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Longsword-class Interceptor
GA-TL1 Interceptor/Strike Fighter
Production information
Manufacturer

Misriah Armory

Model
  • C701 - Atmospheric force application fighter
  • C708 - Atmospheric bomber
  • C709 - Exoatmospheric force application fighter
  • C710 - Exoatmospheric reconnaissance fighter
  • C712 - Atmospheric/exoatmospheric strike fighter
Class

Interceptor/strike fighter

Technical specifications
Length

64.1 meters

Width

75 meters

Height/depth

12.9 meters

Engine unit(s)

Twin fusion reactors

Slipspace Drive

None

Hull

Titanium-A battleplate

Armament

Varies

Crew

Four (pilot, copilot, navigator, systems operator)

  • Optional AI
Minimum crew

Two (pilot, copilot)

Usage
Role(s)
  • Atmospheric/exoatmospheric fighter
  • Strike fighter
  • Interceptor
  • Bomber
Era(s)
Affiliation

UNSC Armed Forces

  [Source]

The GA-TL1 Interceptor/Strike Fighter, commonly known as the Longsword, was a starfighter in service with the UNSC Navy and UNSC Air Force.

Development

By 2464, humanity had colonized several hundred worlds, and the UNSC wanted to produce a small starfighter that also had atmospheric applications. Ideally, this would mean that if a situation arose on an Outer Colony that required the presence of atmospheric fighters, the nearest carrier could make a Slipspace jump to the colony and deploy fighters from orbit, sparing the UNSC the costs of making air bases planetside that would also be easy targets. The initial design brief called for a single-seat fighter to be developed; however, a design requirement was subsequently introduced that required the use of fusion drives. This was intended to eliminate the dangers of fuel leaks to individual ships, to reduce their dependence on having a local fuel source (as they would have been largely tied to their carriers or to ground bases), and to prevent logistical issues caused by sharing fuel with Pelicans (which would have potentially put excessive strain on the fuel supplies of the UNSC Navy's existing carriers). However, UNSC reactor technology could not produce reactors small enough for use on single-seat fighters, so the design briefing was adjusted for the creation of a larger, crewed multi-role craft. To meet these requirements, Gov Aukland and Thomas Levesque of Misriah Armory developed what they called the YF-466, which was later developed into the C701 model Longsword.

Design

Longswords were physically large craft; this was a byproduct of their design requirement to carry fusion reactors to reduce the need for potentially hazardous liquid fuel to be carried onboard. This meant that their wings, rather than carrying fuel, could potentially be used to carry large amounts of ammunition. This led to the development of the otherwise largely impractical 110mm rotary cannon the C709 variant carried; because of its size and inflexible ammo belt; no other UNSC craft could carry it.

Longswords have a delta wing design. This was done for a number of reasons; primarily, the larger surface area was intended to act as a radiator for exoatmospheric flight. Excess heat would be radiated out from the wings and create a lower-intensity heat signature than that of the engine nacelles alone. Additionally, in the event of war, the structural panels required for the large delta wings could be made at manufacturing facilities for larger ships without the need for excessive retooling to make significantly smaller parts, while the central fuselages could be made by facilities that already had the ability to produce smaller panels.

Exoatmospheric variants appeared to have significantly larger air intakes than atmospheric variants. While this appeared to be a paradox, the development of the fusion drives meant that the Longsword's engines did not need atmospheric oxygen. The air intakes were actually intended for crew comfort; if sensors aboard the Longsword detected that the local atmosphere was breathable, they would draw in air and compress it on onboard tanks and gradually mix it in with the compressed air from the carrier. This meant that if the Longsword crashed or had to land, the crew would be at least partially acclimatized to the local atmosphere. Following from this, exoatmospheric craft had larger scoops because they would have to take atmospheric samples that were under significantly lower pressures.

Variants

Variants of the Longsword were designed and built to perform specific functions for the UNSC Armed Forces; however, they could easily modified to fit the needs of specific missions. The fighter variants could easily be adapted for the missions of nearly every other fighter variant, although the base variant was intended to be the role they were most frequently expected to be used in.

C701

The C701 variant of Longsword was the oldest atmospheric fighter. Although it was capable of exoatmospheric flight, it was not intended for exoatmospheric combat, and lacked the polarized canopy and large air scoops of exoatmospheric models.

C709

The C709 Longsword is the largest model of the line. Designed primarily as a heavy exoatmospheric attacker, it features large characteristic air scoops, radiation shielding in the cockpit, and a maximum crew of four. Its two massive bomb bays are capable of holding a large assortment of missiles, rockets, and mines, along with a 120mm ventral gun turret for laying waste on any opponent below it. A 110mm rotatory cannon rounds is there for engaging other space fighters. Because of its size and mass, it is slow to maneuver and so performs poorly as a dogfighter. Because of this, it is relegated to bombing, interception, and ground attack, or roles where it is unlikely to be fought up close.

C710

Kopis1
The C710B Kopis, with its heavy naval coilgun.

The C710 variant of Longsword is a heavily modified version of the C709 redesigned to act as a long-range reconnaissance fighter. Stripping away all of its heavy weapons and leaving only the 50mm autocannons for self-defence, it has replaced them with a potent sensor and communications package. Although designed for scouting, this combination of features allows the C710 to overcome local communications jamming, so it sees more use as a squadron coordination craft and fire director for orbiting warships. Larger, more powerful engines are fitted to give it an unusual acceleration for its size in hopes of outrunning any attacker. To dissuade unwanted attention, its electronic warfare countermeasures includes a jamming subsystem to help obscure it from would-be attackers.

A later variant, the C710B, was introduced in 2532 to overcome the severe ineffectiveness of the UNSC Navy. Nicknamed the Kopis, it mounts a heavy M282 naval coilgun with high-velocity homing shells, capable of obliterating unaware space fighters or harm larger corvettes and frigates from long range.

C712

The C712 was a smaller, more modest variant of Longsword intended for use as a strike fighter and interceptor, both in space and in atmosphere. With a length of 33.5 metres, it was too small to carry the heavy weapons that can be carried on older models of Longswords. Instead, it made it up for being significantly lighter and faster, and was considerably more streamlined in design. This saw it being quite effective when dogfighting with Seraphs. Its more-modest bomb hold could still be filled with a respectable amount of explosives, which ensured it could conduct bombing runs when needed.

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