Iron Heart Armament Nightfox Stealth Fighter:
While most people assume that Iron Heart Armament was attacked by the Coalition due to the production of the Air Castle Bomber, this was actually only one of several reasons why they were attacked and is likely not even the primary reason. It is a fact that the Coalition attacked the facilities of Iron Heart Armament just before the New Kenora based company was to put into production a new stealth fighter that they had been developing. The Coalition had been monitoring the development of the new fighter from almost the beginning and was concerned that the aircraft could be used to make sneak attacks against Coalition cities or military units. While the Air Castle bomber carries a lot of ordnance, it can easily be detected and intercepted. While other organizations produce aircraft that incorporate stealth, either they are far more expensive or they will not sell the aircraft to those who are not their direct allies. As well, many of the organizations have even better defenses than New Kenora and have become far more cautious since the attack of the Coalition against that city. Twelve prototype fighters had been produced and half of them escaped the city when the Coalition attacked. The stealth fighters had been on tests and training flights at the time. The fighters escaped after making a missile strike against Chi-Town in revenge for the Coalition attacks. The attack came as a surprise and the Coalition was unable to intercept them before they escaped Coalition controlled airspace. Damage was minimal to the Coalition city but proved the fighters could do as the Coalition feared. Several orders for the fighter had already been made by mercenary companies and small nations. Larson's Brigade had ordered two squadrons of the fighters and so had the Republic of Columbia. The Columbian test pilots were already in New Kenora and had nicknamed the fighter "Zorro."
The Nightfox stealth fighter is less advanced than many other stealth fighters include the Coalition's own designs. The fighter is slower than Mach 1, is not as maneuverable as many other fighter designs, and carries a relatively light weapons load. Even so, the fighter should not be considered ineffective. The appearance of the fighter strongly suggests that it is adapted from the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter of the late Twentieth Century and the early part of the Twenty-First Century. It has been suggested that the engineers of Iron Heart Armament acquired one of the old stealth fighters from adventures who found it in an old Air and Space Museum. The Nightfox looks identical to F-117 from most angles and the angular faceted body is even painted a dull black.
The Nightfox retains many of the features of the F-117 but has many other changes as well. An important reason is because it was expected that the fighter would have to operate in multi-role missions. The most critical changes are the materials used, weapons, and propulsion. Less major areas include the electronics and flight systems. Like the original F-177, the Nightfox uses a computer controlled fly by wire system and the aircraft will crash if they fail. The Nightfox adds extra redundancy in the system and maneuverability has been improved. The Nightfox has the full electronic package common to other Iron Heart Armament aircraft including a powerful radar system. The radar system is designed to be kept off when the fighter is making stealth approaches. The Nightfox is constructed from mostly high strength composites and has very little use of metal. As well, the fighter is coated with radar absorbent materials. The engines of the fighter are adapted from the Northern Gun Sky King hover cycle to reduce development costs. It was original planned to use the engine from the Grey Falcon but adapting the engine would have required far longer. The engines the Nightfox to make vertical take-offs and landings unlike the original Nighthawk. This allows the aircraft to operate in far more areas although the fighter is still fairly slow. The original Nighthawk has one ordinance bay. This is retained by the Nightfox and it can carry up to four long range missiles or a mixture of smaller ordnance. Bombs can be carried but most testing of the aircraft was using missiles. The Nightfox fighter is better armed for self defense than the F-117 with a pulse laser in the nose. In addition, there are small retracting mini-missile launchers on either side of the cockpit just behind the cockpit.
Model Type: IH-NF-3B
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Multi-Role Stealth Fighter
M.D.C. by Location:
| Nose Mounted Pulse Laser Cannon:||30|
| Side Mounted Mini Missile Launchers (2, behind cockpit)||40 each|
|Internal Ordnance Bay (1; hatch):||60|
| Wings (2):||100 each|
| Rudders (2):||50 each|
| Engines (2):||100 each|
| Main Body:||160|
|Landing Gear (3):||10 each|
|Reinforced Pilot’s Compartment:||100|
 These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot;” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
 Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash. Pilot must eject to survive.
 Destruction of rudders 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.
