Author Topic: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters  (Read 603 times)

Primus203

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The topic is as listed the goal is to take down conventional fighters using cheaper conventional fighters preferably ones made with only C tech gear and a focus on lower cost.

How would you guys go designing such a craft? How fast does it need to be? What are the best weapons to do so?

This thread is open to any designs you have that you think are good please mention how the fighter is intended to be used and why you think its a good one.

After much thinking and design iterations I've come to the conclusion that the best weapons against aerospace fighters at C tech are rocket launchers and LRM's.

I have a pair of designs using LRMs id like an informed opinion on which is best or if all of them are bad your reasons why.

Calypso Budget Fighter Fast- A light 30 ton conventional fighter has 2 LRM-5 and a single ton of ammo allowing 12 volleys. At just under 320k C-Bills 4 can be fielded for the cost of an average light aerospace fighter and probably double that for a medium. 2.5 tons of fuel provides good endurance even without drop tanks. At 7/11 MP it can keep pace with most aerospace fighters in the medium weight category unless they are equipped with XL engines though this would further push the balance of cost in the Calypsos favor.
Code: [Select]
Calypso Budget Aero Fighter Fast

Mass: 30 tons
Frame: Unknown
Power Plant: 210 ICE
Armor: Standard
Armament:
     2 LRM 5
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3075
Tech Rating/Availability: D/X-X-C-C
Cost: 317,170 C-bills

Type: Calypso
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Tonnage: 30
Battle Value: 234

Equipment                                          Mass
Engine                        210 ICE                18
Safe Thrust: 7
Max Thrust: 11
Structural Integrity:         0                       
Heat Sinks:                   0                       0
Fuel:                         400                   2.5
Cockpit                                               3
Armor Factor                  24                    1.5

                           Armor   
                           Value   
     Nose                    6     
     Wings                  6/6   
     Aft                     6     


Weapons
and Ammo              Location   Tonnage  Heat   SRV  MRV  LRV  ERV
2 LRM 5                 NOS       4.0      2      3    3    3    0 
LRM 5 Ammo (24)         FSLG      1.0      -      -    -    -    - 
Calypso Budget Fighter Armed- The same as the above fighter but by sacrificing speed from 7/11 MP to 5/8 MP this craft has double the LRM-5 and ammo as well as an extra half ton of armor and fuel. The lower speed relegates this fighter to a defensive role though as it can only keep up with heavy aerospace fighters or the most pathetically slow medium fighters. Costs 60k more than the above fighter.
Code: [Select]
Calypso Budget Aero Fighter Armed

Mass: 30 tons
Frame: Unknown
Power Plant: 150 ICE
Armor: Standard
Armament:
     4 LRM 5
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3075
Tech Rating/Availability: D/X-X-C-C
Cost: 383,065 C-bills

Type: Calypso
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Tonnage: 30
Battle Value: 340

Equipment                                          Mass
Engine                        150 ICE                11
Safe Thrust: 5
Max Thrust: 8
Structural Integrity:         0                       
Heat Sinks:                   0                       0
Fuel:                         640                   4.0
Cockpit                                               3
Armor Factor                  30                      2

                           Armor   
                           Value   
     Nose                    8     
     Wings                  7/7   
     Aft                     8     


Weapons
and Ammo              Location   Tonnage  Heat   SRV  MRV  LRV  ERV
4 LRM 5                 NOS       8.0      2      3    3    3    0 
LRM 5 Ammo (48)         FSLG      2.0      -      -    -    -    - 

Daryk

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #1 on: 26 May 2024, 19:42:47 »

AlphaMirage

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #2 on: 26 May 2024, 19:50:09 »
I think the problem with ConvAir vs Aerospace is that Airbases are going to be the first targets so V/STOL is key and allows for basing them in concealed or semi-mobile bases. Thus something like the Gripen, Viggen, and Harrier with the intention of using what I think is the best weapon to use against Aerospace fighters, the Air-to-Air Arrow IV. Therefore I revisited the legendary THAF Bullfrog and think it works reasonably well in that role and is quite cheap (invest your money in pilot training hours and Search and Rescue instead).

