United Earth Alliance
SF-75E Hornet Interceptor/Light Fighter
Designed two years prior to the Sol War, the SF-75E Hornet was meant to be a carrier-based short-range interceptor, to protect fleet ships from oncoming attacks via bombers and or missiles. The Hornet was designed to be lightweight, with a decent weapons loadout and high acceleration. This came at the expense of manuverbility, since materials strong enough to withstand the enormous heat from her dual fusion engines had not been invented until a few years later. The Hornet proved to be mildly sucessful, but her lack of range hampered the craft from undertaking strike or escort missions. They proved a rather inexpensive, yet adequetely armed craft to deal with pirate or outlaws.
The C, D and E versions of the Hornet were deployed during the third year of the Sol War, substituting for the more capable but expensive Corsair fighters which took a lot of time and resources to build. The later models incorporated advanced avionics and an increased fuel supply, allowing them to undertake missions that required longer range. New heat-resistant materials could now be used to allow the fighters to have thrust-vector, allowing increased maneuverability.
The A and B variants of the Hornet used a single gunpowder-based 30mm cannon. Later variants incorporated dual EMW-83S Marksman-S Single-barrelled gauss cannon, with quick-firing capability, making the later Hornets a superb gunfighter. Disposable armament is carried on 6 hardpoints, three on each wing. The Hornets lack an Internal bay, due to it's role being an interceptor craft. A centreline hardpoint enables the Hornets to carry external fuel tanks if required. Like all current United Earth craft in service, they carry two Point-Defense laser mountings on the underside of their large thrusters, which fire invisible, concentrated beams to disable incoming missiles. Yellowline Industries' unique appoach to fighter-design gave the craft it's rather odd shape and configuration, effective nevertheless. To cut costs, the Hornet uses high-powered optics and display screens across the entire insides of the canopy instead of a more expensive and resource-demanding transparent-metal canopy. This form of canopy design is the first deployed on a fighter-sized craft and has proven as good as a transparent cockpit. Moreover, it can be fortified and armored, something a transparent cockpit cannot.
Hornets are a rare sight, due to the increased production of the suprerior Corsair and Reaper fighters. However, most carriers and bases still retain a few of the nimble craft. Many outposts still use the Hornet as their mainstay defense fighter, due to lack of resources from the warring Alliance to maintain a group of advanced fighters there.
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