|This article, F/A-110 Axe, was written by Ajax 013. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "You hear that... it sounds almost like.."
- ―Corporal Bruce Jackson
- "Its Rolling Thunder!"
- ―Staff Sergeant Marcus Biggs
The F/A-110 Axe, nicknamed 'Rolling Thunder' by Marine forces, is a UNSCMC transatmospheric Strike Fighter
The F/A-110 Axe is a uniquely designed carrier launched ground attack plane designed by a joint effort between the United North American Defence Systems and UAE Systems, combined ideas and designs for a potent attack plane. The plane itself is designed to be capable of flying at both extremely low and high speeds without the use of clunky VTOL technology, while providing direct and indirect fire on enemy targets.
The plane is designed rather simply, with an aggressively shaped, elongated fuselage, with multiple internal cyclic weapon pods and ends in a somewhat standard tail design. The wings are long and feature adjustable wing surface at the wing tips, allowing the wing tips to be dropped at low altitudes to allow it greater agility. Overall, it is a stealth design, with RADAR resistant shapes, S shape air intakes implanted in the fuselage, a delta shape and canted tail wings, supplanted by RADAR and LIDAR absorbent materials and advance electronic countermeasures.
The primary weapon on the Axe Strike Fighter is a pair of rotary 30mm cannons. Mounted in the fuselage, the gun muzzles are hidden behind trap door flaps to ensure it does not affect the plane's agility or stealth capability. This allows it, no matter the configuration, to act as a strafer, with the cannon capable of tearing open tanks, bunkers and other hard targets. The gun fires caseless rounds, usually fed with belt fed mixtures of HEIAP/HEI rounds. It features 8 optional external pylons, at the cost of stealth and wing canting adjustment. This enables the jet to carry a massive amount of ordnance, in comparison to its size, and deploy them in combat. Thanks to its wide body lift principles, common with many UNSC craft, if can operate at low speeds to allow for optimum gun accuracy and tactical combat ability.
The jet is capable of Mach 13 on full afterburners on Scramjet mode and is capable of super cruising, in which state it can reliably sustain a speed of Mach 2.5 with excellent fuel efficiency. Its dual engines use multi-axis thrust vectoring and variable inlets, which give it unparalleled agility and when it decelerates from super cruising (usually when beginning an attack run), it produces an unusual audio effect. It produces a continual series of sonic booms, giving the nick name of 'rolling thunder'. This is used as a form of terror weapon, signalling the arrival of probably one of the most destructive strike fighters in the galaxy. The engine, like all other X-13 series, is capable of preforming transorbital transfers, though the fighter is poorly adapted for anything except terminal landing procedures in space. To help in its incredible agility, it is aerodynamically unstable and maintained by several EMP hardened fight computers, variable control surfaces and high effect air brakes. The craft itself contains over three dozen control surfaces, ranging from multiple wing aerlions/deceleron, stabilators, forward canted canards, six separate air brakes, intake blocks and addittional wing surface adjustment controls.
The craft utilises the variable wing concept, utilising forward swept wings. These wings can be adjusted from a wide wing span, giving it high lift capabilities at low speed and excellent Short Take-Off and Landing characteristics, or sweep forward to create a incredibly agile dog fighting abilities and then fold fully forward, allowing it to achieve high speeds. The wings are in a L shape, with a small spur and control surfaces, so when fully closed, the spurs are exposed and control manoeuvrability.
The F/A-110 Axe's airframe is constructed from a basis of superplastic-shaped diffusion-adhered metal matrix composites. These light, oxidation resistant light-matrix composites are formed from high modulus and high strength gold doped zirconium oxide fibres and a titanium/aluminium laminate matrix, formed by heat bonding layers of titanium, aluminium and titanium aluminide, forming high strength crystal matrices, the results forming a high strength, yet flexible and light airframe. The skin is formed from four layered plates attached to the frame. The inside layer is a high strength carbon nanotube nanobud mesh composite, which does not melt on re-entry and protects the ship and occupants. Above this is a environmental layer, which regulates internal and external heat, preventing layers from outright melting or freezing, and protecting the occupants. The third layer is a resin bonded layer of structural titanium aluminide with a titanium mesh insert. The fourth layer is a outer layer of AEGIS tiles, built on a non-newtonian shock absorbing layer, providing thermal and oxidation protection. The cockpit is situated in titanium-AEGIS compound armoured 'tubs'. These give limited protection against enemy fire. The windscreen is bullet-proof diffusion-bonded self-regenerating single crystal quartz, with a coating of liquid glass, with a variable electronically controlled gold tinted setting, which protects it from solar rays, laser dazzles and electronic interference. These give limited protection against enemy fire. The skin is painted with thermal diffusing paint, heat controlled hull to generate a black body exterior, infra-red suppressors on the engines, RADAR absorbent paint, liquid glass composites and LASER absorbent laminates, which when compounded with its stealth design, gives it excellent stealth abilities.
Aside from its hardy nature, the plane's hydraulic systems are all double redundant, as are the avionics, meaning even under heavy damage it can continue to function. While the pilot system is computer and Hydraulic assisted, it can be reverted to totally manually controlled if either or both systems are disabled. Its landing gear is also full of fail safes, so should the hydraulic system fail the wheels are hinged to the rear of the plane to gravity then wind resistance will pull them out. The fuel tanks are also protected by being self sealing and protected by fire retardant foam, to prevent them leaking or exploding. The plane itself is designed to fly with half a wing missing, the hydraulic and computer system disabled, half the tail missing and only operating on one engine. The undercarriage is hardened against rough landings and ductless engines ideal for taking off and landing from unprepared landing strips and bird strikes.
