New Sovietskiy Yak-141S Freestyle VSTOL Fighter:

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

Before their disastrous war against the United States, the Indian Navy used the Sea Harrier on their carriers. The Indian fighters attempted an air strike against the U.S.S. Bunker Hill and all of the Indian fighters were destroyed or damage. Before the war, the Indian government was negotiating to purchase the VTOL version of the Joint Strike Fighter. These negotiations were stopped due to the war and the Indians were blocked by the United States from buying more Sea Harriers from Great Britain.

All purchases of military hardware from Western Nations were blocked by the United States and the Indian military had to rely heavily on Russia and China. Yakovlev had developed the Yak-141 (formally the Yak-41) for the Kiev class carrier but had never entered production. It had been the first Mach capable VTOL fighter but had been for the most part forgotten with the Joint Strike Fighter entering service in several nations. Yakovlev approached leaders in the Indian military and offered to design and manufacture an upgraded version of the Yak-141 for the Indian Naval Forces. The first squadron of the new VTOL fighter, as the Yak-141D, entered Indian service in 2018 and the Indians purchased a total of 36 of these fighters. The Russian Navy purchased a few of these fighters as well for experimental but with strapped budgets of the Russian Government, a large number of the fighters were never purchased.

In 2027, the Soviet Government reformed and took control of Russia. The increase in the military was a very high priority and soon after the new government took power, there was a revolution in high strength materials and weapons which made most designs obsolete overnight. Yakovlev immediately began design work on a version of the Yak-141 which used these new materials. They also refitted the fighters already in service with the Indian navy with the new materials but the refitted old fighters were nowhere near as strong as the new construction version of the fighter. A few years later, the Indian Navy decided to replace their old Yak-141D fighters with the new model of the Yak-141. The new model, known as the Yak-141K, had several other improvements beyond the use of new materials. The radar was improved, the engines were of a more fuel efficient model, and takeoff weights were increased. The reformed Soviet Union also purchased a number of these models and Argentina bought a small number of these fighters as well.

In the next two decades, fusion turbines were developed for aircraft which gave aircraft virtually unlimited endurance. At the same time, the Soviet military was planning to develop a multi-role amphibious vessel and they wanted a VTOL fighter for use on the new class. It was decided that a fusion turbine powered version of the Yak-141 would be developed for the new vessel to save on development costs. Development of the fusion powered version of the Yak-141 began in 2051 with the first prototype rolling from the Yakovlev facility. Production began in 2056, just two years after the Su-47D Foxfire fighter.

It was never produced in large numbers and production has recently been terminated in favor of a new VTOL fighter which is planned as a replacement for both the Yak-141 and the Su-47D Foxfire fighter. A total of about 300 fighters have been produced for Soviet naval forces with about 250 still in service. As well, a total of 75 of these fighters are in service with the Indian navy. A small number have been sold to other nations including 24 fighters to Argentina and the same number to China. It is likely that some of the Yak-141S will be retained in Soviet naval reserve forces but it is believed that most will be sold to Soviet allies.

The fighter has never been considered the equal of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter or the FV-38 Panther II VTOL fighters but was still an effective aircraft. The body of the Yak-141S is made out of high strength composites and alloys. Like most moderns aircraft, the fighter uses a fly by wire system which in the case of the Freestyle is triple redundant. Radar on the Yak-141S was fairly primitive and generally the electronics were conservative to reduce costs on the fighter. The fighter has a single fusion turbine which produce about 12,000 kg of thrust and two lift engines which each produce about 4,500 kg of lift. Payloads were increased though the various models but the weight that can be carried was less in vertical take-off and landing. The fighter has a total of eight hard points with one light hard-points on the tip of each wing, two heavy hard points each wing, and two heavy hard points on the fuselage. Often the wingtip hard-points carry towed decoys instead of missiles. The fighter originally carried a 30 mm cannon which was replaced by twin 20 mm rail guns.

Designation: Yak-141 (NATO Name Freestyle)
Vehicle Type: Single Engine Multi-Role VTOL Fighter
Crew: One

M.D.C. by Location:

Forward Mounted Gun (1 or 2; Wing Base):25 each
Ordnance Hard Points (8):10 each
[1] Wings (2):80 each
[2] Elevators (2):40 each
[2] Rudders (2):40 each
[3] Forward Lift Turbo-Fan Engines (2):20 each
[3] Protective Doors for Forward Lift Engine (4, top and bottom):20 each
[4] Main Engines (2):80 each
[5] Main Body:140
Landing Gear (3):5 each
Reinforced Pilot’s Compartment / Cockpit:80
Pilot Seat (1):2

[1] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash. Pilot must eject to survive.
[2] Destruction of rudders or one elevator will still allow the fighter to be controlled by the varying direction of the engines but 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.
[3] Destruction of doors protecting front lift engine will increase drag. Reduce top speed by half and the fighter has a -4 to dodge and piloting is at -20% at high speeds (Above 400 mph / 644 kph). To damage the forward lift engine, a called shot at -3 is required and the shielding doors either must be open or destroyed. If forward lift fan is destroyed, the fighter cannot hover.
[4] Destruction of the fighter’s engine will cause the aircraft to crash. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot and weapon officer 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. Pilot must eject to survive.

