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|Manufacturer||New Age Systems|
|Class||Light Aerospace Fighter|
|Tech Base||Star League|
|Power Plant||GM 150 Fusion Engine|
|Communications System||CMDSTAT 400-D|
|Tracking & Targeting System||Scope Paint|
The Spad was a light Aerospace Fighter introduced in 2749, considered one of the best fielded by the Star League Defense Force before its dissolution. Its most impressive feature was its durability and ease of maintenance, protected by eight tons of standard Carbondale III armor plates designed to deflect laser shots. The Spad was also built such that it was possible to reach, repair and replace every component with a minimum of down time; even its GM 150 engine could be replaced in six hours, compared to the average time of ten and a half in other fighters. Unlike previous fighters, the layout of the interior allowed for quick replacement of any damaged or destroyed component with similar components, no matter the manufacturer. Much like the role played by the Mercury in the development of the OmniMech, the popular semi-modular Spad served as the basis for what would later become the OmniFighter. In a variation on Stealth technology used in 21st century conventional fighters, the Spad also features a wing geometry which, rather than reduces radar signature, projects "echoes", confusing some tracking systems - projecting false targets or appearing as a different, much larger class of Aerospace Fighter
Over two thousand Spads were produced prior to the outbreak of the Amaris Civil War, after which ComStar mothballed the primary Spad factory on Terra along with a large cache of SPD-502s. The craft's ease of maintenance however meant the design would remain in service for centuries, though all of the more advanced 503s were either destroyed or left with the Exodus Fleet. The return of the Clans would prompt ComStar to reopen the factory and upgrade their stock of Spads, while the outbreak of the Word of Blake's Jihad would see a more advanced version put into production.
Weapons and Equipment
The fighter is armed exclusively with energy weapons, reducing its dependence on supply lines. Though interchangeable with other suppliers, newly constructed Spads were armed with a StarCutter PPC, an Allied Technologies Model 2 Medium Laser, and an Allied Technologies Model 1 Small Laser. The PPC in particular allowed the Spad to punch through most light fighters' armor in only a few shots. The energy weapons were mounted inside the hull with retractable covers, allowing them to survive reentry and disguise its full armaments from its enemies.
- With the appearance of the Clans, Comstar began to rapidly upgrade their SPD-502s to the advanced model used by SLDF Royal units. The standard heatsinks were replaced with double heatsinks and the Carbondale III armor was upgraded to Ferro-Aluminum. The PPC was swapped out for a Large Pulse Laser while the 2 lighter lasers were replaced with a single Medium Pulse Laser. BV (2.0) = 824
- MUL online date for the Spad
- Combat Operations, p. 107
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 41
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, pp. 228-229, "Spad Fighter Profile"
- Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 187
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrades Unabridged (Clan & Star League), p. 323
- Technical Readout: 2750, pp. 62-63, "Spad Fighter Profile"
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Clan & Star League), p. 275
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrades Unabridged (Clan & Star League), p. 324
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Clan & Star League), p. 276
- Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrades Unabridged (Clan & Star League), p. 325