Swallow Light Fighter

The young spotter ducked as shots snapped around the VRDF's trenches. A Diamond Shark raider star was advancing, led by a Grendel. He peeked out of his foxhole, staring wide eyed at the first enemy he had ever seen, as the reservist infantry around him, the Veiled Republic's citizen soldiers, readied themselves for the Sharks' onslaught.

A Warbow's gauss rifles cracked, and the Grendel spun awkwardly as it fell, a leg going one way as its body went the other. A cheer rose from the infantry dug into the red clay dust; the Grendel's death was at least a small victory.

But the cheers quickly turned to screams and chaos, as a swift Piranha charged with its machineguns blazing, tearing up a platoon like a combine through wheat. The young spotter froze at the bloody spectacle, then dropped into the bottom of his foxhole, whispering a fearful prayer as SRM trails converged on the Piranha in reply.

Slowly, the young spotter got a grip on himself, as the chaos continued to multiply around him. The Sharks would be all over the VRDF's position in moments if something wasn't done. He took a deep breath, and raised his rangefinding periscope. This was what he had trained for. And somehow, from down in his hole, looking through the lenses, it didn't seem quite so bad. He spoke calmly into his radio headset, calling off numbers as the Diamond Sharks continued to advance.

There was no warning of what happened next. Shadows flickered past overhead, amazingly fast, followed by whistling sounds. The sonic booms came just as the bombs fell on the Diamond Sharks. A swirling wall of smoke and dust sprang up in front of the VRDF's positions; the young spotter had called his strike perfectly. Through the fiery haze, he could see the Sharks milling about, starting to fall back. The infantry cheered again as the fighters came back around, streams of laser fire chewing up the landscape around the retreating Sharks.

As the noise and confusion died down, the young spotter lifted the cover off his hole and looked for the silhouettes of the Swallows overhead. He radioed thanks and waved, and one of the fighters waggled its wings in response before the flight roared off into the distance. He watched them go, and then looked around at the battlefield. Slowly he turned full circle, looking at the smoking craters and broken Shark Mechs, at the bloody wounded and maimed corpses of the VRDF infantry.

And then the spotter, no longer young, simply sat down and cried...


AeroTech 2 Vessel Technical Readout

Class/Model/Name:  Swallow Light Fighter 
Tech:              Inner Sphere / 3067
Vessel Type:       Aerospace Fighter
Rules:             Level 2, Custom design
Rules Set:         AeroTech2

Mass:              25 tons
Power Plant:       225 XL Fusion
Safe Thrust:       11
Maximum Thrust:    17
Armor Type:        Ferro-aluminum
    4 ER Medium Laser
The Swallow is a light fighter built in the Veiled Republic. It is a simple and efficient multirole design, and the VRNF's standard light fighter.

To trained eyes, the Swallow's shape and name conspire to betray its origins: the Swallow is evolved through many stages from the old SLDF's Swift. The Swallow still bears a strong visual kinship to its ancestor; the most visible differences are the number of guns, and the forked twin rudder that gives the Swallow its name. But internally, the Swallow is very much its own design; the Swallow is slower than the Swift, but much more dangerous.

With 8.5 G maximum thrust, the Swallow is easily the VRNF's fastest fighter. It is powered by a large XL engine, and carries five tons of fuel in its tanks. Its ferro-aluminum armor is heavy for its size; this frustrates the
Swallow's enemies, who often have enough trouble hitting it in the first place. The Swallow is armed very efficiently for its size, with a row of four ER medium lasers across its nose, and space for up to five bombs or pods.

This combination of abilities makes the Swallow an excellent light bomber. It still has 7.5 G thrust at full load, so it is not as vulnerable as slower craft. Once the Swallow drops its bombs, its full thrust lets it exit the area with incredible speed. Its guns also make it a respectable strafer.

In the air, the Swallow matches well versus other light fighters. Against bigger fighters, the Swallow must rely on its speed to gain position quickly, as it cannot take a beating. But if it can get on a larger fighter's tail, it can quickly do lethal damage to all but the toughest aerospace craft.

The Swallow is widely deployed by the VRNF's ground-based wings for interception, strike and recon duties. The Swallow's lack of big guns, needed to deal with heavily armored targets like dropships, is all that keeps the Swallow from being just as popular with space-based units. Swallows deployed in space are often assigned to merchant protection duty, where their speed serves to counter fast pirate fighters.

The Swallow is one of the few VRNF designs used outside the
Veiled Republic. The Outworlds Alliance has one squadron of Swallows that were purchased for trials, but the alliance with Clan Snow Raven and introduction of the Corax OmniFighter stifled a potential larger deal.

Class/Model/Name:  Swallow Light Fighter 
Mass:              25 tons

Equipment:                                                              Mass
Power Plant:  225 XL Fusion                                              5.00
Thrust:  Safe Thrust: 11
      Maximum Thrust: 17
Structural Integrity: 11                                                  .00
Total Heat Sinks:    10 Double                                            .00
Fuel:                                                                    5.00
Cockpit & Attitude Thrusters:                                            3.00
Armor Type:  Ferro-aluminum  (143 total armor pts)                       8.00
                           Standard Scale Armor Pts
   Location:                            L / R
   Nose:                                 51
   Left/Right Wings:                  34/34
   Aft:                                  24

Weapons and Equipment      Loc        SRV    MRV    LRV    ERV  Heat    Mass
4 ER Medium Laser          Nose         5      5     --     --   20      4.00
TOTALS:                                                    Heat: 20     25.00
Tons Left:                                                                .00

Calculated Factors:
Total Cost:        3,280,781 C-Bills
Battle Value:      1,073
Cost per BV:       3,057.58
Weapon Value:      1,455 (Ratio = 1.36)
Damage Factors:    SRV = 18;  MRV = 14;  LRV = 0;  ERV = 0
BattleForce2:      MP: 11,  Armor/Structure: 4 / 0
                   Damage PB/M/L: 2/2/-,  Overheat: 0
                   Class: FL;  Point Value: 11