 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 -15% 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.
 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. Damage to the main body will also reduce the aircraft's stealth, for every 10% of damage to the main body, reduce the aircraft's stealth by 10% of its total.
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 jet propulsion system enables the Nightfox to reach a maximum speed of Mach 0.9 (667.3 mph /1073.9 kph) and climb to an altitude of 40,000 feet (12,190 meters). The jet has a minimum glide-speed of 100 mph (160.9 kph); if it goes any slower, it may stall completely and crash, unless engaged in VTOL. Cruising speed tends to be between 200 and 400 mph (321.9 to 643.7 kph).
Maximum Effective Range: Nuclear power gives it continual energy, but the jets overheat after 20 hours of continual use above 400 mph (643.7 kph). Going at 400 mph (643.7 kph) with occasional rest stops will allow the aircraft to travel for 48 hours straight.
Length: 66.3 feet (20.2 meters)
Wingspan: 44.3 feet (13.5 meters)
Height: 12.5 feet (3.8 meters)
Weight: 30423.7 pounds (13,800 kilograms) empty, 53351.9 pounds (24,200 kilograms) fully loaded.
Power Source: Nuclear Fusion, Should have an average lifespan of 15 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment). Does not include ordnance bay. Ordnance bay, if emptied of ordnance can carry up to can carry 4,000 lbs (1,816 kg) of cargo.
Black Market Cost: Not available, only six of the fighters are believed to survived the Coalition attack. Iron Heart planned to sell the fighter for 35 million credits each.
- Pulse Laser Mount: The pulse laser is mounted under the nose
of the fighter. At first a rail gun was considered but the weapon was found
to be too heavy and a pulse laser would have an unlimited payload. Weapon
fires multiple laser pulses when fired. It serves as the one of last line
of defense against enemy planes and missile volleys and is often used when
the fighter is out of missiles
Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
Mega-Damage: 6D6 per pulse.
Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
- Mini-Missile Launchers (2): A small mini-missile launcher
is mounted behind the cockpit over the fighter’s engine. The launchers
are retractable to reduce fighter’s drag. This weapon is mostly used against
enemy aircraft, missile volleys, and other aerial opponents, or on strafing
runs against troops and other ground targets. The weapon has a much larger
punch than the laser cannons.
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, four, six, or twelve.
Payload: 24 total; 12 mini-missiles in each launcher.
- Internal Ordnance Bay: The fighter has a large bay in the
main body that can carry a wide variety of different ordnance types. Ordnance
types include missiles or bombs. Missile and bomb sizes may be mixed between
different types of ordnance but an ordnance drop or launch must include
the same type and size of ordnance. Ordnance may be carried at the rate
of four short range missiles, four light bombs, two medium range missiles,
or two medium bombs for one long range missile or heavy bomb. Both guided
and unguided ordnance may be carried. An equivalent number of torpedoes
or depth charges to the number of missiles and bombs may also be carried.
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: Ordnance is dropped or fired one at a time or in volleys of two to thirty two but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley.)
Payload: 16 short range missile or light bombs, 8 medium range missiles or medium bombs, or 4 long range missile or heavy bomb. Ordnance can be mixed and torpedoes and depth charges may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.
The fighter has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed:
- Stealth Feature: The aircraft has a very similar stealth feature as the Coalition Talon fighter and has a -80% to be detected at long range because of its stealth. As the aircraft gets closer, more target return will allow for easier detection. Opening the main ordnance bay greatly increase the aircraft's radar signature from the underside of the aircraft and aircraft creates no penalties to be detected in those conditions. Go to General Detection Penalties for more information on penalties and bonuses to use with stealth.
- Radar: Range 500 miles (805 km). The radar system can identify and track up to 96 targets simultaneously and is also capable of Terrain Following for low altitude flight. With Combat & Targeting Computer, the fighter can fire missiles at up to twelve targets at the same time.
- Internal Active Jamming Gear: 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.
- E.S.M.: Radar Detector, Passively detects other radars being operated.
- FLIR: Forward Looking Infrared. Allows the pilot to get visuals on targets at night.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2002, Kitsune. All rights reserved.