By 2010, the entire USAF fleet of A-10 Warthogs was retired, struck down by the mighty sword of politics rather than by attrition, or mechanical failures. It was thought at the time, that a conventional fighter fitted with the propper weaponry would be able to take on the specialized role of ground attack. It all worked out okay on the paper in front of the beaurocrats, but experience would soon prove otherwise...
In 2028 large scale nuclear war was made temporarily impossible by the European Conglomerate. A decision was made by this alliance, to place anti-missile satelites in orbit to destroy any ballistic missiles that would climb to over 60,000'. At the time the EC did not realize that this very move would cause a backlash of violence.
Scarcely a year later - the United League of Arab Nations, decided to forcibly expel the Israelis from not only the occupied territories, but from Israel itself. In prior engagements, nuclear war was a threat that prevented the ULAN from forcing their points with Israel - this was no longer a factor.
A bloody six month long war soon took place, during which the USAF was called upon to assist her traditional ally in the Middle East. Although the war was eventually called a draw by both sides, and the occupied territories returned to the ULAN, everyone involved took a beating. It became apparent in this conflict that the JSF and F-22s simply were not going to be able to serve the role of ground attack, sufficiently - as formerly believed. A record number of jet fighter pilots were lost attempting to fight in this role - 209.
These losses were completely unacceptable, and by the winter of 2032 a new ground attack aircraft design was sought by the USAF. This aircraft had to be heavily armored with new ultralight composite armor for survivability. It had to be heavily armed with an armor piercing integral cannon, and with 30 or more pod spaces of weaponry. Furthermore, it had to be powered by nuclear power rather than by jet fuel. In 2037, four designs were presented for demonstration. Although the other three were impressive - when the Fairchild-Dornier XA-100 Super Warthog was unvieled, it became an instant sensation. Capable of a speed of 535 mph she was swift. Armored with the most modern composite armor, she was more heavily armored than the new US-M7A1 Forward Scout Tank. True to her lineage, being armed with a 30 mm Gatling Cannon, and FORTY pod spaces of weaponry - she had more bite than any previously constructed Close Support Aircraft.
In total 1,260 examples of the Super Warthog were purchased from Fairchild-Dornier by the USAF, the first ones beginning operational service in 2041. An additional 218 were purchased by the European Conglomerate, and 56 were purchased by Israel along with a license to produce it. An additional 186 were constructed by IAI, of Israel.
The Fairchild-Dornier A-100 Super Warthog's service life was long and glorified in all of it's forms. By the time of the cataclysm the USAF itself had introduced several different variations of the aircraft. The original A-100A, the A-100B with a boosted avionics suite, the A-100C introduced new Electro-Magnetic driven air jet thrusters capable of 560 mph, along with infra-red dampening, and the EA-100D Weasel-Hog, that introduced sophisticated radar sensory equipment, that could lock a selection of ordinance onto virtually any radar active in a combat zone.
Almost all of these impressive aircraft were destroyed during the duration of the cataclysm, but a few have survived. The CS uncovered a dozen such aircraft in Missouri in 76PA, and have since begun using them as advanced trainers. A small cache of 4 A-100Cs were uncovered in armored hangar in Arizona, and were subsequently fitted with eight conventional mini-missile launchers, and a quartet of medium range missiles, before being sold to the Clarkdale Confederacy. Additionally, a handful of hardened bunkers in Israel which contained the A-100As of the IAF may still buried in the shifting sands of the expanded Sahara Desert. No more than a dozen would exist there, but would be an ideal archeological expedition for characters.
Despite so many of these aircraft having been lost amidst the sands of time, the records and construction details kept by the US Archives in Salt Lake City did however, survive. In early 114PA construction of the A-100 began again, this time, in Desert Star under the name S-Mart Assassin. As it was in the 21st century, so too has it become the master of battlefields in the 25th century.
It's first manifestation in the Post Apoclyptic Air Forces, the Assassin-A, is commonly used by the NOMAD Air Force of Desert Star with 89 examples, Kyatashiro with 77 examples, and Tolkeen with 33 examples. Tolkeen intends to add an additional 25 in a contract extention scheduled to take place in September of 119PA. The newest type, the Assassin-B, has been produced for service aboard the ANF Dalmir and Yellow Submarine - totaling out to 104 aircraft of this type having been produced. Plans have also been made for the Assassin-A aircraft of the NOMAD Air Force, to be upgraded, including some equipment introduced in the Assassin-B. These modified aircraft will be known by the designation of Assassin-C. Note: These numbers represent the total number produced for each force mentioned, and not the number in active service. It is inevitable that some have, and will be lost in action, and others have, and will be lost in accidents.
Class: Close Air Support/Attack Aircraft.
Model Type: A-100B, Assassin-A, Assassin-B, & Assassin-C.
Crew: 1; 2 seat trainer versions are produced. Roughly 1 out of every 10 produced is a 2 seat aircraft. The ratio was closer to 1 out of every 50 in the original A-100s. (The CS A-100Bs are modified single seaters.)
