Polar Star Manufacturing Hornet Attack Fighter:

This company is extremely new on the scene, producing a comparative handful of designs. In most cases, these designs seem heavily based on Pre-Rifts designs often older Canadian designs. While the location of the facilities are unknown, most suggest that they are somewhere in the Northwest. There are suggestions that the facilities which Polar Star uses are intact Pre-Rifts facilities which were able to be restarted. A second suggestion is that the engineers who work at Polar Star escaped from the destruction of Iron Heart Industries and want to keep their facilities secret from the Coalition. Interestingly, the designs are quite different than Iron Heart Industries designs.

While most of the designs are ground vehicles and the majority of their sales are in such designs, the company does produce a handful of other designs. In this respect, the company is quite different than Iron Armory and Alamo Armory. It does not produce any robot vehicles or power armors. The company is considered to produce good serviceable designs although not cutting edge in most respects. Still, for a small military or starting mercenary company, their designs are good choices.

One of their newest aircraft is an attack fighter known the Hornet. It seems to be based on the Canadian design of the F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter. The twin engine fighter served the Canadian Air Force for the last couple of decades of the Twentieth century and the first decades of the Twenty-First Century. It is suggesting that by modifying an already existing aircraft design, the engineers at Polar Star were able to vastly decrease development time and cost.

Unlike the ground vehicle designs, the Hornet is only available with a fusion power plant. As the company does not manufacture their own fusion plants, these need to be imported. Instead of using Northern Gun engines, the Hornet uses Metalworks Incorporated design engines. Design are slightly upgraded versions of the engines used on the F-500 Tigerhawk. The engines are quite a bit more powerful than the original engines. Even so, top speed is limited to around Mach 1.8, only slightly greater than the original F/A-18. While the fighter is not a VTOL design, the engines are however a vectored thrust design which allows for short take offs and landings. Because many airfields are rudimentary, landing gear are also strengthened to deal with rough terrain.

As with the fusion reactor, the weapon systems are also not of Polar Star manufacture. At first, a Wellington Industries version of the 20 mm Vulcan Cannon carried on the original F/A-18 Hornet was planned to be mounted in the wing root of the fighter. It was however replaced by a NG-202 Rail Gun. Advantage of this was a much greater payload for the gun with a total of six thousand rounds. Beside the Rail Gun, a NG-E12 Heavy Plasma Ejector is mounted. Some consideration was give towards mounting them on opposite sides but eventually designed to mount them together to share fire control systems. The fighter is designed to only be able to fire one weapon systems not fire both simultaneously.

Compared to the original F/A-18 Hornet, the fighter’s hard points are vastly reinforced although it retains the nine hard points of the original Hornet. Seeming to take a feature from the improved version of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the Polar Star Hornet usually mounts a missile pod in the center line. It carries four medium range missiles. Otherwise, all of the hard points are designed to be able to carry a single long range missile or heavy bomb. Instead, each hard point can carry a variety of other ordnance. Mini-Missile pods can also be carried on the hard points except for the two outer fuselage hard points. It has been suggested that there was some argument for mounting mini-missile launchers permanently on the wing tips but this was rejected in the end.

The fighter is available with either a singe person or two person cockpit. About three quarters of fighters have been built with a single seat cockpit. The radar of the Polar Star fighter is an upgraded version of the APG-73 mounted on the Canadian Hornet fighter. The upgraded version is designed for greater range and tracking ability while having reduced maintenance. It was decided to use the upgraded Pre-Rifts radar over using a Northern Gun model due to having better performance. It is believed that Metalworks helped with the upgrade to the radar system. With fighters with two crew, the second crew operates the aircraft’s radar system. For self defense, the fighter has powerful jamming gear as well. For a final last ditch defense against missiles, the fighter has an advanced chaff and flare system. Towed decoys are also available to be carried on hard points.

Model Number: PS-FA-118A and PS-FA-118B

Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Strike Fighter

Crew: PS-FA-118A; One PS-FA-118B; Two

M.D.C. by Location:


[1] Forward Mounted Gun Mount (1; Wing Root):



[1] Ordnance Hard Points (9)

10 each


Fuselage Missile Pod (1, centerline - optional)



[2] Wings (2):

120 each


[3] Elevators (2):

65 each


[3] Rudders (2):

65 each





[4] Engines (2):

140 each


[5] Main Body:



Landing Gear (3):

40 each


[1] 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.

[2] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash.

[3] 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.

[4] 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.