Bullfrog V/STOL

Primus203

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #3 on: 26 May 2024, 22:18:44 »
Honestly for airfields several things come into play. First is that all but the smallest airfields have ac-2 emplacements with flak. Second would be as this is a planetary rater than expeditionary the roads would be built with long straights for use as airfields as well as multiple tunnels having chambers that could hold aircraft in them.

As an aside is there a point to armor on conventional fighters if I remove all the armor from the Calypso fast 1.5 tons I can get the VSTOL capability.

Also the air to air arrow is of interest  but I could never find much about them how effective are they and how many would I need to knock down an aerospace fighter. This is something I c3ould justify for import to a lower tech world as the only part needed for import would likely be the guidance system.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #4 on: 26 May 2024, 22:53:30 »
I think the armor is more for rough handling and failed pilot rolls during landing more than withstanding any incoming fire. If you stripped it down you'd be running a chance that you could total the plane. Air-to-Air Arrows provide a big punch that could really threaten an Aerospace Fighter at ranges further than your conventional weapons. Since Fighters can't enter the atmosphere with external ordnance (because of reentry heat) this might provide you with a chance to shoot them before they can do the same. It still long odds but again invest in pilot training and SAR and you might live to fly another day.

My thing is that do you have roads, there are some planets that might not bother since they have a lot of other options. You might not have roads everywhere and if you a V/STOL can operate out of even smaller strips and you can preposition replacement EO and Fuel allowing for a higher tempo of ops without establishing a very visible presence.

Primus203

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #5 on: 27 May 2024, 15:20:31 »
Sorry just got access to a computer again yes there are plenty of roads I envision a developed but lower tech world a sold C tier in tech with no gaps and limited ability to construct d tech.

Mechanis

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #6 on: 27 May 2024, 21:21:30 »
Your biggest issue with trying to contest ASF with conventional fighters is that you are going to lose the things by the dozen in every engagement, so you A) need lots of the things to start with and B) are going to be having to replace both bird and pilot on a regular basis. Frankly remove or robotic drones as either ML or ATAA trucks are your best bet, with the assumption that you are going to lose significant amounts of the things. CFs are always going to be slow, poorly armed, and effectively unarmored given how their rules work, so expendable drones is really the best solution for them.

Charistoph

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #7 on: 27 May 2024, 22:00:47 »
Not much different from CVs versus 'Mechs, except for the Speed issues.
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They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.

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DevianID

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #8 on: 28 May 2024, 01:12:07 »
I like LRM5s and machine guns for conventional work.  The machine gun gives you some damage up close with 0 heat/no fusion engine needed, while the LRM5 gives you standoff damage to force piloting rolls.  The RL10 are ok as well for high damage medium range, and the i-OS srm2s with heat seeking ammo as sidewinders is great as close in weapons since you get a bonus to hit if you are in the rear.  I-os launchers are Tech B base, so you are good to load up as long as they are around.

I like making fighters based off existing tonnages of fighters to get an idea of what a tech C year 2300+ conventional fighter would look like visually for the tonnage.  So this puts a tech C super future f14 at around 30 tons, like your design was, for a visual size approximation.  Tech C support vehicles dont get hardpoints base, so it will cost 1 ton to put the max of 3 external hardpoints on.  Your sample fighters are the even more advanced tech D ones, available like 2500ish, so are faster and more fuel efficient compared to a tech C fixed wing support fighter.

