F-44 Rapier II

From Wing Commander Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


F-44A Rapier II
WC1-Rapier.png
Type Medium Fighter
Manufacturer Origin Aerospace
Primary User Terran Confederation
Additional Users Free Republic of the Landreich
Union of Border Worlds
Service Terran-Kilrathi War

Border Worlds Conflict
Nephilim War

Introduction 2654
General Characteristics
Length 24 meters
Mass 13.5 tonnes
Crew 1 (pilot)
Performance
Maximum Yaw 10 dps
Maximum Pitch 10 dps
Maximum Roll 10 dps
Acceleration Excellent
Velocity
Cruise 250 kps
Maximum 450 kps
Afterburner
Maximum Afterburner 1300 kps
Armament
Guns
4
Default Missile Loadout
5 (2x2, 1x1)
Components
Chaff Pods None
Decoys None
Cloaking Device No
Defense
Shields
Fore 8.0 cm equivalent
Aft 7.5 cm equivalent
Default Recharge 3.0 cm/second
Armor
Front 6.0 cm
Rear 5.5 cm
Side 5.0 cm
Rapier II2654.gif
Rapier II flown off the TCS Tiger's Claw, Black Lion Squadron, circa 2654.
Source Wing Commander



The F-44 Rapier II was a medium fighter introduced in 2654. The Rapier's sleek lines and famous silhouette have become synonymous with the might of the Confederation military - and will remain forever enshrined in the minds of a generation of young men and women who grew up dreaming of top gun heroics. A disproportionate number of the top twenty aces from the Terran-Kilrathi War served with Rapier II squadrons.

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


History

The Rapier II first saw combat aboard the TCS Tiger's Claw: a pair of YF-44s were assigned to the carrier for active duty testing during the invasion of the Gimle System. Major Michael "Iceman" Casey and Captain Jeannette "Angel" Devereaux of the Star Slayer Squadron credited the fighter's first kills during a three point patrol mission. The prototypes performed magnificently and the same carrier soon received the first batch of production models, which Black Lion Squadron would fly during the battle for Kurasawa. By the invasion of Venice, Rapier II squadrons were assigned to both the Tiger's Claw and the Kyoto.

Within a year, the F-44A had been replaced on the assembly lines by the F-44B, which boasted a larger missile load-out and a limited-use jump drive. A combination of cost and technical issues would force the removal of the jump drive from future iterations - making the F-44B unique among the Rapier IIs lineage until after the Terran-Kilrathi War. A and B model Rapier IIs served with distinction during Operation Thor's Hammer, the assault on Jakarta and the defense of Firekka. A pair of F-44As even flew from then-Colonel James Taggart's intelligence ship, the Bonnie Heather.

In the late 2650s, the Rapier II went through a significant redesign of its space-frame, reducing the overall size and mass. The new design began with the popular F-44C model, which would go on to serve aboard escort carriers through the 2660s. F-44Cs flew with distinction off the TCS Tarawa during Operation Back Lash and the Third Enigma Campaign.

G and H model Rapier IIs served on fleet carriers through the Battle of Earth in 2668. The TCS Concordia's F-44G Rapier II squadron, with its distinctive lightning bolt markings on their tails, was considered to be the single finest active duty fighter unit in the Space Force.

After the Kilrathi War, surplus Rapier IIs served with both the Free Republic of the Landreich and the Union of Border Worlds and proved popular among mercenary groups. By 2701, three more variants of the Rapier II had emerged as a result of needs of the Nephilim Conflict. The Rapier II Blade is a direct update of the original space-frame, whereas the Vanguard and Cavalier added armor and other defensive abilities. The Vanguard was often used in mine laying assignments, and was at the forefront of the first offensive strike against the Nephilim in their own territory.

Variants

Mid-Kilrathi War (2654)

In addition to the variants listed below, an F-44C variant operated from TCS Tarawa at the time of Operation Back Lash and the Kilrah raid; the ships carried Space-to-Ground Anti-Radar Submunition Missiles, in keeping with the escort carrier's mission role for providing air support during ground assaults. The Free Republic of the Landreich and later the Union of Border Worlds both operated Rapiers, although their specifications are unknown.

VariantWeaponShieldFore/aft armorSide armorSource
F-44 Rapier IIMK. 25 Laser Cannons (2)
MK. 40F Neutron Guns
Dart DFs (2)
Pilum FFs (2)
Spiculum IR (1)
865Wing Commander
The Secret Missions
The Secret Missions 2: Crusade
Rapier (Claw Marks)Laser Cannon (2)
Neutron Guns (2)
Dumb-Fire Missile (2)
Spiculum IR (Image-Recognition) Missile
Pilum FF (Friend-or-Foe) Missile (2)
753Claw Marks
Rapier (Super Wing Commander)Laser Cannon (2)
Neutron Guns (2)
Dumb-Fire Missile (4)
Spiculum IR (2
Pilum FF (4)
865Super Wing Commander

