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Toxn

The KSP Design-a-plane competition: multirole fighter edition

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Dear [iNSERT NAME OF COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE HERE],

 

Congratulations!

Your company has been selected to partake in a competition to design an aircraft for the Republic of Kerbalia. The competition will be in the form of a fly-off, with entrant designs being assessed relative to each other and the current front-line multirole fighter of the Republic (specifications included in data pack attached hereto).

 

Should you choose to partake in this process, initial development funds of up to 40 000 Kerbalians will be made available to you. Technological limitations being what they are, the use of speculative engine designs (SABRE et al.) will not be accepted as a means of achieving competition goals.

 

The aircraft submitted must be of the multirole fighter type, with the ability to perform a variety of missions while still being able to outfight current aircraft on a 1-to-1 basis. Significant leeway will, however, provided as to the details of the design. If required, a flyable example of the current front-line aircraft will be provided for internal comparison.

 

Submissions must include, at minimum:

- A name and internal design number (a prototype designation number will be assigned)

- A full list of specifications

- A background and detailed description 

- One or more images of the submission

 

We wish you the best of luck with your undertakings in this regards.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Lotho Kerman

 

Head Company Wrangler,

Department of Defence,

Republic of Kerbalia 

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INFORMATION PACKAGE A: K-21 MULTIROLE AIRCRAFT ANALYSIS

 

DESCRIPTION

 

The K-21 'Incompetent Dragon' is the current front-line fighter aircraft of the Republic of Kerbalia. It is a fourth-generation aircraft, of fairly conventional design and making use of a delta and canard configuration. A single, large, divertless intake and limited vector-capable turbofan engine complete the basic package, allowing the K-21 to handily exceed the speed of sound in a low-level dash. Unfortunately, engine limitations have resulted in a fairly low top speed (Mach 1.6) at altitude. The range of the K-21 is excellent, with 3000km cruise radius being achieved during testing. Equally, a maximum takeoff weight of 18400kg means that the lightweight fighter can haul over ten metric tonnes of ordinance into the air if stretched.

 

The Incompetent dragon is constructed primarily of high-strength aluminium alloys and composite materials, producing a very lightweight and compact airframe. Never-exceed loadings for the aircraft have been authoritatively measured, with a g-loading of 12 being at the absolute limit of the airframe's capacities. Due to this aforementioned testing, production models of the K-21 include automatic limitations of control surface movements. Control of the aircraft itself is fly-by-wire, although the conventionally stable nature of the design allows manual backups to be used in an emergency.

 

The K-21's avionics package consists of a nose-mounted pulse doppler radar system; integral navigation, laser weapon guidance, FLIR and search-and-track capabilities; and twin external ECM/countermeasure dispenser pods mounted to the rear fuselage. Offensively, the K-21 carries an internal 20mm rotary cannon, located on the right side of the fuselage behind the cockpit. Six underwing and two wingtip hardpoints allow a variety of stores to be carried, with a standard load consisting of up to six tonnes of ordinance and stores.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Length: 10.6m
  • Width: 9.3m
  • Height: 4m
  • Mass (fuelled): 5.5 tonnes
  • Mass (maximum takeoff weight): 18.4 tonnes
  • Unit cost: 27 035
  • Max speed (sea level): Mach 1.25
  • Max speed (altitude): Mach 1.6
  • Climb rate: 238 m/s
  • Max altitude (engine flameout): 30 000 m
  • Max altitude (apogee): 43 000 m

 

IMAGES

 

nDXhUWW.jpg

Test model of the K-21, with pilot for scale

 

N4SVLd1.jpg

Test model in flight

 

WrkyyI2.jpg

Early production model, displaying fuselage-mounted IR missiles. The fuselage mounts were removed from later production models due to a number of missile separation failures.

 

EyarG2k.jpg

Late production model, shown during manoeuvres while carrying a maximum combat load. 

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Getting out of character for a bit:

 

  • Anyone who wants to can enter. I will talk to management about advertising the contest in other forums, but for now that hasn't happened.
  • The prize hasn't been decided yet, so suggestions are welcome.
  • Mods for KSP include: Ferram Aerospace or similar (non-negotiable, as the baseline flight mechanics are waaay too easy to exploit), B9 aerospace (optional) and BD armory (optional, but recommended for that loaded-plane look).
  • Other mod suggestions are welcome, but I'd advise against dicking around too much with fantasy engines as that's against the spirit of the contest. Similarly against the spirit of the competition: invisible or sneakily stacked surfaces, stacked or hidden engines, and other tricks which rely too much on min-maxing the game at the expense of a realistic design.
  • I can send over the file for the K-21 upon request, so that people can test it against their aircraft directly. I can't get the multiplayer mod to work, but if people want to use that to test things directly then that would be sweet.

