Author Topic: AR-101/YF-7 'Night Raven'  (Read 1405 times)

Offline Azazel

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AR-101/YF-7 'Night Raven'
« on: August 16, 2009, 04:56:16 PM »

The 'Night Raven' Interceptor, sporting its manufacturer's 'Ace' colour pattern paintjob.



Given the massive amounts of valkyrie fighters required and the enormous costs involved in providing human colonies and fleets with adequate numbers of VFs to be used against any threats found in the far reaches of space, in 2016 the UN Spacy started a program devised to design and build a new valkyrie fighter that was both cheaper and simpler to produce than earlier designs while compromising the current design and performance standards as little as possible.

A group of talented russian engineers and the newly re-founded Mikoyan-Arakelian Design Bureau (nMiG) under them decided to enter the competition with a relatively inexpensive, non-transformable fighter, the AR-101 'Night Raven'. It was labeled 'YF-7' by the UN Spacy, though it was soon dropped from the trials given the fact that it wasn't a variable fighter.

It was quite a blow for nMiG, who'd bet it all on the AR-101. Prior to being shot down by the UN Spacy, they'd managed to build a working prototype of the fighter to demonstrate the feasibility of their concept, in addition to presenting them with a few interesting characteristics of its design.
Finding the military brass unwilling to take their concept seriously despite their working prototype, and unable to subsist given the amount of debt left after building the prototype without government funding, nMiG went bankrupt soon after being refused further involvement in the design process. Within the next eight months, General Galaxy's 'Cutlass' variable fighter was chosen as victor. It was later labeled as the VF-9 'Cutlass' light variable fighter.

Fortunately enough for the 'Night Raven', nMiG and its design crew were taken in by DRW Aerospace Systems, a company that operates out of several privately-owned space stations far away from the Solar System (and the UNG's immediate jurisdiction). After the AR-101's systems and engines were perfected, the necessary combat trials done with, it became a low-cost competitor to the government-run VF-9, aiming to provide low-budget colonies with enough military strength to suit their necessities. Ever since its launch, the AR-101 has met its fair share of success, and there is no hard data in any UNG government official's hands that indicates just how many 'Night Ravens' have been sold, and are scattered across the human colonies on the far ends of charted space.

Officially, the purchase of AR-101 by any colony is frowned upon by the UN Spacy and while a few commercial restrictions have been set, such as a limit on the number of fighters that can be purchased and the like, they aren't actively enforced. Whether UN Spacy approved gear or not, the line of thought behind such neglect is that, the better equipped a colony is, the more chances it has of living through an engagement with the rogue Zentradi fleets that roam the galaxy still.

While it is known that the AR-101 and variable fighters have faced one another in actual combat, the accounts are far too sketchy for most parties to know how well do they fare against one another.

In combat the 'Night Raven' relies on its low sensor visibility, its speed and maneuverability to conduct hit-and-run attacks on multiple targets, theoretically crippling enemy forces prior to their being engaged by heavier fire support. Its (relatively) small size compared to older and current variable fighter designs, its design and the composite materials, make the AR-101 a decent first step in the direction of creating a stealth space fighter, something General Galaxy is secretly working on at the moment.

Vehicle Type: AR-101 'Night Raven'
Class: Low Visibility Interceptor/Fighter
Manufacturer: DRW Aerospace Systems under permanent lease from the Mikoyan-Arakelian Design Bureau (nMiG).
Crew: One pilot wearing Tactical Life Support System


    Mach 3.57+ (2223 mph/3737 kmph) max speed at 10,000 meters or less above sea level. Mach 5.5+ (3651 mph/5721 kmph) max speed at 10,000-30,000 meters ASL. The AR-101 is fully transatmospheric and can attain orbital velocity above an Earth-type planet under its own power.
    4,200 kg x4 from main engines. 2,800 kg x4 from secondary thrusters.


    9.3 ft (3.1 m)
    30.8 ft (10.2 m)
    32.7 ft (11.3 m)
    9,850 kg

    Small compartment behind pilot's seat for personal belongings.
    Four Lyulka AL-95 thermonuclear cluster turbine engines. Several P&W high-maneuverability vernier thrusters at key locations along the AR-101's hull for added mobility.


HIGH POWERED BEAM CANNONS: Given the somewhat low amount of ordinance available to the AR-101, it relies on a pair of high-power beam cannons mounted on the upper engine intakes, similar to those found mounted on the VF-4 Lightning III. The cannons can be fired together or individually, and are fed directly from the power generated by the AL-95 engine cores. The cannons are slightly adjustable and can be aimed to fire anywhere in a 30 degree arc in front of the aircraft.

    * Primary Purpose: Assault
    * Secondary Purpose: Anti-Aircraft
    * Range: 3600 feet (1000 m)
    * Rate of fire: Equal to the pilot's combined number of attacks. Cannons may be fired separately or linked together (both blasts count as one attack.
    * Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

DORSAL MISSILE BAY: The AR-101 has a concealed missile bay mounted on the top of the aircraft between the engine nacelles. When launched, the doors concealing the bay open and the missiles fire upwards and out of the craft, where they then move to intercept targets in front of the aircraft. Due to space restrictions, the missile bay is designed to use standard Spacy short-range missiles. It is possible, however, to re-fit the missile bay to accomodate larger ordinance. Doing so will dramatically reduce the amount of missiles available to the craft.

    * Primary Purpose: Anti-mecha
    * Secondary Purpose: Assault
    * Missile Types: Any type of standard UN Spacy Short-Range Missiles (SRM). Can be re-fitted to most missile types, though.
    * Range: Varies with missile type.
    * Damage: Varies with missile type.
    * Rate of Fire: Can be fired individually or in volleys of any number of missiles. If necessary, all missiles can be fired in a single volley.
    * Payload: 18 SRMs/10 MRMs/6 LRMs

While it is possible to equip the AR-101 with two hardpoints (one per wing) for extra ordinance, those render the craft's passive stealth characteristics entirely useless.