Fighter

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Small craft or boat of interplanetary (though not interstellar) capability. Fighters are characterized as small spacecraft usually without jump capability.

Description[edit]

The lack of a jump drive and its accompanying fuel storage, enables designers of these ships to focus more on putting heavier weapon systems and better in-systems drives. This characteristic makes them more of a threat on a ton per ton basis than similar ships with a jump capability.

The Fighter is a small, highly manoeuvrable, armed small craft, usually capable of at least 4 Gs acceleration, carrying one or two crew, and displacing around 10 tons. Fighters generally have a small fuel tank (usually less than twelve hours' fuel), and no cargo capacity.

Fighters are invariably armed; usually with the heaviest armament the small craft can bear in a non-turret mount. Generally beam weapons are preferred because they are intended to operate at close range. In some cases a missile launch rack may be installed as well.

Strategy and Doctrine[edit]

The primary role of these craft is in-system offense and defense.

Their primary operational area is space, but a number have been configured or have variants suitable to for in atmospheric operations.

Although the role these ships are normally employed in is a system defense role, the shipborne fighters with their ability to be transported in jump capable carriers makes them an ideal addition for convoy duties, as well as scouting and reconnaissance. Once launched at their destination they can keep in-system defense busy and at bay while other ships complete their missions.

On the other hand, based fighters are ideal vessels to control vital areas of a system such as gas giants, asteroid belts, and orbital installations. Their speed and weapon loads make them strong threats to most hostile vessels and few can ignore them with impunity. Because these vessels don't have jump capability and have very modest resource requirements even poorer system can afford to have them to protect their essential space assets.

Mission Basing Types[edit]

There are two broad divisions with this ship type:

  • Shipborne fighters - characterized by features to enable the easy storage, maintenance, launch and retrieval by tenders and carriers.
  • Based fighters - although base type fighters are very similar they lack features which make them more difficult to use in the confined spaces of carriers.

Note: A number of manufacturers do offer mod kits which support conversion of ships between the two types, and many of these craft are produced in both variants.

Fighter Classifications by Capability[edit]

Fighters are named by their capabilties:

  • Fighter is a generic term encompassing all types of flying combat small craft.
  • Spacefighters are limited to operations in open space or the vacuum and are systemic craft not capable of opening a transition to jumpspace.
  • Starfighters are limited to operations in open space or the vacuum and are systemic craft, but are capable of opening a transition to jumpspace. Craft large enough to carry jump drives are generally pushing the definition of a fighter.
  • Interface Fighters, are typically non-jump fighters, capable of operating in open space or within the atmosphere of a planet. They often have physical streamlining or the grav equivalent.
  • Air Fighters are non-jump fighters only capable of operating within the atmosphere of a planet. They often have physical streamlining or the grav equivalent. As grav technology becomes more advanced, there is little difference between an aircraft and a grav vehicle. In fact, composites of the two are often called grav speeders.

Note: G-Carriers are advanced grav craft capable of achieving limited spaceflight. Despite the similarity of capabilities, a G-Carrier is not a fighter.

Fighter Classifications by Size[edit]

History and background[edit]

No information yet available.

Major Fighter Classes[edit]

Fighters come in many sizes and types including the following:

Fighter Classifications Table[edit]

Heavy Fighter Heavy fighter are designated so, due to heavier weapon suites and higher costs. They are often larger vessels then typical fighters and carry larger crews to support the operation of their weapon batteries. Their larger size does affect the number that can be carried on carriers and tenders and can impose a higher maintenance burden.
System Defense Boat Most system defense boats (SBD) range in size from 100 to 5000 tons and are constructed at all tech levels from 8 to 15. There are hundreds of different types, depending upon the specific mission for which they are designed.

Moving SBDs from system to system can be a problem. Although Some types have jump packages which can be fitted to the craft to provide jump capability, the usual method is to transport them in large bulk cargo containers. This method, of course, is not recommended if immediate combat is expected at the destination.

Gunboat Gunboats are characterized by their capability for extended operations in vacuum, atmosphere and water, making them an all environment threat. Typically these vessels are strongly armed with diverse weapon suites which enables them fight enemy ships, provide ground troop support, and bomb enemy installations. They are very self sustainable and their flexibility enables them to continue resistance for long periods, hiding on oceans or in the local gas giants, and coming out only when there is promise of enemy losses.

The gunboat is fast, well-armed, and well-armored. It is capable of a wide variety of military responses, and has a high survival potential. Their mass displacement is normally in the 200 to 600 tons range. They are also called gunships.

Interface Fighter These fighters are characterized by the fact that they are configured for use in atmosphere, as well as, space operations. They basically are streamlined and have sufficient shielding to support atmosphere entry at high speeds. This capability gives them much more flexibility then most typical fighters. They can also be found operating around gas giants as well, and they make a great ambush threat to refueling vessels.
Light Fighter The light fighter is normally more lightly armed and may also have less endurance than other fighter types. They may also be more lightly armored and they are often the cheapest vessels of this type to manufacture. In time of crisis, they may be equipped with weapon pods to increase their combat capability, but at the cost of range and maneuverability. They are usually considered as very highly maneuverable, and many have civilian use variants which find a active market with people who want a fast, maneuverable ship for in-system use. Some vessels of this type also find use as an in system courier capable of very small cargo loads.
Missile Boat The missile boat is a fighter type whose weapon suite is primarily missile weapons. Their role is closing on the enemy and overwhelming them with a swarm of missiles. Their secondary weapon suite is very limited, which limits their flexibility to be used in other roles. Their dependence on resupply limits their operations and tightly ties them to bases and carriers.

