|Rapier Attack Fighter|
|Mass||13.5 metric tonnes|
|Weapons||Mk. 25 Laser Cannons (2), Mk. 40F Neutron Guns (2), Dart DF missiles (2), Pilum FF missiles (2), Spiculum IR missile,|
The F-44 Rapier II Attack Fighter is an advanced medium starfighter of the Terran Confederation. It was developed by Origin Aerospace and was first introduced in the year 2654. The Rapier served under the Terran Confederation Navy onwards replacing the earlier CF-117 Rapier models.
The YF-44 Rapier is the prototype model which is field-tested in 2654, with its final field test being an examination deployment from the TCS Tiger's Claw in 2654 in the Gimle System by Angel and Spirit. After the test-runs, the YF-44 would be accepted into production as the F-44A Rapier II. Test deemed the prototype performed magnificently.
The Claw received the first set of production Rapiers, dubbed F-44A. In time, the Rapier became one of the finest starfighters ever fielded by Confed, and it distinguished itself in many battles and campaigns. For example, Christopher Blair and Lt. Ian St. John destroyed the Kilrathi Starbase in the Venice System while flying Rapiers, thereby winning the Vega Sector for Confed.Kilrathi pilots operated Rapiers which were captured with the TCS Gwenhyvar and used them against the Confed. Rapiers also saw much action during Operation: Thor's Hammer.
During its first 15-years of active duty service, the Rapier would go through a significant redesign of its frame, reducing the overall size and mass of the fighter. There would be many variants of the fighter, with the F-44H Rapier II model being the last production model used by the Terran Confederation Navy. These newer production models were considered Medium Attack Fighters rather than the first models, which were regarded as Light Fighters.
The Rapier II is seen still in active service as the F-44G Rapier II production model.
While developing the Rapier, aerospace engineers tried to correct the flaw seen on Hornets, Scimitars, and Raptors, whose arrangement of thrusters produce an unusual flight characteristic: up-down movements cannot be completed in as tight a radius as left-right movements, obliging pilots to resolve to roll-and-turn maneuvers. Rapiers thus have a balanced yaw and pitch radius, obsoleting the need for such maneuvers.
Its main engines ran on nuclear cells, so there was no danger of being stranded in space when the fuel was depleted.
It has very strong shields, but relatively weak armor.
Although initially tagged a "light fighter", its firepower was better than the dated Scimitar's. It includes twin laser cannons for long-distance fighting, twin neutron guns for close-in giving the option of full guns which however would use blaster power at an alarming rate, as the price for added power. Full guns were advised only against an isolated single target or capital ships. It also has an array of five missiles (two Dart Dumbfire, two Pilum Friend-or-Foe and one Spiculum Image Recognition missile).
- The real-life XF-108 Rapier was a prototype Mach 3 interceptor/escort fighter developed by the North American Aircraft Company to escort its supersonic XB-70 Valkyrie long-range bomber. It was designed in the late 1950s and discarded without even a maiden flight when the XB-70 was cancelled.
- The Rapier bears a strong resemblance to the fictional military aircraft MiG-31 Firefox from the novel and movie Firefox.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Claw Marks (Wing Commander I box package), Friend or Foe
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- ↑ Star*Soldier, pg7
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Wing Commander I, Gimle series (Mission 2)
- ↑ The Memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel T. LaFong
- ↑ Wing Commander I, Gimle series (Mission 3)
- ↑ Wing Commander I, Venice series
- ↑ Wing Commander I, Jotunheim series (Mission 3)
- ↑ Wing Commander I, Valgard series
- ↑ Wing Commander I, Vigrid series
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Mike Harrison, Wing Commander I and II: The Ultimate Strategy Guide, The Academy Years
- ↑ Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 3
- ↑ Wing Commander I, Gimle series (Mission 2)