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Author Topic: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead  (Read 6381 times)

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« on: 20 February 2011, 02:24:12 »
HMR-HD Hammerhead - 75t, TRO2750
Originally posted 30 Mar. 2005.

  All proposed fan-variants should be posted in the corresponding "FotW Workshop" thread.


  Y'know, I came to CBT only a few years ago, well after seeing the first (and only! >:() season of 'Space: Above and Beyond', so I was conditioned to think of a fighter named Hammerhead as sleek, agile, tough, hard-hitting, and flexible.
  I guess three out of five ain't too bad.  :-\

  One of those Star League designs that gives you the sense that they hadn't quite figured out what they were doing with their proprietary technologies, the HMR-HD is sheathed in eleven and a half tons of ferro-aluminium armour, laid out 76/50/30 - vulnerable to ML thresholding aft but nowhere else, which is probably good enough; the five-ton fuel-tank is expected, and given the Hammerhead's armament, ten SHS is more than sufficient.  The rest of the spaceframe makes less sense at first glance - I know that seeing a 75-tonner turning out 7/11 performance on a 375SFE provoked a sturdy "WTF!?" the first time I opened TRO2750 ::) - and arming it only with an AC/20 and three tons of ammo!?  ???  They seemed to want to make a heavy dogfighter to rival the Transgressor, but the armament choice turns it into an horrific kludge instead.
  Until you look at the external warload capacity and do the maths.
  75 tonner @ 5 tons of spaceframe per ton of bomb load = a maximum of 15 tons of bombs; 7/11 speed (-1 Thrust per 5 tons of bombs) = 4/6 at full warload.  The Hammerhead isn't an air-to-air fighter; it's a 'fast' bomber and ground-attack specialist, meant to inflict PSRs on Assault 'Mechs in strike attacks after scattering the rest of the company all over the grid with a few sticks of Mk-84-equivalents, thus softening them right up before they make contact with the friendlies' front line (or even mid-battle!).  It's the closest CBT is likely to see to a transatmospheric A-10 Warthog.  ;D

  While they can out-turn some smaller fighters like the Stingray, and their AC/20s can threshold any fighter in the sky bar none, Hammerheads have no business getting into an aerial battle at allStukas and such have enough range-advantage and firepower to compensate for their sluggish handling; the HMR-HD has no such redeeming features.  (This might well be a deliberate effort by the bureaucratic overseers to 'encourage' pilots to concentrate on their mission rather than going glory-hunting.  Gawd knows they've perpetrated idiocies like this before - remember how the RFC/RAF actively refused to issue parachutes to pilots in WWI, despite numerous loud appeals from the front lines?  >:()  The Hammerhead is a specialist bomb-truck/'Mech-buster and in the presence of enemy fighters must be escorted and supported all the way to and from target, preferably (as the fluff states) by energy-heavy birds that don't have to worry about going 'Winchester' in their defence.  In a pinch, a Hammerhead squadron can make for a viable threat against capital targets - the 12 Capital damage those AC/20s produce is an eye-opener for most DropShips and some light WarShips - but they should not be one's primary antishipping weapon, if only because most defensive weapons out-reach them.  :D

  Going fishing for HammerheadsStingrays would be my choice for a turning fight, though Clan players would do well to reach for the suitable-for-all-occasions Visigoth-A; fire-support from platforms with LRM-20s or ERPPCs probably wouldn't hurt your cause much, either.  Try and stay outside the reach of those Zeta-20s, instead hanging back around Medium range to chew pieces off of him from where he can't hurt you.

  [VARIANT PROPOSAL(S) REDACTED] All proposed fan-variants - including my own - belong in the corresponding "FotW Workshop" thread: http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,2003.0.html

  Be advised: the attached .txt transcripts of previous runs of this thread contain numerous reader-proposals for variants.  I'll try to change those out for 'sanitised' versions of those threads when I can, but I can't promise it'll be soon - that's a lot of ground to cover.  ;)

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead ('50U Update)
« Reply #1 on: 20 February 2011, 02:26:39 »
HMR-H* Hammerhead (TRO3050 Updates)
Originally posted 14 Nov. 2007.

