A-14 Raptor

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A-14 Raptor
WC1-Raptor.png
Type Heavy Fighter
Manufacturer Origin Aerospace
Primary User Terran Confederation
Additional Users Free Republic of the Landreich
Service Terran-Kilrathi War

Project Goliath

Retirement Confederation Service - 2660s
General Characteristics
Length 36 meters
Mass 20 tonnes
Crew 1 (pilot)
Performance
Maximum Yaw 8 dps
Maximum Pitch 7 dps
Maximum Roll 8 dps
Acceleration Good
Velocity
Cruise 250 kps
Maximum 400 kps
Afterburner
Maximum Afterburner 1200 kps
Armament
Guns
4
Default Missile Loadout
1x2/1x2+1+1
Components
Jump Drive No
Defense
Shields
Fore 7.0 cm equivalent
Aft 7.0 cm equivalent
Default Recharge 3.0 cm/second
Armor
Front 10.0 cm
Rear 9.0 cm
Side 8.0 cm
Raptor2654.gif
Raptor Target Identification, circa 2654.
Source Wing Commander



Another one of Origin Aerospace's many fighter designs, the A-14 Raptor was a human heavy fighter that served effectively for a number of decades.

Work-in-progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page.


Contents

History

It was included in the Joan's Fighting Spacecraft Vega Sector Supplement for 2654.092.

Raptors came into the spotlight in 2639, during the Enyo Engagement. On 2639.033, the Kilrathi landed occupation forces on Enyo and positioned orbital guns to hold 250,000 Terran colonists hostage. The Confederation launched a two-part tactical response under the leadership of then-Captain Geoffrey Tolwyn. In Phase One on 2639.036, a force of Raptors was modified to carry additional Porcupine Space Mines and few missiles.

On 2649.038 Raptors, partially organized through the efforts of Captain Tolwyn drop porcupine mines in regions of space near the colonies where principal jump points are located. Kilrathi ships stay clear of the mined region, allowing the inception of Phase Two of the operation in which a scrambled radio signal detonates certain specially modified mines. This clears the way for the arrival of a sizable Terran reinforcement fleet through the jump point.

Terran forces made an immediate strike against the gunships, threatening the population centers. The mines split the gunships and the fleet units assigned to intercept the Raptors, allowing the two Confederation forces to form a final pincer around the enemy fleet.

After a pounding match which lasts only two days, the Enyo Engagement ends on .040 with the Kilrathi in full retreat. Casualties are nearly identical.

Over the next fifteen years, through to the close of the Vega Campaign, the Raptor saw success in several roles: as a commerce raider, as a heavy handed answer to swarm fighter tactics and, when used in coordinated attacks, as a strike craft against line targets as large as cruisers. It was noted that the Raptor had only a 34% chance against a Kilrathi Jalthi heavy fighter.

During the height of the Vega Sector Campaign, Raptors from Star Slayer Squadron based on the TCS Tiger's Claw scored a string of impressive ship-to-ship victories.

Raptors continued to see service with front line squadrons through to the 2668 Battle of Earth. Following the conclusion of the Kilrathi War, surplus Raptors found their way into the service of the Free Republic of the Landreich - where they continued to see service into the mid-2670s. The Landreich Raptor squadrons saw notable action during Project Goliath and the Battle of Baka Kar.

Used Raptors were seen for sale in the 2701 edition of Star*Soldier from Ships Must Go.

An earlier variant of the Raptor carried a different missile loadout: two Phalanx missiles, three missiles of another type of missile and a Porcupine Space Mine. It also mounted laser cannons rather than neutron guns.

Variants

VariantServiceYawPitchRollWeaponShieldFore/aft armorSide armorSource
A-14 Raptor2654Wing Commander
Wing Commander: Freedom Flight
Wing Commander: Fleet Action
Wing Commander: False Colors
Raptor (Claw Marks)2654656786Claw Marks
Raptor (Super Wing Commander)2654656786Super Wing Commander

