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|Role||Sustained air support|
|Manufacturer||Northern Federation Defense Inc.|
|Active||74 AF - Present|
|Propulsion||Two NFAE-1280 Engines|
|Armor||200mm Titanium Alloy Plating.|
|Anti-Infantry Weaponry||Nose-Mounted 60mm Minigun|
|Anti-Vehicular Weaponry||150mm Anti-Tank Cannon|
|Other Combat Systems||
The Eagle was an old design brought back to life by 71AF after the Northern Federation looked at old plans from the Northstar Alliance that was being developed at the tail-end of the Great Northern War. The reason for looking back was due to an increasing need for aircraft meant for tank-hunting. While the Northern Federation had a wide range of armoured vehicles and aerospace craft that increased with each passing year, they had few airborne vehicles that were designed specifically for heavy combat.
The design was orginally made for one goal, the destruction of armoured fighting vehicles which the Union of Soviet Systems continued to deploy against the Northstar Alliance. It was a heavily armoured gunship that would devastate the armoured columns and be able to survive the any sort of anti-aircraft fire, but it was put on hold once the HMV became readily available. The Eagle's design would be left collecting dust for the next fourteen years once the war had ended and not until gaps in the Northern Federation's arsenal needed to be shored up.
Of course, the Northern Federation had many other concerns resulting in slow development as designers and engineers built what was to specification before trials and modification to suit modern needs and hoped military officials would glance at the developing Eagle. Its development, however, would be put on priority as the Xeno-Federation War broke out.
With additional funding, the Eagle would be observed by military officials during testing who instantly stamped, "Approved" onto the contract allowing for its mass production as they required new weapons on the front immediately in hopes it would turn the tide.
The Eagle would arrive one year after the outbreak of the war and be put to extensive use defending the dominion of the Northern Federation, blasting away at enemy armour and positions with its deadly weaponry. Though not fondly liked by its crews due to how cramped the interior was, especially with four people, its ungainly appearance and its size which attracted enemy AA fire like moths to light, those in command saw the Eagle as a potent weapon capable of changing the course of the battle as it was more akin to a flying battle tank than a fragile strikecraft allowing it to be used in far more situations.
By the time the war had ended, the Eagle had become a prominent gunship in the Northern Federation's arsenal with many awards and famous pilots being credited to it which has allowed the Eagle a long-life span.
The Eagle is a heavy gunship meant for tank-hunting from the air as well as providing consistent air support for ground forces, supporting combat zones for extended periods of time by laying down continuous firepower as required on the front thanks to a large ammunition stowage. This has set it apart from the lighter Raptor Strike Craft which is designed to quickly engage and then pull away.
The Eagle is armed with a 150mm Anti-Tank Cannon as its primary weapon, which is devastating against ground armoured targets as well as anything else on the ground that happens to be in the blast radius.
A nose-nounted 60mm Minigun delivers devastating firepower at an alarmingly high rate of fire, providing valuable air support against primary threats and also serves as a minor self-defense weapon against enemy aircraft.
Two Cyclic Missile Bays mounted under the wings which hold five missiles each are often armed with Hellstorm Missiles by default, but these can be swapped out for Whip Missiles, Incendiary Missiles, or Haywire Missiles freely depending on the mission.
Speed and DefensesEdit
The Eagle can hit a top speed of 350km/h while still maintaining heavy armour plating supported by countermeasure systems. Its armour is by far its best defense, being able to shrug off shell or energy-based weapons that were meant to shoot lighter aircraft out of the skies and the countermeasure systems ward off AA missiles that generally defeat armour.
It is a trade-off where the Eagle is forced to stay in the line-of-fire longer due to its slower speed and maneuverability from to the amount of weight it carries in the form of armour and weaponry, but this allows the Eagle to operate far longer thanks to its durability and with its extended range over lighter aircraft. It can be deployed to support ground forces further at the front and be active in more heated combat zones where lighter aircraft would be unlikely to survive.
Service and RepairEdit
With its heavy armour, advanced and weapons systems as well as vulnerable propulsion systems makes the Eagle difficult to maintain and service. The armour is heavy and effective but expensive to manufacture. Luckily, because of its effectiveness the armour rarely needs to be replaced, and since all of its weapons control systems are internal they are also rarely a problem.
It is the propeller and engines which are most frequently damaged, and although parts are readily available to replace them and technicians trained to repair them effectively, these processes take time and this can leave an Eagle out of commission for extended periods of time. Luckily, when an Eagle returns to base all of its crew is usually alive and well, and that is the most important thing.