Quote from: Maelwys
A design with some amusing history. Apparently the Hammerhead was the reason for "UFO" sightings on New Avalon when one crashed and people found its Ferro Fibrous armor. During Operation Serpent, ComGuard Hammerheads were fired upon by other Star League forces, because they looked like Clan fighters.
  For those who care about the specifics of such things, a pair of jittery Shilone -17Rs belonging to the Eridani Light Horse's Third Striker Battalion took the radar-silhouettes of a wing-pair of Hammerheads as an 80% match for Sabutais, jumped to the wrong conclusion, and gave them an LRM welcome before the Air Boss could rein them in.  To be fair to Warrant Officers Timmons and Harpool, it's not a hard mistake to make: personally, the visual similarities and the Sabutai-Prime and Sabutai-Alpha loadouts have me half-convinced that the Hammerhead is mixed into the Clan machine's lineage somewhere along the way.  :P
  BTW, it's interesting to see TPTB finding a new way to denote model-changes.  Most types increment the model-number and/or throw on a suffix-letter to indicate national origins, but since the Hammerhead has only letters, progressing through the alphabet was about their only choice without adding said numbers, which would have had a complicating effect of its own.  :D

Quote from: Maelwys
Class/Model/Name:  Hammerhead HMR-HE
Mass:              75 tons

Equipment:                                                              Mass
Power Plant:  375 Fusion                                                38.50
Thrust:  Safe Thrust: 7
      Maximum Thrust: 11
Structural Integrity: 7                                                   .00
Total Heat Sinks:    11 Double                                           1.00
Fuel:                                                                    7.00
Cockpit & Attitude Thrusters:                                            3.00
Armor Type:  Ferro-aluminum  (206 total armor pts)                      11.50
                           Standard Scale Armor Pts
   Location:                            L / R
   Nose:                                 76
   Left/Right Wings:                  50/50
   Aft:                                  30

Weapons and Equipment      Loc        SRV    MRV    LRV    ERV  Heat    Mass
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 PPC                      Nose        10     10     --     --   10      7.00
1 PPC                      Nose        10     10     --     --   10      7.00
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTALS:                                                    Heat: 20     75.00
Tons Left:                                                                .00

Calculated Factors:
Total Cost:        4,603,706 C-Bills
Battle Value:      1,267
Cost per BV:       3,633.55
Weapon Value:      1,779 (Ratio = 1.40)
Damage Factors:    SRV = 18;  MRV = 14;  LRV = 0;  ERV = 0
BattleForce2:      MP: 7,  Armor/Structure: 5 / 0
                   Damage PB/M/L: 2/2/-,  Overheat: 0
                   Class: FH;  Point Value: 13

Apparently still produced on Terra, it's no surprise ComStar and the WoB are the prime users of the design.  The Hammerhead E drops the AC20 for two more tons of fuel, giving it legs that make carrier pilots happy, while an extra heat sink (all are now double) is added, along with twin PPCs. While the damage remains the same, the HE can hit out to the Medium range bracket, though the nasty thresholding of the AC20 is lost.
  And perhaps more importantly, the type gains both the ability to Strafe and loses its dependence on ammunition, making it a solid complement to the -HD model: the -HDs Strike with their AC/20s and any external rockets, then the -HEs follow up with PPC Strafes to seek exposed criticals.  Moreover, they can generate some non-trivial defensive fire on the trip home, when the -HDs have expended all of their ammunition, which makes for a 'self-escorting squadron'.

Quote from: Maelwys
Class/Model/Name:  Hammerhead HMR-HG
Mass:              75 tons

Equipment:                                                              Mass
Power Plant:  375 Fusion                                                38.50
Thrust:  Safe Thrust: 7
      Maximum Thrust: 11
Structural Integrity: 7                                                   .00
Total Heat Sinks:    10 Single                                            .00
Fuel:                                                                    5.00
Cockpit & Attitude Thrusters:                                            3.00
Armor Type:  Ferro-aluminum  (206 total armor pts)                      11.50
                           Standard Scale Armor Pts
   Location:                            L / R
   Nose:                                 76
   Left/Right Wings:                  50/50
   Aft:                                  30

Weapons and Equipment      Loc        SRV    MRV    LRV    ERV  Heat    Mass
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Ultra AC/20              Nose        30     30     --     --   16     15.00
  Ammo (Ult AC/20) 10      ---                                           2.00
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTALS:                                                    Heat: 16     75.00
Tons Left:                                                                .00

Calculated Factors:
Total Cost:        4,704,906 C-Bills
Battle Value:      1,056
Cost per BV:       4,455.4
Weapon Value:      1,362 (Ratio = 1.29)
Damage Factors:    SRV = 17;  MRV = 14;  LRV = 0;  ERV = 0
BattleForce2:      MP: 7,  Armor/Structure: 5 / 0
                   Damage PB/M/L: 2/2/-,  Overheat: 0
                   Class: FH;  Point Value: 11