Edit: A couple bunch of other things I forgot/need to be added for clarity:

  • The competition will run till May 15, with the winner announced after comparison of the entries (probably early to mid June).
  • Planes can have any sort of crew setup (including unmanned), but would have to justify accordingly. Unmanned planes would also have to include something (comms, extra sensors, space for a super-computer) on the model itself to show how it will do its thing.
  • The Republic of Kerbalia is basically Chimerica; with a large central landmass, lots of coastline and a few neighbouring countries that it has uneasy relationships with.
  • Accordingly, the K-21 was made as a do-it-all fighter: great manoeuvre and climb capability for short-ranged interception, great range for long-distance strikes and great carrying capacity (at the expense of manoeuvre, climb and range) for bomb-truck duties. Unfortunately, it's slow, non-stealthy and has an outdated avionics suite.
  • The honchos at RoK think they simply want an updated version, capable of meeting or exceeding the K-21's specifications while providing improved speed, stealth and avionics. The kicker, however, is that they've provided a fairly limited budget (less than double that of the basic K-21 model) and are committed to having a fly-off between the K-21 and the competitor aircraft.
  • Entrants can thus opt to simply provide an improved aircraft, bust the budget and then justify, or do something clever at own risk. A big part of what will get accepted will come down to arguments provided, as well as performance versus K-21 and the competition.

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Getting out of character for a bit:

  • Other mod suggestions are welcome, but I'd advise against dicking around too much with fantasy engines as that's against the spirit of the contest. Similarly against the spirit of the competition: invisible or sneakily stacked surfaces, stacked or hidden engines, and other tricks which rely too much on min-maxing the game at the expense of a realistic design.

 

Is procedural wings haram?

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What sort of country is the RoK and what sort of missions does it need a fighter for? A nation like Croatia has very different "multi-role fighter" requirements than one like the UK or France.

 

This is a good point even if to a certain point the requirements of carry a heavy load a long way and maneuver a bit/a bunch halfway start to blend together a bit.

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Example: Croatia needs a fighter that can take off with a couple of Sidewinders to intercept aircraft in their airspace. Those fighters also need to be a good value, which means they need to be able to perform ground attack and other more pedestrian missions involving carrying lots of payload but not doing air-to-air stuff. This has some implications for the vehicle. Certainly, Croatia could buy Rafales or something truly "multi-role", but it could also get away with J-7s. J-7s can carry Sidewinders, and you can stick four rocket pods on them and a couple of spare fuel tanks and hose down whatever tonka trucks used by the local rebels that the UN Coalition has asked you to dust.

France needs a carrier-capable fighter aircraft that can dogfight with Su-27s and win, while simultaneously carrying four tactical nuclear weapons and thirty-seven external tanks for intercontinental range because FRANCE EST FORTE!!!!

So it's very, very important what sort of country RoK is.
 

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oh my god you somehow made a KSP thread even spergier

 

(Your points are valid though, I should probably work on a light fighter to back up my twin turbojet monstrosity.)

 

Not so much sperg as just noting that "multirole" doesn't actually mean anything, and that Tox didn't really put any requirements in the title.

 

If it's just an aesthetic KSP Kreations thread, then my observation probably doesn't matter, but if Tox meant it as a serious "build the best performing KSP bird" competition, then it does.

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Would it be possible to get the save you've got of the baseline plane for comparison purposes? Wouldn't want to eyeball it and make a poorly balanced pile.

Sure. Per KSP's usual weirdness, it's a lot lighter and longer-ranged than anything that size has any right to be.

Otherwise, it's a mash-up between a J10 and F16 (where Jeb left the limiter on the fly-by-wire off) that can't break Mach 2 and only has 8 hardpoints.

 

 

What sort of country is the RoK and what sort of missions does it need a fighter for? A nation like Croatia has very different "multi-role fighter" requirements than one like the UK or France.

I was intentionally being coy about this, as I was interested to see what people would come up with given only the requirements of 'make better plane to beat existing plane'. Because then they get to define and defend what 'better plane' means.

 

I will include the relevant information in an edit of post #3.

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Sure. Per KSP's usual weirdness, it's a lot lighter and longer-ranged than anything that size has any right to be.

Otherwise, it's a mash-up between a J10 and F16 (where Jeb left the limiter on the fly-by-wire off) that can't break Mach 2 and only has 8 hardpoints.

 

 

I was intentionally being coy about this, as I was interested to see what people would come up with given only the requirements of 'make better plane to beat existing plane'. Because then they get to define and defend what 'better plane' means.

 

I will include the relevant information in an edit of post #3.

 

I should clarify - I have no problem with leaving it vague (more design diversity), but I was curious.

