S-Mart Eagle

      In the early 2080s the US Air Force was falling behind on developments for their fighter aircraft. The Russians had continued their rapid growth as a technological power house, since the reformation of the Soviet Union however. Through this rapid growth they had come up with a new superb aircraft that had the unmatched maneuvering capabilities provided by a forward swept wing, and the speed capabilities of the best Russian Technology could muster - Mach 3.8. This aircraft was the MiG-52. In response to this aircraft, and the commonly available Triax XM-280, the US Air Force issued requirements for a new Air Superiority Fighter, that had both VTOL capabilities, and performance that could match the newest threats head on.

      In 2084, a pair of designs were accepted to enter competitive trials. The first was a beefed up prototype of an attack aircraft, outfitted for air combat produced by a Canadian firm called Northern Canada Aviation Technology, given the American test designation of XF-52. The second prototype, presented by a well known American corporation called Rockwell Collins, was a sleek, all new pure fighter design, given the American test designation of XF-53. In the early stages of trial, it became largely apparent that neither design was optimal. The XF-52 presented by the NCAT suffered structural weaknesses due to it's modular construction design feature in high negative-G maneuvers. It's optimal combat radius was much less than that of the Mig-52, it was slightly slower than the Mig-52 at Mach 3.5, AND it was lightly armed for an Air Superiority Fighter. On the other hand, the XF-53 was a solid design. It was not as maneuverable as the XF-52 but was extremely ruggedly constructed, and was capable of a speed of Mach 4.1. It seemed obvious that the XF-53 was the choice of the new fighter of the US Air Force - however there was a problem with the aircraft. It was priced at nearly double the amount of the competing XF-52.

      In the early 21st century, budgets were something to be adhered to, to the letter - and as high of a cost as the XF-53 had at the time, would have been enough to force the acceptance of the NCAT XF-52, however this was not the early 21st century. The American Air Force was frightened - they needed their equipment to at least come close to matching the Russian and European design threats on equal grounds. Thus, the order went through - the US Air Force ordered a test batch of 12 Rockwell Collins YF-53s for testing, which were delivered two years after the test in 2084.

      The YF-53 proved itself to be everything the poster said. Sturdy, fast, VTOL capable, but extremely expensive. It was popular among it's ground crews - and was loved by it's pilots. It seemed to be everything the Air Force needed. A scant year after these YF-53s, now dubbed the "Warhawk", entered service, the US Air Force ordered no less than 325 of the aircraft from Rockwell Collins to be delivered over a ten year period.

      Once the Warhawk started entering large scale service the real problems began. Bases which were outfitted with the Warhawk were having exceptional problems with exceeding their budgets maintaining these aircraft. They were unusually troublesome for such a modern design, necessitating replacement of engines after every few hundred thousand miles - which was incredible considering that some mid century F-33s needed one or two engine changes throughout their entire career in the Air Force! Despite these problems the Warhawk did eventually go to war. In 2089 the United States seized the Baja peninsula from Mexico as payment for a dept owed to the US Government by the Mexican Government that numbered into the Trillions of credits. The Mexican Military retaliated with a surprise missile attack destroying Salt Lake City, a major technological power house city in the United States at the time. In response, the United States declared war on Mexico, and so combat ensued almost immediately. Action for the Warhawk was quite fierce in the first stages of the conflict. It met it's arch-nemesis, the Mig-52 in the skies over Mexico in 2089 - and while outmaneuvered slightly, the rugged construction and advanced electronics in use in the Warhawk won the day seeing five Mig-52s downed with a loss of only one of their own. Although it met victory, had it not been for the cataclysm, their days would have been numbered in the US Air Force. The cost of the Warhawk in operations was simply too great to bear, and an alternate aircraft, the XF-56, and later YF-56 was in development. Combat continued for the Warhawk in the Mexican theatre up until the cataclysm.

      As with other high tech combat aircraft, their legacy, and past victories were lost to the sands of time. When Area 51 was finally uncovered by Bandito Arms however, all was remembered. There in the hardened, air tight hangars of Area 51 were 24 brand spanking new Rockwell Collins F-53 Warhawks! These aircraft have since entered service with the Black Market operating as high speed scout aircraft, as well as in diversionary tactics to lead protecting air cover away from a convoy that is about to be raided. When not in use in this fashion, they are used to protect Area 51. Within the first five years of operations however, half of their number were either destroyed or crash landed somewhere due to poor maintenance. (The Black Market has since learned of the shortcomings of the Warhawks and have started production of sufficient replacement parts for the aircraft to keep them maintained and in order.)

      Other Warhawks MAY have survived the cataclysm in forward air bases in Mexico, that would require some restoration and refitting to return to operational conditions. It is further rumored that a handful may still be located in a hidden base somewhere the New Mexico desert, but this rumor may be referring to the location of Area 51 in Nevada.

