Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
GTHA-500 Gotha (60 tons)
Chassis : Saroyan 2.5
Power Plant : Piker 180
Cruise Speed : 55.6 kph (5)
Flank Speed : 88.7 kph (8)
Heat Sinks – 14
Armor : Carbondale IV Ferro-Aluminum (Armor Factor 208) : 13.0 tons
Nose – 60
Right Wing – 49
Left Wing – 49
Aft – 50
One (1) Starcutter Particle Projection Cannon (Nose)
Two (2) Holly-15 Long Range Missile Launchers (RW, LW)
Ammo (LRM) : 8 (Body)
Four (4) Allied Technologies Model 2 Medium Lasers (2 Nose, 2 Rear)
Two (2) Allied Technologies Model 1 Small Lasers (RW, LW)
Manufacturer : New Age Systems Inc., Stewart, Stewart Commonality, FWL.
Communications System : COMSTAT 500 ATM
Targeting & Tracking System : Ringo Plant 88
Overview : In 2654, the engineering staff at New Age Systems Inc sought out some of the greatest fighter pilots of the Star League Defense Forces (or SLDF) to assist in a design project for a new medium fighter. On temporary assignment for three years, these five officers offered their ideas opinions to the designers at New Age. Several skilled combat-repair technicians also took part in the project, offering suggestions on what would make the fighter easier to service and repair. By the end of the three-year study, the engineers at New Age Systems had three prototypes of the same class of fighter, classified the GTHA-100, -300, and -500 Gotha. In the end, the -500 Series proved the most popular.
Capabilities : The medium-weight AeroFighters are often the playing ground for engineers and designers. Many fast craft exist in this weight-class, including some with a great deal of firepower. Among these, the Gotha appears as a slow, armored target just waiting to be attacked.
The Gotha’s long-range weapons are the twin Holly LRM-15 racks in the wings of the craft. They use a pneumatic ammunition-feed system patented by the Holly Corporation that provides a smooth feed, quick reloads, and little chance of jamming. While the missiles provide most of the firepower at long range, the Starcutter PPC also delivers a massive punch. Known for its range and accuracy, the Starcutter is mounted in the Nose behind a sliding safety/re-entry hatc that protects the delicate cobalt coils during landing operations.
Supporting firepower for close range, is a combination of four medium and two small lasers, all manufactured by New Age Systems’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Allied Technologies. These models have proven reliable, and their standard, coil-cooling insulation has been modified to weld tightly with the Gotha’s armor.
Weapons placements on the Gotha show the pilot’s influence during the design. The two rear-mounted Allied medium lasers have full interface with the RIngo Plant 88 targeting and tracking system. These weapons make it dangerous for a light enemy fighter to maneuver itself into the Gotha’s aft.
The GTHA-500 Gotha carries 13 tons of the most sophisticated armor ever created, the CarbonDale IV Ferro-Aluminum. The sleek design has proven very capable of deflecting incoming shots.
The vessel also carries an additional four (4) CBT Chamberpot Class heat sinks mounted in the nose of the craft, to vent heat from the PPC and other lasers located in the same area.
The Ringo Plant 88 targeting and tracking system installed in all variants of the vessel. has one small drawback. When initialized at full power and range, it creates so much electronic noise that can actually flood other targeting systems for the length of the power surge. This effect blinds the Ringo Plant 88 temporarily, but it will quickly recalibrate itself.
Deployment : Considered the mainstay of the Star League Defense Forces, the GTHA-500 Gotha was found in nearly every formation across the Inner Sphere. Built exclusively on the planet Stewart in the FWL, the vessel continued to be produced throughout the early Succession Wars, and production went straight into the FWL military.
In a deep-raid from the Confederation in 2852, the plant was bombed and destroyed, with Corean Enterprises taking over the remaining tools and dies, though they shelved the design, having little experience in AeroSpace production. In the years since, the design has practically disappeared outside a handful of vessels that are located far from general conflict.
Variants : The Gotha had three production variants, with the -500 Series proving the most popular.
The 100 Series initially patrolled Marik space. The engine, though providing less thrust than similiar weight-vessels, proved very robust and reliable. Pilots were also pleased with the number and variety of weapons.
The 300 Series reduced the weapons in favor of heavier armor protection. This model employed 16 tons of armor, far more than most medium fighters. This series, however, was less popular, mostly because the bulky ferro-aluminum armor proved difficult to handle in atmosphere.
The GTHA-500 Gotha was the most popular. It carried a variety of weapons, both long- and short-range. The -500 Series carries 13 tons of armor, thanks to the pilots who helped in its design. This careful balance has proven useful enough that it was the premier fighter of the SLDF for more than a century.