Veritech Omega Fighter VF-14 (D, S, T)
|Total Dry Weight||:||22 tons (metric)|
|: 4280 kph @ 36,000 meter (Mach 4)|
|: 1650 kph @ sea level (Mach 1.4)|
|: 182 kph w/o VTOL rectification|
|: > 32,000 meter/minute|
|: 40 km|
|: 1391 kph @ 10,000 meter|
|: 800 kph @ sea level|
|: 16 km|
|: 150 kph|
|: 400 kph|
|: 16 km|
|:2.5 kps delta-v on internal fuel|
|: 5 kps w/external tankage|
|: pilot endurance or protoculture exhaustion|
|: 200 hours operational use|
|1/ shoulder(2)||8 ea.||F,G,B|
|2/ arm(4)||5 ea.||G,B|
|2/ outside of leg(4)||4 ea.||G,B|
|1/ inside of leg(2)||4 ea.||F,G,B|
|(F = Fighter, G = Guardian, B = Battloid mode)|
The armor on the Omega series Fighters is a lighter, improved version of the light-weight Chobham armor introduced on the Alpha/Beta series. Aside from the considerable protection provided against projectiles, missiles, and other kinetic weapons, this armor is also resistant to plasma globes (annihilation discs), lasers, and to a lesser extent, particle guns. The armor stops all small arms fire, and has excellent resistance to all weapons commonly mounted on combat mecha.
The Omega provides full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using a sealed cockpit environment activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The internal consumables supplies can provide atmosphere for four days maximum.
The cockpit forms an independent, armored box that can be ejected to form an escape capsule in case of emergency. However, this capsule has no means of propulsion.
The Omega is the high-tech successor to the Alpha. As the Alpha airframes in service with the Terran Air Force and Navy began to approach the end of their useful lives, the decision was made to develop a new plane, in tandem with restarting the Alpha Fighter production lines on Earth (including the General Dynamics Robotech Factory in Texas that built 300 planes from the time it was discovered by stranded Mars Fleet REF engineers until the Battle of Reflex Point). The new plane was to be the logical next step in design philosophy, and was intended to provide for Earth's defense into the opening years of the twenty-second century. The newest technologies available were integral to the design, and the final result was an extremely capable multi-role aerospace mecha. The Omega is replacing the Alphas of the Terran forces at a steady rate.
Visually, the Omega is almost identical to the Alpha. The differences lie in the fact that the Omega is slightly larger, heavier and more streamlined. All further improvements are internal, such as a protoculture generator rather than a protoculture cannister system, improved armament and the likes.
In the project phase of the development, it turned out that the armament fit of the Alpha would not be sufficient for the Omega. The primary envisioned opponents were Invid Gosu mecha, who have a powerful short range missile battery on top of their thrusters. Projections showed that the new mecha should have an extended and longer ranged weapons package to achieve the desired degree of superiority over the Gosu, which was a design goal after the Alpha was proven to be about equally matched against the Gosu. The missile battery would also have to be more versatile than that on board the Alpha, because the new order of battle called for fewer large ground-attack fighters like the Beta, whose attack missions were to be gradually taken over by the smaller fighters and the new Omicrons. This meant that the Omega would need to have the capacity to deliver heavy long range cruise missiles to a target.
This was solved by standardizing and increasing the medium range missile fit, from a meager 6 missiles under the main intakes to no less than 18 missiles, partly conformally mounted under the winglets and partly mounted in two pop-up launchers on top of the main intakes. In addition to this air superiority load-out, the Omega can also be fitted with a heavy weapons missile pod between the auxiliary engines. This pod can only take a relatively small number of missiles, but this will be sufficient for most targets. Only the more specialized ground attack weapons cannot be carried by the Omega, and are thus carried by the remaining Betas and the new Omicron Attack Fighters/Bombers.
The cannon armament was improved as well. Apart from being equipped with more modern guns, the Omega's main cannon armament is based on an exchangable pod system much like that of the Robotech Masters Bioroids. The only difference is that the gun pods do not all look alike, but only share a common link-up structure, to enable the mecha to carry any of the three provided standard pods. The possible choices, dependent on the mission requirements, are a rapid fire destabilizer, a powerful plasma shell cannon or an EU-11 derivative particle beam cannon. The Omega also has a secondary cannon armament of a proven E-46 ion pulse cannons (annihilation discs), which can fire in both Fighter and Guardian mode.
Another requirement was prompted by the development of new fusion turbines with a far more efficient thermal shielding. This engine would enable an Omega-sized plane to have a tactically meaningful orbital capability, eliminating the need for a Beta booster. The Omega was promptly equipped with these new engines, and can effectively operate as its own space booster. A side effect of this engine upgrade was the possible achieval of a performance envelope much like the envelope of the obsolete VF-4 Lightning. This envelope, with its Mach 4 speeds at medium altitudes, had been absent in the Robotech forces since the retirement of the VF-4 series following the end of the Robotech Wars. Although the Beta series could achieve higher speeds than the VF-4, and the Alpha was a better dogfighter, the VF-1 was, as was readily admitted by every mecha designer, a plane that offered a combination of the best points of the Alpha and Beta in one airframe. The performance of the Omega is therefore tailored to follow the example of the famous first Veritech, with Alpha-level maneuverability thrown in for good size.
Naturally, the Omega is equipped with sensor masking technology. A small number of Omegas (-14S) carry a Shadow device, but the main force (-14D) carries the only slightly less effective (but far cheaper) protoculture dampener devices, developed by a resistance engineer during the Invid Occupation. A standard EM absorbing skin covers the Omega, and the electronics suite sets the standard for all following mecha designs of the period. The cockpit of the Omega is one step further even than the virtual cockpit of the VAF-6S Shadow Alpha. Though still located in the same general area of the mecha, the VAF-14 cockpit is completely built into the airframe, leaving only a small sensor blister on top. In addition, the entire cockpit is surrounded by an armored tub, with access to the mecha via a 'Beta'-style trapdoor in the bottom. This decreases boarding time and keeps pilots from breaking any bones when boarding the plane on a wet and dark night. Not unimportantly, the electronics in the cockpit stay dry as well. In case of an emergency, the armored cockpit forms a rocket-propelled escape capsule. This dramatically increases the pilot's chances of survival in space or on an uninhabitable celestial body.
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