Late-Kilrathi War

F-44G Rapier WC2ManualRapier.JPG F-44 Rapier (2667) WCAManualRapierII.JPG F-44 Rapier (2665) Wc2rapierii.jpg
Source: WC II Playguide Manual Wing Commander Academy Manual Wing Commander II/Wing Commander: Academy
Class: Medium Attack Fighter Medium Attack Fighter Medium Attack Fighter
Length: 19 meters 19 meters 19 meters
Mass 15 tonnes 15 tonnes 15 tonnes
Max Velocity: 450 KPS 450 KPS 450 KPS
Cruising velocity: 250 KPS 250 KPS 250 KPS
Afterburner Velocity: Not Listed Not Listed 1300 KPS
Acceleration: Excellent Excellent 4 (relative)
Max. YPR: 10/10/10 DPS 10/10/10 DPS 10/10/10 DPS
Guns: Laser Cannons (2) Laser Cannons (2) Laser Cannons (2)
Guns: Particle Cannons (2) Particle Cannons (2) Particle Cannons (2)
Missiles: Dart Dumbfires (2) Dart Dumbfires (2) Dart Dumbfires (2)
Missiles: Javelin Heatseeker (2) Javelin Heatseeker (2) Javelin Heatseeker (2)
Missiles: Pilum Friend-or-Foe (2) Pilum Friend-or-Foe (2) Pilum Friend-or-Foe (2)
Armor (Fore/Aft/Sides) 6.5/6.5/5.0 cm 6.5/6.5/5.0 cm 7.5/7.5/6.5 cm
Shields (Fore/Aft) 8.0/8.0 cm 8.0/8.0 cm 11.5/11.5 cm
Shield Recharge: Not Listed Not Listed 3 cm/seconds
Missile Decoys: Chaff Pods (1) Chaff Pods (2) Chaff Pods (2)
Jump Capable: No No No

Post-Nephilim War (2701

VariantLengthMassMax. SpeedAfterburnAccel.Y/P/RWeaponShieldArmorDevicesCan jumpSource
Rapier Blade191541581515090Meson Blaster (2)
Tachyon Guns (2)
Dart DF (3x20)
Javelin HS (2x5)
280415Sonar
Flares
Shield Battery
Gun Power Core
YesStar*Soldier
Rapier Cavalier191830057015065Laser Cannon (2)
Ionic Pulse Cannon (2)
Dart DF (4x20)
Porcupine Mine (2x10)
280550Deployable Turret
Flares
Shield Power Core
Shield Battery
YesStar*Soldier
Rapier Vanguard191836569015075Laser Cannon (2)
Neutron Gun (2)
Dart DF (4x20)
Porcupine Mine (3x5)
230500Deployable Turret
Sonar
Gun Power Core
Gun Battery
YesStar*Soldier


Sources

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

  • Comm Relay
    • TCSO Show Scheduled
      • "Vidstar Saranya Carr, exotic heroine of the popular Luna Jones, JumpScout serial, is accompanying the TCSO troupe to the Tiger's Claw. Carr, 25, stated, "You bet your life I'm happy to be working with the TCSO. I mean, you see Luna Jones blowing Kilrathi fuzzies out of space every week, but Saranya Carr doesn't know a nav computer from a dialogue transceiver. Since I can't help our fighting forces directly, I'm proud to be able to entertain and build morale. Besides," she adds, "I'm not completely unselfish. Perhaps I can persuade someone to give me a ride in one of those new Rapiers..." "

Wing Commander / Super Wing Commander

Wing Commander Conversations

  • Beta Wing (McAuliffe System)
    • Michael Casey: "Maverick. They call me Iceman. Don’t let Knight fool you. The Scim’s a gun-heavy slug. Forget finesse, just head straight in, guns blaring. Give me a ship that takes 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!"
    • Ian St. John: "Maverick, mate, Have you 'eard the news? The Claw's gettin' a prototype Rapier to test fly! I've been lookin' over the specs on 'er. She's tagged a light fighter, but she's better armed than a Scimitar. There's a pair of laser cannons, for distance work... ...an' a set of neutron guns, for the dirty infightin'!"
    • Todd Marshall: "I'm lookin' forward to seein' one of these new Rapiers! They say she's got tougher shields than anything in the fleet. She must be just about invulnerable!"
      • Ian St. John: "'Ang about, there, mate... She may 'ave God's own shields, but she's armored like a light fighter. If they knock down the shields, she's no tougher than a Hornet."
      • Todd Marshall: "Wow, I never thought about that..."
  • Tau Wing (Gimle System)
    • Joseph Khumalo: "So, Maverick. Now you've flown a Rapier. You like it?"
      • You nod as you sip your drink.
      • Joseph Khumalo: "I read that we're getting the first Rapier squadron on active duty. Colonel's already named the squadron Black Lion... I wonder who'll be assigned to it?"
  • Omicron Wing (Kurasawa System)
    • Joseph Khumalo: "Good day, Maverick. Heard you're flying a Rapier these days. Is it really as quick as everyone says? I've got to see it in action. I just got back from a patrol out near Kurasawa IV. That was a nightmare. Me and Lightning were jumped by a couple of wings of Gratha. We managed to take out five of them before they got Lightning. If we'd had those Rapiers, I bet that we'd never have taken a hit. They're good ships. You're lucky to get to fly one out."
  • Epsilon Wing (Venice System)
    • Ian St. John: "Maverick, mate I understand we'll be flyin' together for a while. Colonel's just moved me over to Black Lion squadron and Rapier fighters. I can't wait to get out in one of these new Rapiers, mate! As I recall, she's got both lasers and neutron guns, right? The lasers were designed for firin' at a distance... ...an' the neutron guns for extra punch up close!"
  • Beta Wing (Jotunheim System)
    • Tanaka Mariko: "Would you care to join me for a drink, Maverick? There is no more news of Epsilon Station, or my fiancé. But I will not think of that now. 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

  • Transfers
    • Peter Halcyon: "I want you in one of the new Rapier-class mediums, in Black Lion Squadron."
  • Omicron Wing (Gimle System)
    • Peter Halcyon: "We’ve just got a pair of prototype starfighters, Rapier-class. The brass wants to know how the Rapier performs in action, so I want you to put her through the paces. [...] Now, I don’t want you going nuts out there, Maverick. This is a hot piece of hardware, but it hasn’t been tested under fire. No one really knows what she can do… or what she can’t."
  • Nu Wing (Venice System)
    • Peter Halcyon: You’ll be going after a Fralthi with a couple of the Kyoto’s fighters. Computer, display Nu. You’ll rendezvous with two Rapiers, Foxtrot Wing, from the Kyoto, here."