The cockpit features an internal wrap around digital holographic heads-up display system for both Pilot and Combat System Operator, displaying all systems and targets, replacing analogue systems. These display all pilot navigation, war fighting, flight systems and operations. Both Pilot and Co-Pilot seats are equally outfitted with HUD interface and control gear. Along with the GPS and LASER Inertial Guidance system, the Axe uses four primary sensors to not only detect targets but also navigate and lock on to both air and ground targets.
The Axe is kept in the sky by three primary flight computers, two redundant systems and liquid state primary system, all ruggerdized and hardened against potential threats. The systems utilise a hardened fly by light system, which is highly resistant to damage and interference, which in themselves are triple redundant. The avionics are supported by all purpose Global Positioning System with interference protection and LASER GPS. The Axe is also armed with a batch of cyber-warfare systems, designed to protect the fighter, such as maze and attack barriers around most major systems and a heavy duty multi-phase barrier around the primary flight computer.
In support of the Pilot, Weapon Officer, sensors, flight systems and weapon systems, the Axe mounts a Jotunn produced Flight Assistance Intelligence (Valkyrie Mk. III series). The FAI is a simple artificial intelligence that is designed to speed up the connectivity between man and machine. The system is wholly autistic, protecting it from outside interference and can only communicate with outside systems via voice or analogue link systems. The FAI is limited in personality realms, but is quite advanced, for it's size, as a logic engine, being capable of directing the pilot and CSO in record speeds on course of actions for various tasks. As well as that, it expands their situational awareness, taking in all sensory information and deploying it on the holographic HUD as augmented reality systems, protecting the crew and craft from extended harm. The FAI even has a degree of autonomous operation, with advanced auto-piloting, refuelling and return to base capabilities, electronic warfare capabilities to protect the craft's electronic and cyber systems and autonomous combat functions, to contain the fight after the pilots have been killed or incapacitated, allowing the FAI to defend and pilot the craft home, even with the death of both crew members.
The primary sensor system is the AN/APG-190 INTRUSION Active Electronically Scanned Array. This Phased Array RADAR is made up of 1300 bottle cap sized transmitters/receivers. The highly advance RADAR allows the vehicle to perform a wide range of operations. Also, the radar occupies less space than typical RADARs, because of its lower requirements and its lack of need for physical motion, making it much more reliable, and requiring less maintenance. It has a increased field of view, an extremely fast scanning rate, a much larger range, the ability to track and engage large number of air and ground targets, simultaneously through multiple agile beams and simultaneous air and ground modes, a low probability of interception and detection, the ability to function as a Electronic Warfare Jamming system, and a Synthetic Aperture Radar mode capable of penetrating cloud coverage and sandstorms. The primary RADAR is bolstered by a rear facing AESA RADAR and four more facing at 45, 135, 225 and 315 degrees, providing a 360 degree view of the aircraft, allowing maximum threat detection and interception.
The AN/ASQ-144 TRACKER Remote Operated Targeting Unit is an on board target acquisition system. The unit is mounted under the nose and is usually hidden away underneath a receding plate. When deployed, the unit has a ground observing full-colour camera, hybrid phase thermal camera, LASER designator/LIDAR and LASER receiver. The system allows the on board target tracking computers to identify, track and engage targets at extended ranges. The LASER system uses variable strobing to prevent interference.
The AN/AES-167 RED EYE LIDAR is a pair of LIDAR sensors facing forwards and backwards to detect, track and identify targets and potential threats. The LIDAR uses variable strobing to prevent interference and jamming, and doubles as a range finder system.
Along the sides it carries several AN/ASQ-144 FINDER Distributed Aperture Systems. These act as a missile warning system, reports missile launch locations, detects and tracks approaching aircraft spherically around the aircraft and provide additional navigation systems. They consist of pairs of short range thermal and monochrome TV cameras with steadied autotracking and display systems. It can lock onto multiple targets designated by the weapons officer and by passing from one camera to another, maintain a optical lock.
The original primary role of the F/A-110 Axe is to provide close air support to ground units, specifically against tanks. It is designed around the concept of tank hunting at low altitudes, with heavy armour, plenty of weaponry, agility and two destructive cannons. However, its role was greatly expanded to become an all round strike fighter, capable of interception missions, multi-role missions, aerial control, long range strike, iron hand missions and short range interdiction. Its unique audio signature allows it to act as a massive morale booster to Marine forces and terror weapon against their enemies. With a relatively long range and effective loitering ability, it can act as a long range strike fighter well behind enemy lines.
The two man crew consist of a pilot who operates the jet, the primary cannons and uses the majority of the direct fire (rockets, bombs, air to air missiles) weaponry and the Combat Systems Officer who operates the navigation systems, indirect weapon systems (air to ground missiles) and weapon targeting and electronic support, however, both crew members can perform all aircraft roles thanks to multipurpose HUD and control systems.
"When you hear those sonic booms in the distance, you know no matter what those November Foxtrots have, the Axe will grease it."
"What gets me is, the range of shit these monsters can carry. Air to air missiles, air to ground missiles, bombs, cruise missiles, bomblet dispensers, gun pods and most of all, the double thirties."
"This thing isn't a fucking plane. Its a pair of 30 millimeter cannons with wings bolted on!"
"The thing is so resilient, that's what gets me. The cockpit can take 120mm hits, multiple ones in fact, everything is triple redundant, the thing is a flying tank, and even after its been beaten up, with half of its flight gear missing, it can still make it home."
"You should've seen it. We called them in to bring the pain, and they really did. It must of been a regiment sized unit pushing on us, but they fucking flattened them. Even the flak cannons didn't slow these bastards."
"Theres a certain kind of crazy required to pilot these things. I saw one pilot blow past the target zone at mach 2 while firing off all his ordnance and a height of only about 100 meters."
List of air and space craft of the UNSCDF