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A-18 Storm Breaker

Class

Ground Attack Craft

Manufacturer

  • Karsol Defense Industries
  • Sun Aeronautics

Armour

Heavy

Range

800km

Weapons

  • 2 x 20mm Autocannons
  • 6 x Hardpoints
  • 2 x Decoy Pods

Attributes

  • Well-Armoured and Maneuverable
  • High Survivability
  • Close Air Support Craft

Crew

  • Pilot

Affiliation

Karsian Military

Status

In Service (75AF - Present)

Background InformationEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Sticking to their traditional doctrine of combined arms strategy where weapons tended to excel specifically for certain roles, Karsian Military designers would begin development of a dedicated atmospheric ground attack craft that would be focused on survivability to save the lives of both the pilot and the machine; this would save resources as well as experience of the pilots.

The A-18 would be developed by Sun Aeronautics which was one of the many companies under Karsol Defense Industries, seeking their experience in creating an effective aircraft. The contract would be given in mid 71AF, a year just under Karsol had joined under the Empire's banner with the engineers spending a full-year of development going through Imperial technology to see what could be used.

What was mainly taken from the Empire were advanced internal shielding and armour systems to protect the aircraft's main components should something punch through its plating to ensure the aircraft would not suddenly lose power and be forced out of the sky. Using their technology to aid in its design, smaller systems could also be installed with similar efficency to larger Karsian systems of the time. This allowed for more redundant systems should the primary system be taken offline. 

The designers also traded range and firepower for armour and manueverability. They did not see it operating too far from Karsian lines given the military's nature to dig-in and keep forces not far from the front-lines at a moment's notice and the designers stressed the A-18 should take out its target in a one-two attack runs, resulting in a plane that focused on fewer, more powerful weapon systems to get the job done.

By the time the aircraft prototype was unvieled in 74AF, it was needed in the border clashes between the Empire and Hydra League and would be one of the many Karsian vehicles sent off-world for live combat testing. This was where the A-18 would gain its name from its first ever engagement against mercenaries hired by the Hydra League.

Fighting on the jungle world of Lorek in the Empire, the A-18 would dive out of cloudlines when it was called in during massive lightning storms with heavy rain, the conditions made only more terrifying as the plane's engines shrieked during the rapid descent, delivering it payload against flak fire before pulling away, relatively unscathed. This was the reason why the A-18 are known as Storm Breakers.

Ever since then, the A-18 'Storm Breaker' would become the number one aerial weapon used to attack ground targets and is expected for a long service life with many upgrades to come, especially after the Reclaimation War.

RoleEdit

The A-18 Storm Breaker is a ground attack craft that are capable of quickly diving into combat before pulling away to rearm once it has have released its payload. Mainly used as an anti-armour craft, the A-18 is fitted usually to deal with armoured threats, though extreme circumstances can force weapon changes such as an AA role or be used as a light bomber.

WeaponsEdit

The A-18 is usually armed with VB-12 anti-tank missiles for most missions given its role as a ground attack craft, though it is capable of being armed with AA missiles or bombs when required. The VB-12s are fire-and-forget missiles that are capable of knocking out most armoured vehicles in a single hit, but are known for being slow due to their size and weight resulting in the plane's usual pattern descent being from above a target to drop its payload before rapidly pulling up and away from combat to ensure the missile will not get intercepted.

The standard rounds for its dual 20mm autocannons are meant to take out lightly armoured targets on the ground, but it can threaten heavier vehicles by attacking top armour. With specialized HVKEP (High-Velocity Kinetic Energy Penetrator) rounds, these can be used to take down HMVs and heavier vehicles, though they have no explosive power whatsoever, relying on internal damage and spalling to knock out armour. Each cannon is capable of firing six-hundred rounds per mintue, though they only carry three-hundred rounds individually.

Speed and DefenseEdit

The aircraft is capable of reaching 750km/h for top speed, but rarely carries enough fuel for such a trip on standard missions, though this can be compensated by external fuel tanks. Like the Typhoon, the A-18 carries a small reactor to aid efficency, but it is not as large as the one used by the gunship.

A-18 Storm Breakers are well-armoured to survive anti-air fire and even can sustain certain missile hits thanks to considerable plating that protects the aircraft and its redundancy of systems ensures it will keep flying should primary systems get knocked out. Adding to already considerable survivability, the A-18 carries both flares and ECM systems and the DS-1 Decoy Pods to draw off enemy-fire. The decoy pods work by scrambling targeting systems and if manual control is not used, targeting computers may instead track these instead of the plane itself.

Service and RepairEdit

A-18s, with their plating and armoured/shielded systems, though not too prone to damage, require regular inspections to ensure there are no compromises in the plane's survivability. Properly repairing and replacing systems in the plane is difficult due to how much must be removed before getting to the important internal systems themselves. This can be done quickly at properr facilities, but rapidly established field bases with less adequete machinery requires considerable time and more prone to complications and mistakes.

Most A-18s can be expected to survive combat missions, even when perforated by considerable AA fire and some have been known to even be able to get back to base with a chunk of the wing blown off, though this has also resulted in the A-18 having the most recorded emergency crash landings in Karsian military history.

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