Wing Commander Missions

The Secret Missions Missions

The Secret Missions 1.5 Missions

The Secret Missions 2: Crusade Missions

Wing Commander: Freedom Flight

  • Chapter 3
    • "Next to his Rapier fighter, Paladin was talking quietly with a strange-looking young man, his dark face marked with an intricate tattooed pattern. Spirit was having a similar talk with her wingman, Puma, AKA Lieutenant Youngblood. Sorry you got saddled with that boy, Mariko, Hunter thought, climbing up the ladder into his fighter cockpit. Nobody deserves that one.
      • The blond boy from the shuttlecraft was crawling out from under the Rapier's left engine as Hunter walked up. Like everyone else this morning, he looked too alert and cheerful. "Ready for flight, sir!" he said, saluting."
    • "Hunter finished his pre-flight checklist and strapped himself in, then double-checked to make sure that all the ground personnel were clear of the engines. Then he flipped the switches and thumbed the engines into life.
      • Even through the closed cockpit, the roar of the engines drowned out all the other noise of the flight deck. Hunter clicked up the volume on his comlink as the entire fighter vibrated, straining against the braking system. Carefully, he pushed the throttle up slightly, moving the huge fighter toward the brightly-marked launch strip.
      • As he maneuvered into position for the launch, the Deck Officer held up one hand, his other hand cupping his headset to listen more closely. Hunter eased up on the throttle, feeling the fighter quivering around him. The Deck Officer brought his hand down sharply, and Hunter punched the engines to full throttle, accelerating forward through the launch tube. A moment later the fighter broke through the magnetic airshield with a bare instant of resistance, and then he was free of the ship and its artificial gravity.
      • Hunter banked the ship sharply to starboard, easily clearing the landing pattern traffic and heading into open space. A few seconds later he was five thousand klicks out and killed his engines, after reversing the engines briefly to bring his speed down to zero. He drifted there, weightless, waiting for his wingman. It was peaceful, even with the noise of the open com channel chattering in his ear."
    • "He watched as another Rapier launched from the carrier, veering sharply toward him. There's the boy, Hunter thought. He's looking good, has a light hand on the controls. Not overcorrecting, or turning too tightly. I think this one's going to do just fine.
      • The second Rapier slowed as it approached his position. The vid flickered to life, Jazz's helmeted face smiling at him. "Lieutenant Colson reporting for duty, sir." "
    • "Another Terran fighter soared past her, barely five feet away from her cockpit, the Rapier firing all guns directly at the enemy craft on her tail. Through the cockpit, she caught a glimpse of Hunter's wide grin. Then her fighter shook with the explosion of the Kilrathi that had been tailing her. Glancing aft, she saw the fragments of the enemy fighter drifting in all directions.
      • The other two Kilrathi panicked, realizing that what had been an obvious and easy kill was now even odds again. Spirit yanked the 'stick in a hard turn and let fly a friend-or-foe missile at one of the Kilrathi at point-blank range, braking, right to avoid the resulting explosion. The last Kilrathi shrieked something in his alien language on her vidscreen as he crashed into an asteroid in his attempts to avoid Hunter's deadly aim."
  • Chapter 4
    • "Hunter jogged toward his Rapier fighter, and saw a blond-haired face emerge from inside the cockpit. The kid... what was his name? Jimmy? ... swung down lightly from the cockpit, and saluted Hunter. "You're ready to launch, sir," the kid said."
  • Chapter 5
    • "Hunter looked back to see the main engine nacelle peeling away from the rest of the ship. He had a split second of horrified realization... My God, I'm too close to the ship!... before the Fralthi exploded into brilliant light and debris. The blast wave caught him up and hurled him forward, tumbling end over end helplessly. The Rapier's stabilizers kicked back in a few seconds later, and the fighter hung motionless in space, large pieces of debris drifting past him. Hunter just sat there for a long moment, trying to catch his breath. Then he brought the fighter around to see what was left."
  • Chapter 6
    • "He was flying a Rapier fighter…no,it was a Kilrathi ship, very alien, with a curved cockpit roof and that weird alien writing everywhere. He scanned the controls, trying to figure out how to fly the strange craft, but nothing made much sense. And something was wrong, the alien fighter was moving strangely, rocking from side to side."
    • "The flight deck was already busy; two Hornet fighters took off, one after the other, as Hunter mustered up a tired trot to his fighter. A tech was under the Rapier, invisible except for a pair of booted legs sticking out from beneath the wing. "Good morning, Jimmy," Hunter called, forcing himself to sound cheerful."
    • " "Take your time, sweetheart," Hunter said, leaning against the side of the fighter. After all, the longer she took, the shorter the amount of time he'd have to spend strapped in. Could be the Colonel didn't reckon on how much down-time these Rapiers need. "Say, you wouldn't happen to like listening to live jazz music, would you?" "
    • "Oh, hell! They're startin' their missile run! Hunter brought his Dralthi fighter up to full speed, sliding into position behind the Kilrathi fighters. As he angled for a good firing solution, he saw a single Rapier fighter launched from the Austin, too late to stop the attack run."
    • "Another close hit, this time by the Gratha's multiple cannons. Several warning systems in the fighter began to wail simultaneously, and the Dralthi's shield readouts flickered once and died completely. Hunter worked the controls furiously, trying to use what was left of the Dralthi's superior speed and maneuvering to avoid another direct hit Ahead of him, he could see the Austin Rapier fighting with the second Gratha. The other Gratha banked close to the huge Gettysburg-class cruiser in an attempt to escape the Rapier. A little too close, as it turned out: the Gratha exploded spectacularly against the side of the Austin. The Rapier turned tightly and 'burned directly at Hunter's Dralthi.
      • "Not me, mate!" Hunter yelled as the Rapier dived toward him. A moment later, the Rapier fired a missile. Hunter's eyes widened as the deadly missile accelerated right toward him.
      • The missile passed overhead just above his cockpit, and he glanced back in time to see it slam into the Gratha on his tail. The Gratha spun out of control and exploded.