Claw Marks Vol. 1 No. 4 - #Issue 4/2654

  • Taggart's Tactics
    • "On 2639.033, Kilrathi occupation forces land on the human-occupied world Enyo, put a quarter of a million human prisoners under orbital guns, and await Terran reprisals. So begins the Enyo Engagement, a tactical situation made difficult by the presence of so many hostages.
      • Phase One of the Enyo Engagement involves bringing in an attack force against the Kilrathi fleet at Enyo. The attack force consists principally of Raptor-Class heavy fighters reconfigured to carry extra Porcupine Space Mines and practically no missiles. The force is small enough that Kilrathi forces at Enyo are certain of victory.
      • The Phase One forces drop their Space Mines in one region of space near Enyo and engage the enemy. Kilrathi ships maneuver to get out of the mined region and turn their attention to destroying the invaders.
      • By the time the Kilrathi navigators realize that the mined region corresponds to Enyo's principal jump point, it is too late: Phase Two has begun. A single radio signal detonates all the specially-modified Porcupine mines, and moments later the remainder of the Terran fleet appears at that jump point, in the middle of the engagement.
      • The Terran fleet strikes first against the gunships threatening the human colonies. The enemy ships are destroyed with minimal loss of life among the colonists. Then the two fleets settle in for a pounding match.
      • The Enyo Engagement ends with the Kilrathi in retreat. Losses have been nearly identical between the two fleets, but the Kilrathi have been forced to abandon a strategic position."

Wing Commander / Super Wing Commander

Wing Commander Conversations

  • Beta Wing (McAuliffe System)/Delta Wing (Gateway System)/Omicron Wing (Cheng-Du System)
    • Michael Casey: Maverick. They call me Iceman. Don't let Knight here fool you about the Scimitar. It's a gun-heavy slug. Forget finesse in a Scimitar.Just head straight in, guns blaring. Give me a ship that lets me use my skill... A Raptor, even a Hornet... ...or one of those new Rapiers! If half of what they say is true, the Rapier's a true artist's ship!
  • Omicron Wing (Gimle System)
    • Shotglass: Hey, Maverick. How’s it goin’? You heard about those new Rapiers? Ever'body's talkin' about 'em. I'm not so sure about 'em, though. I flew jus' about my whole career in Scimitars an' Raptors. Liked the Raptor best, even though she didn't handle too good. She sure was fast once you got her goin', though!
  • Tau Wing (Rostov System)
    • Shotglass: Have a seat, Maverick. This place is getting empty these days. I hear you've been flying the Raptor. She's a good ship, fast but a bit clumsy. It's an aggressive ship...if you're an aggressive pilot. I'd bet you could stand off a Gratha or two with that kind of ship. Oh well...you've probably got a better feel for the ship than me. Pay no mind to this ol' has-been.
  • Beta Wing (Jotunheim System)
    • Tanaka Mariko: "Shotglass believes we may fly in asteroid fields today. I hope he is right. There is something I wish to try. Have you ever seen Iceman in an asteroid field? No? He does some amazing things. If his front shield is gone, he will turn tail... ... and let his enemy come up behind him. He performs evasive maneuvers and uses his thrusters... ... and sets course straight for a large asteroid. At the last moment possible, he rolls out. The Kilrathi does not always follow successfully. Of course, Iceman prefers to do this in Hornets or Rapiers, not Raptors."

Wing Commander (De)Briefings

Wing Commander Missions

The Secret Missions Missions

The Secret Missions 1.5 Missions

The Secret Missions 2: Crusade Missions

Wing Commander: Freedom Flight

  • "Spirit rolled her Raptor fighter hard right to stay close behind the Kilrathi, glancing desperately at the power readings on her ship's neutron guns, slowly building up to full power again. The small fighter's powerplant was straining to recharge the weapons… she waited until the last moment, when the Kilrathi fighter was veering sharply away, to pull the trigger and let loose the volley of deadly red fire. The aft engine of the enemy fighter peeled away and exploded, taking the rest of the fighter with it. Spirit veered again to avoid the debris, scanning her aft view for Youngblood."
  • "She felt the vibration of the engines straining at the base of her spine as she flew at top speed, willing her Raptor to leap across the remaining distance and into the rocks..."
  • "Spirit punched on the Raptor's engines… for an awful second, all she could hear was the splutter of her ship's engines as they failed to ignite. Then they roared back into life and she hit the afterburners. She was beyond the diving Kilrathi a moment later, using the asteroids to block their weapons' fire. But she knew she couldn't play this game forever… soon they'd maneuver to box her in, to force her in front of their guns, and it would be over."

The Memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Carl T. LaFong: The Kilrathi War's Greatest Ace (TCSN, Retired)

