Northern Gun D-20 “Tiger Wasp” Attack Drone:

When Naruni introduced their Combat Drones to North America, no company had anything to compete with them. It is often truth that on Rifts Earth that humans have less value than machines. Still, there are some missions which are just considered too risky for people. While some groups do not feel that way, there are others who do. As well, there are enemies which the best offence is just to throw as many disposable units against an enemy. This includes the Xiticix who reside in the Northern reaches. It is also interesting to note that before the coming of the Rifts there was much interest in military drones although most military leaders still preferred to have humans in the field to automated robots.

Trying to come up with a competition against the Naruni designs, Northern Gun looked at the designs which they are good at. Northern Gun produces a large number of different hover cycle designs and that seemed to be the perfect beginning to the design. Hover cycle engines were simply adapted for the design and allow for speeds up to around 200 miles per hour with altitudes up to around 800 feet. In that, it actually outperforms the design which it was designed to compete against. The thrusters cannot be considered very quiet and the drone is in no way a stealth platform. The attack drone is simply too small to be powered by a fusion rector so instead a pure electrically powered system was selected. The electrical system gives the drone a range of around 800 miles before needing to recharge.

The drone is only lightly armored and only takes a few hits to be shot from the sky. Often, a single missile can do enough damage to the drone to destroy it. The drone itself appears like a small hover type aircraft with no position for a pilot and delta type wings. It is small, only six feet long and massing at only 90 pounds when empty and 98 lbs when carrying four mini-missiles. The hover jets are mounted in the fuselage of the design with the design having a twin tail for better stability. The flight system is fly by wire but lacks the sophisticated backup systems mounted in most manned aircraft designs.

As might be expected, the electronic systems on the drone are quite basic although the platform does have a short range radar and optically targeting system. It also has surprisingly capable recording systems for the drone to act as a scout. The computer in the platform has no artificial intelligence but has some programming in combat packages including defense maneuvers. There is also the option of remote piloting the drone although the system is often subject to jamming.

For weaponry, the drone is lightly armed with a single particle beam and four mini-missiles. The particle beam is adapted from the Northern Gun NG-45LP “Long Pistol” and has excellent range for a pistol. It is mounted ina retractable chin turret in the nose of the drone and has a 180 degree arc of fire and can angle downwards up to 60 degrees. Since the drone does not have a fusion reactor, the weapon uses a high capacity energy battery which allows the drone to fire up to fifty shots when fully charged. This battery is completely separate from the main battery which powers the drone. The drone's mini-missiles are carried on the wings on small hard points with two on each wing. They are useful for tougher targets although the limited payload means that the drone normally only gets one shot. There is some consideration being given to trying to adapt the drone to carry a sinlge short range missile per wing. The drone can be purchased without weapon systems but virtually none have been sold.

Model Type: D-20 Attack Drone
Class: Airborne Combat Drone
Crew: None (Run by remote or autonomously)

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Retractable Particle Beam Turret (1, Nose):20
[1] Nose Camera Array:25
[2] Main Hover Jet (1; Rear):30
[2] Side Hover Jets (4):10 each
[3] Wings (2):55 each
[3] Tail Fins (2):20 each
[4] Main Body:80

[1] All indicated hit locations are small and/or difficult targets to hit. An attacker must make a called shot and has a -3 penalty as well.
[2] The destruction of the main engine will cause the aircraft to crash. Destruction of a single side hover jet will cause the drone to be at -10% to pilot and -2 to strike and dodge. Destruction of two or more of the side hover jets will cause the platform to become uncontrollable and crash.
[3] Destruction of a wing will cause the platform to crash. Destruction of a single tail fin will cause the drone to be at -10% to pilot and -2 to strike and dodge. Destruction of both causes the platform to be at will cause the drone to be at -30% to pilot and -6 to strike and dodge.
[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 maximum speed of the aircraft is 200 mph (321.8 kph with a maximum altitude of 800 feet (243.8 meters). The aircraft is Vertical Take Off and Landing which allows it to take off virtually anywhere and can hover. Normal cruising speed is considered to be 120 mph (193.1 kph)
Maximum Range: 800 miles (1,290 km) before needing to recharge.

Statistical Data:
Height: 1.6 feet (0.49 meters)
Width: 4.2 feet (1.28 meters)
Length: 6.1 feet (1.86 meters)
Weight: 90 lbs (40.8 kg) empty and 98 lbs (44.5 kg) fully loaded.
Cargo: None
Power Source: Electrical, has a small high capacity battery
Black Market Cost: 260,000 credits (Unarmed versions cost around 220,000 credits)

Weapons Systems:

  1. Retractable Particle Beam Turret (1): Mounted in the nose of the Drone, the particle beam is a modified version of the Northern Gun NG-45LP “Long Pistol” Particle Beam pistol and is mounted in a retractable mount which allows for 180 degree arc of fire and can rotate downwards up to 60 degrees and upwards up to 15 degrees. Weapon can be used for ground strafing, defense against missiles, and even fighting against another airborne opponents although range is limited. Can be run by the computer controlling the aircraft (Three attacks and +2 to strike) or by remote control on the ground.
    Maximum Effective Range: 1,200 feet (365 meters)
    Mega-Damage: 5D6
    Rate of Fire: Equal to Pilots Hand to Hand Attacks (Three attacks per melee when autonomously controlled with +2 to strike)
    Payload: 50 shots.
  2. Mini-Missile Hard Points (4): The “Tiger Wasp” has two hard points for mini-missiles per wing for a total of four mini-missiles. The missile pack a larger punch and are longer ranged than the particle beam cannon. The can be used against other airborne targets and ground targets. Can be run by the computer controlling the aircraft (Three attacks and +2 to strike) or by remote control on the ground. Normal missiles used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles.
    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: Can fire mini-missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) mini-missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley).
    Payload: Each wing mounts two mini-missile for a total of four mini-missiles.

Special Equipment:
The drone has limited special equipment which is similar in many cases to the systems carried in light power armors.

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).

Copyright © 2005, Kitsune. All rights reserved.