The origin of the Talon?

So I played through Privateer and Righteous Fire recently and it got me thinking about the Talon, a fighter so numerous in Gemini that you can't hit your afterburner without crashing into a few.

It's mentioned that it was a Confederation fighter that proliferated due to illegal sales by Governor Menesch, but not much more is said.

It lead me to wonder if this was an old frontline fighter that just had a huge surplus after becoming hopelessly outdated, or if was just a cheap fighter that was purpose built to serve behind the lines with militias and the ISS.

It doesn't seem like it was ever intended to be a civilian model given the fact that Menesch was selling them illegally and that the only law-abiding folks who fly them are the militia.

So while I'm probably overthinking this, I was left to muse: What might the Talon have been before it became the most common sight in Gemini?
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Well, there is of course no canonical answer to this question: it's one of those things that were only explained as much as necessary, and left for fans to speculate about.

In Standoff, our explanation, based on the ship's stats, was that it was a medium fighter introduced to replace the Scimitar, but for whatever reason, the importance of a higher afterburner speed was underestimated. This ultimately led to high losses, and resulted in the ship being relegated to secondary duties. Whether or not this is reasonable, I don't know, although I suppose our explanation is at least vague enough that it can always be justified and explained somehow, as long as nothing new contradicts it overtly.

We even made up a designation for the Talon, F-38, which helped to contextualise the ship's place in the line of development of Confed fighters. A number of our Standoff designations were incorporated into the canon in Star*Soldier, so you may want to check if the Talon isn't one such case (I don't recall personally). Of course, even if the Talon is referred to as F-38 in Star*Citizen, that only means the designation from Standoff is canon - but not the story we made up with it.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
A number of our Standoff designations were incorporated into the canon in Star*Soldier, so you may want to check if the Talon isn't one such case (I don't recall personally).
It is - page 57 (the classifieds), middle column, second entry.

Myself, I see Talons kinda like TIE/ln Fighters from Star Wars - they were intended to be cheap and easy to mass produce for some kinda market (maybe planetary militias, hence their use in Gemini) but their overall characteristics are so abysmal you'd have to be frickin' suicidal to fly the damn things. I dunno. That's probably as valid an opinion as any.
 
Well, there is of course no canonical answer to this question: it's one of those things that were only explained as much as necessary, and left for fans to speculate about.
Indeed. A failed Scim replacement isn't a bad speculation since Menesch was selling them prior to 2654 when he got caught. It fits in with speculation regarding like the Ferret which supposedly lost out to the Epee as the premier carrier light fighter of its time and ended up in a lot of ISS forces as a result.

I also like the cheap to produce TIE fighter idea as it explains why there are so many and why they are so garbage (considering the Salthi is an upgrade for the Retros). Most resources would be going towards tougher frontline ships afterall.
 

Minuteman

1st Lieutenant
Personally, I just wish I could fly one in Privateer. Just for kicks and giggles! :-D

That said - it makes sense to me that you'd see an old, obsolete fighter proliferate on the frontier. Heck, even in modern National Guard units, they are often equipped with older, aging equipment until they deploy and need better equipment. In my first unit (a while back), I was issued an old, beat up rifle with a bent front sight post. The supply NCO's response? "Good luck!".

I see the Talon as the Confederation's way to give Militia (guard) units SOME sort of fighter, without having to commit a lot of money and resources. Plus - if the worst enemies in the sector are also in Talons , I could see Confed justifying supporting an ISS/Guard set up with Talons, while committing occasional Confed Broadsword/Paradigm support.

Anyway, just my thoughts.
 

RogueBanshee

Rear Admiral
I always wondered if it was a locally produced craft intended for local defense forces that were desperate for fighters as the big fighter production centers starting sending all their new ships to the main battlezones. Ditto for the UBW fighters from the fourth game.

I wonder just how many fighter models were used in the war that we never got to see or fly though. I imagine there were tons. Action Stations alone shows a number of pre-warfighters we never saw and mentions at least one in development fighter that never appeared in the games.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I wonder just how many fighter models were used in the war that we never got to see or fly though. I imagine there were tons. Action Stations alone shows a number of pre-warfighters we never saw and mentions at least one in development fighter that never appeared in the games.
Just going off the fighter designations, the Wasp in WCP was the F-110 and the Shrike was the TB-81. If we're using real life as a comparison, that doesn't mean every fighter and bomber in that lineage was mass produced, but that gives you a sense of scale. Plus, there's alternate naming like the CF-105 Scimitar and and CF-117 Rapier as well as the CF-131/A-17 Broadsword and A-20 Banshee.
 