      The Warhawk's legacy did not end with those produced in the time before the RIFTS. In 113PA a man by the name of Ace Ripley, who had founded a city, and claimed himself as King - had begun a company called "S-Mart". He had at his disposal an incredible wealth of Pre-RIFTS documentation and technology as recovered in an underground complex called "Project Archive". Included in these records was the designs and production records and manuals of countless Pre-RIFTS weapons, vehicles, and devices of various natures. Among the designs he has chosen to resurrect, was indeed the ancient Rockwell Collins design - he has now dubbed the S-Mart Eagle.

      Quite a number of nations are interested in this aircraft, because of it's capabilities. It's speed is greater than anything currently manufactured and sold in North America (Although, the Naruni Crescent Moon could fly circles around it...), it is VTOL, and has an impressive capacity for weaponry. Among the nations, as of February 2nd, 118PA, which use the Eagle are; The Allied Naval Fleet which has 96 such aircraft in operations and three retained as spares, on Kyoto class carriers, protecting transport vessels and the territorial waters of Kyatashiro. In this role they have served well, sinking 12 vessels for an estimated tonnage of 480 tons in total, and the downing of 31 aerial adversaries and have lost three, all due to non combat related accidents. Kyatashiro has 96 between it's Kyoto class carriers and land bases which have not seen any significant combat action during their service record, Desert Star has 40 which have been responsible for the killing of 46 Leatherwings, and 2 aircraft that entered Desert Star's Air Space with apparent hostile intent. Wa-Daisho has 24 which saw action during the Freighter War of 120PA against Water Point Preserve - but succeed only in sinking a handful of light vessels, New Hope has 8 - none of which have seen combat, Water Point Preserve has 8, and Tritonia has 4 - which are strictly used as recon/communications aircraft. (A Total of 282 aircraft have been produced thus far.)

Class: Air Superiority Fighter.
Type: XF-53, YF-53 "Warhawk", F-53 "Warhawk", & S-Mart Eagle-A.
Crew: 1; 1 additional passenger may squeeze in, but it is extremely uncomfortable.
M.D.C. by Location:
    *Wings(2) - 405 each.
    **Vectored Thrust Vents(2)-150 each.
    **Pilots Compartment - 100.
    ***Main Body - 540.

* Destroying one of the wings will cause the aircraft to crash.
** These targets are small, and difficult to hit, and may only be done so at a penalty of -4 to strike.
*** Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body means that the aircraft's fuselage is in tatters, and for safety measures the thrusters have disengaged. The pilot can attempt a dead stick landing, at a -30% on level ground, or can opt to eject.

Maximum Speed: With the wings clean, (ie. no under-wing stores) the aircraft's twin jets can provide a maximum level flight speed of Mach 4.01 or 2,687 mph. These speeds drop as further ordinance is hung on the wings.
Maximum Altitude: 60,000 feet.
Maximum Endurance: The jet thrusters of the Eagle are designed to endure hours of extreme temperatures. Even with precautions having been taken, if flying at speeds above 600 mph, the Eagle must be allowed to cool after a maximum of eight hours of flight or they will overheat. A note towards endurance is that the Eagle is particularly hard on it's electromagnetic turbine systems - requiring it to be replaced every 6D6x10,000 miles. This wear and tear can be detected by an adequate ground crew ahead of time however (within 5,000 miles of it's final shut down), and dangerous situations can be prevented. If the ground crew is not familiar with the aircraft type, it is at a -20% to monitor the wear and tear on the turbines - and may miss the damage ahead of time. If this happens the engine will suddenly begin to smoke, and a number of things can occur;

    01-25% Uncontrolable Engine Fire! 1D4x10 M.D. is inflicted to the aircraft every melee, until enough of the aircraft's electronics in the fuselage are destroyed for a complete systems shut down. The only option is to bail out.
    26-50% Turbine Shuts Down, speed is reduced by half, and the aircraft must be landed within three hours or the other engine will begin to overheat.
    51-75% Turbine Explodes! A blade breaks loose and causes the entire works to explode like a giant fragmentation grenade, launching white hot shards of turbine blade all through the aircraft, inflicting 3D6x10 M.D. to the aircraft.
    76-00% Turbine control is lost! The damaged turbine automatically drops to a low rate of speed, of 300 mph, and cannot be raised or lowered. The other engine must be slowed to match that rate of speed, or the aircraft will handle erratically, and must be flown at -45%! If the speeds of the turbines are matched, control may be achieved - BUT landing at 300 mph is impossible.

Statistical Data:
Height: 16' 8".
Wing Span: 38' 2".
Length: 65'.
Weight: 26 tons.
Maximum External Stores: 4.2 tons. (8,400 Lbs.)
Market Cost: These aircraft are fairly frequently sold to interested reputable buyers, who represent various known nations, and mercenary companies of the same general persuasion as Desert Star concerning the Coalition States. Each aircraft costs right around 64 million credits, not including any weapons other than the twin SM-333s. Note that replacement turbines cost 8.2 million credits each, and the tools for such a procedure usually cost in the neighborhood of another 175,000 credits. It is however the best VTOL aircraft available on the market that has been produced on RIFTS Earth.