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SUBMISSION PACKAGE FROM OKB KERBOLEV

 

Internal Prototype Designation: Coyote XVIII

Length: 11.8m

Wingspan: 9.9m

Height: 3.2m

Mass (clean): 9.5t

MTOW: 18.9t

Unit Cost: 37944 (Includes internal 20mm cannon+ammunition, as well as countermeasures dispensers)

Max Speed (Sea Level): Mach 1.3 (clean)

Max Speed (Altitude): Mach 3.2 (clean)

Max Climb Rate: ~520 m/s

Max Altitude (flameout): 28,000 m

Max Altitude (apogee): ~57,000 m

Hardpoints: 2 wingtips, 6 underwing, 2 fuselage

Internal Armament: 1x20mm cannon, 1300 rounds

 

IMAGES

 

H0bMdgW.jpg?1

Prototype on runway with typical armament load

37IqnkQ.png?1

Prototype in flight

QCKVkwA.png?1

Underside of prototype with typical weapon loadout

Wk58s3I.png

Prototype at high speed

 

DESCRIPTION

 

There were two competing schools of though during the development of the multirole fighter. One advocated development of a heavier design, capable of performing both air superiority and deep strike missions, while the second preferred a lightweight, low cost fighter. The first option was ultimately chosen, resulting in the development of the Coyote XVIII. (The Coyote XIX lightweight fighter is available for purchase by countries desiring a really cheap more economical option).

 

Early in the design process, it was decided to use two turbojet engines, in order to obtain sufficient climb rate, payload capacity, and kinematic performance. Intakes were optimized for performance at high speeds and altitudes, though the Coyote XVIII is capable of supersonic speeds at low level. The airframes performance is generally drag-limited, with the highest speeds attained near the operational ceiling. The aircraft has a large internal fuel capacity, to improve range.

 

Previously, many large interceptor and strike aircraft required multiple crew members. However, recent advances in technology, especially automation, have rendered a second crew member superfluous. The Coyote XVIII has a single pilot, reducing cost and training needs. This is enabled by an advanced avionics and flight control suite (OOC: the SAS module behind cockpit).

 

A tailless delta planform was chosen, due to good performance at both high and low speeds. Though the Coyote XVIII was not designed with maneuverability as the primary design goal, the aircraft does have good instantaneous turn performance, and has demonstrated sustained 7G turn capability. The aircraft has is approximately neutral dynamic stability; it capable of being flown without computer assistance, though this is not recommended except in emergencies. Use of yaw damper and alpha limiter is also recommended.

 

The Coyote XVIII is capable of utilizing a variety of ordnance, including IR and radar guided AAMs, cruise missiles, dumb bombs, unguided rockets, and other munitions. Stores separation has been demonstrated at supersonic speeds, as well as at loads of up to 7G.  An internal 20mm cannon is fitted, with over 1,000 rounds of ammunition; it is located in the nose of the aircraft. Two countermeasures pods are mounted under the aft fuselage.

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Kerboyan/Gurkevich Sumbission

Internal Prototype Designation: KeG-2B
Crew: 2 (Pilot, WSO)
Length: 15.6m
Wingspan:10.2m
Height:4.4m
Mass (clean): 13.4 tons
MTOW: 30.4 tons
Unit Cost (includes internal 30mm cannon, ammunition, and countermeasure pod): 39,957
Maximum Speed (clean): Mach 1.37 (Sea Level)
Maximum Speed (clean): Mach 3.07 (15km)
Maximum climb rate: 650m/s
Maximum altitude (flameout): 28km
Maximum altitude (apogee): 51km
Maximum G force: 31.7
Sustained G force during turns: ~12-15
Ordinance Separation G force: tested up to 20.6
Hardpoints: 2 wingtips, 6 underwing
Internal armament: nose mounted 30x173mm cannon, 600 rounds.

 

92ssU3o.jpg

 

rwyoe2S.jpg

 

pXaG1re.jpg

 

OicF1P3.jpg

 

CGiaqbE.jpg

 

KeG-2D

XyfLzEN.jpg

The KeG-2B is an envelope pushing aircraft that won't break the bank. The simple and rugged, but still sleek, construction reduced the costs of the airframe, allowing for more cutting edge technologies to be poured into the areas that really matter. The twin F119 Turbofans not only provides respectable output even at altitude, but also has a full 20 degrees of thrust vectoring on the pitch, allowing for impressive maneuvering abilities. Combining this with the 6 dorsal airbrakes allows the aircraft to pull incredibly tight turns, and pull out of steep dives that would send most aircraft straight into the ground. The durability of the airframe can survive nearly 32 G maneuvers if handled carefully, and can comfortably take a sustained load of 15 G. These airbrakes also give the KeG-2B shortfield landing capabilities, increasing its operational flexibility.

The KeG-2B has a respectable low altitude speed of Mach 1.37, allowing the pilot to bring its  30x173mm rotary barrel cannon to bear against any unfortunate ground targets quickly. At an altitude of 15km, the aircraft can cruise at a maximum speed of Mach 3.07, and with a range of 9000km with a standard fuel load.  With a maximum takeoff weight of over 30 tons, the KeG-2B can haul 17+ tons of ordinance to the combat zone if so required.