      • He turned back to look at the Rapier, and realized in horror that it was still on a direct collision course with him. A split-second later, the Rapier rolled neatly, flying inverted a couple meters over Hunter's head, so close that Hunter could see the pilot's helmet with the musical notes surrounding the name JAZZ.
      • "Good work, Colson!" Hunter shouted, even though he knew there was no way Jazz could hear him. Not bad for a kid, Hunter thought with a grin, as he pulled up on the stick to bring the Dralthi up in a tight turn to avoid the looming Austin ahead of him.
    • "The Rapier fighter glided in for a smooth landing. The pilot popped the canopy even before the fighter had completely stopped. Hunter saw Jazz Colson's grin even at this distance, as the crowd of Deck crew surrounded him, cheering wildly.
      • "Damn, but that boy is good," Hunter said, cheerfully acknowledging excellence, even when it wasn't his own. He wiped at the trickle of blood from his nose again. "I think he'll go for."
  • Chapter 7
    • " "You're on jump arrival patrol in two minutes," Iceman continued, one eyebrow raised sardonically. "With me. The Colonel seemed convinced you were going to show up. Ready for another flight?"
      • "I can handle it," Hunter said. Right now, he could handle anything. Nothing like thinking you were dead—then finding out that you were going to live, after all..."Are the fighters ready?"
      • Iceman pointed across the Deck; he began to run toward the parked Rapiers, Hunter hard on his heels.
      • "Maniac's back on the Flight Roster," Iceman called as they ran.
      • "What?" Hunter asked, out of breath.
      • "The Colonel said that we need all hands," Iceman explained. "Even one as insane as Maniac. I wanted to warn you, Hunter. He is as crazy as ever. You could get him as wingman at any point."
      • "Terrific," Hunter muttered, looking at the row of Rapiers lined up for launch position on the deck. "That's all I need right now, a lunatic flying on my wing."
      • "At least we're back in Confederation space now, Hunter," Iceman said. "Our own home ground again."
      • "We were supposed to be in Confed space, back on Firekka, mate," Hunter said suddenly. "But I guess no one wants to remember that."
      • Now that he was no longer worried about his own survival, he had a moment to think about someone else's. "And now we've left the Firekkans there to face the Kilrathi on their own." He didn't look to see if Iceman paid any attention, or even heard him; instead he glanced back through the open landing bay, wondering if one of those million points of lights was the Firekka system, K'Kai's homeworld, hidden among the other stars. "Good luck, K'Kai," he whispered, as he climbed into the cockpit of the Rapier fighter."
  • Chapter 12
    • "Several fighters out there, no larger ships yet. We've got a chance of getting out. Maybe. But there'll be more ships along shortly," Paladin said. "We've had the luck of the angels with us so far, but I dinna know how long that'll continue. The Heather is a fine ship, but she's only a freighter, not very fast. And we have a long way to go to the jump point."
      • "What kind of guns does this ship have?" Hunter asked, looking around the cockpit.
      • "Not much," Paladin admitted. "But there are two Rapiers in the hold, fully fueled and armed."
      • "K'Kai can fly this ship, no problem," Hunter said. 'James, I think we'd better get outside in those Rapiers."
      • "Agreed. K'Kai!" Paladin called.
      • The Firekkan woman limped into the cockpit, assisted—and that looked odd!—by Kirha. "Yes?"
      • "You've got the helm, lady. Course is set for the jump point. Hunter and I are going out there to fly interception. Warn us when you're nearly ready to jump, we'll get back onboard. If we can't, jump without us."
      • K'Kai's alien eyes were emotionless as she listened intently. "Understood."
      • Hunter and Paladin ran through the huddled groups of Firekkans in the hallway, down to the cargo hold. Paladin tossed a flight suit and helmet to Hunter, who quickly donned the suit. A few seconds later, Hunter was in the cockpit of the Rapier.
      • He fired the Rapier's engines as the atmospheric gauge showed the air levels decreasing in the Heather's hold. I've never launched from a cargo hold before, he thought, glancing across the deck to where Paladin's fighter was waiting, engines already ignited. But I've been doing a lot of things lately that I've never done before... like falling for a lovely lady who's dead before I even had a chance to tell her what I felt about her...
      • Paladin signaled him with a thumbs-up, and the cargo bay door slid open silently a moment later. Hunter shoved the throttle and was out of the hold a moment later, pulling back to spin up and over the bulk of the freighter, turning back toward the station and the five Jalthi fighters that were pursuing them. Far beyond the station, he could see three Kilrathi Kamekh corvettes and a huge cruiser slowly starting in their direction. We'd better be out of here before they're in range, Hunter thought.
      • "Five Jalthi coming in fast, Paladin," he called. "And in a tight formation."
      • "We don't want to fight those Jalthi head-on," the Scotsman observed. "I'll take the… Hunter! What are you doing?"
      • "Cover me, mate!" Hunter hit the afterburner, heading straight for the Jalthi fighters. He switched to dumb-fire missiles, flying toward the wing of Kilrathi on a collision course with full afterburners, too fast for their missiles or guns to track. The Kilrathi broke formation in a panic at the last moment just as Hunter fired the first of his two dumb-fires. He was past them a split-second later, his Rapier rattling from the proximity of the massive explosions. He punched the reverse brakes and brought the fighter around, and was pleased to see that there were only three Jalthis reconverging on the Heather. Debris was scattering from the remains of two of the fighters.
      • "Now we only have three to fight," he said with a grin. "Keep them busy for a moment, all right, mate?"
      • "You idiot!" Paladin shouted over the vid. "You could have been killed!"
      • "I'm going to make sure they can't launch any other fighters," Hunter said, ignoring Paladin's outburst. "Hold them off me for a minute, okay?"
      • He only had one dumb-fire missile left, but it was enough. Skimming the surface of the huge station, he fired it directly into the station's Flight Deck aperture, turning away a moment before the brilliant explosion.
