Boeing F/A-28 Tiger Hornet:

Excerpt from Fox’s Combat Aircraft of the World, 2090 to 2091:

With the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and AV-8B Harrier, Boeing had dominated U.S. Naval and Marine Corp fighter and attack squadrons for almost two decades starting in the Nineteen-Nineties and halfway through the Twenty-Tens. It was not until the introduction of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that the Boeing aircraft took a back seat. Still, due to delays in the F-35 program, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet continued to be produced. Boeing also build the F-15 Eagle and F-15E Strike Eagle which was operated by the United States Air Force and exported to multiple other nations. A semi-stealthy version of the F-15E known as the Silent Eagle was exported to nations not cleared for the F-35.

Not wishing to lose the US Navy fighter market, Boeing decided to develop as a private venture a design to compete with the new F-38 Panther II. As much as possible of the technology of the new fighter was based on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. As such, it was considered a relatively low risk design. As well, much of the manufacturing facility for the Super Hornet was simply modified fof the Tiger Hornet. They had already developed the F-15SSE “Super” Silent Eagle. The new fighter however was designed to have a far lower RCS than the modified Eagle design with a whole new air frame only vaguely based on the Super Hornet.

The first prototype flew in 2046 and the fighter was ready for production in 2048, just as the first FV-38 prototype was ready for testing. After the crashing of the first FV-38 prototype, Boeing received a small order of the new fighter designs. At that time, it was designated the F/A-28 Tiger Hornet. Still, it was never purchased in as large numbers as the previous Boeing fighter designs with only about two hundred and fifty purchased. It was retired in United States Navy service in 2080 although the fighters were carefully mothballed for possible future service.

While not as popular with foreign nations as the FV-38, a number of nations purchased the fighter as well. Due to the far lower radar cross signature to the F-15SSE, the export of the fighter was restricted. Production of the Tiger Hornet continued until 2075 for export with about six hundred total, including for the United States Navy, produced. It is believed that these fighters will remain in service with several foreign air forces for several decades more.

A number of systems originally used on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet are carried on the F/A-28 Tiger Hornet. Most important is the APG-79 radar system. In contrast, a new radar system was developed for FV-38 Panther II. Largely based on cockpit of the Super Hornet, the cockpit of the Tiger Hornet is considered far less advanced than the cockpit of the Panther II. In some ways, it is less advanced than the cockpit of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter especially in the helmet system. Still, it is capable of helmet targeting missiles.

In initial models of the F/A-28, the M61A2 20 mm Vulcan Cannon was retained from the F/A-18E/Fwith a maximum of 578 rounds of ramjet ammunition. In later models however, this was replaced by a USA-M31 Rail Gun. Final models replaced this with a pulse laser. In most older models, these weapons could be retrofitted with newer weapon systems.

This is where the F/A-28 diverts from the F/A-18E/F. The Tiger Hornet's airframe is only loosely based on the Super Hornet. The low radar cross signature has two small bays on each side of the engines and one large bay under the fuselage. Each small bay can carry one medium range missile or two short range missile. The large bay can carry three long range missiles, six medium range missiles, or twelve short range missiles. Bombs and other ordnance can also be carried. The fighter does have four hard points, two each wing for external ordnance although these greatly increase the fighter’s radar cross signature.

The General Electric FFT-445, a smaller version on the FFT-220 provided thrust for the fighter. General Electric fusion turbine were generally more advanced at this stage. Each engine can produce around 150 Kilo-Newtons of thrust. Top speed is right around Mach two with only internal ordnance. Unlike the FV-38 and most modern fighters, the Tiger Hornet lacks lift fans and cannot take off vertically. However, the engines are a vectored thrust design which allows for short take-offs and landings. A tail hook is retained in both Navy and export models of the Tiger Hornet.

Model Type:F/A-28AOriginal Model
F/A-28CUpgraded Model
Vehicle Type: Twin Engine Strike Fighter
Crew: One

M.D.C. By Location:Original Model:Upgraded Model:
[1] Forward Mounted Gun (1; Wing Root):4045
Large Internal Ordnance Bay (Hatch):40 each50 each
Small Internal Ordnance Bays (4; Hatch):25 each35 each
[2] Wings (2):100 each140 each
[3] Elevators (2):50 each70 each
[3] Rudders (2):50 each70 each
[4] Engines (2):100 each120 each
Landing Gear (3):10 each10 each
[5] Main Body:140220

[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. 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. Because of the vectoring of the thrusters, the fighter can take off in a short distance.
Flying: The F/A-28 Tiger Hornet has a top speed of Mach 2.0 (1320 mph/ 1,147.0 knots / 2124.3 kph) and has a maximum altitude of 65,000 feet (19,812 meters). When the fighter is carrying ordnance on its external hard points, the fighter has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (1,188 mph / 1032.3 knots / 1,911.9 kph) but reduction in fighter’s top speed is negligible with internal ordnance.
Range: Nuclear powered, giving it continual energy, but the jet engines begin to overheat after 12 hours of continual use. Occasional rest stops every 4 to 6 hours, giving the engines an hour to cool down, will allow the aircraft to travel indefinitely.