Using tech C, the support fixed wing vee below moves 5/8, but has a pretty short endurance for combat maneuvers with 140 fuel points/3.5 tons of fuel, but the 5/8 speed is the minimum to intercept the heavy aerospace.  A 4/6 fighter would pack 5.5 tons more weapons and fuel, but wouldnt have the sprint speed, and the F14 style interceptor I opted for more speed.  The total weapons package is 4 tons, which can be the suggested mgun and LRM5, or mgun and 6 RL10s if you want the tomcat with 6 phoenix missiles as an approximation.  Failing that, you could drop a ton to get the 3 external hardpoints, so mgun, 4 integral RL10s/i-os SRM2s, and up to 3 more external RL10s or bombs.  External loads would slow you to 4/6 speed though, so while you get a 7th RL10 with external weapons, I would only use external hardpoints on a Fighter/Attack variant meant to also hit ground targets with bombs.
Code: [Select]
Super Tomcat Tech C

Mass: 30 tons
Frame: Unknown
Power Plant:  ICE
Armor: BAR 3
Armament:
     1 Machine Gun
     1 LRM 5
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3145
Tech Rating/Availability: C/X-X-X-C
Cost: 267,840 C-bills

Type: Super Tomcat
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Tonnage: 30
Battle Value: 83

Equipment                                          Mass
Engine                         ICE                 17.5
Safe Thrust: 5
Max Thrust: 8
Structural Integrity:         5                       
Heat Sinks:                   0                       0
Fuel:                         140                   3.5
Cockpit                                               3
Armor Factor (BAR 3)          34                      1

                           Armor   
                           Value   
     Nose                    12   
     Wings                  8/8   
     Aft                     6     


Weapons
and Ammo                 Location   Tonnage  Heat   SRV  MRV  LRV  ERV
LRM 5                      NOS       2.0      2      3    3    3    0 
Machine Gun                NOS       0.5      0      2    0    0    0 
LRM 5 Ammo (24)            BOD       1.0      -      -    -    -    - 
Advanced Fire Control      BOD       0.5      -      -    -    -    - 
Machine Gun Ammo (100)     BOD       0.5      -      -    -    -    - 



« Last Edit: 28 May 2024, 01:14:36 by DevianID »

Mechanis

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #9 on: 29 May 2024, 18:15:53 »
Not much different from CVs versus 'Mechs, except for the Speed issues.

More like Support Vehicles vs Mechs. Conventional Fighters don't get the +2 base thrust, so they're always slow (getting more than 5 Safe Thrust on a CF is extremely painful), they only have Armor Points equal to their own tonnage --- an eighth of the maximums for an ASF --- and since you almost certainly aren't sticking a Fusion Engine in one, you can have issues even fitting a couple of Machine Guns, let alone lasers.
They're just really not up to fighting ASFs save by swarm tactics, as in "one ASF vs 20+ CFs all going after it" type number disparity. And even that generally relies on the ASF being committed to engagement; if it decides not to engage the CFs won't be able to catch it.

Charistoph

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #10 on: 29 May 2024, 19:28:31 »
More like Support Vehicles vs Mechs. Conventional Fighters don't get the +2 base thrust, so they're always slow

Like I said, "Speed issues".

Of the CV motive styles, only Tracked Vehicles have the same movement calculations, all the rest use a smaller engine for the same speed*tonnage ratio.

Of course, there's also the ground-based CVs being charged double for Elevations changes, too, which one other type completely ignores, and the other just moves where they want, mostly.
Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Quote from: Megavolt
They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.

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Retry

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #11 on: 29 May 2024, 21:30:20 »
I think the main difference is that 'Mechs can't choose to disengage by leaving the atmosphere, while Aerospace Fighters can.

While it's probably possible to give small-ish, local installations ConvFighter cover to protect against aerospace fighter assets, I don't think it's possible to protect an entire planet with them (or even just the important inhabited parts).  The Aerospace fighter's core advantage is that it can enter the atmosphere from orbit to anywhere, and then exit the atmosphere whenever it wants, and these can't really be mitigated by ConvFighters.

The Conventional fighters can only really shoot down an Aerospace fighter if the Aerospace fighter lets them (by allowing itself to get into a fight with them).