      • Hunter banked over the station and back into the dogfight, just in time to see a full gun burst from Paladin's fighter blast into one of the jalthis, sending it spinning out of control. The other two fighters were maneuvering to get onto Paladin for the kill. Paladin's fighter was rocking from the repeated bursts of cannon fire from the heavily armed Jalthis.
      • "Get them off your tail, James!" Hunter called, punching the afterburners to close the distance between himself and the dogfight.
      • "I'm trying, lad!" Paladin's voice was strained. "Get over here and help me!"
      • "Bring 'em closer to me, mate!" Hunter said, switching to Friend-or-Foe missiles. The targeting computer began to beep in an increasing rhythm, searching for a missile lock. "Come on, come on," he whispered, as Paladin banked hard, the Jalthis struggling to stay on their target.
      • The targeting computer suddenly wailed with a solid missile lock tone. "Got you, bastard!" Hunter shouted, and fired the missile. The lead Jalthi exploded on the missile's impact, and the second Kilrathi fighter veered sharply to avoid the debris. Hunter was on the Jalthi a moment later, firing all cannons at point-blank range. The Jalthi disintegrated, and Hunter pulled up hard. He brought his speed back down, circling around to spot Paladin.
      • There was no sign of the other Rapier. Hunter scanned the area desperately, carefully flying to avoid the scattering debris.
      • No! Not James, too...
      • Then he saw the other Rapier a short distance away, lifeless and adrift, "James! Are you all right?"
      • The vid was silent for a long moment, then Paladin's wavering image appeared. "I'm still here, lad, but this Rapier's in bad shape. I'm trying to get the engines restarted." Hunter watched as the Rapier lurched, then accelerated unevenly.
      • "Get back to the Heather as fast as you can, James," Hunter said. "Those big ships are getting too damn close for comfort. I think it's time we hit the road from here." He glanced at his sensor screen to confirm that, and reacted instantly, punching full afterburners a split-second later. The burst of Jalthi cannon fire raked where his Rapier had just been, close enough to rock the fighter as Hunter desperately dodged the deadly attack.
      • The last Jalthi, which he'd thought had been incapacitated, came after him at top speed, trying to stay on Hunter's tail for a killing shot. 'James! Get out of here, I'll handle this guy!" Hunter called.
      • The other Rapier accelerated toward the distant freighter, and Hunter followed, the Jalthi close on him. And those other ships aren't far behind him, Hunter thought, glancing back. Hell, I always wanted to go out in a blaze of glory. This could be my big chance.
      • At least I won't have to worry about being taken prisoner if that cruiser gets a cannon shot on this little Rapier, there won't be enough of me left for them to capture with a spoon!
      • The Heather has to be close to the jump point by now, if I can just shake this one fighter and land, maybe I'll survive this.
      • He watched as Paladin's Rapier slowed to dock in the Heather's cargo hold, and glanced back again at the Jalthi on his tail. All right, mate, now we'll see which of us is the better pilot...
      • The Rapier was faster and more maneuverable than the Jalthi, but the Jalthi had heavier firepower and armor. If the Kilrathi caught Hunter in his target sights for full burst, that would probably ice Hunter's Rapier on the spot. So the tactic would be to out fly the Kilrathi pilot until he could get a clear missile lock.
      • Hunter rolled the Rapier to the right, and the Jalthi awkwardly followed. Hunter followed the roll with an Immelmann followed by another diving roll. "Follow that, furball!" he yelled, smiling grimly.
      • The Jalthi pilot tried hard to recover his original firing solution, maneuvering as tightly as he could to regain his position on Hunter's tail, but Hunter knew he had the upper hand now, all he had to do was force the Jalthi into his targeting sights.
      • Another tight turn with full brakes, and then the Jalthi was directly ahead of him, overshadowed by the bulk of the Bonnie Heather.
      • You're history, mate. Hunter grinned, and held onto his position on the Jalthi's tail for the kill. I should get missile tone any second now. ...
      • With a start, Hunter realized that the Jalthi wasn't trying any more evasives, but holding to a single course—directly for the Bonnie Heather.
      • Hell! He's going for a collision course! If he hits the Heather, it'll go up like a tinderbox!
      • "K'Kai, full evasive!" he shouted into the vid. "Do it now, he's trying to ram the ship!"
      • Hunter forced every last iota of speed out of the Rapier's engines that he could, bringing the fighter up directly behind the plummeting Jalthi and firing all guns. At the last instant, he heard the tone of a missile lock, and fired the missile as well.
      • Oh God, he's going to hit the freighter...
      • The Heather suddenly twisted away in a tighter roll than any civilian freighter had ever done before, just as the Jalthi was about to impact. The Jalthi missed the ship by a handful of meters, and Hunter's missile arced into it a split-second later. The Jalthi disintegrated into a million pieces...
      • ... but there was no way he could avoid the cloud of deadly debris directly ahead of him.
      • The Rapier plunged through the remnants of the Jalthi, and Hunter instinctively ducked back in his pilot's chair, even though he knew it wouldn't make any difference. Debris screamed and clanged against the hull of the Rapier as Hunter fought to keep control of the craft. Just as quickly as it had begun, the metal hailstorm was over, and he was in open space again, in a ship that had more holes in it than swiss cheese.
      • Hold together, lady, just a little bit more. He felt the engines spluttering and dying as he brought the Rapier around, heading directly for the Heather's cargo hold. The cargo hold door was already sliding shut. They're getting ready to jump, I've got to get aboard now. Come on, lady, come on...
      • The Rapier's engines died as he dived into the hold, sliding across the deck toward the opposite wall. Hunter braced for impact, even as he felt the familiar dizzying twinge of Jump.
      • With an awful crunching noise, the Rapier slammed into the wall, coming to a complete stop in that moment. Hunter sat in the cockpit for a moment, shaking his head, then yanked off his helmet and clambered out, staggering slightly as his feet landed on the deck.
      • He glanced back at the Rapier, and winced at the sight of the two silver wings crumpled like tinfoil, the nose of the fighter bent at a ninety-degree angle toward the deck. Poor old girl. They just don't make fighters tough enough to withstand what I can put them through, I guess."