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 Yak-141 to reach a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 (1,334.6 mph / 2,147.9) and climb to an altitude of 52,495 feet (16,000 meters). When the fighter is carrying ordnance on its external hard points, the fighter has a top speed of Mach 1.5 (1,112.1 mph / 1,789.8 kph.) The fighter has a minimum glide-speed of 120 mph (192 kph); if it goes any slower, the wings cannot provide sufficient lift and the aircraft will crash unless VTOL engines are engaged. Cruising speed tends to be between 250 mph (400 kph) and Mach 1.0 (741.4 mph/ 1193.3 kph).
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited. Thrusters overheat after 6 hours of use from 200 mph (321.9 kph) to 600 mph (965.6 kph), and 4 hours of use over 600 mph (965.6 kph).

Statistical Data:
Height: 16.7 feet (5.1 meters)
Length: 60.7 feet (18.5 meters)
Wingspan: 34.1 feet (10.4 meters) extended and 20.0 feet (6.1 meters) folded
Weight: 36,376.3 pounds (16,500 kilograms) empty, 40,124.1 pounds (18,200 kg) maximum takeoff in VTOL mode, and 44,312.9 pounds (20,100 kilograms) fully loaded
Power System: Nuclear Fusion, Should have an average lifespan of 8 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), does not include hard points
Black Market Cost: Can be found scattered around the world having been sold by the Soviet government. It is also operated by some mercenaries. The aircraft would sell for around 15 to 20 million credits on the open market.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Forward Mounted Guns (2): A fixed forward weapon is mounted on the base of the fighters right wing if the 30 mm cannon is carried and the base of both wings if the rail guns are carried. 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.
    1. One DP GSh-301 30 mm cannon: Mounted on the original version of the Yak-141S but replaced by a rail gun in later models and many older fighters were refitted with the rail gun as well. The gun was mounted in the original Yak-141 and is a fairly old weapon system. The standard ammunition has been replaced by high density ramjet ammunition which inflicts heavy damage and enables the fighter to hold its own against other fighter weapons.
      Maximum Effective Range: 6,560 feet (2,000 meters / 2 kilometers).
      Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a short burst of 10 round burst and 2D6x10 for a long burst of 20 round burst, 3D6 for each round.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
      Payload: 150 rounds (15 short bursts or 7 long bursts)
    2. Standard 20 mm Railguns (2): Replaces the 30 mm cannon on later models of the Yak-141S and refitted on many of the earlier fighters. The rail gun has the same range as the conventional cannon but has a much higher payload. Rail gun fires standard 20 mm rail gun rounds at a very high speed and is very effective against both other aircraft and ground targets.
      Maximum Effective Range: 6,560 feet (2,000 meters / 2 kilometers).
      Mega Damage: 1D4x10 for a half-burst of 10 rounds, 2D4x10 for a full burst of 20 rounds or for both cannons firing linked 10 round bursts, and 4D4x10 for a full burst from both cannons firing linked.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 5 or 6).
      Payload: 250 rounds (25 half-bursts/12 full bursts) per gun, 500 rounds total.
  2. External Hard Points (8): The Yak-141 has a total of eight hard points with two hard-points on the wingtips, four hard-points on the wings, and two hard-points on the fuselage of the aircraft. The wingtip hard-points and not stressed for as heavy an ordnance and is limited to missiles. As well, towed decoys can be carried on the wing-tips. Each hard points must carry the same type of ordnance but different hard points may carry different ordnance types but ordnance is normally carried in symmetrical pairs. Both unguided and guided bombs can be carried by the aircraft.
    Note: Maximum payload is limited when the fighter takes of vertically. Maximum ordnance is limited to three long range missiles / heavy bombs and two medium range missiles / medium range bombs. Two medium range missiles / medium bombs can be substituted for a long range missiles / heavy bomb. Two short range missiles / light bombs can be substituted for a medium range missile / medium bomb. A mini-missile pack is the equivalent of a long range missiles and a towed decoy pack is the equivalent of a medium range missile. In Short Take off mode, fighter is not limited except by maximum payload.
    Fuselage and Wing Hard Points (6): Bombs or Missiles (1 long range missiles or heavy bombs, 2 medium range missiles or medium bombs, or 4 short range missiles or light bombs) or Mini-Missile Pod
    Wing Tip Hard Points (2): Towed Decoy or Missiles (1 medium range missile or 2 short range missiles).
    1. 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: Varies by hard point (see above - all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance)
    2. 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 (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: Each pod can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16) mini-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.
    3. Towed Decoys (4): The 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. 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 65% chance of fooling ordinary non military radars and non smart guided missiles, the decoy has a 35% chance of fooling military level radars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 10% chance of fooling advanced military radars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and smart missiles.
      Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable although the 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: 4 Decoys each pod.
  3. Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser (1): Use the same effects as the TRIAX model. However, each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares. 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: 20 chaff, 40 flares. Each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares.

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).

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