|This article, FQ-99C Scimitar, was written by Ajax 013. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "You know what I like about the Scimitar? Enemy air defences don't scare it, it just keeps fighting."
- ―Anonymous UNSCAF officer
The FQ-99C Scimitar is a UNSC drone fighter.
The FQ-99C Scimitar is the newest variation of the venerable FQ-99, A Human-Covenant era drone fighter. During the Human-Covenant War, the FQ-99 drone fighter went in during the experimental phases and generally underperformed, with the CPU being underdeveloped and the armour being somewhat feeble. The A, A1 and A2 failed to correct these issues and the Bandit never saw full combat service. By the few who saw it in combat, they referred to vehicle as a 'Wombat', in reference to the sluggish and slow nature of it. The Fighter was mainly deployed en-masse from Carriers in the Indian Ocean against hostile Covenant ground forces. In a literal 'turkey shoot' the 'Wombat' racked up large numbers of offensive kills against mainly unsupported Phantoms and Banshees, but were annihilated by the arrival of later Covenant battle groups carrying fresh groups of Seraph fighters.
The following B version, introduced after the war, was a quantum leap, with a properly developed CPU system, capable of independently completing a number of objectives and identifying a range of enemy targets and engaging them with ease, it could even engage ground targets with its 50mm turret. However, it was still delicate and the B2 with a introduced energy shield failed to rectify this, as the shield left the rest of the craft dangerously low on power.
Following a difficult gestation, the C version, created from modified and dusted off Outlaw B versions held in stock, was deployed as part of a competition to the UNSC's new drone fighter. The Scimitar took a wide range of UNSC certified off the shelf components, including new Ramjet engines, new plasma power systems, new cyclic launcher systems, four layer composites, a HANNIBAL Mark III Projected Energy Defence System, new airframe and an even more advanced CPU. As the prototypes went into testing, the results proved more exceptional than imagined. The final version to go into production was armed with a powerful TITAN LASER in place of the 50mm chain gun.
The Scimitar is based around a triple hull vehicle, utilising three main, connected fuselages. The central fuselage houses the neural net CPU, which is probably the next advanced CPU behind a dumb AI. The system can distinguish between friends and foes with ease, track multiple targets in a 360 area around the vehicle, prioritise and then engage them. It also demonstrates the ability to preform environmental and threat evasion against environmental hazards and incoming missiles or gunfire. The vehicle can identify the opposing vehicle and coordinate the offensive measure effectively, such as deploying the correct missile or its turreted TITAN LASER. It can also preform a wide range of independent missions without mission control support, such as interception, escort, over watch or patrol. This is supplemented by a 1000 part encryption link, on-board communication for base returns, intelligent targeting and its most important feature, the on-board diversion command. The vehicle is programmed with literally thousands of manoeuvres which it can analyse and use within less than a second, varying upon the situation. Being aerodynamical unstable, the CPU also keeps the aircraft in the air. Attached to the central pod is the forward facing AESA RADAR along with the majority of the all round sensors, along with the TADS armed TITAN LASER turret, allowing it to engage targets all around itself without having to face them.
The Scimitar can follow command priorities, follow voice or data orders from base or the squadron leader, and preform high performance manoeuvres, impossible for any human pilot, and operate for a large period of time without having to return to it's home base. The Scimitar is often used aboard starships to bolster on-board complements, and provide a wide range of flexible duties such as intercept and escort, but is also used by some large bombers for long missions, being carried and fuelled on external pylons for close range protection during long range bombing missions, where normal escort may not be feasible.
Each of the side pods carries a handful of sensors and the two powerful engines, along with the two cyclic launchers, each carrying seven missiles.
The FQ-99C Scimitar's frame is constructed from superplastic-formed diffusion-bonded metal matrix composites. These light, oxidation resistant matrix composites are formed from high modulus, high strength gold and chrome doped zirconium oxide reinforced fibres and a titanium aluminide matrix. The skin is formed from four layered plates attached to the frame. The inside layer is a carbon composite which is bonded to the middle layer of single crystal carbon, which does not melt on reentry and protects the ship and 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, providing thermal and oxidation protection. The cock pit is situated in titanium-AEGIS compound armoured 'tubs'. These give limited protection against enemy fire. The windscreen is bullet-proof diffusion-bonded stretched-acrylic with a variable electronically controlled gold tinted setting, which protects it from solar rays and electronic interference. These give limited protection against enemy fire. The skin is painted with thermal absorbing paint, infra-red suppressors on the wings and heat controlled hull to generate a black body exterior, infra-red suppressors on the engines, RADAR absorbent paint and LASER absorbent laminates, which when compounded with its stealth design, gives it excellent stealth abilities.