Rapier

This article is about the aerospace fighter design. For other uses, see Rapier (disambiguation).
Rapier ASF TRO3050U.png
Rapier
Production information
Manufacturer Bauer Enterprises
Production Year 2596[1]
Model RPR-100
Class Heavy aerospace fighter
Tech Base Star League
Cost 5,437,111 C-bills[2]
Technical specifications
Mass 85 tons
Structural Integrity
Frame Interstar 290M
Power Plant AeroFord 340 fusion engine
Armor PhilterMesh
Fuel
Armament
Communications System COMHRT II.Q
Tracking & Targeting System Scope 130Y
Heat Sinks 12 double heat sinks
BV (1.0) 1,388[2][3]
BV (2.0) 1,544[4]
1,572[5]

Description[edit]

The Rapier was the staple heavy aerospace fighter of the SLDF since its introduction, despite coming from an unusual source: the toy manufacturer Bauer Enterprises. Bauer's unexpected decision to enter the military aerospace market in 2590 was a complete surprise to everyone, since it was better-known for making remote-controlled aerospace models than the real deal. However, their decision was based upon a new invention from one of their researchers, the veteran Dr. Lionel Rajan III, who developed a revolutionary neurocontrol device. This device used overlapping wave signals to produce a three-dimensional image of what the toy was "seeing" in the operator's mind. The SLDF was impressed with this revolutionary targeting and tracking system, especially since the Reunification War still raged with no end in sight, and gave the toy company a chance. A number of different prototypes, including a heavy Land-Air 'Mech, were rejected but it was the Rapier which won Bauer Enterprises its contract, with full production beginning in 2595.[6][5]

Besides its revolutionary Bauer Scope 130Y, the Rapier boasted good maneuverability and protection compared to craft of similar mass, sporting 12 tons of Philter Mech myomer-weave armor plating. It was widely deployed throughout the SLDF, with less advanced versions lacking the Scope 130Y used by the Lyran Commonwealth. Though the factory on Tharkad was never attacked during the Succession Wars, the Rapier still suffered from the loss of technological knowledge during that period, with downgraded versions of the fighter produced throughout the Inner Sphere. Only ComStar and the Word of Blake are known to still field Star League-quality Rapiers. Bauer Enterprises was poised to begin production of new models of the Rapier when a Blakist assault in late 3067 destroyed the Tharkad factory, though enough of the facility apparently survived to roll out a few of the new variant.[5]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

The Bauer Scope 130Y, the innovation at the heart of the Rapier design, effectively extends the range of all of the mounted weapon systems, and allows the pilot to help direct launched missiles in mid-flight through neural impulses. The Rapier's weapon systems include a RNG Ranger AC/20, twin PDVR Piledriver Model 11-D PPCs mounted on opposite sides of the cockpit, and a single Cavalier Industries LRM-10.[6][5]

Variants[edit]

  • RPR-100b-EC 
    Clan Wolverine replaced the large pulse lasers with Clan-spec versions and the missile launcher with an improved LRM-20. Additional armor, heat sinks, fuel, and autocannon ammo use up the rest of the weight freed by the lighter weapons. (Note: EC is an abbreviation used by historians to designate "Early Clan" designs.)[9] BV (2.0) = 1,822[10]
  • RPR-101 
    This variant is armed with three PPCs in the nose and a pair of medium lasers split between its wings, with another pair of medium lasers are mounted on the aft of the craft, covering its rear firing arc. The craft carries 20 double heat sinks to keep it from overheating[11]. BV (2.0) = 1,738[4]
  • RPR-102 
    The RPR-102 has a massive AC/20 firing coaxially with a pair of large lasers, along with a LRM-10 launcher. The craft carries 10 rounds of autocannon ammunition and 12 volleys of missile ammo for its launcher. It has 16 double heat sinks to keep it cool as it Alpha Strikes[12]. BV (2.0) = 1,327[4]
  • RPR-200 
    An LB 10-X autocannon mounted coaxially with a pair ER PPCs is located in the nose of this variant alongside the LRM-10. The autocannon has been given 20 rounds of ammo split between two bays while the LRM is still fed by 12 volleys worth of missiles. 14 double heat sinks have been fitted into the craft.[13] BV (2.0) = 1,797[4]
  • RPR-300X 
    This unique variant of the Rapier was designed by the Word of Blake when they controlled Tharkad. The craft's main weapons are removed and replaced by a pair of nose-mounted hyper-velocity AC/10s, supplemented by an extended LRM-10 rack, while each wing carries a pair of ER medium lasers. Multi-ton ammunition magazines allow the RPR-300X to remain in the fight longer, which was a key limitation of the RPR-300. Protection comes from heavy ferro-fibrous armor, and 15 double heat sinks have been installed. Lockheed is attempting to create a production model of this version now. BV(2.0) = 2,007[15]
  • RPR-300S 
    Produced by Lockheed-CBM Corporation on Tharkad and introduced after the end of the Jihad, the only difference between this airframe and the RPR-300X is that two of the wing-mounted ER medium lasers now cover the rear arc. This allows the Rapier-300S pilot to fire all forward-firing weapons without overheating. BV (2.0) = 1,867[16][17]

Design Quirks[edit]

The RPR-300S Rapier variant is subject to the following Design Quirks:[16]

Notes[edit]

  • Author Blaine Lee Pardoe stated in a blog entry that, according to his memory which he admitted could be wrong, the Rapier was among the aerospace fighters for which he wrote the original background as initially published in TRO:2750; for some of these he also designed the stats.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. MUL online date for the Rapier
  2. 2.0 2.1 Combat Operations, p. 107
  3. AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 151
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Master Unit List: Battle Values, p. 183
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, pp. 244-245, "Rapier Fighter Profile"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Technical Readout: 2750, pp. 78-79, "Rapier Fighter Profile"
  7. Technical Readout: 3075, p. 169, "Rapier Variant"
  8. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 43
  9. Technical Readout: Golden Century, p. 62
  10. Technical Readout: Golden Century, p. 150
  11. Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Clan & Star League), p. 305
  12. Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Clan & Star League), p. 306
  13. Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Clan & Star League), p. 307
  14. Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade (Clan & Star League), p. 308
  15. Experimental Technical Readout: Steiner, p. 13
  16. 16.0 16.1 Technical Readout: Prototypes, p. 181
  17. Record Sheets: Prototypes, p. 93

Bibliography[edit]