REEF-SF-10 Super Corsair Trans-Atmospheric Fighter:

Finally, the day had come, Lieutenant Lesya Johansson slid into the cockpit of her Super Corsair. While just a junior member of her squadron, she was flying one of the highest performance fighters constructed on the planet and she had been training for years to fight the Coalition. Over the last few days, the Coalition army had fully committed themselves into battle with the forces of Tolkeen and the General had decided that it was time to strike. The General would lead the attack herself in a Logan transformable fighter but Lesya preferred the Corsair to the Logan because her fighter was both faster and heavier armed. Lesya and all of the other pilots had just come from a briefing given by General Moor. The strike was not planned for where Kelly had though. She had thought that the attack would be against the main battlefront but instead the attack was against the Coalitions major supply outposts.

Several hours later, Lieutenant Johansson's fighter was headed for one of the major Coalition Supply outposts near the Tolkeen territories with five other Corsairs. The half squadron of fighters was flying at maximum low level flight speed attempting to use both cover and speed to maintain surprise. In just a few minutes, her fighters would be in position to launch their ordnance and then the really hard part of the mission would begin. Her computer navigation system began beeping to warn her of the final approach to target. Her fighter was to pull ahead and suppress the defensive missile batteries before the other fighters destroyed the base.

It seemed like hours but it was just a few minutes later. Her fighter had just come within range of the missile batteries. She was hoping that her fighter’s stealth would prevent a target lock until she could destroy the batteries. She herself just achieved laser lock on target. She selected her wing mini-missiles pods and squeezed the trigger to ripple fire the rockets onto the targets. Two of the missile batteries blew up in a spectacular fashion but she missed the other two batteries. As she passed them, they began firing missiles at her. She quickly fired off chaff and activated her active jammer. The missiles all lost lock and she dove behind a nearby hill. While she had not destroyed all of the launchers, she had still acted as a decoy and as the remainder of the fighters popped up from the terrain, they fired and eliminated the base including the remaining missile launchers. All of the fighters had survived and it was time to escape before the Coalition fighters began pursuing them.

Instead of running away at maximum speed, Lieutenant Johansson's fighter was running at little more than Mach three in the hopes of actually attracting the pursuit of Coalition fighters. The strikes on supply posts were designed to enable the Tolkeen ground forces to have the upper hand against the Coalition forces. This second part was to decoy a large number of Coalition fighters into a trap. The R.E.E.F. needed to eliminate many of the fighters that the Coalition had so that Florida was not in danger. Time seemed to be moving even slower than it did previously and the fighter seemed to be crawling. Another three minutes until the intercept and then the trap would be sprung.

Three minutes later, she watched as the R.E.E.F.'s secondary force came up from cover. As she watched the radar traces of hundreds of missiles being launched, she hoped that they had targeted them right and that she was not a target. She watched as thousands of missiles flew past her fighter. Many were shot down by the Coalition fighters but many more found their targets. Now, it was her turn to turn around to dogfight the remainder.

This is from a single fighter pilot’s perspective how the battle that both paralyzed the Coalition Battlefront with Tolkeen and where the Coalition lost over half of their available fighters.

The fighter design is built by the R.E.E.F. in Florida and is a heavily modified version of the Corsair III Southern Cross trans-atmospheric fighter. The commander of the base was rifted from just after the Southern Cross war against the Robotech Masters. She had a good working knowledge of the fighter and was able to reconstruct the design. At the time, she was only a lieutenant but eventually assumed the rank of General when the Florida base was established.

The fighter itself has been found to be incredibly effective. It is faster than any other known fighter designs on Rifts Earth and the fighter’s trans-atmospheric capacity has made it useful in several orbital missions. The fighter is one of the heaviest guarded R.E.E.F. secrets and the design has not been sold to any outside parties.

The fighter’s armor has been increased and a second ion cannon has been added on the opposite side of the body to the original (each is about 25% smaller in size because of miniaturization). The wings can now carry a small load of ordnance and are slightly larger to give better lift while in an atmosphere. When pods are carried on the wings, the fighter’s stealth is reduced. The fighter also has chaff launchers added under the fuselage and towed decoys on the end of the wings to help protect the fighter against missile attacks. The body of the fighter has been slightly modified to increase its stealth capabilities. In addition, radar absorbent armors are used to give the fighter a true stealth cabability.

Originally, some of the engineers redesigning the fighter wanted to make the design full VTOL (vertical take of and landing) capable. Unfortunately, they were not able to incorporate all of the necessary equipment for this without designing a completely new fighter. Instead, they redesigned the main jet thrusters so that they could be vectored slightly.  This led to an STOL (short take off and landing) capability.

To be more accurate, this fighter follows theoretical information about starships operating non chemical propulsion in space. This has meant much greater speeds and accelerations. Listed is the formula to allow player and game masters to calculate the fighters velocity when operating in space.