Joan's Fighting Spacecraft - 2664.128 UPDATE

  • Confederation Fighters
    • F-44G Rapier

TCSNA Handbook

  • Improved Targeting and Tracking System (ITTS)
    • "The Ferret and Rapier are not equipped with ITTS."
  • Spacecraft of the Terran and Kilrathi Fleets
    • Rapier
      • "Widely used on most carriers, the Rapier was an instrumental force in the Vega campaign. Heavy weapon loadouts along with excellent acceleration and maneuverability make it a highly effective dogfighting ship. The Rapier is equipped with laser and particle cannon as well as a wide array of missiles and several chaff pods. Since its shields and armor are barely average, it is advisable to take evasive action in order to avoid enemy fire. Dragon, the famous Confederation pilot, flew most of the Vega campaign missions in Rapiers. He named it the best all-purpose dogfighter in the Confederation fleet."

Wing Commander II / Academy

Wing Commander II: (De)Briefings

Wing Commander II: Missions

Special Operations 2: Missions

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."
    • Using Your Ship's Guns
      • "Laser Cannon - At this point, the laser cannon was employed only on the Hornets, although scuttlebutt indicated that a new class of fighter, the Rapier, would use them as well. The laser's range and speed are its most important characteristics. It's the weakest gun in Terran arsenal, but it reaches its target rapidly, doesn't deplete blaster power quickly, and has a range of 4,800 mrrs (meters relative to range and speed). The range is 1,800 mrrs more than any other gun. As a pilot, this information indicates that you don't have to lead moving targets as much, can fire more shots in a burst, and can hit targets while they're far away."
      • "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."
  • The Final Assault: Preparation for Victory
    • "All available Rapiers had been ferried to the Tiger's Claw for the final battle. Technicians swarmed over the craft, making last-minute calibrations to the targeting system, loading weapons, and performing routine maintenance before the big push. Training flights were constant for the pilots who had yet to fly in the TCSN's most advanced medium fighter."
  • Between Missions (Jotunheim System)
    • " "I've got to admit that the lieutenant 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 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: End Run

  • Chapter 1
    • "He cleared the energy field airlock and felt the slowing resistance of air on his wings. There was barely thirty meters of maneuver room inside the hangar and the deck was packed. To his port side was a squadron of F-54C Rapiers."
    • " "Doomsday will be squadron commander for the Sabre fighter bombers, Starlight will be in charge of the recon and patrol Ferrets. I'm taking personal charge of the Rapier squadron. Are there any questions?" "
  • Chapter 2
    • "One after the other the ships went out, after the sixth recon the first three Rapier fighters, and then the second six recon Ferrets. Next went six more Rapier fighters to form the close-in combat air patrol, and by this time nearly a half hour had passed, exacerbated by the abort of two launches, one with an overheating engine, the other with a full power shutdown, made worse by several seconds of panic on the part of the pilot when he wasn't sure if he had toggled the eject system back on, or had secured it to full off.
      • The launch cycle continued and dictating in some last minute notes on his wrist-mounted memo pad Jason turned away from Doomsday, went over to his Rapier, and climbed into the cockpit."
  • Chapter 4
    • "He hated atmosphere fighting, where anything much beyond a click a second was far too much. He bled off speed, watching the nav screen which was plotting out his trajectory, a thin blue line on the bottom of the screen showing the edge of the atmosphere. He felt the controls go mushy, the Rapier's computer automatically switching from thrusters to wing control surfaces. Fuel was now going to be a constant concern; flying inside the atmosphere, the hydrogen scoops would simply create too much drag. He closed the scoops and soared in."