Weapon Systems

1. 30 mm SM-333 Rapid Fire Gattling Cannons(2): These are the primary weapons of the S-Mart Eagle. Mounted on either side of the nose, they are the only truly 'built in' weapon system carried by the aircraft. This weapon type is an older design originating with S-Marts Assassin-A. It is a powerful gattling cannon design that can turn most any aircraft in the air to scrap in a few bursts of 30 mm cannon shells.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Aircraft.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Missile.
Mega-Damage: 2D4x10+10 M.D. per 20 shell burst from one gun, or 4D4x10+20 M.D. per 40 shell burst from both guns.
Blast Radius: A combined burst of explosive shells has about a 5' blast radius for one gun, or 8' from both guns.
Rate of Fire: Single cannon, 20 shell bursts, or twin cannon, 40 shell bursts only.
Maximum Effective Range: 5,000'.
Payload: 260 shells per gun, or 13 bursts from each gun.
Reload Cost: 500 credits per shell.
NOTE: There has been some discussion among those in power in Desert Star that an Eagle-B may be in the works, in the future to construct a version utilizing the newer, SM-433 electromagnetically assisted cannon, instead of the older SM-333 for use in the N.O.M.A.D. Air Force.

2. Pod Spaces: The Eagle has 10 pod spaces of weapons distributed over it's body. There is one mounted on each wing tip, typically loaded with AAMs, three pod spaces under each wing, and a pair of pod spaces under the fuselage. For a variety of pod weapons that may be added on at additional cost, here is a list of those Pod Weapons available through S-Mart.

    Factory Recommended Load Outs;

    Configuration A: Speed: Mach 3.77.
    4 - Anti-Aircraft Missiles.
    2 - Short Range Missile Pods.
    1 - Long Range Missile.

    Configuration B: Speed: Mach 3.77.
    4 - Anti-Aircraft Missiles.
    2 - Medium Range Missile Pods.
    1 - Long Range Missile.

    Configuration C: Speed: Mach 3.87.
    8 - Anti-Aircraft Missiles.
    1 - Long Range Missile.

3. Systems of Note: The S-Mart Eagle, as a third generation S-Mart fighter aircraft, has some of the most advanced accessories yet produced in North America tacked on to increase it's performance envelope over the front.
    1. Military Radio & Scrambler: 500 mile range.
    2. Radar & Target ID: 75 mile range! Is capable of look-down up to 25 miles out, is programmed with most aircraft (from before and after the RIFTS on RIFTS Earth, as well as most common types of star fighters found in the Three Galaxies. Additionally, it is programmed to recognize 6,200 different species of flying monsters/D-Bees. Can track up to 44 targets simultaneously, and may attack up to 3 different targets at a time. (Can fire four different weapons at once.)
    3. Advanced Targeting/Combat Computer: The advanced targeting computer allows the fly by wire system to make small adjustments in power, trim, and direction to assist the pilot in targeting providing a bonus of +5 to strike with all weapons when focusing on one target. The advanced targeting computer may also work in conjunction with the Radar to attack a target without actually facing the enemy - this type of an attack may be made, but only at a bonus of +2 to strike.
    4. Inertial Navigation Computer: This system uses the gravitational forces of the earth, to plot out where exactly the aircraft is. This system, can effectively pinpoint the location of the Eagle down to the nearest hundred yards, to the pilot. Adds a +20% to Navigational skills.
    5. Laser Detector: A handy system that sounds an alarm as soon as any laser targeting system even crosses over the Eagle.
    6. Radar Detector: This system notifies the pilot when he/she has been sighted on radar.
    7. Telescopic Optics: This allows the Eagle to "see" an object, or aircraft at ranges of 25 miles or more as though they were up close, in a sort of pop up window on the HUD.
    8. Chaff & Flare Dispenser: This dual system is designed to negate the effectiveness of missiles without resorting to dangerous maneuvers and such when in the process of aiming, etc. If the incoming missile is Radar Guided, the Chaff has an 80% chance of throwing it off course, if it is Optical or Heat guided, the flare has a 90% chance of knocking it off course.
    9. Remote Targeting System: This system allows the pilot of the Eagle to transmit and receive coordinates and additional data on targets beyond visual or sensor range.
    10. Command & Control Computer: This system operates on the concept of the Internet on cell phones. It allows ALL the aircraft in a unit to utilize the radar and other sensors of his/her fellow pilots in the unit.
    11. Ejection Seat: The pilot has an ejection seat and chute for use in emergency situations.

      The image displayed in reference to this aircraft is the Federated-Boeing Eagle as shown on pg. 91 of the now defunct FASA Corporation (RPG), Shadowrun's Sourcebook, The Rigger Black Book. The rights to which are now owned solely by WizKids, Inc. WizKids, Inc. has granted permission to SirTenzan's RIFTS Gallery to use the artwork but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with SirTenzan's RIFTS Gallery in any official capacity whatsoever.

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