Whistler

Commodore
I see a Talon as a similar design to an Epee and just as much a deathtrap without some serious skills behind the stick. You could theorize that a Talon was the militia equivalent of an Epee, although a bit more customizable compared to the frontline Epee given the theatre-of-operations and limited budgets of planetary security forces.

Again, just theory but that's what makes these threads so damn fun. :D
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
I really enjoyed the 'climate' of Privateer - you really got the feeling that the Militia forces were second class, whereas the Confed forces ruled supreme when they were around. Highlighted by the huge gulf in performance between the Talon & Stiletto. If you irritated the Militia, it made the game interesting. If you irritated Confed, it made the game frightening. (esp. early on rattling around in the Tarsus)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Oh, yes - and the Kilrathi, too. I suspect many people here have memories of being absolutely horrified after foolishly choosing a Dralthi elimination mission too early in the game. Like, yeah, I'm flying a Tarsus here, but come on - a Dralthi? How hard could that be? ;)
 

Dondragmer

Rear Admiral
It's easy to assume that a low-performance craft is obsolete, but in our own 21st century this is rare. Police forces buy up-to-date production cars. They do not drive Formula 1 racing cars or Main Battle Tanks, because neither type of vehicle would help police do their job 99.9% of the time. Neither does the US Coast Guard operate the F-22 Raptor.

Purchasing decisions are all about the total cost of ownership. That means weighing the cost of parts and the maintenance interval against the likelihood of being shot down by a hotshot Centurion or invading Kilrathi.

So, what are these costs like for a 27th-century space fighter? In the 21st century, maintenance on jet fighters and attack helicopters is measured in many mechanic-hours of work per hour of flight. But aircraft suffer a lot of wear and tear just from operating. In space, the Voyager space probes were launched in 1977 and are still (mostly) functional in 2016 despite no mechanical maintenance at all.

A 27th-century fighter probably lies between these two extremes. Drifting around in space won't do much harm, especially if it has shields to absorb the impact of space dust. But how do those shields work, and what powers them? Most ways we can imagine a "shield" in the 21st century involve superconducting magnets. For power, fusion plants with more superconducting magnets. Mass drivers and railguns? Still more superconductors. Hopefully someone invents room-temperature superconductors by then, or our fighters will be a horrifying web of liquid nitrogen (or even liquid helium) pipes surrounding high-energy plasma just barely held in check by powerful magnetic fields.

Even if we can do without the cryogenics, some of the electrical and propulsion components probably suffer ferocious temperature fluctuations in normal use. This gets worse if the shields start taking hits or we're so inconsiderate as to actually fire the guns.

In a high-energy spacefaring future, a ship will be fortunate if its life ends like this. Confed probably does have a boneyard full of old Scimitars, and they may even sell them quite cheaply. Just don't power the shields past 10% or you'll blow all the fuses. Wear a space suit, because pressurising it will blow out the windscreen. Afterburners? What do you need them for, aren't you just joining parades of the local vintage spaceship club? Those guys are great for selling war bonds!

None of this is canon, just extrapolation from present-day air economics and air warfare. In particular, the apparent abilities of Maintenance Droids may simplify the current need for vast stockpiles of spare parts. But, to address your original question...

It lead me to wonder if this was an old frontline fighter that just had a huge surplus after becoming hopelessly outdated, or if was just a cheap fighter that was purpose built to serve behind the lines with militias and the ISS.
The latter explanation seems vastly more plausible. The details included in Standoff may not be Canon, but they are logical; aviation history is full of aircraft that met their design goals only to find that those goals were overtaken by other events. For just a few examples, consider the XB-70 Valkyrie, Convair 880, Fairey Rotodyne and F-20 Tigershark.
 

RogueBanshee

Rear Admiral
Just going off the fighter designations, the Wasp in WCP was the F-110 and the Shrike was the TB-81. If we're using real life as a comparison, that doesn't mean every fighter and bomber in that lineage was mass produced, but that gives you a sense of scale. Plus, there's alternate naming like the CF-105 Scimitar and and CF-117 Rapier as well as the CF-131/A-17 Broadsword and A-20 Banshee.
I know but the F-44s were entering service in the WC1 and they were up to 110 by Prophecy. While I'm sure there were many of those numbers either not used or used for craft that never hit full production there is still room for a lot of designs there. And we only saw the compliments of a few carriers and one sector defense force in the games
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
one sector defense force in the games
Technically I think you see two ISS units in the games. your unit in WC2 is certainly identified as one and in Secret Ops the forces operating off of Ella flying surplus? WC4 fighters as well. Though they aren't specifically identified as one, the Navy operates the century series fighters throughout WCP and SO. doesn't change your core point though, there are quite a few free designations.
 
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