Wing Commander: Fleet Action

  • Chapter 1
    • "He was damn near hanging still in space, sparing a quick glance to his tactical display, filled now with a swarm of blue and red dots. A Kilrathi Gratha heavy fighter flashed by, followed by a Rapier. He heard Jonesy in the turret behind him, stammering out a curse as she snapped off a quick volley. His Broadsword shuddered, damage information blipping red for his rear starboard stabilizer. A spray of mass driver rounds arched up from the carrier as it twisted away, and he nudged up the throttle to follow the ship as it continued to turn."
    • "Hunter swept past the edge of the fireball, and then turned back towards Munro, ready to offer backup support for the Marine landing operation. The red blips of the few remaining Kilrathi fighters covering the carrier were winking off the screen as the Rapier squadrons finished them off."
    • " "I hate losing people, but trading a Rapier, a Sabre and two of your Broadswords for a light carrier is a damn fine piece of work in my book. I wish it had always been that easy." "
  • Chapter 3
    • "He closed the door behind him and walked down the now dimmed corridors. He passed the flight ready room and had a flash memory of his first day aboard, chewing out his new pilots, and passed on into the hangar deck. The Rapiers, Ferrets, and Sabres lined the deck and it felt strange to hear the silence. No engines humming, no shouted commands blaring over the loudspeakers, the hissing roar of the catapult or the thunderclap of engines kicking in afterburners on a hot launch. It was a silence that was as complete and deeply disturbing as if he were walking through a tomb."
  • Chapter 5
    • " "They had some problems getting the four, the peace commission kicked up a royal stink. We're lucky we got what we did."
      • "It figures," Jason sighed. "That commission really screwed us up."
      • "What do you mean?"
      • "That report that we'd have ten squadrons of Rapiers and Sabres, well forget it."
      • "What the hell happened?"
      • "The shipment was blocked by the commission. Seems that the Kilrathi ambassador caught wind of the deal, screamed holy hell, and the Baron even got into it, threatening to end all peace negotiations if the ships were allowed to leave Earth system. Rodham, of course, caved in. The three transports, loaded down with fighters and spare parts were blocked from leaving moon orbit. So now we've got to scrounge up whatever we can find around here." "
  • Chapter 12
    • "Kevin tightened the grip on his joystick, his Rapier G jiggling slightly from his nervous hold on the stick. It was certainly the biggest strike group he had ever flown with, more than two hundred and fifty fighters and attack bombers launched from four carriers. The extra fifty heavy strike craft from Saratoga were missed, the carrier still half a system away with a main engine fuel pump acting up. Two hundred and eighty fighters were being held in reserve as protection for the fleet carriers and as a second strike wave."
    • " "This is Tolwyn. Good luck to all of you and good hunting." The image winked off and Kevin smiled. 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 4
    • "Roger, Alpha," the voice of the landing signals officer crackled in his ears. "You are go for final approach. Change vector and start your run when you're ready. Watch for traffic. Two Rapiers, outbound, one supply shuttle in holding orbit. Confirm please."
  • 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 20
    • "Thus, the dispositions for the various Mjollnir squadrons. Only the bombers, with a tightly defined mission only they could effectively execute, and Bondarevsky's stealth fighters playing a game of harassment in close to the dreadnought, were to be employed in the immediate vicinity of the carrier. 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."