  • Academy Years
    • For Tighter Up or Down Movements, Roll and Turn
      • "The arrangement of thrusters on Hornets, Scimitars, and Raptors produces an unusual flight characteristic: up and down movements cannot be completed in as tight a radius as a turn to the left or right. Aerospace engineers are trying to correct the flaw in the new Rapier class, but it is still unknown whether their efforts have been successful."
    • Simulated Dogfights
      • "Our first dogfights featured computer Kilrathi opponents. We spent almost a month fighting these electronic enemies. Flying Hornets, we first encountered small wings of two or three [Dralthi]] or Salthi. The sim operators gradually increased the skill level of the Kilrathi and the number of enemy ships. Then they would throw in new types of ships until we had battled pilots in Krant, Gratha and Jalthi. During the progression of opponents, our own ships were upgraded to Scimitars and Raptors."
    • TCS Formidable
      • "Weapons training began in the final month before we would jump out of the practice area and into the Vega Sector. We hit stationary and moving targets with our lasers, dumb fire missiles and heat-seekers. We learned to lead targets moving at different speeds with the guns, and how to gain a lock with the Javelin. We wouldn't actually use Pilums, Porcupines, IR's, mass drivers or neutrons until we flew in Scimitars and Raptors, but our training ensured that we were prepared to employ them when we reached our next destination."
    • Using Your Ship's Guns
      • "Mass Driver - The Scimitars and Raptors were equipped with the mass driver cannon, the only weapon in the Terran arsenal where explosive power is not affected by the distance from the target. While you must be within 3,000 mrrs to hit a target, the effect of a hit with this gun is the same at 500 mrrs as it is at 2000 mrrs. The effectiveness of the lasers and neutrons decreases the farther away you get from your target. The mass driver packs more of a punch than the laser cannon and takes more blaster power for each shot."
      • "Neutron Guns - It eventually showed up as the second gun on the Rapier, but at the time the Raptor was the only ship that carried the neutron gun. The neutron was the most powerful gun in the Confederation's arsenal, carrying an explosive force that's 25-percent higher than the mass driver. It's effectiveness de-creases the farther away you get from your target and it uses blaster power quickly. As a pilot, it's best to get in close with this weapon, fire a few quick bursts and then wait for blaster power to reach maximum before firing again."
      • "Full Guns - On the Raptor, and eventually the Rapier, you could fire two guns at once. With the Raptor it was the mass driver and neutron. Later, on the Rapier it was the laser and neutron. Full guns really pack a wallop, but they use blaster power at an alarming rate. It's often a difficult call whether the added power is worth the drop in blaster power. Our instructors recommendations were to use full guns when you had isolated a single target or capital ship, but to stick with the neutrons in a crowded dogfight."
  • Between Missions (Jotunheim System)
    • " "I've got to admit that the lieutenant [Maniac] hasn't lost a second in reflex time and he can still put a Hornet, Raptor, Scimitar, or Rapier through its paces better than anyone," he [Paladin] explained. "The problem is that he's taking every mission personally, and trying single-handedly to take out every enemy fighter. He's not only a danger to himself, but to his wingleader as well. You never know what he's going to do next." "

Wing Commander: Fleet Action

  • Chapter 12
    • " "This is Tolwyn. Good luck to all of you and good hunting." The image winked off and Kevin smile. Typical Brit understatement. The forward edge of Rapiers, Raptors, Ferrets and Hornets, running ahead of the attack wave, slammed into the opposing wall of opposition defending the Kilrathi heavy carriers."