To manage all of these weapons, the KeG-2B has a two kerbal crew with a dedicated weapon systems officer. This allows the pilot to handle the impressive power and maneuverability of the aircraft, while the WSO can focus on efficiently putting the hurt on priority targets. The cockpit controls are duplicated however, and the KeG-2B can be successfully operated by a single kerbal. From low level bombing runs to high altitude, high speed intercepts, the KeG-2B can handle any task with ease, and quickly change rolls thanks to the unmatched agility.

These are just the base performance characteristics of the KeG-2 aircraft. The KeG-2D upgrade has six more hardpoints (two more underwing, for a total of eight, and four on the fuselage), and two options for more advanced sensor packages. For a negligible increase in unit cost of 8,700, the flexibility and battlefield endurance of the aircraft is increased substantially by giving it an impressive total of 14 hardpoints and an improved sensor package.

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Update

 

  1. Since KSP is about to drop an update that includes/supplants many of the mods listed here, I'm going to extend the competition till the end of May to allow contestants to rework their old designs in the new system. Existing contestants may choose whether to use their old or new models, and the K-21 will be reworked for 1.0. 
  2. I will update you on the plan of action going forwards if B9 and/or BD armoury don't work any more.
  3. The prize for the competition will be gold for WoT or WoWS (3000/4000)

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I fear the Shockheed entry dual purpose interceptor/low level bomber (complete with nice bonus to the judge in congratulations for a good selection) may be permanently postponed due to great difficulty hardening the cockpit sufficiently (It's currently really easy to overspeed a plane).

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Okay, so I've gotten to play around with the new aerodynamics model on KSP. It's fucked.

 

Putting a normal jet engine on the K-21 model I recreated now gets you all of mach 1.1 maximum at sea level, with worse performance at altitude. Put in the turboramjet and you get mach 1.1 at sea level and mach 3 at altitude. And then your plane explodes.

 

I'm going to wait a week to see if any of the mods get updated.

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I think it's the new heat model.  It used to be that you could only take damage from enormous G-forces ripping the aircraft apart (which was basically impossible in stock).  Now your parts can take damage from frictional heating, and apart from hide your entire airplane behind a heat shield, there's nothing you can do about that.

 

They seriously need to add some higher-tier titanium aerodynamic parts or something.

 

Also, so far as I can tell, there's been an enormous reduction in drag.  The new drag model is more complex and realistic, but it consistently returns lower drag coefficients for anything even remotely sensibly designed than the old stock aerodynamics did.  The reason that everything explodes now is that there's no drag so everything goes retardedly fast.

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KF-105 Assegai:

 

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Mass (empty): 9.020 t
  • Mass fuelled): 19.120 t
  • Mass (empty, rocket assisted): 48.270 t
  • Mass (fuelled, rocket assisted): 59.470 t
  • Mass (maximum takeoff weight): 70+ tonnes w/ rocket assist
  • Unit cost: 38,839 w/o rocket assist
  • Max speed (sea level): Mach 2.05
  • Max speed (altitude): Mach 2.70
  • Climb rate: 422 m/s
  • Max altitude (engine flameout): 30 000 m
  • Max altitude (apogee): 43 000 m
  • Max range: global

 

The KF-105 Assegai is a STOL/RATO-assist multirole interceptor/reconnaissance/strike aircraft. It achieves true multirole capability through a combination of thick, high ratio delta wings, six automatic/manual airbrakes, and rocket assisted takeoff. The Assegai utilizes twin turbo-ramjet engines to achieve the high speeds necessary for strategic bombing and reconnaissance missions, while maintaining good short-field performance and a high mission rate. The Assegai's space-age stability augmentation improves the handling characteristics of the aircraft beyond what is possible through aerodynamic means alone, and allows it to perform advanced maneuvers like Pugachev's Cobra, as well as to flip 180 degrees and thrust against the direction of motion, quickly changing direction to meet tactical needs.

The Assegai is also capable of using its external hardpoints as strategic heavy-lift assets, giving it true multi-role capability beyond what other airframes are capable of.

 

uKGwLO9.png

 

Engine Start:

 

WwjOoO2.png

 

Takeoff-to-zoom-climb-intercept:

 

HrRFO1O.png

 

Booster separation. The boosters separate before burnout, to ensure the safety of the aircraft.

 

tYokNz1.png

 

The Assegai in a dive, reaching maximum speed. The airspeed of the Assegai is limited only by its structural integrity.

 

Id28pzn.png

 

The Assegai performing an unpowered Pugachev's Cobra maneuver at very high altitude. Cobra maneuvers are possible at all airspeeds and altitudes.

 

yGOfxIT.png

 

The Assegai performing a short takeoff procedure:

RW73j9a.png

 

The Assegai performing a heavy-lift takeoff. Weight at takeoff is 79 tonnes.

6CXXFWU.png

 

Required landing distance, full fuel load:

gC7IIDn.png

 

Performing a strike mission with two 6.5 tonne multipurpose missile bodies.

