Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Early House Davion AeroFighter
CNT-1D Centurion (30 tons)
Chassis : Lockheed/CBM 120
Power Plant : Pitban 240
Cruise Speed : 105.6 kph (10)
Flank Speed : 165.9 kph (15)
Heat Sinks – 10
Armor : Rander Special (Armor Factor 120) : 7.5 tons
Nose – 40
Right Wing – 26
Left Wing – 26
Aft – 28
Three (3) Maxell Medium Lasers (Nose, RW, LW)
Manufacturer : Jalastar AeroSpace, Panpour, Federated Suns
Communications System : Lockheed/CBM Comset86b
Targeting & Tracking System : Rander TA2
Overview : Until the dawn of the twenty-fourth century, space combat was exclusively performed by armed JumpShips and large, plodding shuttles armed with little more than pop gun MGs. While adequate for orbital combat, these shuttles were too valuable to risk during any sort of ground-support actions. A defending system could be expected to have maneuverable, capable conventional fighters, which could handily defeat ground forces and opposing shuttles alike, at least until invaders had established a secure foothold and usable airstrip, and then deploy their own conventional fighters and attack helicopters. Often this forced planners to deploy more ground technical forces than they preferred, as ground forces tended to take considerable casualties until friendly fighters could be deployed.
Impressed with the progress made by the Terran Hegemony, the Federated Suns embarked on their own crash aerospace fighter program to assist their transports and ground forces. looking for something that could out-maneuver anything it could not outgun (while understanding the hefty cost associated with such designs), this new “aero-fighter” would emphasize speed and survivability. In 2430, the Federated Suns’ first domestically built aerospace fighter, the Centurion, debuted. Though primitive by modern standards, this fighter was impressive not just for morale purposes, but also for its ability to fight equally well both in space and in atmosphere., preventing the need for dangerous shuttle runs or for establishing a space-head without aerospace superiority.
*_Capabilities*_ : As an early design, the Centurion hewed to a simple design principle that is still followed by most of today’s aerospace forces. Three medium lasers located across the hull give the light fighter adequate firepower and the ability to strafe ground forces, making the craft an ideal attachment to small raiding units. What made the Centurion impressive was its heavy armor, for the time. Despite massing only thirty tons , the small fighter could take large amounts of damage and remain airworthy. This trait only improved when engineers mounted BattleMech-grade armor onto the fighter, a feature that was added decades after the craft’s initial appearance. The advancement of technology also provided an increased speed and operational range for the fighter.
Deployment : The Centurion served as the Federated Suns’ premier light aerospace fighter until the nation acquired various SPR-H5 Sparrowhawk production lines towards the end of the Star League. The Sparowhawk’s electronics suite and ability to absorb damage far surpassed the abilities of the Centurion, and the older fighter was quickly phased out of production, and shunted to planetary militias. With permission of the Federated Suns government, the design was traded with the Lockheed/CBM Corporation for another ancient design, the SB-27 Sabre, for testing, and Jalastar allowed production to continue throughout the Succession Wars until 3000, when the design was officially shut-down to concentrate on other designs. At that time, Lockheed/CBM replaced the Centurion’s aging frame and electronics components with more up-to-date versions.
Variants : Due to the plethora of other light aerospace fighters, no significant variants of the Centurion were developed. One prototype that received limited production runs, was the 2D, which replaced armor and fuel for an SRM-6 pack, allowing the craft to be used as a short-range interceptor.