The HG version is perhaps the one everyone wanted to see. An Ultra AC20 replaces the standard AC20, though only 10 rounds means you want to get in and get out... burn your clip and destroy your target before friends show up to wipe you out. No double heatsinks however, means you're going to have to cool down during passes. It's not known who is using this design, as the fighters seem to be destroying DropShips in the Marik Commonwealth without letting anyone know who they are.
  ???  Do tell.  Sounds like another entry for the 'CBT X-files'.  :P
  A UAC/20 generates the sort of firepower nobody wants to tangle with - witness the Xerxes - but without the DHS to properly manage its heat-curve or ammo sufficient for more than a handful of firing passes, the HMR-HG is limited to a slashing hit/cool/re-engage 'scissors' attack pattern that is once again reminiscient of that I once recommended for the Xerxes.  Either somebody made a pretty horrific typo during the design phase, or there's a serious shortage of DHS wherever these are being assembled.  [sigh]  Team them with HMR-HEs for bodyguards, watch the heat-gauge, and otherwise treat them as HMR-HDs.

Quote from: Maelwys
Class/Model/Name:  Hammerhead HMR-HF
Mass:              75 tons

Equipment:                                                              Mass
Power Plant:  375 Fusion                                                38.50
Thrust:  Safe Thrust: 7
      Maximum Thrust: 11
Structural Integrity: 7                                                   .00
Total Heat Sinks:    10 Double                                            .00
Fuel:                                                                    5.00
Cockpit & Attitude Thrusters:                                            3.00
Armor Type:  Ferro-aluminum  (206 total armor pts)                      11.50
                           Standard Scale Armor Pts
   Location:                            L / R
   Nose:                                 76
   Left/Right Wings:                  50/50
   Aft:                                  30

Weapons and Equipment      Loc        SRV    MRV    LRV    ERV  Heat    Mass
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 LB 10-X AC               Nose         6      6     --     --    2     11.00
  Ammo (LB 10-X) 20        ---                                           2.00
1 ER Medium Laser          RW           5      5     --     --    5      1.00
1 ER Medium Laser          LW           5      5     --     --    5      1.00
1 ER Medium Laser          RW           5      5     --     --    5      1.00
1 ER Medium Laser          LW           5      5     --     --    5      1.00
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTALS:                                                    Heat: 22     75.00
Tons Left:                                                                .00

Calculated Factors:
Total Cost:        5,067,906 C-Bills
Battle Value:      1,314
Cost per BV:       3,856.85
Weapon Value:      1,655 (Ratio = 1.26)
Damage Factors:    SRV = 22;  MRV = 17;  LRV = 0;  ERV = 0
BattleForce2:      MP: 7,  Armor/Structure: 5 / 0
                   Damage PB/M/L: 3/3/-,  Overheat: 0
                   Class: FH;  Point Value: 13

The WoB produces the HMR-HF. Naturally, since they own the planet the production facilities are on, the WoB used this to produce a Hammerhead that takes care of the biggest flaw, namely the engine taking up 50% of the mass of the ship. They installed an XL engine, letting it keep its astounding speed, and used the free weight to add weaponry and armor.
Hah. Suckers. I had you going there for a minute.
Of course the WoB didn't add an XL engine.  That would make perfect sense on this design. Instead, the WoB drops the AC20 for a LB10-X with the prerequisite 2 tons of ammo, and adds two ERMLs to each wing (the record sheet only lists 1 per wing, but there are two unaccounted for tons). I kinda want to hate this design. I'm sure it's good for ground attack (the original FOTW makes mention of the massive bombload the Hammerhead can carry, and the LB-10X and multiple ERMLs (with DHS) make for a great follow up to the bombing. However, I can't help but feel that you could use a Light Fusion engine to get a LB20-X with 4 tons of ammo instead of the LB10-X, keep the 4 ERMLs and add enough heat sinks for an alpha strike WHILE adding 1.5 tons of armor.
  This strikes me as another attempt to make a Hammerhead for all occasions, much like the Hunchback - using the same base chassis for ease of maintenance while loading a different arsenal for other tactical purposes.  This one's meant more for pure air-to-ground crit-seeking: after the -HDs get done with their boomsticks, the -HFs come piling in and try to exploit the new-made openings in the other guy's armour.  Of course, Maelwys' point about the engine is well-made: even using an open-source LFE would make for a machine with an LB-20X boomstick, better heat-efficiency and a touch more armour, but I guess the Blakers were reluctant to 'anger the Machine-God' by messing with the base chassis that way when the baseline works well enough for government work.

