Guardian (Conventional Fighter)
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|Manufacturer||Mujika Aerospace Technologies|
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Engine (Type)||Rawlings 140 Air Turbine|
|Fuel||320 - 2 tons|
|Communications System||XDuoteck 20|
|Targeting Tracking System||Radcom T5|
|Armor||Mujika AeroShell Light|
With the smallest military and industrial base of any Inner Sphere power, House Liao has been known for using conventional forces to add to the capabilities of its AeroSpace and 'Mech forces. Cheap and easy to maintain, the Guardian exhibits traits that would be later seen in OmniMech design. All components are modular in nature, and with the proper diagnostic equipment only one Astech is needed to keep the fighter ready for combat.
Powered by a Rawlings 140 Air Turbine, the Guardian features four exhaust nozzles, two on each side of the fuselage, which can be rotated to give the Guardian VSTOL capabilities. Capable of true vertical take-off and landings only when the craft is not loaded with ordnance, even with a full bomb load the Guardian needs only 50 meters of open field to get airborne.
Aside from a relatively light weapons load, the Guardian's main disadvantage is its rather minimal defensive protection, relying more on speed than the single ton of Mujika AeroShell Light armor it carries. While the Guardian's speed is more than enough to outpace any ground assets it could face, its lifespan can be measured in seconds in combat against a true AeroSpace Fighter.
Weapons and Equipment
Merely adequate for its ground attack role, the Guardian carries a good-sized bomb load supported by a single nose-mounted Sian/Ceres Cougar SRM-6 rack supplied with a 15 reloads. While some feel a ground attack plane would be better served by carrying lasers for strafing runs, thinking which resulted in the Guardian B variant, the one-shot attack runs forced by the missile launcher better help to minimize its exposure to return fire.
The Guardian has four External Stores Hardpoints which allow it to carry bombs.
- Created by pilot demand, the Guardian B replaces the Rawlings 140 for a 120 engine, reducing the bomb load and speed, and pulls the SRM-6 launcher for a Medium Laser and extra heat sinks. Considered a better close support craft than the missile carrier, it does take away from the Guardian's already poor air to air performance. BV (1.0) = 110, BV (2.0) = 126, 153
- Another modern variant made possible due to trade with the Draconis Combine, the Guardian D replaces the SRM launcher with a MRM-10. The intended combat role of the Guardian is well suited to the MRM launcher, boosting range and firepower while the reduction in accuracy is not too detrimental. BV (1.0) = ??, BV = (2.0) = 154, 177
- Bullet Suicide Drone
- Created in 3071 on St. Ives, the Bullet drone is probably one of the more desperate weapons ever conceived of. Exchanging the cockpit for a Drone Operating System, swapping in a smaller engine, removing the VSTOL capability, and trading the SRM-6 for an SRM-2 and a Booby Trap, the Bullet is designed to be flown close to an enemy emplacement or formation and then detonated. Hopefully the resulting explosion will destroy or damage the enemy, while the drone operators are located safely away from the battlefield. Several squadrons of Bullet drones were used on New Hessen to drive off Word of Blake forces. BV (1.0) = ??, BV 2.0 = 104
- Boeing Jump Bomber - Design to bolster the Federated Commonwealth's planetary defense forces, the Boeing Jump Bomber is shamelessly based on the Capellan Guardian, boosting speed at the cost of the SRM launcher and relying entirely on externally mounted bombloads.
In German products the unit's proper name was perfectly translated to Beschützer.
Original Guardian from TRO:3026
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 6
- MUL online date for Guardian (Conventional Fighter)
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 205
- Technical Readout: 3039, pp. 178-179, "Guardian Fighter Profile"
- Technical Readout: 3026, pp. 12-13, "Guardian Fighter Profile"
- Technical Readout: 3026 Revised, pp. 16-17, "Guardian Fighter Profile"
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 7
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 279
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 202
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 280
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 203
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 281
- Record Sheets: 3039, p. 204
- Experimental Technical Readout: Mercs, p. 15
- Technical Readout: Prototypes, p. 156
- Technical Readout: Prototypes, p. 157
- Record Sheets: Prototypes, p. 78