Wing Commander: False Colors

  • Chapter 6
    • "Fighters launch! Fighters launch!" That came from the comm channel, set to monitor squadron operations. Bondarevsky had a momentary vision of what Kevin Tolwyn must be seeing right now as his Raptor led the way off the carrier's flight deck into deep space. He wished he was out there, with a bird to fly and a solid mission to carry out, instead of being cooped up in a shuttle waiting for the chance to go aboard an enemy derelict and survey it for damage. Bondarevsky wasn't entirely sure he'd be much use at that anyway. For most of his life he'd been learning how to inflict damage on Kilrathi warships, not analyze it."
      • "Raptor 300, VF-88 "Crazy Eights" Deep Space, Vaku System
        0735 hours (CST)
        Commander Kevin Tolwyn felt a surge of pure adrenaline in his veins as his fighter cleared the flight deck and steadied on course toward their destination. "Raptor 300, good shot, good shot," he reported over the comm system, letting the flight controllers know that he'd launched without difficulty.
        "Roger that, three-double-zero," came the reply. "Captain says good hunting,' Commander. And be careful."
        "Be sure to tell him I'll be careful not to scratch the paint," Tolwyn said. It was the kind of remark he could never have gotten away with in the Confederation Navy, admiral's nephew or not. The casual side of life on the frontier did have a few advantages.
        He waited as other heavy fighters joined him in formation off the carrier's bow, taking the time to get the feel of the Raptor. The bird had been state-of-the¬art fifteen years back, during the famous Vega campaign. Now it was fit for second-rate fleets like the Landreich's, though Tolwyn had found it to be a sturdy, reliable craft in practice flights. He hoped it would do as well in actual combat, if and when it came to that."
      • "So Babcock would be taking her planes in low over the Kilrathi hulk to get a good look at the supercarrier ahead of the rest of them, while the heavier Raptors of Doomsday's VF-88, the Crazy Eights, waited to provide cover if they ran into trouble."
      • "On his tactical plot the white dots representing the Flying Eyes were beginning to sweep past the green symbols of VF-88, gathering speed as they accelerated at maximum mary thrust. Tolwyn kept his eye on the screen, letting the Raptor maintain course and speed on autopilot while he devoted his full attention to the unfolding recon flight."
  • Chapter 8
    • "Medium fighters, Dralthi Four-class, probably two full squadrons, most craft in good condition. The bat-wing shape of the Dralthi Four was fearsome to behold in combat. Tolwyn could still remember watching in frustration as squadron after squadron of the evil¬looking birds had swooped low over the Behemoth during the battle that had destroyed the huge weapons platform. They were slightly weaker than their modem Confederation equivalents, but compared to the Scimitars and Raptors of the Landreich's arsenal they were a deadly match."
      • "Heavy fighters, Vaktoth-class, many missing from hangars. Perhaps an eight-ship Kilrathi squadron though this remains to be confirmed by closer examination of individual planes. Vaktoths were superior in every respect to the Landreich's Raptors. Even if they could only get eight of them in service, they'd be a powerful strike force for the carrier."
  • Chapter 12
    • "Alexandra Travis had been designated as squadron commander for VF-401, one of the new fighter squadrons being organized aboard the supercarrier. Once she and her pilots finished trainin , they'd be flying the squadron of Strakha fighters savaged from the Kilrathi planes on board. Her previous experience had been confined to the Raptor heavy fighter, and they had little in common in terms of handling with the Cat Strakhas."
  • Chapter 13
    • "We'll get them when we can." He activated the intercom system again. "Flight Wing, from CIC. Captain Bondarevsky, we will be entering the ring system in nine minutes. What's your status?"
      "Four Hornets on patrol," Bondarevsky replied. "Four Raptors on Alert Five."
  • Chapter 14
    • "McCullough glanced at her computer monitor. "Here's how we're looking to stack up," she said. "We have four squadrons from the Independence wing. That's eleven Hornets in the Flying Eyes, twelve Rapiers, and twelve Raptors. That makes thirty-five ConFleet-type fighters, just about half of a standard wing."
      "I wish a few of them had been available today," Deniken growled.
      "They were out there, Lieutenant," Bondarevsky shot back. "We lost a Rapier today, and almost had the CO of the Eyes taken out too. And one of the Broadswords we got was killed by one of the Raptors from the Crazy Eights."
  • Chapter 16
    • "A Raptor was a poor match against one of the newer, more powerful Kilrathi heavies, but Tolwyn went in with all guns blazing and was lucky enough to find the lead Cat pilot distracted by his attack run. His neutron guns pulsed again and again, until they had completely drained his reserve power, but on the last shot the first Vaktoth came apart in whirling debris."
      • "Heavily engaged, sir. The pirate carrier reports they are working together on a maneuver to tie up the Cats now. It's steering a course toward the Kilrathi task force, and is coming under increasingly heavy attack. Commander Tolwyn reports that he's lost five Raptors, four Scimitars, and a pair of Hornets so far. Also two of the pirate Broadswords that sortied to support the Wing."
      • "Mongoose" Callahan in Raptor 506 wasn't so lucky. As the Dralthis flashed past Tolwyn's fighter in tight formation they maintained their fire, battering Callahan's shields."
        "Get 'em off mel" Callahan shouted.
        Tolwyn tried to fall in behind the enemy formation, but they were too maneuverable. His Raptor wasn't designed for tight turns or fancy maneuvers, and he was just too far out of position to be effective ...
  • Chapter 20
    • "Hornets, Raptors, and Rapiers would be used for the crucial tasks of protecting Mjollnir and interdicting various possible sources of trouble. The rest of the fighters, the Kilrathi-built planes, had a different mission ... to strike any capitol ships that hadn't been drawn away from the planet by the threat that had erupted near the jump point, the three ships of the battle group under Admiral Richards."
      • "The Paktahns had finished their strike and were withdrawing to rendezvous with one of the Kofars to rearm, with Montclair taking his Raptors and the squadron of medium Rapiers down to support Babcock. But that left no more reserves. The Wing was stretched to the limit."

Star★Soldier

Classifieds

"Used ships available! Navy surplus means your lucky day! Fighters? F-36 Hornet, F-38 Talon, F-71 Stiletto, F-98 Phantom, F-95 Morningstar, F-97 Wraith! Bombers? A-14 Raptor, A-15 Gladius, even A-20 Banshee! Collectables and like new!
Contact crazyjoe@shipsmustgo.corporation"

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