Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
SYD-21 Seydlitz (20 tons)
Power Plant : Shipil 180
Cruise Speed : 64.0 kph (11)
Flank Speed : 97.2 kph (17)
Heat Sinks – 10
Armor : Shipil Standard (Armor Factor 32) : 2.0 tons
Nose – 10
Right Wing – 6
Left Wing – 6
Aft – 10
1 RamTech 1200 Large Laser (Nose)
Communicationms System : O/P AIR500
Targeting & Tracking System : O/P 3000
Manufacturer : Shipil Company, Skye, Lyran Commonwealth
Overview : Answering a bid for a swift interceptor with heavy-hitting firepower, the Seydlitz handily won the contract and has won many more since entering mass production in 2504. Unfortunately, every other feature of the AeroFighter was given little consideration, and the Successor Wars have not been kind to this machine.
Capabilities : The idea behind the Seydlitz was hitting an enemy target fast in hopes of destroying them before they can retur fire. Its Shipil 180 fusion plant takes up over a third of the Fighter’s mass, giving it considerable thrust and ability to intercept an invading force. A single nose-mounted RamTech large laser can often destroy other light fighters without ablating huge swathes of armor. Small DropShips tend to fear a Seydlitz lance, as the fighters can get behind a vulnerable DropShip to maul its vulnerable drives and engineering systems.
However, the Seydlitz’ two tons of armor allow most weapons systems to penetrate on the first volley. Many Seydlitz pilots remain fearful of ambushes, because the chance of critical damage in the first few seconds of combat can be disastrous. The three tons of fuel make the AeroFighter unable to stray too far from its parent DropShip or airfield, forcing it to make a small number of sorties before returning for refueling. Though more fuel can (and often is) mounted on the external bomb slots of the wings, this hampers the craft’s vaunted maneuverability. On such a nimble vehicle, the threats of such “limits” remains more psychological than real, but pilots often eject their fuel tanks upon entering combat.
Deployment : At the turn of the century (3000 AD), manufacturers in the Taurian Concordat (and Outworld’s Alliance) approached Shipil to gain licenses for production of the craft, in excahnge for nominal fees and roayalties. Since that time, the craft has become very common along the Davion border, among Periphery elements.
Variants : Looking to expand its market niche, Shipil has created a factory refit kit, allowing the removal of the large laser for a quintet of medium lasers spread across the nose, left and right wings.
The more conservative Z3 version produced by the Shipil company attempted to turn the craft into a better dog-fighter, doubling its armor at the expense of the large laser. In addition, medium lasers are installed in each wing, so it becomes a much better dogfighter.