 

9y6aMRb.png

 

Low-altitude Pugachev's Cobra with 13t external ordnance. Note how the patented Flexi-Frame™ construction prevents structural damage during extreme maneuvers. The aircraft performed three such manuevers that flight, and landed safely.

 

fhliBVF.png

 

Taking off with two air-to-surface and two air-to-satellite missiles:

uMUOdwg.png

 

With the Assegai, you can rain destruction upon your enemies, no matter how distant or peaceful they may be:

kTMKpmT.png

 

Choose the Assegai, the only multirole fighter made in all nine pronvinces.

 

DtJAmX6.png

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      by Captain Julio Rodgers of the Texas Free State Rangers
       
      March 15, 2240

      As a Texan first and a Ranger second, I value the independence of Texans above all else. Historically, the Lone Free State has ensured the liberty and independence of all Texans by eschewing a traditional military organization, and instead leaving the common defense to local authorities, who are adequately funded from the national treasury and very well equipped. This has done exactly what it was intended to do, and sets the Lone Free State apart from other governments in a way that has made it the greatest nation in the Former United States. However, as we approach the middle of the 23rd Century, we will find ourselves up against enemies unlike any we have fought before. Even now, past the New Mexico territories, our rangers tell us a state of Cascadia is building a military force the likes of which this continent has not seen since before the War. Our current system for national defense cannot-
       
       
       
      THE LAND BEYOND THE MISSISSIPPI: LONE STAR EDITION

      The Post-New York Times

      Op-ed by Muhammad Alharris
       
      September 1, 2241

      Past the quiet iron hills, the swamps of the Mississippi Commune, and the great river of the same name, lies a hard but beautiful place. Texas, the hardest hit of the 50 formerly United States, is even today no forgiving haven for weary travelers. Sweltering, 120 degree summers that last 9 months mean only men of grit and guts dare live there for very long. When my uber pulled into the station at Beaumont, I was already soaked with sweat. I checked my phone, 103 degrees, it read. It was 10 AM, in early May. Unlike in the East with its electric trains connecting the microcities that dot the coast, Texas is a place of roads. Great, spanning highways harkening back to the old world criss cross the country, with ubers flitting to and fro in chaotic swarms. What mass transit there is takes the form of large electric uber trolleys that seat 50, but I found that most people still drive their personally owned ubers - powered by diesel! - 1 to a person or two. Independence is the most important thing to Texans. No wonder, since it was so hard won in nuclear fire. And, I think (maybe a bit darkly), who else would put up with living here? 
       
       
       
      FAST ENOUGH, BUT NOT ENOUGH
       
      Texas Patrol Weekly
       
      by Deputy Marshal Art Renner
       
      January 13th, 2243
       
      There is no question that the G-12 Armored Truck has been the backbone of Lone Free State defense since the teen years of this century. Fast, with top speed of 70 mph, and long legged, with a range of almost 250 miles on a single tank, the G-12 was exactly what Texas needed to patrol its substantial and growing border. Was. The situation of today is not as it was. We're familiar with the scene, immortalized in the 2229 movie Lone Star, of Marshals charging into battle at 50 miles per hour against the bandit menace, triple machine guns blazing and almost out of fuel, but just in time to save the day, and a grateful settlement. Today, the machine gun is not The Decider anymore. That title now belongs to the recoilless and the autocannon, because we aren't just facing banditos anymore. Now, they have their own armored cars, their own machine guns, and even their own recoillesses from time to time. The G-12, Old Reliable, is now Old Liability.
       
       
       
      ALL ROADS LEAD TO AUSTIN
       
      Austin Standard
       
      by Marie Lemarre
       
      July 23, 2239
       
      Texas is not the jewel of the United States as it once was, but in the 23rd Century it still remains a force to be reckoned with. The unquestioned source of Lone Free State power is its vast, soaring highways, which keep men and materiel flowing to where they are most needed. Trucks of every variety use these roads, but they are most critical as a national security asset. Would our borders be as safe as they are, would the productivity of the free Texas man be as great as it is, without the ability of the Texas Patrol to go from Amarillo to Corpus Christi in six hours? No! The lifeblood of the Texan state pumps over our soaring highways, and our highways protect that lifeblood all the same. Of all the former American member states, only Texas has maintained its highways, and it reaps the benefits.
       