  [VARIANT PROPOSAL(S) REDACTED] All proposed fan-variants - including my own - belong in the corresponding "FotW Workshop" thread: http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,2003.0.html

Trace Coburn

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Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead ('75 Update)
« Reply #2 on: 20 February 2011, 02:42:03 »
HMR-HDb Royal Hammerhead (TRO3075)
Originally posted 20 Feb. 2011.

Quote from: Technical Readout 3075, p.169
HMR-HDb Hammerhead: An M-7 Gauss Rifle and two tons of ammunition replace the Imperator Zeta autocannon.
  If you've referred to the Workshop thread, you've seen how clearly I overshot the mark on what the "Royal Hammerhead" might look like.  #P ;D  Opting for a "KISS" approach - which is refreshing for its apparent rarity among BT designers in canon :'( - the HMR-HDb obviates my concerns about the type's short-ranged onboard weaponry, albeit at a 25% drop in raw damage output.  I'm not sure that the Hammerhead is the right place for it - if any type would benefit most from The Dreaded XL Upgrade, it would be this one - but on the other hand, it's an exceedingly simple sort of refit to perform (Class B, I think?  I'll have to look that up in Strategic Operations when I get a chance), and the absence of any other changes not only keeps project and per-unit costs way the hell down, it makes virtually no external changes to the spaceframe, meaning that anyone expecting to approach Royal Hammerheads with impunity is going to get a short, sharp (and quite possibly lethal) shock when the GRs open fire when they still at a 'safe' range.   }:)
  All in all, it's not the best upgrade I've ever seen... but I've certainly seen a lot worse.  ;)

  [VARIANT PROPOSAL(S) REDACTED] All proposed fan-variants - including my own - belong in the corresponding "FotW Workshop" thread: http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,2003.0.html
« Last Edit: 20 February 2011, 02:45:05 by Trace Coburn »

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #3 on: 20 February 2011, 02:56:37 »
Actually, I'm surprised they didn't pull a ton of ammo for a TAG, so you can carry a full warload and still spot of LGB's.  Just one or two per squadron would have been sufficient.

OTOH, if you're supporting gro-pos with Padillass or Zephyrs, you don't need to replace a bomb with TAG.  It's interesting how few SLDF machines carried TAG.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #4 on: 20 February 2011, 04:38:18 »
Lots of variants, not a single of them fixes the anemic rear armor.  #P
Otherwise, it makes a good ground attack bird as long a nobody hits it in the tail with a big LRM rack.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #5 on: 20 February 2011, 10:41:15 »
It's a ground attack bird and just enough of a dogfighter to make someone nervous, but overall, I'd think seriously about mixing a squadron of Rapiers, Hellcats, or Samurai into a wing of Hammerheads as an escort if you can't 'convince' someone to cough up the HEs.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #6 on: 20 February 2011, 15:44:54 »
I don't recall if I mentioned it or not at the time, but one of the biggest crimes against the HF is that the weapon load is almost exactly the same as the B variant of the Fed Sun's Dagger. The main difference being the Dagger incorporates an extra 2.5 tons of armor, as well as two rear-firing ER Small lasers. The Hammerhead can carry an additional 6 points of bombs, but you're still suck with a 75 tonner whose performance is matched (or exceeded) in most ways by a design that's 30 tons lighter.

3050U was a pretty spectacular failure when it came to the Aerospace section IMO.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #7 on: 21 February 2011, 01:18:00 »
I've always been kinda fond of the Hammerhead in a "My God it's a space-worthy A-10" kind of way. The bombload does give one the warm fuzzies to a pilot who wants to clear out some mudbugs quick, and those cold shivers of dread to said mudbugs on the receiving end of that kind of bomb array and 20 point kisses. I would have loved to have seen just a simple overhaul kit of AC/20 to LB20-X AC, just for the range factor. Just load up slugs and you've got 20 point shots to medium range, and even a little less strain on the heat gauge, not that you need it. On the other hand, the UAC/20 version (If you fix the heatsink issue, and find some way to get some more ammo on it) would give anyone nightmares, especially if you follow them up with rocket pod chasers.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #8 on: 21 February 2011, 02:28:50 »
Won't the TacOp's new Anti-Ship Missiles help out fighter squardron consisting of the original Hammerhead should it decide try to tangle with light Warship(s)?  It certainly has playload capacity to handle it.
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #9 on: 21 February 2011, 08:44:47 »
Won't the TacOp's new Anti-Ship Missiles help out fighter squardron consisting of the original Hammerhead should it decide try to tangle with light Warship(s)?  It certainly has playload capacity to handle it.

