Heart tank models. Coupled with these are a pair of mini-missile launchers. Each has the ability to carry six mini-missiles for twelve total. Sensor systems are more limited compared to larger attack helicopters.

Armor is light compared to full sized attack helicopters, only able to withstand about half as much damage as the Iron Cobra. Most crews consider themselves to not be much better protected than by wearing heavy body armor. Of course, the helicopter crew can wear body armor for additional protection. With the two troops than can ride outside, their body armor is all the protection that they have. Troops riding outside the helicopter can add additional firepower although they are limited to their own aiming skills. There is also no provision to power the troop's weapons from the helicopter.

As with many Iron Heart Armament designs, there are two basic models. There is a conventional liquid fueled model and a fusion powered model. As one might expect, the conventional model is far cheaper and is designed to be able to run on relatively pure quality fuels. Both models have a top speed of around two hundred miles per hour. They simply don't have the brute power of the larger attack helicopters and are slower as a result. The conventional model has a basic range of around four hundred miles with the fusion model able to operate virtually indefinitely. It does overheat when operated for extended periods.

Model Type: IW-28LAH
Vehicle Type: Light Attack Helicopter
Crew: Two (Pilot and Co-Pilot)
Troops: Four (4) - Two (2) internally and two (2) externally.

M.D.C. by Location:

IH-100 Rail Gun Guns (2, sides)30 each
MLRS-6 Mini-Missile Launchers (2; sides):40 each
[1] Main Rotor (4 Blades):40 (10 each blade)
[1] Tail:45
Landing Skids (2):40 each
Reinforced Cockpit:80
[2] Main Body:145

[1] Destroying the rear rotor or one of the main blades will cause the helicopter to fly at half speed, wobble and is -6 to parry, -3 to strike, and -40% on piloting skill/maneuvers. Smart pilots will land as soon as possible. Destroying the main top rotor will knock the helicopter out of the sky! Roll under the piloting skill -30% for a successful crash landing (due to the reinforced nature of the Iron Wasp, crew takes only half damage from an impact.
[2] Destroying the main body knocks the helicopter out of the sky and renders it completely useless.

Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Cannot taxi. Does not mount wheels but instead has skids. Only time a moving landing might be tried is the helicopter has taken damage which prevents hovering. Helicopter can land and take off from primitive air fields.
Flying: The Iron Wasp can hover stationary, VTOL, and travel at a maximum flight speed of 200 mph (322 kph / 173.8 knots) with a maximum ceiling (altitude) of 16,000 feet (4,880 meters.) Cruising and attack speed vary, but tend to be between 100 and 160 mph (160 to 257 kph) and it has excellent VTOL capabilities.
Range: Nuclear: The nuclear energy source gives the Iron Wasp continual power but the jets overheat after 10 hours of continual use at speeds above 100 mph. or four hours if going above 200 mph (329 km). Going at 100 mph or below with occasional rest stops will allow the helicopter to travel for 40 continuous hours. Conventional: 400 miles (643 km)

Statistical Data:
Height: 9.2 feet (2.80 meters)
Rotor Width: 29.3 feet (8.93 meters)
Length: 33.5 feet (10.21 meters)
Weight: 1,880 pounds (852.8 kg) empty and 3,600 pounds (1,632.9 kg) fully loaded.
Power System: Conventional Liquid Fuel or Nuclear Fusion (Should have an average life span of 15 years)
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), without passengers can carry 881.8 lbs (400 kg) in rear area of cockpit.
Black Market Cost: Conventional: 600,000 credits. Nuclear: 2.0 million credits.
Due to comparatively small numbers produced, these vehicles are fairly rare. As such, they are not commonly available.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Two (2) IH-100 Rail Guns: Theses rail guns are copies of Northern Gun's NG-202, modified for a higher rate of fire. Mounted on the sides, these rail guns fire directly forward of the helicopter. Usually used for strafing, the rail guns can be controlled by either the pilot or copilot. A single rail gun can be fired to conserve ammunition when required. Drum size is reduced compared to mounts in tanks. Ammunition is not shared so damaging one rail gun halves available ammunition
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet ( 1,200 meters)
    Mega-Damage: Both Rail Guns: A bust of 120 rounds (60 from each) inflicts 2D6x10. Single Rail Gun: A burst of 60 rounds inflicts 1D6x10. One round inflicts 1D4.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks (usually 4-6) of the pilot / copilot.
    Payload: 6,000 round drum (100 burst) each. By firing one rail gun at a time, the helicopter can get 200 bursts. Reloading each drum takes 15 minutes if done by hand, 5 minutes if done with robots and special equipment.
  2. Two (2) MLRS-6 Mini-Missile Launchers (2): Relatiely light mini-missile launchers are mounted on each side of the helicopter. These weapon is mostly used against enemy aircraft, missile volleys, and other aerial opponents, or on strafing runs against troops and other ground targets. These mini-missiles can be fired either by the pilot or copilot.
    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 (2) or four (4).
    Payload: Twelve (12) total; six (6) mini-missiles in each launcher.

Special Equipment:
These helicopters do not have the full sensor suit of a power armor or robot vehicle. They also do not mount full life support systems.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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