       

      THE GROWING THREAT PAST THE BORDER
       
      The Lone Star

      by Hillum Dickens
       
      October 4th, 2242

      Our border is once again threatened! A new fanatical enemy has appeared in Rockies, threatening our settlers in Moriarty, Wagon Mound, and Springer. Twelve settlements have been raided in the past eight months, with ten more reporting sightings of the "Mormon Menace". Just last week in Springer, cowherds were attacked by men with face cloths, wielding rifles and riding in trucks. They threw crude incendiary devices and torched several buildings, including a Post Office. The local Border Guard was alerted, but by the time they could ride over the men were gone, and 1200 head of cattle with them. These attacks cannot go-
       
       
       
      SHOCK AND AWE IN RATON

      The Lone Star

      by Hillum Dickens
       
      May 30th, 2243
       
      The Sante Fe militias are defeated! Mormon forces, better equipped than any we have seen before, have crushed the Lone Free State militias ordered to reinforce Raton by Provisional Governor O'Connor. Initial attacks on the border town were met with local response, but results were inconclusive as the Mormons led the Sheriff's deputies on long chases through the mountains. Exhausted and drained, they returned only to find buildings burned, farms destroyed, and livestock and materiel stolen out from under them. Immediately upon receiving the news, Governor O'Connor ordered the Texas Free State Rangers to assemble and deputize across the state, and an immediate action by the Sante Fe mayor to mobilize the militias in the area and march on Raton in response. Once they arrived, they found not forces of elusive mountain men, but a war machine of hundreds of men armed with heavy weapons, and tens of powerful tracked armored trucks with high caliber cannons. The Santa Fe Command, convinced of its numerical superiority, attacked the Mormon forces with haste. The Mormons responded by firing salvos of powerful new recoilless weapons that turned armored trucks into scrap, and using their own, better armed and armored trucks to mop up defenders. The result was a massacre.
       


      INTELLIGENCE DOSSIER: CALIFORNIAN DEVELOPMENTS IN MILITARY TECHNOLOGY

      CONFIDENTIAL - CLASSIFICATION A

      TEXAS LONE FREE STATE RANGERS
       
      PUBLISHED: August 9th, 2244

      RECEIVED: August 18th, 2244

      DURING THE SECOND EXPEDITION INTO THE GONZALEZ CLAIM, INDEPENDENT RANGER DETACHMENTS WERE DISPATCHED TO LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ABOUT TEXAS'S NEAREST NEIGHBOR AND THEIR MILITARY CAPABILITIES. WHAT WAS LEARNED IN THOSE SORTIES IS OF THE HIGHEST NOTE AND PRIORITY TO THE SECURITY OF THE LONE FREE STATE. CALIFORNIAN WEAPONS ARE ADVANCED FAR BEYOND OUR EXPECTATIONS, AND INCLUDE TRACKED, ARMORED TRUCKS ("TANKS") WITH POWERFUL GUNS COMPARABLE TO LIGHT ARTILLERY, AND ARMOR UP TO THREE INCHES THICK. THEIR AIR FORCES, THOUGH SOMEWHAT LESS TECHNICALLY SOPHISTICATED THAN OURS, ARE FAR MORE NUMEROUS AND CONTAIN A WIDER VARIETY OF AIR ASSETS, INCLUDING HIGH SPEED TURBOJET AND PISTON POWERED AIRCRAFT DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY TO COUNTER OTHER AIR ASSETS. THESE WOULD POSE AN EXTREME THREAT TO FREE STATE AIR GUARD UNITS, WHICH INCLUDE ONLY LIGHT AIRCRAFT INTENDED TO COUNTER GROUND TARGETS. THEY POSSESS A STANDING ARMY IN NUMBER EXCEEDING EVEN ALL MILITIA AND GOVERNMENT FORCES IN THE LONE FREE STATE BY MANY TIMES. THIS ARMY IS ALSO WELL EQUIPPED WITH A VARIETY OF WEAPONS CAPABLE OF PENETRATING VIRTUALLY ALL LONE FREE STATE GROUND ASSETS, SUCH AS THE G-12 ARMORED SCOUT TRUCK-
       


      GUNS OF TEXAS
       
      Encyclopedia of American Small Arms, 6th Edition

      Vienna Publishing, 2241

      Despite having no formal military, the Lone Free State of Texas has an extensive arsenal of sophisticated small arms and artillery. Local militias are provided a stipend with which they can purchase arms from the government, up to and including recoilless rifles of 105mm bore according to reports. It is therefore worth examining the weapons of the Lone Free State.

      PISTOLS
       
      The primary pistol of the Lone Free State is the G-36. This recoil operated semiautomatic pistol holds 15 rounds and has a barrel length of 102mm. Bore diameter is 10.2mm and it fires a 10x22mm round that was developed in the pre-war United States. Standard ammunition is semi-jacketed with a steel core, with both penetrating and expanding characteristics. The slide and barrel are both hammer-forged steel, while the frame is steel with polymer panels. Unusually, the gun is fired with a cowboy-esque hammer, and not a striker as has been ubiquitous for nearly two centuries. This pistol is commonly seen in Texas, as it is the best weapon available for purchase using government funds for local militias and landowners. At the same time, many local shops turn out boutique pistols of numerous varieties, all of which are broadly similar in characteristics to the G-36. In most cases, like the A1 version of the G-36, they provide a slot on top of the slide for a rugged reflector sight, which is commonly attached.