Charistoph

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #12 on: 29 May 2024, 23:59:28 »
Or by getting in the rear as its approaching its target, which is pretty much the same thing.

Still, Conventional Fighters should be more focused on the Ground Game more than the Air Game.  That ties in to the MechBuster's title card, after all.
Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Quote from: Megavolt
They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.

Charistoph's Painted Products of Mechanical Mayhem

Primus203

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #13 on: 30 May 2024, 21:18:27 »
In response to the posts above I have refined the Calypso I have completely dropped the faster version and have added VSTOL as well as shaving  some armor. The end result is a pair of fighters. Both only have 5/8 MP enough to respond decently quickly with loiter. They are intended to hunt ground targets in packs and if aerofighters come to intercept turn and meet them with a wall of missiles.

Calypso Refined Light- A lighter version at thirty tons has 4 LRM-5 and two tons of ammo. 3 tons of fuel, 1 ton of armor, and a recon camera.
Code: [Select]
Calypso Refined Light

Mass: 30 tons
Frame: Unknown
Power Plant: 150 ICE
Armor: Standard
Armament:
     4 LRM 5
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3075
Tech Rating/Availability: D/X-X-C-C
Cost: 391,460 C-bills

Type: Calypso Refined Light
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Tonnage: 30
Battle Value: 302

Equipment                                          Mass
Engine                        150 ICE                11
Safe Thrust: 5
Max Thrust: 8
Structural Integrity:         0                       
VSTOL Equipment:                                    1.5
Heat Sinks:                   10                      0
Fuel:                         480                   3.0
Cockpit                                               3
Armor Factor                  16                      1

                           Armor   
                           Value   
     Nose                    4     
     Wings                  4/4   
     Aft                     4     


Weapons
and Ammo              Location   Tonnage  Heat   SRV  MRV  LRV  ERV
4 LRM 5                 NOS       8.0      2      3    3    3    0 
LRM 5 Ammo (48)         FSLG      2.0      -      -    -    -    - 
Recon Camera            FSLG      0.5      -      -    -    -    - 
Calypso Refined Heavy- 40 tons looses the recon camera gains 1 extra LRM-5 and an extra ton of ammo otherwise similar and costs an extra 160k
Code: [Select]
Calypso Refined Heavy

Mass: 40 tons
Frame: Unknown
Power Plant: 200 ICE
Armor: Standard
Armament:
     5 LRM 5
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 3075
Tech Rating/Availability: D/X-X-C-C
Cost: 546,400 C-bills

Type: Calypso Refined Heavy
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Tonnage: 40
Battle Value: 371

Equipment                                          Mass
Engine                        200 ICE                17
Safe Thrust: 5
Max Thrust: 8
Structural Integrity:         0                       
VSTOL Equipment:                                    2.0
Heat Sinks:                   10                      0
Fuel:                         480                   3.0
Cockpit                                               4
Armor Factor                  16                      1

                           Armor   
                           Value   
     Nose                    4     
     Wings                  4/4   
     Aft                     4     


Weapons
and Ammo              Location   Tonnage  Heat   SRV  MRV  LRV  ERV
5 LRM 5                 NOS       10.0     2      3    3    3    0 
LRM 5 Ammo (72)         FSLG      3.0      -      -    -    -    - 

DOC_Agren

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Re: Using conventional fighters to take down aerospace fighters
« Reply #14 on: 03 June 2024, 13:55:50 »
The 1 and only advantage that conventional SVTOL fighters will have over Aerospace Fighters, is depending on what you are dropping in on, the side with Aerospace Fighters are normally limited and gee most intel reports forget conventional forces.  I can deploy with enough trained pilots 100's of them.  Now will we be able to scramble them all on 1 target at once nope.

Downside the conventional air force, won't just have combat fighters but transport birds as well.   If they surprise with numbers, and unleash Macross level Missile Spam, you might force lawn dart rolls on the Aerospace Fighters. 


"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

 

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