Yeah but that's kind of a given for any fighter large enough to carry them.  The Hammerhead's main gain there is it's large enough to handle two and fast enough to still be going 6/9.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #10 on: 24 February 2011, 20:22:38 »
I want to love this fighter but that stinking engine. Couldn't the SLDF just have gave it an XL and declared it to be the official fighter of the McKenna-class battleship?
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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #11 on: 24 February 2011, 20:36:10 »
I want to love this fighter but that stinking engine. Couldn't the SLDF just have gave it an XL and declared it to be the official fighter of the McKenna-class battleship?

When XL engines were introed in the game, they could not be mounted in aerospace fighters...or tanks for that matter...only 'Mechs...

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #12 on: 25 February 2011, 00:10:51 »
When XL engines were introed in the game, they could not be mounted in aerospace fighters...or tanks for that matter...only 'Mechs...

Ruger

True, but CGL has since done away with that, giving plenty of fighters in the Star League times an XL engine. The Hammerhead's lack is rather curious. Even more so since it continues on to modern times with the revamped version.

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #13 on: 25 February 2011, 00:25:13 »
True, but CGL has since done away with that, giving plenty of fighters in the Star League times an XL engine. The Hammerhead's lack is rather curious. Even more so since it continues on to modern times with the revamped version.

Actually, the rule was overturned by FASA long before CGL came into the picture...

 ;)

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #14 on: 25 February 2011, 03:22:52 »
Yeah, I meant more of "CGL has done away with the Star League not having XL engined fighters" instead of the rule not allowing XL engines in fighters, which disappeared with 3055U and the Clan fighters.

Moonsword

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #15 on: 25 February 2011, 08:35:55 »
They have and they haven't when you look at what actually happened.  All of those fighters were very late in the game, introduced after 2750 from comments in Klondike, and almost all of them were either promptly consumed as hors d'combat in the Amaris Civil War or taken on the Exodus.  That makes them vanishingly rare to the point ComStar was actually able to make that lie stand up and may well not have realized production variants were possible themselves.

The real change there isn't the fighters but the tanks - the Alacorn was produced very early in the Star League period, in time for the Reunification War, and all published variants are powered by an extralight fusion engine.  That one, however, lies on FanPro's shoulders, not CGL's.

Ruger

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #16 on: 25 February 2011, 09:38:27 »
The real change there isn't the fighters but the tanks - the Alacorn was produced very early in the Star League period, in time for the Reunification War, and all published variants are powered by an extralight fusion engine.  That one, however, lies on FanPro's shoulders, not CGL's.

Neg...again, it would be on FASA...the original TRO: 3058 was made back in the days of FASA, long before FanPro came into the picture...

 :)

Ruger
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Moonsword

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #17 on: 25 February 2011, 09:44:06 »
The details on the variants happened under FanPro's watch.  However, if the fluff for the Reunification War timing was in the original (which I don't have), then yeah, that's FASA.

Ruger

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #18 on: 25 February 2011, 09:57:44 »
The details on the variants happened under FanPro's watch.  However, if the fluff for the Reunification War timing was in the original (which I don't have), then yeah, that's FASA.

First deliveries from the company made in 2587 and deployed by the SLDF to the Periphery...that part of the fluff was pretty much the same (if not the same...haven't checked them side by side) between my FASA TRO 3058 and my FP TRO: 3058U...

Ruger
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Moonsword

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Re: Fighter of the Week, Issue #020 (repost) - Hammerhead
« Reply #19 on: 25 February 2011, 10:18:25 »
In that case, yeah, FASA.

As far as an aerospace XLFE, those were, as noted, a fairly late development (or at least proliferation) for ASFs and there's a few specific points to expand on for the Hammerhead.  The Gauss Hammerhead that was introduced as a Royal functions well enough (and is simple enough to apply) that I suspect they just didn't want to mess with more extensive changes and then the actual construction plants fell out of the SLDF's control.  That shortage of new Hammerheads is probably part of why the SLDF pushed the Royal Eagle project to fruition as well as the Royal Lightning.

 

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