47.51mm x 7.29mm x 6.70mm
The Spectre II was a refinement of the older Spectre fighter from the late 2220s. Introduced 2238, it proved to be orders of magnitude more successful than its predecessor with a longevity that has lasted over a century. The design proliferated amongst smaller powers and mercenary groups due to its affordability and customisation.
The secret of the Spectre II’s success lies in its high-grade hull and engine performance. With an exceptionally acceleration of 54mc and manoeuvrability rated at 609 MEUs, the Spectre is a nimble combatant and well suited to dogfighting or interdiction roles. In addition, the Spectre is highly suitable for atmospheric operations, with flaps to aid the thrust-vectoring performance so that the Spectre’s agility is retained even in air. This speed came with a price however – there was little room and no spare power for shields, and armour was correspondingly very light, with an Armour Integrity Capacity of only 18TXq.
The basic Spectre II is armed with twin 35mm gatling cannons. With no energy weapons of shields, all the Spectre II’s power could be concentrated in its engines. The Spectre II’s remaining offensive power comes from missiles.
The Spectre II has two missile hardpoints on its underside. These are rated only to a Standard Warhead Capacity of 2 each, though can mount up to two missiles each. Thus these hardpoints are typically each loaded with two short-ranged dogfighting missiles, such as the Vitrius Conglomerate SRASHM-1111 Viper, which has a 30TXq warhead. The hardpoints can be removed entirely if not in use, which helps reduced atmospheric drag.
Like the Spectre I, the Spectre II has two internal missile bays are placed on the upper fuselage. Given the Spectre’ II’s very narrow profile, some logistical juggling was required to fit the bays in at all. There is only just enough room for them between the engines and landing gear. A simple top hatch was not feasible, since it there was not enough room between the engine block and the cockpit for the length required for most missiles. A ventral bay would have meant that the missile hardpoints would have had to be removed.
Instead, the Spectre II’s bays have firing tubes, more akin to some capital ship missile launchers. The tubes lead at a slight upward angle from the bay to either side of the cockpit. The opening is shielded by a retractable housing, which splits open for firing, but is otherwise closed to reduce atmospheric drag. Despite the fact that the missile have to be essentially loaded one-by-one down the firing tube, this mechanism is surprisingly reliable and robust, having none of the same issues that plagued the Spectre I’s similar system.
The bays have a Standard Warhead Capacity rating of 7. The limited space means there are only two internal hardpoints available, however. Still, this is sufficient to mount four 40TXq missiles, such as the Darian Defence MRASHM-1119 Sunspot.
In the years since its introduction, improvements to drive and power core miniaturisation allow the Spectre II hull to be further improved. One of the earliest common upgrades was the addition of a hyperdrive.
The most infamous Spectre II modification is the Army Of the Red Spear’s Apparition. Originally bought during their 9th starship generation as something of a stopgap in the early 2250s, the Apparition turned out to be such a success that the Aotrs eventually turned over to manufacturing it in-house.
The modern Mark 6 Apparition looks only a little different to its ancestor. The major difference is the dorsal missile bays have been enlarged (thanks to superior miniaturisation improvements) and transformed into a warhead launcher. The warhead launcher is sufficiently larger than it can fire directly forward (a necessity for firing torpedoes), discharging over the top of the old missile bay tube ports. This might seem to somewhat reduce the visibility for the pilot to the sides, but with superior Aotrs helmet displays, the launchers are digitally made mostly opaque for the pilot. The payload remains much the same as the original Spectre II (albeit with more advanced Aotrs missiles) and the substitution of rotary plasma-pulse cannons for the gatlings. The Apparition also boasts a comfortable 108 TXq-rated fighter grade shields.
Showing that a good idea is always worth stealing, the Herosine Imperial Fleet’s Severus (Sv/Ftr) fighter borrows the same concepts as the Apparition. The missile bays are replaced with torpedo launchers using a near-clone of the Aotrs techniques, albeit with less advanced Herosine torpedo technology. The bays are also somewhat taller, allowing the Severus to carry five 30TXq-yield torpedoes.
Like the Apparition, the Severus has shields, though only 82TXq rated. The Herosine design also replaces the gatlings, but in their case with two 18TXq disruptors. The Herosine version also adds two additional lower hardpoints, allowing it double the missile load. However, the extra mass of the missiles and torpedoes also reduces the Severus’ performance, reducing it to 52.1mc and 586 MEUs.
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