      RIFLES
       
      The most common rifle is the G-15. This is a 10-shot, manually operated rifle with provision for an optical sight, normally a robust 1-8x being attached. Caliber is the relatively antiquated 7.62x51mm. The feed mechanism is a sturdy steel box magazine which sits below the action of the rifle. Unlike most manually operated rifles of the Americas, the G-15 is lever actuated, not operated via a bolt handle. Texan shooters feel this gives them a superior rate of fire without compromising range, although it must be said this compromises prone and concealed fire capability. The G-15 is being phased out in favor of the newer and semiautomatic G-38.

      MACHINE PISTOLS
       
      Pistol caliber automatic shoulder weapons are uncommon in Texas, but the numerous police and paramilitary forces of the state occasionally use "sub machine guns" as they call them. Virtually the only model available is the G-32, which fires the same 10x22mm round as the G-36 pistol. It is a select-fire, closed bolt weapon using an unusual gas operated mechanism. Capacity is 35 rounds. Reportedly, it is very expensive and usually requires local funds in addition to the stipend to afford. Occasionally these weapons find their way into criminal hands, and they have also been seen in the possession of settler citizens who have legitimately purchased them.

      STURMGEWEHRS
       
      Offsetting the lack of machine pistols somewhat, the Texas government has aggressively pursued the sturmgewehr concept as part of their arms program. The latest of many Texan weapons in this class is the G-42, a gas operated select-fire weapon with a capacity of 28 rounds. Caliber is 6.86x40mm, and muzzle velocity is over 900 m/s. This rifle has been made relatively inexpensive due to a large production rate and widespread adoption by the settler population, who use it primarily for homestead defense and hunting. Like its manually-operated predecessor, it is compatible with optics, and usually is found equipped with the same 1-8 optical sight. Numerous other weapons, including pre-war designs both reclaimed and newly manufactured, are also used by various Texas citizens and militias.

      MACHINE GUNS
       
      Although there is not much need for belt fed machine guns in cattle herding (the primary trade of the citizens of the Texas countryside) the Texas government has procured significant numbers for border control and to combat bandits. Most of these are contained in armories at the various outposts and post offices that run along the country's substantial highway system, but some are held privately. Despite most belt feds worldwide being based on designs from over 200 years ago, many of those in the Lone Free State are original designs dating to within the last 50 years. This is exemplified by the primary Texan belt fed machine gun, the G-17A4, which fires an advanced high pressure steel cased 7.62mm round with either an open or a closed bolt operation. Most remarkable is its weight, which is just over 8 kilograms. Stocked infantry variants, as well as more numerous fixed/vehicle stockless variants both exist. Texan heavy machine guns still fire the 322-year-old 12.7x99mm round, albeit in a greatly augmented form. Like the smaller 7.62mm machine gun round, it uses a steel case and relatively high chamber pressure of 4800 BAR, which results in a 3,150 ft/s muzzle velocity with its 750 grain armor piercing explosive projectile. The principal machine gun in this caliber is the G-19A2 which is gas operated and utilizes a soft recoil system and has a rate of fire of approximately 500 rounds per minute. These machine guns are usually seen mounted to government G-12 4x4 armored cars.
       
      AUTOCANNONS
       
      Only in the past 15 years as the Lone Free State invested heavily in autocannons. For most of its post-war history, there were simply not enough targets that required automatic cannons, with very few armored ground vehicles and aircraft being operated by non-state actors in the Texas region until recently, to necessitate development of new weapons. However, as the Lone Free State has expanded, it has begun to encounter better organized and armed natives, necessitating the development of a standardized suite of new large-caliber autocannons. Chief among these is the electric G-37 firing a 30.5x114mmB round with a muzzle velocity of about 820 m/s and a rate of fire of about 550 rounds per minute. Interestingly, this cannon is capable of being mounted on any of the same pintle mounts as the G-19A2, giving light Texan units potentially very good firepower.
       
      RECOILLESS ARTILLERY
       
      Despite not seeing the need for autocannons for many years, the Lone Free State has liberally used the recoilless artillery concept, with most local militias possessing some stockpile of recoilless weapons. Numerous variants of recoilless rifle exist in three primary calibers, 57.2x305mmR, 76.2x406mmR, and 105.4x610mmR. These recoilless cannons are commonly mounted to the light helicopters used by various Texan government entities.
       

       
      A Texan G-18A7 helicopter waits for routine maintenance outside the hangar. These helicopters are the primary aerial support asset across the Lone Free State of Texas. (Reader's note: This picture shows two quite shagged out Kiowas, but the G-18 is a unique indigenous design to the LFSoT. The Kiowa is only used here to represent the kind of helicopter that the G-18 would be.)
       
