(Strikecraft) FE-83 Hornet Interceptor
A Heavy Interceptor designed to seek and destroy enemy heavy bomber craft before they can close with friendly warships.
The Hornet is a heavy interceptor. During the 2601 A.D war with the CEG, the Unified Terran National Navy put forward a requirement for a fast interceptor capable of closing with bombers quickly, but able to carry a much heavier payload to deal with increasingly more armoured bomber craft. Previous designs, such as the venerable Avenger were successful designs against most light and medium bombers, but during the CEG wars, proved to be ineffective against newer and heavier CEG bomber craft.
The Navy needed a way to combine heavier firepower with the speed of the Avenger; the obvious solution was to increase the spaceframe and engine power. The Hornet is the result of a new series of Heavy Interceptors, designated "FE". Due to the increase in the spaceframe and powerplant, the Hornet is able to mount two shield modulators rather than one, increasing it's survivability. The design was critized by some Navy advisors, who argued the Heavy Interceptor traded off the interceptor's most vaulable asset; speed, for the features of dedicated heavy fighters such as firepower, and that the craft was too difficult to control in high-accelerations situations due to it's mass and unusal centre of gravity (the Hornet's massive twin drives shifted the centre of gravity towards the rear, giving it the tendancy to "spin-off" when performing sharp course alterations at high speed). However, the Hornet is still faster than most non-interceptor in the fleet, and proved itself in combat.
With the increase in spaceframe size, powerplant and drives, the Hornet has significantly more mass than standard Interceptors, this reduces it's agility even further and increases linear momentum during manouvers in space combat; earning the Hornet a reputration for being rather difficult to control in tight combat situations. The Hornet's large mass and over-sized engines tend to make the vessel drift extensively when altering course. Later designs have improved lateral thrusters to counter this issue, but only reduced it somewhat (leading to the Hornet being known unofficially by some pilots as the "Rocket Propelled Mule"). The Hornet sacrifices some speed, for much greater payload capacity and basic armament and greater shielding. Hornet was a succsessful design, setting the basis for many future Heavy Interceptor designs.
Role: Close-range Heavy interception
Crew Compliment: 1-2
Origin: Polaris Shipwrights, Hensai Technologies /UTN Naval Research
Date Commissioned: 2609 A.D
Propultion: 2x EFJ-33 Fusion Jet Thrusters
Max Speed: Atmopshere: 1,220 KM/H Space: 2,620 M/S
Max Range: 3,200 NM Approx
Mass: 111 Tons
Armor: Tritanium Composite Alloy, 2.9CM max
Sensors: LRAD L-45
Shielding: 2x MOD2 Fighter Shield Array, 2x35MW/2x280PSU
Loadout: 2x RAW-20-4 20mm, 4 barreled Rotary Mass Drivers, pylons for up to 8 external stores, 3 per wing, 2 below fusalage