[5] 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. Because of the vectoring of the thrusters, the fighter can take off in a short distance.

Flying: The Polar Star Hornet has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (1,188 mph / 1,032.3 knots / 1,911.9 kph) and has a maximum altitude of 55,000 feet (16,764 meters.) When the fighter is carrying ordnance on its external hard points, the fighter has a top speed of Mach 1.6 (1,056 mph / 917.6 knots / 1,699.5 kph)

Range: Nuclear powered with effectively unlimited range. Thrusters overheat after twenty hours of use below 250 mph (402.3 kph), 10 hours of use from 250 mph (402.3 kph) to 650 mph (1,046.1 kph), and 4 hours of use over 650 mph (1,046.1 kph).

Statistical Data:

Height:         15.75 feet (4.8 meters).

Wingspan:    46.59 feet (14.2 meters).

Length:         55.77 feet (17.0 meters)

Weight:        27,560 pounds (12,500 kg) empty and 56,900 pounds (25,800 kg) fully loaded.

Power System: Nuclear fusion with 5 year fusion reactor.

Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment) in cockpit, does not include hard points.

Black Market Cost: 12.5 million credits (Can sometimes sell for double that price)

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) NG-202B Rail Gun: Mounted in the wing root of the fighter in the position where the 20 mm Vulcan cannon was mounted in the F/A-18 Hornet fighter, this rail gun is the same design as is carried on the Samson power and has a greater rate of fire than the standard machine-gun version of the NG-202. While the rail gun is mounted together with the plasma ejector, both weapons are not designed to be fired together.

    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).

    Mega Damage: 1D6x10 M.D.C. per burst of 60 rounds (Does not fire single shot).

    Rate of Fire: Equal to pilot’s hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).

    Payload: 6,000 rounds (100 Bursts) total

  2. One (1) NG-E12 Heavy Plasma Ejector: Mounted together with the NG-202 Rail Gun and fires at the same point although of much shorter range. Both however are not designed to be fired together. Powerful secondary weapon which fires a blast of plasma. Power for the plasma ejector is pulled from the fusion plant which gives effectively unlimited payload.

    Maximum Effective Range: 2,000 feet (610 meters).

    Mega Damage: 1D6x10 per plasma blast

    Rate of Fire: Equal to pilot’s hand to hand (usually 5 or 6).

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  3. Nine (9) Ordnance Hard Points: The Polar Star Hornet has a total of nine hard points to carry ordinance. The aircraft has one hard point on the wing tips, two in the inner and middle areas 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.

    Centerline Hard Point: Missile pod, mini-missile pod, missiles/bombs (one long range /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each.)

    Outer Fuselage Hard Points (2): Missiles/bombs (one long range /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each.)

    Inner Wing Hard Points (2): Towed decoy pod, mini-missile pod, missiles/bombs (one long range /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each.)

    Middle Wing Hard Points (2): Towed decoy pod, mini-missile pod, missiles/bombs (one long range /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each.)

    Wing Tip Hard Points (2): Towed decoy pod, mini-missile pod, missiles/bombs (one long range /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each.)

    1. Centerline Missile Pod: Special pod designed to be carried on the centerline of the fighter. It is designed to carry either four medium range missiles or eight short range missiles. Usually medium range missiles are carried in the centerline pod. In two pilot versions, missiles are controlled by either the pilot or the weapons officer.

      Maximum Effective Range: Varies by short or medium range missile type for missile (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

      Mega Damage: Varies by short or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

      Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) but must be the same size (light or medium).

      Payload: Eight (8) short range missile or four (4) medium range missiles in pod

    2. 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).

    3. 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.(Go to 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.

    4. Advanced Towed Decoys (4): 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. The decoy has a special jammer that is designed to decoy missiles that have been programmed to home on jamming signals. 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 80% chance of fooling ordinary non military radars and non smart guided missiles, the decoy has a 50% chance of fooling military level radars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 25% chance of fooling advanced military radars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and smart missiles. Against missiles homing on a jamming signal, jamming has an 40% chance of tricking missiles if both the aircraft and missile are jamming and an 80% chance if the jamming system on the aircraft is deactivated before the missile reaches is.

      Range: Not Applicable although 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.

  4. Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser: Located at the very tail of the fighter are two chaff dispensers. When tailed by a missile, a cloud of chaff and other obtrusive particles can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy’s attack. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate on 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: Eight (8)

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).

Copyright © 2014, Kitsune. All rights reserved.