This is not to say that they do not have a place in combat, especially when used in numbers. Even a capital ship's commander would have reservation when facing a horde of missiles aimed at him. Missile boats, when found, are typically associated with larger operations and in richer systems, which can afford to support this ship killer. Some ships called missile boats due to their size do have a jump capability, but should be designated as frigates or escorts.

Fighter This class of vessel is consider as representative of the class as a whole. It is a balance of speed, maneuverability, weapons, and armor and constitutes the majority type of this vessel manufactured. Most classes of this fighter are built with both shipborne and base variants. As one of the most widely produced military spacecraft, ships of this type can be found in virtually all naval forces.
Strike Fighter Fighters are designated "Strike Fighters" normally due to their speed. They are not typical because of their relative cost and the fact that speed and weapons have an inverse relationship. The higher the speed the less you can carry. So strike fighter are normally more lightly armed sprinters. A force might have a few to support reconnaissance needs.
Atmospheric Fighters non-jump fighters only capable of operating within the atmosphere of a planet. They often have physical streamlining or the grav equivalent. As grav technology becomes more advanced, there is little difference between an aircraft and a grav vehicle. In fact, composites of the two are often called grav speeders.

Representative Classes[edit]

8 Representative Heavy Fighter (PA) Classes[edit]

Class Origin Hull
Designation
Technology
level
Tonnage Jump
drive
Anzh Class Heavy Fighter Zhodani PA 14 96 Jump 0
Bayonnet Class Gunned Scout Third Imperium PA 14 20 Jump 0
Fairbairn Buccaneer Class Fighter Caledonian PA 12 80 Jump 0
Fearless Class Fighter Winstonian PA 8 80 Jump 0
Fringian Armored Fighter Distant Fringe PA 10 10 Jump 0
Fringian Heavy Fighter Distant Fringe PA 9 20 Jump 0
Heron Class Scout-Interceptors Federation of Heron PA 14 100 Jump 2
K1074 Class Heavy System Defense Boat Caledonian PAS 12 1,200 Jump 0

16 Representative Light Fighter (PL) Classes[edit]

Class Origin Hull
Designation
Technology
level
Tonnage Jump
drive
Adip Class Missile Fighter Vilani PLM 10 10 Jump 0
Baql Class Light Fighter Zhodani PL 14 25 Jump 0
Bell-Arkwright Scimitar Class Light Fighter Caledonian PL 12 20 Jump 0
Cyclone Class Light Fighter Alsas PL 12 20 Jump 0
Death Kite Light Fighter Third Imperium PL 9 6 Jump 0
Dragon Class Light Interceptor Mnemosyne PL 10 10 Jump 0
Fringian Interceptor Distant Fringe PL 7 6 Jump 0
Fringian Light Fighter Distant Fringe PL 9 7 Jump 0
Fringian Strike Fighter Distant Fringe PL 8 8 Jump 0
Gimgir Class Light Fighter Third Imperium PL 15 20 Jump 0
Gremilin Class Light Fighter Council of Heads PL 10 9 Jump 0
Inselm Mark Five Class Fighter Worlds of The Leader PL 11 8 Jump 0
Javelin class Light Fighter Third Imperium PL 15 20 Jump 0
K'Pow Class Fighter Akras PL 8 6 Jump 0
Kasparov Class Light Fighter Varellan Empire PLM 13 20 Jump 0
Kaster Class Light Fighter Plavian League PL 10 10 Jump 0

8 Representative Gunship (PG) Classes[edit]

Class Origin Hull
Designation
Technology
level
Tonnage Jump
drive
Alfred Class Gunboat Third Imperium PG 15 90 Jump 0
Bramble Class Gunboat Terran Confederation PG 11 600 Jump 2
C-13 Class Gun Boat Chanestin PG 11 200 Jump 1
Flare Class Gunboat Winstonian PG 10 300 Jump 1
Fringian Assault Shuttle Distant Fringe PG 11 80 Jump 0
Grasp Class Gunship Mapepire Cluster PG 12 760 Jump 3
Griffon class Gunship Third Imperium PG 15 600 Jump 4
Hornet class Gunship Third Imperium PG 15 600 Jump 2

3 Representative Missile boat (PM) Classes[edit]

Class Origin Hull
Designation
Technology
level
Tonnage Jump
drive
Admiral Gorshkov Class Missile Corvette Third Imperium PM 15 800 Jump 5
Berghoff Class Missile Boat Solomani PM 13 600 Jump 3
Jaradin Class Corvette Unity of Sed PM 12 500 Jump 2

References and contributors[edit]

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.