Cheetah

Cheetah 3025.jpg
Cheetah
Production information
Manufacturer Imstar Aerospace
Production Year 2630[1]
Model F-10
Class Light
Tech Base Inner Sphere
Cost 1,669,463
Technical specifications
Mass 25 tons
Structural Integrity 12
Frame Imstar 10/f
Power Plant GM 250-a
Fuel 320 - 4 tons
Armament
Communications System Lassitor-3QS
Tracking & Targeting System IMB SYS 3600
Heat Sinks 10
BV (1.0) 484[2][3]
BV (2.0) 448

Description[edit]

Originally designed for the Star League, the Cheetah is a light support or reconnaissance Aerospace Fighter. Boasting a maximum acceleration of nine gravities and a safe acceleration of six, the Cheetah is among the fastest and most agile fighters in existence and features a good weapons load-out for its size. This speed is necessary, as with only three tons of armor a solid hit by a heavy laser or missile volley can cause serious trouble. Four tons of fuel provide adequate range, though the idea that the GM 250-a power plant consumes more fuel than usual is just an old wives' tale. Another urban legend that the the fighter's agility suffers when operating in an atmosphere is also false, though its extreme accelerations are physically punishing on its pilot.[4][5]

The Cheetah was in continuous production from its introduction up until the downfall of the Star League, when the Free Worlds League copied the design and retooled several of their factories to continue producing them. It since became the standard light fighter of the Free Worlds League Military, appearing in nearly every FWLM aero formation. It has performed well in many roles especially escorting DropShips, with many assault squadrons using Cheetahs for long-range patrols and fast-courier runs.[4][5]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

Well armed for a light aerospace fighter, the F-10 Cheetah has a Starflash I Small Laser in the nose and a Starflash II Medium Laser in each wing. The lasers give the Cheetah a heavy punch for supporting other fighters or ground troops.[4][5]

Variants[edit]

  • F-11 
    This upgraded variant produced by House Marik, the F-11 eventually became the fighter's standard production model, correcting many of the flaws in the original. It uses a GM 250-a XL Engine and change the armor to Ferro-Aluminum, increasing the amount of armor protection by half. The lasers are also changed to a Small Pulse Laser and two Medium Pulse Lasers, while two tons of additional fuel gives it longer legs.[5] BV (1.0) = 583[6]
  • F-11-R 
    The reconnaissance version of the Cheetah-R strips the two Medium Lasers and adds two tons of fuel. This version is not intended to fight an enemy, as the single small laser can offer only token resistance.[5] BV (1.0) = 236[7][8], BV (2.0) = 197
  • F-11-RR 
    An upgrade to the reconnaissance version, the RR replaces the standard Fusion Engine with a GM 250-a XL model, adds back the two Starflash medium lasers and increases its fuel capacity to ten tons, giving the variant superior range and firepower.[9][10][5] BV (1.0) = 492[11][12], BV (2.0) = 448
  • F-12A 
    A failed prototype, this Cheetah variant was developed in 3021. It trades the standard 250 rated engine for a 275 model, increasing speed slightly. However, to make room for the larger engine, the F-12A had to remove the medium lasers and a ton of armor, leaving it it with a single small laser and two tons of armor protection. The FWLM ordered Imstar to shut down the design production line and cancelled all orders.[13]
  • F-12-S 
    The Cheetah-S removes the medium lasers and one ton of fuel, to be replaced by an SRM-4 pack and one ton of ammo. With the reduced range this variant is used primarily as a defensive craft for installations or Dropships.[5] BV (1.0) = 329[14][15], BV (2.0) = 299
  • F-13 
    This model upgrades the lasers to extended-range models, and mounts an additional ER Medium Laser to each wing. The armor is changed to Ferro-Aluminum for better protection and double heat sinks are added for better cooling management. BV (1.0) = 973[16]
  • F-14-S 
    This Cheetah replaces the standard weapons with a pair of Streak SRM-2 launchers. It also carries five and a half tons of armor. BV (2.0) = 458[17]
  • OF-17 "Hawkeye" 
    This special reconnaissance variant removes all the standard weapons and armor and replaces them with a Hyperspectral Imager, Vehicular Stealth Armor and a Guardian ECM. By shutting down their engines and using a ballistic flight path, several of these Cheetahs sailed past Terra's defenses before Operation SCOUR came to Humanity's birthworld. The last minute data gathered by these units allowed Coalition commanders to modify their strategy. BV (2.0) = 352[18]
  • OF-17A-R 
    This version of the OF-17 uses a Small Cockpit to make room for two aft mounted Small Lasers. Retaining the Stealth Armor and Hyperspectral Imager of the OF-17 is fine, but the cramped cockpit has led to complaints from the Lyran pilots assigned to it. Unfortunately, the Lyran procurement agency isn't willing to listen, so the pilots will have to live with the cramped conditions and useless small lasers. BV (2.0) = 290[19][20]

Design Quirks[edit]

The F-12A Cheetah variant is subject to the following Design Quirks:[13]

The OF-17A-R Cheetah variant is subject to the following Design Quirks:[19]

References[edit]

  1. MUL online date for the Cheetah
  2. Record Sheets: 3039
  3. AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 28
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 148
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Technical Readout: 3039, p. 192
  6. Record Sheets: 3039
  7. Record Sheets: 3039
  8. AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 29
  9. Technical Readout: 3057, p. 178
  10. Objective Raids, p. 117
  11. Record Sheets: 3039
  12. AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 30
  13. 13.0 13.1 Experimental Technical Readout: Boondoggles, p. 15
  14. Record Sheets: 3039
  15. AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 31
  16. Record Sheets: 3039
  17. AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 33
  18. Experimental Technical Readout: Marik, p. 12
  19. 19.0 19.1 Technical Readout: Prototypes, p. 165
  20. Record Sheets: Prototypes, p. 82

Bibliography[edit]