Statistical Data:
Height: 16 feet, 0 inches (4.88 meters).
Wingspan: 44 feet, 9 inches (13.64 meters)
Length: 60 feet, 3 inches (18.36 meters).
Weight: 41,500 pounds (18,824.1 kg) empty and 68,000 pounds (30,844.3 kg) fully loaded
Power System: Twin FFT-445 Fusion Thrusters (Should have an average life span of 10 years.)
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment) in cockpit, does not include ordnance bays or hard points. Small ordnance bays can carry 1,000 lbs (454 kg) each and main bay can carry 3,000 lbs (1361 kg) total.
Black Market Cost: Virtually unavailable. Would likely range from around 60 to 80 million if available (Decrease by about 10 million for older models)

Weapon Systems:

    1. One (1) Forward Mounted Gun: A fixed forward weapon is mounted on the Wing root of the fighter. It serves as the one of last line of defense against enemy planes and missile volleys, although some pilots use it for strafing runs against ground targets when they are out of missiles. Many pilots do not like being exposed to ground weapons fire so it is an uncommon practice. The weapon is controlled by the pilot.
    1. 20 mm M61A2 Vulcan Cannon: Lightweight version of the weapon mounted on the original F-15 and identical to the mount carried on the F-22 and F/A-18E/F. Other than being a lighter mount, weapon is identical to the mount on most United States late Twentieth century Fighters, Standard ammo is replaced with mega damage, armor piercing ramjet ammunition which allows the aircraft to hold it own against other Rifts aircraft. The gun mount is controlled by the fighter’s pilot.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
      Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 round, 2D4 for each round.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
      Payload: 570 rounds (19 bursts)
    2. USA-M31 Rail gun: Mounted on later F/A-28 Tiger Hornets and refitted on many earlier models. It does not require any primer and a larger number of rounds can be carried than the original 20 mm cannon. The weapons design comes from the original Pre-Rifts SAMAS design. The rail gun has fewer bursts and is heavier but the rail gun inflicts more damage than the post Rifts C-40R. Some non-American fighters mount different rail guns although the damage is generally approximately the same.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D6x10.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: 4,000 round magazine for 100 bursts each.
    3. Pulse Laser Mount: Refitted on many Tiger Hornet fighters as an upgrade. The weapon replaced both the 20 mm cannon and the rail gun due to having an unlimited payload. A variety of similar pulse laser weaponry is fitted to aircraft operated by other air forces although most have similar statistics.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 per pulse.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  1. One (1) Main Ordnance Bay: The aircraft a single main ordnance bay at the bottom of the mid-fuselage. The aircraft can carry 3 long range missiles, 6 medium range missiles, or their equivalent in smaller ordnance or bombs. Ordnance types can include missiles, torpedoes, naval mines, and 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 missile, 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 although unguided ordnance is rarely carried..
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude 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 (2), four (4), or six (6) but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley.)
    Payload: Twelve (12) short range missile or light bombs, six (6) medium range missiles or medium bombs, or three (3) long range missile or heavy bomb each bay. Ordnance can be mixed and naval mines may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.
  2. Four (4) Secondary Ordnance Bays: The aircraft has two ordnance bays on each side of the fighter’s engines. Unlike the primary ordnance bay, these are limited to missiles only. A single medium range missile or a pair of short range missiles can be carried in each bay.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies by 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)
    Payload: Two (2) short range missile or one (1) medium range missiles each bay.
  3. Wing Hard Points (4): The Tiger Hornet has four external hard points for ordnance and equipment. The hard points can be used to carry missiles, bombs, and rocket packs as needed by the mission. Missiles, rocket packs, and bombs can be mixed or matched but all ordnance on a hard point must be the same type. Carrying ordnance on the aircrafts external hard points negate the aircraft's 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.
      ,li> 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.
      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: One long range missile or heavy bomb, two medium range missile or medium bombs, or four short range missiles or light bombs (see above - all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance)
    1. 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.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      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), or eight (8) missiles, 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. 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, 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)
  5. Four (4) Advanced Towed Decoys: These are mounted in dispensers on the tips of the fighter’s wings with two decoys in the dispenser 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 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 it.
    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 [two (2) each.]

Special Equipment:
The fighter has all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed below.

Combat Bonuses:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2012, Kitsune. All rights reserved.