Wing Commander: The Price of Freedom

  • Chapter (100)
    • "Blair's communications scanner locked on Maniac's tactical channel. "Colonel," Marshall said, I got trouble. I got lots of Border reinforcements inbound. It looks like older stuff, Ferrets and some Rapiers. We can hold 'em, but don't waste any time. Okay?"
  • Chapter (157)
    • " "Strike King to Tiger," the lead Arrow transmitted. "Tallyho, I got visual contact."
      • What do you see?" Blair asked while starting the voice recorder attached to his knee board. He would need the Arrow's initial sightings for his after-action report.
      • "Approximately twelve bogies," Strike King said. "It looks like a motley mix of Ferrets and Rapiers, with a couple of Sabers. There's a second group inbound. Probably about the same numbers. Stand by telemetry." "
  • Chapter (160-162
    • "The Border Worlds forces began to turn and reengage. They hit the Dominion's fighters using massed fire to flare two. The black Hellcats tore into the rebels a moment later, avenging one of the cruiser's destroyed ships. Blair watched, heartsick, as his own Arrows attacked, killing a Ferret and firing missiles at a Rapier. The Rapier fired back, hitting one Arrow amidships before the first of several missiles struck it. The rebel ship turned into a fireball and an expanding cloud of junk.
      • Blair's Hellcats tore in, followed by his own Thunderbolts. The fast approach of three rebel Rapiers and Sabers pushed his worries aside. He slammed his throttles forward, bracing for the usual punch as the afterburners kicked in. He heard the roar as the Thunderbolt's engines spooled up, but the response was sluggish compared to a Hellcat's. The first Rapier homed in and fired while the other two broke and turned, one for each of his flanks. Blair kicked out a pair of signal decoys in anticipation of a missile strike, then put the T-bolt into a lazy right-hand turn. The lead Rapier's hits registered on the heavy fighter's screens, flaring the phase shields, but accomplishing little else. The Saber bore in after it. He checked his tail-gunner, and was pleased to see that Gunderson's computer control was engaging the trailing Rapiers as they came astern. The tailstinger wouldn't accomplish much, but it would keep the rebels honest.
      • The Saber cut to its right, then left, trying to avoid Blair's front arc. He waited until the rebel committed itself, keyed an infrared missile, and fired. The missile launched after its target. The Saber jinked hard, kicking out a string of decoys. The evasion attempt slowed its own maneuver enough for Blair to bring it into his gun line. He fired two short bursts with his plasma guns, then poured on the coal with all weapons as he saw its phase shields flare. The salvo of doubled plasma and photon guns plowed into its spine, ripping it in two. There was no secondary explosion, giving the pilot a good chance of escaping.
      • The lead Rapier came into his line of sight almost at once, firing its afterburners in an attempt to cut him off while the two other ships swung around and angled for his flanks. Blair, having seen this maneuver a dozen times during the Kilrathi War, turned head-on to the lead Rapier, and cued an IFF missile.
      • The rebel ship grew in his sights, then foreshortened as it tried to maneuver out of his front arc. The Rapier was smaller, had weaker shields and lighter weapons, and could take less damage. There was no shame in running, not under those circumstances.
      • The IFF's crosshairs crossed his targeting reticule, the red box flashing as the missile's seekerhead locked on target. He fired the warhead, pulling sharply as the second Rapier opened fire. His shields absorbed several hits before he evaded. They'd been knocked-down about three-quarters, but their armor belt remained intact.
      • Blair looked straight up through his cockpit canopy as he came over the top of his loop and saw the lead Rapier directly overhead. The IFF missile hit the Rapier. Its intake bloomed fire. The ship survived the hit and swerved away, trailing debris from a small secondary explosion.
      • Blair tightened his loop, coming in over the top of the Rapier as the pilot struggled to control the ship. He toggled his weapon selector switch to his plasma cannon, then kicked out a line of bolts along the damaged fighter's foresection. The ship staggered under the abuse, then flew apart—disintegrating from front to back as the cannon shots lost coherency and dissipated their energy charges into the Rapier's frame.
      • Blair's heart thumped in his chest as he watched the fighter die. The fighter's frame broke up before the pilot could eject. He felt dirty and sickened by what he had done, even though he'd had no choice. Blair had rarely fired on Confed-built ships, and the memories of each time he had done so plagued his dreams.
      • A barrage of laser bolts from his back right drew his eyes upward. The last Rapier flashed overhead, scoring a line of hits that weakened Blair's phase shields but still didn't penetrate.
      • He pulled hard right, allowing his badly depleted capacitors to recharge while he maneuvered against the last Rapier. A Lexington Hellcat appeared in the Rapier's hind quarter, fired a volley from its ion cannon and released a missile. The Rapier, caught between Blair's turret and the Hellcat, tried to turn away. The missile took it amidships, destroying it. A gout of flame shot through the cockpit, finishing the pilot."

Star*Soldier

  • Best of the Best
    • Amber “Amazon” Elbereth - Fighter: Rapier Cavalier
    • Dirk “Stingray” Wright - Fighter: Rapier Blade
    • Kevin “Lone Wolf” Tolwyn - Fighter: Rapier Vanguard
  • Life at Port Broughton
    • "There is a deafening thunder as a perfect diamond of space fghters buzzes the side of the carrier, crossing our view port; F-44X Rapier II Cavaliers, bearing the white with blue flames of the 3129th InSys. The sweetest thing I have ever seen. The shaking dies down as dogfights erupt around the carrier. Only a fraction of the sky is visible from where I stand. Blasters fire, missiles impact, explosions erupt around... but it is impossible to track the action from my perspective. My survival is in the hands of a thin line of fighter pilots willing to risk all for thousands they do not know. Neutron bolts cut the sky. Missiles lance out towards unseen targets. Chains of lasers fly in all directions as Port Broughton’s defense net sluggishly comes alive. Suddenly, a massive Rhino ducks in from above my view, its elaborate wing markings filling the view port. It is followed closely by a Rapier, firing all guns. Half a second later the Rhino is an expanding field of space debris. The module’s collected inhabitants erupt in a cheer."

Joan's Fighting Spacecraft 2700-2701 - Epsilon Sector Supplement

  • F-44 Rapier Blade
    • "The Rapier II replaced the aging CF-117 in 2654 and immediately made an impact: Dragon, Bandit, Maverick, Maniac, Prankster... a disproportionate number of the war’s top twenty aces served with Rapier II squadrons. The Blade is the modern version of that famed ship, updated by fire through its service against the Nephilim."
  • F-44 Rapier Vanguard
    • "Named for their exceptional service against the Nephilim. It was a Vanguard squadron which led the first strike through the gate against G#38KMSx-Red. All sixteen Rapiers were shot down, but they went out fighting: an analysis of their flight recorders showed a 129 to 1 kill ratio. Carrying Porcupines and a deployable turret, Vanguards are often used as minelayers."
  • F-44X Rapier Cavalier
    • "When it comes to fighters, the Cavalier is the crown jewel of the Epsilon Sector’s arsenal. A true artist’s ship, the Cavalier’s weapons are focused around ranged engagements. An experienced Cavalier pilot will make use of his lasers and ionic pulse cannons to allow him to avoid missile barrages from enemy bombers."

Gallery