Model Type: REEF-SF-10
Class: Trans-atmospheric Fighters (Air and Space)
Crew: One

M.D.C. by Location:

Ion Cannons (2, Each side of nose):150 each
Medium Range Missile Bays (3, rear sides)225 each
[1] Wings (2):200 each
Tail Fins (2):175 each
Landing Gear (3):20 each
Cockpit/ Reinforced Pilot Compartment:200
[2] Thrusters (4 in rear):150 each
[3] Main Body:600

[1] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash if it is flying within an atmosphere. Destruction of a wing has no effect in space.
[2] The destruction of fighters engine will reduce the fighter’s top speed by one quarter and give the pilot a -1 penalty to dodge as well as giving a 5% penalty to piloting per engine destroyed. Destruction of all four engines will cause the aircraft to crash. Pilot may attempt a emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject.
[3] 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 in an atmosphere. 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; Atmosphere: The fighter has a maximum speed of Mach 6 (4617 mph/ 7430.4 kph) and is trans-atmospheric. The fighter’s cruise speed is considered to be Mach 2.5. When wings of the fighter have ordnance carried, top speed of the fighter is Mach 5.4 (4155.3 mph / 6687.4 kph)
Flying; Space: The fighter does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. The fighter can reach a top acceleration of 7 G. The fighter will often travel at an acceleration of 0.5 to 1 G for extended periods for patrol. Because the fighter is mostly unshielded from the effects of radiation and hypervelocity atomic particles, the fighter is not operated at speeds exceeding 20% of the speed of light. The fighter can be launched from a larger starship at great velocities but may not be able to decelerate to a direct stop before running out of fuel.
Maximum Effective Range: Unlimited in an atmosphere, the fighter has supplies for one person for seven days.
Conditional in space, The fighter carries 4 days of reaction mass for travel at 0.5 G of acceleration. Double the consumption of fuel for 1.0 G of acceleration and double the consumption for every 1.0 G of acceleration beyond 1 G. this means the fighter will burn 128 times faster at 7 G than at 0.5 G. This allows the fighter about 45 minutes of fuel at 7 G. The fighter will often accelerate for a period of time and then shut down the engine and travel using the fighter velocity. If the fighter uses more than half of its reaction mass when accelerating, the fighter will be unable to decelerate fully and the fighter will normally only use a third or less of its fuel on accelerating so it does not run into a problem. If the fighter runs out of fuel then it must be recovered by another vehicle traveling faster or be lost.

Statistical Data:
Height: 24 feet (7.5 meters)
Width: 68 feet (20.7 meters)
Length: 53 feet (16.2 meters)
Weight: 40 tons (36.3 metric tons)
Cargo: Minimal (Enough for weapons and emergency supplies for the pilot)
Power System: Nuclear Fusion with average lifespan of 20 years
Black Market Cost: If found it would probably be worth 60 million for a new, undamaged, and fully operation fighter complete with missiles and Ion Cannon

Weapon Systems:

  1. Twin Ion Cannons (2): On each side of the nose is a relatively long ranged Ion cannon. The Ion cannons are similar to the original Southern Cross cannon design but each of the Ion cannons are about 25% smaller in size then the one was originally so that two cannons can be mounted instead of one.
    Maximum Effective Range: 8,000 feet (2,400 m) in an atmosphere and 64,000 feet (19,200 m) in space.
    Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for one cannon or 2D6x10 for both cannons
    Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot.
    Payload: Unlimited
  2. Medium Range Missile Launchers (3): The fighter has three missile launchers near the rear of the fighter that each can carry nine medium range missiles each for a total of twenty seven medium range missiles. Due to the configuration of the launchers, the launchers can only carry medium range missiles. This weapon system is unchanged from the original system except it has been fitted to use missiles commonly found on Rifts Earth. Missiles are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the starships speed when used in space. Missiles can be launched at non moving targets beyond the powered range of the missiles to hit targets without the chance of the launching ship being hit by missiles itself but penalties exist when launching missiles beyond normal missile range.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with medium range missile types, assume powered range is 8 x normal in space (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Mega Damage: Varies with medium range missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Volleys of 3, 6, or 9.
    Payload: 27 medium range missiles total, 9 stored in each of 3 missile launchers
  3. Wing Hard Points (2): The fighter has two mounts for standard R.E.E.F. Aircraft Hard point Pods & Ordnance Loads. Normally both hard points will carry the same weapon system but can carry different systems if desired. If the hard points are carrying missiles, then missiles are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the starships speed when used in space. Missiles can be launched at non moving targets beyond the powered range of the missiles to hit targets without the chance of the launching ship being hit by missiles itself but penalties exist when launching missiles beyond normal missile range. Carrying ordnance on the aircrafts external hard points negates the aircrafts stealth from the bottom, sides, front, and back of the aircraft. The aircraft will retain normal stealth from the top when carrying wing mounted ordnance. Reduce Stealth by 10% for every hard point carrying ordnance.
  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 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, missiles are 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)
  5. Advanced Towed Decoys (2): These are mounted on the tips of the fighters wings with one decoy on either wing. 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
    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.
    Maximum Effective 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: 2 Decoys.

Special Equipment:

The fighter has all the standard features of a standard fighter plus these special features listed.

The REEF-SF-10 is very maneuverable and very accurate. Use the Phase World Starfighter combat (Elite or Basic) skill. The following bonuses are in addition to those from the piloting skill.

[ 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. ]

[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 1998, 2000, & 2001, Kitsune. All rights reserved.