       

       
      Supplementary Out of Canon Information:
       
       
      I.     Technology available:
      a.      Armor:
      The following armor materials are in full production and available for use. Use of a non-standard armor material requires permission from a judge.
      Structural materials:
                                                                    i.     RHA/CHA
      Basic steel armor, 360 BHN. The reference for all weapon penetration figures, good impact properties, fully weldable. Available in thicknesses up to 4 inches (RHA).
      Density- 0.28 lb/in^3.
                                                                   ii.     Aluminum 5083
      More expensive to work with than RHA per weight, middling impact properties, low thermal limits. Excellent stiffness.
       Fully weldable. Available in thicknesses up to 4 inches.
      Mass efficiency vs RHA of 1 vs CE, 0.9 vs KE.
      Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 0.33 vs CE, 0.3 vs KE.
      Density- 0.1 lb/in^3 (approx. 1/3 of steel).
      For structural integrity, the following guidelines are recommended:
      For heavy vehicles (30-40 tons), not less than 1 in RHA/1.75 in Aluminum base structure
      For medium-light vehicles (<25 tons), not less than 0.5 in RHA/1 in Aluminum base structure
      Intermediate values for intermediate vehicles may be chosen as seen fit.
      Non-structural passive materials:
                                                                  iii.     HHA
      Steel, approximately 500 BHN through-hardened. Approximately 1.5x as effective as RHA against KE and HEAT on a per-weight basis. Not weldable, middling shock properties. Available in thicknesses up to 1 inch.
      Density- 0.28 lb/in^3
                                                                  iv.     Fuel
      Mass efficiency vs RHA of 1.3 vs CE, 1 vs KE.
      Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 0.14 vs CE, 0.1 vs KE.
      Density-0.03 lb/in^3.
                                                                v.     Assorted stowage/systems
      Mass efficiency vs RHA- 1 vs CE, 0.8 vs KE.
                                                               vi.     Spaced armor
      Requires a face of at least 1 inch LOS vs CE, and at least 0.75 caliber LOS vs fullbore AP KE.
      Reduces penetration by a factor of 1.1 vs CE or 1.05 vs KE for every 4 inchair gap.
      Spaced armor rules only apply after any standoff surplus to the requirements of a reactive cassette.
      Reactive armor materials:
                                                                  vii.     ERA
      A sandwich of 0.125in/0.125in/0.125in steel-explodium-steel.
      Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
      Must be spaced at least 2 sandwich thicknesses away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 81% coverage (edge effects).
                                                                  viii.     NERA
      A sandwich of 0.25in steel/0.25in rubber/0.25in steel.
      Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
      Must be spaced at least 1 sandwich thickness away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 95% coverage.
      The details of how to calculate armor effectiveness will be detailed in Appendix 1.
      b.      Firepower
                                                                    i.     Bofors 57mm - 85,000 PSI PMax/70,000 PSI Peak Operating Pressure, high quality steel cases, recoil mechanisms and so on are at an equivalent level to that of the USA in the year 1960.
                                                                   ii.     No APFSDS currently in use, experimental weapons only - Spindle sabots or bourelleted sabots, see for example the Soviet BM-20 100mm APFSDS.
                                                                  iii.     Tungsten is available for tooling but not formable into long rod penetrators.
                                                                  iv.     Texan shaped charge technology - 4 CD penetration for high-pressure resistant HEAT, 5 CD for low pressure/ precision formed HEAT.
                                                                   v.     The subsidy-approved GPMG for the Lone Free State of Texas has the same form factor as the M240, but with switchable feed direction.. The standard HMG has the same form factor as the Kord, but with switchable feed direction.
      c.       Mobility
                                                                    i.     Engines tech level:
      1.      MB 838 (830 HP)
      2.      AVDS-1790-5A (908 HP)
      3.      Kharkov 5TD (600 HP)
      4.    Detroit Diesel 8V92 (400 HP)
      5.    Detroit Diesel 6V53 (200 HP)
                                                                   ii.     Power density should be based on the above engines. Dimensions are available online, pay attention to cooling of 1 and 3 (water cooled).
                                                                  iii.     Power output broadly scales with volume, as does weight. Trying to extract more power from the same size may come at the cost of reliability (and in the case of the 5TD, it isn’t all that reliable in the first place).
                                                                  iv.     There is nothing inherently wrong with opposed piston or 2-stroke engines if done right.
      d.      Electronics
                                                                    i.     LRFs- unavailable
                                                                   ii.     Thermals-unavailable
                                                                  iii.     I^2- Gen 2 maximum
                                                                  vi.     Texas cannot mass produce microprocessors or integrated circuits
                                                                 vii.    Really early transistors only (e.g., transistor radio)
                                                                viii.    While it is known states exist with more advanced computer technology, the import of such systems are barred by the east coast states who do not approve of their use by militaristic entities.
       
      Armor calculation appendix.
    • By Sturgeon
      If you exclusively reside in Mechanized Warfare, as many of you do, you might have missed that SH is holding its quasi-annual design competition, which is for an armored car to be developed for the future post-apocalyptic Lone Free State of Texas, circa 2245. Check out the thread here.
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