The heavy fighter has been described as the punch behind the imperial fleets new control arm, and is to all intents and purposes a well designed weapons platform, ideal for taking control of hostile space, and supporting fleet operations, in addition to interface operations, and strafing ground targets in support of troops deployed on a world's surface etc.
The fighter mounts a 4G deep space drive (S.I.T) and has a fully air-framed hull, in addition to its primary armament of a belly mounted triple beam laser turret capable of delivering extensive damage to larger vessels, the heavy fighter also mounts a computer controlled rear beam laser (adapted from a design common to ground vehicles), to throw off the bane of any fighter pilot's life and that is the skilled, rear pursuer. The weapon is not much use in space combat, though but ideal to intercept incoming missiles and shoot at atmospheric or even space fighters closing in range to the heavy fighter.
In addition to this the heavy fighter has some light armour protection and tremendous amounts of excess power available to the thrusters (provided by a traditional fusion plant as they tend to have a longer service life than the new fusion+ units available), making it an agile and graceful craft, and also a difficult target to acquire in combat.
Some variants of this craft often come equipped with an in-flight refuelling probe (as in illustration on page 66 of the T4 starships book), so that battle damaged fighters, many of which will have lost some fuel can refuel without physically docking with a tender, tanker or mother-ship etc.
The high visibility cockpit is the pilot's preserve, the weapon specialist (gunner) has his or her own compartment in the centre of the fighter, giving the gunner access to controls, and display screens normally found aboard larger ships, the pilot and gunner liase through a video comm. link, displayed on the holo-dynamic panels that make up the gunnery station and flight deck controls respectively. Each compartment has independent life-support, though needless to say, when expecting hostilities both pilot and gunner would be expected to wear vacc-suits that could be quickly sealed in the event of a hull breach.
The fighter's computer system is a model 3 that has been hardened to resist radiation damage and supports a medium range comm. system and sensor array.
Like all fighter's this model can be used to escort civilian and merchant shipping in which case fighter wings are something to be feared by any raiders, corsairs or enemy ships. Most of their use however is in blockade (picket duty), patrol flights, and pacification of occupied systems, suppressing resistance on the ground and knocking out orbital facilities in support of Imperial Naval operations. These fighters are the ones most often to be deployed when a fleet is undergoing refuelling operations either at a gas-giant or suitable world, taking the 'high guard position until refuelling ops are complete or the fleet has reached jump point.)
This potent mix serves to make the heavy fighter a worthwhile addition to any fleet and according to their crews are 'absolutely brilliant in a skirmish'.
Imperial Heavy Fighter
Class: Heavy Fighter Ep Output: 8.2 Tech Level: 12 Agility: 6 Size: (small 30 Tons) Initiative: 6 Streamlining: Air-Framed AC: 20 Jump Range: None Repulsors: None Acceleration 4G (Thruster) Nuclear Dampers: None Fuel 1.9 Tons (Hydrogen) Meson Screens: None Duration: 6.5 days Black Globes: None Crew: 2 AR: 3 Staterooms: none SI: 95 Small Cabins: none Main Computer: Model 3 Fib Bunks: none Sensor Range: Medium (model 3) Couches: 1 in cockpit Comm. Range: Medium (model 3) Low Berths: none Cargo Space: 1.0 Ton Cost: Mcr 79.38 (Mcr 63.504 in Quantity) Atmospheric speeds Noe= 1400 kph Cruising = 4200 kph Maximum = 5600 kph Other Equipment: 1 x Triple Laser Turret (beam laser) USP=3 1 x vehicular rear firing beam laser (5d8 vehicles/1d8 ships & small craft) Design Worksheet. Installed Component Tonnage MCR Ep Notes. Hull +30 3.6 ---- Wedge 0.6/0.3 Upgraded Armour 2.4 0.78 ---- AC+3/AR+3 Upgraded Streamlining 1.5 0.150 ---- Airframe Bridge 4.0 0.1 ---- Crew 2 Computer 0.3 30.6 -1.0 Model 3 Fib Avionics 0.8 (1.8) ---- Model 2 Sensors 0.9 (1.8) ---- Model 3 Commo 0.6 (1.5) ---- Model 3 M-Drive 3.3 1.65 -1.2 4G Thruster Power Plant 12.3 36.9 +8.2 Tl 12 Fusion Reactor Fuel 6.5 days 1.9 ---- ---- Liquid Hydrogen Hardpoint ---- 0.1 ---- 1 Hardpoint 1 x Triple Turret ---- 1.0 ---- 1 x Single Weapon mount ---- 0.5 ---- 3 x Beam Laser ---- 3.0 -3.0 Beam Laser USP=3 1 x Single Beam Laser 1.0- 1.0 -1.0 Beam Laser USP=1 Cargo 1.0 ---- ---- Totals 30.0 79.38 3.75 Excess Power = 2.0 (+6 Agility)
Original T4 Design: Not Credited.
Design Adapted for T20, by Mark Bridgeman.
Note the single beam laser is a transverse vehicle mounted weapon, (1000 vl - heavy beam laser) the volume of which has been rounded up to a displacement ton to take into account the machinery needed to allow it to trace an arc of fire through the sky, it can be either gunner controlled or set to auto-fire by the computer in which case it will engage its own targets (not showing friendly ID) as necessary and as per the computer's threat analysis; for the most part however the gunner is normally content to let the computer handle it whilst he or she concentrates on aiming the 'big guns' triple turret at a nearby enemy or mission objective.