M.D.C. by Location:
**Reinforced Pilots Compartment/Canopy-120.
* 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
Maximum Speed: With the wings clean, (ie. no underwing stores) the electromagnetic turbine air jets can push the Assassin to a maximum level flight speed of 560 mph. Depending on the underwing stores carried, the maximum speed will drop from as little as 40 mph, to as much as 150 mph, depending on how heavy the aircraft is loaded.
Maximum Altitude: 45,000 feet.
Maximum Endurance: The jet thrusters can only carry the aircraft aloft for up to 8 hours before requiring a cooling period of 15 minutes or more.
Wing Span: 65' 2".
Weight: 41,120 Lbs.
Power System: Nuclear; 20 year life.
Maximum External Stores: 8.5 tons. (17,000 Lbs.)
Market Cost: This aircraft is not available for sale on the open market! However, S-Mart currently does sell these aircraft to Allied nations at a cost of 18.6 million credits each, with no weapons aside from the 30 mm cannon under the nose. The current Tolkeen contract extention, along with maintenance components, will likely take all aircraft released off of the production lines for the next several months.
1. 30 mm SM-333 Rapid Fire Gattling Cannon: This 'chin' mounted cannon is the primary weapon of the A-1A "Assassin". It's a very powerful rapid firing cannon, capable of turning an enemy armored vehicle to scrap in a single pass.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Armor.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Personnel.
Mega-Damage: It's High Explosive Anti-Tank 30 mm cannon shells are powerful, and deliver a massive impact of 2D4x10+10 M.D. on a 20 round burst.
Blast Radius: A combined burst of explosive shells has about a 5' blast radius.
Rate of Fire: 20 round bursts only - firing any more than this can result in the aircraft losing enough speed so that it stalls out.
Maximum Effective Range: 5,000'.
Payload: The aircraft carries a massive 1,000 round drum capable of supplying then 50 bursts.
Reload Cost: 350 credits per shell.
2. Pod Spaces: The "Assassin" in all current variants have enough room for 40 pod spaces or 8.5 tons of weaponry under the wings and fuselage. Since it's primary role is that of close support of ground based units, and as an assault bomber, almost all of it's weapons are designed to be used to that effect. Unlike aircraft produced by other manufacturers in North America, S-Mart and it's subsidaries produce a vast variety of Pod Weaponry that can be used in different roles on this aircraft.
3. Systems of Note:
1. Infrared Dampening: This specialized cooling system, cools the surface of the nuclear power system, as well as the electromagnetic thrusters, and flying surface leading edges, with the intention of making this aircraft literally invisible to infrared sensors. Many Surface to Air Missiles of the late 20th, and throughout the 21st century were Thermal/Infrared guided. Only the most advanced of missiles created in the Post Apocalyptic times seem to follow along these patterns.
2. Assassin Sonic Dampening Systems: These are specialized sound absorbing dampener plates found mounted around the thrusters, that distort the sound to the extent of creating nothing but a low hiss like the sound of air leaking from a tire, even after this aircraft passes overhead. These specialized systems, were added by S-Mart designers via specifications given by King Ace Ripley himself - asking for an aircraft, that although not stealth, could sneak up on enemy units and smash them before ever being heard. Thus it was dubbed the "Assassin".
3. Military Radio & Scrambler: 500 mile range.
4. Radar with Look Down & Target ID: 50 mile range. Radar is programmed with most aircraft (from before and after the RIFTS), and armored vehicles on RIFTS Earth, additionally, it is programmed to recognize 12,000 different
species of monsters/D-Bees that are over 20' in height.
5. Targeting & Fire Control Computer: This system assists in the utilization of all weapon systems. All weapon systems, receive a bonus of +3 to strike, when using the Targeting & Fire Control Computer.
6. Microwave Range Finder: This system, linked with the Targeting & Fire Control Computer, grants a +2 to strike, with any weapons except for missiles including bombs, and all forms of guns. (This is in ADDITION to those bonuses included under the Targeting & Fire Control Computer.)
7. Laser Detector: This system sounds an alarm as soon as any laser targeting system even crosses over the Assassin.
8. Radar Detector: This system notifies the pilot when he/she has been sighted on radar, or if a radar guided missile is coming at the aircraft.
9. Telescopic Optics: This allows the Javelin to "see" an object, or aircraft at ranges of 5 miles or more as though they were up close, in a sort of pop up window on the HUD.
10. Thermograph: This thermal sensor allows the pilot to see a battlefield in tones according to the temperature.
11. Chaff & Flare Dispenser: This dual system is designed to negate the effectiveness of missiles without resorting to dangerous maneuvers and such, when on bombing runs, 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.
12. Ejection Seat: The pilot has an ejection seat and chute for use in emergency situations.
The image above is reprinted, with permission, from R. Talsorian Games Inc. Cyberpunk 2020®'s Sourcebook Maximum Metal. In the sourcebook it is seen as the A-01 Blitz, a ground attack aircraft based on the A-10 Thunderbolt II, developed for the US Army. All rights remain reserved by R. Talsorian Games Inc., and SirTenzan's RIFTS Gallery acknowledges and respects these rights. This image is reprinted as a means of creating a wonderful new vehicle for RIFTS, using the spectacular artistry of R. Talsorian Games Inc. illustrators.
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