Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
SB-27 Sabre (25 tons)
Power Plant : Inazuma SI-32
Cruise Speed : 64.0 kph (11)
Flank Speed : 97.2 kph (17)
Heat Sinks – 10
Armor : Nimakachi Type 3 (Armor Factor 64) : 4.0 tons
Nose – 19
Right Wing – 15
Left Wing – 15
Aft – 15
Three (3) Tronel II Medium Lasers (Nose, RW, LW)
Communications System : BipStar 49-G
Targeting & Tracking System : Ki-II TTS
Overview : The longest-serving fighter in the Combine Navy, the Sabre series has its origins in the fledgling Alliance of Galedon. A solid design, it received little attention due to its singular role as a garrison unit. What the Sabre is now known for, is one of the greatest corporate spy rings propagated on four nations for nearly four hundred years.
The Raimei facility on Galedon formed a close-knit relationship with the Kurita family. Indeed, Shiro Kurita was a prominent shareholder in the company. The quiet partnership between House Kurita and Raimei has remained unsoiled by politics and scandal to this day. During the rise of the Terran Hegemony, Raimei saw the opportunities to increase their market share in several areas of production. House Kurita agreed.
By 2572, Raimei had built and opened a Sabre production facility in every Great House and two Periphery nations, running them all as semi-independent facilities. By 2676, each had also become fairly closely tied to the local support structure and manufactured its goods without direction from its central offices in the Combine. During the Succession Wars, however, this valuable corporate network began to fray. At times, various ISF Directors managed to stabilize the network, but when Raimei collapsed financially in 2814, the subsequent buy-outs of its properties and production lines severely damaged its structure. The corporation has sputtered on into the 31st century, and still produces its signature vehicle, the SB-27 Sabre.
Capabilities : Because the SB-26 only carried two tons of fuel, its operational range was severely limited and rarely used in convoys or fighter screens. When compared to other fighters of its time, it was exceptionally fast and maneuverable. As technology climbed, lighter fusion engine weights allowed Raimei to install an engine that gave the SB-27 greater thrust capabilities and twice the fuel reserves. Breakthroughs in aerospace armor also gave teh fighter the same protection for less weight, which meant the original weapons complement did not have to change.
The SB-27 bcame the planetary defense fighter of choice for planetary militias, freeing up other, better-armed fighters to handle attack and fleet duties. As technology broke down during the Succession Wars, these newer fighters became increasingly important and Sabres were used to fill gaps in planetary defenses. It was not uncommon to find a lone Samarkand Carrier defending a system loaded with nothing but Sabres, providing a significant obstacle for attacking forces to sweep aside.
Deployment : Because of Raimei’s efforts to produce the fighter so widely, SB-27 Sabres became common throughout the Inner Sphere., and were found in noteworthy numbers within most planetary garrisons. As the Succession Wars ground down Raimei’s production capabilities, only four remaining production lines remained to be bought out by regional corporations, such as Lockheed/CBM, Jalastar Aerospace, Majesty Metals and Pinard Protectorates Limited.
Variants : The Sabre received an upgrade in the Terran Hegemony in 2753, when Raimei/Lockheed on Outreach produced a limited-run SB-28. This variant mounted a newer extra-light fusion engine, freeing up space for an extended-range laser in the nose, while leaving the standard venerable medium lasers in the wings. Ferro-aluminium armor gave the fighter better protection, and several squadrons were produced for the Hegemony Navy. Surprisingly, this variant was not shared with the corps allied divisions, most likely bowing to the facilities close ties to the Hegemony and its military markets.